Madam Speaker, I would like to begin this debate by quoting the premier of the Northwest Territories when the Prime Minister, in 2016, as part of a Joint Arctic leaders' statement, declared that the Beaufort Sea would be a national park essentially and that there would be no more drilling. This meant that any infrastructure there would now be landlocked and any infrastructure that had been invested in would now be stopped and be held up from being developed.
The premier of the Northwest Territories said that they would end up “living in a park.” That is precisely what the Prime Minister and his principal secretary Gerald Butts would like to see, that all of Canada become a national park, with no economy happening whatsoever.
I will be sharing my time with the member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake.
Bill C-88 lays out the legal framework for the drilling moratorium. It is part of an ongoing trend we see from the government. Canadians are welcome to live in Canada provided they do not do anything to touch the environment. Again, in the Northwest Territories, this is a record. However, we are seeing a trend.
The Prime Minister has pounded his fists on the table, saying that he will get the Trans Mountain pipeline built. However, when it comes to every other energy project in the country, he has done everything in his power to undermine it. It all started with Bill C-48, the tanker moratorium on the west coast. This effectively killed the northern gateway pipeline. It is part of a larger trend.
In Bill C-68, we see the reversal of the changes we made to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, making it easier for municipalities to develop their regions by putting culverts in and pipelines across streams. Those kinds of things were important changes we had made to make life easier for the people who live beyond Ottawa and Toronto, yet we see the government of today definitely reversing that.
There is also Bill C-69, what we are calling the no more pipelines bill that overhauls the regulatory process for pipelines.
We had a great regulatory framework to build pipelines. Under the Conservative government, we built four pipelines, approved northern gateway and other pipelines. What is really frustrating is that the Liberals went around saying that the public had no confidence in the process, which was completely false. It had been tested significantly by the court. Now that they are in power, they feel the need to overhaul it entirely so it will have to be tested by the court again.
We see that again with Bill C-69, putting the livelihoods of many workers in the oil patch at risk. It is putting the livelihoods of many people who live north of the 55th parallel at risk. We would like to see the government change its ways regarding this.
Over the weekend, there was much to be said about the back-to-work legislation the House imposed on the Canada Post workers. Just yesterday I saw a carton on Facebook about two oil field workers. One of the workers said, “I wish Ottawa would legislate us back to work.” This bill would legislate them out of work.
The Beaufort Sea has vast oil reserves that have been explored. There are millions of dollars in infrastructure sitting up there, which has been basically been abandoned because of the drilling moratorium.
We need to ensure that Canada can work and be prosperous again. We have to ensure that our natural resources, whether oil in the Beaufort Sea, diamond mines in the Northwest Territories, or gold mines in the Yukon, can be developed and can bring prosperity for all of Canada.
One of the major things we know about in northern Canada is the carbon tax and how that will affect northerners in particular. We hear the Liberals talking all the time about Canada being a carbon intensive economy. If we looked outside this morning, we would see that it was snowing, and we typically have snow for six to nine months out of the year, depending on where one lives in Canada. That means the temperature is below freezing for that length of time in the year, so we need to warm things up. We need to make sure our houses stay warm. I enjoy a warm shower every morning. Those things require energy. Not only does Canada require energy, but the world requires energy as well. What better place to get our energy than right here in Canada? However, when we bring in a drilling moratorium in the Beaufort Sea or introduce a carbon tax or table Bill C-69, we limit the development of our natural resources and we then import the energy we need from other jurisdictions that do not have the environmental regulatory framework we have. We do not allow our economy to flourish so it can bring prosperity to some parts of the country that could really use it.
It is important that we develop our resources, including resources in the Beaufort Sea. We know that a large amount of money has been invested in developing that part of the world, and to just bar its development, through government regulation into the future, seems shortsighted and pandering on the world stage to forces outside of Canada.
The announcement in 2016 shows to some degree that the joint Arctic leaders' statement did not take into account the Canadian perspective whatsoever. It was pandering to an international audience. The Prime Minister only had the decency to phone the premier 20 minutes before he made the announcement. That left the territories scrambling. When I was up in the Northwest Territories, one of the things they often said was to let them keep their own royalty revenues. Allowing them to keep the royalty revenues now, when they are unable to develop anything, will not help the situation whatsoever.
With that, I ask the Liberals to reconsider the bill, to reconsider the drilling moratorium in the Beaufort Sea, to reconsider Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, and ensure that we can get development of our natural resources back on the table, bringing prosperity to all Canadians and all Albertans.