An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Sponsor

Dominic LeBlanc  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

Summary

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

Part 1 of this enactment amends the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act to establish an administration and enforcement scheme in Part 5 of that Act that includes the issuance of development certificates. It also adds an administrative monetary penalty scheme and a cost recovery scheme, provides regulation-making powers for both schemes and for consultation with Aboriginal peoples and it allows the Minister to establish a committee to conduct regional studies. Finally, it repeals a number of provisions of the Northwest Territories Devolution Act that, among other things, restructure the regional panels of the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, but that were not brought into force.

Part 2 of the enactment amends the Canada Petroleum Resources Act to allow the Governor in Council to prohibit certain works or activities on frontier lands if the Governor in Council considers that it is in the national interest to do so.

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 17, 2019 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
June 11, 2019 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
June 10, 2019 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
April 9, 2019 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
April 9, 2019 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Motion in relation to Senate amendmentsOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 7:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise to continue my response to the government's motion on the Senate amendments to Bill C-48.

As I said yesterday, I, along with millions of other Canadians, would rather that Bill C-48 be consigned to the dustbin of bad ideas. I read aloud the letter from six premiers that highlights the damage Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 are doing to our national unity. I left off quoting testimony from indigenous leaders and elected representatives on this and other bills, which underscored the hypocrisy of the government's claim to consult.

I will pick up there, considering the backdrop of Liberal attacks on the Canadian oil and gas industry, and share some of the testimony, much from first nations leaders, that the transport committee heard when we studied this bill. These are not my words. These are not the words of the Leader of the Opposition or any of my colleagues. These are the words of Canadians who, day in and day out, are working hard to provide good jobs and economic growth while maintaining a healthy environment.

Ms. Nancy Bérard-Brown, manager of oil markets and transportation with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said:

CAPP did not support the proposed moratorium because it is not based on facts or science. There were no science-based gaps identified in safety or environmental protection that might justify a moratorium.

Mr. Chris Bloomer, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, said:

The proposed oil tanker moratorium act, Bill C-48, is yet another change that will compound uncertainty and negatively impact investor confidence in Canada....

In conclusion, the consequences of potentially drastic policy changes for future energy projects have instilled uncertainty within the regulatory system, adding additional risks, costs, and delays for a sector that the Prime Minister publicly acknowledged has built Canada's prosperity and directly employs more than 270,000 Canadians.

The approach to policy-making represented by the development of Bill C-48 contributes to this uncertainty and erodes Canada's competitiveness.

Commenting on the practical, or rather impractical, ramifications of this bill, Mr. Peter Xotta, vice-president of planning and operations for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, said the following on what this bill could mean for the west coast transportation corridor:

With regard to Bill C-48, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority assumes that government understands the potential economic impact for such a moratorium, given that there are very few suitable locations, particularly on the west coast, for movement of petroleum products, as was articulated by my associate from Prince Rupert.

Notwithstanding the fact that any future proposals would be subject to government's rigorous environmental and regulatory review process, this moratorium could create pressure on the southwest coast of British Columbia to develop capacity for future energy projects.

As I said earlier, there were many first nations representatives who gave testimony at committee. Ms. Eva Clayton, president of Nisga'a Lisims Government, said:

In the weeks that preceded the introduction of Bill C-48, we urged that the moratorium not be enforced before further consultation took place and that the moratorium should not cover our treaty area.

Much to our surprise, Bill C-48 was introduced before we had been offered an opportunity to review the detailed approach that the government decided to take, nor were we able to comment on the implications of the proposed legislation on the terms and shared objectives of our treaty even though the area subject to the moratorium includes all of Nisga'a Lands, all of the Nass area, and all coastal areas of our treaty....

We aspire to become a prosperous and self-sustaining nation that can provide meaningful economic opportunities for our people. This aspiration is reflected in our treaty, which sets out the parties' shared commitment to reduce the Nisga'a Nation's reliance on federal transfers over time. The Nisga'a Nation takes this goal very seriously. However, it stands to be undermined by Bill C-48.

Mr. Calvin Helin, chairman and president of Eagle Spirit Energy Holding Ltd., stated:

In that context, first nations people, particularly the 30-plus communities that have supported our project, have told us that they do not like outsiders, particularly those they view as trust-fund babies coming into the traditional territories they've governed and looked after for over 10,000 years and dictating government policy in their territory.

Mr. Dale Swampy, coordinator of Aboriginal Equity Partners, stated:

We are here to oppose the tanker ban. We have worked hard and diligently. Our 31 first nation chiefs and Métis leaders invested a lot of time and resources to negotiate with northern gateway with the prospect of being able to benefit from the project, to be able to get our communities out of poverty.

Please listen to how Mr. John Helin, mayor of the Lax Kw'alaams Band, identified those who support the oil tanker ban. He said:

What we're asking is, what is consultation? It has to be meaningful. It can't be a blanket moratorium.

If you look at our traditional territory and the Great Bear Rainforest, that was established without consultation with members from my community. The picture that was taken when they announced that, it was NGOs from America standing there trumpeting that accomplishment. We can't let people from outside our communities, NGOs and well-funded organizations that are against oil and gas or whatever they're against come in and dictate in our territories what we should and should not do.

In contrast to Mr. Helin's comments, Ms. Caitlyn Vernon, campaigns director for the Sierra Club of British Columbia, a witness who supports this bill, actually let the cat out of the bag in response to a question, when she said:

on the south coast, tankers pose a huge risk to the economy, communities, wildlife, the southern residents, and endangered orca whales that live in the Salish Sea.... Absolutely, I would support a full-coast moratorium.

Mr. Ken Veldman, director of public affairs for the Prince Rupert Port Authority put the views of Ms. Vernon, and others like her, including, I would point out, members of this House in the NDP, the Bloc, the Green Party and likely even the Liberal Party, in perspective when he said:

As you may imagine, there are a wide variety of opinions as to what's acceptable risk and what isn't. However, the reality is that risk can be quantified, and if you're looking to achieve zero risk, then you're correct that zero transportation is really the only way to achieve that.

That said, if our appetite for risk is zero, that has very broad ramifications for shipping off the coast in general.

When speaking to our committee this spring, Captain Sean Griffiths, chief executive officer of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, also reflected on the impact of an oil tanker moratorium on the Atlantic Canadian economy. He stated:

Twelve of our 17 ports in Atlantic Canada ship large volumes of oil and petroleum products in and out of port. I can imagine it's a way of life back in the east, and it has been for quite some time. We move a lot of oil in and out of our ports. Placentia Bay alone, for instance, has 1,000 to 1,100 tanker movements every year on average, so a moratorium would, I'm sure, devastate the region.

Bill C-48, along with Bill C-88, and the no-more pipelines bill, Bill C-69, paint a pattern of a government and a Prime Minister obsessed with politicizing and undermining our energy resources sector at every turn. Whether it be through legislation, the carbon tax, the cancellation of the northern gateway and energy east pipelines or the continued bungling of the Trans Mountain expansion, which we heard today the Liberals have approved yet again, the current Prime Minister has proven, at every turn, that he is an opponent of our natural resources sector. If the government was serious about the environment and the economy going hand in hand, it would implement real changes.

Hypothetically speaking, let us look at some the changes the government might make. It could use scientific independent studies to further strengthen our world-leading tanker safety system by making changes that would not only protect our domestic waters but the waters of any country with which we trade. It could require all large crude oil tankers operating in Canadian waters to have a double hull, since a double hull has two complete watertight layers of surface and is much safer. It could even go a step further and inspect every foreign tanker on its first visit to a Canadian port and annually thereafter, holding those tankers to the same standards as Canadian-flagged vessels.

This hypothetical government could also expand the national aerial surveillance program and extend long-term funding. It could increase surveillance efforts in coastal areas, including in northern British Columbia. It could ensure that the aerial surveillance program was given access to remote sensing equipment capable of identifying potential spills from satellite images.

This theoretical government could give more power to the Canadian Coast Guard to respond to incidents and establish an incident command system. It could amend legislation to provide alternate response measures, such as the use of chemical dispersants and burning spilled oil during emergencies, and could clarify the Canadian Coast Guard's authority to use and authorize these measures when there was likely to be a net environmental benefit.

It could create an independent tanker safety expert panel to receive input from provincial governments, aboriginal groups and marine stakeholders and then implement the changes recommended by this panel. It could focus on preventing spills in the first place and cleaning them up quickly if they did occur, while making sure that polluters pay.

Hypothetically, the government could modernize Canada's marine navigation system and have Canada take a leadership role in implementing e-navigation in our tankers while supporting its implementation worldwide. This is doubly important, since e-navigation reduces the risk of an oil spill by providing accurate real-time information on navigation hazards, weather and ocean conditions to vessel operators and marine authorities, thereby minimizing the potential for incidents.

It could establish new response planning partnerships for regions that have or are expected to have high levels of tanker traffic, such as the southern portion of British Columbia, Saint John and the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Port Hawkesbury in Nova Scotia, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Quebec. It could work to develop a close partnership with each of these regions, including with local aboriginal communities, to develop responses to the unique challenges facing their tanker traffic.

This theoretical government could strengthen the polluter pay regime by introducing legislative and regulatory amendments that would remove the ship-source oil pollution fund per incident liability limit and ensure that the full amount was available for any incident. It could ensure that compensation was provided to eligible claimants while recovering these costs from industry through a levy. As well, it could extend compensation so that those who lost earnings due to an oil spill would be compensated even if their property had not been directly affected.

All these changes could be done by a government that actually cared about protecting the environment and continuing to grow the economy. Wait a minute. We are not talking about a hypothetical government. Every single one of the changes I just mentioned was brought in by the previous Conservative government. Unlike the Liberal government, we listened to the experts, which empowered us to make real, practical changes that made a difference.

While Liberals vacillate between paralysis and empty, economically damaging, virtue-signalling legislation, Conservatives look for real solutions. Case in point, the Liberal government is so preoccupied with appearances that it just finished its third round of approving a pipeline supported by over 60% of British Columbia residents.

I read the quote earlier by some who support this legislation. Some would like to see a complete prohibition on oil movement.

This ideological oil tanker moratorium, as I have said, is not based on science. We know that. That is why, frankly, we did not propose any amendments when this bill was before the transport committee. We did not believe that this bill was redeemable, and I still do not. There was a brief moment of hope for me when the Senate committee recommended that the bill not proceed. Sadly, that hope was short-lived.

This brings us to today and the motion that is the basis of our debate. I will take a few minutes to outline my thoughts on the government's response to the Senate's amendments to the Liberals' terrible bill.

Last week, the Senate voted on three amendments to Bill C-48. One, by a Conservative senator, which would have given the Minister of Transport the authority to adjust the northern boundary of the tanker moratorium, would have been an improvement to the bill. Regrettably, it was narrowly defeated.

The amendment in the other place that did pass cannot be called an improvement to this bill. While somewhat noble in its intent, it is a thin attempt to mask the fact that this entire bill is an affront to indigenous people's rights. The inclusion of these clauses in the bill does not change that fact.

Regarding the second part of the amendment passed by the Senate, I acknowledge that it is at least an attempt to recognize that this bill is an assault on a particular region of the country, namely, the oil-producing prairie provinces. This second part of the amendment passed by the Senate calls for a statutory review of the act as well as a review of the regional impact this act would have. The government's motion, which we are debating today, amended certain elements of this Senate amendment.

No one will guess which section of this amendment the government kept and which section it rejected. Those who guessed that it rejected the section that, at the very least, acknowledged indirectly that this bill was an attack on western Canada, would be correct.

This further demonstrates that when the Prime Minister or one of his ministers claims that others are threatening national unity with their opposition to certain pieces of legislation by the government, it is the ultimate doublespeak. Hon. senators who support this bill had the decency to propose and pass an amendment that was at least a tip of the hat to the alienation felt by western Canadians brought on by the Liberal government's actions. The motion we are debating today has stripped these sections from the bill, proving once again that this is just another step in the Prime Minister's plan to phase out the oil sands, regardless of the impact on Canada's economic well-being.

It is for these reasons that my colleagues and I oppose the government's motion on the Senate amendments to Bill C-48. We on the Conservative side will always stand up for Canada. We support Canada's natural resource sector, which contributes billions to our economy and economic growth. We support Canada's environment with practical, science-based policies that have a real and positive impact on our country's, and indeed the whole world's, environment. We support Canadians in their hope and desire for sustainable, well-paying jobs so that they can support their families, support each other and contribute to a happy and healthy Canada.

Conservatives support legislation that is based on science, research and the facts, and this bill is none of the above.

Opposition Motion—The EnvironmentBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 3:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank our hon. colleague from Carleton. As a new father, I know that he considers this a very important debate. I know he takes this matter very seriously.

It is all about a better future for our children. The Minister of Environment has said that lots of times in this House, very loudly and very passionately. We all strive to leave our country better off for those who will come after us. This debate is about the future. It is about ensuring our children have a better future.

It has been interesting over the last three and a half years and indeed over the last couple weeks as we debate Bill C-48, Bill C-68, Bill C-69 and Bill C-88. Again, on the virtue-signalling motion that we had last night, Motion No. 29, everybody wants to know how everybody voted. I was travelling, I landed and all of a sudden the media wanted to know how we voted on it. Motion No. 29 does nothing. It declares that we all agree there is a climate emergency, but there is nothing behind it. There are no critical steps behind it to actually make things better. We have a carbon tax that the Liberal government implemented that does nothing but punish Canadians who live in rural communities.

I want to read something into the record.

“...to constrain the growth of...production by increasing the perception of financial risks by potential investors and by choking off the necessary infrastructure (inputs and outputs)...[the campaign’s original strategy states]. We will accomplish this by raising the visibility of the negatives associated with...[the production]; initiating legal challenges in order to force government and corporate decision-makers to take steps that raise the costs of production and block delivery infrastructure; and by generating support for federal and state legislation that pre-empts future demand for tar sands oil.

It also says this: How are we going to do that? Demarketing, raise the negatives, raise the costs, slow down and stop the infrastructure, enrol key decision-makers, goals, we want to influence debate, a moratorium, strategy, stop or limit pipelines, refineries, significantly reduce future demand for Canadian oil, leverage debate for policy victories in the U.S. and Canada, resources required, first nations and other legal challenges, public mobilization in Ontario and Quebec.

Members would be forgiven if they thought that was the mandate letter for the Minister of Environment. That is exactly what we are up against, the dogma that we hear, that is spread, the language that we hear time and again.

Bill C-68, Bill C-69, Bill C-48, Bill C-88, and Motion No. 29 are all aimed at our natural resources, and somehow Canada produces dirty products and our producers are going the way of just polluting our world.

It is interesting that the carbon tax targets soccer moms and small businesses, but does not go up against the very same polluters of the campaigns, Greenpeace, TIDES, the World Wildlife Fund and all these groups that now have executives or members who are former executives in the highest offices of the Liberal government. It does nothing. It gives those very same polluters a pass.

There is no denying that climate change is real. Humans contribute to the problem. We all must do our part to address the problem, but a carbon tax is not a climate plan. The Prime Minister does not have a climate plan, he has a tax plan.

Time and again it has been said that my province of British Columbia is seen as a success, yet we have had a carbon tax for over 10 years. When it was first introduced, it was supposed to be revenue-neutral, and now it is not. It goes in one hand and stays in the government coffers. It was supposed to lower emissions, and we know that that is not the case.

Over the last two summers, we have had some of the worst wildfires in our province's history. In my riding alone, we have had the worst fire season, the largest mass evacuation in our province's history.

I have stood in this House and asked how high the carbon tax has to be before we start to see those wildfires and natural disasters mitigated and lessened. I cannot seem to get an answer. As a matter of fact, I was laughed at when I asked that question.

The Liberals have pandered to the environmental lobbyists for the last four years. As a matter of fact, what we are seeing today with the legislation and all this virtue signalling they are doing with their hands on their hearts is payback for the 2015 election. Leading into this next election, they want to make sure that they are solidly behind them.

They have had four years to come out with a real plan, and the best they can do is a carbon tax. The Minister of Environment stands up here and shouts loudly so that we will all believe her, yet time and again, she has approved the dumping of millions of litres of raw sewage into our waterways.

A great Senate amendment came forward regarding third-party habitat banking, and I will go back to Bill C-68, where we talked about that. Where there is displacement of fish or fish habitat because of a project, it would allow the government to enlist people who are experts to create fish habitat. However, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and his department turned that down, and we heard testimony that they were the only people around the table who did not seem interested in creating fish habitat.

The Liberals like to stand up there, with all their environmental credits and their peeps behind them, saying that what they are doing is for the good of the country. We know that all they are doing is making things less affordable for those of us who live in rural communities.

I do not know if there is a fuel available that can power a logging truck or a freight truck. Our forestry sector has taken a massive hit since the current government has been in power, because we do not have a softwood lumber agreement. I will not put all the forestry downturn on the current government. However, it could have taken some major steps forward in assisting our forestry industry by securing a softwood lumber agreement.

We live in rural areas. Many of our first nations live off-grid. They have to power their communities with diesel. What has the government done to lift any of those first nations off their dependency on diesel and fossil fuels?

What about rural communities? At one point, we were a resource-driven economy. However, we know from the Prime Minister's very first speech that, under his government, our country has become known more for our resourcefulness than our natural resources. I guess that was a promise he has kept, because we have seen the government attack our natural resources sector time and again.

As we speak, there are forestry families who are receiving more layoff notices in my riding and in my home province of British Columbia. They do not have other projects or other opportunities to go to. What will they do? What is it that our Minister of Environment said? There is $500 million worth of opportunity. Where is it? It is not in our rural communities. In some of our northern climates, we cannot plug any of our school buses in. We cannot plug logging trucks or freight trucks in. We need them to get our goods to market.

Everything this carbon tax does makes the way of life in rural communities more expensive. This is not an environmental plan. It is a revenue plan, and it is on the backs of rural communities and rural Canadians. That is shameful.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2019 / 3:05 p.m.
See context

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being 3:08 p.m., pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 28, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-88.

The House resumed from June 13 consideration of the motion that Bill C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the third time and passed.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2019 / 1:40 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to respond to the government's motion on the Senate amendments to Bill C-48. While I do appreciate the opportunity to speak to the motion, what I do not appreciate, what millions of other Canadians do not appreciate, is that we have to respond to the bill at all.

I want to recap what the bill would do.

First, this legislation was created as a result of a directive in the Prime Minister's mandate letter to the Minister of Transport dated November 2015.

If passed, this legislation would enact an oil tanker moratorium on B.C.'s northwest coast. The proposed moratorium would be in effect from the Canada-U.S. Alaska border to the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

The legislation would prohibit oil tankers carrying crude and persistent oil as cargo from stopping, loading and unloading at ports or marine installations in the moratorium area. Vessels carrying less than 12,500 metric tons of crude oil would be exempted from the moratorium.

I would suggest that this bill is an open, sneering attack on our oil and gas sector, an anti-pipeline bill poorly masquerading as an environment bill.

Environmental legislation is supposed to be based on science. Bill C-48 is not. It is not science but rather politics and ideology that inform this legislation; Liberal ideology that is as damaging to national unity as it is cynical.

Afer reviewing the bill, which included travelling across the country to hear from witnesses from coast to coast, the Senate transport committee recommended that it not proceed. While the Senate as a whole rescued Bill C-48, the Prime Minister should have taken the hint and withdrawn this anti-energy legislation.

Six premiers, including Premier Scott Moe from my province of Saskatchewan, wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister outlining their legitimate concerns about the anti-oil, anti-energy legislation pushed by the Liberal government here in Ottawa, in particular, Bill C-69 and Bill C-48.

The premiers explained the damage that these two pieces of legislation would do to the economy, but more importantly, they warned of the damage this legislation has done and will continue to do to our national unity.

This was not a threat. This was not spiteful. These six premiers were pointing to a real and growing sense of alienation, alienation on a scale not seen since the Prime Minister's father was in office.

Rather than listening to their concerns, the Prime Minister lashed out at the premiers, calling them irresponsible and accusing them of threatening our national unity if they did not get their way.

The premiers are not threatening our national unity. It is in fact the Prime Minister's radical, anti-science, anti-energy agenda that is; but he is refusing to listen.

Since the Prime Minister is refusing to heed these warnings on Bill C-48 and Bill C-69, I am going to take this opportunity to read them into the record now:

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing on behalf of the Governments of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Collectively, our five provinces and territory represent 59 per cent of the Canadian population and 63 per cent of Canada's GDP. We are central to Canada's economy and prosperity, and it is of the utmost importance that you consider our concerns with bills C-69 and C-48.

Canadians across the country are unified in their concern about the economic impacts of the legislation such as it was proposed by the House of Commons. In this form, the damage it would do to the economy, jobs and investment will echo from one coast to the other. Provincial and territorial jurisdiction must be respected. Provinces and territories have clear and sole jurisdiction over the development of their non-renewable natural resources, forestry resources, and the generation and production of electricity. Bill C-69 upsets the balance struck by the constitutional division of powers by ignoring the exclusive provincial powers over projects relating to these resources. The federal government must recognize the exclusive role provinces and territories have over the management of our non-renewable natural resource development or risk creating a Constitutional crisis.

Bill C-69, as originally drafted, would make it virtually impossible to develop critical infrastructure, depriving Canada of much needed investment. According to the C.D. Howe Institute, between 2017 and 2018, the planned investment value of major resource sector projects in Canada plunged by $100 billion – an amount equivalent to 4.5 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product. To protect Canada’s economic future, we, collectively, cannot afford to overlook the uncertainty and risk to future investment created by Bill C-69.

Our five provinces and territory stand united and strongly urge the government to accept Bill C69 as amended by the Senate, in order to minimize the damage to the Canadian economy. We would encourage the Government of Canada and all members of the House of Commons to accept the full slate of amendments to the bill. The Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources heard 38 days of testimony from 277 witnesses including indigenous communities, industry, Premiers, and independent experts. Based on that comprehensive testimony, the committee recommended significant amendments to the bill, which were accepted by the Senate as a whole. We urge you to respect that process, the committee’s expertise, and the Senate’s vote.

If the Senate’s amendments are not respected, the bill should be rejected, as it will present insurmountable roadblocks for major infrastructure projects across the country and will further jeopardize jobs, growth and investor confidence.

Similarly, Bill C-48 threatens investor confidence, and the tanker moratorium discriminates against western Canadian crude products. We were very disappointed that the Senate did not accept the recommendation to the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications that the bill not be reported. We would urge the government to stop pressing for the passage of this bill which will have detrimental effects on national unity and for the Canadian economy as a whole.

Our governments are deeply concerned with the federal government’s disregard, so far, of the concerns raised by our provinces and territory related to these bills. As it stands, the federal government appears indifferent to the economic hardships faced by provinces and territories. Immediate action to refine or eliminate these bills is needed to avoid further alienating provinces and territories and their citizens and focus on uniting the country in support of Canada’s economic prosperity.

Perhaps having heard the letter read aloud, the Prime Minister will acknowledge that it contains no threats, but rather it is an appeal from leaders who have listened to their constituents. The Prime Minister needs to understand that simply saying things louder is not going to make them go away. Shouting will not put food in the stomachs of the laid-off construction workers' children. Chanting talking points will not pay the gas bill in the middle of winter.

If this were the only piece of legislation that the government had introduced, one might argue that this is an overreaction, but it is not just one piece of legislation, it is a targeted, cynical, ongoing political attack of our resource sector. The Prime Minister has filled his cabinet with vocal opponents of the oil sands. In 2012, the now Minister of Democratic Institutions posted a tweet that read: “It's time to landlock Alberta's tar sands - call on BC Premier @christyclarkbc to reject the #Enbridge pipeline now!”

Then there is the President of the Treasury Board who said publicly that the approval of the Trans Mountain extension was deeply disappointing and who celebrated when the Prime Minister killed the northern gateway pipeline project. Here I should pause and point out the ridiculous theatrics surrounding the TMX project.

In 2016, the government approved TMX, yet tomorrow, we are told, the government will decide on whether to approve the project all over again. It is like we are in a terrible remake of Groundhog Day. Meanwhile, not an inch of pipeline has been built since the government nationalized Trans Mountain.

However, it is not only the cabinet that the Prime Minister has filled with anti-oil activists, but senior staff positions as well. Here I quote an article from the March 14 edition of the Financial Post:

Prior to ascending to the most powerful post in the Prime Minister’s Office, from 2008 to 2012 Gerald Butts was president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada...an important Tides campaign partner. Butts would use his new powerful position to bring other former campaigners with him: Marlo Reynolds, chief of staff to the Environment Minister...is past executive director of the Tides-backed Pembina Institute. Zoë Caron, chief of staff to Natural Resource Minister...is also a former WWF Canada official. Sarah Goodman, on the prime minister’s staff, is a former vice-president of Tides Canada. With these anti-oil activists at the epicentre of federal power, it’s no wonder the oil industry, and hundreds of thousands of workers, have plummeted into political and policy purgatory.

Why should we be surprised? The Prime Minister is no friend of the oil sands. The Prime Minister stated that he wants to phase out the oil sands and during the election loudly proclaimed that, “If I am elected Prime Minister, the Northern Gateway Pipeline won't become a reality”.

The Prime Minister has spent his time in office attempting to do just that and he has been willing to trample on not only the rights of the provinces, but the rights of aboriginal peoples as well to get his way. When the Prime Minister used an order in council to cancel the northern gateway pipeline, he stole the future of 30 first nations that would have benefited enormously from it. This very bill is facing a lawsuit from Laxkw'alaams Indian band for unjustly infringing on their rights and titles.

Bill C-48 will prevent the proposed first nations-owned and -operated eagle spirit pipeline project from being built as the proposed route to tidewater ends within the area wherein this bill bans tanker traffic. It was done without any consultation with first nations communities. Again, this should come as no surprise.

Just last week I spoke against another anti-energy bill, Bill C-88. As I said then, C-88 makes a mockery of the government's claim to seriously consult with indigenous and Inuit peoples. Without any consultation with Inuit peoples or the territorial governments, the Prime Minister unilaterally announced a five-year ban on offshore oil and gas development. Not only did the Prime Minister refuse to consult the premiers of the territories, he gave some of them less than an hour's notice that he would be making that announcement.

Does that sound like a Prime Minister who wants to listen, consult and work with aboriginal Canadians? Does it reflect the Prime Minister's declaration that his government's relationship with indigenous peoples is their most important relationship or does it sound like a Prime Minister who says what he believes people want to hear and then does the exact opposite by imposing his own will on them? If he had consulted, this is what he would have heard:

Minister Wally Schumann of the Northwest Territories, on how they found out about the ban and the impact it will have on our north, stated:

When it first came out, we never got very much notice on the whole issue of the moratorium and the potential that was in the Beaufort Sea. There were millions and millions, if not billions, of dollars in bid deposits and land leases up there. That took away any hope we had of developing the Beaufort Sea.

Councillor Jackie Jacobson of Tuktoyaktuk said:

It’s so easy to sit down here and make judgments on people and lives that are 3,500 klicks away, and make decisions on our behalf, especially with that moratorium on the Beaufort. That should be taken away, lifted, please and thank you. That is going to open up and give jobs to our people – training and all the stuff we’re wishing for.

Then premier of Nunavut, Peter Taptuna stated, “ We do want to be getting to a state where we can make our own determination of our priorities, and the way to do that is gain meaningful revenue from resource development.”

Mr. Speaker, I note that you are indicating that my time is up. I assume that I will be able to continue at another time.

Fisheries ActGovernment Orders

June 14th, 2019 / 10:05 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to once again be here to talk about the Senate amendments to Bill C-68.

I would be remiss if I did not talk about what we have witnessed over the last three and a half years, this week and last night, with the egregious affront to our democracy. It is pertinent to this discussion, because what we have seen with Bill C-68, Bill C-69, Bill C-48 and Bill C-88 is the government's attempt to subvert democracy to pass legislation that is really payback for the assistance the Liberals received in the 2015 election.

Last night, we had the debate, or the lack of debate, on Bill C-69. There were hundreds of amendments from the Senate, and the government forced closure on that debate without any debate whatsoever. Even the Green Party, in its entirety, stood in solidarity with the official opposition to vote against the government on this. That says something.

Bill C-68 is the government's attempt, in its members' words, to right the wrongs of the former Conservative government in amending the Fisheries Act in 2012. The Liberals said that the Conservatives gutted the Fisheries Act. The bill would replace the wording for HADD, the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat. However, we studied this. We consulted on this, and not one example was given. When pressured yesterday, throughout the last week and throughout the last year, not the minister nor anyone from the government was able to provide one example of where the 2012 changes to the Fisheries Act by the previous Conservative government led to the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat. As a matter of fact, despite the government's assertions that changes to the Fisheries Act are necessary to restore the lost protections for fish and fish habitat, the government's response to Order Paper Question No. 626 showed that the government had no record of harm or proof of harm to fish or fish habitat resulting from the 2012 changes.

On November 2, 2016, the then Minister of Fisheries and Oceans appeared before the fisheries committee and stated that “Indigenous people have expressed serious concerns with the amendments made to the [Fisheries Act]” and that his department was “holding face-to-face meetings with various indigenous groups and providing funding so that they can attend these meetings and share their views on the matter”. However, according to the government's response to Order Paper Question No. 943, DFO did not undertake any face-to-face consultation sessions in relation to the review of the changes to the Fisheries Act in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The Liberals have stood before Canadians in the House and have been disingenuous. They continue to use the same eco-warrior talking points we see from Tides, Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, which is essentially an attack on our natural resource sector, whether that be forestry, fisheries, oil and gas, mining or agriculture. That is what Bill C-68, Bill C-88, Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 are attempting to do. They want to shut down anything to do with natural resources.

In the Senate right now, Bill C-48 is being debated. It deals with the tanker moratorium on the west coast, yet we have double and triple the number of tankers on the east coast, but it does not matter. We do not see groups like Greenpeace, Tides and the WWF protesting those ships and oil tankers from foreign nations that have far more egregious human rights issues than what we have here in our country.

Dirty oil is flowing through our eastern seaport, but there has not been one mention of that by the government. Instead, it wants to shut down anything to do with western Canada's economic opportunities, and that is egregious and shameful, and that is why we are here today.

The Senate amendments with respect to Bill C-68 were decent amendments. They folded into Bill S-203, the cetaceans in captivity bill, and Bill S-238, the shark finning bill.

For those who are not aware of the shark finning bill, it would ban the importation of shark fins, with the exception that they must be attached to the carcass. Shark fin is a delicacy in some Asian cultures and is used in soup and medicinal products. We asked officials at committee if shark fin in any form could be imported into our country, and they replied that it could be imported in soup. That was their testimony. When pressed further on this, they said, “soup is soup”.

The whole intent of Bill S-238 is to stop the importation of shark fins so that shark fin soup may be stopped or that at least the fins would be imported into the country with the entire carcass used. That is a fairly reasonable thing to ask.

The other Senate amendments to Bill C-68 that are important are with respect to the inshore fishery. We heard time and again that the inshore fishery is important to Atlantic fishermen. Adjacency and the inshore fishery are the same thing, but the language is different on either coast. It is important to our coastal communities and fishermen who depend on fishing for their livelihood.

Another important Senate amendment is with respect to third-party habitat banking. I went into great detail about what third-party habitat banking means in terms of fish habitat. That was a reasonable amendment put forward by a Conservative, and all senators agreed with it.

Interestingly enough, before the Senate finished studying the bill, the minister directed our fisheries committee to study third-party habitat banking. Prior to the fisheries committee getting a chance to study it, the Liberals scrapped any of the third-party habitat banking amendments brought forth by the Conservative Party and agreed to by independent senators. It was an exercise in futility.

Senator Wells, who appeared before committee just the other day, said that by all accounts, it appeared that the only people who were interested in protecting fish and fish habitat were those around the table, and the only people who were against protecting fish and fish habitat with respect to third-party habitat banking were the officials. That is odd.

I want to talk again about why we are here. I spoke at length about the influence of third-party groups at the highest levels of our offices. I will remind the House that the former chief adviser to the Prime Minister, Gerald Butts, was the president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund. The Prime Minister's new director of policy is a former top executive at Tides Canada.

Why is this important? It is important because these are the very organizations whose mandate is to shut down Canada's resources every step of the way and to tarnish Canada's natural resource sector on the world stage.

It says right on their own websites that they were going to use celebrities, their media and their influence to tarnish Canada's oil and gas and forestry to attack and landlock our resources. They have now permeated every office in this government.

In 2015, 114 third parties poured $6 million into influencing the election outcome, and many of those parties were funded by the U.S.-based Tides foundation. The World Wildlife Fund is deciding fisheries policy on the east coast.

As the shadow minister for Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, I went to meetings with the former fisheries minister, and there were no fisheries stakeholders there. The table was surrounded by environmental groups. We are placing a higher priority on these environmental groups than we are on the stakeholders who make their living and depend on our natural resources for their economic well-being.

Late last night, I took another phone call about another mill closure in my riding of Cariboo—Prince George. I know that colleagues understand our economic plight in western Canada. We have seen a lot of emotion over the last weeks and months about the plight of the west. The reality is that we are losing our jobs, and we do not have other opportunities. It is not that we are against the environment, unlike what a parliamentary secretary said yesterday, in response to Bill C-88, which is that the Conservatives blame the Liberals for putting such a high priority on the environment. That is not true. We blame the Liberals for putting such a high priority on environmental groups, not on the stakeholders, indigenous peoples and our local communities that depend on our natural resources for well-paying jobs to provide for their families.

There are hundreds of workers in my riding and adjacent ridings, and thousands of workers across the province of British Columbia, who are waking up today to more work curtailment and job closures. That is shameful.

When the House hears our emotion and concern when we raise the issues, it is not that we are against the environment, as much as the Minister of Environment would like people to believe that. It is that these policies the government has put forth have shaken the confidence of industry. They have a real impact. They may not impact those members of Parliament from downtown Toronto or in major urban centres, but they impact rural Canadians, and that is the truth.

I am going to close by reminding the House that this House does not belong to any of us who are in here. We are merely vehicles to be the voices of the electors. There are 338 members of Parliament in this House. Last night, we saw one courageous Liberal who stood against what her government was doing. We have been placed here to be the voices of those who elected us.

Despite saying in 2015 that they would let debate reign, the Liberals have time and again forced closure and time allocation on pieces of legislation. In doing so, they have silenced the voices of the electors who have put us here.

I would like to move the following motion, seconded by the member for North Okanagan—Shuswap:

That the motion be amended by deleting all of the words after the word “That” and substituting the following:

“the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence, be now read a second time and concurred in.”

The House resumed from June 11 consideration of the motion that Bill C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

June 13th, 2019 / 3:15 p.m.
See context

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate and acknowledge the opposition House leader's new-found respect and regard for the environment. It probably means the Conservatives will be coming out with a plan soon. We have been waiting for it for well over a year now.

In answer to her question, this afternoon we will begin debate on the Senate amendments to Bill C-58, an act to amend the Access to Information Act. This evening we will resume debate on the Senate amendments to Bill C-69, the environmental assessment legislation. We will then return to Bill C-88, the Mackenzie Valley bill.

Tomorrow we will resume debate on the Senate amendments to Bill C-68, an act to amend the Fisheries Act. We expect to receive some bills from the Senate, so if we have time, I would like one of those debates to start.

Next week, priority will be given to bills coming back to us from the Senate, or we may have an opportunity to continue to debate the motion referred to by the House Leader of the Official Opposition.

Personally, I am reassured to hear that the Conservatives want to talk about the environment. Perhaps they will also share their plan with Canadians.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

June 13th, 2019 / 1:55 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Madam Speaker, I am merely reading a quote from a concerned indigenous leader, who the Liberals say stand up for. Clearly they do not, which is probably why they take offence.

Stephen Buffalo, president and CEO of the Indian Resource Council, said:

Since his government was elected in 2015, [the] Prime Minister...has repeatedly spoken about his personal commitment to a new relationship with Indigenous people in Canada. In action, however, he has clearly privileged those Indigenous peoples, our friends and relatives, whose perspective aligns with the more radical environmental movement.

Stephen Buffalo also said:

When pipeline opponents use the courts to slow or stop pipelines, they undermine our businesses, eliminate jobs in our communities and reduce the amount of money flowing to our governments.

Why do I bring that up? Over the last four years, time and again the Liberals have stood and have said that only they no better. They point fingers and say that a certain government did this or that and that they know the NDP will not do this. The Liberals had four years, and Canadians are now learning that it was all just talk; all show, no go.

Bill C-88 is nothing more than an all talk, all show and no go type of bill. It is shameful to have bills such as Bill C-69, Bill C-48 and Bill C-88.

Bill C-88 would give the minister the authority to shut down the north and essentially turn it into a park, taking away any economic opportunity for indigenous peoples and those who live there. That is the worry.

Members can sit here and listen to all the talking points of the Liberals, but the reality is that they are being disingenuous. They will stand here, as I said earlier, with their hands on their hearts and say that it is all about reconciliation. We know that it is the opposite because they have proven it time and again.

In the 2015 election, on day 10, the member for Papineau, who is now the Prime Minister, told Canadians that he would not resort to such parliamentary tricks as omnibus bills. He told Canadians that he would balance the budget by 2019. He also told Canadians that he would let the debate reign. What did he mean? It means that he would not invoke closure or time allocation on bills.

I remind those in the House, in the gallery as well as those listening that this is your House. You have elected the 338 members of Parliament to be your voice. When the government invokes closure, it silences your voice. It is silencing the electors who elected the opposition.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

June 13th, 2019 / 1:40 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Madam Speaker, what is sad is that the term “reconciliation” has become a buzzword under the government. I take this to heart.

Many members know I have stood in the House, time and again, and have said that my wife and children are first nations. It is troubling for me when some members stand in the House, put their hands on their hearts and say that it is in the best interests of reconciliation, not just with respect to Bill C-88 but also Bills C-69, C-48, C-68 as well as the surf clam scam that took place earlier in this session.

The only part I will agree with in the hon. parliamentary secretary's intervention was when at she said there was enough blame to go around. Nobody should be pointing fingers, saying one group is better than another group. Reconciliation is about creating a path forward. It is not about pitting a first nation against a first nation or a first nation against a non-first nation. It is about how we walk together moving forward.

What I am about to say is not related to all members on both sides of the House. Some members truly understand this. However, time and again some Liberals will stand in the House and say that they support reconciliation or that this is all about reconciliation. Then a heavy-handed policy comes down or words are said, which we call “bozo eruptions”, and there is regret afterward.

I will go back to how we started the spring session. The first female indigenous Attorney General in our country spoke truth to power, and we saw what happened to her.

Bill C-88 is interesting, because it looks to reverse the incredible work our previous government did in putting together Bill C-15.

I will read a quote from our hon. colleague across the way when she voted for Bill C-15. She stated:

As Liberals, we want to see the Northwest Territories have the kind of independence it has sought. We want it to have the ability to make decisions regarding the environment, resource development, business management, growth, and opportunity, which arise within their own lands.

The parliamentary secretary has offered a lot of excuses today as to why she voted for it, such as she was tricked or voted for it for a specific reason. It is easy for members to stand after the fact and say, “I could have, would have, should have” or “This is the reason; my arm was twisted.” However, if we do not stand for something, we will fall for anything. That is what we have seen with the government taking up the eco-warrior agenda to pay back for the 2015 election. That is why we have Bills C-68, C-69, C-48 and C-88.

The parliamentary secretary wants to talk about how Bill C-88 would empower our first nations. Let me offer the House a few quotes.

Mr. Merven Gruben, the mayor of the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, stated:

Tuk has long been an oil and gas town. Since the first oil boom, or the whalers hunting whales in the late 1800 and early 1900s, we have grown up side by side with industry. We have not had any bad environmental effects from the oil and gas work in our region, and we have benefited from the jobs, training and business opportunities that have been available when the industry has worked in Tuk and throughout the north, the entire region.

Never in 100-plus years has the economy of our region, and the whole north, looked so bleak for the oil and gas industry, and for economic development, generally. All the tree huggers and green people are happy, but come and take a look. Come and see what you're doing to our people. The government has turned our region into a social assistance state. We are Inuvialuit who are proud people and who like to work and look after ourselves, not depend on welfare.

I thank God we worked very closely with the Harper government and had the all-weather highway built into Tuk. It opened in November 2017, if some of you haven't heard, and now we are learning to work with tourism. We all know that's not the money and work that we were used to in the oil and gas days that we liked.

He further states:

Nobody's going to be going up and doing any exploration or work up there.

We were really looking forward to this. There was a $1.2-billion deal here that Imperial Oil and BP did not that far out of Tuk, and we were looking forward to them exploring that and possibly drilling, because we have the all-weather highway there. What better place to be located?

The Hon. Bob McLeod, the premier from the Northwest Territories, said that the moratorium was “result of eco-colonialism”.

I speak of the moratorium. The Liberals want to talk about all the work they are doing in standing up for the north and the indigenous peoples in the north. It was just before Christmas when Prime Minister travelled to Washington, D.C. to make the announcement with the then United State President, Barack Obama. There had been zero consultation with northerners, despite consistent rhetoric about consulting with Canada's indigenous peoples. Prior to decision making, the resolution was made unilaterally from the Prime Minister's Office.

The indigenous peoples and the people from the Northwest Territories had about an hour's notice with that. Wally Schumann, the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Minister of Infrastructure for the Northwest Territories, stated:

I guess we can be very frank because we're in front of the committee. When it first came out, we never got very much notice on the whole issue of the moratorium and the potential that was in the Beaufort Sea. There were millions and millions, if not billions, of dollars in bid deposits and land leases up there. That took away any hope we had of developing the Beaufort Sea.

Merven Gruben said:

I agree the Liberals should be helping us. They shut down our offshore gasification and put a moratorium right across the whole freaking Arctic without even consulting us. They never said a word...

Our hon. colleague, the parliamentary secretary, in response and to pre-empt my speech, called us the government on the other side. We are the government in waiting. We will be government in October. She said that the guys across the way would criticize the Liberals for caring too much about the environment. That is incorrect. We criticize them because they put the priorities of the environmental groups like Tides, World Wildlife Fund and like Greenpeace ahead of the local stakeholder, the indigenous peoples who are saying that they are tired of being poster boys for these eco-groups.

If my colleagues do not believe me, I will read some quotes.

Calvin Helin, chair of Eagle Spirit Chiefs Council, said “What the chiefs are starting to see a lot now is that there is a lot of underhanded tactics and where certain people are paid in communities and they are used as spokespersons.” He also said, “Essentially (they are) puppets and props for environmental groups to kill resource development” and “It’s outrageous and people should be upset about that…the chiefs are....”

Also, Stephen Buffalo, president and CO of the Indian Resource Council said, “Since his government was elected in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly—

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

June 13th, 2019 / 1:15 p.m.
See context

Labrador Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Yvonne Jones LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House and speak in support of the third reading of Bill C-88. This bill would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. These changes have been long awaited by governments, both indigenous and territorial, in the Northwest Territories.

On Monday, we heard colleagues in the House speak to this bill, including the member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, who worked very closely with indigenous governments, treaty and land claim owners and the Government of the Northwest Territories to ensure that this bill would be in the best interests of the constituents he represents and would meet the standards they have been requesting from the Government of Canada.

I want to applaud the member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories for the great work he has done on Bill C-88 and for ensuring that members in this House on both sides fully understand this bill and the need for the changes being proposed.

Bill C-88 is based on a simple but wise idea, which is that the best way to regulate development along the Mackenzie Valley and in Arctic waters is to balance the interests of industry, the rights of indigenous governments and organizations, and environmental protection. The proposed legislation before us aims to achieve this balance in three ways.

First would be by foster certainty, which is required by industry. As we know, the Northwest Territories is no stranger to industry. It has been home to some of the largest mining developments in Canada and to some substantial energy, oil and gas developments. It is a region of our country that has been very active in engaging with industry.

Second would be by reinstating a mechanism to recognize the rights of indigenous communities to meaningfully influence development decisions. This would allow indigenous communities to have full input, full insight and full decision-making in industry and resource developments that are occurring within their land claim areas. This would allow them to be part of development, to look at the impacts and benefits of development initiatives, and to be true partners in decisions and outcomes.

Third would be by ensuring that scientific evidence on the state of the environment would inform development decisions. The indigenous governments of the Northwest Territories have set up a model that allows them to look at individual projects and their impact on the environment, not just today but for generations to come, and to make decisions based on scientific information. Scientific evidence ensures that decisions are informed, not just from an economic perspective but from an environmental perspective.

As it stands today, the regulatory regime fails to strike this balance. In particular, the regime currently in place fails to provide clarity, predictability for proponents who are investing, and respect for the rights of indigenous communities in that region and in the north. In large part, that is because of the Northwest Territories Devolution Act, which was endorsed by this House in 2015, and which I, too, voted for. However, it was subsequently challenged by a court order, which led the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories to effectively suspend key provisions of the act. This ruling caused uncertainty in the regulatory regime for the Mackenzie Valley, and as many of my colleagues have already stated, that uncertainty has not been good for business.

I voted for the bill in 2015, even though it contained clauses that would eradicate the treaty rights of indigenous people in the Northwest Territories. We knew it was wrong. We fought hard to change the bill. We proposed amendment after amendment, but the Harper government would have none of it. It accepted no amendments to the bill that would ensure the rights of indigenous people.

We were left to make a choice. Do we support the devolution of the Northwest Territories, which needed to happen and was long overdue, or do we not support it because of these clauses? We supported the bill but said that when we formed government, we would reverse the negative legislation in the bill that eradicated the rights of indigenous people and did not uphold the environmental and economic responsibilities that should be upheld in any major development. We made a commitment to the people of the Northwest Territories that when we formed government, we would change the legislation to reflect what they wanted. That is what we are doing today.

Over the last couple of years, we have worked very closely with indigenous governments in the Northwest Territories, its member of Parliament and the Government of the Northwest Territories to get this legislation right and change the injustices caused by the Harper government and imposed on people in the Northwest Territories. Today we are removing them.

We would be allowing companies that want to invest in the Northwest Territories through major resource development projects to have certainty. This would ensure that there would be no unforseen impacts for them and would ensure that they would know the climate in which they are investing and the process expected of them.

We would allow indigenous governments, which have had land claims, treaty rights and self-government agreements for many decades, to take back control of their own lands and to make decisions in the best interests of their people for generations to come, and to do so in a systematic and scientific way that looks at all the impacts and benefits. This would allow these indigenous governments to not only have a choice about whether a project went forward but to have the opportunity to partner with investors and resource development companies. Everyone can benefit when they work together.

That is the kind of relationship we have promoted right across Canada with indigenous groups, territorial and provincial governments, investors, resource development agencies and others.

Today we would legislate the changes we committed to in 2015 regarding the Northwest Territories. We know that the legislation would achieve the balance we are trying to establish in three ways. I have already outlined them in my speech.

I want to take a few minutes to talk about how Bill C-88 would restore certainty in the regulatory regime, which was a key aspect of the Northwest Territories Devolution Act. The act eliminated regional boards mandated to review proposed development projects that were likely to impact the traditional lands of three particular indigenous groups: the Tlicho, the Gwich’in and the Sahtu. Their rights were eradicated, and the impact on their lands and treaty agreements forced on them, by the Harper government.

Today we would be giving the Tlicho, the Gwich’in and the Sahtu the right to make decisions about their own lands. They could look at the impact on their traditional lands, their way of life and their environmental footprint and at how their people can benefit from development projects.

It is just common sense, so why would any government want to take that away from indigenous groups in Canada? We saw only a few years ago that the former Harper government had no shame when removing rights from indigenous groups and indigenous governments. That is exactly what it did to the Tlicho, the Gwich'in and the Sahtu in the Northwest Territories. They had spent years working and negotiating with the federal government and territorial government. Generations of elders never lived to see the day they reached self-government agreements in their own lands.

When they finally did, it was an opportunity for them. That opportunity was eroded by the Harper government overnight with one piece of legislation that said that it would now tell them how they were going to regulate resource development in their traditional lands and in the Northwest Territories.

We made a commitment then that if we ever formed government, we would reverse those changes, and that is exactly what we are doing today. Each of those communities concluded comprehensive land claim agreements. Doing so in this country guaranteed them a role on land and water boards and a mandate to review and make decisions on development projects on or near traditional lands. Parliament reviewed and endorsed each one of these agreements and authorized the establishment of the regional boards.

Bill C-88 proposes to reverse the board restructuring and reintroduce the other provisions that were suspended by the Supreme Court decision. These indigenous groups in the Northwest Territories knew that their rights were violated by the Harper government. They knew that what was happening was the epitome of colonization. That is why they fought in the courts. They went to the Supreme Court to argue their case, to say that they had negotiated these rights, that they were inherent rights, that they had treaty agreements and that no government should have the right to impose upon them the way the former government did.

The Supreme Court decision outlined several things that needed to happen to restore confidence in the regime, particularly among indigenous people and proponents and investors in resource development in the Northwest Territories.

The proposed legislation would build confidence in another way. It would clarify the processes and expectations for all parties involved in the regulatory regime. I happen to live in the north, and I represent a riding that is very engaged in resource development, the mining industry and the energy sector in particular. I also know that with every one of those development projects, there are major investments and major commitments. There is nothing better in moving forward on a project than knowing what all the expectations are of all the parties involved and knowing what the process is and what is expected of companies before they put a shovel in the ground. Those things are important.

The party opposite will say that Liberals are too engaged in regulating, restricting and putting too many demands around the environmental component. However, large-scale industries that care about the people where they want to develop want to do what is right. They want to ensure that their environmental footprint is as small as it can be. They want to have the support of the indigenous people and the communities in which they are investing. They want to have strong partnerships to ensure that their development projects are not interrupted by protests or by unforeseen regulations and can move forward and are sustainable. That is why many of these companies, and many I have known personally over the years, are happy to sign impact benefit agreements.

These companies are happy to work with indigenous governments to hire indigenous workers, to ensure that benefits accrue to their communities and to ensure that environmental concerns that indigenous and non-indigenous people have with development in their areas are going to be listened to and dealt with. These companies want to address those issues up front. They do not want to plow into communities and put pressure on them to do things. They do not want to rule what is going to happen. They want to operate in partnership, too.

It is the party opposite that has the idea that these companies are not interested because they have to follow regulatory regimes or look at what the environmental implications are. Very few companies would take that approach, and I am so proud that in this country there are companies investing heavily in resource development that really care about the footprint they leave behind for the environment and the people who live there. Those are the companies that are successful and that Canadians hold up as examples of how resource development partnerships work with communities and indigenous people in Canada. We should be very proud of that. We should not be trying to change how we do that through legislation and impose regulations on people because we think they should do it this way or that way.

People should understand that in the previous legislation by the Harper government, Conservatives wanted to get rid of the regulatory boards of the Gwich'in, the Sahtu and the other groups in the Northwest Territories. They wanted one megaboard to deal with all these issues. They even hired a consultant by the name of McCrank. When Mr. McCrank testified at committee, I sat in that day. One of the questions asked of him was where he came up with the idea that we should get rid of the regulatory boards in the Northwest Territories, that indigenous groups should no longer have control over what is happening on their own lands, their own regulatory boards or negotiating their own deals, and that we would infringe upon them and implement a super regulatory board in the Northwest Territories for the Mackenzie Valley.

When he was asked where that idea came from, he did not know. He did not know where that idea came from or who suggested it to him, but he wrote it in a report as a strong recommendation, and the Harper government at the time said it would run with it, yet everyone in the Northwest Territories, including the three aboriginal groups and the territorial government, knew this was not the right approach and wanted to stop it. This is what is happening today.

We are restoring confidence to the people in the Northwest Territories. Under this act, we would also make changes to the petroleum regulatory board. A moratorium would be implemented that would allow the reissuing of licences for oil and gas development in the Northwest Territories. This moratorium would be revisited every five years. As we know, there were no new applications for licences, no investment was being made. There was no projection for oil and gas, and there was no body to manage oil and gas development in the Northwest Territories to ensure there would be benefits to that region.

It is not like Atlantic Canada, which has oil and gas agreements that pay royalties to the provinces. There are agreements in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Quebec. When the Northwest Territories asked the former government for that agreement, the answer was no. It did not want to pay royalties to the indigenous groups or the territorial government on oil and gas. We are working with them to get it right, and that is why this bill is important today.

The House resumed from June 11 consideration of the motion that Bill C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.

Bill C-68—Time Allocation MotionFisheries ActGovernment Orders

June 13th, 2019 / 11:05 a.m.
See context

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am generally in favour of this bill, as a biologist working in the country for a very long time. The federal Fisheries Act was often held up as only piece of legislation, certainly in British Columbia, that protected wildlife habitat period. It was very much noticed when the previous Conservative government took away much of those habit protection powers.

However, I want to talk about the pattern of the Liberal government to shut down debate on almost everything. I think this is the 70th time we have had a time allocation or a closure motion. We started off today missing Routine Proceedings and going right to orders of the day because the government was afraid of whatever. I had petitions to present and people may have had private members' bills to propose.

I do not know how many times we have gone to orders of the day, but we are supposed to be debating Bill C-88. Instead we are talking about closure and the shutting down of democracy.

Bill C-68—Time Allocation MotionFisheries ActGovernment Orders

June 13th, 2019 / 10:50 a.m.
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Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, in the Senate there are a number of bills that are so important, just like this exact bill here, Bill C-68. There are also Bill C-88, Bill C-91, Bill C-92, Bill C-93, Bill C-391, Bill C-374, Bill C-369 and Bill CC-262. All these bills are being delayed by the Senate because they are taking far too long.

I was wondering if the hon. minister could tell us why the Conservative senators are delaying all these bills, delaying us from doing the job that Canadians have sent us here to do. They gave us a mandate in 2015, after a decade of darkness with the Conservatives, to repair the damage they had done to the environment and to indigenous communities and to make sure we get this job done.

Can the hon. minister talk a little bit about that, please?

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

June 11th, 2019 / 11:55 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to speak to this bill.

I do not know if members have ever seen a hostage situation where the hostage makes a statement by video conference. We hear that statement and it is interesting because we know the person and that person would never make that statement otherwise. We kind of have that going on here.

We have heard the same statement read over and over again tonight. People say they support the bill. They say that there is a part of the bill that everybody in the Northwest Territories supports and there is a part of the bill that people do not. However, when they say they support it, the good outweighs the bad and therefore they support it.

One of part of the bill that does not fit with the rest is the fact that it would allow for a moratorium to be imposed from on high, from Ottawa, on the north. The moratorium was imposed without any consultation in the north whatsoever. What we have here is the Government of the Northwest Territories in this hostage situation where it either takes the bill or not. The Liberals ran around and got statements of support for the bill, despite there being a poison pill in it that people actually did not like.

When it comes to consultation, the Liberals, if it is to hold something back, if it is to ensure development does not happen, are entirely in favour of consultation. However, if it comes in a place where they are trying to hold something back unilaterally, then they do not have to do the consultation. In the case of putting in more regulations or preventing a pipeline from happening, then they need to have more consultation. However, if they are just going to unilaterally do something that is in that same vein, like a drilling moratorium, then they do not have to consult whatsoever.

It seems to me that the bill is entirely in keeping with the anti-energy agenda of the Liberal government. If it comes to getting a pipeline built, consult and consult. If it comes to imposing a drilling moratorium, or a tanker ban or a shipping ban, do not consult at all, just impose it from on high.

The government's anti-energy agenda is being portrayed loud and clear in Bill C-88. I find it completely disingenuous for the member for Yukon to say that the bill will help attract resource development in the territory. It will not do that whatsoever. He is correct when he says that it brings in regulatory certainty. It does bring in regulatory certainty. It will ensure that companies know that developing in the north sea is not allowed.