Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Kingston and the Islands.
It is a great honour and privilege to speak tonight in this emergency debate on the crisis that has emerged in the Canadian oil and gas sector.
People in my riding, people in Calgary, kids I went to school with, kids I grew up with, are all having a difficult time right now. I know that. I have family members who work in the oil and gas industry. My sister Kristie Smith works for TransCanada pipelines. Her husband Bob works for the Pembina Pipeline. This is personal. We understand that it is a difficult time.
I was with the Prime Minister last week in Calgary, where we met with oil and gas executives. There is no clear path forward they say. Both have differing ideas on what we should do. What they did say, and it is what our government is delivering on, is that we are going to ensure that we get access to new markets. We remain committed to building the Trans Mountain pipeline project in the right way.
We also delivered something else in the fall economic statement. We delivered what those people who work in that industry are asking for, the capital cost allowance structure, which will allow us to build more projects more effectively and more efficiently.
We have heard a lot of rhetoric in tonight's debate from the members opposite. I understand that they are concerned about the people of Calgary and Alberta and the like, but nevertheless, they seem to have forgotten how we got here.
Just pick a date at random, let us say, 2006. Let us go back to 2006 when the Harper government was elected. That government immediately said, with sound and fury, that it was going to build an energy superpower here in Canada. Conservative members at that time, all the men and women, put all their thought processes, all their workings together, and worked day and night, I assume, to try to create this. That is what they said they would do. Yet here we are.
When we took power in 2015 after they had been in power for a decade, not one inch of pipeline had been built to new energy markets. What we are dealing with right now is the fact that there is a differential, and that differential is caused by our having one customer, the United States. When the Conservatives came to power, 99% of our oil went to the United States. At the end of their decade in power, that number was the same.
Here we are today. This government has invested $4.5 billion in the Trans Mountain pipeline. We will build this in the right way. It shows our commitment to the people I represent in my riding of Calgary Centre and our commitment to the people of Alberta. When Alberta is successful, Canada is successful.
Not only could the Conservatives not get pipelines built, in their wisdom, or lack thereof, they also said in 2012 that they were going to design a system that would get all of these energy projects built. They said they were going to put all the king's horses and all the king's men, all of us, in a room together to figure out how to build these energy projects super fast, super quickly, with no problems. Yet here we are.
The Conservatives managed in this process to basically cause themselves to be where we are today. Here we are with their process in place, which essentially ended the northern gateway pipeline and essentially left us here where we are at with the Trans Mountain pipeline, where we followed their process.
Here they are saying that we should do nothing more, that we should not endeavour to try to do better, that we should endeavour to try to set up a process that actually allows for good projects to get built, with one project, one review, to allow people to go through this and get some certainty to it. They want to somehow go back to yesterday when clearly the process they laid down did not work. They have to admit that.
In no uncertain terms can they deny the fact that the process they put in place in 2012 was an utter failure, clearly. I hear none of that here tonight, that the process they worked night and day on to create this superpower that they said they were going to do, has led to nothing but failure. That is where we are today, with a differential a mile wide that has been caused by the failure of the former Conservative government, one, to build pipelines, and two, to have a process that actually allowed people to be heard. Here is where we are.
The Federal Court has said we have a constitutional duty to ensure we are consulting meaningfully with our indigenous people, that we are moving forward in an environmentally friendly fashion that ensures what we said in the 2015 election campaign, which is that the economy and the environment are two sides of the same coin. In this day and age, we have to move forward with that because that is what Canadians expect and that is what Canadians are demanding.
We have to also learn to look at some of the successes our government has had in terms of actually building a sense of understanding among the people of Canada around the Trans Mountain pipeline. When we came to power, the Conservative government had so alienated the indigenous population, alienated the people concerned about the environment, alienated a whole swath of Canadians who simply did not believe them when it came to the environment or consultation. That support for the Trans Mountain pipeline languished around 40%. That was the amount of public opinion support for this energy project.
Because we understand that the environment and the economy are two sides of the same coin, we have now seen people get behind this, understanding that here is a government who understands it is a balance and understands that energy projects to be built in the 21st century have to do these necessary things. It is a government that understands the importance of leaving a better environment going forward. It is a government that understands the importance of our consultations with our indigenous communities.
We also have to understand that our government has moved forward on many approvals too since we came to power. The NGL pipeline, the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline and Towerbirch are all projects that are going to lead to a lessening of the differential. Our government remains committed to those. We understand that this is important for us to deliver on, not only for the people of Alberta but for all Canadians.
As I said, when Alberta is successful, Canada is successful. After a decade of failure by the Harper Conservatives, we will continue to move forward on the Trans Mountain pipeline. All the energy executives we have talked to said that is the most important thing. They said that they need pipeline access. We are moving forward on that project in the right way. We will continue to do better on our indigenous consultations and our environmental stewardship because in the 21st century, that is the only way forward. The Conservatives just did not understand that then, and it appears that they do not understand that now.