That this House do now adjourn.
She said: Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.
I rise tonight to address a national economic emergency, the cancellation of the $20-billion Teck Frontier oil sands opportunity, even though the expert joint panel recommended it in the national public interest seven months ago. The cancellation of Teck Frontier will cost Alberta alone 10,000 badly needed jobs and will cost all 14 local and supportive indigenous communities their long sought-after agreements with financial, education and skills training opportunities. It will eliminate the potential for $70 billion in revenue to all three levels of government for services and programs for all Canadians.
People may think oil and gas is isolated to Alberta and Saskatchewan, but the energy sector as a whole is the largest single private sector investor in the entire Canadian economy. B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada and all of the territories have onshore and offshore oil and gas resources, some stranded and some not, with related industries at various degrees.
Canada should be proud to be home to the third largest oil reserves in the world. Canadians should also know the reality that 97.3% of it is in the oil sands, so Canada's oil future is dependent on the future of the oil sands. Every one oil sands job creates five jobs in other sectors in other provinces.
Ontario, Quebec and B.C. companies are the biggest suppliers to the oil sands. In 2017, oil sands companies, even after all the losses, spent $1.9 billion on goods and services from over 1,100 Ontario companies. Here is the alarming part. That was a 45% drop from what was spent in Ontario in 2014, before the Liberals were elected and launched their plan to “phase out the oil sands”, in the Prime Minister's words. In 2014, nine of every 10 full-time jobs created in Canada were made in Alberta, offering opportunities to everyone across the country and the world, driven by a thriving energy sector. I think most Ontarians would be surprised to learn that the contribution from oil and gas businesses to Ontario's economy is more than half of the contribution of the automotive industry. Over the next 10 years, oil and gas could generate $12 billion in tax revenues for programs and services Ontarians value.
The livelihoods of many Quebeckers also depend on the oil sands, where approximately 400 companies are direct suppliers to the industry in Alberta. The federal tax revenue generated from the incomes of those multi-generational Albertans and Albertans by choice working in the province's energy sector is shared right across the whole country. As my Atlantic Canadian family members and friends remind me, a rising tide lifts all boats.
In 2018, Canada's oil and gas sector still contributed seven times that of the auto manufacturing sector and 15 times that of the aerospace sector to Canada's GDP, even after the colossal drop in investment and activity. No Albertan and no Conservative wants to stand in the way of any other Canadian province, territory or industry. We want all to thrive. However, the attacks by the Liberals on oil and gas, their anti-resource, anti-business bill, Bill C-69, their oil shipping ban bill, Bill C-48, the drilling ban, the development prohibitions, the Liberal fuel standard, layers of new taxes, red tape, and ongoing and escalating uncertainty, are actually all attacks on all of Canada's economy.
Nearly $200 billion in oil and gas projects have been cancelled or stalled, and 200,000 Canadian oil and gas workers have lost their jobs since 2015, a flight of capital that is the biggest loss of energy investment and jobs in any comparable time frame in more than seven decades. Teck's cancellation is the 11th major multi-billion dollar mega oil and gas project to be withdrawn, and the latest in the list of 18 companies that have cancelled or frozen their Canadian energy assets in the same time frame. To put it in context, these numbers are equivalent to Canada having lost both the entire automotive and aerospace sectors combined in Canada. That would rightfully be considered a national economic catastrophe and a severe crisis by every member of every party in this House of Commons, and it has been going on in Alberta for years.
Canadian-founded juggernauts like Encana and TransCanada are removing “Canada” from their name and moving out of Canada. Drilling companies like Akita, Trinidad, Ensign, Savanna, Citadel and Precision Drilling have all moved their drilling rigs, their expertise and their world-class skills to the United States.
Let me make clear the disproportionate impact of the attacks on the oil sands by the Liberal government on Alberta.
As of 2018, capital investment in the sector fell by half, more than in the last seven decades, and the oil sands development in particular has experienced an even sharper drop in investment of almost 70%.
Whereas most provinces showed a decrease in people on EI as of January 2019, Alberta saw a major increase.
Business bankruptcies in Alberta were up 28% between August 2017 and August 2018. Business insolvencies in Alberta have skyrocketed by more than 70% from their 2015 lows, compared to a 13.5% decrease on average for the country as a whole over the same time period. Real estate vacancies and food bank use are both at record highs.
Albertans wonder why oil and gas job losses and all the related social consequences, such as suicides, family breakdowns and crime, do not seem to be occupying the permanent attention of national media and commentators. The cancellation of Teck just adds to an already existing pattern of crisis and it has been escalating since 2015.
As recently as February 2019, Devon Energy announced it hired advisers to help sell off its oil sands assets and later sold its Canadian operations to CNRL. The CEO said the sale was part of the company's “transformation to a U.S. oil growth business”. Month after month it was the same in 2019.
Imperial Oil says it is slowing down the development of the $2.6-billion Aspen oil sands project due to market uncertainty and competitiveness barriers.
Trident Exploration said it would cease operations. It left 94 people without work and a large number of oil and gas assets with no owner, including over 3,000 wells, 240 facilities and 500 pipelines.
Later, Husky Energy cut 370 jobs after announcing it would cut capital spending by 10%.
Perpetual Energy then announced it had cut 25% of its workforce.
Here is the deal: Albertans cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel. The cancellation of Teck Frontier represents a growing crisis of investor confidence overall in the fairness, predictability, independence and certainty of Canada's regulatory system, policy framework and the economy overall.
Teck invested $1 billion over nine years while meeting every requirement during a multi-jurisdictional rigorous review and was approved. In the months since Liberals moved the goalposts, the environment minister said the political approval depended on Teck's capacity to be net zero by 2050. Teck took that unprecedented step of self-imposing that exact goal far beyond the already world-leading standards of Canada and the industry average, not a regulatory requirement and found nowhere in federal law. Teck also committed to recycling 90% of the water used in processing and generating half the emissions of the oil sands industry average.
The Alberta government even agreed to adopt a 100-megatonne oil sands emissions cap to remove all the Liberals' excuses 48 hours before Teck's decision to cancel Frontier over public safety concerns, political risk and policy uncertainty in Canada became public. Teck's other assets are in unstable South American countries.
We all know the truth here. In the last couple of weeks, Liberal cabinet ministers hinted publicly that they might delay past the February 27 deadline and that they were considering any and all information, presumably new or different from the evidence, science, technical, environmental and economic merits that actual experts already evaluated. Liberal MPs spoke out and promoted petitions and admitted most of the caucus was against it.
Is it really any wonder why the whole world is looking at Canada and wondering whether any major resource project can be proposed or actually built here ever again?
Make no mistake, Canada's oil and gas is produced with the highest environmental and social standards in the world, literally second to none with an environmental performance index of 25, compared to places like Nigeria with an EPI of 100 or Saudi Arabia with an EPI of 86. This is what is so crazy about what the Liberals are doing.
Canadian oil sands producers lead the way. They have reduced emissions per barrel by 32% since 1990 compared to resources of similar kind around the world. They are the biggest private sector Canadian investors in clean tech in Canada and world leaders in R&D and innovation. Canadian energy and the oil sands can be the future, not the sunset, and it should be for Canada and for the world.
A painful truth is that this loss also represents an escalating national unity crisis. Western Canadians see political double standards for oil and gas, exemptions and blind eyes turned to projects, industries, exports in other provinces and foreign oil imports.
A strong Alberta means a strong Canada. It should be unthinkable for a sitting Prime Minister to attack the lifeblood and the primary industries of any Canadian province. Can we imagine a Prime Minister saying he was going to stand up to big auto in Ontario or big manufacturing in Quebec? Canadians would be rightfully outraged and so would Conservatives. It seems like in this House of Commons, it is only Conservatives who would be outraged at divisive political attacks on the lifeblood and industries of particular provinces and regions in our country.
The Liberal Prime Minister decided his political gains were more important than the unity of our nation. Their electoral result was as expected and all the Prime Minister did was give his empty words and here we are in a national and economic crisis today.