Mr. Speaker, I am particularly pleased to follow the recognition of Agnes Macphail, a proud person who came from East York. We have a park named after her in my community. As a woman, I am glad that she helped pave the way for people like me to be here to speak.
I would like to begin by clearly stating that our government, the whole of this Parliament and I condemn President Putin's invasion of Ukraine. All of us in this place stand with Ukraine, and we have stated that clearly and over and over again. It is a great moment of unity in this place. I must say, we can speak a lot about divisions and what divides us, but on this point we have been absolutely united. However, at a time when there is much talk about healing divisions, I am concerned that we are mixing, within this motion, issues upon which we have unanimously agreed with a very important debate that we should and can have on energy projects. It is unfortunate.
Just days ago, we unanimously passed a motion brought by the member for Etobicoke Centre that condemned the unjustified and unprovoked attack on Ukraine that was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that stated we stand unwavering and united in our solidarity with the people of Ukraine. That motion has been passed already by everyone, unanimously, in this place, so I would like to take a moment to highlight our unity in this place. While we can often disagree vehemently on many issues, on this one we are agreed. I respect the member opposite who brought forward today's motion, and I hope he will agree with me that we should amplify this unity and that we very much all stand together. We may debate issues of energy security and energy policy, but this does not mean that we are not united in principle. I would like to make sure that, as we come to the end of this debate today, it is something we amplify.
Let us take a moment to talk about Russian oil and gas, and energy security. First, we have not imported Russian crude since 2019, and we are now imposing a ban on the importation of Russian oil and gas products going forward. This will not impact Canada's energy security based on our low imports.
How about Europe's energy security? Today, the International Energy Agency released a 10-point plan to reduce the European Union's reliance on Russian natural gas, and it was an interesting read. The suggestions include replacing natural gas supplies from inside the EU and nearby non-Russian imports; accelerating the deployment of new wind and solar projects; maximizing generation from existing, dispatchable, low-emission sources such as bioenergy and nuclear; speeding up the replacement of gas boilers with heat pumps; and accelerating energy efficiency improvements in buildings and industry, among other suggestions. I think it is important that we keep this plan in mind as we discuss the things we are debating today on energy projects.
The motion that has been put forward by the member opposite calls for natural gas projects to be approved in Canada to meet Europe's energy security needs. Europe's energy needs are immediate and it takes time to build a natural gas project. Even assuming there was a project that today was fully financed and had full regulatory approval, it would need to be built, and that requires time. It is just a practical fact, and time is important to consider. Our only LNG facility at an advanced development stage is not scheduled to start shipping to markets until 2025.
As we are talking about immediate needs, let us talk about all the ways that we can support Europe at this time. Since it is part of the debate question, let us quickly review how projects are approved under the Impact Assessment Act.
The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada is responsible for coordinating Crown consultations with indigenous people for all federally designated projects. Those projects are listed in regulations commonly referred to as the “project list”. Project assessments look at a proposed project's broader impacts, both positive and negative, including environmental, economic, social and health, for the benefit of Canadians.
The process is timely and efficient and is coordinated with the provinces and territories to reduce red tape and duplication. Our goal is one project, one assessment.
The process is predictable, effectively engages stakeholders, and identifies potential issues with project proposals early on.
We consult all potentially affected indigenous communities in reviewing major resource projects, and that is key to fostering sustainability, ensuring thorough and credible assessments and providing regulatory certainty for project proponents.
In the case of impact assessments of major energy projects, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada leads an integrated assessment and works collaboratively with life cycle regulators like the Canada Energy Regulator to draw upon their expertise and ensure that safety and other key regulatory factors are considered as part of a single integrated review.
The agency also leads a dialogue with stakeholders and other co-operating jurisdictions to ensure an efficient and coordinated process that considers the views of Canadians.
The single integrated assessment for designated projects is conducted through a panel review process and fulfills the legislative requirements of all relevant acts. Life cycle regulators participate in engagement and Crown consultation in all stages of the regulatory processes to encourage relationship building and seamless transition as the life cycle regulator carries out responsibilities to monitor project compliance with conditions throughout the project life cycle.
This approach guarantees that every project review follows a consistent and neutral process, while retaining the specialized expertise of Canada's regulators. Project reviews are done on an ad hoc basis. The default deadline for reviews of major energy projects such as pipelines is 300 days with the option of setting a deadline of up to 600 days, if necessary.
Decision-making under the Impact Assessment Act is based on the public interest. It is a decision that will account for all of the positive and negative impacts of a project.
The act also requires that the minister publish the reasons for the public interest decision and demonstrate how the impact assessment report and the additional factors that must be taken into account were considered. This significant step provides information to Canadians about how project decisions are made.
The act also requires the minister issue a decision statement that includes conditions with which the proponent must comply. These conditions include measures to mitigate a project's effects and follow up on environmental assessment predictions.
Our government strongly believes that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. We know that a strong economy depends on a healthy environment and that effective and credible assessment processes support investment in resource development in Canada and maintain our economic competitiveness.
Our government is committed to a robust federal assessment process that is based on science and indigenous knowledge, protects our rich natural environment, respects the rights of indigenous peoples and supports our natural resources sector. The impact assessment process is designed to do just that.
As I reach the end of my speech in this debate, I believe combining the issue of support for Ukraine with the question of energy policy is inappropriate for today. We have, as a whole and undivided in this place, stated our support for Ukraine. Similarly, as a whole we have condemned the actions of President Putin in invading Ukraine.
We are united in our support and condemnation. We need a more thoughtful review and discussion about our approach to energy security around the world. Let us do that.