Mr. Speaker, when we are considering resource development and this bill, I think all Canadians want us to strike the right balance. They want us to balance out the responsibility to be good stewards of the environment and to ensure we care for the planet, not only for our generation but for future generations. That is an utmost priority for all Canadians as well those who live in my region in particular, including New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. We want to hand over to future generations a planet that is cleaner and greener and we want to develop our resources in a responsible fashion.
As a region, the people from the area I represent, and I believe this is true throughout Atlantic Canada, want to ensure they have an economically viable future for themselves and their families in their local communities and throughout Atlantic Canada, so not only do we reap the benefits of that hard work and that development but that future generations do as well. Striking that balance is of the utmost importance.
What I find concerning with this bill is that it would put way too much power in the hands of too few, and that could be detrimental to the development of vital resources, to our nation's national energy as well as our nation's food security and to our nation's future as a secure country in which to invest and do business. If we do not get it right and if we allow this type of control in the hands of very few, the consequences could be devastating for economic development in Atlantic Canada and across Canada as a whole.
We have raised very legitimate concerns that we want the government to look at carefully, and hopefully we will amend and correct the bill so that the development that does happen is responsible and it cares for the environment, which we all want to ensure. At the same time, we do not want it to prohibit those who want to build Canada's economic future. We want to ensure that we take advantage of the tremendous resources across the country from coast to coast to coast, including Atlantic Canada, which has unbelievable potential to develop its resource sector.
This is not the time to hamper investment; this is a time to look at ways to enhance investment into our region.
Atlantic Canada wants to contribute to our future economically as a country in a way like never before. I will pause here for a moment to recognize something that oftentimes gets lost.
We talk about things with respect to government bringing in legislation and passing things based on ideology, thoughts and philosophy, no matter how well intended, but in all of this it is no secret that national unity is at stake. Under the current government and Prime Minister, we have for too long pit one region against another and caused certain regions to feel alienated, left out or perhaps taken for granted. In fact, we know that is the case.
On behalf of Atlantic Canadians, I love Canada and every region of it. We have been blessed in Atlantic Canada, directly and indirectly, because of the resource sector in the western part of Canada. On behalf of those of us on the east coast, I thank our western provinces and friends out west. They have allowed our resources to be developed. They have allowed the money, the proceeds and the revenue that has been generated from that extraction and from those resources to be distributed throughout the country to regions and provinces like mine.
We benefited from those transfer payments, and we would be remiss not to thank western Canada and the resource-developed regions of our country that have made it possible for revenues to be transferred to our provinces so we can have good schools, hospitals, build roads and develop.
However, just as much as I believe in that, it is so vitally important that we as Atlantic Canadians also have the opportunity to develop our own natural resources, prosper as a region and elevate the economy of our families. It is unfair to hold back a region like Atlantic Canada that has endless potential by putting in prohibitive measures and over-regulating a sector or putting too much power in the hands of too few that could, at the whim of any particular minister, shut down an entire sector of our economy.
There are big cautionary signals coming from this bill. I challenge the House to look beyond the noise and the rhetoric to see the facts. We hear a lot of noise about how we have to protect the planet and heal the oceans, and about how we are going to reduce carbon and do all things. That is the noise.
When we get beyond the noise and the chatter, the reality and the facts are that we rank 57 out of 63 nations. We have not met our targets, despite our virtue signals. We have not met those objectives, despite great soaring rhetoric. We talk about planting billions of trees, but only a handful are actually in the ground.
It is time that we look beyond the noise. Canadians expect us to stop all the chatter, talk and great sounding rhetoric about this to get to a place of achieving actual, attainable results that will do good for our country and the world.
The reality is that we are not measuring up in meeting these targets, but we are certainly punishing the very sectors that have led to Canada's prosperity to this point. Those are the facts.
The noise says that we are meeting these targets and doing great, but the facts are that we are ranked 57 out of 63 nations. Facts are stubborn things. They have proven, when it comes to both the environment and the economy, that the government is all noise and no results. Canadians want real results.
I believe we can have both responsible and good, wholesome environmental stewardship along with economic prosperity and resource development that is, at the same time, responsible. They are not mutually exclusive. Canadian energy is the best energy in the world, and we need to make no apologies for Canadian energy. We need to stand up for Canadian energy. It is the most responsibly extracted energy on the planet. Why are we displacing Canadian energy with that from countries that do not have near the environmental regulations that we have as a country?
It makes no environmental sense, nor does it make energy sense or economic sense. It is important that we get the balance right. This bill is not going to go a long way to help us get the balance right. We have to correct this bill. There is so much noise that the facts are getting lost. However, Canadians are perceptive. They are getting beyond the persuasiveness of rhetoric, and they are asking, “What is it that the government is accomplishing to position Canada to prosper in the future?”
We talk about just transition. The government loves to talk about that, but it is a just transition to what? It is not a just transition to move segments of our population from prosperity to poverty. That is not just. That is an unjust transition to poverty. We need a true, mobilized transition to economic empowerment accompanied by environmental responsibility. We could do that. Canada has proven it can do that and be a leader in that space.
I am quite encouraged by some of the developments we are seeing within our resource sector. We have some of the greatest clean technologies in the country. We have some of the most environmentally responsible resource projects in the world. We are a leader. We have to stop taking a back seat. We have to stop talking down our energy sector, stop talking down our resource sector and stop putting impediments in the way of our development.
What we need to do instead is to start championing our energy sector, our resource sector and our good environmental practices. We need to tell the story of the great results we are attaining as a country and as a natural resource industry in this country. Why is it that we are talking down Canadian energy when we should be saying that we have a good news story to tell? We are all for all of the above. We want to transition in areas where it is possible. We are for wind, nuclear, solar and, yes, even tidal.
While the government talks about transition, we are shutting down some of the renewable energies and projects that have incredible potential. This is because of cumbersome regulation and misplaced priorities.
We had the sustainable energy project with respect to tidal energy in Nova Scotia. The Liberals pulled the plug on it. Why? It was so encumbered and hampered by over-regulation and cumbersome rules that it was no longer economically viable and it made no sense to continue so they stopped it. How is that good for the planet when we are sitting on the cusp of innovation and it was the only tidal project in North America? We pulled the plug on it as a country. We talk about how we are all for saving the planet and transitioning to a new green economy, yet we pulled the plug on those viable projects.
Here is another one. A mill in Nova Scotia was going to use its waste for producing biodegradable goods. We pulled the plug on that. Why? Because it would take 20 years to get the approvals it needed in order to proceed with the project.
We are scaring away investments into our renewable energy and resource sector and we are not investing in the areas that could have the most impact and have the biggest and most-resounding results for our country economically and environmentally.
We have a great news story to tell. Another concern we have with Bill C-49 is as it relates to our indigenous partners and friends. It talks about how the regulators would be empowered to talk with our indigenous leaders, but never once mentions the obligation and absolute primary importance of the Crown to deal directly with our indigenous friends to get these projects off the ground. Surely, history has taught us a lesson, which is to engage with our indigenous friends at the beginning of the process for these projects and make sure they are welcomed and equal partners at the table with us as we enter into these areas of innovation and production. We can get great things done for the country because, as we hear from indigenous leaders across the country, they want to partner with us on this. They want to be at the table for all of these types of projects. They want to prosper economically and do good for the environment as well. Let us welcome them at the front end and make sure that a bill like this includes them meaningfully, and instructs the Crown to deal with them directly rather than the regulators. Let us not make this a secondary priority, but one of the primary priorities.
I conclude my remarks by simply saying that we have an opportunity to position Canada to be the most energy secure and one of the economic powerhouses in the world while at the same time being one of the most environmentally responsible jurisdictions on the planet. It is time we get it right. Let us stop talking down Canadian resource development and stop throwing up roadblocks to resource development for all regions of our country, including Atlantic Canada. Let us prioritize it and get them at the table. We have a great opportunity. Let us get the balance right. Let us fix this bill. If we fix the bill, then we will do good for everyone, but if we do not fix it we have no choice but to stand against it so that our country can move forward.