Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-48.
While it is a proposed act that deals with the prohibition of oil tankers on the British Columbian coast, let us be honest and just call it what it is: part 3 of the Liberal government's plan to phase out the oil industry.
Let us recap. Part 1 is the carbon tax, which is just basically taxing investment and new jobs out of existence. Part 2 is to slowly kill off any pipeline to get product to tidewater. This part has been well under way since 2015. In fact, killing the oil and gas industry has been one of the few things that the government has achieved that will placate its militant left in British Columbia for votes in the next election, as my colleague just mentioned.
The Prime Minister said that he misspoke when he said that he wanted to phase out the oil sands, but we know this is just simply a mistruth. We can see it from his actions and the actions of his government. His environment minister is prepared to unilaterally impose a carbon tax and dismisses those opposed to this job-killing tax grab as climate change deniers. She has even committed to battling in court any province that tries to block the carbon tax, but on pipelines her answer is to please not take it to court. Her strategy is to ask those committed to the destruction of the oil industry to allow for a pipeline in exchange for a carbon tax.
There is no commitment to fight for the oil and gas industry, and one could say that the government is simply calling on paid protesters and saying “Well, I guess we'll allow that to occur.” No one is actually calling those paid protesters “job deniers”. As for the NRCan minister, who should be a champion of the natural resource industry here in Canada, he is actually just AWOL.
Here is the reality. The Liberals are beholden to an anti-oil activist group to keep their seats in the Lower Mainland and their hopes of picking up additional seats in Vancouver Island.
To those in the oil industry in my hometown of Fort McMurray who have lost their jobs due to the ineffectiveness of the Prime Minister on the energy file, the Liberals offer yet another slap in the fact to them. In Fort McMurray and across Alberta, we have people losing their homes. We have people committing suicide. We have an economic crisis happening, and the government could not care less. The Liberals would rather appease protesters and others who would kill jobs than stand up for those who actually want to go to work. Perhaps the oil workers left unemployed by the government's lack of leadership could find a summer job as an anti-pipeline protester now, since those jobs are available.
While the Prime Minister is happily jetting around the world for photo ops, his labour minister happily approved a grant to an anti-oil NGO to hire students to “stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project”.
It pays only $15 an hour for a summer student and so will not necessarily pay for someone's mortgage or their home. As a former labour minister myself, I can say that it is a problem overall that we are against well-paying, great jobs, the type of jobs that Canadians need and should be receiving, while we are creating temporary jobs for individuals who want to kill an industry that is doing outstanding work for Canadians.
The Prime Minister refuses to use federal power to have a pipeline, built but he is happy to use them to impose a carbon tax. This country has not seen anything like this, and with so much division on the issue, since his father was prime minister.
Regarding, as I said, part 3 of his plan, the tanker moratorium, I will offer some suggestions on what can be done to help ensure we get our product to tidewater, and once at tidewater, to market.
First, increase the penalties for those engaging in acts of violence or vandalism designed to disrupt natural resource development. Second, ensure that those who provide support for the aforementioned resource disruption that disrupts the natural resource industry are actually charged. Third, classify environmental lobbying as a political activity to ensure transparency in their funding. This would prevent the Liberals from funding organizations that are acting in direct opposition to the scientifically reviewed, approved, and legal activity. It might stop the Minister of Labour from approving temporary jobs for summer students who want to protest against these projects and shut them down.
If the Liberals are really serious about getting oil to market, then they would pull this bill today. They would institute tough penalties, take real action to ensure that pipelines get built, and support getting the product to market once it arrives at tidewater.
However, they are not. The Prime Minister will talk about building Kinder Morgan while he funds opposition groups fighting against it. He will ban oil tankers from carrying that product to market, and he will impose a carbon tax on everything.
The Liberals' three-point plan to phase out the oil industry is well under way. In my opinion, 2019 cannot come soon enough, when we will form a new Conservative government, fix this mess, and allow Albertans, like my family and our family friends, to get back to working hard at their jobs, which they deserve.