Mr. Speaker, I am glad to rise again today to finish my remarks. I started them at five minutes to midnight last night, so I am glad that I have this opportunity to continue.
I want to remind my colleagues that Kinder Morgan never asked for a single dollar of taxpayers' money. It asked the government to provide certainty that its pipeline could be built. Even though the Liberals approved the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, they sat on their hands and did not champion it. Kinder Morgan was not given the certainty it had asked for. Instead, it got delay after delay. That failure led to the nationalization of the pipeline, and as I have said, it has come at a significant cost to Canadian taxpayers.
Of the bailout, Aaron Wudrick, the federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said it is “both a colossal failure of the [Prime Minister's] government to enforce the law of the land, and a massive, unnecessary financial burden on Canadian taxpayers.”
Pipeline projects can be built without taxpayer money. The former Conservative government approved 4,500 kilometres of new pipeline through four major pipeline projects.
The role of the government should be to ensure that projects that are scientifically determined to be safe for the environment, and in the interests of Canadians, receive approval. Through low taxes and a clear and less burdensome regulatory system, the government could achieve some success. More than halfway through their mandate, the Liberals have not learned that lesson. That is why Trans Canada pulled out of the energy east pipeline project.
That was not the only energy sector loss. The Liberals' poor management of our energy sector has chased away over $80 billion of investment. As I am sure every member in this place will remember, just recently the Liberal government passed the oil tanker moratorium act through the House. This legislation, when enacted, will prevent an entire region from accessing economic opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
Chris Bloomer, president and CEO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, said, “Projects require clarity and predictability, and once approved should not be subject to costly delay tactics that thwart Canada's economic and social prosperity.” It is really quite a simple ask from Canada's energy industry. It wants to know the rules, know that they are fair, and know that they will not change erratically.
Bill C-69 would not provide that assurance to those working in the energy sector. First, it would provide a slew of ministerial and Governor in Council exemptions that could be used to slow down the approval process. It would also add a planning phase to the process, a brand new process that would be an added 180 days.
The legislation we have in front of us does not provide me with any measure of confidence that it would decrease project timelines or improve certainty for investors. Rather, it would do just the opposite. This legislation would not make investment in Canada more appealing. Rather, it would make it more complicated and more uncertain.
Bill C-69 proposes increased consultation and would expand the criteria to be considered in the assessment of a project. It would seek social license, but it would not increase scientific analysis of the project.
Let us not forget the fact that the minister would have a veto right at the end of the planning phase. This would certainly not instill confidence in investors. It would tell potential investors that decisions on the approval of a project could be decided on a political whim.
We have to also remember that this is happening while the United States is cutting regulations and lowering its taxes. Canada has lost significant business investment. We cannot afford the cost of increased regulation and increased uncertainty. This legislation would not strike the appropriate balance between protecting the environment and growing our economy.
This legislation, like the Liberal government's policies, is flawed. It would propose new regulatory burdens that, when combined with other measures the Liberals have introduced, such as the carbon tax, would drive investment away from Canada.
If Canada wants to compete globally, we need to lower taxes and streamline the regulation system. We need a government that works with Canadians and not against them.
Bill C-69 would result in a loss of jobs, a loss of economic growth, and a loss in global competitiveness. I cannot support the Liberal government's continued efforts to undermine Canada's long-term prosperity.