Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise on behalf of the constituents of Red Deer--Lacombe to voice their absolute disgust with the current federal government's imposition of a carbon tax, and the subsequent provincial “go along to get along”, in the name of social licence, which has bought virtually nothing other than pain and misery to the people I represent. That pain and misery is real. If we want to talk about the cost of a carbon tax, that pain and misery is the cost. I would be happy to share some of those costs with the House. For example, there is a lot of talk about how the carbon tax has a layering effect on the business community, on rural Canadians, and on families.
I am sure most people in this room already know, even those who have lived their whole lives within a 10-block radius of Bay Street in Toronto, that the TSX is actually an energy leader. I have talked about the TSX and the TSXV, the venture capital component of the Toronto Stock Exchange. These two exchanges are made up largely of commodities. There are more commodity businesses listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSXV than any other. Second are financials, which are about half of what the commodities are. The list would be all commodities, but it also includes energy commodities.
There have been no new listings on the Toronto Stock Exchange or the Toronto Stock Exchange venture capital market, year to date this year, and going back even into last year, of any commodity companies. Nobody is starting up a venture capital proposition in the energy or commodity sector, and there are no new investments and no new postings on the Toronto Stock Exchange. That is absolutely ridiculous. This is a cost. It is a cost because the Canada pension plan, the Ontario teachers' plan, and the Alberta teachers' plan, all unionized plans that require contributions to keep up with the defined benefit programs, rely heavily on the energy sector to provide a great return on their investments, but it is not happening.
Here is another example of what it is costing the Canadian economy. It is costing $87 billion in capital flight. Right now, the commodity market in the Toronto Stock Exchange and the venture capital market is capitalized at about $265 billion. An $87-billion capital flight is one out of every $4 of the current value, across the entire country, of the accumulated value of energy holdings and commodity holdings in this country. That is almost $90 billion in capital flight.
I am sure that the Canada pension plan is a shareholder in Enbridge and that the teachers' plans are also shareholders through mutual funds, or whatever the case might be. Individual Canadians would be capitalizing this company as well.
The northern gateway pipeline was approved by the previous government. After the election, a purely political decision was made to cancel that project after it had gone through all the stringent requirements. It had to meet 209 National Energy Board requirements, which is more than the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, but because it was approved by the previous government, it had to be vetoed by the current government. People would be surprised to know that Kinder Morgan was not vetoed. My guess is that it is because the pipeline application was started under the Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien governments. I am guessing that this is the only reason it was the sole survivor out of the whole batch.
Enbridge was probably into the northern gateway pipeline, I am guessing, by over $1 billion. That is what the decision cost Enbridge shareholders alone.
The very first act of the Liberal government after the election was to change the rules on the pipeline approval process to put anywhere from three to nine months of official time onto that process.
The upstream and downstream regulations on energy that apply to Canadian oil do not apply to Saudi oil. We bring that oil in on the east coast. Only in Canada would we prefer to buy oil from Saudi Arabia and make it more economically viable to buy oil from Saudi Arabia than it would be to buy oil from Alberta, because those selfish Albertans have only contributed about $600 billion to this Confederation, more than we have received back in services over the last 15 or 20 years. We do not mind sharing that wealth with the rest of our country. We love being a part of Canada. We love sharing it with fellow Canadians. All we are asking for is an opportunity to get our products to market.
Trans Canada finally decided that the risk was too great, so it pulled the plug on energy east. I am guessing that this particular energy fiasco probably cost shareholders of Trans Canada in excess of $1 billion.
Now, of course, we have the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal that has been cancelled. That was a multi-billion-dollar project.
I have been a member of Parliament here for 12 years. I have been flying back and forth from Ottawa to Edmonton primarily, and sometimes Calgary. Most flights that take me back home to Alberta—and flying back home to Alberta is the best part of my job, by the way—would be sourced out of Montreal or Halifax. By the time I got on the plane in Ottawa, that plane would already be full of workers wearing their Firebag and Kearl project jackets. Those people are not on the airplane anymore, and why? It is because there is no new money and investment, and the money is in growth and investment.
Sure, the oil sands are currently operating with their current production levels. They are actually producing more oil than the pipelines can handle right now at that current capacity, but the real money was in that growth. If the economy was doing so fine in Alberta, as the NDP in Alberta would have us believe, or if the economy was doing so fine here in Canada, why is any government unable to balance a budget? It is because it is a house of cards. It is all about layering.
We have all these cancelled energy projects. We have an absolutely toxic mix. The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association appeared the committee and basically said that in the current environment, no new pipelines will ever be built, and now, of course, we see what is happening in British Columbia, where I think gasoline is at an all-time record high today. There is a feather in the cap of the current federal government—the highest prices in the history of Canada for fuel at the pump in metro Vancouver. It is over $1.60 for regular fuel.
Then the Prime Minister stands up and says that is what they want and that is the plan. We are going to price the way of life we have out of existence.
I challenge anybody in this room to look at where they live and ask themselves if everything they have came from within a 10-block radius of their house. Let us take a look around this room? Where did all the lumber come from? Was it from within a 10-block radius of Parliament Hill? No. Was it grown someplace else and shipped here with the use of fossil fuels? Yes. Was it cut with fossil fuels? Yes. Was it manufactured in a refinery using fossil fuels? Yes. It created jobs, growth, opportunity, and a better quality of life than anybody else has.
Our friends from the other side who just walked in and are nibbling on a cherry tomato or a cucumber stick from the food plate in the lobby might be surprised to know that it probably came from a greenhouse in the area. Can we guess what the greenhouse guys pump into their greenhouse to make their plants and food grow faster? They pump in carbon dioxide, because they figured out a long time ago that carbon dioxide is plant food.
Here we are making mountains out of molehills with this issue, and nobody can stand here and tell me with absolute 100% certainty that a price on carbon is going to somehow change the weather. This is a fool's errand, the biggest fool's errand in the history of this planet. It is absolutely ridiculous beyond belief.
Is the climate changing? Sure it is. Am I a climate change denier? Not one bit. Does the climate change? It always has and always will. Anybody with any basic knowledge of science understands that carbon and all matter is constant. The carbon that is below the ground was once carbon above the ground. It was vegetation. As a matter of fact, at 180 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, all life on the planet will actually cease to exist. Plants will stop being able to produce and grow. That is the number.
Members do not have to believe me. I will put up my science degree against anybody sitting across the hallway right now. That is not a problem for me at all. This is the ridiculousness of the conversation we are having. I am sorry my colleagues over there do not agree with me.
At the end of the day, this has a cost, and we have to be smart about it. Everything we have that is good in the value of our lives here is a result of the fact we have had a reformation in our system so that we have fossil fuels. If we take everything out of this room that was brought to us in whole or in part by fossil fuels, we would have nothing left in the room.
Can we reduce, reuse, or be more energy efficient? Always. We should always be looking for opportunities to do that. Should we be investing in innovative technologies? Absolutely, we should be doing that. However, at the end of the day, if we are going to be telling Canadians that they have to pay more out of their pockets to save the planet, as the current minister suggests, then the least the government can do is tell us how much pain we are going to have to go through to get there. How much is it going to cost?