Mr. Speaker, I want to go back to that brief exchange about including the Navigation Protection Act in Bill C-69 and changes made to the act.
During a previous term here in the House of Commons, I had the opportunity to be a member of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, where we discussed the Navigation Protection Act and the waterways that were protected by the previous government's bill to amend the Navigation Protection Act. At the time, nobody complained or called for changed. The government decided to make changes in response to pressure from groups that thought the law was lacking, but it was not actually lacking.
There were no complaints, no requests to add new waterways to the list that had been authorized and announced in the Navigation Protection Act. Sometimes, people want to make changes for reasons other than protecting waterways. They might be trying to please certain lobby groups. That is what happened at the time, and we need to remember that.
Bill C-69 is an omnibus bill that enacts the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, amends the Navigation Protection Act and makes amendments to several other acts. It is another major bill, because it has a considerable impact on how large projects will be environmentally assessed in Canada.
Despite the government's promises of openness and transparency, Bill C-69 is one of the 38 bills for which the government decided to cut short discussions, muzzle the opposition and refuse to hear each of the members of the opposition express his or her intentions. We reached the pinnacle this week but, last week, in the House, in just three days, the government introduced three motions to cut debate short by gagging members who had something to say and wanted to represent their fellow citizens.
A similar thing happened in the committee that studied Bill C-69. They refused to discuss the opposition's amendments, then rejected them and proposed almost identical amendments so that they could say that they were the government's idea and not that of the opposition. If that is not arrogance, I do not know what arrogance is. We see it all the time in the House, and it is only getting worse.
I remind the House that the opposition was gagged 38 times, including 5 times in three days last week. If the trend continues, the same thing will happen in the coming weeks, even if there are only a few weeks left in this session. The government is simply incapable of working together with the opposition parties to pass its bills.
Consequently, it is left to support Bill C-69 all by itself. The Conservatives, the NDP and the Green Party are all against the bill—not for the same reasons, but they are all against it. Once again, everything is about optics with this government. Despite its promises of openness and transparency, it refuses to hear the recommendations of elected members on this side of the House, and it is alone in passing a bill that will have a major impact on the economy.
I would like to remind my colleagues that, on this side of the House, even if we make up less than half of all elected members, we represent more than half of the country's electorate, so when the government constantly breaks its promises, it is disrespecting all of those Canadians we represent as members of the opposition. It can say whatever it wants to make itself look good, but when it comes time to do the work, it fails across the board.
The words fade away and the Liberals' true nature emerges. The Liberals' promise to run small deficits: gone; the Liberals' promise to bring in electoral reform and change the voting system: gone; the Liberals' promise to increase transparency: gone; the Liberals' promise to no longer muzzle the opposition: gone; and the Liberals' promise not to concede one more litre of milk to the Americans through NAFTA: gone.
We learned about this on the weekend. In a speech on NBC, which has a large American audience, the Prime Minister, perhaps thinking that we would not see the show, declared that the Canadian government was prepared to be more flexible, to give Americans access to Canada's milk market. Unfortunately, some Canadians watch NBC and heard the Prime Minister make this promise. It was rather shocking, because Liberals on the other side of the House have been repeating, over and over, since 2015 and even earlier that they will fully protect supply management.
The Liberals will protect supply management, since they created it. The Prime Minister said that they would unanimously protect supply management. I am not sure what “unanimously” means, but the Prime Minister is the one who said it. Meanwhile, when he thinks that Canadians are not listening, he says the opposite.
After all that, the government is asking for our trust with respect to Bill C-69. Since this morning, the Liberals have repeated their talking points so many times that, in my opinion, they do not see the real consequences of the bill. They are too busy repeating their talking points to dig deeper and identify what is wrong with Bill C-69.
The first big problem is that the Liberals are creating new regulatory burdens for project proponents and adding a carbon tax, which makes Canada less and less competitive when it comes to attracting investment. None of this has improved environmental protection one bit. We know that $100 billion in planned investments have already left Canada. I will repeat today, in this chamber, that the Conservatives will continue to oppose costly regulations that negatively impact Canada's jobs, economic growth, and international competitiveness.
There is nothing in Bill C-69 to help increase investors' confidence or to attract new investment to Canada, especially in the resource sector. We know that Canadian firms are already facing significant challenges, whereas the United States is moving forward with its plan to reduce regulations, cut taxes, and invest in coal-fired and natural-gas-fired electricity in order to cut energy costs.
Canadian businesses deserve a government that works with them, not against them. Canadian businesses deserve a government that will work with them to protect the environment, and not against them by ensuring that there are no projects. The government would not have to worry about the environment if there were no projects. That is the reality.
The government's approach to fighting climate change needs to be realistic. It needs to restore a balance between protecting the environment and growing the economy.
Another source of concern is the fact that cabinet is giving itself life-and-death powers over major projects, such as the power to appoint people and the power to say yes or no to projects throughout the process. We know what the Liberals can do when they manage a project, or rather, when they mismanage one. I am referring to Kinder Morgan. The project was approved 18 months ago, but the Liberals sat on their hands all that time instead of putting it in motion.
The Liberal government has known for 11 months that British Columbia is opposed to this project. However, the Prime Minister only dropped by briefly on his way to England, probably so his jet could fill up on fuel for the rest of the trip.
He took advantage of his layover to meet with two premiers. What was the result? Diddly-squat. This government's solution was to nationalize Kinder Morgan, making all Canadians joint owners of a pipeline for which they paid $4.5 billion.
Does this mean that the project will go ahead? No, because we have only bought some pipes. We have bought $4.5 billion in pipes. The company's executives were so proud of what they pulled off that they received $1.5 million each for the fast one they pulled on the Government of Canada, and I could have used a different word. This means that we will have to invest even more in order for the project to go ahead, if it ever does.
I believe it is clear that something crucial was overlooked in Bill C-69. Yes, we have to protect the environment. Yes, we have to ensure that projects go ahead while respecting our environment so that our young people will have an environment in the future that they can enjoy and will benefit from our natural resources. However, the bill should not thwart further investment in Canada by ensuring environmental protection while doing absolutely nothing else.