Mr. Speaker, our government does fully appreciate the importance of Canada's energy sector to our economy. We know that it supports good, middle-class jobs and generates vital revenues for governments at all levels to pay for our hospitals and schools, sustain our cherished social programs, and support our quality of life. This is why we have been working with the energy sector to ensure its future is built on the three pillars: economic growth, environmental stewardship, and indigenous partnership. It is why, from day one, we have been working hard to restore public confidence in the way major resource projects are reviewed.
We have taken an approach to resource development that will grow our economy while taking real action to protect our oceans and the environment. These are not competing interests, but shared priorities, and the results speak for themselves.
Vital pipelines are being approved, which includes the Trans Mountain expansion and the Line 3 replacement pipelines.
The decision we took on the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline, for example, was based on facts, science, and the national interest. In addition, the National Energy Board, an independent quasi-judicial regulator, reviewed the Trans Mountain expansion proposal. We stand by our decision to approve this federally regulated project and the 15,000 good, middle-class jobs it will create.
However, the member opposite prefers to play the blame game. On the energy east pipeline, she wants to turn a business decision into an opportunity to reawaken historical tensions, arguing rules were changed midstream when no such thing happened.
When the National Energy Board announced it was expanding the scope of its regulatory review, we did two things. First, we offered to conduct the upstream and downstream GHG assessments to avoid added costs to the proponent. Second, we made it clear that we would still use the same process that resulted in the approval of the TMX and Line 3 pipelines. Nothing changed from our perspective.
Perhaps the member opposite will consider the learned opinion of Andrew Leach, an associate professor at the Alberta School of Business, who wrote a well-informed piece in The Globe and Mail. Professor Leach says that the main culprit in energy east's demise was the re-emergence of TransCanada's Keystone XL project, which he called “an 800,000-barrel-a-day express line to refining centres in the United States” and “which presented a more attractive option for shippers than Energy East”.
Professor Leach asked:
Was TransCanada making a business decision when they cancelled Energy East?
Of course. It was a decision that will likely allow them to save Keystone XL.
Those are the facts.