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Track Blaine

Your Say


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is actually.

Conservative MP for Red Deer—Lacombe (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 71% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply May 8th, 2018

Madam Speaker, if my hon. colleague wants to table a document which shows how many forest fires will be reduced as a result of a carbon tax and exactly at what point that carbon tax will prevent any future forest fires or any future ice storms, I would be happy to see that document. If she has it, she should table it.

Business of Supply May 8th, 2018

Oh my goodness, Madam Speaker. I do not even know where to begin.

It is the uncertainty of the regulatory environment, upstream and downstream emissions being counted in on the energy east pipeline. Even Saudi oil does not have to face that test. No company in its right mind would pursue a project when the government puts such onerous regulations in its path. The companies had to protect their investors, and a lot of those investors invested several billion dollars in the BC government pension fund and in Kinder Morgan. That is a bit of irony.

I am worried about the galloping debt the country and the provinces are accumulating. All of that will be passed on to future generations, and that is unacceptable.

Business of Supply May 8th, 2018

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague across the way comes from a province that has benefited a bit from equalization payments over the years. He ought to be a bit more appreciative of the fact that Alberta is contributing to that.

He has brought up social licence, notwithstanding the fact that he is not talking about the tent cities that are popping up all over California because people cannot afford housing or cannot afford to live there. The Liberal government has said, in concert with the province of Alberta, that it needs social licence in order to get projects approved. How many projects have been approved by the government? Absolutely zero have gone forward. Seven thousand kilometres of pipeline have been cancelled. The Pacific LNG project is gone. Nothing is actually going forward.

There is no leadership from the government other than taxing more Canadians, telling them it is good for them, and sticking it to them. We have had enough.

Business of Supply May 8th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I will resume where I left off just before question period. I was talking about the fine folks in Rimbey. This was in response to one of my Liberal colleagues across the way who, during a question to one of my colleagues, said that everything was fine for him now that he made the switch to public transportation. That is fine for people who live in a community where they can get everything they need within a 10-block radius, but that does not work for the fine folks in Rimbey.

If a mother in Rimbey who is looking after the kids, while her spouse has hopefully maintained a job in the energy sector, which is not always the case, wants to take them to play hockey or soccer, it is not a community where they can take public transit down to the hockey arena. In fact, there are not enough kids in the community or the surrounding area to even have a house league. If people want to take their kids to hockey in Rimbey, Alberta that means they will be playing teams in Blackfalds, which is 45 minutes away. They are going to be playing teams in Sylvan Lake, which is 35 or 40 minutes away. They are going to be playing kids in Lacombe, which is another 45 minutes away. Drayton Valley is an hour away. Rocky Mountain House is an hour away. Ponoka is 45 minutes away. There are no options for these folks. The carbon tax is going to disproportionately affect these families and their kids because the cost of living in rural Alberta, and any other rural community in Canada, is so high.

I would point out that everything we have that is good in our homes, whether we live our entire lives in that 10-block radius in a downtown urban area, is brought to us from a rural community at some point in time. Chances are that the food we eat is not raised or grown within 10 minutes of our house. Chances are that most of it is not even raised within 10 miles of our house. The input costs are the fertilizers that are energy based, the production, whether it is fuel, harvesting, all of it is there. Transportation to the marketplace and the processing, if we are lucky enough to have the processing done in Canada, are all energy intensive. Most of the good things we have in our lives, most of the wealth, and our ability to prosper and pursue careers in whatever we want to do are brought to us by the fact that we have cheap or affordable energy, or at least we had cheap or affordable energy in our lives.

Our quality of life is going to go down in our country because of the cost of heating our homes and putting fuel in our cars for transportation. It will affect every aspect of our lives. We only have to sit in a room and look around. If we were to take everything out of the room that was either made in part from or brought to us in part by fossil fuels, we would virtually have nothing left in the room. In fact, we likely would not even be able to count the walls of the room, because all of that material was brought to us by fossil fuels as well. This is the cost of a carbon tax. It is going to increase the cost of living for every person.

That is the cost to families. Here is the cost to investment. Investors are crying foul right now because they know almost $90 billion have fled capital markets in our country. We have projects in Alberta that have been waiting for four years for provincial approval for an oil sands expansion project. We have over 7,000 kilometres of tidewater pipelines that have been cancelled or killed by the current Liberal government. That is driving up the cost and creating uncertainty. The regulatory environment is changing.

Alberta shares about $20 billion of its wealth every year with the rest of Canada in the form of equalization payments. Tax is collected from Alberta, it goes to the Government of Canada, and it is redistributed. The money that is being redistributed across Canada affects quality of life and services, medicine, hospitals, and education for everyone.

The cost of the carbon tax for Canadian families, businesses, and workers is far too high. I do not know why the Liberal government will not tell us what it will cost.

Business of Supply May 8th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is truly a privilege for me to stand in the House and represent the fine folks in the constituency of Red Deer—Lacombe, some of the hardest working people we will ever find, many of them out of work or underemployed now as a direct result of policies, both provincially and federally, when it comes to the energy sector. People only need to take a drive through my constituency past the pipeline companies and the Edgar Industrial Park in Red Deer. If there is not a for sale or for lease sign on some of these buildings, they will see that all the iron is either still parked in the yard or gone. Where has it gone? It has gone to the United States. We are selling rigs at the pace of one a week out of Canada and into the United States.

This is all about the carbon tax cover-up. The Liberal government will not reveal the documents that finance officials and others have, underlining the cost to Canadians. This is because bad news is not good news for the government, so it will not release that information. It knows it will be a damning set of information that will likely haunt it into the next election.

However, we will not let up on this side of the House. We appreciate clean air, water, and land, and we will make the responsible choices that allow us to get there.

Notwithstanding all the graphics certain organizations and interests like to produce and show around the world, Alberta is one of the most clean place we will ever find. There are beautiful mountains and crystal clear blue rivers flowing out of our Rockies, pristine wilderness in our national and provincial parks, as well as in our forested areas all over northern and central Alberta. It is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Anybody who says otherwise obviously has not been there.

The Liberals will not say how much the cost of this carbon tax is. In fact, when we ask for the documents, we are given these massive documents and every page is virtually blacked out, otherwise known as “redacted”, which means the information in there is too sensitive for the government to give us. It leads us to having an opposition day where we have to ask the government to reveal this information, which is known as the carbon tax cover-up.

If we are not going to know what the cost of the actual carbon tax is going to be, then we should know what the cost is to Canadians. I will talk about the boots on the ground.

As I alluded to earlier, over 100,000 jobs in the energy sector alone, many of jobs in my constituency of Red Deer—Lacombe, are not entry level salary jobs. These are some of the best paying jobs we will find in Alberta. In fact, these jobs are so desirable and so high paying that the taxes that have come from Alberta over the last series of decades have left Alberta in a situation where it contributes approximately $20 billion more a year to the coffers and revenues of the Government of Canada than the province of Alberta gets back in transfer payments for health, education, and so on. This means it is a $20-billion a year sector. This is just for the people who live and work in Alberta. It does not even include the thousands of people across the country who used to travel all the time to Alberta.

I mentioned this in a speech last week. I have been a member of Parliament here for 12 years. I get on a flight Thursdays to go back to Alberta, which is the best part of my job. These flights would originate out of either Montreal or Halifax. When I would get on that airplane in Ottawa, it would be filled with oil sands workers coming from either Atlantic Canada, the Maritimes, or Quebec. These folks were all wearing their Firebag and Kearl project jackets, they had their workboots on, and they were ready to go all the way to Alberta. These jobs were so well-paying it was cost-effective enough for them to book a flight, go work in the oil sands for several weeks at a time, and then go back to their families. That paycheque would improve the quality of life of these Canadians. People from all over the world would come to Alberta.

Over 4,000 businesses in Canada alone have a direct line to the oil sands because they provide goods, services, or products to the oil sands development. These are millions and millions of dollars of revenue.

The cost is 100,000 pairs of boots on the ground that are no longer working in some of the highest-paying jobs, and paying the highest tax rate, by the way, providing government coffers with more wealth than virtually any other sector of the economy.

What has this cost been to families? When someone does not have a job it causes stress. It causes strife. It causes suicides. These are things that do not get talked about a lot, but as the member of Parliament for Red Deer—Lacombe, I can say this is one of the most egregious factors undermining the ability of those in an otherwise well-paid portion of our economy who have lost their jobs to be able to provide for their families. What I mean by that is places where houses are relatively expensive and the cost of living is fairly high because the amount of wealth that is generated there is generally fairly high. This creates all kinds of problems for the constituents in my riding.

These costs are very high. There is a cost for mothers wanting to take their kids to baseball or to hockey. When one lives in Rimbey—

Mr. Speaker, I see you want me to stop here. I will pause and resume where I left off with the fine folks in Rimbey.

Oil Tanker Moratorium Act May 3rd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Lakeland, my fellow Albertan, for doing a fantastic job in her role as a shadow cabinet minister on the energy file.

For 10 years, when I was a member of the former governing party, I would watch as the Liberals, the NDP, and the Greens continued to pander to, and try to get the votes from, anybody who was opposed to energy projects. Now that the Liberals are in government, they have found out that it is a lot harder to get these things done if they have to be dishonest with the people they made promises to. They like to couch everything in saying that in the 10 years Stephen Harper was prime minister, he did not get any pipelines built.

How many kilometres of pipeline did Stephen Harper actually cancel, and how many kilometres of pipeline has the current Liberal Prime Minister cancelled?

Business of Supply May 1st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member that I would not believe 99 out of 100 Liberals, that is for darn sure.

The reality is that the number is fabricated. If we take a look at how the IPCC came up with that number, it asked all scientists, on a scale of one to 100, how much they agreed that man is causing or adding to climate change. They could say 5%, 10%, 15%, or 100%, but anybody who said 5% or more counts as part of that 97%. It is actually 97% of scientists and not 99%. The member cannot even get his mix-ups wrong.

Business of Supply May 1st, 2018

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?

Natural Resources April 18th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I heard again from oil and gas sector workers and their families, and they are still scared. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister was in France lamenting the fact that he could not phase out the Canadian energy sector fast enough. The Prime Minister's attack on the energy sector has driven billions of dollars out of Canada and into the hands of foreign competitors, including almost $90 billion in the last two years alone.

Why does this Prime Minister say one thing when he is in Fort McMurray and the exact opposite when he is in Paris?

Fisheries Act March 29th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, my colleague for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa is absolutely 100% correct. He has forgotten more about fisheries and the environment than the collective wisdom the House has probably ever known. We should be listening when this man speaks.