Madam Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to participate in this emergency debate. I will be splitting my time this evening with my friend and colleague, the member for Surrey—Newton.
The Trans Mountain expansion pipeline represents a crucial test of this country's ability to get infrastructure built that is in Canada's national interest. Watching the Prime Minister's leadership on this file over the past number of months has no doubt reassured Canadians from coast to coast to coast that their country is in good hands. The Prime Minister has said repeatedly, with quiet but firm determination, that the TMX pipeline will be built, and it will. Why? It is because our government has appropriately determined that this $7.4 billion project is in Canada's national interest. It will create thousands of construction jobs and countless more spinoff jobs in every part of the country. It will ensure Canadian access to global oil markets and world prices. It will open new economic opportunities for the 43 indigenous communities that have signed on to more than $300 million in benefit agreements along the pipeline's route. It will generate as much as $3.3 billion in new government revenue over 20 years of operation. That would be new tax dollars to help pay for our hospitals and schools, to build new roads and safer bridges, and to help fund Canada's transition to a low-carbon economy. Those are just some of the reasons the Prime Minister has promised that this pipeline is going to be built, and in a responsible way.
Interprovincial pipelines are the responsibility of the federal government, and when making decisions on interprovincial pipeline projects, it is the Government of Canada's duty to act in the national interest. That is exactly what happened with the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline.
As a member from the province of Ontario, tonight's debate is not some esoteric disconnect that I am involved with or wanted to discuss. It is something that is very near and dear to me. I grew up in the riding of Skeena—Bulkley Valley, in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, a riding situated on the northwest coast underneath the Alaska panhandle, a riding that is beautiful, with mountain scenery, which sometimes I miss.
I am very proud that our government has put in place a $1.5 billion oceans protection plan so that up and down the B.C. coast, whether it is on the Sunshine Coast, in the Lower Mainland, or up in Prince Rupert, our oceans will be protected.
My parents and my family have resettled in the riding, in North Burnaby, where the current TMX pipeline runs and where the Chevron refinery sits, approximately two kilometres away from where my parents enjoy their retirement, just down from Burnaby Mountain. It is something that is very important to me. It is very important that we get this right, and we are getting this right.
I sat on Scotiabank's bond desk for 10 years, and I covered the oil and gas sector, the midstream sector. For 10 years, I saw the large differential in prices for our Canadian product, our Alberta oil. It was at a much larger discount than what one could get for what was called WTI or Brent. This discount is costing our economy billions of dollars. There are schools that could be built and hospitals that could be funded. We are working to close this gap, and one way we are doing it is by building a pipeline to tidewater to diversify our markets. We need to. It is the right thing to do for our economy. It is the right thing to do for the literally hundreds of thousands of middle-class families and middle-class workers that will benefit from this project.
During the Conservatives' time in government, for 10 years, they did not build a pipeline to tidewater. That is a fact. I am sorry to have to tell them that, but it is a truth about their government. They failed. Let us put it straight. That differential has cost the economy billions of dollars, whether it was provincial revenues, municipal revenues, or federal revenues.
I was proud of the Prime Minister, on April 15, when he commented on why this pipeline is in our national interest. He mentioned the aluminum workers in Alma, Quebec. He mentioned the aerospace workers in Montreal. He mentioned the auto factory workers down in Windsor. He mentioned the forestry workers up in my old hometown of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
We will stand as a government, today and tomorrow and for years to come, for middle-class Canadians who want to work hard, save, and build a better future for their families. That is what this debate is about this evening. We stand and say that we will build this pipeline. We will get it done.
Let us not forget the people who will actually be building the pipe: the pipefitters, the tinsmiths, the millwrights.Those are the folks we work hard for here every day, day in and day out. Those are folks whom we have come to Ottawa to represent.
I worked on Bay Street and Wall Street, but my roots are on Main Street. They are on those streets in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, where half the population was indigenous and the rest of us were new Canadians. Whether we were born there or not, we all came from somewhere else, except for our indigenous brothers and sisters. We have many indigenous groups that have joined us to build this pipeline. We will work with them and we will continue to consult, unlike the other side, who failed to consult. It was proven in the courts.
I think it is worth reviewing that process in order to remind Canadians that the decision to approve this project was taken very seriously. It was only green-lighted after careful review, extensive consultations, and thoughtful deliberation based on sound science and Canada's best interests. I would like to highlight some of that this evening.
First, Canadians know that as our government was developing a permanent fix to the way major resource projects are reviewed, we implemented an interim approach to address projects that were then in the queue, such as TMX. That interim approach was based on five guiding principles, such as expanding public consultations, enhancing indigenous engagement, and assessing upstream greenhouse gas emissions associated with the projects.
As part of this, our government appointed a special ministerial panel of distinguished Canadians who travelled the length of the proposed pipeline route, ensuring indigenous peoples and local communities were thoroughly canvassed and heard. Our government made those discussions public on the Internet for all Canadians to see.
In the end, we accepted the National Energy Board's recommendations, including 157 conditions as part of our wider approval of the project and our larger plan for clean growth. We are also investing approximately $65 million over five years to co-develop an indigenous advisory and environmental monitoring committee for the life cycle of this pipeline, as well as the Line 3 pipeline. This is a Canadian first for any energy infrastructure project in our country. We are doing it right and we are going to get it right.
We have also developed a targeted action plan to promote recovery of the southern resident killer whale population. These are the kinds of specific measures we should expect for a project of this magnitude, but we should not look at TMX in isolation. We also need to consider how the pipeline fits within our government's overall vision for Canada in this clean-growth century.
For example, we have signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. We have worked with the provinces and territories and consulted with indigenous peoples to develop the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, a plan that lays out Canada's clear path to a clean low-carbon economy.
At the same time, our government is putting a price on carbon; accelerating the phase-out of coal, which will benefit our environment, lower asthma incidents, and save lives; promoting energy efficiency; regulating methane emissions; creating a low-carbon fuel standard; and making generational investments in clean technology, renewable energy, and green infrastructure.
The TMX pipeline fits within all of this and will support our government's efforts to make Canada a leader in the transition to a low-carbon economy. For example, the TMX pipeline is consistent with Canada's climate plan to 2030. Its GHG emissions are well within Alberta's 100 megatonne cap on the oil sands. It is complemented by the most ambitious oceans protection plan in our country's history, a $1.5-billion investment to protect our waters, coastline, and marine life for literally generations and generations to come.
The oceans protection plan builds on and maximizes every possible safeguard against an oil spill happening in the first place with measures that include air surveillance, double-hulled tankers, and double pilotage. Transport Canada has been leading the way on this with its creation of an expert panel a few years ago to guide government actions on spill responses.
The new oceans protection plan reflects this and includes the largest investment in the Canadian Coast Guard in years, strengthening its eyes and ears to ensure better communication with vessels and making navigation safer by putting more enforcement officers on the coast and adding new radar sites in strategic locations.
Should something happen, there will be more primary environmental response teams to bolster the Coast Guard's capacity, including several Coast Guard vessels equipped with specialized tow kits that will improve its ability to respond quickly.
Amid all of this, we are enforcing the polluter pays principle. This is a world-class approach that meets or exceeds the gold standard set by places such as Alaska and Norway.