Evidence of meeting #52 for Natural Resources in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was buildings.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Alex Ferguson  Vice-President, Policy and Performance, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
Thomas Mueller  President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Green Building Council
Walter Kresic  Vice-President, Pipeline Integrity, Enbridge Inc.
Cameron Spady  Director, Business Development, Cylo Technologies Inc.
Darren Gerling  President and Chief Technology Officer, Cylo Technologies Inc.

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Are you saying some data standards would be welcomed?

5:25 p.m.

Vice-President, Pipeline Integrity, Enbridge Inc.

Walter Kresic

I think data standards would be welcomed, but beyond data standards, it's the concepts of how data is used.

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Do I have any more time?

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

You have about 20 seconds.

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Thank you all for being here.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

Mr. Harvey.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I'm going to start off with Alex for a quick question.

At the beginning of your remarks, you referenced the Canadianization of our oil sands developers. Would you like to comment on your thoughts surrounding that, positive and negative, what you see as the opportunities, what you see as the concerns?

5:25 p.m.

Vice-President, Policy and Performance, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Alex Ferguson

I think it should be taken as a significant boost in confidence in Canada's ability to develop those resources. I would think that would be first and foremost.

In terms of the departure of some of the companies, they will tell you before I could that their reasons for leaving are many and varied. It's not about lack of confidence. Their own particular company drives them to those decisions. Having those significant operators, such as Canadian Natural Resources and Cenovus Energy doubling down on the opportunities in Canada is, I think, a good sign for us.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Do you think that Canadian companies are seeking that investment more than companies from other jurisdictions because of their comfort level in the space, because they're from here, or are they looking at it as an opportunity that there are companies looking to divest of those assets because of a lack of comfort in the space? Is it more related to their specific portfolios and where they feel their visions are as a company?

5:25 p.m.

Vice-President, Policy and Performance, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Alex Ferguson

I think it's very company specific. Certainly, the people I know who work in those companies that are reducing their exposure in Canada are all really passionate, hard-working Canadians, so it's really a corporate perspective that's driving it.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

I'm always a big fan of talking about how we need to encourage and foster new and better ideas and continued growth within any given sector. The in situ oil sands projects are a prime example of the type of innovation that we need to see come from that sector.

What can the government do to foster more growth? What can government do to build upon what's already being done?

5:25 p.m.

Vice-President, Policy and Performance, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Alex Ferguson

I made a reference in my talk to some of the geopolitical changes in our bigger environment. The reality is that some of those issues, whether it's the Middle East conflicts or India's drive in terms of what its trying to do with its economy, those are huge, effective pieces that set the Canadian direction much more than a lot of what we can do in our own country. It is a global market that we're feeding into. It doesn't mean we shouldn't be doing the right thing and paying attention to the right things. I think we're getting to the reality that there's no one secret item that can be done. There are going to be many small, complex, and difficult things that we need to do, whether it's looking at tax opportunities, looking at regulatory opportunities, looking at what we can do to make sure we have the right incentives for infrastructure, looking at the technology, the stuff that Enbridge talks about, and our technology suppliers, all of those things need to somehow be worked on. Nothing is easy.

April 11th, 2017 / 5:25 p.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

There's just one quick question for you, Mr. Mueller.

We've referenced the large buildings, large wooden structures, specifically over 25,000 square feet. There's been a lot of talk about the height of those structures and the potential of increasing of the height of those structures. What are your thoughts on trying to find that balance between structural integrity and seizing the opportunities that might be there to utilize wood for that purpose, but also taking into account not only safety in terms of fire protection for the people who are eventually going to live in those buildings, but also first responders who have to go into those buildings in the event that there's an issue with them? How do you balance that?

5:30 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Green Building Council

Thomas Mueller

Again, it's a really good question.

I'm not an expert in wood buildings, but I've been around enough of them and seen enough of them to have an opinion on them. I think that in terms of fire ratings, these mass timber buildings actually rate quite well. They rate as well as steel and concrete buildings. It gives enough time for people to leave the building, because the wood is this mass timber. This is not stick frame. Mass timber will actually char on the outside, which prevents the fire from rapidly burning the timber. That's one of the considerations. It does give enough time to get out of the building, as compared to concrete buildings. That's my understanding.

I think there's a significant market for buildings that are eight, nine, or 10 storeys that can be built with those systems. That's where the opportunity is. They don't need to be 18 storeys. I think you have to fight public perception, first of all, but also in terms of codes and so on, I think there might be some issues there. There's plenty of market. I've seen many of these structures that are eight, nine, or 10 storeys high. They can be built very rapidly, and prefabricated. You can pour the elevator shaft and you can put in one storey per day. Sometimes you can build them very quickly. You still use concrete in the floors to provide some stability, and so on. These are not simply wood buildings; there's a combination, but wood is the predominant material.

I would say that's where the market is. We have a lot of demand and need in Canada to build these mass timber buildings of eight to 10 storeys, particularly in urban infill, because it goes very quickly if we choose specific technologies.

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Thank you.

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

Thank you. That's all the time we have, unfortunately.

I'd like to thank all the witnesses for coming today and taking the time to answer our questions. Your evidence will be very helpful to our study, so thanks again, and thanks for accommodating our time.

5:30 p.m.

Vice-President, Pipeline Integrity, Enbridge Inc.

Walter Kresic

Thank you.

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

The meeting is adjourned.