Thank you, Madam Chair.
Minister, thank you for your appearance today and your opening statement.
In fact, my question ties in with something you said in your statement. It's about the Trans Mountain expansion project. You said, and I quote: No longer can we think of economic opportunities without also considering environmental impacts.
I'd like to take you back to June 2019. A provision stipulated that, should costs be revised upwards, the bill would be passed on to users, similar to toll highways. That wasn't retained, however. Trans Mountain rejected the option. The Canada Energy Regulator could have stepped in to prevent taxpayers from being stuck with those costs, but it didn't, so taxpayers are the ones who will be on the hook.
Oil companies will get to use the pipeline at a lower cost than the market value. The pipeline won't bring in any profit. Taxpayers are the ones who will have to pay for it, since pipeline users won't be paying any tolls, so to speak. Those costs weren't exactly laid out clearly in the budget.
Isn't the government underestimating the project costs to keep them under wraps, to some extent, so the public doesn't become outraged? The fact of the matter is that the costs are going to go up and the pipeline is going to become more and more expensive.