The Minister of Natural Resources is heckling.
It is unbelievable that the minister would heckle me during my speech when I am talking about the desperate position in which he has put people living in my constituency, people living throughout the province of Alberta, and people living throughout western Canada. It is a wonder that the minister still wonders where this crisis is coming from. He seems oblivious as to what is happening in the part of the country I represent.
I am hopeful that tonight the Minister of Natural Resources will spend some time in the House listening to my colleague from Lakeland, who is probably one of the most informed members of the House of Commons on the topic of energy. He might learn something. He will learn what leadership looks like. He will learn what it means to defend the hard-working people who built our country and continue to build it and who work week after week away from their families to ensure they have enough money to pay the bills. They do not just support their families; they support our communities. In fact, they support our country. We as Albertans are proud that the province has done well, and it is partly because of the energy sector. We are where we are because of the innovation, drive, and hard work of the men and women who work in the industry.
If the minister wants to heckle anyone today, let it be the Prime Minister for not allowing him to do his job to get these projects moving forward. Where I come from, that is who the people who I represent are heckling.
Canada is a producer of oil and gas. We should be proud of the products we pull out of the ground and ship. We are one of the most environmentally and socially responsible countries in the world when it comes to the development of our natural resource sector, and oil and gas. Opponents of pipelines often say we do not need oil and gas anymore and therefore we should no longer build these pipelines. In fact, one person has famously said, in response to a pipeline, that we do not need an alternate route for this pipeline; we need an alternate economy. Interestingly, the principal secretary to the Prime Minister said that.
I think Gerry Butts, the principal secretary, would say that we no longer need oil and gas, that the world no longer needs it. However, the world is buying oil and gas. We have a choice. We can be the country that will sell the resource to the countries that want it, and therefore we need a pipeline to tidewater. If the minister would do something for Canada, it would be to get that pipeline to tidewater.
Why is it important for Canada? I know why it is important for the people who I represent. It means jobs and opportunity, and long-term prosperity for the communities I represent. However, why does Canada need pipelines? Because there is a race to get our commodities to the consumer, and the first country that does so will be the country that succeeds. How as a country will we succeed if in fact we get that product to market? It means jobs and opportunity, and long-term prosperity for the people who I represent. It also means more provincial and federal tax revenue. What does that mean? It means better health care, education, and infrastructure for every Canadian.
This is what the current government is sacrificing. The reason we are at this crisis is not because of one single pipeline. It is because of the attitude on the government benches, including from the Prime Minister, who of course famously promised that he would phase out the oil sands. It seems he is doing that by cancelling all of the infrastructure that would get our products to market.
Therefore, we know the Prime Minister has effectively cancelled the northern gateway. He has effectively cancelled energy east. He has effectively cancelled the Petronas LNG project. Now he is in the process of cancelling this. We are in a crisis. The government has to act.