House of Commons Hansard #262 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was project.

Topics

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

NDP

Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby South, BC

Madam Speaker, the company's web page is incredibly informative when it comes to describing this project. The web page says there will be 90 new jobs after this pipeline is built, 50 in British Columbia. One could open a White Spot restaurant and have more jobs in B.C.

I agree that the impact from this project would be different on Alberta, but, for British Columbia, the province I have been elected to represent and where my constituents are clearly saying there would be no benefits for them, it is my job to stand up in the House and say that. When the minister threatens to use the military against them, I also have to stand up and defend them from that.

Members on that side of the House are being unrealistic. They are not conscious of what will be coming if they try to force this pipeline through.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, I would like to commend my colleague from Burnaby South for his sterling work in listening to his constituents and learning about the issues surrounding the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

August 20, 2015, was the genesis of the motion we are seeing today. I support the fact that it was brought forward. We are going to oppose this motion for reasons my colleague from Burnaby South spelled out.

On August 20, 2015, the Prime Minister came to British Columbia, and in front of a crowd in Esquimalt, said very clearly that Kinder Morgan would not be approved unless the entire process was redone. That was a solemn commitment he made to British Columbians on August 20, 2015, a few weeks prior to the election date, and that is the genesis of the problem we have before us today.

The Liberals and the Prime Minister have taken Mr. Harper's incredible gutting of environmental regulations and the NEB process and are making that discredited process, a process that does not involve Canadians, does not involve British Columbians, their own. In other words, the Prime Minister promised to redo the whole process and put in place something that would actually mean legitimate consultation with British Columbians, but he did the exact opposite. It is absolutely shameful.

The Liberals have compounded this, as my colleague for Burnaby South just mentioned, by threatening military action in British Columbia. We have an illegitimate process, one the Liberals promised to change. They did not change it. Instead, they approved the pipeline, which the Prime Minister said very clearly they would not. On top of that, they threatened British Columbians. It is because of that badly broken, gutted promise made solemnly to British Columbians, just a few weeks prior to the election date, that so many British Columbians have come out in opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline. We have first nations that have come out in opposition. The City of Burnaby, which I and my colleague from Burnaby South represent, has come out strongly opposed, as have municipalities throughout the coastal region.

Why have they come out in opposition? It is not just that the process is illegitimate, that Mr. Harper's Conservative government gutted the whole process and made it illegitimate in anyone's eyes, and that the Liberals promised to do one thing and are doing the exact opposite. It is also because of the impact on the coast, which could be catastrophic.

I grew up in New Westminster, and I am proud of growing up in the Lower Mainland. Four generations of my family have lived in that area. My grandfather came from Norway and fished on the coast for a number of years.

The fishing and tourism industries have a profound impact on our economy in British Columbia. We are talking about impacts the Liberals have never investigated or looked at, an illegitimate process, and the potential loss of billions of dollars if there is just one spill. That is why so many communities have come out in opposition to this project. It is why so many communities have said that, ultimately, without a legitimate process, this is simply something that has no credibility.

My colleague for Burnaby South talked about the impact on the Fraser River. I would like to mention the Brunette River area, where I walk my dogs every morning. It is an area that could be profoundly impacted by the new route that is being pushed through. There were no consultations. The City of New Westminster was not able to come forward with its concerns. This is habitat that has been restored through decades of work by people who are involved in the Sapperton Fish and Game Club and other community organizations. They restored the habitat, and now we have Kinder Morgan, with the approval of the Liberal government, putting at risk the Brunette River as well. These are profound risks that have not been investigated through a legitimate process.

I should mention, being one of the few people in this House of Commons who has been ankle deep in oil, having worked in the Shellburn oil refinery and the Burnaby tank farm, that I know how serious the environmental impacts can be. I know how difficult it is to clean up even a small spill. I can say with some assurance that the incredible irresponsibility with which the Liberals have approached this whole process, not just by betraying British Columbians by breaking their promise but by refusing to put in place any sort of public consultation process, is something that has alienated many British Columbians.

My colleague referenced the Royal Society report. The Royal Society report is something that every single Liberal MP, not just those from British Columbia, should be reading, because it speaks repeatedly to the fact that we do not know the impact on the Salish Sea or the B.C. coast of a spill of bitumen. We have no idea. The Royal Society repeatedly requests that high priority, urgent research be done in all these areas, because we simply do not know. The pipeline the Prime Minister wants to push through is something that could have profound impacts on the coast, and scientific evidence shows that the Liberal government and the Prime Minister have simply not done their homework.

I was in this House when the Harper government gutted the environmental rules. I spoke to the budget for 14 hours, because there was so much to glean because of the impact on fish habitat and on environmental legislation right across the country.

It never would have occurred to me, or to most British Columbians, that the Liberals, having promised to address the concerns raised by Canadians from coast to coast to coast about the gutting of those environmental regulations, would refuse to do that.

This is no small issue, because when we talk about the impacts of just one spill, we are talking about impacts that could last for a generation. David Schindler, who is the foremost authority on water policy and water in Canada, recently wrote about the impacts of the Exxon Valdez. One generation later, the impacts are still being felt. The fishery has not come back in Alaska. The coast continues to be polluted by that spill. David Schindler is someone who has profound scientific renown, yet the Liberals, just as they have thrown aside the scientific evidence from the Royal Society, have thrown aside the scientific evidence from David Schindler. We know that the Exxon Valdez had a profound impact and continues to have a profound impact. The Kalamazoo River spill continues to have a profound impact on habitat, after the spending of a billion dollars.

We have a Prime Minister who came to Nanaimo a couple of weeks ago and said that there would be no coastal protection unless British Columbians promptly ignored all that evidence and promptly agreed with the Liberals on building the pipeline. That is unacceptable. That is why there is so much reaction in British Columbia. There is the illegitimate process, there are the broken promises of the Liberals, and there are the threats that unless the pipeline is agreed to, there will be no coastal protection and no environmental policies to combat climate change.

That is childish rhetoric that comes from the government. It is childish rhetoric that is improper for a national government. We need a national government that will actually show leadership on climate change and put in place the kinds of policies and process that consults British Columbians and Canadians. That is something Jagmeet Singh will bring to Ottawa when he is elected in 2019.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

February 12th, 2018 / 1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Madam Speaker, one of the things that is great about pipelines is that they bring petroleum products to the world. Petroleum products make all our lives better. I do not think any one of us got here today without these petroleum products. We need petroleum products to ensure that we can live the lifestyle we have.

The Trans Mountain pipeline would allow petroleum products to make it to parts of the world where people are living in energy poverty and where they do not necessarily have the luxury we live in. This would allow us to get something out to the rest of the world.

It seems that my NDP colleagues are standing in the way of feeding the world, essentially, when it comes to petroleum products. To some degree, I understand that. What is interesting about this is that even though I and my NDP colleagues seem to disagree, fundamentally, on this issue, we seem to agree that the Liberal governments are doing a terrible job.

Would my colleague agree with that?

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, I would agree with that, but I would also like to say that the Conservatives have done a terrible job. One of the worst jobs they have done is in the province of Alberta.

I had a lot of respect for Peter Lougheed. He actually understood that there needed to be value added, that there needed to be an investment in wealth creation, and that services needed to be protected in Alberta. In the last 30 years, under Conservative governments, we saw exactly the opposite. They gutted education. They gutted health care. In terms of wealth creation, Norway, which has actually produced less oil over a shorter period of time, now has $1 trillion in its sovereign wealth fund. Alberta Conservatives gutted the heritage fund. They left it with nothing.

It is fair to say that although the Liberal government is bad, Conservatives in Alberta should be hanging their heads in shame. They took a valuable resource, and over decades, because they were concerned with rip and ship rather than anything else, left Alberta without the kind of heritage we have seen from the social democrats in Norway, which now has a trillion dollars for rainy days forever. That is social democracy in action.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Madam Speaker, during his speech, my colleague cited the changes made in 2012 that gutted certain protections in our Fisheries Act, our environmental assessment process, the navigation protection act, and more. I agree that they were very important changes, which we are taking some steps to remedy. However, where I think we may part ways, and I will give the member an opportunity to comment, is that I believe that it is possible to construct, in a responsible way, a major energy project, including a pipeline, if there is a rigorous process around it and important environmental conditions.

I wonder if the member believes that it is possible to build a pipeline in an environmentally responsible way. If so, could the member give an example of one he supports?

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, the Liberals certainly do not listen when the opposition speaks, but they do not even listen to themselves.

I appreciate my colleague's comments, but he just mentioned two things that have not happened. First, he said that we need a rigorous consultation process, but they have gutted that. That is what the Liberals did. They brought a gutted process to the table. The member then said that we need to be responsible environmentally. We have not even had the environmental evaluation.

What is the impact, when we have a multi-billion dollar tourism industry, of just one spill of bitumen? Even the Royal Society has no idea what those impacts are. What happens when there is a shutdown of the fishery industry that generations of British Columbians have depended on, including people in my family? The Liberals have no idea. They did not do an evaluation on the environment. They have not done public consultations. Now Liberals are saying, “Hypothetically, if we did all these things, what would you say?”

The Liberals should have done it. They did not get the job done. It is shameful that they broke their promise to British Columbians.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Madam Speaker, I would like to advise you that I will share my time with the hon. member for Calgary Rocky Ridge.

For my riding in particular, this issue is of critical importance, and let me provide a quick example to illustrate exactly why. Within hours of the province of Alberta announcing what was basically a blockade of B.C. wine being sold or transported into that province, I received a call from a panicked B.C. wine owner. That winery owner has 6,000 cases of wine sold into Alberta, yet still has to make delivery. This is not some big corporate winery, and 6,000 cases represents a huge part of this winery's annual sales revenues and volume of production. This is a family-run winery, where on any given day we will see father and daughter working side by side. They have mortgages to pay, wages for staff, utilities, taxes, and hopefully at the end of the day, enough left over to draw a wage. I am certain everyone in this place can empathize with the resulting fear and frustration being felt by the British Columbia wine industry.

How did we get here? On the surface, we have two fighting New Democratic Party provincial governments. In B.C. we have a coalition NDP desperate to maintain its power through its deal with the Green Party. Of course, that coalition is on thin ice after the NDP approved the Site C dam project that it had railed against for years. Going after the Trans Mountain pipeline project is a political necessity for the B.C. NDP, and likewise for the Green Party in British Columbia.

So far, the Green Party has delivered very little. It abandoned its opposition to bridge tolling to support the NDP, and is likewise supporting an NDP government that approved the Site C dam and one that wants to support B.C. liquefied natural gas. B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver is desperate to show his base that his support for the NDP is not just a sell out deal that has resulted in little else but his party receiving taxpayer subsidies for political parties.

Meanwhile, over in Alberta, we have an NDP government essentially terrified after the two provincial political parties recently merged, with an election that is quickly approaching. For the Alberta NDP, fighting for the Trans Mountain pipeline is critically important not just for it to survive but because this project is absolutely critical to Alberta. That is what is troubling. This brewing trade dispute is politically helpful for both these NDP governments. Meanwhile, small family wineries are caught in the middle as political pawns.

As members of Parliament, how do we fix this? Ultimately, we know the Prime Minister has stated he strongly believes the Trans Mountain pipeline is in Canada's national interest. For the record, I agree with the Prime Minister on this. However, here is the problem. Beyond saying that he strongly supports the Trans Mountain pipeline and that the project is in Canada's national interest, the Prime Minister has said nothing else as to what measures he is prepared to invoke to make this project a reality. Of course that has created uncertainty, and in essence, a leadership vacuum on this file.

Therefore, the province of Alberta is basically in a situation where, absence of any federal leadership on this issue, it is now essentially forced to not only defend the interests of Alberta but also the Canadian interest. To be candid, I agree that the Prime Minister's lack of action and leadership on this file has put Premier Notley into a difficult and unfair situation. That is why we are having this debate today.

It is all well and good for the Prime Minister to say that this project is in the national interest and that it will get built, but he does not say when it will get built. When will he show some leadership and take action?

Here is the part I find deeply troubling. Recently on CBC we heard that “ultimately the federal government will not allow any province to impinge on its jurisdiction over the national interest. Full stop.” On the surface, this sounds somewhat promising. There is only one problem. Who said it? According to the same CBC article, it was “a senior Liberal, speaking on condition of anonymity”. In other words, it was not the Prime Minister, not the Minister of Natural Resources. The best the Liberals can do is to send out some anonymous person to speak some tough talk to the CBC. Seriously, is this the best that the current Liberal government can do?

What troubles me more is that this is a Prime Minister and Liberal government who will fight against veterans in court, even after they promised that they would not. This is a Prime Minister and Liberal government who will fight against faith organizations receiving summer jobs funding for grants unless they take a values test. This is a Prime Minister and Liberal government who will fight against the Prime Minister's having to repay his illegal vacation expenses, but when it comes to fighting for a project that the Prime Minister has deemed to be within Canada's national interest, basically nothing. All we get is some lowly anonymous Liberal leaker hamming it up with his favourite CBC reporter. Of course, that is why we are in this situation and why we are having this debate.

The Prime Minister needs to clearly articulate to Canadians what actions he will take to ensure projects in Canada's national interest become a reality. I think everyone here gets that. The time for platitudes and flowery language is over. Now is the time for action and to deliver results. If this Prime Minister is not capable of doing that, I would suggest he should find someone else who can, preferably someone who is not a senior anonymous Liberal.

I would also like to add a few observations. When it came to potentially looking after the interests of Irving Shipbuilding, the Prime Minister was prepared to cancel another shipbuilding contract in Quebec at great cost to taxpayers, until the public found out. When it came to defending the interests of Bombardier, we know once again that the Prime Minister was prepared to cancel a contract. In fact, the current Liberal government has now announced a procurement policy with this in mind.

I mention these things because we know that the Prime Minister is actually capable of standing up for certain things from time to time. Surely if the Prime Minister strongly believes that the Trans Mountain pipeline project is in Canada's national interest, he will do the same. The only question to be asked is why he has refused to do it thus far. Ultimately, that is what we need: a Prime Minister who will step up, show leadership, and deliver results for the country. That is the job of the Prime Minister.

That is why today I will ask this place to support the motion before us. In effect, what it is calling for is for the Prime Minister to do his job. On this side of the House, we do not believe that is asking too much and I hope that Liberals on that side of the House will agree.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Madam Speaker, the fact is that the government put in place a process. It was an amended process. It was designed to give an added level of scrutiny to the pipeline approval process. Pipeline approval was granted. The Prime Minister has been in British Columbia. Ministers have been in British Columbia. We have relayed to the Government of British Columbia that this is in federal jurisdiction and this is an approved pipeline. What we have, though, is a Government of Alberta, a New Democratic government, and a Government of British Columbia, a New Democratic government, who cannot seem to see eye to eye.

I asked my hon. friend from British Columbia in the other party what the position of the federal New Democratic Party is. I would now ask this hon. friend, whether he has been able to discern a position. We know the position of his party. Has he been able to discern a position among all the New Democratic voices here? What is the position of the New Democratic Party of Canada on pipelines?

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Madam Speaker, the fact that the member opposite is trying to use this issue to sling at the NDP shows that he is much more concerned about political posturing. In fact, I pointed out on Twitter recently that right now the premiers of Alberta and British Columbia are both doing what they figure is in their electoral interests, and so is the Prime Minister, because he does not want to lose seats in the Lower Mainland, which, by the way, was not an area where the Prime Minister held a town hall. If the Prime Minister believes, in this place, that it is in Canada's national interest, why is he not in Burnaby saying that it is in the national interest?

Questions like this will not help that lady and her father who, right now, have products they cannot get to market. Why? It is because the Liberal Prime Minister has refused to step up and speak as one country and one national economy.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, earlier today, the Minister of Natural Resources spoke about the oceans protection plan. He commented on a $1.5-billion investment, which is about $300 million a year, and we are still trying to find the details of what exactly is being spent.

I wanted to ask a question of the natural resources minister, but I have not had the opportunity. I will ask my hon. colleague a very simple question about science and whether the product we are talking about, bitumen, sinks or floats. I wonder if my hon. colleague could talk about a peer-reviewed scientific report or study that shows whether it sinks or floats.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Madam Speaker, I am really glad that the member from British Columbia looks upon me with such esteem that he would consider me a substitute for the Minister of Natural Resources.

I will try to address his question, but getting back to the resources, the $1.5 billion that the Liberal government is designating to beef up safety on the coast, British Columbia did not get any of the $400 million that was announced for Atlantic Canada for it to innovate. The government, when it comes to talking about our coasts and whatnot, very much plays a regional game.

I would point out to the member, though, that the old pipeline that we have today, that has been serving that market for 60 years, probably will not be able to produce enough product for there to be an increase in material security. The member runs into a problem. We do not get the $1.5 billion in resources if there is not an expanded pipeline. I would bet any day that most of his constituents would much rather see investments in a new pipeline with new protections rather than having the status quo, with so many trains and trucks going to the Burnaby Chevron refinery.

When it comes to bitumen, I would say there are a number of different reports. Blair King has done a number of posts on that. He is an expert in the field and asks many of the same questions the member seems to want to parrot. It is important for us to ask these questions in committee, where there is time, but right now, our motion specifically asks the Prime Minister to do his job. I hope the member can appreciate we are being clear and up front with what we want the Prime Minister to do.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Madam Speaker, today's motion was precipitated by the British Columbia government's decision to challenge the approval of the Kinder Morgan expansion, and it represents possibly the greatest challenge to the federation in a generation. There are a number of things at stake in this, whether or not we are a country united in the principle of the rule of law and the Constitution of Canada, the viability of any large national project, and the future for any responsible resource development.

The response of the government to this crisis thus far has been wholly inadequate. We have occasionally heard from the minister who, in this House, quite smugly, almost condescendingly, merely repeated that the pipeline will get built. We have heard this a couple of times from the Prime Minister, but we have not heard the government championing this project in any meaningful way. This is important because the government's track record on energy project approval is abysmal.

Under the Liberal government, which is now into its third year, we have seen the northern gateway project killed by an arbitrary tanker ban that wiped out a project that was approved through an extremely rigorous and long-drawn-out approval process, with the support of dozens of first nation equity partners. We have seen how the government rendered the energy east project economically untenable by moving the goalposts, introducing upstream emissions, which is not an area of federal jurisdiction and not one which the NEB would have jurisdiction over, as well as downstream, which is quite ridiculous in a pipeline project. The final decision of what type of vehicle somebody is going to pour gasoline into is the strongest determining factor of downstream emissions.

Thus, we have seen two projects killed by the government. We have seen the anti-energy rhetoric that has come from many government members, including the Prime Minister himself talking about leaving resources in the ground. There are anti-energy activists in the governing party's caucus, in key staff positions, and indeed in the cabinet itself. We saw that ministers had to sanitize their social media accounts to delete anti-energy posts before the Liberals were in government.

The government has a large credibility problem when it comes to energy projects. Once in a while standing up in this House and trying to placate the Conservatives by simply insisting that this project will get built is not good enough. The Liberals need to do better than that.

Canada has lagged behind in energy infrastructure for years. We are way behind on LNG and are allowing the United States to become an energy superpower in exporting its product to international markets where we could be doing so ourselves.

The Canadian oil patch is not participating in the oil and gas industry recovery that is taking place in other producing jurisdictions. That is largely due to politics. It is due to the Liberal government's attitude and the signals it sends to the investment community. It is due to the attitudes of provincial governments as well.

We exist with a price differential on our energy products that is absolutely killing jobs. It is eroding our ability to produce public services. What we are doing because of the differential is exporting income taxes. We are exporting public service to the United States. A Canadian barrel has a $30 discount on world prices. Think of that one pipeline which has a capacity of half a million barrels a day, and we are taking a discount of up to $30 a barrel.

We should think of how much royalty money is not being paid to the Alberta, Saskatchewan, or other provincial governments. We should think of how much in equalization payments cannot be made. We should think of how much income tax is not being paid on money that is not being earned because of the differential. This has been going on for years and is exacerbated repeatedly by the absence of pipeline capacity.

By no means is this an Alberta issue alone. Although there are thousands of people in my riding whose livelihoods depend on the oil and gas industry, the benefits of this industry are spread throughout Canada. They are a major part of the public services that Canadians rely on and the revenue from royalties and from income tax.

Producers pay some of the highest royalty rates in the world on Canadian oil and gas. Producers are willing to do so because until now, Canada has been a reliable place where adherence to the rule of law, sanctity of contract, stable political regimes, and rigorous but predictable regulatory processes allow companies to invest in Canadian resources. All of this is being jeopardized by this current dispute. If international investors look at Canada and say this is not a country where they can rely on the rule of law because a provincial government can usurp federal approval, where the Constitution is not observed, where sanctity of contract in terms of governments moving goalposts on approval processes, this becomes a place where the international investment community will not go. All of the foregoing is under threat due to the Prime Minister's inaction and the mixed signals it sends to the investment community.

The situation today is utterly untenable. The Prime Minister and Parliament have the tools to remedy the situation. We know that affordable energy is an important human need. We are talking out loud about trade disputes between provinces. People are actually talking out loud about what would happen if the Government of Alberta were to refuse to allow the export of crude through the existing Trans Mountain pipeline. What would happen to the economy of the Lower Mainland? It would grind to a halt in days.

The fact that we are even talking about these things is absolutely unbelievable. There is no way we should be having these discussions, yet they are happening. It is time for the Prime Minister to choose what kind of prime minister he wants to be and what he wants his legacy to be. Does he want it to be a divided union? He cannot continue to placate everyone. He may need to alienate some of the extreme elements of the environmental movement, and why not? The utter destruction of the oil and gas industry is all that those folks will settle for, so there really is no trade to be made with these folks.

We know that Pierre Trudeau's family has a history of fomenting constitutional crises. In Alberta the same resentments and anger that I am now hearing are very familiar. I grew up with them in the 1980s. In Alberta they see a LIberal government that is letting its ideological fellow travellers in British Columbia kill a pipeline that many in the Liberal caucus do not even want anyway.

It is time for thePrime Minister to stop letting the noisy few kill the jobs and prosperity for the many. He should stop hemming in our oil and gas even as in the east we import oil from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and the United States. He needs to stop exporting social services like health care and education to the United States. He needs to stop chasing away investment and tax dollars that would go with it from an industry because projects are not being developed. He should stop rewarding those who would subvert the rule of law and the Constitution Act. He should stop trying to ride both sides of every fence. He should show some leadership, stand up for jobs, and for once be proud of Canada's energy industry and the rigours of our environment policies.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Northumberland—Peterborough South Ontario

Liberal

Kim Rudd LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Madam Speaker, I disagree with the hon. member. Our signals have been extremely clear. The Minister of Natural Resources last week and the Prime Minister before that clearly stated our support for the Trans Mountain expansion after consulting with thousands of thousands of Canadians. It is important to listen to what Canadians have to say.

There was a bit of revisionist history happening there with regard to the northern gateway pipeline. Northern gateway was stopped because the courts said there was no consultation by the former Conservative government.

Does my hon. colleague not believe Canadians should have a voice in major projects?

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Indeed I do, Madam Speaker, and indeed they have. This project was approved by the Liberal government and it is time for the minister and the Prime Minister to champion this project and quit just standing back and saying it will get built, as if repeating that enough times will make it happen.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, we have spent many years in northern Ontario attempting to get the Ring of Fire project off the ground. We have been working in consultation and making sure that it is going to meet all of the environmental standards. We are finally at the point of discussing building a smelter. Building a smelter requires social licence and environmental licence. I note for my colleague that there are serious concerns in Coniston and Sault Ste. Marie about building a smelter within the city limits because of environmental concerns, and they are valid concerns when looking at this project.

A site is set up in the Timmins region that is ready and it has full social support. As well, it would build the infrastructure for the railway. Adding the plant in the Timmins region would provide a much stronger social and environmental net benefit to the region and would not face citizen opposition.

Would my hon. colleague support the New Democrats in our continued work on the Ring of Fire issue?

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Madam Speaker, I would support responsible resource development wherever it can be found in Canada. I am pleased to hear my colleague from Timmins—James Bay speaking of responsible resource development and being on board with it.

This whole business of so-called social licence is troublesome, especially in the context of this project. We have opponents to this project that cannot be placated and will not rest until resource development is completely eliminated in Canada. We have a government whose members in some cases were in part financed through the Tides Foundation, which has an explicit agenda to hem in and end all oil and gas exploration and extraction in Canada. That cannot be allowed to happen. We cannot allow a small handful of people to destroy projects that are in the national interest.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister and the minister have been very clear on the issue. The pipeline is going to move forward. The Conservatives know that but they seem to be having a tough time trying to politicize this issue. It would appear that they are trying to use it as a wedge. The federal government is also responsible for a healthy Confederation. We have worked with premiers and have arrived at all sorts of agreements.

Given that the federal government has already said it is moving forward and that the pipeline will get built, why do the Conservatives think it is necessary to try to drive a wedge between Canadian provinces?

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Madam Speaker, it is so ironic to hear the member say that somehow it is the Conservatives who are fomenting division on this issue. We have two provinces with leaders of the same party at war with each other, playing to their own bases, and we have a Prime Minister who has done absolutely nothing up to this point to get this pipeline built. This thing should have been under construction already. It is on the Liberal government's watch and the Liberal government has to bear responsibility for the fact that this project is not already under construction.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Beaulieu Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak on behalf of the Bloc Québécois on the occasion of Black History Month.

We encourage everyone to come out and participate in the many different activities being held throughout the month of February all across Quebec, including Montreal, Gatineau, and Quebec City.

Musical, theatrical, and dance performances, exhibits, lectures, and discussion groups will showcase the incredible talents of Quebec's black community. These events will give participants a chance to learn more about the little-known and little-taught history of black Quebeckers and to collectively reflect on their unique perspective on Quebec.

Let us see Black History Month as an opportunity to celebrate four centuries of building Quebec together. Let us celebrate what brings us together and continue to cultivate what makes us unique.

Volunteerism in Centreville-Wareham-TrinityStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Churence Rogers Liberal Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, NL

Mr. Speaker, I stand in the House today to recognize a true example of community spirit and volunteerism at its finest.

Within my riding and in my hometown of Centreville-Wareham-Trinity, an annual winter festival is held. Invites are extended to people from neighbouring small towns and communities to participate in a week of fun.

I am proud to say that this festival is celebrating its 25th year and brings a sense of togetherness like no other, including to our senior population, who truly enjoy all the social activities that this festival offers.

To host and manage this event requires a tremendous amount of work. However, each year 30 to 40 people come forward to volunteer their time, some since the very beginning, in making this festival a huge success.

I am truly proud to stand today as their member of Parliament and commend these amazing volunteers for their effort and commitment.

Congenital Heart Disease Awareness WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, as Valentine's Day approaches, people are thinking about their hearts. February 14 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day in Canada, and part of Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week from February 7 to 14.

In Canada, one in every 100 babies is born with some form of CHD, making it the number one birth defect. These range from minor heart murmurs to complex structural anomalies. Sadly, there is no cure.

Years ago, CHD meant that children had only a 20% chance of reaching adulthood. However, today virtually 95% of CHD children live well into adulthood due to tremendous advances in medical and surgical care and treatments.

I stand to support the Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance as the only national organization supporting children and adults living with CHD. They aim to improve the health outcomes and quality of life for individuals with congenital heart diseases. We salute their wonderful work and the dedication of their volunteers.

Happy Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Day.

PIO Parliamentarian ConferenceStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Ramesh Sangha Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently participated in the first-ever PIO Parliamentarian Conference, hosted by the Government of India in New Delhi. This was attended by over 130 parliamentarians and mayors of the Indian diaspora worldwide, from 23 nations.

At the conference, I was elated to witness our Prime Minister's lead towards gender reform, global collaboration, and a strengthening of diversity being taken seriously.

We celebrate February as Black History Month, and this is the kind of diversity that makes our Canada strong.

There is an anticipated excitement in store for our Prime Minister's upcoming visit to India.

Let us continue to build the global family.

PensionsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, proposed changes to pensions in Bill C-27 have constituents in my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam, Anmore, and Belcarra worried about their future.

This bill would allow defined benefit plans to be converted to unsecured targeted benefit plans, placing all the financial risk on workers. This is short-sighted, ill-advised, and unfair.

Pensions are deferred wages, and they belong to the workers who have earned them. After working all their lives and sacrificing pay and benefit improvements to secure a reliable pension plan, Canadians deserve a fair, decent pension that they can count on.

New Democrats strongly oppose Bill C-27 and ask that it be withdrawn immediately.

Canada 150 Community Leader AwardStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ken McDonald Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, like many members in this House, in 2017, I had the opportunity to honour notable constituents in my riding with a Canada 150 pin, which is made from the old copper roof from these very Parliament buildings. I use the opportunity to highlight 20 incredible individuals for my Canada 150 Community Leader Award.

This award recognizes community leaders and volunteers who have made positive contributions throughout the riding of Avalon. Our towns are better for having these people in them.

They are Reverend Sam Butler, Ross Petten, Val Careen, Major Lorne Pritchett, Shelia Lee, Rita Pennell, Vince Burton, David Fagan, Patti Corcoran, Angela Woodford, Marjorie Gibbons, Trudy Strowbridge, Patricia Hynes-Coates, Wayne Power, Don Sword, Elizabeth Molloy, Kelly Power, Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises, and the Conception Bay South Monument of Honour Committee.

On behalf of all the people of Avalon, I thank each and every one. They have all made lasting impacts on the lives of those in their communities, and it is my honour to recognize their contributions with this award. Keep up the good work.

Youth EmploymentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the Prime Minister said he admires the basic dictatorship of China. We now understand some of what he means.

This past Friday, applications closed for the Canada summer jobs program. In my riding of Oshawa, the number of applicants is down by about half. This means fewer jobs for students at UOIT, Trent University, and Durham College. It means fewer summer camp options for parents already struggling to make ends meet.

All of this is happening because of the Liberals' new values test: attest to their values or be punished. If one does not agree with the ideological positions of the Liberal Party, one's organization will no longer be eligible to receive funding for a summer student. It is as simple as that.

One organization in my riding wrote to me saying, “we are desperately concerned that this government overreach is just a test run for a more insidious plan”.

This values test has no place in Canada. While the current Prime Minister talks a lot about respecting diversity, his actions tell a very different story.