An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Sponsor

Status

In committee (Senate), as of Dec. 12, 2018

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Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

Part 1 enacts the Impact Assessment Act and repeals the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. Among other things, the Impact Assessment Act

(a) names the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada as the authority responsible for impact assessments;

(b) provides for a process for assessing the environmental, health, social and economic effects of designated projects with a view to preventing certain adverse effects and fostering sustainability;

(c) prohibits proponents, subject to certain conditions, from carrying out a designated project if the designated project is likely to cause certain environmental, health, social or economic effects, unless the Minister of the Environment or Governor in Council determines that those effects are in the public interest, taking into account the impacts on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, all effects that may be caused by the carrying out of the project, the extent to which the project contributes to sustainability and other factors;

(d) establishes a planning phase for a possible impact assessment of a designated project, which includes requirements to cooperate with and consult certain persons and entities and requirements with respect to public participation;

(e) authorizes the Minister to refer an impact assessment of a designated project to a review panel if he or she considers it in the public interest to do so, and requires that an impact assessment be referred to a review panel if the designated project includes physical activities that are regulated under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act and the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act;

(f) establishes time limits with respect to the planning phase, to impact assessments and to certain decisions, in order to ensure that impact assessments are conducted in a timely manner;

(g) provides for public participation and for funding to allow the public to participate in a meaningful manner;

(h) sets out the factors to be taken into account in conducting an impact assessment, including the impacts on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada;

(i) provides for cooperation with certain jurisdictions, including Indigenous governing bodies, through the delegation of any part of an impact assessment, the joint establishment of a review panel or the substitution of another process for the impact assessment;

(j) provides for transparency in decision-making by requiring that the scientific and other information taken into account in an impact assessment, as well as the reasons for decisions, be made available to the public through a registry that is accessible via the Internet;

(k) provides that the Minister may set conditions, including with respect to mitigation measures, that must be implemented by the proponent of a designated project;

(l) provides for the assessment of cumulative effects of existing or future activities in a specific region through regional assessments and of federal policies, plans and programs, and of issues, that are relevant to the impact assessment of designated projects through strategic assessments; and

(m) sets out requirements for an assessment of environmental effects of non-designated projects that are on federal lands or that are to be carried out outside Canada.

Part 2 enacts the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, which establishes the Canadian Energy Regulator and sets out its composition, mandate and powers. The role of the Regulator is to regulate the exploitation, development and transportation of energy within Parliament’s jurisdiction.

The Canadian Energy Regulator Act, among other things,

(a) provides for the establishment of a Commission that is responsible for the adjudicative functions of the Regulator;

(b) ensures the safety and security of persons, energy facilities and abandoned facilities and the protection of property and the environment;

(c) provides for the regulation of pipelines, abandoned pipelines, and traffic, tolls and tariffs relating to the transmission of oil or gas through pipelines;

(d) provides for the regulation of international power lines and certain interprovincial power lines;

(e) provides for the regulation of renewable energy projects and power lines in Canada’s offshore;

(f) provides for the regulation of access to lands;

(g) provides for the regulation of the exportation of oil, gas and electricity and the interprovincial oil and gas trade; and

(h) sets out the process the Commission must follow before making, amending or revoking a declaration of a significant discovery or a commercial discovery under the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act and the process for appealing a decision made by the Chief Conservation Officer or the Chief Safety Officer under that Act.

Part 2 also repeals the National Energy Board Act.

Part 3 amends the Navigation Protection Act to, among other things,

(a) rename it the Canadian Navigable Waters Act;

(b) provide a comprehensive definition of navigable water;

(c) require that, when making a decision under that Act, the Minister must consider any adverse effects that the decision may have on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada;

(d) require that an owner apply for an approval for a major work in any navigable water;

(e)  set out the factors that the Minister must consider when deciding whether to issue an approval;

(f) provide a process for addressing navigation-related concerns when an owner proposes to carry out a work in navigable waters that are not listed in the schedule;

(g) provide the Minister with powers to address obstructions in any navigable water;

(h) amend the criteria and process for adding a reference to a navigable water to the schedule;

(i) require that the Minister establish a registry; and

(j) provide for new measures for the administration and enforcement of the Act.

Part 4 makes consequential amendments to Acts of Parliament and regulations.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

June 20, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
June 20, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
June 19, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (previous question)
June 11, 2018 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
March 19, 2018 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
March 19, 2018 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
Feb. 27, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

December 13th, 2018 / 2:50 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, like leaders of hundreds of other indigenous communities, Blood Tribe Chief Roy Fox says most Treaty 7 chiefs strongly oppose Bill C-69 “for its likely devastating impact on our ability to support our community members”.

A Guelph University professor says Bill C-69 “conflicts with the goals of timeliness and transparency, not to mention fairness”, while the pipeline association says it expects timelines to be longer. Martha Hall Findlay says it will increase political influence.

This is all the exact opposite of everything the Liberals claim, so will they scrap their “no more pipelines” Bill C-69 before it is too late?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

December 13th, 2018 / 2:50 p.m.
See context

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is clear the Prime Minister does not understand the struggles of everyday Canadians. More than 100,000 unemployed energy workers are struggling to pay their mortgages, heat their homes and buy Christmas presents for their families. The Prime Minister's solution to this crisis is empty words, higher taxes and more unemployment.

Canadian energy workers do not want EI cheques; they want paycheques. They do not want handouts; they want jobs. Will the Prime Minister get these people back to work? Will he scrap his “no pipelines” Bill C-69?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

December 12th, 2018 / 2:45 p.m.
See context

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives talk about scrapping Bill C-69, which is focused on giving tighter timelines, a single project single evaluation and responds to the concerns of industry, they actually mean let us go back to CEAA 2012 that Harper put forward. That was an absolute failure for industry. There was a failure in getting anything built. It would be a disaster for the oil and gas industry and for industries right across the country. We will not do that.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

December 12th, 2018 / 2:45 p.m.
See context

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is the government's plan that makes emissions free for the largest emitters. The Conservatives are ideologically opposed to a tax that raises the cost of living for Canadians. That will be the choice in the next election.

The Prime Minister has failed in so many areas, but there is one file in which he is succeeding. He went around the world and bragged about his plan to phase out Canada's energy sector. Sad to say, it is working. He has chased out new pipeline proponents. He is bringing in a bill that will ensure no future pipeline gets built.

Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and scrap Bill C-69?

Bill C-21. Second reading and concurrence in Senate amendmentCustoms ActGovernment Orders

December 11th, 2018 / 4:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to stand in the House to talk again to Bill C-21. I thought yesterday would be the last time I would have a chance to speak, but it turns out I will have another chance today.

One of the things we understand when we look at a bill like Bill C-21 is the close relationship we have with our neighbours south of the border and the fact that geography has us joined. This is one of these things that helps goods flow back and forth in a way that people understand what the expectations are and how they work.

First, we do support the bill. It is important that our border services have the tools they need to keep Canadians safe. The legislation addresses the long-standing Conservative priorities regarding border security and ensuring entitlement programs are not abused.

On this side of the House, we will continue to hold the Liberals to account and ensure that this program is implemented in a way that does not infringe on the rights of Canadians.

Bill C-21 would allow the Canada Border Services Agency to collect and receive biographic information on travellers exiting Canada. It would authorize officers to acquire goods exported from Canada to be reported, despite exemptions, and would give them the power to examine goods being exported.

The Prime Minister first announced the agreement with the United States to fully implement a system to exchange basic biographic information in March 2016, following his first official visit to the United States. Currently, as part of the beyond the borders action plan, the two countries collect and exchange biographic entry information at land ports on third country nationals and lawful permanent residents. Entry information into one country is considered exit information from the other.

As we look at initiatives like beyond the borders, these are the things I hear at round tables. We need to continue to work on ways to ease the flow of goods, services and people. Some of the challenges our companies have are getting goods to market.

We can look at the automotive facilities in Windsor, where I visited this past summer. One of the things Chrysler told me was that based on just-in-time inventory, and automotive manufacturers experience and require the same thing, that any delays such as traffic, caused delays in its production, which was problematic as it worked very hard to get goods to market in a timely fashion.

On November 21, the Senate committee heard from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada who spoke on the general intent of the bill and its amendment, which was passed by the House of Commons. This is related to the data retention period. The Privacy Commissioner said, “I am generally satisfied that this border management initiative is based on important public policy objectives and the personal information in question is not particularly sensitive.”

For the amendment, Mr. Therrien indicated that in order to achieve greater legal certainty, subsection 93.1 should be amended to clarify that the data collected under sections 92 and 93 should be retained by the agency for a period of no more than 15 years.

The legislation will not have any incremental costs for new systems as it will leverage those already in use. It will, however, save an estimated $20 million per year from those who are unduly receiving entitlement programs while out of the country for extended periods. This includes those who are receiving employment insurance from outside of Canada.

Speaking of financial implications at borders, it is important to bring up the issue our country is grappling with right now, and that is the issue of steel and aluminum tariffs that still remain in place. The Prime Minister was supposed to have steel and aluminum tariffs lifted before the G20 summit about two weeks ago. Unfortunately, he failed to do so when he signed the USMCA without assurances that tariffs would be lifted. This is causing major problems with our manufacturers.

I have talked with small and medium-size enterprises. I have talked with steel and aluminum producers. I have talked with automotive, tool and dye and moulding companies. I have talked with a whole host of people who use steel and aluminum in their production and they are dealing with these issues. They tell me that every day these tariffs remain in place, workers will continue to face more uncertainty.

Businesses, especially small businesses, are struggling to pay the surtaxes on the materials they need. Jobs are at risk of being moved south of the border. Some companies are saying they are not sure they can continue to operate the way they are. For smaller companies, moving is not an option and larger companies are certainly reassessing some of the options they have.

I spent some time this summer criss-crossing the country and talking to small manufacturers who depend on stable markets for aluminum and steel. I talked to over 150 stakeholders in three different provinces. I had 26 meetings in 18 cities and talked to a variety of stakeholders. There were business owners, chambers of commerce and trade associations. I heard that U.S. tariffs are killing businesses. We have a 25% tariff on steel, a 10% tariff on aluminum and businesses are having a hard time planning. Not only are they not able to plan for the future, say two or three years down the road, they are also having a hard time planning for the next three to six months. That kind of uncertainty is a challenge.

I have talked to small boat wholesalers and retailers of boats who are trying to buy inventory now. They say the next season is coming up and they are not sure what they are going to do in terms of how many boats to order or what they need to do, because people refuse to pay some of the taxes. Small and medium-sized enterprises form an essential part of our local economies and their loss would be keenly felt if the tariff situation is not resolved in an expeditious way.

Last week, in the international trade committee, Conservatives introduced a motion asking the Prime Minister to attend and present his plan for the immediate removal of tariffs on steel and aluminum products. The Liberals voted against that motion. Canadians have the right to know exactly how the Liberals and the Prime Minister are going to address this growing negative impact of tariffs on steel and aluminum for our workers and the economy. When the Prime Minister signed the new NAFTA, he failed to ensure that the tariffs would be removed from Canadian steel and aluminum products. Canadians are still facing even more uncertainty given the recent announcement that the United States will terminate the existing trade agreement if the new NAFTA is not ratified in six months.

Conservatives spent months travelling across Canada speaking with over 200 businesses, owners, labour groups and stakeholders and heard that same message over and over again. Local businesses are being hindered by red tape and proposed higher taxes by the Prime Minister and the Liberal government and they are unable to access relief. They need to stay afloat during difficult periods, with no end in sight. Businesses have had to cut orders, reduce shifts and, in some cases, have been forced to lay off workers.

Conservatives will continue to fight to protect Canadian workers and our economy and will call on the Prime Minister to also do the same. The Prime Minister must take immediate action and tell Canadians exactly what his plan is to remove the tariffs from our steel and aluminum products and ensure that our workers and our economy will remain competitive.

Speaking of competitiveness, the global competitiveness index has Canada in 14th place. The U.S. has risen to first place out of 140 countries. We are in 53rd place when it comes to regulatory burden. Our corporate tax rate is now close to 27%, which is one of the higher ones of other developed countries in the OECD. We are close to having the highest corporate tax rate. The real tax rate for corporate income is also creeping toward 30%. Canada also has a high personal income tax rate. We spoke with companies trying to attract talent from all over the world and they said it is tough because of the high personal taxes that individuals pay in this country. For entrepreneurs, this is a challenge.

The personal tax rate in most provinces and in Ontario exceeds 50%, and that is certainly a challenge for businesses. Other provinces are getting dangerously close. The U.S. tax rate has been reduced from 35% to 21%, with additional incentives to invest and relocate there. This is our biggest trading partner where over 76% of our exports go. The government must recognize the importance of tax rates, our competitiveness and the importance of a strong business environment for our economic stability. Right now, there is no reason to be confident in our economic prospects. There are issues with capital flight and onerous regulations.

In Alberta right now, there are obviously many challenges. We see that Alberta just mandated an 8.7% cut in oil production to combat low prices. Thousands of jobs and several companies are in jeopardy. Canadian oil is selling at an $80-million discount every single day. Texas oil is going for around $50 a barrel, while Western Canadian Select, I believe, has gone to $14 and below. Why has that happened? One of the reasons is that Alberta cannot get its oil to global markets.

This is a direct result of the Prime Minister's failure to approve three different pipeline projects of over $100 billion. Northern gateway was vetoed. Energy east was killed by shifting regulatory goalposts. The Trans Mountain pipeline was subject to delays and obstruction. We, as a country, now own that pipeline for just a little over $4.5 billion. Bill C-69 would make the problem even worse. This bill would bury any chance at future pipelines, under the mountain of new ever-changing regulations. This is all part of the Liberal plan to phase out the oil sands without a thought for the workers and families who depend on them for their livelihoods.

Unfortunately, with such a high degree of uncertainty surrounding resource development in Canada, investors have taken notice. Canada is no longer seen as a safe bet for economic growth.

Problems are not just in our resource sector. Most people are aware that recently over 2,500 workers at GM in Oshawa were told that their plant would be closing. This is very unfortunate. Other manufacturers are worried as well. A carbon tax increases the price of everything, including energy, industrial inputs and shipping products to global markets. If Canadian companies are tied to a carbon tax that other countries, especially the United States, are not, we are going to be in serious trouble.

Recently, Canada has taken steps to diversify its trading relationship, and I will give the government kudos for that. It is good to see that we have just passed a modernized Canada-Israel agreement. It is good to see that we passed the TPP, or the new CPTPP, and of course the CETA. These are all agreements that our Conservative government previously had done the negotiating on and worked through, and it is great to see that the current government was able to move some of these through.

We cannot lose sight of how international trade really works, though. We still need a strong business environment to compete. That is a serious problem with tax hikes and onerous regulations, especially the carbon tax, which will impact Canadian firms' ability to compete on the basis of price. The government focuses a lot on the Canada brand in promoting global trade, but if our businesses cannot compete, they are not going to be able to engage successfully.

I want to talk about some other jurisdictions as it relates to Bill C-21 and how that has worked, just to show that there are other countries working on similar things as the legislation is here.

We know that the Australian government uses movement records to track arrivals and departures at its borders. Movement records may include name, date of birth, gender, relationship status, country of birth, departure and arrival dates, travel document information and travel itinerary. Collecting this information seems reasonable.

In 1998, the U.K. government ended its collection of paper-based exit controls and in 2004 introduced a more sophisticated approach of collecting advance passenger information for inbound and outbound air passengers. It also added checks in 2015 for those who are leaving.

The Government of New Zealand has implemented a passenger departure card system for outgoing travellers. Since updating legislation in 2009, travellers have been required to fill out a departure card with some basic biographical information before entering passport control.

In the United States, while an entry-exit control system to collect data on arrivals and departures has been legislated several times since 1996, no such system has yet been developed. The U.S. has tested several data collection and sharing programs, two of which are currently running.

The Americans largely rely on information sharing agreements with air and sea carriers for their exit records. One of the two programs still in place is the U.S.-Canada information sharing agreement in which the land entry record in one country establishes an exit record for the other.

Since 2008, under the advance passenger information system program, air and sea carriers are required to provide border police with electronic copies of passenger and crew manifests before departure of all international flights or voyages. This data must be provided before departure so that the manifest can be vetted against terrorist watch lists and so data can be added to the database.

In the spring of 2018, Bill C-21 passed and the Conservatives' supported it. The bill has now been returned to the House with an amendment suggested by the Privacy Commissioner to limit data retention to no more than 15 years. Conservatives will continue to support the initiative started by the previous Conservative government in the beyond the border agreement. It uses existing infrastructure to share basic biographical information between CBSA and U.S. law enforcement.

Once enacted, Bill C-21 would create an entry-exit program and allow the Canadian government to keep track of when individual Canadians enter and leave the country. Most countries in the world have already implemented entry and exit programs. Right now, the Canada Border Services Agency only knows when someone enters the country. The bill would allow the government to keep tabs on high-risk travellers for national security purposes. Knowing who enters and leaves the country is part of the government's responsibility to keep Canadians safe.

As I wrap up, I cannot overestimate the challenges that small and medium-size businesses are struggling with in this country in terms of tariffs. We look at what they are dealing with on an ongoing basis. The U.S. is our closest trading partner and we do things like beyond the border and Bill C-21 to increase co-operation, because the U.S. is a strong neighbour and a friend. As this issue continues to be unresolved, I fear that it puts our future in manufacturing, that it puts the future for our small and medium-size industries that are dealing with tariffs in steel and aluminum in jeopardy.

One of the challenges businesses have as they are trying to plan for the future is how they are going to pay for the steel and aluminum tariffs over the coming weeks and months. We talked to them this summer. Mr. Speaker, I understand you had round tables and were able to talk to some of these very people. We heard that this uncertainty means they may have to lay people off as we move forward. Small and medium-size enterprises are the backbone of Canadian society. They continue to make sure we have jobs in small towns and they employ vast numbers of people. We need to continue to work on trying to remove these tariffs.

Just as Bill C-21 would make it more efficient and we would be able to keep track of people moving back and forth, measures like beyond the border are things we heard about as we talked to people this summer. They said that we need to continue to work on ways to make sure there is less regulation and less red tape at the borders, so they are able to move forward in a strategic way.

I cannot implore the government enough to consider the issues around the steel and aluminum tariffs. We missed great opportunities. The first opportunity was when we originally signed on that one rushed weekend when there was a lot of activity, and we agreed to terms around a new NAFTA deal. The second opportunity was at the signing just a week or two ago in Argentina.

Quite frankly, we continue to hear from small and medium-size enterprises and they are very concerned about what the future holds for them. Who is going to pay the tariffs? A lot of these companies are eating the tariffs themselves right now. They say that if they are going to pass it on, there are suppliers saying they cannot afford to do that.

As we move forward to vote on Bill C-21, which our opposition team supports, there are many other things that need to be done to make sure our borders become more efficient and easier to move through.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

December 11th, 2018 / 3 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are not listening to all indigenous people and they do not speak for all of them, just like when they killed northern gateway and the 31 indigenous partnership. That is why 15 leaders from the National Coalition of Chiefs, the Indian Resource Council and the Eagle Spirit Chiefs Council, which represents hundreds of first nations and Métis who want to build their own pipeline, are here today.

The Liberals' oil export ban, Bill C-48, and their no more pipelines, Bill C-69, blocked their way. If the Liberals keep ignoring provinces, economists and industry, will they at least listen to those leaders and to most Treaty 7 chiefs and will they kill their no more pipelines Bill C-69, yes or no?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

December 11th, 2018 / 3 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, northern gateway was approved by the Conservatives and then was killed by the Liberals. The Liberals then put a double standard against energy east, killing that project. They failed on the Trans Mountain Expansion, bought it and now, not one shovel in the ground.

Billions of dollars in GDP and hundreds of thousands of jobs are gone or in jeopardy. Investment is fleeing the country. This is the record of the Prime Minister's failed oil and gas sector polices.

If that was not enough, we have the Liberal “no more pipelines bill.” Will the Prime Minister deliver a Christmas miracle and kill Bill C-69?

Customs ActGovernment Orders

December 11th, 2018 / 1:45 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, maybe the member came in late, but I did start in my first minute saying that I support the bill and the amendment. In fact, the Senate amendment took into consideration my suggestions from September 2017 with respect to retention and storage of personal information.

I am going to use the remainder of the time for my answer to tell the member about a concerning meeting I had at the Oakville Chamber of Commerce at the beginning of the summer, when we had our saving Canadian jobs tour. The tariffs being imposed not just by the U.S. but by his government on U.S. imports into Canada are crippling small and medium-sized enterprises.

In fact, an accountant from Oakville showed up at my meeting and said the only work he has done for clients, privately held businesses, employers in the Oakville-Halton region, was arranging their affairs to move investments to the United States. It is concerning, the uncompetitiveness that we see across the country, from the west with Bill C-69 to tariffs in southern Ontario. It is concerning.

I would ask the member to use his last caucus meeting tomorrow in the hallowed room that they hold it in to demand that the Prime Minister start taking competitiveness seriously, to demand that businesses in Oakville remain as competitive as they have been to make sure they are still part of North American supply chains at the end of this year.

Customs ActGovernment Orders

December 11th, 2018 / 1:25 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I feel privileged to speak after my colleague from Calgary Nose Hill. Her work on the Canada-U.S. file and the border, in particular, has been very important.

I am also very happy to stand in this place. As many MPs have said this week, this is likely my last speech here. Many of my friends, including my friend from Winnipeg North, are probably happy about that. However, I can guarantee him that I will resume my speaking pace in the new chamber, as I know he will.

We all respect this institution, this chamber and the history it represents. Whether I agree with my friends on the other side or not, I respect their ability and freedom to make their case to Canadians, often a bad one, because this is their chamber. My constituents and Canadians who may be watching at home or online should know that we may disagree, but we try to do it without being disagreeable. Even though the member for Winnipeg North will ask me a question full of bombast after my remarks, I respect him, nonetheless.

This is a unique occasion, given the frequency of the Senate to send back amendments. This is probably the first time I have spoken to a bill for the third time. That is probably quite normal for the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader, but this is the third time I am speaking on Bill C-21, which was introduced in June of 2016, with its companion bill, Bill C-23, the pre-clearance act. I have spoken to both.

I worked on cross-border trade as a lawyer in the private sector and I was the public safety critic when this Parliament began. I have a raised a number of concerns with respect to the legislation, but have indicated that there is general support by the Conservatives of the entry and exit sharing of information with the U.S. that is represented in the Customs Act.

The amendment from the Senate, which brings us to debate this before the end of session, relates to something I raised in my September 2017 speech on Bill C-21. I was concerned about the information sharing and the storage of the information that would be collected about Canadians leaving and returning to the country and the implications of that vast amount of personal data. Therefore, I am quite happy the Senate has proposed more with respect to the retention of that data, limiting it to 15 years. This is why I support the Senate amendment and I am happy to speak to it today. It is an example of both Houses of Parliament working the way they can, making the bill better.

This is a rare occasion where I am supportive of both the original legislation and the amendment from the Senate.

I have been a representative in this chamber for six years. In fact, tomorrow marks six years to the day since I was escorted into this chamber as a by-election winner. I am getting the golf clap from a few of my Liberal friends, and I will take that over heckles any day. It is a very special day for me. I spoke about that on the radio last week.

On the 12th day of the 12th month of 2012, Prime Minister Harper and Jim Flaherty, a close friend of our family, led me into the House as a new by-election winner. I took my seat in the rump, and I have tried to make a difference ever since. To be true to form in my last speech, especially a 20-minute speech, in the chamber, and I am sorry to inform my Liberal friends of that fact, I would be remiss if I were not somewhat partisan and point to wider issues that should concern Canadians with respect to the Customs Act changes.

As I said, Bill C-21 and Bill C-23, its companion bill, have been with us since June 2016. The Liberals are rushing it through with time allocation on debate and pushing it through in the final days. We are almost in 2019. For almost two and a half years, this legislation has sort of languished in Ottawa. That shows there are efficiency problems with the government.

I will devote my remarks to what Canadians should ask when it comes to our border. Bill C-21 and Bill C-23 would make profound changes to the way Canada and the U.S. operate the borders.

Bill C-23 is the pre-clearance bill, which would allow American ICE officials, immigration and customs enforcement officers to search Canadians on Canadian soil. It probably would shock a lot of Canadians if they had to do a pre-clearance. That will work in a lot of cases to speed up time at the border, which is why we supported it.

Bill C-21 has entry and exit sharing of information, which is also something that is quite unparalleled. That is why data protection measures are bringing this debate back to the floor of the House of Commons. They are the most substantial additions to the relationship between the United States in a generation and a slight erosion of sovereignty. That can be a good thing if Canada is getting more in return in response to this, but it can also be something about which we pause.

Those elements were part of the beyond the border initiative, which I worked on in the former Harper government as the parliamentary secretary for international trade, so I support these measures. However, let us see how the Liberals have allowed the Canada-U.S. relationship to atrophy terribly in the three years of the Liberal government.

The Minister of Public Safety, then the MP for Regina—Wascana, in February 2011, with his appropriate degree of outrage, asked Prime Minister Harper, “Could the Prime Minister at least guarantee minimum gains for Canada? For example, will he get rid of U.S. country of origin labelling?” He went on to to ask if we would get softwood protections and have the Americans eliminate buy American. What was the minister of public safety demanding at that time? He wanted some clear wins for Canada if we were to give up the entry and exit information.

During debate on the exact elements of Bill C-21, when this was being contemplated by the Harper government, the Liberals said that before we acceded to the American request, they wanted to know what Canada would get in return. That is what their most senior member of the cabinet said.

Diplomatic relations even with our closest friend, trading partner and ally are a give and take. It is not just to take or give, give and nothing in return. At the time, the member for Regina—Wascana wanted to see Canada gain, whether it was with the unfair country of origin labelling or other elements of our complex trade relationship.

Bill C-21 and Bill C-23 would allow the Americans to inspect and search Canadians on our own soil. What have we gained? Absolutely nothing. In fact, under the Prime Minister's watch, our relationship with the U.S. has atrophied beyond all recognition. It is not just because of the current occupant of the White House.

Therefore, I will spend a few minutes exploring that and what the former public safety minister demanded. Where are the wins for Canada as we allow more and more American intrusion on decisions related to customs and the border?

In November 2015, President Obama, with a new Liberal Prime Minister in office, cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL pipeline was one of the reasons that former prime minister Harper was reticent to pass entry and exit information sharing. We wanted that quid pro quo. We wanted the Americans to approve a pipeline to once again try to get better market prices, more market access for our resources, which is something we are struggling with as a country right now.

We withheld that element of what was a priority for the U.S. in terms of foreign policy to try and secure a win. The prime minister caved within months. He said that he was disappointed. Later he introduced President Obama in this chamber as his “bromance” and he said it was a relationship of “dudeplomacy”. It was a one-way relationship. He did get a state dinner on March 11, 2016. At that dinner, the prime minister said they were closer than friends.

What else did our Prime Minister announce the same day in Washington? With zero consultation with indigenous and territorial leaders, he agreed to ban future development on 17% of Arctic lands and 10% of Arctic waters. It was pure surrender to what President Obama wanted to do in his final months in office. Once again, it was a one-way relationship.

Let us see what the longest-serving Inuk Liberal senator said about that. When I asked retired senator Charlie Watt about the Prime Minister's unilateral action, he said, “There have never been clear consultations.” He went on to say that the federal government said, “This is what's going to happen.”

Is that consultation when a respected Inuk leader and a former Senate colleague of some of the Liberal MPs is basically told by the government what is going to happen? Territorial premiers said they were given an hour or so heads-up on the announcement by Canada's Prime Minister in Washington.

Under President Obama, the Prime Minister was giving up the entry and exit priority which for years the Americans had been asking for and bringing in Bill C-23 on pre-clearance. We lost Keystone and we eroded our own sovereignty and that of our Inuit and Inuk people in our north, which are two huge losses under the first president's relationship with the Prime Minister.

The same day I questioned retired Senator Watt, there was an aboriginal law expert at committee. I asked her if the Prime Minister had violated the country's duty to consult indigenous Canadians as dictated by the Supreme Court of Canada. Robin Campbell's answer was, “The simple answer is yes.” He also breached this duty to consult when he cancelled the northern gateway pipeline.

There are many instances when the Prime Minister's posturing and kind words on reconciliation are not matched by his actions. I would like to see more accountability for that. In fact, I invite Canadians to look at at Chief Fox's column in yesterday's Globe and Mail which says on Bill C-69, the anti-pipeline bill, that there have been no consultations.

There is really nice language but bad actions. Those are the first two elements of the declining Canada–U.S. relationship under President Obama.

What has it been since? We now have the legalization of cannabis, which really is the only promise the Liberals have kept from their 2015 election platform. The Prime Minister, despite the state dinner and despite acceding to many Canadian demands, could not even get the Americans to remove one question, the marijuana question, from the pre-clearance screening on that side of the border. A lot of Canadians should be concerned. If they are asked that question, they could lose the ability to travel to the United States. This could impact people's economic ability to pursue a job or go to the United States because of work. It could impair their freedom of movement. All we needed to do was to get assurance from the U.S. federal government that immigration and custom enforcement, ICE, would not ask that question. We could not even get the U.S. to remove one question from a list.

With Bill C-23, the companion bill, we are allowing Americans to search Canadians on Canadian soil. It is a one-way relationship that Canadians should be concerned about. That issue was under both President Obama and now under President Trump because it took some time for the Liberals to complete their legalization of cannabis. That was one of the concerns the Conservatives held out from day one: Make sure the border issue is resolved with the Americans. We could not get that assurance.

Let us look at NORAD. The Conservatives urged the Liberals to complete our full NORAD security partnership making sure that we are a partner on ballistic missile defence. Had we started talking about security at the time there was missile testing by North Korea, that would have, in the early days of President Trump's time in the White House, shown Canada as the only trade and security partner with the United States, period. Through NORAD, we have a North American defence and have had since the 1950s. Since the 1965 Auto Pact, only Canada has had a trade and integrated security relationship with the United States, which is why we could have been able to avoid section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, which I will get into later. However, we missed an opportunity to actually show partnership to the United States at a time that was critical.

What did we do instead? The Liberals postured in front of the new U.S. president, putting up non-binding criteria for the negotiation of NAFTA, the progressive agenda, to play politics rather than to get down to business with the Americans. With the border, the cannabis question and NORAD are issues three and four where the relationship has declined.

I would also mention the safe third country agreement. My colleague from Calgary Nose Hill talked about the 40,000 people who have illegally crossed the border in Manitoba and Quebec claiming asylum when the government knows that the vast majority of them have no substantive asylum claim. They actually have status in the United States. The minister did not even, for the first year or more, talk to the U.S. about amendments to close the loophole in the safe third country agreement, which is an agreement that was negotiated by the previous Liberal government of Jean Chrétien. Once again, the Liberals did not want to interfere with the Prime Minister's tweet rather than fix the system.

It is interesting, because the current Minister of Public Safety in February 2011 called the entry and exit system with the Americans a surrender of sovereignty. He said, “If we have a common entry and exit system, does it not follow that Canada no longer has sovereign Canadian control over immigration and refugees?” This is a Liberal, now a minister, who was saying that when the Conservative government was considering entry and exit visas.

The Liberal government's inaction and incompetence at the border has surrendered our sovereign control at a time when the Liberals are also going around the world saying that their model should be a best practice used by the world. Canadian confidence in their handling of our system has eroded terribly. That is probably the worst of their failures in our time, and it is allowing Canadian confidence to go down through the Liberals' own inaction.

Finally, with respect to tariffs and NAFTA in general, we were given a one-way, take-it-or-leave-it deal. For two months, the United States and Mexico were at the negotiation table and Canada was not. Mexico played the relationship and the negotiation much more strategically than we did. There was too much politics by the Prime Minister and his minister, and we were given a take-it-or-leave-it deal where we lost on all fronts. There is no win in NAFTA.

When it comes to tariffs, when I spoke to the bill for the second time in May 2018, I warned the Prime Minister that tariffs were on the way. In fact, when Canada was granted a temporary reprieve from steel and aluminum tariffs, on March 11, the Prime Minister said when he was touring steel communities, “as long as there is a free trade deal in North America there won't be tariffs”. Well, I guess he broke that one. He went on to say, “We had your backs last week and we always will.” That was in March.

In May, in debate on Bill C-21, I warned the Prime Minister that tariffs were coming, because the Americans did not take our security considerations over supply of steel from China seriously. Sadly, in June, the U.S. unfairly applied tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, sending our economy into a tailspin in manufacturing in southern Ontario, leading eventually to what we saw with GM and a crisis of confidence in manufacturing. In part, it is because the retaliatory tariffs we brought in were not hurting the Americans but they are hurting many of our suppliers. As I said, Bill C-21 and Bill C-23 were a wholesale surrender to U.S. demands with respect to customs and pre-clearance.

The current Minister of Public Safety demanded in 2011 that Canada, for giving up these elements, should gain something. We have not gained. I will review this for Canadians: Keystone, the Arctic ban, the cannabis question for the border, NORAD partnerships, the safe third country loophole, steel and aluminum tariffs and a take-it-or-leave-it NAFTA.

As I said at the outset, while I support Bill C-21 and the amendment, Canadians need to know that the Canada-U.S. relationship which is critical is not a one-way street where the Americans get what they want and we get nothing. It is about time we see the Prime Minister and his minister stand up for Canadian interests in return for Bill C-21.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

December 10th, 2018 / 3:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party feels that the report by the Liberal majority on the finance committee just reflects the broken promises of their government. Unfortunately, the Liberals have failed to balance the budget in 2019 as they promised, instead adding more multi-billion dollar deficits, more unchecked spending and more debt. The Liberals are also making it harder for our economy to grow through added regulations such as the pipeline-killing Bill C-69, payroll taxes and the carbon tax. As such, we are attaching a dissenting report that is also being tabled today.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

December 10th, 2018 / 2:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals cancelled northern gateway, changed the rules on energy east and now TMX is in limbo. The lack of pipeline capacity has resulted in staggering discounts for Canadian oil, underscoring Canada's problem in attracting investment. To make matters worse, the government has proposed Bill C-69. It will increase uncertainty, politicize the regulatory process and lengthen approval times.

When will the Prime Minister reverse course on the no-more-pipelines bill and kill Bill C-69?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

December 10th, 2018 / 2:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, a global investment survey places nine of the top 10 most attractive jurisdictions for oil and gas investment in the U.S. No Canadian province made that list. In fact, Enerplus' CEO announced that this year and next, it will spend 90% of its capital in the United States.

The Liberals' no-more-pipelines bill is making regulations even more complex and uncertain. When will the Prime Minister reverse course and kill Bill C-69?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

December 10th, 2018 / 2:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, more than 30 indigenous leaders are going to sue the Liberals over Bill C-69, just like they are suing them over the tanker ban.

The fact is, when the Liberals were elected, three companies planned to build pipelines in Canada, but they are gone now because the Liberals chased every single one of them away, and not a single new inch of pipeline has been built under these Liberals. They are directly responsible for the discount on Canadian oil. The Husky CEO says that the discount will continue “the rest of the year, all of next year, all of the year after that.” Their no-more-pipelines Bill C-69 will make that discount permanent. Will they withdraw their no-more-pipelines Bill C-69, yes or no?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

December 10th, 2018 / 2:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, under Conservatives, well over 8,000 kilometres of pipeline was built. The Liberals talk and talk, but they have deliberately blocked over 7,000 kilometres of pipeline already, and their no-more-pipelines Bill C-69 will guarantee that not a single kilometre of new pipeline is built in Canada again. That Liberal-made crisis harms all of Canada. Provinces, economists, industry and indigenous leaders are all warning of the damaging consequences.

Will the Liberals withdraw their no-more-pipelines Bill C-69, yes or no?

Consideration of Senate AmendmentsCriminal CodeGovernment Orders

December 10th, 2018 / 1:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my Liberal friend for his speech and for entertaining our brief heckles at one point in the speech.

I am going to ask the member the same question I asked the Minister of Justice this morning about charter statements that are explored within Bill C-51, an approach of the government, in terms of giving a statement that the charter has been considered and the government feels there is no violation or question of a constitutional nature.

I would ask the member to contrast that with the editorial in The Globe and Mail today by Chief Fox, an indigenous leader from Alberta who said that they were not properly consulted with respect to Bill C-69. We have an anti-resource to market bill by the government, where clearly indigenous leaders say that the duty to consult was not met.

In a charter statement environment, how is the government consulting indigenous Canadians? It is clear that there is legislation before Parliament right now that first nations leaders say they have not been consulted on. My concern with the charter statement is it is a way of the government putting out “chill”, saying that it has considered all arguments about charter or constitutional provisions, and therefore this legislation is okay.

Is the member aware of how the government is consulting indigenous peoples as a part of the charter statement preparation?