As the Prime Minister noted recently in answering a journalist's question, a less aggressive approach on environmental responsibility in the past led to a ramping up of rhetoric against Canadian oil and against Canadian energy. This is the Conservative legacy for the energy industry.
If we do not convince Canadians and people the world over that we take the environment seriously, it will remain difficult, if not impossible, to get our resources to world markets.
It does not have to be this way, as the ministers of Natural Resources Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada underlined yesterday in our interim approach to assessing and reviewing major resources projects. The five interim principles they announced would enable energy and pipeline companies to demonstrate that their projects were in the public interest and deserving of the approval of Canadians. This open and collaborative approach is about real change and prosperity for the energy industry.
The steps we are taking would also help to regain the public's confidence that we can achieve prosperity and protect the environment without compromising either one.
We have pledged to Canadians that we would set a higher bar for openness and transparency, to shine more light on government to ensure it remains focused on the people it serves. We will deliver. In the same way, we will be transparent and work collaboratively with other sectors, including the energy industry, to provide proponents with the clarity and certainty they need to plan and implement projects.
In short, in addressing national projects like energy pipelines, we will behave in a positive and productive way that contributes to the economy, a secure environment, to bringing people together, and to creating a better future for the generations that follow us.
Our plan for pipelines is not based on pipe dreams, and it does not involve unnecessary meddling in the marketplace. Our government recognizes it has a fundamental role to play in opening up markets abroad for Canadian resources and to help create responsible and sustainable ways to get those resources to those markets. The best way we can do that is to create fair and transparent processes so industry can create economic growth and protect the environment to sustain the high quality of life of Canadians.
Does that mean we are willing to maintain the status quo, as the opposition motion recommends we do? Clearly not. We need to put an end to the mistrust and suspicion that currently surrounds discussions about pipelines in our country by those playing politics and putting ideology over industry and the public's interest. When the Conservatives shut down real dialogue for over a decade, it is understandable that trust is lost, and trust is a vital resource for effective government. We will protect the public trust.
Let me be clear. No proponent with a pipeline project already undergoing an environmental review will have to go back to the starting line. Rather, project proponents and their investors will have greater clarity about timelines and certainly about what is expected of them in reaching a final decision, thanks to these reasonable and balanced changes.
This government trusts the ingenuity of energy producers and shippers to come up with sustainable solutions. The energy sector has decades of experience in fact in developing technological innovations to extract the value of these resources. We acknowledge the industry continues to lead in reducing its environmental footprint. By devoting more brain power and ingenuity to resource extraction and shipping, the energy industry can and will be more environmentally sustainable.
However, even this progress toward sustainability will not satisfy the concerns of Canadians without the assurance that the regulatory review process is robust. That is why we have announced five interim principles that will support the energy sector's drive to sustainably develop energy resources and ship them responsibly to tidewater.
We will show Canadians, and the world community, that we are making decisions about project approvals based on science, facts, and evidence. We are taking into account the views of all Canadians and respecting the rights of indigenous peoples. We are determined to better understand and minimize environmental impacts. We will ensure that resource development decisions and actions are central to our government's commitment on climate change.
Protecting the environment and growing the economy are not incompatible goals. A clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand.
I am confident that by working in partnership with all parties with a stake in responsible pipeline development we will demonstrate that Canada is a global leader in sustainable energy and shipment.
We will restore the public trust. Public trust is essential to public backing of these projects.