House of Commons Hansard #435 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was change.


Corrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

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1:15 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margarets Nova Scotia


Bernadette Jordan Liberalfor the Minister of Transport


That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their Honours that, in relation to Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast, the House:

agrees with amendment 1 made by the Senate;

proposes that, as a consequence of Senate amendment 1, the following amendment be added:

“1. Clause 2, page 1: Add the following after line 15:

Indigenous peoples of Canada has the meaning assigned by the definition aboriginal peoples of Canada in subsection 35(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982. (peuples autochtones du Canada)”;

proposes that amendment 2 be amended by replacing the text of the amendment with the following:

“32 (1) During the fifth year after the day on which this section comes into force, a review of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by any committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament that is designated or established for that purpose, including a review of the impact of this Act on the environment, on social and economic conditions and on the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

(2) The committee referred to in subsection (1) must submit a report of the results of the review to the Senate, the House of Commons or both Houses of Parliament, as the case may be, on any of the first 15 days on which the Senate or the House of Commons, as the case may be, is sitting after the report is completed.”.

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1:15 p.m.

Burnaby North—Seymour B.C.


Terry Beech LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, on what is likely the last sitting week of the 42nd Parliament, I appreciate the opportunity to outline both the necessity and benefits of Bill C-48, otherwise known as the oil tanker moratorium act. Let me begin by reminding members that Bill C-48 is the fulfillment of an election promise made in 2015. It was later included in both the minister's mandate letter and the Speech from the Throne.

Bill C-48 would provide an unprecedented level of environmental protection for the northern coast of British Columbia and the adjoining Great Bear Rainforest, one of the most pristine and unspoiled places left in Canada, and indeed the world. The Great Bear Rainforest represents approximately one-quarter of the world's remaining temperate rainforest. It is an extraordinarily rich and productive ecosystem that is often described as one of the lungs of the world because of its high oxygen production. The forest is largely intact due to special measures taken by both the federal and provincial governments over many years and by the relentless efforts of local people, including indigenous communities, to protect this extremely valuable ecosystem.

Bill C-48 would be complementary to these efforts, as well as the long-standing and well-respected voluntary tanker exclusion zone agreement between Canada and the United States that keeps Alaskan tankers like the Exxon Valdez far from our coast. Bill C-48 would effectively formalize into legislation a long-standing federal policy dating back to at least the 1970s not to allow large tanker traffic off of the northern coast of British Columbia. In fact, on my first trip to Haidi Gwaii, as the parliamentary secretary to the minister of fisheries and oceans at the time, I procured three posters that were used as fundraisers to campaign for this initial tanker ban in the 1970s, one of which is hanging in my constituency office in Burnaby.

Speaking to local residents, they are concerned about their environment and their way of life. A 2012 study reviewing offshore oil and gas development in British Columbia estimates the total annual benefits of marine-dependent activities in the traditional territories of coastal first nations at more than $30 billion. Unlike other regions in Canada, this policy legacy ensures that there is no existing tanker traffic near this coast. This means that formalizing the moratorium will not disrupt any current jobs or economic activity in the region. In fact, it would help protect existing industries, including fisheries, aquaculture and ecotourism.

Bill C-48 would continue to allow for the shipment of non-persistent oils. What this means is that communities along the north coast of British Columbia would continue to be open to economic development opportunities, including the recently announced $40-billion infrastructure project in Kitimat, B.C. Bill C-48 would not affect the estimated 10,000 jobs that are attached to that particular project. Very importantly, Bill C-48 would help to preserve the cultural and spiritual way of life of coastal first nations. As such, it is part of the Government of Canada's larger commitment to reconciliation with indigenous peoples. As we know, this is something that our government and our Prime Minister consider to be of the highest priority.

Members will recall that Bill C-48 was debated and studied in the House in 2017 and 2018. It was ultimately passed by the elected members of the House of Commons in May 2018, by a vote of 204 to 85. With the support of the Liberal Party of Canada, the NDP, the Green Party and the Groupe parlementaire du Parti québécois, only the Conservatives voted against it.

I would like to take a moment to thank the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, whose riding largely overlaps with the proposed moratorium zone and who has been a long-time advocate of formalizing the tanker ban into legislation. Along with our colleague from Vancouver Quadra, he has introduced private member's bills in previous Parliaments proposing a tanker ban, albeit through a different mechanism. He has been working with our government to secure support for this important bill in the other place, and his co-operation is greatly appreciated.

This bill was referred to the other place on May 9, 2018, and has been studied and debated there until just last week, more than a year before it was passed with an amendment and sent back to this chamber. I am grateful for the work undertaken in the other chamber, particularly during report stage and third reading. If colleagues have not had an opportunity to read or listen to some of these debates, I would encourage them to do so. They will be impressed by the high level and seriousness of the debate. Those debates ultimately led to the amendment that is before us today.

The Senate is proposing to modify Bill C-48 in a number of ways, most substantively by requiring a two-stage review. First would be a regional assessment that would be led by the Minister of Environment under authorities that would be established once Bill C-69 came into force.

The Minister of Environment would be required to invite the provincial governments of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as indigenous communities in the moratorium area, to enter into an agreement or arrangement respecting the joint establishment of a committee to conduct the regional assessment and the manner in which the assessment is to be carried out. This body would then have up to four years after coming into force to complete the report.

This would then feed into the second stage, a parliamentary review, which would take place five years after coming into force, and which would consider evidence gathered by the regional assessment and conduct further study and hearings before presenting its report to Parliament.

Let me begin by first stating we acknowledge that this is a thoughtful, creative and substantive amendment. We also recognize that the Senate's amendment, including the regional assessment component, is a well-intentioned and honourable attempt to find a compromise between supporters and opponents of the moratorium, as well as an attempt to depoliticize what has turned into a very contentious debate on this bill by requiring a more technical, evidence-based study.

In terms of the government's response, we support the Senate's call for a parliamentary review of Bill C-48 after five years. During report stage debate in the other place, Senator Sinclair remarked:

I too have concerns about the bill because it does constitute what appears to be an absolute ban on tanker traffic in an area, for good reason that might be applicable today, but I’m not so sure it will be applicable in the future.

He went on to state:

When it comes to how we can improve the bill, one of the options I want to talk to the chamber about is whether we might consider allowing for communities to change their minds at some point in the future and if they all agree that the ban should be lifted, then we would allow the bill to say so.

A parliamentary review after five years would allow such a conversation to take place. Committees could look at scientific evidence and new developments, hold meetings outside of Ottawa and provide an opportunity for all interested indigenous communities, provinces and other stakeholders to express their views.

However, for a number of reasons, we respectfully disagree with the Senate's recommendation to undertake a regional assessment. First, we feel this is unnecessary, given the requirement for a parliamentary review, as I just discussed. Secondly, there is consultation fatigue, particularly among communities living in northern B.C. and with coastal first nations, after many years of reviews and studies.

A non-comprehensive list of these reviews include the Senate transport committee study of Bill C-48 in 2019, Transport Canada consultations with communities and stakeholders held in 2016 and 2017 prior to the introduction of Bill C-48, the Canadian environmental assessment and National Energy Board review panel of Enbridge's northern gateway pipeline proposal held between 2010 and 2012, the Natural Resources Canada “Public Review Panel on the Government of Canada Moratorium on Offshore Oil and Gas Activities in the Queen Charlotte Region British Columbia” in 2004, the B.C. scientific review of offshore oil and gas moratorium in 2002, the joint Canada-B.C. “West Coast Offshore Exploration Environmental Assessment Panel” in 1986, the federal West Coast Oil Ports Inquiry in 1977 and last, but not least, the House of Commons special committee on environmental pollution in 1970-1971. I was almost tired going through the whole list, never mind the actual reports themselves.

It is important to note that many of the reviews I mentioned were led by regulators and bureaucrats, not politicians. They looked in detail at scientific evidence in a more technical way than parliamentary committees typically do. However, none of them led to a resolution of the fundamental political disagreements over this issue. At the end of the day, many of the scientific questions about whether or not it is safe or advisable to move crude oil in tankers off this particular coast are endlessly debatable. There is no reason to believe that yet another lengthy and expensive study would bridge these differences of opinion, especially one starting so soon after the coming into force of Bill C-48.

To be clear, the amendment proposes to start yet another review only 180 days after Bill C-48 comes into force. At some point, a decision needs to be taken based on the best evidence available and using the best judgment of parliamentarians about what is fair and reasonable, taking into account the wider Government of Canada approach on energy and the environment and on reconciliation with first nations.

Furthermore, there is, in our view, a need for a cooling-off period and a break to allow passions to settle and to take a breath. Coastal first nations have been fighting for a bill like this for almost 50 years. They deserve a break and some peace of mind.

Finally, the proposed approach would result in a lack of clarity over whether the authority provided to the Minister of Environment in Bill C-48 would be inconsistent or in conflict with the authority provided to the Minister of Environment in Bill C-69.

For all of these reasons, the government is proposing to accept the Senate amendment but in a modified form. We accept the adding of a parliamentary review in five years would come into force, but respectfully disagree with the requirement to hold a regional assessment. We feel this is a fair compromise with our colleagues in the other place and will allow them to achieve much, if not all, of what they intended, namely an opportunity to re-evaluate the law after a number of years.

Turning back to the bill itself, much of the debate on Bill C-48 so far has revolved around the question of why legislation is being proposed that effectively bans oil tankers from operating off the coast of northern British Columbia and not elsewhere in the country. Critics of the bill contend that this is arbitrary and unjustified, but I would argue that nothing could be further from the truth.

As the Minister of Transport explained when he appeared before the Senate transport committee, there are a number of factors that, when combined together, account for the uniqueness of the situation in northern British Columbia and the need for special measures to protect it.

The most obvious unique attribute of British Columbia's pristine north coast is the ecological significance of the area. The coastline runs along one of the last temperate rainforests left in the world and, even more rare, one of the very few to remain largely intact. These kinds of forests are unusually productive and support an extraordinarily rich web of biodiversity. The interface between the marine, coastal and terrestrial environments in this part of B.C. is seamless.

The Senate transport committee heard from experts who testified both to the unusually pristine nature of this ecosystem and to its vulnerability to the effects of a major oil spill. Canada has a kind of jewel in the Great Bear Rainforest which needs to be treasured and preserved for future generations. This is a responsibility we owe not only to ourselves but to the world. The precautionary principle, a principle I debated often within my previous role in fisheries and oceans, is fully justified in this case.

A second distinguishing factor is the long-standing policy legacy, at both the federal and provincial levels, of extending special protections to this part of the country. In essence, Bill C-48 would simply formalize an already well-established policy of barring oil tankers from this coast. As such, it would not be disruptive to any existing industries or employment, very much unlike the case if we were to propose such a moratorium off the coast of Newfoundland or Nova Scotia, or for the St. Lawrence for example.

A third factor that differentiates the northern coast of British Columbia is its shear size and remoteness and the navigational hazards of operating in these waters.

Environment Canada classifies the Hecate Strait as the fourth most dangerous body of water in the world for shipping. Winds of 100 kilometres per hour and waves between eight and 10 metres are not uncommon in both the Hecate Strait and the Dixon Entrance. These combine to make spill response more challenging than in more populated, built-up areas like the south coast, the St. Lawrence or the east coast. Although our government is dramatically boosting our capacity to respond to accidents through our $1.5 billion oceans protection plan, resources cannot be unlimited. It will continue to be the case that northern B.C. will present special challenges, particularly during bad weather which is common on these seas.

Last, Bill C-48 is responding to a more than 40-year campaign by local people, and especially indigenous communities, who live along the coast to formalize the moratorium banning oil tankers. While it is true that opinion among indigenous communities is not universal, a clear majority of these communities that are situated in the proposed moratorium area want to pass this law. Most important, the communities that would be most vulnerable to the impacts of an oil spill, such as the Haida and the Heiltsuk, have campaigned persistently for this bill. As such, it is part of our government's larger commitment to reconciliation with the first nations.

While I am sympathetic to the voices of indigenous groups further inland, which might like to participate in the economic benefits of a future, yet highly notional, pipeline that would go to the northern coast of B.C., I cannot disregard what a major oil spill would mean economically, culturally and spiritually to those who would bear the brunt of its effects. They deserve the peace of mind that Bill C-48 would bring them.

I note as well that coastal first nations have been joined by their neighbours in communities such as the city of Prince Rupert, the village of Queen Charlotte, the district of Kitimat, the city of Terrace, the town of Smithers, and the Skeena-Queen Charlotte regional district, which have all passed resolutions or written letters in support of the moratorium. There is also support by the Province of British Columbia.

In the short time that I have been in the House, I have had the opportunity to work on the government's $1.5 billion oceans protection plan, revisions to the Oceans Act in Bill C-55, restoring protections and introducing modern safeguards to the Fisheries Act via Bill C-68 and working to restore our whale population with our $167 million action plan.

We have expanded our marine protected areas from less than 1% under the previous government to over 8%. At the same time, we have reduced unemployment to historic lows, lifted 825,000 Canadians from poverty and Canadians have created more than a million new jobs.

It is the responsibility of any government to work hard to protect and restore the environment while growing the economy and creating more opportunities for Canadians. To do this successfully, we must balance competing demands and constraints, and I believe Bill C-48 would help us accomplish this balance.

I would like to quote a colleague from the other place, Senator Harder, who recently remarked:

...I hope that, one day, the people of the coast will tell the story of when their grandparents came to Ottawa to pass Bill C-48. I hope [we]...tell the story of how Canadians worked together to save the environment at this testing time.

It is time this bill was passed. I hope our colleagues in the other place will join our government in at long last making this a reality.

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1:30 p.m.


Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would note that this bill actually was created as a result of a directive that was given by the Prime Minister to the Minister of Transport through a mandate letter. When we were studying the bill in committee, to a witness, none of the witnesses were consulted when it came to it, especially when it came to first nations communities.

Would the member care to comment on why no first nations communities were consulted before the bill was introduced?

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1:35 p.m.


Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to discussing, during this question and answer period, our government's approach to balancing the environment and the economy, versus the Conservatives' previous approach, and what is proposed for the future.

There were over 75 consultations with indigenous peoples with regard to the legislation. I listed an extensive number of consultations that happened in previous studies as well. We have studied this issue and this is the appropriate action to take. We hope everyone in the House will support us in passing this amendment and passing the overall legislation in Bill C-48.

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1:35 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I note there is a lot of people standing for questions and comments. I will ask members to keep their comments and input concise, so we can get to everyone who wishes to speak.

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1:35 p.m.


Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, we certainly welcome the legislation for a tanker ban on the north coast. However, we have concerns. There are enough loopholes in the bill that a tanker could drive through it. In fact, the one thing the government has not done is put forward an amendment to limit the minister's power. Right now, the minister could override this whole legislation and make an exemption for tanker traffic on the north coast.

We also wonder why the government did not listen to ENGOs and concerns raised in coastal British Columbia about the maximum fuel-carrying capacity, which they recommended to be between 2,000 and 3,000 tonnes, and the government set that measure at 12,500 tonnes.

Maybe the member could speak to those important concerns.

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1:35 p.m.


Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, Vancouver Island is my previous home town. My friend and I have had the opportunity to work on several pieces of legislation, including in my previous role in fisheries.

It is important to bring to the attention of the House the extraordinary history that has led to the creation of Bill C-48. In 1971, a House committee suggested we oppose tanker traffic off the north coast of British Columbia. This was also backed by a unanimous motion by the B.C. legislature, also in 1971, opposing crude oil tankers on the north coast.

Some actions went all the way to 1985, when the first voluntary tanker exclusion zone was negotiated and then formalized in 1988. Of course, this happened just before the major incident in 1989 of the Exxon Valdez spill off the coast of Alaska, just showing how important this measure is.

With regard to the question of the limit of 12,500 metric tonnes, that was done in consultation with industry, environmental organizations, local governments and indigenous people. We think we got the number right.

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1:35 p.m.


Erin Weir Independent Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, while this legislation has been making its way through Parliament to ban oil tankers on the north coast of B.C., the government has approved the LNG Canada project, which would entail a significant number of liquefied natural gas tankers on the north coast of B.C.

I congratulate the government for putting in place safeguards to ensure that liquefied natural gas tankers can safely navigate the north coast of B.C. However, I would ask the member for Burnaby North—Seymour this. Why does he not believe those safeguards that would be adequate for liquefied natural gas would not be adequate to enable oil tankers to safely navigate those same waters?

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1:35 p.m.


Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Saskatchewan is my previous neighbour on the same floor in the Confederation Building. We have had many opportunities to talk about various issues.

With regard to the defining difference the member raised, we are looking at banning persistent oils under a definition that is internationally recognized. These are oils that once they enter a marine or terrestrial environment, are very difficult to dissipate. If there is an incident with respect to non-persistent oils, such as the natural gas he has stated, there is a greater rate of evaporation, which makes it easier to minimize the environmental impacts.

Therefore, as we do with all our legislation in the House, this balances both the economic opportunities for the region with the environmental protections, which are also the backbone of the economic activities in the region today.

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1:40 p.m.


Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, my constituents in Guelph are concerned about the environmental impacts of oil shipments off our west coast and what Bill C-48 would do to try to mitigate some of those concerns. It is interesting to see the amendments coming back from the Senate, especially to see the independence of the Senate in doing its studies.

Could the hon. member comment on the five-year review process being recommended, that Parliament look at this again in five years to see how things are working, working with all stakeholders and people who have given us input, either through the other place or through the House of Commons, and to see how effective the legislation is?

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1:40 p.m.


Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, what is being proposed in the amendment is a two-stage approach, a regional assessment and a five-year parliamentary review. We are respectively opposing the regional assessment. However, the five-year review is a good opportunity to look at things that might have changed in either the biodiversity or the economic or political landscapes of the region.

Something that might be important to my colleague is to talk about just how important the ecological biodiversity is in this area. The Great Bear Rainforest is regularly describe as the “lungs of the planet”. Ninety-five per cent of the total breeding seabird populations breed in this area off the north coast of British Columbia. There are kelp forests 50 metres high that provide nourishment not just to the marine environment but produce oxygen to clean our atmosphere. Two-thirds of mammals and subspecies participate on the coast. Thirty-nine endangered or threatened species call this place home. It is a unique place in the world. It is our duty to protect it.

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1:40 p.m.


Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the parliamentary secretary why his government has chosen to cause a division across the country. The bill does not ban the transit of tankers, as the government would like the headlines to read. It really just bans the loading and unloading of those tankers in Canadian waters, which limits our western oil producers from getting their product to market. It is basically regional discrimination against one region of the country over another. Why would his government choose to divide the country in the way it has?

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1:40 p.m.


Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, I completely reject the premise of that question. This type of legislation, along with our larger approach for environmental protections and growing the economy, is designed to help bring the country together.

I am not surprised to get those kinds of comments from the Conservative opposition. It is the only party in the House that voted against the legislation in the first place. The opposition has opposed Bill C-55, Bill C-68 and changes that protect by increasing our MPAs.

The opposition has also failed with respect to the economy. The last two Conservative governments have accrued over 72% of the total debt of the entire history of the debt in Canada. We cannot afford to have those guys back in power again.

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1:40 p.m.


Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to respond to the government's motion on the Senate amendments to Bill C-48. While I do appreciate the opportunity to speak to the motion, what I do not appreciate, what millions of other Canadians do not appreciate, is that we have to respond to the bill at all.

I want to recap what the bill would do.

First, this legislation was created as a result of a directive in the Prime Minister's mandate letter to the Minister of Transport dated November 2015.

If passed, this legislation would enact an oil tanker moratorium on B.C.'s northwest coast. The proposed moratorium would be in effect from the Canada-U.S. Alaska border to the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

The legislation would prohibit oil tankers carrying crude and persistent oil as cargo from stopping, loading and unloading at ports or marine installations in the moratorium area. Vessels carrying less than 12,500 metric tons of crude oil would be exempted from the moratorium.

I would suggest that this bill is an open, sneering attack on our oil and gas sector, an anti-pipeline bill poorly masquerading as an environment bill.

Environmental legislation is supposed to be based on science. Bill C-48 is not. It is not science but rather politics and ideology that inform this legislation; Liberal ideology that is as damaging to national unity as it is cynical.

Afer reviewing the bill, which included travelling across the country to hear from witnesses from coast to coast, the Senate transport committee recommended that it not proceed. While the Senate as a whole rescued Bill C-48, the Prime Minister should have taken the hint and withdrawn this anti-energy legislation.

Six premiers, including Premier Scott Moe from my province of Saskatchewan, wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister outlining their legitimate concerns about the anti-oil, anti-energy legislation pushed by the Liberal government here in Ottawa, in particular, Bill C-69 and Bill C-48.

The premiers explained the damage that these two pieces of legislation would do to the economy, but more importantly, they warned of the damage this legislation has done and will continue to do to our national unity.

This was not a threat. This was not spiteful. These six premiers were pointing to a real and growing sense of alienation, alienation on a scale not seen since the Prime Minister's father was in office.

Rather than listening to their concerns, the Prime Minister lashed out at the premiers, calling them irresponsible and accusing them of threatening our national unity if they did not get their way.

The premiers are not threatening our national unity. It is in fact the Prime Minister's radical, anti-science, anti-energy agenda that is; but he is refusing to listen.

Since the Prime Minister is refusing to heed these warnings on Bill C-48 and Bill C-69, I am going to take this opportunity to read them into the record now:

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing on behalf of the Governments of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Collectively, our five provinces and territory represent 59 per cent of the Canadian population and 63 per cent of Canada's GDP. We are central to Canada's economy and prosperity, and it is of the utmost importance that you consider our concerns with bills C-69 and C-48.

Canadians across the country are unified in their concern about the economic impacts of the legislation such as it was proposed by the House of Commons. In this form, the damage it would do to the economy, jobs and investment will echo from one coast to the other. Provincial and territorial jurisdiction must be respected. Provinces and territories have clear and sole jurisdiction over the development of their non-renewable natural resources, forestry resources, and the generation and production of electricity. Bill C-69 upsets the balance struck by the constitutional division of powers by ignoring the exclusive provincial powers over projects relating to these resources. The federal government must recognize the exclusive role provinces and territories have over the management of our non-renewable natural resource development or risk creating a Constitutional crisis.

Bill C-69, as originally drafted, would make it virtually impossible to develop critical infrastructure, depriving Canada of much needed investment. According to the C.D. Howe Institute, between 2017 and 2018, the planned investment value of major resource sector projects in Canada plunged by $100 billion – an amount equivalent to 4.5 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product. To protect Canada’s economic future, we, collectively, cannot afford to overlook the uncertainty and risk to future investment created by Bill C-69.

Our five provinces and territory stand united and strongly urge the government to accept Bill C69 as amended by the Senate, in order to minimize the damage to the Canadian economy. We would encourage the Government of Canada and all members of the House of Commons to accept the full slate of amendments to the bill. The Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources heard 38 days of testimony from 277 witnesses including indigenous communities, industry, Premiers, and independent experts. Based on that comprehensive testimony, the committee recommended significant amendments to the bill, which were accepted by the Senate as a whole. We urge you to respect that process, the committee’s expertise, and the Senate’s vote.

If the Senate’s amendments are not respected, the bill should be rejected, as it will present insurmountable roadblocks for major infrastructure projects across the country and will further jeopardize jobs, growth and investor confidence.

Similarly, Bill C-48 threatens investor confidence, and the tanker moratorium discriminates against western Canadian crude products. We were very disappointed that the Senate did not accept the recommendation to the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications that the bill not be reported. We would urge the government to stop pressing for the passage of this bill which will have detrimental effects on national unity and for the Canadian economy as a whole.

Our governments are deeply concerned with the federal government’s disregard, so far, of the concerns raised by our provinces and territory related to these bills. As it stands, the federal government appears indifferent to the economic hardships faced by provinces and territories. Immediate action to refine or eliminate these bills is needed to avoid further alienating provinces and territories and their citizens and focus on uniting the country in support of Canada’s economic prosperity.

Perhaps having heard the letter read aloud, the Prime Minister will acknowledge that it contains no threats, but rather it is an appeal from leaders who have listened to their constituents. The Prime Minister needs to understand that simply saying things louder is not going to make them go away. Shouting will not put food in the stomachs of the laid-off construction workers' children. Chanting talking points will not pay the gas bill in the middle of winter.

If this were the only piece of legislation that the government had introduced, one might argue that this is an overreaction, but it is not just one piece of legislation, it is a targeted, cynical, ongoing political attack of our resource sector. The Prime Minister has filled his cabinet with vocal opponents of the oil sands. In 2012, the now Minister of Democratic Institutions posted a tweet that read: “It's time to landlock Alberta's tar sands - call on BC Premier @christyclarkbc to reject the #Enbridge pipeline now!”

Then there is the President of the Treasury Board who said publicly that the approval of the Trans Mountain extension was deeply disappointing and who celebrated when the Prime Minister killed the northern gateway pipeline project. Here I should pause and point out the ridiculous theatrics surrounding the TMX project.

In 2016, the government approved TMX, yet tomorrow, we are told, the government will decide on whether to approve the project all over again. It is like we are in a terrible remake of Groundhog Day. Meanwhile, not an inch of pipeline has been built since the government nationalized Trans Mountain.

However, it is not only the cabinet that the Prime Minister has filled with anti-oil activists, but senior staff positions as well. Here I quote an article from the March 14 edition of the Financial Post:

Prior to ascending to the most powerful post in the Prime Minister’s Office, from 2008 to 2012 Gerald Butts was president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund important Tides campaign partner. Butts would use his new powerful position to bring other former campaigners with him: Marlo Reynolds, chief of staff to the Environment past executive director of the Tides-backed Pembina Institute. Zoë Caron, chief of staff to Natural Resource also a former WWF Canada official. Sarah Goodman, on the prime minister’s staff, is a former vice-president of Tides Canada. With these anti-oil activists at the epicentre of federal power, it’s no wonder the oil industry, and hundreds of thousands of workers, have plummeted into political and policy purgatory.

Why should we be surprised? The Prime Minister is no friend of the oil sands. The Prime Minister stated that he wants to phase out the oil sands and during the election loudly proclaimed that, “If I am elected Prime Minister, the Northern Gateway Pipeline won't become a reality”.

The Prime Minister has spent his time in office attempting to do just that and he has been willing to trample on not only the rights of the provinces, but the rights of aboriginal peoples as well to get his way. When the Prime Minister used an order in council to cancel the northern gateway pipeline, he stole the future of 30 first nations that would have benefited enormously from it. This very bill is facing a lawsuit from Laxkw'alaams Indian band for unjustly infringing on their rights and titles.

Bill C-48 will prevent the proposed first nations-owned and -operated eagle spirit pipeline project from being built as the proposed route to tidewater ends within the area wherein this bill bans tanker traffic. It was done without any consultation with first nations communities. Again, this should come as no surprise.

Just last week I spoke against another anti-energy bill, Bill C-88. As I said then, C-88 makes a mockery of the government's claim to seriously consult with indigenous and Inuit peoples. Without any consultation with Inuit peoples or the territorial governments, the Prime Minister unilaterally announced a five-year ban on offshore oil and gas development. Not only did the Prime Minister refuse to consult the premiers of the territories, he gave some of them less than an hour's notice that he would be making that announcement.

Does that sound like a Prime Minister who wants to listen, consult and work with aboriginal Canadians? Does it reflect the Prime Minister's declaration that his government's relationship with indigenous peoples is their most important relationship or does it sound like a Prime Minister who says what he believes people want to hear and then does the exact opposite by imposing his own will on them? If he had consulted, this is what he would have heard:

Minister Wally Schumann of the Northwest Territories, on how they found out about the ban and the impact it will have on our north, stated:

When it first came out, we never got very much notice on the whole issue of the moratorium and the potential that was in the Beaufort Sea. There were millions and millions, if not billions, of dollars in bid deposits and land leases up there. That took away any hope we had of developing the Beaufort Sea.

Councillor Jackie Jacobson of Tuktoyaktuk said:

It’s so easy to sit down here and make judgments on people and lives that are 3,500 klicks away, and make decisions on our behalf, especially with that moratorium on the Beaufort. That should be taken away, lifted, please and thank you. That is going to open up and give jobs to our people – training and all the stuff we’re wishing for.

Then premier of Nunavut, Peter Taptuna stated, “ We do want to be getting to a state where we can make our own determination of our priorities, and the way to do that is gain meaningful revenue from resource development.”

Mr. Speaker, I note that you are indicating that my time is up. I assume that I will be able to continue at another time.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I thank the hon. member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek. The time signal is to signal that we are going to switch into another mode for Statements by Members. Indeed, she will be able to resume her remarks when the House next debates the question before the House.

Now we will move to Statements by Members.

The hon. member for Montcalm.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Luc Thériault Bloc Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' immigration policy is a complete failure.

After four years, hundreds of irregular migrants are still crossing the border into Quebec every day. No progress has been made at Roxham Road or in Ottawa on the processing of applications, and the Canada-U.S. safe third country agreement is still in force.

Our farmers are still concerned that they will lose their crops because their temporary foreign workers are not arriving in time. Applications have been stalled for months in Ottawa, and every summer the federal government seems somehow surprised when the problem comes up again.

Ottawa still wants to force Quebec to accept more refugees while it is deporting the Haitian refugees we want to keep. Ottawa is still opposed to requiring newcomers to demonstrate a sufficient knowledge of French before they can become Quebeckers.

The Liberals' record shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Quebec should handle its own immigration without Ottawa's involvement.

Guru Nanak Dev JiStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Sonia Sidhu Liberal Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House today to shed light on an important milestone for Sikhs around the world. This year, in November, marks the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

The teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji are based on the fundamental beliefs of faith and meditation on the name of one creator and the divine unity and equality of all humankind. These are not only Sikh values; they are Canadian values.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all my constituents for the honour they have given me to serve my community of Brampton South. We know that there is more to be done, and when Canadians re-elect us in October, we will finish what we began.

Barrie—Springwater—Oro—MedonteStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Mr. Speaker, after eight years on Barrie city council, a year of campaigning and a three-week re-count, I was afforded what will forever be one of the greatest honours of my life, being elected the member of Parliament for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte.

I want to thank my staff; my wife, Erica; my children; all my extended family; supporters; and especially the incredible people of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte for this incredible honour.

As a Conservative, I know that I have fought for freedom, hope and opportunity, and that will never ever cease. It is the reason, even after this election, we will continue to partner with PIE restaurant providing backpacks to children in central Ontario through PIE Education and with the newly announced Boots and Hearts Barn Burner hockey game on August 7 to raise money for the RVH and many other local charities.

I look forward to seeing everyone there, and I am so very thankful for the honour.

LabourStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Wayne Long Liberal Saint John—Rothesay, NB

Mr. Speaker, unions built the middle class in Saint John—Rothesay, and today, unions like IBEW, CUPW, CUPE, PSAC, ILA, Unifor, IAFF, and SJPA, and union leaders like Darlene Bembridge, Duane Squires, Craig Melvin, Erin Howell-Sharpe, Tammy Nadeau, Pat Riley, Kevin Suttie, and Jean Marc Ringuette are pillars of my community.

In 2015, the people of Saint John—Rothesay sent me here to stand up for them. One of the ways I have done just that since taking office is by standing up for my constituents' collective bargaining rights, both in this House and at HUMA, where I was tremendously proud to stand up for Bill C-4 and Bill C-62 to repeal of Conservative anti-union legislation in both places.

I will always stand up for the rights of workers in my riding, and I will always stand up for good middle-class jobs for the people of Saint John—Rothesay.

Indigenous AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Niki Ashton NDP Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, MB

Mr. Speaker, four years ago, people in our north held out hope when it came to the Liberal government's commitments with words like “reconciliation”, “nation-to-nation relationships”, “support for the middle class” and “champion on climate change”. However, fast forward four years, and the shine is off.

The housing crisis on first nations is worse than it was. Health care continues to be underfunded and inadequate, and when it comes to middle-class jobs, our north has lost hundreds of them, and the federal government has not lifted a finger.

As for climate change, not only has Canada failed, but first nations and northern communities are paying the price. The disappearing ice roads point to the urgent need for all-weather roads, and as wildlife is impacted, so are people. There must be immediate action.

Enough of the talk. First nations, Métis and northern people deserve a federal government on their side, one that works with them to take on climate change and crushing inequality. The Liberals are not the answer, and we cannot go back to the Conservatives. Only the NDP will fight for our north and our Canada.

Breast CancerStatements By Members

June 17th, 2019 / 2:05 p.m.


Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise for the final time in this session of Parliament to highlight a remarkable community leader. In 2007, Londoner Theresa Carriere was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was a battle she faced head on, beginning treatment almost immediately, which included having a double mastectomy. Theresa ultimately beat the disease and turned her personal ordeal into a public service.

This past Friday, Theresa embarked on her fifth ONERUN, a 100-kilometre run that took her from London to the nearly community of Strathroy and back again. Five times over the past nine years, Theresa has run 100 kilometres in a single day to support cancer care programs that assist patients and their families. Supporters were asked to run a single kilometre alongside her, and I was honoured to take part.

Since being established in 2010, ONERUN has raised more than $1 million. Theresa's strength, resilience and dedication to the cause is commendable. She is an outstanding Canadian, an example to all of us.

Member for Dauphin—Swan River—NeepawaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Robert Sopuck Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, MB

Mr. Speaker, this is clearly a bittersweet moment as I rise to give the last member's statement of my political career as a member of Parliament for the great constituency of Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa. For three elections, the voters of this wonderful constituency have returned me to Ottawa to work on their behalf. The trust they have placed in me is truly humbling, and I hope that I have lived up to their expectations. My passion to do what I can to protect and defend our rural way of life remains undiminished.

I would be remiss if I did not mention my political idol, the great Duff Roblin, former premier of Manitoba. His achievements on behalf of all Manitobans have stood the test of time, and he inspired me with his vision and accomplishments. He proved to me that government can be a force for good.

To my beloved wife, Caroline, and my beautiful family, I thank them for the love, support and guidance over these years. All I can say is that I love them all. To my beautiful grandchildren, Eden, Esmee and Senon, who love nature, our farm and the outdoors as much as I do, all I can say is Papa's coming home.

Kayge FowlerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Terry Sheehan Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, just four months ago, I spoke in this House about little Kayge Fowler from Sault Ste. Marie. I spoke about his diagnosis of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, a highly aggressive brain tumour, found in the brainstem, with a 0% survival rate.

It is with great sadness I share that little Kayge has passed away. Kayge died surrounded by loved ones. His last words were, “I love you, too.” His life was powerful, but short. His battle with DIPG has had a profound effect on the riding of Sault Ste. Marie. Our wonderful community rallied around his family with countless fundraising initiatives to assist with medical and transportation costs. Words of encouragement and support flooded the Superhero's Kayge Fighters Against DIPG Foundation on Facebook.

Today I will be tabling the petition his family created to establish May 25 of every year as national day for DIPG awareness, as May 25, 2018, was the date of Kayge's diagnosis.

This childhood cancer is the most fatal, and as such, we need to immensely increase awareness. Awareness is key for research and support, and research is desperately needed.