Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to say that I will be splitting my time with my hon. colleague, the member for Surrey Centre.
Mr. Speaker, this government believes that economic growth and protecting our environment go hand in hand. Canadians have told us that we need to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions while promoting economic prosperity across the country. The Government of Canada is taking steps to do just that by lessening our reliance on fossil fuels, introducing a price on carbon pollution, and investing in the clean energy economy of tomorrow. In the meantime, we need to make responsible decisions about energy, the energy we use, and how we move our energy resources safely to the global market.
As a rural member from Atlantic Canada, I recognize the importance of the natural resource sector, along with the preservation and enhancement of the quality of Canada's natural environment, which includes protecting water, air, soil, flora, and fauna. I would like to speak to some of the environmental protection elements that are part of our pipeline plan we have recently announced.
I am pleased to say that our new pipeline plan has a number of strong environmental protections in place. Our ability to meet our greenhouse gas commitments will not be hindered. Species at risk will be protected. Pipeline and marine safety will be improved, and the pristine wilderness of British Columbia's north coast will be protected.
We have assessed the greenhouse gas issues related to these projects and have factored them into our decision. Greenhouse gas emissions from the operation and construction of both pipelines will not be significant. With respect to the Trans Mountain expansion project, the National Energy Board has added conditions to the project certificate to mitigate some of the emissions related to the construction of the pipeline.
Environment and Climate Change Canada has estimated the greenhouse gases related to the production and processing of the oil that will be transported by the pipelines, referred to as “upstream emissions”. These will be regulated through the Province of Alberta's climate action plan and its 100-megaton cap on greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands development. Meeting our 2030 targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions will require action from all sectors, including all levels of government and the oil and gas industry.
We are working together with the provinces and territories to develop a pan-Canadian framework for clean growth and climate change. In developing this framework, we have actively considered how to collectively do more to reduce greenhouse gases. For example, our government announced last week regulations to cut methane emissions from oil and gas operations by 40% to 45% by 2025.
Our government has put in place a pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution as a central element of this plan. Pricing carbon pollution is one of the most efficient ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, drive innovation, and encourage people and businesses to pollute less.
Future oil and gas production levels will depend on how producers respond to carbon policies and corresponding market signals, what technological advancements are made, and the ability of companies to compete in an increasingly carbon-constrained world. We are confident in our industries' capacity to innovate, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and compete in the emerging global low-carbon economy.
With all these factors in place, the government believes that the pipeline project will not impact our plan to meet, or exceed, our 2030 emissions reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels.
The Trans Mount pipeline will pass through the ranges of some herds of the southern mountain caribou, which the Species at Risk Act considers to be threatened. The National Energy Board imposed six conditions to ensure that there would be no net loss of caribou habitat. Environment and Climate Change Canada will work with the National Energy Board to assist the proponent in meeting these conditions. Furthermore, construction will be timed to avoid disrupting the mating and migration of the southern mountain caribou.
The government has worked with the Province of British Columbia on a study to review the protections in place for southern mountain caribou to encourage their recovery. The government will not hesitate to take additional action, if required, to mitigate the potential impacts from specific projects on the affected southern mountain caribou herd.
The government is committed to the protection and recovery of Canada's southern resident killer whales, listed as endangered under the Species at Risk Act. The primary threats to this species' survival and recovery are environmental contamination, reductions in the availability or quality of prey, and acoustic disturbance.
Before any shipping from the Trans Mountain expansion project begins, the Government of Canada is committed to advancing work in key areas to reduce its impacts on this population. The objective is to mitigate the impact of additional Trans Mountain expansion marine traffic before the project begins operations.
The Government of Canada, with the help of its partners, is putting in place a strong southern resident killer whale action plan to promote recovery. The plan will significantly reduce the impact of noise from marine vessels on killer whales through voluntary and regulatory measures. It will ensure that there is sufficient food available for the whales, and it will reduce the pressure on the whale population from persistent contaminants.
With Line 3, Enbridge will be required to ensure that the project does not create a net loss of wetland areas, as wetlands are not only vital habitat for migratory birds but also provide important ecosystem services, such as flood prevention and water purification.
In addition to habitat protection and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we are making the transport of petroleum products safer. The recently announced oceans protection plan is designed to achieve a world-leading marine safety system for our country's unique context that will increase our government's capacity to prevent and improve its response to marine oil spills.
The Pipeline Safety Act, which came into force in June 2016, strengthens Canada's pipeline safety system by enshrining the polluter pays principle into law. In terms of specific safety measures, Enbridge's Line 3 replacement will have new, thicker pipeline in many sections and will be built to modern specifications that will enhance the safety and integrity of the network and further protect the environment from potential spills.
Furthermore, a number of additional safety features are included in the Line 3 replacement project. For example, the installation of 26 new remotely operated sectionalizing valves near waterways will allow the pipeline to be shut off quickly if necessary.
The biggest environmental protection initiative we will put in place in our pipeline plan is the moratorium on tankers carrying crude oil and persistent oil products. The tanker moratorium will provide an unprecedented level of environmental protection for the Great Bear Rainforest and British Columbia's northern coastline, which is integral to the livelihoods and cultures of indigenous and coastal communities. The Great Bear Rainforest and the Great Bear Sea, which stretches more than 400 kilometres along British Columbia's north coast, is home to several indigenous and coastal communities as well as a spectacular variety of fish, marine mammals, and wildlife. The tanker moratorium will help ensure that this area is preserved for future generations.
The sensitive ecosystem of the Douglas Channel, which is part of the Great Bear Sea, is no place for 220 tankers to be transiting annually. For this reason, we have directed the National Energy Board to dismiss the northern gateway pipeline project application, because it is not in the public interest. In the case of the northern gateway, the proposed economic development was not consistent with our principles of environmental protection.
In coming to these decisions and in developing this plan, the government reviewed thousands of pages of scientific evidence, held hundreds of consultation sessions across the country, specifically in British Columbia with indigenous peoples, and heard from thousands of Canadians. We have listened, and we are confident that our overall plan maps out a path forward that is consistent with both growing the economy and protecting the environment.
I would like to further add that this is a government that has spent a significant amount of time and resources meeting with stakeholders, meeting with indigenous communities, and meeting with environmentalists, and taking all those factors into account as we have made our decisions. We need to ensure that we are not sacrificing the environment for the sake of a project, or vice versa. I think we have achieved a great deal of progress over the last year and a half.
With that, I would like to conclude my remarks today.