House of Commons Hansard #245 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-58.


Natural ResourcesAdjournment Proceedings

December 5th, 2017 / 7:05 p.m.

Northumberland—Peterborough South Ontario


Kim Rudd LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, there is an old axiom that states “Much can be said on both sides.” We have seen that with the comments coming from members opposite. On one side, we have the official opposition demanding the status quo for the National Energy Board, arguing that what is not broken does not require fixing. On the other side, we have heard from those, like the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, who insist that nothing less than a complete overhaul of the federal regulator will do. Such is the range of opinions on that side of the House.

Our government has opted for a more measured approach to modernizing the National Energy Board, taking the time to consult with Canadians from all walks of life and from all parts of the country. We saw how well our approach worked with Generation Energy. More than 380,000 Canadians from across the country, and indeed around the world, participated in the conversation to imagine Canada's energy future. Another 650 Canadians advanced those discussions at a two-day forum in Winnipeg this fall.

We have been doing the exact same thing with the National Energy Board, listening carefully and engaging constructively. Why? Because we recognized when we came to office that we needed to restore the competence of Canadians in the way major resource projects were being assessed. We have been doing just that, step by step, first with an interim strategy and then with a comprehensive review.

As the member mentioned, we have since published our discussion paper on the proposed approach, an approach that honours our commitment to advance reconciliation with indigenous peoples, protect the environment, and ensure greater investment certainty. Soon, we will introduce that legislation. That legislation reflects the feedback we received.

It will include modernizing the National Energy Board to ensure it serves the needs of Canadians into the future. It will reflect regional views and have sufficient expertise in fields such as environmental science, community development, and indigenous traditional knowledge.

Our government's vision is clear, and it is built upon three key pillars: economic prosperity, environmental protection, and indigenous partnerships. By rebuilding public trust, re-engaging with indigenous peoples, and revamping the regulatory process, we can create the conditions to ensure that good resource projects go ahead and get our resources to market.

The early results bear that out. On our watch, we have approved major resource projects that will grow the economy, spur billions of dollars in new investments, and create thousands of jobs, even as they also demand greater environmental performance.

We are delivering for Canadians in the energy sector. We are delivering on the economy. We are delivering for the environment.

Natural ResourcesAdjournment Proceedings

7:10 p.m.


Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it certainly is appalling to hear that the promises made by the Liberals in the platform and in the campaign have now become my views and the opposition, for which I hold them to too high a standard. I am holding them to their election promises. I recall clearly the current Prime Minister saying on the campaign trail that no project could be approved based on the broken process it was now going through. That broken process was allowing the National Energy Board to do environmental assessments.

The Liberals say they have consulted. Yes, they have consulted. They have spent, I am sure, millions of dollars on the expert panels that went across the country and gave them very specific recommendations, which they appear now to be ready to completely ignore.

I implore the parliamentary secretary to speak to the minister and ensure that the National Energy Board has no role in environmental assessments. It is ill-equipped and incompetent to do such a review.

Natural ResourcesAdjournment Proceedings

7:10 p.m.


Kim Rudd Liberal Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the member opposite to perhaps hold her fire until she has seen the new legislation. Until then, our government's track record speaks for itself. Over the past two years, our government has been approving major resource projects that will create thousands of jobs in the energy sector, while ensuring a more robust environmental stewardship. Our government does not view resource development as an either or proposition.

We see economic prosperity and environmental protection as two sides of the same coin and equal components of a single engine for innovation, growth, and jobs.

Natural ResourcesAdjournment Proceedings

7:10 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7:12 p.m.)