Mr. Speaker, I am going to be splitting my time.
I rise to speak to Bill C-69, a massive 400-page omnibus bill. Canadians will remember during the last election when the Prime Minister put his hand over his heart and made the solemn declaration to Canadians that he would never ever introduce anything resembling an omnibus bill, but here we are yet again with another omnibus bill from the government.
It gets even worse because the government has seen fit to invoke time allocation after two hours of debate. The government has invoked time allocation after just two hours of debate on a massive, complex bill that is going to rewrite the environmental assessment process, and that is going to have a profound impact on jobs and the economy. I say shame on the government for doing that.
In the short time that I have to speak to the bill, I am going to be focusing on part 2 of Bill C-69, this massive omnibus bill. Part 2 establishes a new approval process for energy projects, including pipelines. It is going to have a profound impact on my province of Alberta and thousands of my constituents who live in St. Albert and northwest Edmonton whose jobs are tied directly or indirectly to the energy sector.
The Minister of Environment , in speaking to Bill C-69 in this House, said that the objectives of the bill include improving public confidence in the approval process, strengthening investor confidence, making the energy sector more competitive, growing the Canadian economy, and creating good, middle-class jobs. That is what the minister said. Who could disagree with those objectives? Those are laudable objectives.
The only problem is that Bill C-69 will achieve none of those objectives. Rather, Bill C-69 is about keeping energy in the ground. That is what Bill C-69 means. I know that for the Prime Minister's principal secretary and chief political strategist, Gerald Butts, keeping Canadian energy in the ground is something he has long fantasized about.
Bill C-69 means gutting an assessment process based on science and evidence that balance environmental and economic issues with an assessment process that is politicized from top to bottom. How is the process politicized from top to bottom?
Let us start with who gets to make submissions to the regulator. Who has standing? Presently, in order to have standing before the National Energy Board, one must be impacted directly by a project, or one must have relevant knowledge or information about a project. Bill C-69 eliminates that criteria and replaces it with any member of the general public.
This means that it is open season. It is an invitation to Gerald Butts' friends and the Minister of Environment 's friends, and for the radical anti-oil sands movement to take over the process, to control the process with their ideological and political agenda to shut down Alberta's oil sands, a movement that is funded by U.S. money, filled with activists who are in many cases nothing more than shills for foreign interests.
The Minister of Environment says that is going to restore public confidence in the assessment process. What it is really going to do is completely politicize the process and result in delays in the approval process.
The Minister of Environment says that we should not worry about delays, because Bill C-69 is going to streamline the approval process, that it is going to reduce the time to see major projects approved. When the minister makes that assertion, she is conveniently overlooking the fact that Bill C-69 would impose a planning process before the assessment process begins. The planning process would be a six-month process, 180 days. When that is taken into account, it will not reduce the time; it will add about 100 days to the time in which a project could be approved.
If all we were talking about was an additional 100 days, we probably would not be having this debate, but it gets worse. The minister, on the basis of a political whim influenced by George Soros funded activists, can extend the timeline. She can extend the delay.
It gets even worse than that. The minister can kill a project at the planning stage before any scientific analysis is done, before any environmental analysis is done, before any economic analysis is done. In other words, the minister can kill a pipeline project purely on the basis of a raw political decision.
The minister says that this is going to increase investor confidence. Is that some kind of a joke? It is not going to increase investor confidence. It is going to do the opposite. It is going to drive billions of dollars of investment south of the border and to other energy-producing jurisdictions that allow their energy sectors to grow and thrive.
Make no mistake about it. If Bill C-69 is passed, not one major energy project will be approved in this country. Before another major pipeline project is killed, it is imperative that this Parliament kill Bill C-69.