Skip to main content

House Publications

The Debates are the report—transcribed, edited, and corrected—of what is said in the House. The Journals are the official record of the decisions and other transactions of the House. The Order Paper and Notice Paper contains the listing of all items that may be brought forward on a particular sitting day, and notices for upcoming items.

For an advanced search, use Publication Search tool.

42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 185

CONTENTS

Thursday, June 1, 2017




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148 
l
NUMBER 185 
l
1st SESSION 
l
42nd PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[English]

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation to the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group respecting its participation at the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association held in Washington, D.C., United States of America, from February 24 to 27, 2017.

Committees of the House

Transport, Infrastructure and Communities 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in relation to the supplementary estimates (A), 2017-18.

Environment and Sustainable Development  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in relation to Bill C-323, an act to amend the Income Tax Act, regarding the rehabilitation of historic property. The committee has studied the bill and pursuant to Standing Order 97.1(1), requests a 30-day extension to consider it.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 97.1(3)(a), a motion to concur in the report is deemed moved, question deemed put, and a recorded division deemed demanded. Pursuant to an order made on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the division stands deferred until Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.

[Translation]

Procedure and House Affairs   

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 32nd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House.
    If the House gives its consent, I move that the 32nd report be concurred in.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move this motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, I believe you will find consent for the following motion: That at the conclusion of today's debate on the opposition motion in the name of the member for Chilliwack—Hope, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion be deemed put and a recorded division requested and deferred until Tuesday, June 6, at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    An hon. member: No.
    The Speaker: There is no unanimous consent.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Speaker: Order. If members want to have discussions, I encourage them to do so perhaps in the lobbies.

  (1010)  

Petitions

Taxation  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition signed by campers who stayed at Sand Bay Camp in Combermere, Ontario, on the shores of Kamaniskeg Lake in the riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke. The petitioners call on the government to ensure that campgrounds with fewer than five full-time, year-round employees be considered small businesses and be taxed as such.

[Translation]

Algoma Passenger Rail Service  

     Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present even more petitions addressed to the Minister of Transport about the Algoma passenger train, which has been out of service for several years. The only way to access 75% of the properties located near the rail line is by train. There are some industrial roads, but they are maintained only if industry needs them. Access roads are neither reliable nor safe, plus they are non-existent or impassable for part of the year.
    The Algoma passenger train is the only safe, affordable, year-round route that can get people to the Algoma rail corridor. That is the way it has been for 100 years. The petitioners are calling on the Minister of Transport to restore the Algoma passenger train service in order to fulfill Transport Canada's mission, which is to serve the public interest through the promotion of a safe and secure, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system in Canada.

Water Quality  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present another petition addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs concerning the water quality of Lake Champlain.
    Cyanobacteria proliferates each summer in Lake Champlain, which we share with our American neighbours. The entire population of the town of Bedford in my riding, so over 3,000 people, drinks that water.
    When it gets hot this summer, the cyanobacteria will proliferate even more, and the water will become like pea soup. This water needs to be treated immediately. This petition is therefore addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is responsible for the International Joint Commission on the management of transboundary waters under the treaty we have with our American neighbours.

[English]

    In conclusion, the petitioners, residents of Bedford and the surrounding area in the province of Quebec, ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs to review the mandate of the International Joint Commission for Champlain Lake, with the aim of resolving the problem of the deterioration of the water quality of Champlain Lake in recent years.

[Translation]

    I also want to thank the member for Malpeque, who is supporting our efforts.

[English]

Shark Finning  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present two petitions this morning, both from residents of Saanich—Gulf Islands.
    The first petition deals with an issue that has resulted in several private members' bills being presented before this place and remains unsolved. It is that, while it is illegal in Canadian waters to fin sharks, it is still possible to trade and sell and offer for sale shark fins where the finning has taken place in other waters, and this contributes to the rapid extinction of many species of sharks.
    The petitioners ask the House of Commons to deal with this gap.

Natural Resources  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is also from residents of Saanich—Gulf Islands.
    The petitioners are calling for the federal government to institute a national moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. There are now provincial moratoria in Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, but there remains the fact, as the petitioners point out, that the chemicals used in the fracking compounds that are injected below the surface near our groundwater are not publicly known and are not registered with Environment Canada. There also remains threats due to induced seismology, in other words, causing earthquakes. The petitioners would like the Parliament of Canada to act on this matter.

Canada Pension Plan  

    Mr. Speaker, my riding of Sydney—Victoria, in Cape Breton, has one of the highest proportions of seniors in the country. I have the honour to present a petition that contains hundreds of signatures of seniors from Cape Breton Island.
    The petition is in good order and the petitioners are asking the Government of Canada to review the Canada pension plan, which, at the present, is not funded sufficiently to allow seniors to survive in today's society.

[Translation]

    I now recognize a member who made his debut yesterday in the soccer match against the pages of the House of Commons.
    The hon. member for Sherbrooke.

  (1015)  

Falun Gong  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank you and I also want to congratulate you on an excellent match yesterday.
    I rise to present a petition signed by hundreds of people who are calling on the Government of Canada to take action with regard to Falun Gong practitioners in China. Not only are they being persecuted, but various reports suggest that they are the victims of human organ trafficking.
    The petition calls on the Government of Canada and this Parliament to address this situation by passing a resolution calling on the communist regime in China to put an end to this kind of practice. The petition also calls for action to be taken here in Canada to try to put an end to human organ trafficking and asks the Government of Canada to publicly denounce what Falun Gong practitioners are currently being subjected to.

[English]

Citizenship  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to table a petition, in the form of an e-petition, that has 1,590 signatures. The petitioners are calling for the government to address the issue of lost Canadians. As members know, over the years we have had a series of arcane laws that render Canadians somehow not Canadian anymore. As well, the law does not recognize second generations born abroad as Canadians either. This has caused huge problems for a number of people.
    The petition is calling for the government to welcome Canadians home and encourage Canadians to embrace global opportunities, by repealing retroactively the “after first generation” right to citizenship exclusion contained in subsections 3(3) to 3(5) of the Citizenship Act, thereby continuing the universal application that there is only one class of Canadian, with full charter rights.
    I hope that we can do this as we head into the 150th anniversary of our country.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all questions be allowed to stand at this time.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project  

    That the House agree that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project: (a) has social license to proceed; (b) is critical to the Canadian economy and the creation of thousands of jobs; (c) is safe and environmentally sound, as recognized and accepted by the National Energy Board; (d) is under federal jurisdiction with respect to approval and regulation; and (e) should be constructed with the continued support of the federal government, as demonstrated by the Prime Minister personally announcing the approval of the project.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, indeed it is a pleasure to rise in the House to move this motion on behalf of the official opposition. We think it is a critical time for the House to pronounce on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project, a project that was personally approved by the Prime Minister in November of last year.
    I would like to inform the House that I will be sharing my time with the member for Lakeland, a passionate defender of the oil and gas sector in her riding and right across the country, standing up for energy workers in this country.
    The motion is very clear. It simply outlines that the House should reiterate its support for the Prime Minister's position on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, that this project has social licence, as the Prime Minister indicated in his statement on November 30, that it is safe, reliable, that it should proceed, and that the appropriate steps have been taken to ensure it will be constructed in an environmentally safe way. That is really what this is about.
    We often talk about pipelines in isolation, but the fact is that the pipelines are the safest way to transport energy products in this country. Pipelines have a proven record of reliability and are safer than rail. Just this morning, I read an article about record rail shipments to the United States. Over 150,000 barrels a day go by rail to the United States. What happens when we do not have the proper pipeline capacity is that more oil goes by rail. While that is also a safe way to transport energy products, it is not as safe as pipelines.
    That is why Conservatives support this pipeline, which has been approved by the National Energy Board as safe. It has been proven that it can be done in an environmentally sound way, with 157 conditions imposed on the proponent. We support that and think it is important that we do it. It is a $6.8-billion capital investment by the company. It would create 15,000 new jobs during construction, and secondary jobs in the oil sands will be in the thousands as well. We know there is a pipeline capacity issue right now. If we do not address it, there will be layoffs, further putting the fragile recovery of our oil and gas sector at risk.
    The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline goes through my riding. It has been there since the early 1950s. This pipeline has delivered oil from Alberta to Burnaby for over 60 years, and there has never been a major incident with the section of pipe that goes through my riding. As far as I know, there have been two incidents, one at a tank farm in Sumas, where the redundancies at the Sumas tank plant kicked in, and every drop of oil was recovered that spilled over when a valve froze during the winter. The system worked perfectly. The other time was in Burnaby, when a contractor punctured the pipeline with a backhoe. It was hardly the fault of the pipeline; it was the result of human error.
    In my riding, I sought the views of my constituents. I sent out a survey to every single household in my riding, asking constituents if they thought the Prime Minister should approve the Trans Mountain expansion project. It elicited a lot of responses. Thousands of people replied, and about 55% of those who took the time to reply said yes, they supported the expansion.
    However, there is significant concern, even in my own community. People are concerned about whether a pipeline can operate safely over their precious water aquifer. There is a group in my riding called WaterWealth, whose primary purpose is to make sure that the waters in our area are protected. I wrote to the Minister of Natural Resources on their behalf. It took him seven months to reply, but he said that he believed the National Energy Board process had adequately addressed their concerns on the aquifer and that routing decisions would be made by the National Energy Board. However, there are concerns, and that is why we need to hear from the Prime Minister.

  (1020)  

    We have seen consent in Alberta, across the political spectrum, that pipelines are beneficial for the economy and that they can be built safely. In British Columbia, there is a little more skepticism. That is why we need the Prime Minister of Canada to come to British Columbia and finally start to sell this project in my home province.
    I have been in the rooms of oil executives with the Prime Minister in Houston, Texas. There, he is quite proud to talk about approving the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, to great applause from oil executives from all over the world. They love that he has approved that pipeline.
    However, the Prime Minister will not come to British Columbia to make the same case. After his trip to billionaire island when he needed a distraction, he went to coast to coast, well, actually he did not go coast to coast, he went from coast to the Rocky Mountains. He did not quite make it to the B.C. coast. He did not quite come to Burnaby or Vancouver to talk about this pipeline.
    It is easy to give a speech about approving a pipeline in Calgary to oil executives there. It is tougher to come to a skeptical audience in British Columbia and sell the merits of the pipeline. That is what we are calling on him to do. We are calling on the Prime Minister to come to British Columbia.
    Premier Christy Clark has requested that he come to talk about the pipelines, to sell the benefits of the pipeline to British Columbians. He will not do it. He has not done it.
    Norman Spector, who was a former PMO official in the Mulroney era, actually helped to negotiate the B.C. NDP–Green socialist manifesto, which is part of why we are here today, quite frankly. There has been movement in B.C. for the “forces of no”, the coalition of unwilling people who want to oppose every natural resource project in the province, including this pipeline. They have indicated that they intend to try to form a coalition government. The primary purpose of that manifesto is to try to kill the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
    We believe that this House needs to pronounce on that. This House needs to indicate that this is a good project, that this is good for Canadian energy workers and for the middle-class families who work hard every day to put food on the table. That is what this is about. It is about supporting the energy sector. We know it can be done safely.
    The Prime Minister talks about the environment and the economy needing to go hand in hand. Of course, we did the exact same thing when we were in government. The funny thing is that when the Prime Minister comes to British Columbia, he does not talk about the economic benefits. He does not talk about this pipeline.
     If the Prime Minister does not start to invest some of his political capital in this project, if he leaves it to the provincial government, to industry, this pipeline will not get built. We know why he will not come to British Columbia to promote this pipeline. It is because of the fear of the 17 Liberal members of Parliament from that province. They, along with our friends in the NDP, are cheering this coalition, this “forces of no”. They want this pipeline to die.
    How do we know that? There is not a word from the 17 Liberals members of Parliament from British Columbia in support of this pipeline. Although their Prime Minister has been clear, we know from their public record that they oppose it.
    The Minister of Justice is on the record, before she became a Liberal politician, as being vehemently opposed to pipelines. The member for Burnaby North—Seymour, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard has said there is no consent for this pipeline.
    We need to come together in this House. Those Liberals members of Parliament from British Columbia need to get behind this project and realize that it is good for our nation's economy, that the project is safe, that the project has been subjected to all of the appropriate reviews. As the Prime Minister has said, the NDP Premier of Alberta supports this. The NDP Premier of Alberta supports it, and yet Liberal MPs from British Columbia are trying to stand in the way.
    We call on the Prime Minister of Canada to get behind the project. He has approved it. The Prime Minister has personally approved this project. I say to the Prime Minister, “Come to British Columbia. Talk to British Columbians about why it was approved. Talk to British Columbians about the benefits of the project, and stop putting the jobs of Liberal members of Parliament from B.C. ahead of the jobs of the Canadian energy worker.”

  (1025)  

    Madam Speaker, I certainly come from the opposite end of the country from the member for Chilliwack—Hope. To begin with, I would say that I think the member could be giving the Prime Minister a fair bit of credit for supporting this project. However, that is beside the point. I want to make that point, though, because the Prime Minister has been onside, and let us not forget that.
    My comment is really with respect to the fact that even where I live, in Prince Edward Island in Atlantic Canada, this pipeline is seen as much needed. In my opinion, we need the energy east pipeline as well. It is the safest way to move oil, and for my area there would be a lot of jobs. We used to have several flights out of Moncton to Fort McMurray and elsewhere that are not there now because of the oil downturn. I just want to point out and see if the member agrees, that this is not only important for jobs in the west, but important for the economy and jobs right across the country.

  (1030)  

    Madam Speaker, that is impressive. I agree 100% with that. I think that the member has eloquently provided a summary of why this is not just beneficial to Alberta. I know in my own riding there were people who travelled back and forth to the oil sands, leaving their families for weeks and sometimes months at a time, to put food on the tables in Chilliwack. It is 1,000 kilometres away from Fort McMurray. I agree with him that the benefits are there right across the country.
    However, we know that the Prime Minister can do more. We know that the Prime Minister can cross those Rocky Mountains. He can make the case that this member has so eloquently just made. I wish that the member would be invited to the Liberal caucus for British Columbia on Wednesday morning where he could make the case that they should get behind this pipeline, because it is good for the entire country.
    Madam Speaker, I think there has been some progress. The Conservatives mentioned the term “social licence” today in their motion. To be fair, this was a term that the Conservatives dismissed for a long time as airy-fairy and non-existent. However, they have put it in their motion today.
    We may disagree on the definition of “social licence”, because with 17 lawsuits against this pipeline and overwhelming opposition in Vancouver, Burnaby, and many places along the route, it would tricky to say there is the broad consensus that the Prime Minister has talked about.
    The Prime Minister did in fact go to British Columbia, on May 19, 10 days after the B.C. election, where 60% of voters in that province voted for parties opposed to this pipeline. My Conservative federal colleagues might not like that, but it is true. The Prime Minister said that all of the people who voted for those parties have it wrong.
    This is my specific question. The member mentioned water and the importance of water and fish to British Columbia. This is a raw export pipeline. It is a diluted bitumen pipeline. We have no known way of cleaning up a diluted bitumen spill in water. Is this not a concern to his constituents? Is there any remedy he is aware of that if there were such a spill, we would be able to clean up even a drop of this stuff?
    Mr. Speaker, studies have been done that show this can be transported safely in a marine environment, as well as on land.
     I understand where that member is coming from. I am not sure if he has talked to the member for Edmonton Strathcona about how Rachel Notley has been adamant that this pipeline has social licence, that it must be built. She said, “Mark my words, it will get built.” Then we have John Horgan, who said “I'll do everything in my power to stop it.” Clearly, there is a divide in the NDP's leadership race. There are some who are for it and some who are against it. I understand the dilemma. However, the pipeline has been subjected to a stringent evidence-based, scientific review. There are 157 conditions that prove it can be done safely. We believe it should be done for Canadian energy workers.
    Madam Speaker, there have been consultations among all parties and I believe if you seek it you will find consent for the following motion. I move:
    That, at the conclusion of today's debate on the opposition motion in the name of the Member for Chilliwack—Hope, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until Tuesday, June 6th, 2017, at the expiry of the time provide for Oral Questions.
    Does the official opposition whip have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Madam Speaker, the world needs Canada's oil, and global oil demand will continue to grow for decades, especially in the world's most populated countries. China's economy is expanding at over 6% annually and with it Chinese energy needs grow. Meanwhile, India produces only one-quarter of the oil the Indian people need with economic growth of over 7% a year and projections that the Indian economy will surpass the American economy by 2040. While the development of and desire for renewable and alternative energy grows worldwide, so too does demand for available, affordable, abundant oil.
    The International Energy Agency projects demand to reach 99 million barrels a day by the end of 2017. The potential for Canada's global role as a responsible supplier of energy and of technology and regulatory expertise is boundless, but it is dependent on Canada being connected to major export markets around the world, especially while the United States—both Canada's biggest importer and now most significant energy competitor—is reducing costs and red tape, and is ramping up domestic oil production to enhance American energy independence.
    Canada is the sixth largest producer of oil in the world, with the third largest proven oil reserves of any country on earth, the vast majority being in the oil sands. Unlike most major oil producers globally, Canada is a stable and free democracy with the most stringent environmental regulations and enforcement along with human rights, labour standards, and a fundamental philosophy that natural resources belong to citizens, so the wealth derived from energy development benefits the people broadly and in multiple ways. Despite these competitive and capacity advantages, only 4% of the world's daily oil production comes from Canada, which is forced to be a global oil price taker, not a price maker.
    These realities are significant because the sustainability and future of oil and gas development in Canada are key to Canada's long-term prosperity overall and to the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Canadians across the country right now.
    Politics in British Columbia put the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion at risk, with NDP and Green Party leaders pledging to pursue legal action. This $7.4 billion dollar project would create 15,000 jobs in Alberta and B.C. The Conference Board of Canada says it is expected to generate at least $46.7 billion in government revenues and the equivalent of more than 40,000 jobs from economic spinoffs of this single project alone. It would create desperately needed jobs in Alberta while helping grow British Columbia's economy.
    Pipelines are crucial economic transportation infrastructure, which Canada needs in all directions to diversify export markets, reduce reliance on the U.S., and enhance Canada's own energy independence and security.
    However, the growing inflammatory ideological activism around pipelines threatens prosperity and opportunity for all Canadians, sometimes in the most crass and dishonest ways. Around 32,000 Métis and first nations people work in Canada's natural resource sector. In Lakeland and around Alberta, first nations are very active in oil and gas across the value chain, in upstream exploration and production, and in service, supply, and technology.
    However, the Liberals and the left often use first nations as pawns in their anti-energy rhetoric, implying all first nations and Métis people are against it, but AFN Chief Perry Bellegarde confirms that 500 of the 630 first nations in Canada are open to pipelines and support petroleum development. In fact, 50 first nations actively support the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in particular.
    Representing a riding that includes eight first nations and Métis communities in northern rural Alberta, and as a person who happens to be part Ojibwa myself, I am disturbed and disgusted by the left's constant misrepresentation of the perspective on energy development of the majority of first nations in Canada. First nations across western Canada want more pipelines and are increasingly agitating publicly for themselves, because that infrastructure is as crucial to the lifeblood of their communities and to opportunities for young people as anywhere else.
    The debate over pipelines in Canada is as much about trust as it is about economics. It has been odd to watch the minister—sometimes aggressively and sometimes just bewildered—express clear frustration that Albertans are just not grateful enough for their pipeline approvals, as if he is not sure why we have the gall to still be so uppity, or as if we are just so hard to please. But the Liberals contradict themselves about oil and gas depending on where they are or to whom they are talking, because for the Liberals, it is about politics. That is why proponents on all sides of the pipeline debate have a hard time believing the Liberal rhetoric.

  (1035)  

    The Liberals' anti-Canadian energy agenda is obvious. They froze pipeline applications, delaying them for months, and launched four major regulatory reviews while citing interim measures that did not actually include any new aspects, except for the proposal of attaching upstream emissions to pipeline approvals, a standard they do not apply to any other major infrastructure projects anywhere in Canada, and more layers of administration and costs. This uncertainty deters investment and escalates job losses at the very worst time.
    The Prime Minister told the world that Canada will phase out the oil sands and left the Minister of Natural Resources at home during trips in the U.S. focusing on trade and energy; the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, who seems to call the shots, was celebrated by U.S. lobbyists who explicitly oppose Canadian pipelines; and the new chief of staff of the Minister of Natural Resources wants to keep Canadian oil in the ground, while the NEB, one of the most renowned regulators in the world, is being dismantled and sent to Ottawa.
    On the same day the Liberals accepted the independent expert recommendation to approve the Trans Mountain and Line 3 expansions, the Prime Minister killed the only actual new proposal to tidewater, the northern gateway pipeline, along with 31 first nations equity partnerships of $2 billion. It was the first time a Prime Minister overruled or rejected a regulator's independent advice, which was based on the exact same process and evidence as the projects approved by the Liberals. Their talk of science and consultation is so empty, just like the tanker ban, which was directed by the Prime Minister in mandate letters before there was a single environmental safety or economic study, and ultimately absolutely no consultation with first nations about the ban, which applies to only one specific coast, astoundingly, because that incoherence is a product of politics and ideology driving policy and legislation.
    All Canadians should be concerned when ideological activism dictates government action. A 36-page Elections Canada report confirms the influence of foreign groups on Canadian democracy. At least three groups violated Canadian elections law, circumventing spending limits to push their anti-Canadian energy agenda to serve American business and energy interests. The truth is that many anti-Canadian energy groups are funded by American companies precisely to prevent securing diverse export markets for Canadian oil, but the need to accelerate that access has never been more urgent.
    Canadian pipelines are sustainable, safe, and efficient, and 1.25 million more barrels of oil a day are transported across Canada through increased pipeline capacity approved under the previous Conservative government through four major pipelines and several others.
    Thousands of Canadians lost their jobs since 2015, with people in some provinces and regions hit harder than others. The $50 billion loss of investment in Canada's energy sector is the equivalent of losing 75% of auto manufacturing and all of the aerospace sector last year.
     The economic and social consequences are immense: spikes in bankruptcies, foreclosures, food bank use, crime, domestic violence, family breakdowns, suicides. The losses in the energy sector are rippling through other sectors and across Canada. Pipelines will get people back to work in the near term and will sustain oil and gas, which are also the biggest investors in Canadian renewable and alternative energy development long into the future, yet Albertans in particular cannot seem to get themselves on the Liberals' priority list. The response by the Liberals to out-of-work energy workers is subsidies for other sectors and other countries, handouts to provincial governments, with added roadblocks and conditions to private sector investments like pipelines that would actually create jobs for middle-class Canadians, about whom the Liberals purport to care. The mythical social licence is always just out of reach, and it is now clear that no amount of taxing or begging or grovelling will earn it from those who never intend to grant it.
    Oil sands development supports about 400,000 jobs across Canada, with thousands of businesses in every province directly dependent on the resource. Those jobs could reach 700,000 by 2030. They provide tax revenue and support major charitable, post-secondary, community, R & D, and education investments, and livelihoods, across Canada, increasing the standard of living in every community.
    Alberta has long been a driving force in Canada's economy and a reliable partner in confederation. As a first generation Albertan, born and raised, I have only ever known my province as a young, dynamic, culturally and economically diverse, pioneering place, built by people from everywhere else in Canada, like my family from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Ontario, single-handedly creating nine out of 10 jobs in Canada as recently as 2014.
    Albertans are hard-working and generous, contributing $200 billion between 2000 and 2014 to help lift Canadians in all regions. Even while Albertans lost more jobs than at any other time since Pierre Trudeau was in office, they continue to send billions more to the federal government than they receive in services.
    This is an issue of national unity. The Prime Minister must support this motion.

  (1040)  

    Madam Speaker, with all due respect to the member opposite, I think she grabbed the wrong speech. We indeed have approved this pipeline, and we did so taking a number of things into consideration and making a number of changes. As an example, the interim principles that were provided around the NEB process create a more robust review and more engagement with Canadians and with indigenous peoples. The $1.5 billion in the oceans protection plan is another example of how we address some of the concerns around making sure the economy and the environment go hand in hand.
    The member mentioned job losses. Certainly, the sharp downturn in commodity prices affected the men, women, families, and communities in Alberta, and indeed across the country. I will go back to my colleague the member for Malpeque's comment about job losses across the country. Certainly, in my riding, a number of people went out west to work and now have come back home because the job market has certainly shrunk.
    I wonder if the member opposite could talk about the 15,000 jobs that are going to be created, mostly in Alberta and B.C.; but again, people from across the country will return to work. Could she talk about the impact that will have on her communities?

  (1045)  

    Madam Speaker, the interim measures announced by the Liberal government, including community consultation, first nations input, and stakeholders impacted by the pipeline were nothing new. That was always done in the Canadian regulatory system by the world-renowned National Energy Board.
    The only thing that was actually new was the attachment of upstream assessments as a condition of pipeline approvals. That is an assessment that would probably stop any other kind of major infrastructure anywhere in the country from being built, ever. That is a direct threat to the jobs and long-term prosperity of Albertans and the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who rely on the energy sector. The Liberals did it at the very worst time, and by their ongoing regulatory reviews, they have put the sector in uncertainty, which has been proven by the extreme fleeing of foreign investment and energy investment overall in the country.
    The ability for Alberta to continue to contribute to Canada is dependent on these pipelines. The Liberals need to do more than talk, and they need to give us a plan as to how they are going to get these pipelines built, and start by supporting this motion.
    Madam Speaker, I am absolutely astounded by the tone of the remarks. I will leave it to the 600-plus first nations of Canada, the Métis peoples, and Inuit to say whether or not their views are perhaps equally important as those of the member. She said her view overrides all of them.
    Yes, in fact, we once had a revered institution, the National Energy Board. We also have some problems with the way the process has been going on in Alberta, with some reforms hopefully proceeding. However, we just had two expert panels, having consulted all across the country, recommending similar changes, as the public has lost trust in both the environmental assessment and National Energy Board processes. They made very strong recommendations for improvement.
    The Supreme Court has given leave to the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation to raise its concerns, one of the most important cases coming forward. It was not consulted by her government, the Conservative government, on all the changes it brought to the NEB environmental process through omnibus budget bills. Would she like to respond to that? Perhaps they played a role in the problems we are facing in opposition to major energy projects.
    Madam Speaker, I guess I can understand why an NDP MP from downtown Edmonton has no idea how first nations and Métis people, who live next door to energy developments and pipelines, actually are involved in the oil and gas sector and how important it is to all of their communities.
    By the way, Premier Notley says that moving the NEB to Ottawa is dumb, so I guess there is no friend for the province like its NDP counterparts in the House of Commons.
    However, this is what is really at stake. Albertans and my constituents are losing faith. They are not the kind of people to lie down or stand idly by while they are taken for granted and attacked. The Liberals must turn their attention to this issue urgently and seriously. They must not allow the debate on interprovincial transportation, a subject that is federal jurisdiction, to continue to divide Canadians. The Prime Minister, in my riding, in 2013, said this country is not about picking and choosing the areas we think we might be popular in; rather, it is about connecting and building a broad sense of where our country needs to go. He needs to do that.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleagues, the members for Regina—Qu'Appelle, Chilliwack—Hope, and Portage—Lisgar, for their important and timely motion.
    I confess that I find myself today in something of an uncomfortable position. Generally I would consider any alignment of the views of the members opposite with my own a source of discomfort, or even of soul-searching. In the case of this motion, though, we agree. Nonetheless, playing politics with economically vital projects like this is exactly why Stephen Harper got nothing built in 10 years. More important than my agreement with the contents of this motion is my—

  (1050)  

    That is not true.
    Now who is playing politics?
    I want to remind the member for Battle River—Crowfoot that he will have an opportunity to ask questions and make comments when that time comes up. I hope he will afford the minister the respect he deserves to make his speech.
    The hon. Minister of Natural Resources.
    Madam Speaker, more important than my agreement with the content of this motion is my complete agreement with the views on this project of our Prime Minister.
    As hon. members will know, in the immediate aftermath of the election in British Columbia, the Prime Minister publicly and clearly reiterated our government's support for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project. He reinforced the case that our support for this project was made using a rigorous and thorough process, and it was based on science and facts, not political rhetoric.
    At the moment, the future of the British Columbia government remains in question. Premier Clark has indicated her intention to face the legislature and test its confidence in her government. I cannot predict the outcome of a vote of confidence in the British Columbia legislature, but what I can say is that whatever the result of that vote, our government stands behind the decision we made to approve the Trans Mountain expansion project. Why? It is because it was the right decision when we made it last November. It was the right decision the day before the British Columbia election, and it is the right decision now. While the government in B.C. may change, the facts, the science, the evidence, the environmental considerations, the economic benefits, and the jobs all remain unchanged.
    The project was, and this project is, in the best interests of Canadians, so I welcome the support of the members opposite. I welcome their recognition of the wisdom of our decision. I welcome their pointing out through this motion that the project has social licence to proceed, that it is critical to the Canadian economy and the creation of thousands of jobs, that it is safe and environmentally sound, as recognized by the National Energy Board, and that it is under federal jurisdiction with respect to approval and regulation.
    It is rare when the official opposition is a leading advocate for a government policy, but I can tell the House that it is something I could get used to.
    The motion before us deserves a fuller articulation, so let me address its various elements one by one. It asks the House to agree that the project has social licence, although I think we can all agree that this is an outdated term. One does not simply get a “lose” or a “yes” of social support. It is a daily responsibility to serve Canadians and constantly rebuild trust in the government.
     How did this project achieve something the previous government was unable to do, which was diversify markets for our resources, during its entire time in office? The answer is straightforward. Our government listened to Canadians. The previous government believed it knew best without needing to ask for any other opinion. There must be a certain comfort in knowing all without asking Canadians what their opinions are on such projects as this. We listened closely. We heard that not all Canadians agreed, and that is okay. What we heard most strongly was that Canadians are tired of the polarization of the environment versus the economy. We are all in this together.
    Under the previous government, Canadians had simply lost trust in the environmental assessment and review processes, because the outcomes were predetermined. They had come to believe that when weighing economic benefits and environmental stewardship, the scales had become tipped too far in one direction. Our government set about regaining the trust of Canadians. We did so by taking a different approach. We reached out to indigenous communities. We consulted meaningfully, something the Federal Court of Appeal said the previous government had not done sufficiently with the northern gateway project, which is the reason its permit was revoked.
    In the case of the Trans Mountain expansion project, government officials consulted with 117 indigenous groups, and the results are publicly available. We have set aside more than $64 million to fund an indigenous advisory and monitoring committee to meaningfully engage indigenous groups in monitoring the project over its lifespan, the first time in Canadian history. It is a step never before taken by any previous government.

  (1055)  

    Our government listened to environmental groups and those living in the affected communities. We listened to academics and industry. We extended the consultation period to ensure that as many voices as possible could be heard. However, we did not stop there. To regain the confidence of Canadians, we also initiated a modernization of the National Energy Board to ensure that its composition reflected regional views and had sufficient expertise in environmental science, community development, and indigenous traditional knowledge. We are now in the process of determining how these changes can best be made.
    Canadians know that the path to a lower-carbon future may be long, but it is well under way. It is accelerating, and its trajectory is clear. They know that the economy of tomorrow will require investments today in clean technologies, energy efficiency, and renewable sources of energy. Our government has taken action on all these fronts, including doing what virtually every economist and energy company says is the best, most effective way to lower greenhouse gas emissions and spur innovation: putting a price on carbon. In fact, in our government's first budget, we made generational investments in clean energy and new technologies, including technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector. We will build that clean-growth economy, and we are, but we are not there yet, due to nearly a decade of inaction by the previous government.
    With all these initiatives—consulting indigenous communities, engaging Canadians, focusing on sustainability, modernizing the National Energy Board, and investing in green technologies—we sent a very clear signal to Canadians and the world that under this government, environmental sustainability will go hand in hand with economic development. We cannot have one without the other. The actions we took, the investments we made, and the approach we embraced demonstrated that commitment and earned the confidence of Canadians.
    The motion before us also speaks to the importance of the Trans Mountain expansion project to the Canadian economy and in creating thousands of jobs. Indeed, this $7.4 billion project will have significant economic benefits. The project is expected to create 15,000 new jobs during construction. This is good news for workers in Alberta, it is good news for workers in British Columbia, and it is good news for all of Canada. It is also good news for indigenous peoples, who will benefit from jobs and business opportunities as a result of the impact and benefit agreements they have signed with Kinder Morgan.
    The Trans Mountain expansion is also expected to generate more than $3 billion in revenue for governments, revenues that can be used to invest in health care, schools, water treatment plants, and safer roads, improving the lives of millions of Canadians. This is a vital project in a vital industry, an industry that has been hit hard over the past few years.
    I know that every member in the House understands what the effect of lower oil prices has been for Albertans. The economic impacts may be measured in rigs being closed, barrels cut, or investments deferred, but they are felt in the lives of families and experienced in hard conversations around kitchen tables. We took action to support families in the energy sector by extending EI benefits in affected regions, including parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, northern Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador. We also provided additional support to families in the prairie provinces under the Canada child benefit.
    To give more Canadians greater access to good, well-paying jobs, our government invested in training for unemployed and underemployed workers and will develop a new framework to support union-based apprenticeship training.
     For families in Alberta and British Columbia, the Trans Mountain expansion project offers much-needed help and good jobs. It is no wonder, then, that Premier Notley praised the Prime Minister for extraordinary leadership and said, “It has been a long, dark night for the people of Alberta.... [But] we are finally seeing some morning light.”
    The Premier also pointed to a key benefit of this project when she said, “We're getting a chance to reduce our dependence on one market, and therefore to be more economically independent. And we're getting a chance to pick ourselves up and move forward again.”

  (1100)  

    Nor is it just Canadians in Alberta and British Columbia who will benefit from the Trans Mountain expansion project. A 2014 study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute found that for every job created in Alberta's oil patch, at least two more jobs were created across the country. It could be a manufacturing company in Ontario, an engineering firm in Quebec, or an oil worker commuting from one of our coasts. Quite simply, a strong energy industy strengthens us all, and projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion benefit all Canadians.
    The motion also points out the environmental soundness of this project, as determined by the National Energy Board. In approving this project, our government considered the evidence and weighed the facts. We agree with the National Energy Board that the project should proceed, subject to the 157 binding conditions that will be enforced by the board.
    Our government considered the fact that without new pipelines, more diluted bitumen would be forced into more rail tanker cars for transport. That would be less economic, more dangerous for communities, and would produce higher greenhouse gas emissions.
    At the same time that we approved the Trans Mountain expansion project, we also announced a ban on oil tankers on the northern B.C. coastline, specifically around Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound. This coastline is vital to the livelihoods and cultures of indigenous and coastal communities and is part of a unique and ecologically sensitive region.
    Hon. members will know that Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, has now been introduced in this House. I look forward to their support for this vital legislation in the days ahead. As the Minister of Transport has said, the Great Bear region is no place for an oil pipeline, and it is no place for oil tankers either.
    Our government has also made the most significant investment ever to protect our oceans and coastlines, with a $1.5-billion oceans protection plan that includes improving marine traffic monitoring; setting tougher requirements on industry, including for spill response times; making navigation safer; and co-managing our coast with indigenous and coastal communities.
    Our government is also committed to consistently increasing our action on climate change. A 1.5-degree world helps no one, and that includes every one of us here and every Canadian we represent. Inaction comes at too high a cost, whereas a clean growth economy will build more good, middle-class jobs across the country.
    These measures reinforce the importance of carefully balancing environmental protection with economic development as Canada makes the transition to a low-carbon economy.
    The motion put forward by my hon. colleague points out that the Trans Mountain expansion project falls under federal jurisdiction for approval and regulation. Certainly the Constitution assigns the federal government jurisdiction over interprovincial and international trade. With that jurisdiction comes responsibility to consult widely, to act prudently, and to stand firmly.
    We know that there are some who disagree with our decision to approve this project and that they may use the legal system to seek redress. We respect their right to do so, but we will strongly defend our decision in court.
    Our position is clear: the jurisdiction is federal, the decision has been made, and our government will continue to support the Trans Mountain expansion project. On every aspect of this motion, our government finds itself in full agreement. Indeed, as I said in this House to a question from the hon. member for Calgary Forest Lawn, I appreciate their making the case for us.
     As I have said many times, one of our government's key responsibilities is to help get Canadian resources to market. With our major customer, the United States, producing more of its own energy, it is essential that Canada build the infrastructure to get our oil and gas to new global markets. That is exactly why we have approved projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion, doing more in one year than the previous government did in a decade: protecting our oceans, pricing carbon pollution, resetting our nation-to-nation relations, building a climate change plan, and putting middle-class Canadians back to work today by approving the pipelines we need to reach those new markets.
    There is one final element of this motion that I have not yet addressed: that the Trans Mountain expansion project “should be constructed with the continued support of the federal government, as demonstrated by the Prime Minister personally announcing the approval of the project.”

  (1105)  

    I would have thought that the answer to that request would have been clear from the Prime Minister's statements of the past week, so I was somewhat surprised to hear the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle ask in this House whether the Prime Minister will “stand up to the forces that are seeking to kill these jobs, or will he fold like a cardboard cut-out?” If I may paraphrase one of the more famous phrases uttered by one our heroes, Sir Winston Churchill, in this very place, some cardboard, some cut-out.
    Our government will not falter. We will not fail. We will certainly not fold in our support of the Trans Mountain expansion project, nor will we shy away from being a leading force in the global clean growth economy. Neither can be ignored. It is the right thing to do for Canada.
    Madam Speaker, the rhetorical shots aside, I am glad to hear that the minister is going to support this motion and that he agrees with every aspect of it. He has been consistent in that regard on this pipeline.
    As I have said, in Houston, Calgary, and this week in Rome, the Prime Minister has said that he is going to continue to press for this pipeline. I wish he would come to British Columbia to talk more about it, and I wish that the minister and the Prime Minister could convince the 17 Liberal members of Parliament. I hope they read his speech and are as convinced as some of the colleagues who were in his camera shot are, because we have not heard from a single Liberal member of Parliament from British Columbia about whether they agree with the minister.
    Could the minister tell this House how we can expect to get social licence and the support of the people of British Columbia if he cannot even convince the Liberal members of Parliament from British Columbia in his own caucus?
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the question from my hon. friend, and more than that I appreciate the excellent work that he is doing as the natural resources critic.
    We agree on many things. We agree on doing whatever is reasonable that we can do as a government to look seriously at the Alberta energy industry and how we can help those who are suffering as a result of the downturn, also knowing that the jobs that are created by these major energy projects are of benefit not only to Alberta but, in the case of the Trans Mountain expansion, to the people of British Columbia as well.
     Those benefits are well known to all of our members on this side of the House from all regions, not only in British Columbia and Alberta, where the job creation benefit is most direct, but throughout the country. The energy sector has been an important driver of the Canadian economy for decades. We believe that it will continue to be.
    As we make that transition to a low-carbon economy, it is the entrepreneurship and innovation of Albertans and British Columbians that will help us drive it. It makes no sense not to use the wealth that we have available in the ground so as to help finance this transition. It is not only the members of Parliament from British Columbia but also members of Parliament from all across the country who realize how important the energy sector is to Canadians.

  (1110)  

    Madam Speaker, I am very proud to stand in this House as a coastal British Columbian and have this opportunity to ask the Minister of Natural Resources questions.
    When the Prime Minister came to Esquimalt in August 2015, he made a solemn promise that the pipeline review process would have to be done for Kinder Morgan. The Liberal MP for North Vancouver, who is the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, also repeated the claim that Kinder Morgan would have to satisfy a new review process. So too did the Liberal member of Parliament for Burnaby North—Seymour.
    I have a simple question for the minister. Why did the Prime Minister and Liberal members of Parliament from British Columbia lie to the people of British Columbia?
    I want to remind the member that members are not to indicate that someone has lied. They can question why someone has said something, but members cannot—
    Madam Speaker, I will restate the question: why did the Prime Minister and Liberal MPs from British Columbia deliberately mislead the people of B.C.?
    Madam Speaker, we came into office with major energy projects under review. We had to make decisions on how those reviews were to be handled in the short term while we looked at permanent reforms to the environmental assessment process in Canada.
    The member will know that as a part of those interim principles, we established more consultation, not only from government but also from an expert panel that made its way up and down the line, speaking extensively and meaningfully with indigenous communities and others who had an opinion. As a matter of fact, on the website there were literally tens of thousands of opinions expressed by Canadians from coast to coast to coast. That is not something that the process had allowed before.
    We knew that the National Energy Board, as it was currently constituted, did not have the confidence of Canadians, so in the case of those projects under review, we added more opportunities and a different set of criteria, leading to the decision that in the opinion of the Government of Canada, this project was in Canada's interest.
    Madam Speaker, the debate so far today has been contaminated by so many claims that are contrafactual. In other words, the facts are clear, but the conversation in this place is ignoring them.
     For instance, the claim was made that shipping bitumen is safer in a pipeline. The opposite is true.
    When the question at issue is the safety of pipelines versus trains, the critical point is to know what product is being shipped. If it is Bakken shale, which is what blew up in Lac-Mégantic, it is clear it should not be on a train, but solid bitumen can only be put in a pipeline once it has been made more dangerous by adding diluent, which doubles the shipment times as a result of making it into a substance that can flow. Diluted bitumen in a pipeline, once spilled, cannot be cleaned up, but solid bitumen on a train is the safest way to move solid bitumen. That is relevant to the first non-fact.
    The second non-fact is the idea that diluted bitumen can be cleaned up. The member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley already mentioned this point, but let me point out two incontrovertible scientific studies that were ignored by the National Energy Board.
    I intervened in the National Energy Board process. The process was flawed from the get-go by lack of procedural fairness and the abuse of the rights of intervenors in that process, and the courts will rule on that. However, I do need to say that the National Academy of Sciences in the United States—their premier scientific body—and the Royal Society of Canada expert panel both found that bitumen mixed with diluent does not, at this point, have any science to justify the claim that it can be cleaned up. It cannot. It still is not cleaned up in the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, and no matter how much we now hear from Liberals what we used to hear from Conservatives, the very well-modulated Kennedyesque tones do not make non-facts into facts.

  (1115)  

    I just want to remind the members that I do have a clock and I am very cognizant of how long people speak.
    The hon. Minister of Natural Resources.
    Madam Speaker, there is no question there is commentary, and I always learn from the commentary of the hon. member. She and I sat on the board of the International Institute for Sustainable Development when we were both way younger than we are now. Her extensive knowledge of this file and many others does credit to this chamber. On this item, we disagree.
    Madam Speaker, I wonder if my colleague could share with the House the importance of considering the economic and social issues surrounding pipeline development.
    Madam Speaker, the world has changed. If this debate would have happened 20 years ago, the balance between economic development and environmental stewardship would have been lame. It would not have been at the centre of Canadian consciousness. It is now.
    If this debate would have taken place 20 years ago, there would not have been much attention paid to indigenous communities. There would not have been much attention paid to the meaningful accommodation that is necessary to gain the support of indigenous peoples. That is not just in Canada. Wherever we go internationally, we find that the issues are the same. The issues are about sustainable development. Sustainable development, in the case of Canada, means paying close attention to environmental stewardship, honouring the teachings and realities of indigenous communities, and also knowing that the energy sector will continue to be an important source of economic development and job creation for Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, I am rising today to speak to the Conservative opposition day motion on the Kinder Morgan pipeline. I will also be talking about sustainability, because I just heard the minister responsible for natural resources try to appropriate to himself the teachings of first nations. He should learn one thing, which is that first nations are opposing Kinder Morgan because it is not a sustainable project.
    It is worth reminding ourselves what sustainability is. Going back more than 20 years now, when we got the first report that said we had to start looking at the environmental, social, and economic aspects of all projects, what that essentially said was that we have to remove one of the last remaining and huge inequalities in our society, which is the inequality between generations.
     What the minister is trying to support and defend today is precisely the type of development that we have had in this country over the centuries. We take raw natural resources, we do not add value here in Canada, and we try to ship them out as quickly as we possibly can. I heard the government say yesterday that the real problem right now is the shipping of our raw petroleum resources to the United States in far too great a proportion, that we have to start shipping them off to the Asian continent just as rapidly as we were shipping to the United States.
    However, it forgets the obvious, which is that when we are talking about replacing some of the fossil fuels we are burning now, those very same products can produce some of the ingredients for a sustainable future. In other words, whether it is epoxies or carbon substances that go into solar panels, or the propellers for wind turbines, these are all things that require us to learn how to be prudent with our resources, including the oil we are blessed with in this country. I do not think that statement is one that anyone would ever oppose. We are blessed in Canada to have this type of natural resource. Countries around the world realize just how lucky we are.

  (1120)  

[Translation]

     I remember dealing with this on another occasion. When we were fighting the closure of the Shell refinery in Montreal, people asked me how I, as an environmentalist, could support keeping the refinery in Montreal open.
    I was quite pleased when Louis-Gilles Francoeur, by far the best journalist to have written about the environment in Quebec, wrote a front-page article in Le Devoir backing us. He wrote that we should stop the foolish practice of exporting our raw natural resources. For example, we export B.C. cedar logs to China where they are transformed into children's play structures, and then we go to Costco to buy what was made in China with this beautiful cedar.
    Why do we not add value here? Quebec prohibited this kind of wood export a long time ago, and there are furniture factories along the border.
    The first step towards sustainable development is adding value to our products here in Canada, which has never been a priority for the Conservatives or the Liberals.

[English]

    It is not very surprising, of course, that the Conservatives are going to put forward a motion in favour of Kinder Morgan. They do not like it when we remind them that they used the technique of budget bills that used to hide all sorts of things, that they gutted key, century-old legislation like the navigable waters protection act. What is even more disturbing is that I was there on the night that the mammoth budget bill was going through, and it was hiding all sorts of things. I remember the Liberals rending their garments, saying how terrible it was, promising up and down that they would bring back the navigable waters protection act.
    If we understand that we are blessed with these natural resources, then we have to understand that the only way they can be developed with people onside, what we sometimes call social licence, is to have a clear, credible, thorough, transparent environmental assessment process. However, the Conservatives showed a bit of frustration, that there were too many decisions of the courts according the rights to first nations to have a word to say about how resources were developed after 400 years of colonization and oppression. They thought it was about time that we started giving first nations the proper hearing respecting their rights. Conservatives did not agree with that.
    The Liberals, the whole time, talked a good game. It is worth looking at the words that were used by the Liberals, because they cannot weasel away from those right now. The Prime Minister's approval of the process that he once condemned, for us, is a fundamental breach of his obligation toward British Columbians, and all Canadians.
    In Esquimalt, B.C., on August 20, 2015, the Liberal leader, the now Prime Minister, was asked “does your NEB overhaul apply to Kinder Morgan?” He replied, “Yes, yes.... It applies to existing projects, existing pipelines” as well. He was asked for further clarification: “So if they approve Kinder Morgan in January, you're saying”, and then the Prime Minister cut him off. He said,“No, they are not going to approve it in January because we are going to change the government. And that process [has to be] redone.” The tape of that is easy to find.
    The Liberal MP for North Vancouver and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change proclaimed on his campaign website: “A new, independent, evidence-based process must be established. The Kinder Morgan expansion project must satisfy this new rigorous review..”.
    The Liberal MP for Burnaby North—Seymour, who is now the parliamentary secretary to the minister of fisheries, of all things, told voters, “We are going to redo the National Energy Board process. [...] Kinder Morgan will have to go through a new, revised process.” That was a solemn promise. They broke that promise.
    Madam Speaker, you were right, under the rules of this Parliament, to remind us that there are certain words we cannot use here, but I can say that they did not keep that promise, that what they said was not true. It was the opposite of the truth. I can use the word to describe when somebody intentionally says the opposite of the truth, and I will use that word for the rest of the day when I speak to people outside of this hall. It is important to remind Canadians how we came here.
    We came here with Conservatives, Mr. Harper, who famously said that Kyoto, which sought to deal with the real crisis that is global warming, was “a socialist [plot] to suck money [from] wealth-producing countries”. That was at least an honest expression on the part of a climate change denier.
    What we have over on this side, and it is interesting because the head of the Green Party just used similar terms to describe it, is the smiling version of Stephen Harper. We have the reassuring version. We have the snake oil salesman version, in fact. Throughout the campaign, Liberals promised to do politics differently. They promised to bring back the navigable waters protection act. Of course, they have not brought back a single article. They promised to bring in a new environmental assessment process. Of course, they broke that promise.
    What the Minister of Natural Resources was referring to before was something that even the people who were put on that panel after, as some sort of patch job, said. They do not have records of anything that they heard. He had the nerve to stand in the House a few minutes ago and say, “All is well. We received 10,000 emails.” What does that even mean? They are trying to snow people. They are trying to con people into believing that they are somehow different. The only difference is that instead of approving Kinder Morgan with a scowl, they are approving Kinder Morgan with a smile. It is still Kinder Morgan. People of British Columbia cannot be fooled on that one.
    On the subject of what is often referred to as social licence, let us be clear. The process did not allow people to even cross-examine witnesses. Why is that important? It is important because all of these types of approaches, this type of tribunal, this type of hearing, have to follow what are called the rules of natural justice.

  (1125)  

[Translation]

     Major energy projects across Canada are no longer undergoing credible assessments that make Canadians feel as though their voices are being heard. Under the rules of natural justice, when witnesses are being heard, people have the right to ask those stakeholders questions and cross-examine them.
    What did the Liberals allow to happen in the case of Kinder Morgan? They allowed people who represent Kinder Morgan to come and give their opinion. Then, rather than saying that it was an opinion, they said that it was evidence, facts. It cannot be evidence or facts if no one had the right to ask them any questions about their testimony or cross-examine them. That is a violation of the rules of natural justice, but the Liberal Prime Minister is trying to cover it up and lead us to believe that he changed the process.
    There are rules of sustainable development. When I was the Quebec environment minister, I banned seismic testing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for 10 years. Shortly after that ban was lifted, seismic testing was conducted for another pipeline, the energy east project. Seismic testing was done right in the middle of a beluga whale breeding ground. It is mind-boggling.
    I am proud to have included a provision in Quebec's Sustainable Development Act, which I presented in the National Assembly and which was unanimously passed, that changed the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, just as my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona here, in the House of Commons, is proposing to change Canadian law to recognize the right to live in a healthy environment, under existing legislation. The David Suzuki Foundation, among others, has used this provision of the Quebec charter to stop seismic testing in the habitat of beluga whales, a species that is already threatened in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
    How can the public have confidence in either Kinder Morgan or energy east?

  (1130)  

[English]

    In the case of energy east, it is worth remembering that if we go to Quebec City, we will see very large crude carriers right across from there, at the big Valero refinery. If we go to Sorel-Tracy, we will see even larger crude carriers filling up the new Enbridge Line 9B that was recently installed. What they are doing is so obviously dangerous that those crude carriers are only allowed to fill up to a certain level because they are close to the bottom of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
    Between a train, a pipeline, and one of those very large crude carriers dumping in that ecosystem in the St. Lawrence, I know which one is more dangerous. I also know that it has to be studied. It does not make any sense that in Canada right now, we are importing crude oil from insecure foreign sources like Algeria and Russia, and having it refined at Valero's large refinery in Saint-Romuald across from Quebec City.
    However, we cannot even have that discussion because neither Kinder Morgan nor energy east can go forward. There is no thorough, credible evaluation process for that type of project in Canada right now. The reason we do not have that project is because the Liberal government and the Liberal Prime Minister broke their word.
    Recent spills have demonstrated that B.C. is not prepared to deal with current traffic, much less with a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic. B.C.'s coast and economy are too important to risk. That is why we are demanding a new and comprehensive review process, exactly what the Liberals promised but have not delivered, that would address environmental concerns, properly consult with first nations, fully evaluate regional economic impacts, and allow for full public participation.
    I go back to the words of the member for Winnipeg, who reminded us that he has played some kind of role with regard to sustainable development in the past. That makes it even more unpardonable, because he does not even have the excuse of ignorance. He is claiming to have social license to go forward with Kinder Morgan. He has no such social licence. His government has no such social licence.
    We are also demanding that the review process that addresses those environmental concerns properly consults with first nations, fully evaluates regional economic impacts, and allows for full public participation. That's the only way to obtain that social licence. Pre-election, the Prime Minister knew that. It is too bad that the post-election Prime Minister will not admit it.

[Translation]

     Under Stephen Harper's NEB process, the public was excluded and hundreds of applications to provide comment were rejected. As I mentioned earlier, there was no ability to cross-examine witnesses. Important issues were also ignored, including climate impacts. In addition, first nations were not adequately consulted.
    Even the government’s own ministerial panel on the project criticized the significant gaps in the NEB process and found that the proposal could not proceed. Was it not enough that the National Energy Board had met in private with the former premier of Quebec, Jean Charest, to figure out how to better sell the energy east project? Since when is a decision pre-determined by people whose only mandate is to listen to the evidence, weigh what is presented in public, and make a decision based on what was heard and in accordance with the rules?
     I often say that, generally speaking, it is just as big of a mistake to decide in advance that a project cannot go ahead as it is to decide in advance that it must. There was only one time in my career that I refused to consider a project. It was another project in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the completely ludicrous Rabaska project, which sought to bring huge ships filled with liquid natural gas to a terminal located across from Île d'Orléans and Quebec City, where it would be converted back into gas. It was so dangerous and so absurd that I said I would not even consider it.
    Similarly, I was one of the people that said that there was no way that the Douglas Channel project near Kitimat, in northern British Columbia, should go forward. The name Thomas suits me because I always want to go and see and touch things for myself, so I went to visit the Douglas Channel with my friend and colleague who represents that area of British Columbia, the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley. There, I was able to see for myself that the idea of bringing large tankers into that channel was absolutely insane.
    It is therefore possible for a government to refuse to even consider a project, so why then did the Liberals have reports from the National Energy Board on the Trans Mountain project? There were two projects: one in northern British Columbia and the other in the south. As a result, there were two reports from the NEB. In the case of the Douglas Channel in northern B.C., the NEB said that the project could not go forward unless it was sustainable, unless the first nations were consulted, and unless it obtained social licence. However, the NEB said that everything was fine for the project in the southern part of the province. That does not make any sense.

  (1135)  

[English]

    Even the panel co-chair reported that everywhere they went there were issues with confidence, transparency, independence, safety, and security. The Kinder Morgan pipeline will not be going ahead because the Liberals did not respect their promise to British Columbians to bring in a new process that would be credible, thorough, transparent, and that the public could have confidence in. Without those key elements, none of these major projects can go ahead, because in this day and age the public knows we have an obligation not just to ourselves now, but to future generations. That is the essence of sustainability, and that is why the New Democratic Party will be opposing the motion, and why we oppose the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
    Madam Speaker, I always enjoy the leader of the NDP's contributions to the debate in the House. The NDP has always been clear on this pipeline and certainly on any major pipeline that was proposed under the Conservative government. The NDP was opposed to the pipeline. That was its position and the member has just outlined the reasons for it.
    What I have more trouble with is the Liberals saying one thing when they are running for election and doing something else when they are in government. Canadians should be concerned about that, as well as having the Prime Minister say one thing and Liberal MPs from B.C. say either the opposite or nothing, which appears will be the case.
    I want to ask the member a sincere question. The NDP Premier of British Columbia—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Mark Strahl: Sorry, I meant the NDP Premier of Alberta. Yes, I walked into that.
    The NDP Premier of Alberta made it clear. She said, “Mark my words, that pipeline will be built.” Obviously, John Horgan said something else. Tom Sigurdson, Mike Harcourt, Dan Miller, and other B.C. NDP luminaries have said they think it is good for the building trades and that it should go ahead.
    I want to get the member's perspective on the comments of the Premier of Alberta and what he might say to her in opposing this project.
    Madam Speaker, the member is also from British Columbia and has looked at this for a long time, but let us not forget that it is not Rachel Notley who promised a new system to evaluate the Kinder Morgan project; it is the Prime Minister. He is the one who is breaking his promise, and that is why British Columbians and the NDP say that the Kinder Morgan project cannot go ahead, because it has never been studied in a thorough and credible manner.
    I would also add, and I think that Alberta has shown the way on this to many other provinces, that the Rachel Notley NDP government is the first one in the history of Alberta to come up with a plan to start bending the curve with regard to greenhouse gas reduction. It put on a hard cap. It brought together first nations, business groups, and non-governmental organizations. That is bridge building. I also like to see the NDP Premier of B.C., as he was just referred to, and the leader of the Green Party getting together. That is also bridge building.
    I am sure that with a lot of goodwill, we can do a lot, including creating new jobs in the new economy. It does not have to be based on those same resources of the past. We can do a lot and the people of Alberta can be part of that.

  (1140)  

    Madam Speaker, I will go back to the hon. member's original comment and ask if he purports to speak for all indigenous groups. If so, what does he say to those indigenous groups in communities that, indeed, support this pipeline?
    I also want to follow up on something the member for Chilliwack—Hope mentioned, and that is the comment by Premier Notley, the NDP Premier of Alberta, who clearly supports this project.
    In addition, I would ask the member opposite what he would say to NDP members across Canada who, indeed, support this pipeline and the workers, a lot of whom are represented by trade unions, who want the 15,000 jobs because they are good, middle-class, well-paying jobs and they are important to communities across this country.
    Madam Speaker, in the filings of Kinder Morgan with the National Energy Board, it did not talk about 15,000 jobs. It talked about 50, not 50,000 but 50 jobs permanently created by that pipeline. I do not know where the 15,000 comes from.
    I would ask my colleague one thing. Why did she enter politics? Does she feel good when she meets with a group in her riding and says the Liberals told the people of British Columbia that there would be a new process, but that was just something they were saying to get elected and had no intention of doing it?
    Does that make her feel good about coming into politics and investing that much time and energy? I would feel terrible if I had ever done something like that. When I was the minister of environment, I was able to reduce greenhouse gases every year I was there. Does anyone know why? It was because I went in with core beliefs of what was important in terms of sustainable development and I dedicated myself, heart and soul, to respecting what I had promised people. People who get into politics making fake promises they have no intention of keeping is something that you should be ashamed of.
    I would remind the member to address his comments to the Chair and not to use the word “you”. It would be a lot easier.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola.
    Madam Speaker, in regard to the Kinder Morgan existing pipeline, it actually runs through my riding. Obviously I am an interior B.C.-based MP.
     I would like to see a new pipeline, because it is 60-plus years old and the design standards and requirements today are unparalleled, considering the ones that the original pipeline was built under. Having a new pipeline built would allow for a greater amount of oil, but would also be able to pay for increases to safety and response times, as well as all the infrastructure that goes along with that.
    The member has also mentioned his issues with the credibility of the National Energy Board. Could the member actually concretely say what elements he would change, and tell us why no member of Parliament has put forward a private member's bill to introduce that change so that we can have that debate on whether or not the board could be tweaked to build bridges, as the member said, and pipelines?
    Madam Speaker, we know that the members of the National Energy Board, who were holding hearings on the energy east project, actually sat down with Jean Charest and admitted, because they had to be replaced because they were in an obvious conflict, that they were there to find out the best way to sell the project. Though they had not even heard the evidence yet, they had already decided the result.
    That is a bit of a problem for most Canadians, if members of the NEB are supposed to be in an adjudication process listening to evidence and they have already made up their minds in advance. I do not know about the member, but I find that to be a bit of a problem.
    With regard to the changes that are necessary, there has been another report brought in. I will distance myself from one key element of that. I did not think it made any sense whatsoever to say that the NEB cannot sit in Calgary. I thought that was an absolutely unacceptable sleight to the people of Calgary and to the ability of people to do their jobs.
    However, the question is, what is necessary? We need a thorough, credible, transparent process. We do not have one. That is not just our opinion; it is the opinion of all the experts who have looked at it. We have to replace the energy board with something that is credible. If we do not, none of these projects, whether it is energy east or Kinder Morgan, can go ahead.
    If the member believes in the sustainable and environmentally respectful development of our natural resources, which I repeat are a blessing, then he should get on board with trying to put in place something that the public can have confidence in. That is the nature of social licence.

  (1145)  

    Madam Speaker, the Liberal Minister of Natural Resources started his speech earlier by saying that he was in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with the Conservatives, and that he had some soul-searching to do. That is strange, because Liberals so often agree with Conservatives when it comes to pipelines.
    If the expert panel that the Prime Minister appointed to review the National Energy Board came up with the following conclusions: that the public has fundamentally lost confidence in the National Energy Board, and that there is a “crisis of confidence” with respect to the decisions that are being made because the public overwhelmingly feels that the National Energy Board is a “captured” regulator. That means it is too close to industry and is too often approving whatever it is that industry wants, leaving the public out.
    If that is the situation and the promise was clearly made by the Prime Minister that in order to get that social licence, we have to restore and renew the NEB on this project before it gets approved, what situation do we have now? He went into British Columbia a week after the election and said that British Columbian voters, 60% of which voted for parties against this pipeline, were wrong.
    What message is this Prime Minister and his silent Liberal MPs from British Columbia actually sending to the people of my province?
    Madam Speaker, that question really is the essence of what we are discussing here today.
    The Prime Minister said the process was broken. The ministerial review panel on Kinder Morgan said the process was broken. The expert panel on the NEB said the process was broken.
    Why do the Liberals now think the process is fine?
    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House today of behalf of the good people of Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola. I would like inform the House that I will be proudly sharing my time with the member of Parliament for Battle River—Crowfoot.
    Order. I just want to remind the members of the NDP at this point that the House is still going on, and if they want to have conversations, they should have them in the lobby.
    Madam Speaker, before we begin this debate, I think it is important for us to recognize why we are having it. We know that recently, the BC Green Party and the B.C. NDP did a backroom deal, with the intent to form a government in my home province of British Columbia. As part of this deal, it has been made clear that should a B.C. NDP-Green Party-supported government come to power, it will use every tool at its disposal to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline.
    On top of that, we know that there are multiple Liberal members of Parliament from British Columbia who have publicly stated that they are opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline being built. Meanwhile, when the Prime Minister was doing his cross-Canada feel-good tour, he conveniently skipped my home province of British Columbia. That is a curious omission. There is no question that when the Prime Minister is in Alberta, he is very committed to the Trans Mountain pipeline. However, this same commitment has not been demonstrated in British Columbia.
    These things, all added up, raise concerns for me. That is why I think we are having this debate today.
    I will do something a little unusual for an opposition member. I will give some praise to the government, first, for approving the Trans Mountain pipeline. However, I must add that while one of the Liberals' favourite talking points is how the former government did not get any pipelines built to tidewater, to be clear, the National Energy Board did not green-light the Trans Mountain pipeline until the new government was in power.
    On the same note, I will credit the government for keeping a campaign promise to re-open the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station and for adding spill response capacity at this station. I will recognize also that when the Prime Minister is in Alberta stating the reasons his government supports the Trans Mountain pipeline, he makes a compelling case. Let us hope that more of this happens in British Columbia where it is truly needed.
    Now that I have given the government some credit where it is warranted, I would like to add a few thoughts on the topic. To be clear, if the Trans Mountain pipeline were not built, it would not stop the flow of oil, so to speak. It will simply guarantee that oil continues to go in the same direction across the same border, where we yield a much smaller return.
    Let us be clear. The revenue and related taxation from resource royalties is part of how governments at all levels provide critically needed services for our citizens. The question is, ultimately, where we send the oil to maximize the return for the citizens we all, collectively, represent.
    In Alberta, we have an NDP government that has paid a massive political price for introducing some extremely unpopular environmental regulations, the carbon taxation, to be blunt, in an effort to secure social licence on pipelines. It has been a failed effort, because those who oppose the oil sands will continue to oppose them, regardless of what the Alberta NDP government does.
    However, here in this place we have an obligation to represent our citizens in a manner that also strengthens the fabric of the country, and ultimately the Canadian national interest.
    In British Columbia there is an added concern about the presence of oil tankers off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Indeed, this Liberal government proposes to ban large tankers off the north coast of British Columbia. I mention large tankers, because of course, the proposed legislation says that smaller tankers are okay, because even those who oppose tankers on the north coast still need them. Because of that, they will get less efficient, smaller tankers.
    Getting back to tankers off the west coast of Vancouver Island, there is an international shipping lane off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Just across the border and south of Vancouver, British Columbia, is a place called Cherry Point, Washington, home of a massive refinery. It is a destination for all kinds of large-scale tanker traffic. The bottom line is that tankers ply the waters off Vancouver Island, and will continue to, regardless of any legislation passed in this place or in Victoria.

  (1150)  

    The only question is this. Do we allow our resources to be discounted, and our jobs lost solely because some in the United States have figured out a loophole that makes it very easy to send large amounts of money into Canada to oppose not U.S. oil or Saudi Arabian oil but just oil from Canada? I would suggest that this is wrong. It is one of the many reasons I support the Trans Mountain pipeline.
    In fact, on a local level, some of the communities in my riding also publicly support the Trans Mountain pipeline. Aside from the job benefits, they stand to get some taxation benefits from the improvements. For a community like Merritt, which was hard hit by the closure of the Tolko lumber mill, these are critically needed jobs and revenues for local government.
    Looking at the bigger picture, I also believe that there are times when we need to have a national vision and the leadership to see it through, because that is how we build a stronger Canada. We watch celebrities charter 100-foot yachts and jet around the world. They have a carbon footprint hundreds of times that of normal, everyday citizens. They will fly into Alberta, hire a local jet-fuel-powered Bell helicopter, and then blast us for our oil sands.
    We see oil-producing countries with nowhere near the environmental regulations being implemented in Alberta that are getting a complete pass, because here in Canada, we have become the low-hanging fruit of the anti-oil industry. It is an industry. There is big U.S. money that flows across our border to fight Canadian oil.
    We know that U.S.A. oil production is massively on the rise. Strangely, there is mostly silence on that. By the way, most of that growth was under the previous president, not just the current administration.
    We have an opportunity today with this opposition day motion. The Liberal government can support this motion. It is in our collective interest to do so. Crown resources ultimately belong to the people, and we have a duty, an obligation, to ensure that we maximize the return on these resources to pay for the very services Canadians hold near and dear.
    It is all well and good to offer $372 million for a carbon-burning aviation project for a private company in Quebec, and likewise, $35 billion for an infrastructure bank in Toronto, but that money needs to come from somewhere. Here we have a project not looking for a handout, not looking for a government guarantee on the money needed to finance the project. What it needs is not handouts; it needs the certainty that when it needs to build this project and put Canadians to work, it will have a federal government in Ottawa that will be there to help Canadians say yes.
    I recognize that the government itself so far has said yes. Words are important, but so are actions. Taking action today to support this motion will send a message that we have a federal government that is not afraid to diversify our oil export market away from solely the United States to allow us to get full value from what everyone would agree is a limited, finite resource. When we send that message, we will create jobs and increase our future revenues. Given the large deficits of the government, and likewise of many provincial governments, now is the time to take action and support Canadian oil produced by Canadians.
    I appreciate the opportunity to stand on behalf of my constituents.

  (1155)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I always enjoy working with my colleague, and I thank him.
    What bothers me about this motion is that it mentions social licence. It assumes that social licence for this oil pipeline is a given, but there are many people and quite a few communities vehemently opposed to it, and there are even legal proceedings under way against it.
    I would like to know why the Conservatives decided to put social licence in their motion and what makes them think that this issue has been resolved and is no longer an issue. They think there is social licence and everything is fine. They seem to be looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses.
    Why did the Conservatives put that in the motion when it is obvious that there is no social licence?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I first heard this term “social licence” being used in the context of oil sands and pipelines from the Premier of Alberta, Premier Notley, and it has also been used by the Prime Minister.
    The problem with “social licence” itself is that it is a very loose term. It creates a sense that somehow we can always build consensus. In our modern society, we know we will not always have consensus. The New Democratic Party should know better than anyone that ultimately we have democracy. When we cannot get past feelings and regrets and questions and whatnot, when we have to come to decisions, we stand in this place, we vote, and we move forward. We have moderating institutions, like courts, to make sure that if people have legitimate concerns that the government is trespassing on people's individual rights, there is recourse. That is democracy. I support democracy, because it is something every Canadian knows, understands, and respects.

  (1200)  

    Madam Speaker, during the last few months while we have been in government, we have approved pipelines to tidewater. Our Minister of Natural Resources has been working on approving these pipelines, and our Prime Minister has done so, respecting the fact that we know that the economy and climate action go hand in hand.
     I am just wondering what our hon. colleague has to say about the fact that we as a government have been able to do them together, the economy and the environment. The previous government made a number of removals from our climate-change policies.
    What does he think about that, and why is he not satisfied with the actions our government has taken so far, and hence, has brought this motion forward?
    Madam Speaker, I guess it is because this is a new member and she is still feeling the glow from the previous election that she said it has been a few months the Liberals have been governing. I think it has been more like a few years. That is what it feels like to me.
    However, the member raises an interesting point. She said that the Liberals are taking action on the environment and the economy. I would say they are actually doing the opposite on both.
    First, on the environment, what the Liberals have done is put out a vague notion of a carbon tax, yet to be decided and pitting provinces against the federal government. This is from a Prime Minister who said he would listen to and work with the provinces. Second, the things they have, such as new methane gas regulations, they have actually pushed back implementing by three or four years. Many people in the environmental movement think what they are doing is wrong. In addition to that, there is the banning of coal-fired energy. You have exempted Nova Scotia and exempted other provinces.
    At the end of the day, you are not growing the economy very much. You are blowing a lot of money, and you are not actually doing the environmental things they said they would, or else you would not be getting raked over the coals by the NDP on a regular basis.
     The government still may feel like it is a few months into it, but the Liberals have not done that much in two years.
    Before we resume debate, I would just remind the hon. member to direct his attention and language toward the Chair, as opposed to members opposite.
    Mr. Speaker, that is great advice. I apologize to the Chair and ask that the member opposite appreciate that I get a little worked up about these things.
    Not a problem.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot.
     Mr. Speaker, it is a real pleasure to stand in this House at any time to represent the people of Battle River—Crowfoot and to represent, in a small part, the people of Alberta and the people of western Canada and Canada. Let us make no mistake. This debate today is very important to all of those groups I mentioned, whether it be the constituents of Battle River—Crowfoot or even the broader constituents of Canada, and probably people around the world as well.
    This is also the very first opposition day debate in which our new leader of the official opposition and of the Conservative Party has brought forward or allowed a debate on this subject. I can tell members that this bodes well for Alberta and for our country.
    The motion we are debating today is very important for Canada's energy sector, and it is important for the wealth and prosperity of our country. Today's debate is important for every social program that we have in this country. The ramifications of a prosperous, forward-moving country benefit all.
    The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project is critical to the Canadian economy and the creation of thousands of jobs. That is one of the important aspects of the motion we are debating today.
    Many Canadians understand the great promise of prosperity that Canada's energy sector has for our country. For the coming decades, the world is going to continue to need and want Canada's oil and gas. We see China and India moving more and more to a need for what our country produces; that is, energy. Canada is an exporting country. There continue to be markets around the world that want Canadian energy products. This will continue to be the case for decades to come.
    In fact, when we look at the history of our country, we very quickly understand that Canada has prospered, historically, because we have been able to provide the world with goods it has needed and wanted.
    In the very early days of Canada, Europeans asked for fur. We developed the fur trade, and this large geographic nation of Canada, whether through first nations or our trappers and settlers, provided that fur around the world. Then it was coal. As people looked for energy and looked for home heating around the world and in our country, they required coal. Canada responded and produced and exported coal. It was likewise with wheat, to feed the world. Today, the west and regions all across the country continue to do that. More recently, it has been energy, whether it be Canada's gas and oil sector or, hopefully, an expanded LNG sector. As we look to the future, we either have to decide if we are going to provide what the world is asking for or if we are going to withdraw into this little island and try to get by. The world was asking. There have been, and there will continue to be, more and more customers who want to purchase Canada's oil and gas.
    However, our major customer, the United States, has now become our major competitor. This is imperative to understand. We must prepare to transport our energy, our gas and oil, to offshore markets other than the United States. We want the United States market. We will continue to sell into it. However, we must realistically look and say we need more countries. We need to build the necessary transportation infrastructure that will ensure that we can export these products over the next 30 to 50 years.
    On November 29, 2016, the Liberal government announced that it approved the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project. It was satisfied that it had achieved social licence from Canadians to go ahead with this project.

  (1205)  

    Canada's National Energy Board has recognized and accepted that this project is both safe and environmentally sound. Canadians can have jobs and a clean environment. The previous Conservative government was confident that this would be the National Energy Board's conclusion. We were already working on getting Canada's energy to the markets.
    The Liberal government has only delayed the progress Canada has made. This project and others could be well advanced in their progress. Some could be completed by now. We have to prepare. We have to look to the future, and we need to do this quickly to make these energy sales abroad.
    The previous government approved four pipelines: Keystone, the Alberta Clipper, Anchor Loop, and Line 9B. The northern gateway pipeline was also approved by the Conservative government. Construction would have started over a year ago, but the Liberals effectively cancelled the project by placing a moratorium on the transportation of crude oil by B.C. tankers. Did they study that? Did they work to reach a social licence to go ahead with projects that would help Canada export its energy products? The answer is no. They just recklessly cancelled things and laughed about leaving the carbon in the ground.
    By May of 2016, the National Energy Board had consulted 35 indigenous groups and more than 1,600 different groups representing industry stakeholders, the public, and government. The National Energy Board approved Kinder Morgan, but the Liberals delayed the final decision to go ahead, and they were threatening not to proceed with it.
    Meanwhile, nearly 20,000 jobs have been lost in the natural resources sector since January 2016. Most of these jobs were in the oil and gas sector, and pretty well all of them were in western Canada. Many of my constituents work in the oil and gas sector. Some of them worked in the oil sands. I met them when we were campaigning in 2015 in Camrose and Stettler, where they were waiting for the oil sands projects to get going again. They travelled to Fort McMurray. They travelled and worked, and it was worth it.
    Many of my constituents worked in support of this sector. Most of these jobs are gone. We have lost many customers in the oil patch. We have lost the jobs associated with pipeline building. We have lost the customers who needed heavy machinery maintained. We have some locations with 10% unemployment in Alberta. In fact, my constituency had 9.9% unemployment in the month of March. In the lead up to the recession, we had 3.2% unemployment. During the recession, it was about 4.5%. In March, it was 9.9%. In April, it was 9.7%. The NDP MLA from Camrose was bragging about the increase in employment in Camrose, with unemployment going from 9.9% to 9.7%.
    About the same time that the world oil prices fell and other factors played in to create a perfect storm that attacked Canada's oil sector, the Liberals were talking about everything but that. The government did not come to the rescue of one of Canada's major export sectors. It did very little. It did not help keep these jobs. It did not help ensure the sector remained prosperous. It actually lost revenues for its own government, and that continues to be the case. All the while, it continued to borrow billions of dollars that Canadian taxpayers will have to pay back over the next few decades. Revenues from the oil and gas sector will help to pay back some of the billions of dollars in borrowed money. Our grandchildren will want to sell gas and oil to pay back the billions the Liberal government has piled on in deficits and national debt. Our children will want to see jobs, and they want to see them soon.
    We need pipelines. They are the safest, most efficient, and most economical way to move gas and oil. Anyone who travels through the west now sees trains that seem as if they are miles and miles long, carrying predominantly oil. Three weeks ago, just outside Camrose, in my constituency, in a little town called Bawlf, I got a phone call that there had been a derailment. Twenty-nine cars derailed. I absolutely thought that this was another disaster, that there would be oil everywhere. Thankfully, that train was hauling grain in the 29 cars.

  (1210)  

    The safest way to move our oil is not by train but by pipeline. Approximately 99.99% of pipelines are absolutely safe. Canadians understand that. The question is whether we are going to allow pipelines to be built to help our future.
    I thank the Liberal government, because from what it sounds like today, it is going to vote with us on this motion. I am also very aware that many Liberal members of Parliament from British Columbia are not to be found in this place and that is a sad commentary of where we are in this debate today.
    Mr. Speaker, I do find something my colleague said puzzling. He talked about the fact that China is currently in competition for the production of oil, yet ironically China is actually the world leader in renewable energy production. As a matter of fact, China produces more than twice the amount of renewable energy that the United States does. China's renewable energy production outpaces its fossil fuel and nuclear capacity right now. China sees the future, at least.
    I accept the fact that the member did mention in his comments that he saw oil as being extremely important for the next couple of decades. Where does he see the future after that? Does he see the future indefinitely in oil, or does he see it eventually going toward renewable energy, as China clearly does?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to stand in this place and say that I am a strong advocate for renewable energy. This is not an either-or situation. We will gladly encourage investment by the private sector in renewable fuel.
    I do not have the statistics in front of me right now, but make no mistake; we know there will be a market for fossil fuels over the next 100-plus years. Given a complete revival in more renewable energy being brought forward, the most it could do is up to 30%, according to most experts.
    We need to make sure that we invest in new renewable energy. The member said China invests in renewable energy, but China is also the largest burner of coal and every month brings forward more coal.
    We have to find that balance. We need to export.
    Years ago when we looked at China on the CBC, we saw old gentlemen travelling down rickety sidewalks on bicycles. Now the Chinese want vehicles. They have 10 lanes of traffic. They are our customers. They are not looking for only renewable energy. They are looking for what is going to burn in that car, and there has not yet been a complete solar vehicle that would satisfy any country's needs.

  (1215)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his remarks.
    I would like pick up on the point I made earlier when I asked his Conservative colleague about social licence. The Conservatives mention it in their motion, which might be the first time they have ever talked about this principle.
    His Conservative colleague replied that social licence is a loose term that he was not sure about. Let me paraphrase what he said. He said it is important, it is democracy, our democratic institutions make decisions, and the voters go to the polls to express their opinion.
    On that last point, as we saw in British Columbia just recently, 60% of the voters supported a party that is opposed to the current Kinder Morgan project, whose environmental assessment process was flawed.
    Does the member agree that 60% of the voters expressed their opposition to this project in British Columbia? If so, why is he trying to move it forward when he obviously does not have the social licence the Conservatives talk about in their motion?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am reminded of a line used in one of my children's favourite movies, The Princess Bride, in which one gentleman says, “I do not think [that word] means what you think it means.” The idea of social licence is much the same. I do not think “social licence” means to the NDP what it may mean to the Liberal Party. I am not certain that “social licence” means to the Liberal Party what it means to indigenous groups, but the Prime Minister says that we have social licence.
    What governments typically have to look for is whether this is going to be in the public good. My definition of “social licence” is very closely connected with “public good”. The National Energy Board and other groups ask if this is going to have an overriding negative impact or a positive one. If it is positive, then we say it is in the public good to do something. Social licence allows people to have jobs and provides union jobs across this country.
    I will read one quote from the head of Evraz North America, Conrad Winkler, which has holdings in Camrose and Regina. He stated, “Pipeline project benefits do not recognize regions or stop at oil field borders. They generate huge benefits for Ontario and Quebec as well—because they provide jobs, property and income taxes, construction activity and community development.” Jobs like this allow social programs like health care and education to carry on. These jobs are in Canada's best interests.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my hon. sparring partner from Saint John—Rothesay.
    I stand here today to address the Trans Mountain expansion project. This government has been working diligently to ensure that this important project comes to fruition and bears the promised outcomes of stable, middle-class jobs and security for Canadians. In a country that relies on its ability to sustainably manage its vast natural resources, the Trans Mountain expansion project is critical to the Canadian economy and the creation of thousands of jobs. With the continued support of the federal government, as demonstrated by the Prime Minister personally announcing the approval of the project, this project is on track to move forward.
    My colleague across the way from Alberta, the member for Red Deer—Lacombe, stated in January 2016:
    We have not had a very clear signal about what the Liberals are going to do...about things like pipelines, one thing they should not do is send a signal to the market that they are going to ban tanker traffic off the west coast to appease a special interest group, which will shut down the northern gateway pipeline that would put billions of dollars of Alberta crude into the marketplace, eliminating the price differential that Alberta's captive market currently is in the North American marketplace.
    My colleagues and I are here today, standing before our colleagues, to assert very clearly that this government intends to make good on its commitments to move forward with the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project.

  (1220)  

[Translation]

    Not only has our government been working with our indigenous partners to determine the best way to move ahead with this project, but it is also committed to doing so in a sustainable way. Since we are committed to protecting Canada's coastline, a source of pride and inspiration for Canadians, we are also concerned about all Canadians whose livelihoods depend on the economic viability of Canada's waterways and natural resources.
    Many jobs that support middle-class families and the products we consumer every day depend on our ability to manage our resources and share them with our international trading partners. Oil extraction is no exception. While it is true that we continue to develop new technologies and new sources of sustainable energy, we must also continue to participate in the global economy. Canadians share our desire to ensure that our vast and magnificent landscapes, and the ecosystems they support, are protected and continue to be protected.
    Canadians also recognize the importance of economic growth and of steady employment opportunities. This government will continue to support hard-working Canadians. The regulatory review of the pipeline component of the Trans Mountain expansion project is subject to the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Energy Board and Fisheries and Oceans Canada for Cooperation and Administration of the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act Related to Regulating Energy Infrastructure.
    Under the terms of collaborative agreements, the National Energy Board assesses the potential impacts of a project on fish and fish habitat, including aquatic species at risk, taking into account the intent and requirements of the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act with regard to waterway crossings in the context of the pipeline component of the project. As this project works its way through federal approval processes, the government continues to support the National Energy Board's 2016 report on the project and its recommendations to approve the Trans Mountain expansion project subject to 157 important conditions.

[English]

    In January of this year, the Province of British Columbia issued an environmental assessment certificate for the project, subject to an additional 37 conditions. The Liberal Party has been clear that protecting our natural heritage and our oceans is a priority. Canada is a maritime nation with more coastline than any other country in the world. Canadians rely on their coasts and waterways for recreation, to deliver products to the market, and to earn their livelihoods, but also cherish them for cultural reasons.
    All Canadians, and especially coastal communities, need confidence that commercial shipping is taking place in a way that is safe for mariners, and that protects and sustains the economic, environmental, social, and cultural health of our oceans and coasts.
    In November 2016, the Prime Minister launched the oceans protection plan. This national $1.5-billion investment will protect Canada's marine environments and improve marine safety and responsible shipping. It will also provide indigenous groups in coastal communities with new opportunities to protect, preserve, and restore Canada's oceans and sea routes. The oceans protection plan is an ambitious, whole-of-government approach to oceans management that involves working with the provinces and territories, indigenous peoples, industry, environmental organizations, and a host of other partners to further protect our coasts and waterways in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic.
    This national strategy is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. The hon. Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Minister of Transport have announced several initiatives as part of the oceans protection plan, and the government is busy implementing those initiatives.
    One of these initiatives is marine pilotage. Marine pilotage is a service where marine pilots take control of a vessel and navigate it through ports and waterways. In Canada, once a vessel enters into a compulsory pilotage area, under law, the vessel is obliged and obligated to have Canadian marine pilots guide it in transit through the area. Marine pilotage has a success rate of over 99%, providing Canadians with the assurance that ships in their waters are travelling safely to and from their destinations.
    Pilotage has a direct impact on significantly reducing vessel accidents, such as collisions, power groundings, and drift groundings. Canadians can confidently say that when marine pilots are combined with the use of escort and standby tugs, shipping operations in Canadian waters are very safely conducted.

  (1225)  

[Translation]

    This government balances the needs of Canada and Canadians today with the right of all Canadians to preserve their natural heritage for future generations.
    There is no doubt that our oceans and our coastal areas are a beloved and integral part of our country’s identity. It is becoming increasingly clear that moving forward with the Trans Mountain expansion project has been a difficult decision. Canadians know and understand that this government is committed to ensuring that it is implemented in a sustainable manner, both on land and in water.
    The decision was made to move forward with the project that would have the least possible environmental impacts. The fact that the Trans Mountain expansion project was given the green light neither weakens this government's efforts to sustain its economic momentum, nor affects its ultimate goal of weaning our economy away from oil.
    To be blunt, we must move ahead with the Trans Mountain expansion project for economic reasons.
    We are also pursuing medium- and long-term projects that will allow Canada to not only develop sustainable energy, but to market this energy and offer it to our international trading partners.
     Together, Canadians can work together to ensure jobs and economic growth for years to come. Together, Canadians can work to develop these technologies of the future. Together, Canadians can protect and restore our vast and precious natural environment.
     Canada is a proud trading and maritime nation whose ports and maritime corridors are seeing increased activity. As good stewards of our lands and waterways, we have the opportunity to meet the challenges that our oceans and coastal regions are facing right now, while preparing for the increased pressures they may face in the future.
    The environmental legacy our children and grandchildren will receive in 50 or so years must include healthy, productive and prosperous oceans and coastal regions. In the meantime, they will benefit from a strong economy, education, health care, jobs and research.
    The Trans Mountain expansion project is how we contribute to that future, today. This government is committed to ensuring that the project moves forward in a measured and deliberate manner. We are committed to monitoring each step of the process to ensure that proponents adhere to all of the recommendations to which they are bound.
    In addition, this government is committed to making the most of this investment made by Canadians. While the Trans Mountain expansion project promises direct jobs for the middle class, it will also offer many other indirect opportunities for Canadians, in addition to generating economic outcomes that we simply cannot afford to pass up.
     We also need to make responsible decisions about the energy we consume and how to safely transport it to global markets. We are working on the front lines toward that objective, ensuring that the pipelines we build are safe and benefit from modern technology.
     Lastly, the Government of Canada is investing in an ambitious ocean project plan. We are protecting our wilderness and our coasts. We are building partnerships with indigenous peoples, listening to their concerns and using their traditional knowledge.
     As I see my time is up, I will now take questions.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the record on some of the statements that some of the previous speakers have made. Under our watch as the Conservative government, most environmental indicators improved in Canada for things like sulphur dioxide, nitrous dioxide, and our freshwater quality was rated number two in the industrialized world. We have a very proud environmental record as a Conservative government.
    The member talked about ensuring that pipelines are built to high standards. As someone who has done environmental assessments of pipelines and has worked in the oil sands directly, one thing I can assure him and all others in the chamber is that every single industrial process, industry in Canada, and development is built to the highest standards in the world. Of that, members can be sure of. To check and recheck after doing it right is simply a waste of time in many cases.
    One thing I found out in my time in the Mackenzie Valley is that prolonged processes kill projects. I know the Liberal Party wants to talk about process after process. After 25 years of environmental process in the Mackenzie Valley, there is no pipeline and dozens of impoverished communities.
    My question relates to national unity. I find it appalling when one province wants to block the exports of a province inland. Look at the ramifications of this. My province exports wheat, grain, and oilseeds. We are an exporting country. What if every coastal province decided that they did not like a certain product going through their jurisdiction? The impact on national unity would be horrendous. This project needs to go through and B.C. needs to be told it is part of this Confederation and it is its responsibility to ensure that this pipeline is built and the oil flows.

  (1230)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I heard a question, but I am glad to speak to what the hon. member discussed.
    I do not think for a second that we should be talking about national unity when it comes to getting our oil to tidewater. This is a project that is important for Canadians, important for the middle class, important for quality jobs, and important for the economy and the development of this nation as a whole. On the idea that something for Quebec is not good for B.C. or is not good for Alberta, this pipeline is good for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and every single province in this confederation, and to make it a national unity debate is both silly and unproductive.
    This government will take its time. I understand the hon. member is trying to give me assurances about what they did previously. Having two years in government I realize we need to trust, obviously, but we also need to verify, and that is what we are doing. We are doing the checks. We are doing it properly. We have a number of conditions we impose. We will be responsible about it and we will do it in the right way to make sure we have proper jobs for the 21st century.
    Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a sad day when the Liberals, including all the MPs from British Columbia on the Liberal side of the House, are standing in unison in support of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
    I have a question for the member. This pipeline is slated to go through up to15 first nations reserves, including the Coldwater band, which has opposed this pipeline and has vowed to fight putting the pipeline through its reserve land.
    Section 78 of the National Energy Board Act says that the federal government can indeed expropriate this land through an order in council. I ask the hon. member, will he use this power? Will he help Kinder Morgan expropriate land from first nations reserves? Further, the Minister of Natural Resources said that he would use the defence forces and the army to get this pipeline through our province. Will he indeed back the Minister of Natural Resources and agree with that horrible statement?
    Mr. Speaker, if we check the record of how this pipeline got approved, we see that we expanded the consultation with indigenous people. They are entitled to their views. There is a considerable amount of support for the project. This is an important project to get oil to tidewater.
    The members on this side of the House are entitled to their opinion and those from B.C. are entitled to theirs. They are entitled to advocate within caucus. Some support it, and the record shows that some do not. This is an open and transparent government, and people are entitled to their opinion. The decision has been taken to approve the project. We will be very careful in how it is implemented and we will work with the proponent in all communities that are touched by this project in order to make sure it is done in the most effective, transparent, open, and safe way.
    Mr. Speaker, let me say how pleased I am to stand to speak to this motion today. I am a proud member of Parliament from the riding of Saint John—Rothesay, a riding that is highly industrialized. It is the home of one of the largest oil refineries in Canada, a riding that is pinning a lot of hopes on this government and our transparent process, the NEB process, and hoping that energy east will also be delivered to our riding.
    Canada has always been a nation with an abundant and thriving natural resource sector, something I think we can all be very proud of. In 2015, natural resources, directly and indirectly, accounted for 1.77 million jobs in Canada and accounted for 17% of our national GDP. Currently, responsible resource development is a key plank in our nation's prosperity.
    On November 29, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave the government's approval for Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion project. In approving this, the Prime Minister noted that this decision is a major win for Canadian workers, Canadian families, and the Canadian economy, now and into the future.
    This was a decision that was not taken alone, nor was this decision taken lightly. This project received approval from the National Energy Board, which consulted with numerous stakeholders. Though this process, we believe we have the social licence to proceed with this project, which falls under federal jurisdiction.
    While we recognize the need over the coming decades to transition to a low-carbon economy, getting the best price in world markets for Canada's natural resources is our priority and is critical to the economy of our country.
    Resource extraction, particularly with regard to oil, is a serious matter, and we have worked to ensure that we are taking steps to do this appropriately. As my colleague and friend said in his previous speech, this is not a time for politicizing. It is not a debate on national unity. It is about doing the right thing for our country.
     On January 25, 2017, my colleague, the Hon. Marc Garneau, outlined our government's commitment to keeping our coastlines safe through our ocean—

  (1235)  

     Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I hate to interrupt the member's speech, but as the member knows, we cannot name another member of this House under our Standing Orders. I would like the member to correct himself.
    I thank the hon. member for raising the point. I think the hon. member for Saint John—Rothesay got the point and will avoid that in the future, I am sure.
    The hon. member for Saint John—Rothesay.
     Mr. Speaker, on January 25, my colleague, the Minister of Transport, outlined our government's commitment to keeping our coastlines safe through our oceans protection plan. I thank my friend across for that correction.
    This $1.5-billion investment is one example of how we are working to show that a clean environment and a strong economy do not have to be mutually exclusive. I think over the past year we have proven that time and time again.
    Although this project is federal jurisdiction, all the partners in this project have been working to ensure that it is beneficial to both the environment and the economy. They go hand in hand. However, we believe that this pipeline should be constructed with the continued support of the Government of Canada, as announced personally by our Prime Minister.
    We have shown the steps we have taken to proceed responsibly. Now let me talk about the economic benefits.
    This project will bring jobs and economic growth, both during its construction and after completion. What other project will provide 15,000 jobs without government investment, 15,000 jobs that will change communities and change the lives of so many families across this country?
    This project will provide a $7.4-billion injection into Canada's economy through project spending. Additionally, this project will increase our ability to get our resources to market, resulting in $4.5 billion in tax revenues and royalties for federal and provincial governments to reinvest in critical infrastructure, schools, and hospitals.
    The economic benefits for this project are far-reaching. On a large scale, this project will create 15,000 jobs during construction, as I said earlier, and create 440 permanent jobs per year during its operation. This is a substantial boost to our economy. It is a substantial boost to our country.
    Canada is committed to strong nation-to-nation relationships with our indigenous peoples. In this regard, as this project has been planned and implemented, economic benefits for indigenous peoples have been a key consideration. One of the three members of the ministerial review panel was Kim Baird, a six-time elected chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation and a consultant on aboriginal economics and governance, and more than $300 million has been committed to indigenous groups through this project under mutual benefit and capacity agreements.
    Additionally, it is anticipated that $4.5 billion in goods and services will be required to construct this pipeline. The Trans Mountain project will ensure that these business opportunities are shared among indigenous, local, and regional groups. Already over 2,500 local businesses are taking advantage of these business opportunities. Among those, almost 200 are aboriginal businesses based in British Columbia and over 150 are aboriginal businesses in Alberta.
    Beyond direct economic benefits is the potential for this project to spread these benefits throughout the west, spurring rural economic development. Rural development and indigenous economic economic growth are priorities of our government.
     Western Economic Diversification Canada is well positioned to hit the ground running to ensure that the west benefits from this project. Through WD, we have already been working with small and medium-sized enterprises, indigenous groups, and rural communities as part of our mandate. This network of contacts should help us maximize the economic impacts of this project.
    This government owes a responsibility to ensure sustained economic growth. We owe a responsibility to our environment and to responsible resource development, and we owe a responsibility to stakeholders, indigenous peoples, small and medium-sized enterprises, and all those who stand to benefit by ensuring they are best positioned to do so.
    On a more personal basis, as the MP from the riding of Saint John—Rothesay, I can tell members first-hand about the hopes of construction workers, of refinery workers, of industries, of support industries that want to see pipelines built, but they have to be built the right way, with proper consultation.

  (1240)  

    I believe in our government and I believe in the process. We are committed to meeting these responsibilities.
    Mr. Speaker, obviously the member and I share at least one thing in common, which is that we both have energy workers, or those working hard to become energy workers, in our ridings.
    I would like to quote from the agreement signed by the B.C. Green Party and the B.C. New Democrats and get the member's view on what the government should do to stop this.
    This is what they have agreed to do in British Columbia. It states:
    Immediately employ every tool available to the new government to stop the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the seven-fold increase in tanker traffic on our coast, and the transportation of raw bitumen through our province.
    This is on page 5. I would like to hear the member's take on what his government should do to make sure the Kinder Morgan pipeline gets built.
    Mr. Speaker, I think that our government should do what any responsible government should do, much like the government across the House would also do, which is to approve the pipeline. We will support the pipeline and we will do everything in our power to make sure that the pipeline moves forward.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to pick up on the last question. The member said that his government will do everything it takes to put this pipeline through British Columbia. The pipeline is slated to go through 15 first nation reserves and 80 first nation territories without their consent, so Kinder Morgan will be applying to expropriate land from these reserves and first nation territories. Under section 78 of the National Energy Board Act, the government needs to sign an order in council for these lands to be expropriated.
     I am wondering if that is what the member means. Does he mean that cabinet will sign orders to expropriate land from first nation reserves and first nation territories, yes or no?

  (1245)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is pretty clear that our government has done a lot of consultation with indigenous groups and first nation groups right across the country. Our relationship with them is about being transparent and open and working with them.
    At times I am puzzled by the viewpoints of the party opposite, which seem to depend on the province in which they are speaking. This is not the time to politicize this issue. This is not the time to put up roadblocks and barriers. This is the time to act as a government for all Canadians, do the right thing for Canadians, and back that pipeline.
    Mr. Speaker, I know the member across the way through our work together at the human resources committee. I have visited his home province of New Brunswick and have experienced his hospitality. He is someone who understands the importance of oil and gas to our economy in Canada.
    When we talk about economies, for a lot of people out there it is a lot of blah, blah, blah, but what it comes down to is what was just talked about, which is jobs. I have often talked about it as a roof over our head and a meal on the table. Could the member opposite speak to how important it is to the people in his riding and how resource development in his province puts food on the table and a roof over people's heads?
    Mr. Speaker, I also respect the work of my friend and colleague across the House at the human resources committee. He is a great member.
    I agree with what the member said with respect to how important our natural resources are to the country and how important it is to get those resources to tidewater. Again I am in Saint John—Rothesay, and I live daily how important it is to our economy to get pipelines built.
     To be perfectly transparent, I ran in the election against a party that said it would build that pipeline. What I ran on was that we also wanted to build the pipeline, but we wanted to do it the right way, by having consultations and by being open and transparent. I have faith that our way will work and that we will get our product to tidewater. I think that is of the utmost importance to the country.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Cariboo—Prince George.
    I would like to talk about our motion today. Oil and gas is something that I am especially close to in Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies. We have our own oil in my neck of the woods. One of my first jobs as a young guy was working on pipelines in the north, about 15 kilometres from the Yukon border.
    I want to speak specifically about three particular issues that have been brought up by the NDP. First I would like to talk about claims by the leader that aboriginals do not support the project. Second, I would like to talk about the safety of the project, and the safety of oil and gas development in Canada generally. Third, I would like to talk a little about the hypocrisy of using oil and yet being in opposition to its development.
    Let us start with the aboriginal support. I have an article here from person I have met, Calvin Helin, from B.C., president of Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings. He is aboriginal. I will read a few quotes from this particular article: “The leaders of a First Nations-backed oil pipeline and tanker export proposal off the B.C. coast are speaking out against legislation introduced last week..”.
    The moratorium is what this is speaking specifically about. They are against the moratorium because they want the benefits of developing resources to their people. It goes on, “To be clear; there has been insufficient consultation for the proposed tanker moratorium and it does not have our consent...”.
    This was from the statement by Eagle Spirit Energy, an initiative of elected and hereditary chiefs from B.C., with elected co-chairs from B.C. and Alberta. It continues with, “we do believe environmental protection and responsible economic development is possible.” “This ill-conceived legislation”—referring again to the moratorium—“puts the prosperity and the future of our people, particularly our youth, in jeopardy.”
    There it is, in terms of the benefit to aboriginal peoples themselves. We have even seen with other pipeline projects the government has said no to that there was a vast majority of support by aboriginal communities along those particular pipelines.
    To say in a broad statement that all aboriginal peoples are against oil pipelines is ridiculous. I have a lot of friends I grew up with in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek who work in the industry, and they absolutely, full on, support oil and gas development in our province.
    The fact that this oil comes from Alberta is irrelevant to us. We see energy as energy. With regard to the capacity to provide clean energy that is produced in the safest manner in the world, by whatever method members could name, whether it is oil sands, pipeline, shipping across the ocean, we have the safest regimes in the world.
    I would like to speak a bit about what I have learned as part of the B.C.–Yukon caucus and in my critic role for the Asia-Pacific gateway. We heard a presentation from Teekay shipping. These are some of the companies that build double-hulled tankers and actually operate them. At the time that we heard the presentation, there had not been one breach of a double-hulled vessel in the world, yet we see millions and millions of barrels of oil per day transported across our oceans. An incident that happened back in the 1980s caused the whole industry to change its entire perspective on safety, and it has been dramatically changed. We see the staggering amount of shipments that go on per day. It is 60 million barrels per day, pretty much without incident. That is an awful lot of oil going across the ocean without much incident.
     I am going to speak about the east coast for a minute, and I will quote another article. This is a great article that I would highly recommend, “Sinking the myth of dangerous West Coast oil tanker traffic”. The author says it quite well, that it is myth, and it really is.
    Let’s start on our eastern coasts. Transport Canada data shows that more than 1.6 million barrels of petroleum is safely moved from 23 Atlantic Canada ports each day. Another 500,000 barrels per day moves up the St. Lawrence to Montreal and other Quebec ports. Overall, Eastern Canada’s ports berth some 4,000 inbound petroleum tankers each year without any major incidents.

  (1250)  

    What we are talking about on the east coast and the Kinder Morgan project is an increase in tanker traffic. It is a dramatic increase in Vancouver traffic, from five per week to 35 per week. Meanwhile, on the east coast, as I just said, 4,000 inbound petroleum tankers operate each year without a major incident. I just want to highlight this.
    We have seen presentations where we have looked at other ports around the world, where literally thousands of tankers move in a harmonious way. It is something to see when one watches on a graphic screen, how many tankers move in a day and do so safely around the world. We are talking about an increase from five to 35 per week.
    In talking about the article and the myth of dangerous west coast oil tanker traffic, it is exactly that, a myth.
    Most people know that I am a British Columbia member of Parliament. Like a lot of other MPs, I generally fly back on Thursday nights on a flight from Ottawa to Vancouver. It is not just Conservative members on that flight. I see a lot of NDP members, as well, getting on that same airplane. Guess what goes into that airplane to allow it to fly? It is a product that is produced from oil and is called jet fuel. I always find it ironic that members of both the Green Party and the New Democratic Party get on the same plane as I do and protest that very product's development and production. I would use a strong word to describe that, and it is hypocrisy.
    I know of no electric airlanes that can fly from Ottawa to Vancouver. We need to develop oil and gas because we need it for our planes, for building smart phones, for almost everything in our modernized world. Would it not be practical to develop our resources but to do it responsibly? We see from the B.C. Green Party and the NDP in B.C., this ridiculous agreement that says they will do their very best to shut down projects like this, yet they still go to the gas station and fill up their vehicles with the product. That does not compute with me.
    A person of principle is somebody who stands by a principle. People can have their principles, but they should live by them. If people believe in not supporting any kind of oil and gas development, then they should not use it. It is straightforward. It is fine to have a strong position, but I do not see NDP members in the chamber, or members from the provincial NDP or Green Party, walking back to British Columbia. Given the product that is made from oil from the oil sands and turned into jet fuel that powers the planes that fly those members back and forth from Ottawa to Vancouver, I do not know how they can keep a straight face while doing that.
    Another person I have happened to bump into a few times in the lineup to get on those same planes is a man named David Suzuki. He comes up to our neck of the woods and into our ridings. He tries to stop pretty much any natural resource project that is being planned or thought about in my area of Fort St. John.
    It has been mentioned before about some of the high flyers, the people with the big yachts. They seem to have developed a conscience. They say we can develop oil and gas on the east coast of Canada, but they want to keep the west coast of B.C. as a park for all to visit once in a lifetime.
     I have spoken about this in detail. Members need to absolutely support our opposition motion. I give full credit to some of the speakers on the government side who are defending the project. We want more solid leadership in the province, so that when threats like this are made by coalition governments, the federal government will stand by a decision and make sure it happens.

  (1255)  

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate many of the comments and a bit of the irony that the member across the way has pointed out. It is important to recognize that virtually since taking government, we have established, through the Minister of Natural Resources and the cabinet, a process that has ultimately led to fact-based decisions being made on the approval of pipeline projects. We have seen a government that has taken the issue of consultations very seriously. When I say very seriously, it was doing that consultation with provincial governments, indigenous peoples, and the different stakeholders out there, and working with individuals to advance that. Now that we have this particular pipeline that has been approved, the Prime Minister has been consistent on it, and we understand the value to it. I would think that it is time that we look to individuals who can put the party politics to the side for the sake of our environment and our economy, and that we move forward on the project.
    Mr. Speaker, in defence of the National Energy Board, the process that we were involved in before is a very arduous one. I remember one project that went through my riding and 4,000 people presented on that one project. There was no lack of consultation. There was probably no oxygen left in the room because there had been so much discussion there.
    I know the member is trying to defend and say his new way is better, but frankly, the system was pretty good before and the National Energy Board does a very rigorous review of projects and rigorously consults with stakeholders along that project. We have no problems with that. We believe in the process and we believe it should be done for safe natural resource projects to function in this country.

  (1300)  

    Mr. Speaker, as one of those British Columbia MPs who does rely on airplanes to get to the nation's capital, I firmly acknowledge that we have an economy and an infrastructure that is reliant on fossil fuels. I do not think anyone on this side of the House disputes that fact. What we have trouble with is the fact that, first of all, the Kinder Morgan pipeline is not going to be servicing the Canadian market. lt is going to ship diluted bitumen to markets in Asia. We are basically selling the lowest quality of oil possible, with no upgrades, no value added, so I do not see how that does well for the Canadian economy.
    When we talk about a just transition, I still do not know what the Conservatives' plans are. Does the member acknowledge that climate change is a threat to our way of life in the 21st century? I just do not know what the Conservatives' plans are for a transition. I proudly stand in the House in support of electrification of the vehicle grid and so on, but I will proudly stand and defend that stance because we owe it to our children and to future generations to seriously start talking about those things here now in 2017.
    Mr. Speaker, I guess there is a slight disconnect between the federal New Democratic Party and the provincial New Democratic Party when we see the absolute blockage of every resource project. Let me be specific about natural gas or oil in the province of British Columbia. They have not said they are willing to talk or discuss a better way to do it or a safer, more efficient way. No holds barred, they are going to block the project. That is what they are saying. I acknowledge that the member seems to be more pragmatic, but I do not see as pragmatic the party in B.C. and the party at large here in Ottawa. I see them as absolutely blocking these projects, and that is a big concern to us and our future.
    Mr. Speaker, in an earlier intervention there was talk about processes. We know that the Liberals are trying to take credit for improvement of the process. Would the member like to comment on the government's apparent decision to move the National Energy Board out of Calgary and what signal that might be sending to industry and to development at large?
    Mr. Speaker, the concern is the different perspective from which projects will be looked at. It is a type of mentality that either we look at projects as if the glass is half full, and we try to see them proceed, or we look at them as if the glass is half empty and we put up every roadblock type of attitude, and that is a concern where it is more of a negative process. Projects are considered almost as a default no and then they have to go through this process where they are proven. The concern for us is that the projects will be told no before they will be told yes, again not questioning whether they should be done safely, efficiently, and the rest, but a concern definitely that we see some major changes happening to the NEB.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to stand in the House today and speak to the motion. It is the very first motion that our new official Leader of the Opposition has put forward. I want to thank him for taking a principled stand on an issue that is dearly important to us in the province of British Columbia and, indeed, in all of Canada.
    The motion we are discussing today reads:
    That the House agree that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project: (a) has social license to proceed; (b) is critical to the Canadian economy and the creation of thousands of jobs; (c) is safe and environmentally sound, as recognized and accepted by the National Energy Board; (d) is under federal jurisdiction with respect to approval and regulation; and (e) should be constructed with the continued support of the federal government, as demonstrated by the Prime Minister personally announcing the approval of the project.
    What we need right now is a champion, someone who will stand up for safe transportation of our natural resources and for the people who rely on the natural resource sector and the energy industry to put food on the table and a roof over the heads of their families.
    Unfortunately, to no one's surprise, our Prime Minister made the announcement but has been absent on this front, choosing to offer a few platitudes not from Ottawa or his riding of Papineau but from Italy. He personally approved the project and said the following:
    This is a decision based on rigorous debate on science and on evidence. We have not been and will not be swayed by political arguments, be they local regional or national.
    Forgive us for our cynicism. I remind the House that we saw the Prime Minister and his cabinet absolutely, 100%, and uncategorically swayed and influenced by outside parties with the reversal of the northern gateway project. The economic benefits from that project to our first nations and Métis communities were unprecedented in Canadian history. It was a chance for those communities to share in up to 33% of the ownership and control of a major Canadian energy infrastructure project, and the aboriginal equity partners would also receive up to $2 billion in long-term economic business and education opportunities for their communities.
    The reason we are here today is that we have heard a lot of talk, but we have not seen the Prime Minister defend it in the province. We have not seen his 17 MPs defend it in the province of British Columbia. I would hazard to guess that the reason we are sitting today on the verge of possible provincial collapse with the coalition of the B.C. NDP and the Green Party is that the Prime Minister himself and the 17 B.C. MPs have refused to come to the province and refused to stand up for these projects that are the lifeblood of our economy. I have listened to this debate intently over the morning. I have yet to hear one B.C. Liberal MP stand up in support of the project. We heard great testimony from members from the Liberal side, talking about the benefit to their communities on the east coast, but we have yet to hear one B.C. MP stand up in the House today in support of the Kinder Morgan project.
    I am going to talk a little about the economic benefits of the project. A lot of the facts have already been said, but I also want to tie it to what it really means to communities like my communities in Caribou—Prince George.
    I will first go back to this. The Kinder Morgan project would provide Canadians incredible economic benefits. The National Energy Board released its report on Kinder Morgans' Trans Mountain pipeline twinning project on May 19, 2016. After thorough review, the board approved the pipeline, concluding that subject to 157 conditions, the pipeline was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects and that the construction of the pipeline was in the best interest of Canadians.

  (1305)  

    The Kinder Morgan pipeline was approved after a rigorous, independent, scientific review process. It would create 15,000 well-paying, high-quality jobs for Canadians. More than $300 million has already been committed to indigenous groups by the proponent under mutual benefit and capacity agreements. More than 40 letters of support from first nations communities along the pipeline had been given to the proponent, and the government knows that. Shovel-ready pipeline projects can see people gainfully employed for two to three years during the project's construction phase.
    Finally, since it is FCM week on the Hill and many of our colleagues are actually touring around our mayors, councillors, and directors from regional districts, I want to make this very clear. Municipalities across Canada receive more than $600 million in property tax each year from pipeline companies. Those sound like some pretty good benefits.
    The Prime Minister has made the case for the pipeline in Calgary, which I would say is probably a pretty willing and supportive audience, and in Rome, where they are going to support it—what else would they do? However, his B.C. caucus has been afraid to have him discuss it in the province of British Columbia. The Prime Minister has refused to come and actually speak to the merits and the benefits of it in the province. It is interesting too that he will go to the province when he is standing beside third parties, when he is making an announcement of a tanker moratorium or the oceans protection plan. Unfairly in many ways, because we are not seeing it on the east coast, the Prime Minister will stand beside third parties and proudly make that announcement of those measures, but he will not stand up when we are talking about something that impacts so drastically our economy in our province and indeed our country.
    In these times of economic uncertainty, it is imperative that we recognize the importance of our energy and resource sectors, something the current government has failed to do. I hate to be the one to break it to the Prime Minister, but that is part of his responsibilities. It is outlined in his job. He is to be the champion of our resource development, of our energy sector, of our softwood lumber industry, and of our forestry industry.
    I suggest it is now up to Justin Trudeau to walk the talk, stand up for his B.C. Liberal MPs, and champion—

  (1310)  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I apologize for interrupting, but I am sure the hon. member intended to say Prime Minister and not his proper name.
    I thank the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for her intervention. In fact, she is right. We had one of these just in the last hour, as a matter of fact. These things do happen, and I am sure the hon. member for Cariboo—Prince George will prevent that kind of thing happening for the remainder of his comments.
    Mr. Speaker, I apologize and I appreciate that my hon. colleague was listening so intently to my speech.
    It is now up to the Prime Minister to walk the talk, stand up to his B.C. Liberal MPs, and champion the pipeline in B.C. to ensure that it actually gets built. It is not a single region that would benefit from this project; it is all of Canada. When we create jobs, the benefits are felt by all, from the mom and pop grocery stores to the gas stations where people fuel up in the morning. Sometimes politicians forget to include this in their vision when they are talking about resources, be it softwood lumber or the creation of future pipelines. I know that, in my riding, we are going to face hundreds if not thousands of job losses as a result of the current government's failure to secure a new softwood lumber agreement.
    When the energy sector took a hit in the last few years, it was a very difficult time for people in my constituency and indeed all across Canada. We all had acquaintances, friends, or loved ones who had been impacted negatively or lost a job. Even our airlines took a hit, with direct flights cancelled between Calgary, Prince George, Terrace, Brandon, Penticton, Kamloops, and Abbotsford. It was a huge hit, given that a daily round trip and domestic service into an airport in a small community roughly the size of Prince George generates $2.5 million in value-added GDP and $5.8 million in economic impact.
     We are not just talking about a pipeline. We are talking about Canada's economy. We are talking about the government—the current Prime Minister and his 17 B.C. MPs—standing up for a project that is so vital for not just the province of British Columbia but for all of Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, I am privileged to be able to put a question to my friend from Cariboo—Prince George. He is my friend. I do not say that merely as a nicety. We are friends. However, I do not agree with him that this project is in the national interest.
    It is important for Canadians to know that when the National Energy Board reviewed the Kinder Morgan project, it refused to hear evidence from Unifor, the largest union representing workers in the oil sands. It refused to hear evidence from Unifor, because the National Energy Board ruled that jobs and the economy were outside its mandate in reviewing the project. Therefore, it cannot be said that the economic impact of this project has been reviewed.
    It is interesting to know that what Unifor wanted to present to the National Energy Board was evidence that the Trans Mountain pipeline, Kinder Morgan's expansion, would hurt Canadian jobs and cost Canadian jobs.
    I would ask my hon. colleague if he does not agree with me that we should follow the plan for the expansion and development of the oil sands that came from Peter Lougheed. That was the era when the idea was put forward that Alberta's economy would benefit from mining bitumen and processing it in Alberta. The reason this will cost Canadian jobs, according to Unifor, is that shipping raw bitumen to refineries in other countries will hurt Canadian jobs and actually lead to the closing of the Chevron refinery in Burnaby, because it does not have the capacity to process raw bitumen.
    Why do the Conservatives prefer creating jobs in other countries, in refineries in other countries, rather than processing the material and creating jobs in Alberta?

  (1315)  

    Mr. Speaker, as my colleague mentioned, she is a friend, and from time to time, her interventions are interesting and well thought out. I always enjoy listening to her in the House.
    I cannot speak to the comments Unifor made and its position on Kinder Morgan. I will not speak to that. I vehemently dispute my hon. colleague's assertion that Conservatives are all about shipping jobs overseas and closures and whatever the question was insinuating. Clearly, the Conservatives are all about free trade and making sure that our suppliers and producers in Canada are able to access every market possible, creating not just jobs but great-paying jobs right here in Canada, and ensuring that our products get to market. Whether at home or abroad, Conservatives are all about—
    Questions and comments, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier, we as a government have moved forward on the issue of pipelines, being very sensitive to the economic and environmental issues and the importance of consultation. Through our process, what we have seen is that for the first time in over 10 years, pipelines to tidewater have actually been approved. That is of great significance, because that has benefited not only the province of Alberta but, as has been pointed out by other colleagues, the entire country, directly and indirectly.
    Would my colleague not agree that the current approach for developing and getting pipelines done is the right approach?
    Mr. Speaker, I would ask for your indulgence in allowing me to finish my answer to the earlier question. Clearly, the Conservatives stand for making sure that creating jobs in Canada is important, not just good-quality jobs but high-paying jobs.
    To my colleague across the way, announcements are great, but getting shovels in the ground and projects up and running is an other thing. The government has shown over the last two years that it is great at making fluffy announcements, but when the tires hit the pavement, where is it? There are not a lot of shovels in the ground. What we are talking about today is having the Prime Minister and the 17 Liberal members of Parliament from British Columbia sell, promote, and support this project in the House and at home in British Columbia.
     Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to say that I will be splitting my time with my hon. colleague, the member for Surrey Centre.
    Mr. Speaker, this government believes that economic growth and protecting our environment go hand in hand. Canadians have told us that we need to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions while promoting economic prosperity across the country. The Government of Canada is taking steps to do just that by lessening our reliance on fossil fuels, introducing a price on carbon pollution, and investing in the clean energy economy of tomorrow. In the meantime, we need to make responsible decisions about energy, the energy we use, and how we move our energy resources safely to the global market.
    As a rural member from Atlantic Canada, I recognize the importance of the natural resource sector, along with the preservation and enhancement of the quality of Canada's natural environment, which includes protecting water, air, soil, flora, and fauna. I would like to speak to some of the environmental protection elements that are part of our pipeline plan we have recently announced.
    I am pleased to say that our new pipeline plan has a number of strong environmental protections in place. Our ability to meet our greenhouse gas commitments will not be hindered. Species at risk will be protected. Pipeline and marine safety will be improved, and the pristine wilderness of British Columbia's north coast will be protected.
    We have assessed the greenhouse gas issues related to these projects and have factored them into our decision. Greenhouse gas emissions from the operation and construction of both pipelines will not be significant. With respect to the Trans Mountain expansion project, the National Energy Board has added conditions to the project certificate to mitigate some of the emissions related to the construction of the pipeline.
    Environment and Climate Change Canada has estimated the greenhouse gases related to the production and processing of the oil that will be transported by the pipelines, referred to as “upstream emissions”. These will be regulated through the Province of Alberta's climate action plan and its 100-megaton cap on greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands development. Meeting our 2030 targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions will require action from all sectors, including all levels of government and the oil and gas industry.
    We are working together with the provinces and territories to develop a pan-Canadian framework for clean growth and climate change. In developing this framework, we have actively considered how to collectively do more to reduce greenhouse gases. For example, our government announced last week regulations to cut methane emissions from oil and gas operations by 40% to 45% by 2025.
    Our government has put in place a pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution as a central element of this plan. Pricing carbon pollution is one of the most efficient ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, drive innovation, and encourage people and businesses to pollute less.
    Future oil and gas production levels will depend on how producers respond to carbon policies and corresponding market signals, what technological advancements are made, and the ability of companies to compete in an increasingly carbon-constrained world. We are confident in our industries' capacity to innovate, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and compete in the emerging global low-carbon economy.
    With all these factors in place, the government believes that the pipeline project will not impact our plan to meet, or exceed, our 2030 emissions reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels.
    The Trans Mount pipeline will pass through the ranges of some herds of the southern mountain caribou, which the Species at Risk Act considers to be threatened. The National Energy Board imposed six conditions to ensure that there would be no net loss of caribou habitat. Environment and Climate Change Canada will work with the National Energy Board to assist the proponent in meeting these conditions. Furthermore, construction will be timed to avoid disrupting the mating and migration of the southern mountain caribou.
    The government has worked with the Province of British Columbia on a study to review the protections in place for southern mountain caribou to encourage their recovery. The government will not hesitate to take additional action, if required, to mitigate the potential impacts from specific projects on the affected southern mountain caribou herd.
    The government is committed to the protection and recovery of Canada's southern resident killer whales, listed as endangered under the Species at Risk Act. The primary threats to this species' survival and recovery are environmental contamination, reductions in the availability or quality of prey, and acoustic disturbance.

  (1320)  

    Before any shipping from the Trans Mountain expansion project begins, the Government of Canada is committed to advancing work in key areas to reduce its impacts on this population. The objective is to mitigate the impact of additional Trans Mountain expansion marine traffic before the project begins operations.
    The Government of Canada, with the help of its partners, is putting in place a strong southern resident killer whale action plan to promote recovery. The plan will significantly reduce the impact of noise from marine vessels on killer whales through voluntary and regulatory measures. It will ensure that there is sufficient food available for the whales, and it will reduce the pressure on the whale population from persistent contaminants.
     With Line 3, Enbridge will be required to ensure that the project does not create a net loss of wetland areas, as wetlands are not only vital habitat for migratory birds but also provide important ecosystem services, such as flood prevention and water purification.
     In addition to habitat protection and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we are making the transport of petroleum products safer. The recently announced oceans protection plan is designed to achieve a world-leading marine safety system for our country's unique context that will increase our government's capacity to prevent and improve its response to marine oil spills.
     The Pipeline Safety Act, which came into force in June 2016, strengthens Canada's pipeline safety system by enshrining the polluter pays principle into law. In terms of specific safety measures, Enbridge's Line 3 replacement will have new, thicker pipeline in many sections and will be built to modern specifications that will enhance the safety and integrity of the network and further protect the environment from potential spills.
     Furthermore, a number of additional safety features are included in the Line 3 replacement project. For example, the installation of 26 new remotely operated sectionalizing valves near waterways will allow the pipeline to be shut off quickly if necessary.
     The biggest environmental protection initiative we will put in place in our pipeline plan is the moratorium on tankers carrying crude oil and persistent oil products. The tanker moratorium will provide an unprecedented level of environmental protection for the Great Bear Rainforest and British Columbia's northern coastline, which is integral to the livelihoods and cultures of indigenous and coastal communities. The Great Bear Rainforest and the Great Bear Sea, which stretches more than 400 kilometres along British Columbia's north coast, is home to several indigenous and coastal communities as well as a spectacular variety of fish, marine mammals, and wildlife. The tanker moratorium will help ensure that this area is preserved for future generations.
    The sensitive ecosystem of the Douglas Channel, which is part of the Great Bear Sea, is no place for 220 tankers to be transiting annually. For this reason, we have directed the National Energy Board to dismiss the northern gateway pipeline project application, because it is not in the public interest. In the case of the northern gateway, the proposed economic development was not consistent with our principles of environmental protection.
    In coming to these decisions and in developing this plan, the government reviewed thousands of pages of scientific evidence, held hundreds of consultation sessions across the country, specifically in British Columbia with indigenous peoples, and heard from thousands of Canadians. We have listened, and we are confident that our overall plan maps out a path forward that is consistent with both growing the economy and protecting the environment.
    I would like to further add that this is a government that has spent a significant amount of time and resources meeting with stakeholders, meeting with indigenous communities, and meeting with environmentalists, and taking all those factors into account as we have made our decisions. We need to ensure that we are not sacrificing the environment for the sake of a project, or vice versa. I think we have achieved a great deal of progress over the last year and a half.
    With that, I would like to conclude my remarks today.

  (1325)  

    Mr. Speaker, the people of British Columbia, including people in my riding, are very concerned about the Kinder Morgan pipeline for some very good reasons.
    They talk about the flawed environmental assessment process. That has been confirmed by a couple of expert reports recently. They believe that pipelines are old thinking and that we need to be moving towards a green future, a green energy economy, that keeps jobs local rather outside our communities.
    There is no consent from several first nations along the route, which speaks to whether the government is truly interested in reconciliation.
     It will create a sevenfold increase in the risk of a catastrophic oil spill on the B.C. coast. The cost of one oil spill will far outweigh any long-term benefits for British Columbians.
    Given those very strong, very important concerns, I would like to hear what my colleague's response is to the people of British Columbia who really care about those things.
    Mr. Speaker, I respect my colleagues arguments 100% and I think he is really speaking to the plan that we put in place. The reason he is speaking to that is that his question speaks to the tremendous amount of consultation that we have had with indigenous communities, with indigenous stakeholders, and with communities on the B.C. coast. It speaks to our oceans protection plan. It speaks to the changes we have made to the environmental assessment process and to the changes that we plan to make in the future in order to best represent our constituents in a given area that could be affected adversely with the building of any project.
    It is important to recognize the tremendous gains we have made as a government over the last 15 or 16 months in terms of ensuring and enshrining the rights of Canadians, especially in geographic areas where there are projects going on. I know there are projects going on in New Brunswick and across Atlantic Canada and Atlantic Canadians have the same concerns as British Columbians. It is important that we recognize the tremendous work that this government has done and will continue to do to ensure that all those stakeholders are properly consulted and that they play an integral part in the process and approval of any project.

  (1330)  

    Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to my hon. colleague, as the member of Parliament for Saanich—Gulf Islands where my constituents are overwhelmingly against this project, I intervened before the National Energy Board on their behalf. I went through all 23,000 pages of so-called evidence from Kinder Morgan and I will say without a shadow of a doubt, most of what is being claimed in the House is nonsense. There was no rigorous review. There was no rigorous science. What science exists was rejected by the National Energy Board as coming too late in the process and therefore unfair to Kinder Morgan to accept.
    The overwhelming evidence is that bitumen mixed with diluents cannot be cleaned up. Therefore, having a wonderful, so-called world-class oil spill response program is nonsense when there is no technology known by science, including Canada's premier scientific academy, the Royal Society of Canada, to deal with a substance that separates in a marine environment with bitumen sinking and the volatile diluents, which include benzene which is cancer causing, entering the atmosphere. We literally have no technology to clean this stuff up.
    Would my hon. friend from New Brunswick and the federal Liberals be willing to wait so that a decent, rigorous environmental review can be done by the Government of British Columbia?
    Mr. Speaker, I completely 100% respect my hon. colleague's concerns. What is important about the environment we have here in the House is that we can have robust discussions about a variety of topics recognizing that we are not always going to completely agree with each other's opinions. I do not completely agree with my hon. colleague's opinions. The reason is that we have done our due diligence. We have recognized the potential of this project given its merits. We have taken into consideration the effects on indigenous communities. We have consulted with indigenous communities. We have consulted with the people of British Columbia.
    The National Energy Board has done its due diligence and approved this project. It is our responsibility to respect that decision and recognize the economic potential that we could have from this project, while taking into consideration the effects on the environment and the communities in that area.
    I am really proud to say that I am part of a government that has taken those into consideration. I sit on the natural resources committee with hon. colleagues from both sides of the House and we have had robust discussions over the last year about the process and about consulting with Canadians and indigenous communities. I am happy to say that I think that within our committee we have come to a lot of general agreements across party lines. That speaks not only to the strength of this government and our approach but also to the strength of committees.
    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise in the House to address the motion. As a British Columbian, and someone who cares about our coasts, our environment, and our economy, I would like to talk about the implications for our coastlines of natural resource projects, such as the one being discussed today.
    Canada has the longest coastline in the world with tens of thousands of kilometres of beaches, shoals, cliffs, forests, glaciers, grasslands, cities, and villages. Our coastline is home to fisheries. It draws in Canadians and tourists who come to play, to challenge themselves, or to relax and reflect. It allows our businesses to trade with other countries in the world in emerging and established markets. It supports the livelihoods of traditional, indigenous, and coastal communities. Our coasts help define the Canadian experience, and they power the Canadian economy.
    I have had numerous constituents speak to me about this matter, some who are for it and some who are against it. Therefore, it is vitally important for Canada that we protect our maritime environments, that our waters and coastlines remain clean, safe, and accessible, and that we continue to sustain communities while growing our economies.
    To this end, in November 2016, the Prime Minister introduced Canadians to the oceans protection plan, a plan that will safeguard our communities, our coastlines, and our marine environment. The plan, developed in collaboration with Transport Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Canadian Coast Guard, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Natural Resources Canada, reflects and relies on scientific evidence to safeguard our maritime environment. It puts a priority on co-management with indigenous Canadians, and responds to the desire of Canadians to better protect the coastal environment that is central to our way of life.
    We are putting $1.5 billion into this plan, the largest investment of its kind ever made in our coasts and waterways. This plan will create a world-leading marine safety system, including new preventative and response measures, to better protect our waters and coasts. Safety is the top priority of this plan.
    In Canada, we already have a strong marine safety record. However, with this new plan, Canada will have a truly world-leading system for marine protection and emergency preparedness. To that end, we will ensure that the Canadian Coast Guard has the tools it needs—

  (1335)  

    Order. The hon. member for Cariboo—Prince George is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to relevance, we are talking about a motion with respect to Kinder Morgan, the Prime Minister, and his 17 B.C. MPs standing up in support of it. However, for the last four minutes, our hon. colleague has gone on about the oceans protection plan, and has not once mentioned the motion with respect to Kinder Morgan.
    I thank the hon. member for his intervention. I am cognizant of the fact that the hon. member for Surrey Centre is only three minutes into his remarks and, agreeably, is on a topic that is perhaps not directly but certainly indirectly part of today's discussion with respect to the shipment of petroleum products as it relates to the motion that is before the House. I am sure the hon. member will be invoking these subjects throughout the course of his speech and will bring them around with respect to their relevance to the motion that is in front of the House this afternoon.
    Is the member for Tobique—Mactaquac rising on the same point of order?
    No, Mr. Speaker, it is a different point of order.
    Then we will leave the intervention by the member for Cariboo—Prince George.
    We now have a point of order from the hon. member for Tobique—Mactaquac.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order relating to the comments of the hon. member across the aisle. I raise this point of order because I find it extremely disrespectful that in the middle of the speech by my hon. colleague, who is from British Columbia, who is here representing the 17 MPs from British Columbia, and who is representing the thoughts and concerns of British Columbians, the member stood up and cut him off for no apparent reason. I find that disconcerting. I have the utmost respect for my hon. colleague, and I just do not understand that. Therefore, I wish the member would retract his comments.
    I thank the hon. member for his intervention. Points of order are in order when members believe that there has been some type of infraction as it relates to the Standing Orders. Points of order can be raised, even in the midst of another member's remarks. That is in order.
     The difficulty, from the Chair occupant's point of view, is that one has to actually hear the point of order before one can make a determination on whether it in fact pertains or is relevant to the matter at hand. We have done that. I appreciate the member for Tobique—Mactaquac's additional comments on the matter. However, the matter is closed at this point, and we will now get back to the hon. member for Surrey Centre and his remarks.
    The hon. member for Surrey Centre.

  (1340)  

    Mr. Speaker, I will continue on, and we will see at the end if my colleague is still concerned about the topic.
    We are going to ensure the Canadian Coast Guard has the tools it needs to save lives and better protect our waterways. That means more vessels, an enhanced search and rescue capability, more rescue stations, better communications gear, and more towing capacity so that the Canadian Coast Guard is able to respond more quickly and effectively.
    It also means enhancing the Coast Guard's ability to take the lead as part of any coordinated response to an incident or event. Additionally, we will be extending the role of the Coast Guard auxiliary to include environmental response functions. To further enhance safety in Canadian waters and along its shores, we will provide improved marine safety and navigation information, including hydrography and charting to mariners, indigenous peoples, and coastal communities. We will invest in leading-edge research on oil spill cleanup technologies.
    Our goal is to keep Canadian waters free of damaging accidents. Our new safety measures will take us further in that direction. Our government will also examine how we can improve cleanup technology, how best to mitigate impacts, and how to encourage ecological recovery.
    In addition, we are going to get tough on businesses and industries that pollute along our coasts. When it comes to oil spills, we already have in place a comprehensive system of liability and compensation, but we are going to improve it. We will ensure that unlimited compensation is available to those affected by a spill. We are also going to better address the risks posed by other types of hazardous and noxious substances transported by ship. With these measures brought forward, Canada will become a world leader in polluter-pay ship-source liability and compensation.
    The oceans protection plan addresses the concerns we heard from Canadians on marine safety, including during reviews of natural resource projects where marine shipping is needed to move goods to international markets.
    In addition, as part of our plan, the government is developing a strong set of actions to implement the recovery plan for the southern resident killer whale. Substantive new actions will be developed and implemented to address the main stressors impeding the recovery of the southern resident killer whale population, including reducing the impact of noise from marine vessels on killer whales, ensuring there is sufficient food availability for the whales, and reducing the pressure on the whale population from persistent contaminants.
    Further strengthening our partnership with indigenous and coastal communities is a key element of the oceans protection plan and its success. Our coasts are the traditional territories of indigenous peoples. We are committed to taking a real and tangible step toward co-management of our coastlines to ensure they remain healthy, clean, and safe for generations to come. In particular, the traditional knowledge and expertise of Canada's indigenous peoples is critical to protecting our coastal waters more effectively. Coastal indigenous communities will have real opportunities to be partners in the marine safety regime. They will be offered training in search and rescue missions, environmental monitoring, and emergency spill response.
    The government will work with indigenous partners to create regional response plans for the west coast, and we will pursue shared leadership opportunities in other areas, such as the creation of local vessel control areas to help minimize safety risks and environmental impacts. Our government is dedicated to further integrating indigenous groups into the decision-making process as it relates to our marine environment.
    As a trading nation, as a country that is open to the world, our coastlines are essential to our economy. We are a nation that balances the economy, growth, and the environment, and we do this without compromise. We make decisions based on independent scientific evidence, not pitting one region against the other. These are hard decisions, but in this case, it is the right decision. Our government has imposed 157 stringent and strong conditions that will ensure the project complies to the highest safety environmental standards in the world.
    We understand that Canadian jobs depend on our ability to access and serve the markets of Asia and Europe. That is how many of our commodities reach buyers around the world.
    By working together with our partners along the coasts and across the country we can preserve our coastlines for generations to come, address concerns, including pipeline safety and climate change, grow our economy, and create jobs.

  (1345)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is certainly welcome to hear another B.C. voice, particularly from the government side, that is actually speaking in terms of the importance of pipelines. It seemed to be more on the environmental front and looking after it, but that is an important part of it.
    Does the hon. member feel that he and his colleagues are also speaking to people throughout British Columbia? As we know, the New Democrats have continued to raise concerns around it. Some may be well founded, and some I do not believe are credible. However, we live in a democracy. Does the member believe that he and his fellow Liberal B.C. MPs should be getting out and explaining exactly why this is in the national interest?
    Mr. Speaker, we have had town halls on climate change. We have had consultations, more than any other government has ever had. My caucus members from British Columbia have had hundreds of meetings with their constituents. Thousands of people have attended those. The safety and security of our maritime coastlines for our commodities to get to market is a primary concern, and we have done that in balance.
    Our members of Parliament have been vocal and strong proponents to ensure that we have a balance. We have not done this in a vacuum. We have not done this in a silo. We have done it to make sure that we have jobs, we have growth in our economy. We encourage and increase more middle-class jobs. We do this all while we protect the environment, the coastlines, and our marine life.
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has left me a little confused, because building the Kinder Morgan pipeline will increase oil tanker traffic seven-fold in the Salish Sea and through the Gulf Islands.
    How will a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic help protect British Columbia's coastline and the resident killer whale population?
    Mr. Speaker, the oceans protection plan does just that. It is spending $1.5 billion to have more radar stations along the coast, to have more sensitivity and noise monitoring of vessels that are going past killer whale pods, ensuring that their inhabited areas are protected.
    We are doing that while we are increasing the ability to take commodities to tidewater and open markets, so we are doing it in a balanced way. We are increasing the amount of funding that has been delayed for such a long time. We are increasing the amount of tugs that will escort these ships going out to the open seas. They are all piloted when they come in. There is a very high standard of monitoring, escorts, and hydrography to ensure that the ships go through safe passage.
    Mr. Speaker, I have a simple question for my colleague. He talked about evidence-based decision-making. The government's process for pipeline approvals is, by definition, not evidence based, because it allows cabinet to overrule decisions of the independent NEB. The NEB's job is to review the evidence and come forward with a recommendation.
    However, based on energy east, the government has said it will not necessarily approve that project, even if the NEB finds that in fact evidence points to approval.
    If the member is in favour of evidence-based decision-making, I wonder why he thinks politicians, responding to non-scientific, purely political forces, should be overruling decisions made based on evidence by the independent NEB, and why the government did that with respect to the northern gateway pipeline.
    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite might be remiss. The previous government did make decisions almost solely based on political decisions, without any regard to scientific evidence.
    Our government does it based on scientific evidence. In this case, it has protected the integrity of the independent scientific evidence, and it is based solely on it that all the decisions have been made.
    I am very proud of our government, our cabinet, and our Prime Minister, who has made the right decision to balance the economy and the environment based on evidence and not politics.

[Translation]

Royal Assent

[Royal Assent]
    I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:
June 1, 2017
    Mr. Speaker:
    I have the honour to inform you that Ms. Patricia Jaton, Deputy Secretary to the Governor General, in her capacity as Deputy of the Governor General, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bill listed in the schedule to this letter on the 1st day of June, 2017, at 11 a.m.
    Yours sincerely,
    Stephen Wallace
    The schedule indicates the bill assented to was Bill C-31, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine.

  (1350)  

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project  

[Business of Supply]
    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise to speak to this topic today. I will be sharing my time with the member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    I would like to read the motion as it has been put forward by the Leader of the Opposition:
    That the House agree that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project: (a) has social license to proceed; (b) is critical to the Canadian economy and the creation of thousands of jobs; (c) is safe and environmentally sound, as recognized and accepted by the National Energy Board; (d) is under federal jurisdiction with respect to approval and regulation; and (e) should be constructed with the continued support of the federal government, as demonstrated by the Prime Minister personally announcing the approval of the project.
    I would like to address a number of the points we have laid out in this motion. I am particularly going to focus my comments at the beginning of my speech on the idea of social licence and that this project has social licence to proceed. Without a doubt, this project has public support. The Prime Minister often talks about social licence. This concept has different meanings, depending on who we talk to, so I would like to outline what I think that social licence means. It is a relatively new term, and it was coined in 1990 by a mining executive named Jim Cooney. He suggested that social licence is a subtle approval that runs parallel to governmental regulatory process. It seems that social licence is required for all projects to go forward, regardless of whether they have been officially approved.
    The minister points out that when the regulatory process has been successfully completed, he then will politically decide whether it has social licence to go forward. The National Energy Board released its report on the Kinder Morgan pipeline on May 19, 2016. It had already approved a northern gateway pipeline as well. For some reason, one has been approved, and the other one has not been approved to go forward. It has been interesting to see. One of the things that is important for the concept of social licence is more on the moral question. If it is legal for these things to go forward, is it moral for these things to go forward? The question we are looking at in terms of the pipeline is what this pipeline means for the world in terms of whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. I will argue that it is a good thing.
    Petroleum products are a big part of our lives. I would not be here today if it were not for petroleum products. I flew here from northern Alberta. I drove down to Edmonton in my car. I got on an airplane, and I flew here from Edmonton to Ottawa. That is due to the exceptional development of our natural resource petroleum products. The fuel used to fuel the jet and the fuel used in my car allow me to get here in a relatively easy amount of time, and they allow me to go back and forth. That is a good thing.
     Fuel that is used in a tractor allows modern farming to produce more food than we can consume. In fact, members may be aware that in this country at this time, we are having a discussion about supply management. Do people know why supply management is even an issue? It is because we can produce more milk than our nation can consume. That is why supply management is an issue. That is what we have been discussing. For example, the State of Wisconsin produces 30% more milk than that state can consume. That amount of milk is the same amount of milk that all of Canada consumes. It goes to show that through modern technology, through the use of petroleum products, we are able to produce more food than we are able to consume. That is a good thing. The very fact that we are able to live in a society where there is an abundance of food is unprecedented in history. The resource of food has always been a limiting factor on the ability of humans to flourish.

  (1355)  

    I would make the argument that petroleum products are a very good thing. The very fact that we have a wealth of them and can ship them around the world is good for the entire world. We could feed the entire world based on the developments we make in petroleum products going forward.
    The argument for getting our petroleum products to tidewater is very important. In Canada, not too many of us are starving. In the western world in particular, obesity is more of an issue than starvation. However, in other parts of the world, across the oceans from this continent, starvation is still a reality. I would make the argument that without the benefits of petroleum products in other parts of the world, agriculture will not flourish. Without the benefits of petroleum products, health care will not flourish. Without the benefits of petroleum products, transportation to get food to the people who need it will not happen. When we say that the pipeline should not be built because it does not have social licence, we have to understand that we are dealing with a petroleum product that has the ability to lift everyone out of poverty and feed the world, based on the way we use it.
    I would argue that this pipeline most assuredly has social licence, because the moral question of allowing the world to starve or to eat is bound up in this question of whether we build the pipeline to tidewater.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[Translation]

Constitutional Debate

    Mr. Speaker, when it gets to the point where the ultra-federalists in Quebec believe that the Constitution is not working, then you know it really is not working.
    Philippe Couillard wants to reopen the constitutional debate so that Quebeckers no longer feel like exiles in their own country. What does the Prime Minister of Canada do? He unceremoniously tells us to take a hike.
    The truth is that Canada is a prison holding Quebec back and keeping it from developing.
    This year, Canada is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Canadian yoke that has always betrayed the interests of Quebeckers.
    If we reopen the constitutional debate, Quebeckers will be reminded that there is nothing to celebrate and that we have nothing to gain by staying in this country.
    When one is at a dead end, it is important to back up and find a new way forward. Well, Canada is our dead end. Quebec has only one path forward, that of national independence.

[English]

Media and Information Literacy

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the accomplishments of Carolyn Wilson from my riding of London West. Carolyn is a global leader in media literacy, and is the chair of the UNESCO-initiated Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy, GAPMIL.
    Media and information literacy means that all citizens possess skills to analyze and evaluate the information the media present. GAPMIL was created to enhance research and training on media and information literacy. As a former journalist, I know first-hand how media and information literacy is essential in our communities. It is important we discuss with young Canadians what we watch, hear, and read.
     I am proud to acknowledge the work of London's own Carolyn Wilson. Thanks to her leadership, GAPMIL has been at the forefront of this effort on the world stage.

  (1400)  

Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence

    Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to recognize two exemplary teachers from my riding of Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, who are recipients of the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence, Laura Gale of River Heights Elementary School, and Donna Armstrong of Crescent Heights High School.
     Laura, who teaches kindergarten, takes her class out for hands-on learning trips, uses technology to connect with classrooms globally, and encourages her students' passions. Donna teaches multimedia, design, and communications. Her students have gone on to win numerous design and animation awards. She has developed a program of mentoring between grades, and as well providing professional development for teachers in less-developed countries.
     These two amazing teachers, along with all teachers, are helping build Canada's future leaders by providing the skills for youth to excel in tomorrow's economy. On behalf of all residents, students, and parents, congratulations to Laura and Donna. We thank them for their continued excellence and support of our children.

[Translation]

Italian Heritage Month

    Signor Presidente, today, I would like to mark a very special and important anniversary for 1.5 million Italian Canadians.
    We are celebrating a country, its democratic system, and its people, but also each of its regions: l'Abruzzo, la Basilicata, la Calabria, la Campania, l'Emilia Romagna, il Friuli, il Lazio, la Liguria,la Lombardia, Le Marche, il Molise, il Piemonte, la Puglia, la Sardinia, la Sicilia, la Toscana, il Trentino, l'Umbria, la Val D'Aosta e il Veneto.
    Each of these regions gave sons and daughters who helped to build the Canada we love so much.
    During this first Italian Heritage Month in Canada, we wish all Italian Canadians and Italians around the world, a buona Festa della Repubblica Italiana.

Jacynthe Ouellette

    Mr. Speaker, in the early 1980s, Jacynthe Ouellette lost her job in a hospital because she was pregnant and ended up on social assistance.
    In 1987, Le Chic Resto Pop, which had recently re-opened, hired her as part of a workforce reintegration program.
    After putting all of this community organization's services in order, Jacynthe Ouellette became its executive director in 1992. Under her watch, Le Chic Resto Pop became a veritable institution in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. This organization provides the poorest people in my riding with inexpensive meals, and works every day to ensure that other people like Jacynthe get the training they need to return to the labour market.
    In a few days, Jacynthe Ouellette will be stepping down to take a well-deserved retirement.
    Jacynthe, after so many years of dedication, support, solidarity, and taking care of others, you now deserve to take some time to take care of yourself. Happy retirement and thank you for all that you have done.

[English]

Immigrants and Refugees

    Mr. Speaker, I immigrated to Canada in 1970. In fact, many of my distinguished colleagues also came to Canada as immigrants or refugees.
    Unfortunately, we continue to hear many people who pander and promote misinformation. They fear that immigrants and refugees are a drain on Canada and fail to contribute. The facts simply do not support this divisive and unhealthy point of view. Immigrants across Canada become small business owners, contributing substantially to our nation's economy and to our communities.
    My riding of Calgary Skyview is among the most diverse in Alberta and one of the most entrepreneurial in the province.
    Let me be clear. Canada's success, our success, is founded on the strengths of many peoples, many voices, and many points of view.
    I am proud of all those who have made a better life for themselves and their families through hard work, contributing to a better Canada for all.
    I have always believed that, in Canada, opportunity is limited only by imagination and how hard people are willing to work.

  (1405)  

Summer Events in York—Simcoe

    Mr. Speaker, summer is the time to be in beautiful York—Simcoe on the picturesque shores of Lake Simcoe. The lake is our playground. It is now enjoying its strongest environmental health in generations. Why? It is thanks to a decade of investment from the Conservative government's Lake Simcoe clean-up fund.
    The summer fun in York—Simcoe starts tomorrow, with Mount Albert Sports Day, running from June 2 to 4. Come for the games, a midway, entertainment, and an old country dinner.
    August 10 to 13 will see thousands taking in the Sutton Fair, a celebration of our community's agricultural history. Horses, cows, and sheep meet demolition derbies and baking competitions in this classic country fair.
    On August 19, we will gather in Bradford at Carrot Fest. This giant party pays tribute to the Holland Marsh, Canada's salad bowl.
    The best event of all will be the local MP's old fashioned Dominion Day pancake breakfast in Sharon on July 1st.
    Help mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation and give a maple syrup thanks to Sir John A. and the Fathers of Confederation for creating Canada, the best country in the world.

[Translation]

Members-Pages Soccer Match

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening, in keeping with tradition, MPs formed a mixed non-partisan soccer team, the FC Commoners, to face off against the House of Commons pages.

[English]

    At times it feels as if it is only the pages who can pass anything in this place, but last night we proved to them that the MPs can at least deftly pass the ball when we work together across the aisle. With goals from Conservative, NDP, and Liberal MPs, the final score was four to one, and because there were no injuries this year, I can say that it was an unqualified success.

[Translation]

    James Ashwell scored for the pages. Pages Kathleen Carter and Jonathan Khov and the member for Fredericton were selected as the three star players.

[English]

    The pre-game banter focused on hard work, an ethic we all share.
    While we MPs may have cheered “turn the page”, we have an immense respect for this year's pages. They will be missed.

[Translation]

    Long live the pages.

[English]

Attack on Amritsar Temple

     Mr. Speaker, 33 years ago, the Sikh community changed forever. In a deliberate attack by the Indian government of the day, the Indian army stormed the Darbar Sahib complex. On June 1, 1984, the targeted attack on Sikhism's holiest shrine left a scar in the hearts of Sikhs everywhere. Innocent lives were lost and the Sikh reference library was burned down and the Darbar Sahib complex was destroyed.
    This attack is important to me, as a proud Canadian and as a proud Sikh. This political discussion has always been a sensitive one, but what we cannot lose track of is that where so many people met a tragic death is a temple where people from all around the world come to peacefully pray. We have an obligation to continue the fight for justice, for the innocent lives lost in June 1984, and to advocate for truth and reconciliation as the way forward.

[Translation]

Relay for Life

    Mr. Speaker, cancer affects us all. My father, Yvon, died of throat cancer. My father-in-law, Laurent, died in December of lung cancer. My aunt is a colon cancer survivor. We are all powerless against fate, and even the word “cancer” scares us all.
    Relay for Life will be held on June 17 in Plessisville and other Canadian cities to celebrate cancer survivors and raise funds to fight this terrible disease.
    In Plessisville, a small town of 6,500 people, Serge Barthell's team of volunteers has been working miracles for the past 11 years. Last year, they raised over $300,000. Their goal is ambitious again this year. Nearly 800 people will take turns walking through the night to pay tribute to their loved ones affected by cancer.
    Our ambassador, Catherine Beaudoin, a fighter and cancer survivor, is an inspiration to us all.
    I will be walking on June 17 with my wife, Caroline, my children, and my family for all the people we love and to prove to cancer that we will never lose hope.

[English]

Poverty

    Mr. Speaker, our fight against chronic generational poverty continues in Saint John—Rothesay, but I am thrilled to report that progress is being made. The Canada child benefit is transforming and changing lives of thousands of families from coast to coast to coast.
    In budget 2017, money directed toward a national housing strategy, child care, and early learning projects are historic investments and game changers. Last September, an additional $61 million was invested in New Brunswick for affordable housing. This is having a major impact on the front lines.
    Premier Brian Gallant came to Saint John recently and announced an additional $10 million for Living SJ to directly combat generational poverty. This investment and commitment is unprecedented and will be transformational.
    I thank the premier and leaders like Erin Schryer, Shilo Boucher, Paulette Hicks, Jack Keir, Donna Gates, Cathy Wright, Monica Chaperlin, Randy Hatfield, and so many others. Together with government focus, support, and determination, we will make a difference in the lives of those who need a helping hand.

  (1410)  

Tourism Week

    Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate Tourism Week, I am happy to report that in the Yukon we have recently seen a growing interest in northern and indigenous tourism.
    In Canada in 2015, indigenous tourism contributed $1.4 billion to GDP, a huge increase from $596 million in 2002. Our government provided $1 million to the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association and, in budget 2017, $8.6 million to the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada to support the development of Canada's unique and authentic indigenous tourism industry.
    This investment is our belief in indigenous tourism and the opportunity it represents for our country. The trend is wonderful and reflects the many great cultural experiences; for example Moosehide Gathering, Adaka Cultural Festival, and the Haa Kusteey Celebration.
    I wish all territorial and indigenous tourism operators a great summer season and wish all Canadians a happy Tourism Week. On Canada's 150th, I encourage all Canadians to visit the Yukon and the rest of Canada from coast to coast to coast.

Canadian Coast Guard

    Mr. Speaker, today I rise to acknowledge the dedicated men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard who work every day to keep us safe.
    As summer approaches, Manitobans are taking to the waters of beautiful Lake Winnipeg. Stationed in the harbour at Gimli is Canadian Coast Guard ship Vakta. In Icelandic, “vakta” means to watch, guard, and patrol. That is exactly what the crew and team of the Canadian Coast Guard does for the thousands of recreational boaters, freighters, and fishers on Lake Winnipeg, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Every season it conducts dozens of life-saving search and rescue operations.
    Under Prime Minister Harper, the Conservative government invested more than $550 million in the Canadian Coast Guard, a portion of which was dedicated to ensuring the station at Gimli would be well equipped. On behalf of everyone who loves Lake Winnipeg, I extend a sincere thanks to the men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard, especially those stationed in Gimli.
    I call on the Liberal government to commit today to ensuring the Gimli Coast Guard station stays open and is well funded for the safety and security of all who enjoy Lake Winnipeg.

Pride Month

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour today to mark the beginning of Pride Month in Canada. In June and throughout the summer, Canadians will gather in our communities to march in support of equality, inclusion, and LGBTQ2+ rights. Pride flags and trans flags will be raised from coast to coast to coast to declare that in our Canada, we are equal no matter who we love or how we express who we are.

[Translation]

    Canadians know that our country is stronger, not in spite of our diversity, but because of it. Pride month gives us an opportunity this summer to celebrate progress made on behalf of the community and to fight homophobia and transphobia and remember the past.

[English]

    Pride is a celebration. It is about wearing our colours and sharing our true spirit. Our government celebrates this spirt and commits to addressing the work that still needs to be done. As MPs, we are proud to march, proud to advocate, and proud to work every day to ensure that everyone can say, “I am free to be me.”

[Translation]

    “I am free to be me.”

[English]

Wild Salmon

    Mr. Speaker, the stream to sea program provides hands-on education for children and teaches them about the importance of our salmon. The Liberal government's decision to cancel this program is a slap in the face to British Columbians. It is also the latest failure of the government to protect and preserve one of Canada's most valuable resources. Salmon is critical to our economy, our food security, and our environment, as well as the livelihoods and cultures of first nations people.
    This short-sighted and irresponsible decision comes in the middle of a massive reduction in this year's sockeye run. The sockeye run of the Somass River in my riding is projected to be reduced from 750,000 to 150,000 this year. The loss of income for the fishers in many communities is nothing short of catastrophic. I am calling on the government to immediately reinstate the in-school stream to sea program and immediately restore salmon enhancement programs that are so critical to the survival of the west coast wild salmon stock.
    Why is the government abandoning our salmon?

  (1415)  

Intellectual Property

     Mr. Speaker, there is a major flap in the art world today. The taxpayer-funded giant rubber duck is a counterfeit. We know that this new Canadian symbol just does not measure up to the industrious beaver or the very famous loon. I hope the Minister of Finance is not promoting it internally as a cheap alternative to new frigates.
    I also heard that PMO issues management though maybe it would be a great distraction from the Prime Minister's own cardboard cut-outs. That is true. Perhaps at the end the Prime Minister is actually going to be using it as a beach toy on his next visit to billionaire island.
    All joking aside, a serious allegation of intellectual property theft has been made by the original artist. This duck will be coming across the Canadian border. I certainly hope that the Minister of Public Safety is paying attention to the matter and that he will not try to duck his responsibility.

[Translation]

The Mohawk People

     [Member spoke in Mohawk and provided the following translation:]
     I pay my respects to you who have gathered here. I stand here to honour the Mohawk language and I pay my respects to their people. Let us pay respects to the Creator for everything he has given to us that we may live peacefully.
    I am proud to stand here and speak to you in the Mohawk language. Hopefully it will help us to become better friends. I also hope that we will hear the Mohawk language a lot more often here and that more Canadians will be proud to use it to speak to one another.
    I pay my respects to you, the master of this house.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, we know the Prime Minister loves to spend taxpayers' money, including nearly $400 million for his friends at Bombardier. However, when he actually has the chance to do some good for Canadian families, the answer is no.
     Conservatives offered a compassionate response to the challenges faced by families struggling with autism, and it would have cost less per year than the bonus of one Bombardier executive. Why did the Prime Minister reject support for the Canadian autism partnership? Why this mean-spirited decision?
    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to addressing the health needs of Canadians, our government is fully committed to working with our partners, the provinces and territories, and health care providers on the front lines.
    We are supporting the provinces and the territories with an additional $200 billion over the next five years. They will largely be responsible for the delivery of health care. In addition, we have a whole-of-government response to issues like autism spectrum disorder. That includes working with my partner, the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. It means working with my partner who is responsible for the Canada child benefit and the Canada disability credit.
    We will all work together to address the needs of families affected by autism.

Consular Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the whole-of-government response was “no” to families facing autism challenges.
    Yesterday I sat down with Amy Chang. Her parents, John Chang, who is in failing health, and Allison Lu, have been detained in China for 15 months. They are Canadian citizens who require help from their government, and the Chinese community in Canada is very concerned.
     So far the Prime Minister has been absent on this file. Is he too busy or does he just not care? Will he commit to meeting with Amy this week and work to bring her parents home?
    Mr. Speaker, I share the hon. member's deep concern about this case.
     I am following the case of Mr. Chang and Ms. Lu very closely. It has been raised repeatedly at a high level by the government and officials. Our officials are in contact with Mr. Chang, Ms. Lu, and their family.
    I will be very glad this afternoon to be meeting with Ms. Chang. I look forward to that conversation.

  (1420)  

[Translation]

Government Appointments

    Mr. Speaker, every day we discover one more reason why we should not appoint Madam Meilleur as the commissioner of official languages. First we learned about her donations to the Liberal Party and to the Prime Minister 's leadership campaign, and her private meeting with the Prime Minister's closest advisors. Now we have learned that some of the Minister of Canadian Heritage's employees previously worked with Ms. Meilleur. There is only one thing left to do.
    Will they finally rescind Madam Meilleur's appointment?
    Mr. Speaker, after a long, and clearly merit-based process, we chose Mrs. Meilleur as the candidate for commissioner of official languages. A selection committee consisting of mostly public servants established this process and reviewed the different candidates. Every measure was put in place to ensure that employees who had contacts with Mrs. Meilleur in the past were not part of the process.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals would have us believe that it is just a coincidence that the only choice for a non-partisan officer of Parliament is a Liberal activist, and that it is also just a coincidence that she donated to the Prime Minister's own campaign and discussed an appointment with his closest advisers. It is also just a coincidence that two of her former employees now work for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
    Will the Prime Minister admit that this was not just a series of remarkable coincidences, but was in fact the only reason she got the job?
    Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned many times in the House, we are extremely proud of our candidate for official languages commissioner, because she has the experience and also has the expertise to make sure that she will be a good official languages commissioner.
    I am proud of my team. I have been able to gather great people from across the country who understand the importance of official languages communities. Of course, I have explained the process many times, and that all the members of my team who have had contact in the past with Madeleine Meilleur were not part of the process.
    Mr. Speaker, this is becoming more and more clear, but to help the government out, the issue is not Madam Meilleur's professional qualifications. What is at question is the Prime Minister's competence. This appointment process has turned into a fiasco wrapped in a dumpster fire.
    When will the Prime Minister take responsibility, cancel Madam Meilleur's nomination, and launch a new, non-partisan process?
    Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see that the member is recognizing, finally, the expertise and experience of Mrs. Meilleur, because this is exactly why we decided to appoint her. It was because she actually has the knowledge and experience to make sure she would be a good official languages commissioner. Of course, the fact that she served in the past is something that we value, as we did when we appointed the former Conservative prime minister, Kim Campbell, to head the nomination process for Supreme Court justices. That is why we think we have a very good candidate.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister of heritage made a significant claim in the House yesterday. She stated that Gerry Butts and Katie Telford did not discuss the position of commissioner with Madeleine Meilleur. This contradicts Meilleur's own testimony at committee.
    My question for the minister is straightforward. Would she like to withdraw or correct her statement, or is she accusing Madame Meilleur of intentionally misleading this Parliament?
    Mr. Speaker, I mentioned many times that Mrs. Meilleur is an amazing candidate because she had the chance to serve 30 years in supporting the promotion and protection of official language rights in our country.
    Of course I would like to be precise in the fact that never was there any discussion relating to the fact that she could become the official languages commissioner. That is why we are very proud and will continue to support Madeleine Meilleur to become the next official languages commissioner.

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is duly noted that the minister has just said that Madeleine Meilleur intentionally misled this Parliament. That makes her ineligible to named to a high office like commissioner of official languages.

[Translation]

    The minister led the process to appoint Ms. Meilleur and is claiming that it was neutral and independent. However, we just learned that two staff members working under the Minister of Canadian Heritage used to work for Ms. Meilleur.
    I would like to give the minister a chance to give us a clear and honest answer, and if she does not, she will be misleading Parliament. Is the minister ready?
    Did the minister speak to her two staff members regarding the appointment of the official languages commissioner?
    Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of the process that we have put in place. I am also proud of the fact that I have been able to put together a very strong team that of course assists me in my responsibilities and duties. These individuals have experience and expertise in the area of official languages.
    The individuals who have had previous contact with Madeleine Meilleur in the past were never part of the process and were in no way involved in Madeleine Meilleur's appointment.
    Mr. Speaker, Gerry Butts and Katie Telford were also not officially part of the process, but they were indeed involved.
    Will the minister answer the question or not? Did the minister contact those employees in some way during Ms. Meilleur's appointment process? Answer the question for once.
    I do not think that the member for Outremont wants me to answer his questions. He knows that I do not answer questions in the House of Commons. I therefore encourage him to address his comments to the Chair.
    The hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage.
    Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to point out that my colleague acknowledged many times in the past that Mrs. Meilleur was an excellent candidate with experience and expertise, and I thank him for that.
    Of course, I would like to reassure him by saying that we held an open, independent, and merit-based process. None of the employees from my team who had any contact with Madeleine Meilleur in the past were involved in the process. That is exactly what happened.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we also found out today that when Madame Meilleur was interested in becoming an Ontario Liberal candidate, she bypassed the standard candidate nomination process. Who pulled the strings so she could be parachuted into a riding? It was none other than Gerry Butts. No wonder they are such good friends.
    Does the minister not understand that the more she defends the partisan appointment made by the Prime Minister, the more she loses credibility? Will she do the right thing and recommend that Madame Meilleur be now removed from consideration as commissioner?
    Mr. Speaker, since Madame Meilleur has been such an important person in the protection and promotion of official languages rights in this country, including the protection of the Montfort Hospital and the creation of the francophone affairs commission in Ontario, I wanted to talk about the awards and recognition she has had, including the fact that she received the Order of Merit of the University of Ottawa, the Bastarache-Charron award for the common law section of the University of Ottawa.
    The office—
    Mrs. Kelly Block: That's not the question.
    Mr. Mark Strahl: Let the Speaker answer it.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. Speakers have long held that Speakers cannot comment on the quality of questions or answers or other things said in this House. We simply have the powers conferred on us by the House, including the enforcement of the rules. I encourage members to follow the rules and not to interrupt when another member is speaking on whatever side.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we have learned that there are very obvious ties between the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the future commissioner of official languages even within her inner circle. Former staffers of Ms. Meilleur are currently working for the minister. These staffers worked closely with Madeleine Meilleur, when she was the attorney general and minister responsible for francophone affairs.
    Will the minister cancel this proposed appointment or will we have to get to the bottom of the process and call for a public inquiry?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, we are very proud to have found a very good candidate, because when searching for candidates to become the commissioner of official languages, we wanted to find the best one.
     This is exactly what our process allowed us to do. Based on a short list I received, I had the opportunity to conduct interviews and then appreciate Mrs. Meilleur’s 30 years of experience and expertise during these interviews.
    She clearly emerged on top, so I am very pleased that she is our candidate.
    Mr. Speaker, do you remember that 70s quiz show Who is Telling the Truth? We have been watching it since May 15. The Minister of Canadian Heritage assured the House that Madeleine Meilleur never talked to either Mr. Butts or Ms. Telford.
    However, on May 18 in the Standing Committee on Official Languages, Ms. Meilleur said that she had discussed an appointment as a senator or commissioner with Mr. Butts and had coffee with Katie Telford for the same reason.
    Will she apologize for misleading the House once and for all?
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to hear my colleague talk about Mrs. Meilleur because, when I had the chance to speak with her on the phone to tell her that Mrs. Meilleur would potentially be a candidate we would select, she told me that Madeleine Meilleur was indeed a good candidate and that she had the necessary experience and qualifications. This was also the case for the other official languages critic, from the NDP.
     Clearly, Mrs. Meilleur is a good candidate. The process was properly followed, and my staff who worked with her in the past were not involved. Everything was done according to the rules.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we know that Madeleine Meilleur met with Gerry Butts and Katie Telford. Why? She told us in committee. Madeleine Meilleur confirmed that she met with both of them.
    Yesterday in the House the minister said that never happened. Was the Minister of Canadian Heritage misleading the House when she said so? It is time for the truth. How many times did Madeleine Meilleur meet with members of the PMO before being appointed as the nominee to the official languages portfolio?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, of course, as I have said many times, the discussion about Mrs. Meilleur becoming commissioner of official languages never took place.

[English]

    I would like to remind members of the important awards that Mrs. Meilleur was able to gather during her amazing career, including something that the Conservative Party will actually like a lot, which is the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. She even received the Ontario College of Social Workers—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. This is a good way to shorten question period, colleagues.
    The hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage.
    Mr. Speaker, I will continue. As I was saying, she received the Order of Merit from the Association of French-Speaking Jurists of Ontario in 2007.

[Translation]

     She was admitted into the Ordre de la francophonie de Prescott et Russell in 2006.
     She also received the Réseau socioaction des femmes francophones award of excellence in 2002.

[English]

    She received a United Way Community Builder Award—
    The hon. member for Perth—Wellington.
    Mr. Speaker, we are not talking about the awards that she received, but about the rewards that she is being given for being nominated for being a Liberal donor.
    Let us talk about Madeleine Meilleur's time as an MPP and a Liberal cabinet minister. Her director of communications is now the minister's director of communications. The director of policy was a former executive director to the Kathleen Wynne Liberals.
    The minister claims she set up a firewall, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the firewall is as flimsy as the minister's answers in this House. Will the minister provide evidence that this firewall actually exists, or does it exist at all?
    Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see that my colleague recognizes that she received many awards. Not only that, the fact that she won so many awards is based on the fact that she has had lots of accomplishments in her public life.
    That leads us to the question of the importance of giving importance to public servants. To that extent, I would like to understand the point of view of the Conservative Party that it is not okay to appoint a person who has served in the past but it is okay to appoint a former—

  (1435)  

    The hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil.
    Mr. Speaker, if I were a minister, I would have spent the last 24 hours getting my story straight with respect to Madame Meilleur.
     The government is playing fast and loose with the facts when it comes to this appointment. Rules have been broken, and at least one very qualified applicant was completely ignored in favour of a Liberal friend. Yesterday we heard the contradicting versions of the same event. This will not end well.
    Why is the minister continuing with this farce of a process? Why is she not shutting it down before she and the Liberals do any more damage to the integrity of this Parliament?
    Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, of course we value the importance of public life, we value the experience of Mrs. Meilleur, and that is what was shown by the fact that we had a very thorough process.
    Since we value the importance of public service, we also appointed the former Conservative prime minister, Kim Campbell, to be in charge of a very important process, which is to appoint bilingual Supreme Court justices for the first time, because we believe in the importance of official languages. Therefore, since we value public service, it is just normal that Mrs. Meilleur is our candidate.
    Mr. Speaker, this so-called open and transparent process is anything but. Key staff members who worked for Madame Meilleur at Queen's Park are now working in the office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage. As scary as it sounds, it is as if the Liberals at Queen's Park are a farm club for the bigger in-debt-and-deficit Liberal club here in Ottawa managed by Gerry and Katie.
    Will the minister do the right thing and finally admit how many times Madame Meilleur met with PMO staff and her staff before they gave their Liberal friend and donor this appointment?
    Mr. Speaker, since we are talking about the importance of expertise and experience, and because I have already given many explanations regarding the process, I would like to talk about Madame Meilleur's participation in associations and organizations.
    She has been a member of the Association of French-Speaking Jurists of Ontario. She has been on the Ottawa-Carleton Regional District Health Council. She has been on the board of directors of the Cité Collégiale. She has been on the board of the Vanier housing corporation.

Softwood Lumber

     Mr. Speaker, the Liberals promised to settle the softwood lumber dispute last year but, now with no deal in sight and massive unfair tariffs imposed by the U.S., their failure has already cost Canadian jobs, and more are on the line. After 18 months of failing Canadians on this file, finally the Liberals are offering support to struggling workers in communities, and it is still not clear if it will be enough.
    How quickly will the EI funds be available, and will the minister guarantee that each and every worker who loses their job because of the government's failure will receive support?
     Mr. Speaker, I welcome the question because it is so timely. Just a few hours ago, the government announced $867 million toward the forest industry in Canada. That is a combination of $605 million in loan guarantees offered through the Export Development Corporation and BDC, looking in the longer term to making it easier for the industry to diversify, to encourage them to look for export markets.
    We work, by the way, co-operatively with all of the provinces. This is truly a—
    The hon. member for Jonquière.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, today we heard an announcement from the government, which has finally decided to move after 10 months of inaction on softwood lumber. It was only after communities took action. Hundreds of workers and their families demonstrated in the streets to make the government understand just how much of an impact U.S. countervailing duties have had on their jobs and the local economy.
     The Prime Minister himself said that he wanted to help the middle class, but he waited until there were job losses to act.
    When will the money be available, and can this money be used to guarantee deposits?

  (1440)  

[English]

     Mr. Speaker, much of this investment is available immediately. We have been working for many months, not only across the Government of Canada but across the entire country. The suite of measures that we announced today look, not only in the short term to ensure that workers and communities and producers are protected from these punitive duties, but also the longer term, so that we can sustain such an important industry for all Canadians.

Government Appointments

     Mr. Speaker, the government House leader loves to throw around the words “open” and “transparent”, but make no mistake, the Liberal government is anything but. She throws these words around in the hopes that Canadians will buy what she says and not what the government is doing. The Ethics Commissioner is solely responsible to the Parliament of Canada, not to the Liberal Parliament of Canada.
    Will the Prime Minister agree that as they search for a new Ethics Commissioner, they will not fall into the same trap that they fell into with the official languages commissioner, and simply recruit from the list of loyal—
    The hon. government House leader.
     Mr. Speaker, as I have said time and again, we have put in place a new open, transparent, and merit-based appointment process. All the conditions needed to apply are available online. If the member has people he would like to suggest, I encourage them to go to the website and apply. This is a process brought forward to ensure that all Canadians can apply, because we believe in the diversity of our country, we believe in gender parity. With this new process, we have made over 140 appointments, and they have all been great appointments.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the position of conflict of interest and ethics commissioner will soon be vacant and we do not know whether the Liberals have even started a clear and transparent process to find a replacement. Transferring the appointment responsibilities from the Prime Minister’s office to the Government House Leader’s office is a thinly veiled ploy.
    Can the Prime Minister confirm that the selection criteria for the next conflict of interest and ethics commissioner will be the same ones used to pick the new Commissioner of Official Languages, that is, be in the Liberal family and a generous Liberal donor?
    Mr. Speaker, we have implemented a new, open, transparent, and merit-based appointment process. Our aim is to identify high-quality candidates who will help to achieve gender parity and truly reflect Canada’s diversity.
    We have made over 140 appointments under the new process. Canadians can continue to apply. All positions are posted online.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, ACOA is the economic development agency for Atlantic Canada, and for decades it has been run by non-partisan senior civil servants. However, that is not good enough for the Prime Minister, because his top priority is rewarding his Liberal friends. The latest Liberal to be rewarded is Francis McGuire, Liberal donor, insider, and cheerleader, who is now the president of ACOA.
    Can the Prime Minister not see that this blatant partisan appointment is undermining the credibility of the good work that ACOA does for Atlantic Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to be the minister responsible for ACOA. As the member mentioned, ACOA is responsible for helping Atlantic Canada realize its economic potential, innovation, growth, and being more competitive. I want to take this opportunity to thank the former president, Paul LeBlanc, for his hard work and leadership, along with 32 outstanding MPs, and for introducing the Atlantic growth strategy.
    With regard to Francis McGuire, he is a well-respected individual who has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. I look forward to working with him.
    Mr. Speaker, Francis McGuire has donated to the Liberal Party a whopping 23 times over the last 10 years, for a total of over $30,000. That is more money than either Gerry, Katie, or the Prime Minister himself have donated to the Liberal Party. We have patronage at official languages, and we have patronage at ACOA, so it begs the question: What is the minimum Liberal donation going to be for the new Ethics Commissioner to even get on its list?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, the member knows very well that we have put in a new process, an open and transparent and merit-based process. With this process, we have appointed over 140 nominations. The work that these people do is important work. We value the public service, and we value Canadians wanting to fill these positions. We are looking at diversity. We are looking at our two official languages. We are looking at many different factors. All position applications are available online. I encourage all Canadians to apply.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, we know that torture and summary executions are immoral and run counter to Canadian and international law. They also alienate potential supporters in the fight against ISIS and produce information that is dangerously unreliable. The Minister of National Defence knows well the ongoing controversy surrounding possible Canadian complicity in torture involving Afghan detainees.
    Now that the minister has decided Canadians should be advising and assisting Iraqi forces, in the face of recent evidence of gruesome torture and summary executions, will he now commit to a full investigation of our military co-operation with Iraq?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, National Defence and the government as a whole do not accept torture. Investigations have been done and are being done to protect Canada's reputation and ensure respect for international regulations.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals promised to implement a system to fix mistaken identities on the no-fly list, but Canadians are still waiting. There are children on that list. People are having to cancel their trips, and business people are missing out on opportunities because of the list.

[English]

    What is the government waiting for in finally fixing the no-fly list, and how long are we going to have to wait before it finally puts in place the promised redress system, or is it going to be just another broken promise?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member, and indeed the committee for its work. They have just tabled their recommendations with respect to this item and the national security framework. We certainly appreciate the frustration of law-abiding travellers whose plans were delayed as a result of false positives. We are absolutely committed. I am working on the report that was just tabled to make sure that we get this right.

[Translation]

Softwood Lumber

    Mr. Speaker, Canada's forestry industry is important to all of our rural and urban communities and provides good jobs for Canadians across the country.
    Can the Minister of Natural Resources tell the House what the government is doing to help the forestry industry and its workers get through this difficult time and emerge stronger?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Pontiac for giving me an opportunity to update the House on the softwood lumber file.
    We just approved an action plan with measures worth over $860 million to strengthen the softwood lumber industry, support workers, expand wood use, and diversify market opportunities for Canadian wood products.

[English]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, 13 former Royal Canadian Air Force commanders recommended against an interim purchase of Super Hornets. The Senate committee unanimously recommended that the Liberals abandon their plan to buy Super Hornets, but the Liberals refused to listen to the experts. That is, until their rich friends at Bombardier had a problem with Boeing, and then the Liberals decided that Boeing was not a trusted partner. Is there at least one Liberal willing to stand up for the interests of Canadians rather than their rich Liberal insiders? The defence minister has turned this into a complete disaster. Who is going to clean up his mess?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives left us a fleet that is over 30 years old. They did not take care of this problem. Since we want to properly defend Canadians and North America, as well as ensure global stability, we need to make sure that members of the Canadian Armed Forces are properly equipped and ready to meet all challenges.
    Mr. Speaker, I would say to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence that it was his minister who was the architect of the misfortunes currently facing the Canadian Forces. He politicized the heck out of the process to replace the CF-18s.
    Instead of putting it out to tender, he fabricated a capability gap that does not exist, just to please his friends at Boeing. Now, two years later, Boeing is no longer a friend of the Liberals. Imagine that.
    The Royal Canadian Air Force always needs planes.
    When will the minister stop putting the interests of the Liberal Party ahead of the interests of the Canadian Forces?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, the minister always puts the interests of Canadians and the interests of the Canadian Forces first so that our soldiers may be properly equipped and trained to carry out their missions, defend Canada and North America, and ensure global stability with our NATO and NORAD partners.

[English]

Consular Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has finally admitted what we knew all along, that the questionable detention of Canadian citizens, John Chang and Allison Lu, by China customs is a trade matter and should have been resolved months ago. Instead, Mr. Chang has been languishing in jail for 15 months, and the Prime Minister has done absolutely nothing to secure his release and safe return. It would take one phone call from the Prime Minister to his new BFFs in Beijing to resolve this. When will the Prime Minister pick up that phone and make the call? It is never too late to do the right thing.
    Mr. Speaker, as the minister earlier stated, our government is very engaged on this file. We have raised this matter at a very high level with the Chinese authorities. Our consular officials are constantly meeting and offering assistance to Mr. Chang, Ms. Lu, and their family, and the minister and I are meeting with Amy Chang later this afternoon.
    It is just 15 months late, and they are finally getting around to meeting with Amy, Mr. Speaker. That is just not good enough. Frankly, Canadians deserve and expect a lot better from their government. The member opposite talked about meeting with Amy months ago, which never really happened. It was all a figment of his imagination.
    The minister talks about following this file closely. She should be leading this file. She said three weeks ago that she was seized with this opportunity, but if that means rusted and immobile, she is absolutely right. They all have the credibility of a big yellow duck. When will the Prime Minister get involved and fix this?
    Mr. Speaker, the case of Mr. Chang and Ms. Lu deserves much more dignity and respect than it is receiving from this opposition member. We are treating this case with great seriousness, and our government has been engaged on this file. I personally spoke with Amy last October. Our door is always open to meet with families of loved ones who are abroad, and we will never stop until we resolve this case.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' official languages record has been less than stellar lately. Take, for example, the partisan appointment of the official languages commissioner and the five French errors in the Prime Minister's 560-word biography.
    Today, we learned from an internal government report that the use of French is dwindling in the public service. Fewer senior managers are fluent in French, translation quality is down, English is taking over, and so on.
    When will the government implement practical measures to protect Canada's official languages?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada's two official languages are certainly a priority for our government. That is why, when we were elected, we acted quickly to make up for the previous government's 10 years of inaction.
    We reinstated francophone immigration programs, established a process for appointing bilingual judges to the Supreme Court, and reinstated university accreditation at the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean.
    I will be presenting an official languages game plan a little later this year. We know that we can always do better and that there is plenty of room for improvement on the bilingualism front across the country.

[English]

Labour

    Mr. Speaker, I do not have to remind the House that all members of Parliament benefit from a safe and secure workplace thanks to the brave men and women who work in the Parliamentary Protective Service. However, their contract expired in March and their employer is refusing to bargain collectively. The 220 members who keep us safe have launched a campaign asking for respect to bring their employer to the table to negotiate a fair contract.
    Will the government show respect for our outstanding security personnel and begin fair negotiations?
    Members know that questions must be within the responsibility of the government and this has nothing to do with the administration of the government if the member checks the legislation.
    The hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier.

  (1455)  

[Translation]

Softwood Lumber

    Mr. Speaker, the government's response is inadequate. Instead of taking the bull by the horns and reaching an agreement on softwood lumber with the United States, it chose to kneel. The government lacks leadership and does not know how to negotiate. It must protect the softwood lumber industry and create jobs.
    The Liberals are abandoning our regions. Workers want the government to sign an agreement in order to bring stability and prosperity to their industry. When will the government sign a new agreement with our main partner, the United States?
    Mr. Speaker, it was the Conservative government that let the agreement expire.
    The countervailing duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce are punitive and unfair. We will go to court and we will win, as we have every time.
    The Prime Minister spoke to the President at the G7 summit about softwood lumber. This week, I had two meetings with Secretary Ross at which we discussed the softwood lumber file.
    We want a good agreement, not just any agreement.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the Liberals did not take it seriously in 2015. They did not get the job done with Obama in 2016, and they are mailing it in right now in 2017. Now we are seeing thousands and thousands of jobs right across Canada being lost.
    The government's aid package for the softwood industry is too little, too late for forestry workers and their families. Mills are already closing down across the country and this money will not bring those jobs back. Canadian forestry workers deserve stability and predictability from their government.
    What does the Minister of Natural Resources have to say to those workers who want jobs, not EI?
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question and I share the hon. member's concern about workers who might be laid off, which is why we are investing 90 million new dollars in helping the transition and the reskilling of those people. At the same time, we are making $605 million available in loan guarantees, and in the long term, more investments in the marketplace in transition and the expansion of export markets for the workers.
    We understand the importance of this industry and we will protect the workers, the communities—
    The hon. member for Prince Albert.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government failed to secure a new softwood lumber agreement and now mills are closing down across the country.
    There was a window of opportunity last year to get a deal done but the Liberals did not make it a priority. In fact, reports suggest that there was a deal on the table and the minister walked away. Thousands of Canadian forestry workers, who are about to lose their jobs, want to know what was in that deal.
    Mr. Speaker, let me remind the hon. member that it was his Conservative government that allowed the previous agreement to expire.
    As to Ambassador Mike Froman's comments about there having been a deal on the table, there may have been offers from Mike that were great for the United States and punitive for Canada, but I will never do a bad deal for Canada.

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Democratic Institutions introduced legislation to make political fundraising more open and transparent. All members in the House fully appreciate that Canadians should have a right to access more information about political fundraising events.
    Could the Minister of Democratic Institutions please update the House on her new efforts to further improve transparency for political fundraising events in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, we are taking concrete action to enhance our already strong and robust rules around political fundraising events in Canada. Yesterday, I was pleased to introduce Bill C-50, which would give Canadians more information than ever before on political fundraising events where a minister, party leader, or leadership contestant is present. Canadians will know who is going to fundraisers, where and when they are happening, and the amount required to attend.
    I encourage all parties in this place to support these important measures and to take action to become more open and transparent.

  (1500)  

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice is trying to blame everyone other than herself for court delays as serious criminal cases continue to be thrown out of court, a murder case in Montreal being the latest. However, Chief Justice McLachlin says a big part of the problem is 58 superior court vacancies, 58 vacancies that the minister has yet to fill. When is the minister going to stop making excuses, take responsibility, and get these vacancies filled?
    Mr. Speaker, I am not making any excuses. I take very seriously my responsibility to appoint superior court justices across the country. I am extremely proud of the very meritorious candidates, 67 in total, that I have appointed thus far.
     We are going to be moving forward with our open and transparent appointment process to continue to appoint justices to the superior courts. I look forward to making an announcement in this regard very shortly.

[Translation]

Shipping

    Mr. Speaker, the damage caused by two-metre waves to residences in Yamachiche is in the thousands of dollars. Someone, somewhere must be responsible for this, as this is no act of God.
    The victims are also dealing with flooding and hope that they will not be forgotten by this government.
    The St. Lawrence pilots having assured me of their full co-operation with Transport Canada, can the minister confirm that the results of the investigation will be made public and tell us when we can expect the report?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    We are studying the investigation report. When the findings have been reviewed, they will be made public.

Infrastructure

    Mr. Speaker, the people of Brossard—Saint-Lambert know that cultural and recreational facilities make for stronger communities and contribute to a better quality of life for all residents.
    Our government has made cultural and recreational infrastructure a priority because it is an important part of community-building in Quebec and across Canada.
     Can the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities update the House on the government's work on this important file?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, last week, we were proud to announce $24 million for 26 cultural and recreational projects across Quebec to support seniors, families with children, newcomers, and multicultural communities. We understand that infrastructure investments also help grow the economy, create jobs, and create opportunities for those Canadians who are working hard to be part of the middle class.
    We will continue to work with the Province of Quebec to build even stronger communities going forward.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, prior to budget 2017, nearly half of the Liberal caucus advocated for the Canadian autism partnership, and many said so directly to autism stakeholders.
    Last month, on World Autism Awareness Day, more than a dozen Liberal MPs showed up for the photo op, but on Tuesday, in a vote, clearly strong-armed by Liberal leadership, all but one Liberal MP voted against the creation of the Canadian autism partnership. Why, on something so critically important, after so much work by so many exceptional Canadians, is the Prime Minister playing such a heavy hand?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we recognize that autism spectrum disorder has a significant impact on those affected and their families. That is why our government allocated nearly $39 million to the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
    We have also enhanced benefits for young people with disabilities. We invested $8 million in 2015 and 2016 for autism and $5.3 million for research at Toronto's SickKids hospital.
     We are involved and will become even more involved as we draft and study the bill to be introduced by the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.

Intergovernmental Relations

    Mr. Speaker, when the the most federalist premier in the history of Quebec admits that the Constitution is not working, you know that it is really not working. Unsurprisingly, the Prime Minister of Canada told Philippe Couillard to take a hike. The Quebec nation exists, but the Prime Minister will have nothing to do with it. In his legal challenge of Bill 99, he is even denying Quebec's right to self-determination.
    Will the Prime Minister be democratic enough to recognize Quebec's right to decide its own future?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister clearly stated this morning, we have no intention of reopening the constitutional debate. Our position has not changed, and the Prime Minister was very clear.
    Our priority is to grow Canada's economy and Quebec's economy and create jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it. That is the mandate that Quebeckers and Canadians have given us. We take this mandate very seriously.
    Mr. Speaker, there is no respect for Quebec's jurisdiction, as evidenced by Bill C-29. There is no respect for our needs, as evidenced by the health transfers. There is no respect for our land, as evidenced by energy east. There is even no respect for our laws, as evidenced by the infrastructure bank. There is never any respect for what we want.
    When will this Prime Minister apologize to Quebeckers for his total lack of respect towards Quebec?
    Mr. Speaker, our federal government is very proud of its relationship with the province of Quebec. We are working with the province of Quebec for the interests of Quebeckers and Canadians.
    Our efforts on health, the environment, and many other files clearly show that we are working in a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect.
    As I said, Quebeckers are very pleased to know that we are focusing on the economy and job creation.

Presence in Gallery

    I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of His Excellency, Mr. Salifou Diallo, President of the National Assembly of Burkina Faso.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

[English]

Points of Order

Oral Questions  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, earlier in question period, the government House leader invited MPs to direct people to the government appointments website to get information about the application for the Ethics Commissioner. I went there in anticipation of finding that. I saw that no such application or job was posted there.
     I am wondering if she intended to mislead the House, or if in fact she wanted to stand to withdraw the comments, or if she intended instead to direct people to liberal.ca.
    I do not see the member rising.
    The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, I know you have the responsibility, and we humbly respect that, to judge the admissibility of questions. I would, however, submit to you, if I may, that in light of the current situation with the security staff on the Hill and the employer responsibility that is held by the RCMP, which is under the responsibility of the Minister of Public Safety, I would ask that you reconsider the admissibility of the question.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Matthew Dubé: I would also ask that the Liberals not heckle me as I talk about the security guards in the House of Commons and the work they are doing.
    I would humbly submit, while respecting your decision, that you may reconsider it and that the member for Saskatoon West may be allowed to re-pose the question.
    I thank the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly for raising this question. First of all, I thank him for asking people not to heckle when someone is raising a point of order or at any other time. That is appreciated.
    Second, if you check the legislation that created the Parliamentary Protective Service, you will find that it is an independent agency, which reports to both Speakers. It is also under the RCMP in terms of the daily operations, but it is an independent operation and therefore not within the responsibility of the Government of Canada.
    Now I believe the hon. opposition House leader has the usual Thursday question.

  (1510)  

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, today I have a couple of questions regarding the upcoming business of the House for the government House leader. First of all, could the government House leader outline the business of the House for the remainder of this week as well as her government's priorities between now and the end of the sitting in June?
    Informing the opposition of the government's priorities prior to the summer adjournment is the custom in this place, so it would be particularly helpful as we are moving forward and seek to do the good work that Canadians elected us to do during extended hours.
    Also, it is our understanding that the government House leader intends to table a motion to change the Standing Orders. I think the government knows full well our position and the NDP's position on this, that we remain strongly opposed to making any changes. That being said, could the government House leader advise us if she still plans on proposing a motion to change the Standing Orders, and if so, can she assure the House that she will not use the same types of procedural tactics to shut down debate on this motion before the summer recess?
    Last, I have one more question regarding the upcoming business. Could the government House leader confirm the accuracy of rumours that the Prime Minister intends to prorogue in the next few weeks? Could she confirm whether that is accurate?
    Order. I encourage members who are carrying on conversations to do so in the lobby. I apologize to the hon. opposition House leader for the noise that took place during her comments.
    I would ask members to help me out by saying “Shhh”. Thank you very much, colleagues.
    The hon. government House leader.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, we will continue debate on the Conservative's opposition motion. This evening, we will proceed with Bill C-45, the cannabis act, at second reading.
    Tomorrow morning, we will commence report stage of Bill C-44, the budget. In the afternoon, we will return to Bill C-45.

[English]

    Our hope for Monday and Tuesday is to send Bill C-45 to committee, and also to deal with report stage of Bill C-44. Other bills for next week include the Senate amendments to Bill C-6, the Citizenship Act; and Bill S-3, provided the bill is passed by the Senate.
    Should time permit, we would also like some debate on Bill C-49, transportation modernization; and Bill C-24, to amend the Salaries Act.
     We have had a conversation among House leaders. I look forward to continuing those conversations, and I will do my best to report to this House the information that I have, and we will do our best to work well together so that all members can do the good work that we are sent here to do.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Business of Supply]

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project  

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    The hon. member for Peace River—Westlock has three minutes remaining in his speech.
    Mr. Speaker, I was speaking on the topic of social licence, given the current motion that we are debating from our hon. leader. I would like to perhaps go over that motion once again. I will just read it once more:
    That the House agree that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project: (a) has social license to proceed; (b) is critical to the Canadian economy and the creation of thousands of jobs; (c) is safe and environmentally sound, as recognized and accepted by the National Energy Board; (d) is under federal jurisdiction with respect to approval and regulation; and (e) should be constructed with the continued support of the federal government, as demonstrated by the Prime Minister personally announcing the approval of the project.
    Some 500 of the 630 first nations across our great nation of Canada are open to pipelines and petroleum product development. This means that first nation communities across the country are divided on the issues of pipeline development and energy resource development and things like this. Therefore, I would say that we need to be able to treat first nations the same way we treat all other Canadians and to have the diverse opinions that we have about petroleum product development. Given this particular project, the Trans Mountain pipeline project, the vast majority of first nations along the route are totally excited about the fact that this pipeline is going to be built. Therefore, we would appreciate it if the Prime Minister would go to B.C. and sit down with the people in Burnaby and have a chat with them to champion this pipeline, to make the case for the social licence that this pipeline has in order for it to be built.
     We look forward to the Prime Minister's championing of this. We acknowledge that he has approved the pipeline; we know that was a hurdle in and of itself. We continue to raise concerns about the process by which it was approved, but we recognize that it is approved and the very fact that repeatedly members of the government stand up and acknowledge the fact that they have approved this pipeline. They brag about the fact that they have approved the pipeline. Now the imperative is for this pipeline to be built. We look forward to what the government will do in the future. We know that the market conditions are perhaps a bit downtrodden, and that is why we in Alberta are looking forward to having this pipeline built and bringing these life-saving petroleum products to the world.

  (1515)  

    Mr. Speaker, this motion is a request by the Conservatives to get the Government of Canada to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline. We have already done that. This opposition motion is trying to remind us that we should be supporting the oil and gas sector and employees in the province of Alberta. We do that. It is less surprising that the Conservatives put politics over principle, but what is surprising is that they are putting politics over pipelines. How does the member think that pitting members against one another helps us achieve our common goal?
    Mr. Speaker, to the member's point, the issue with pipelines in general was social licence. We did not come up with that issue. That was brought up by the government, that fact that pipelines need to have social licence.
    The government said that this pipeline had social licence, and therefore it approved the pipeline. Now it is incumbent upon the government to dispel the opposition to this pipeline, to ensure that all the actors involved understand that this pipeline has social licence, and to ensure that in the interests of Canada this pipeline gets built.
    Mr. Speaker, there is a range of things I would like to ask my colleague from Alberta.
    Maybe I will focus in on the issue of confidence—and I would suggest it is overconfidence—that my friends on both the Conservative and Liberal sides have with respect to the National Energy Board itself.
     The government brought an expert panel together to review what is going on with the National Energy Board, which has had its problems. Let us admit the obvious. The energy east pipeline hearings had to be shut down. The Kinder Morgan hearings had to be suspended. Both were because of conflicts of interest. People who were being placed on the National Energy Board to review the pipeline had previously worked for the pipeline companies themselves. That is called a captured regulator, where the regulator becomes too close, too forgiving, and approving of those it seeks to regulate. It does not work.
    In that expert panel's report, it said that the National Energy Board faces a crisis of confidence. It went on later to say that, for a generation to come, Canadians have lost faith in the National Energy Board.
     When Conservatives and Liberals agree on their terminology of social licence, that somehow the public is on board, one would have to question how they define it. There are 17 lawsuits out against this decision. The mayors in the regions most impacted by this pipeline are unanimous in their opposition. The first nations that the member talks about are misrepresented. I deal with many of them. When someone signs an agreement to discuss, it is not an agreement to the project itself. That is what has been misconstrued continuously.
    I have a very simple question. We cannot rely on the NEB process. The current Prime Minister promised British Columbians and Canadians that he would review the pipeline under a valid process. He himself admitted that the one that had been put in place by Mr. Harper was inefficient, ineffective, and did not build the public confidence needed to have social licence.
    The process is the same one that Harper had. This Prime Minister used it as well. Under all that review, there was no evidence put forward that a diluted bitumen spill could actually be cleaned up. Does my friend have any evidence to offer the people of Alberta, British Columbia, or anywhere in Canada that when a spill of diluted bitumen happens, in salt or fresh water, it can actually be cleaned up?
    My Conservative colleagues want me to hurry, because they actually know the answer. It is no.
    Mr. Speaker, in my limited lifespan, I have travelled to other parts of the world. Everybody I met from other parts of world congratulates Canada on being one of the cleanest countries in the world. That is to our great honour.
    The NEB process that has been in place has championed our ability to have a world-class regulatory framework. In fact, most jurisdictions around the world look to Alberta specifically for how to manage their oil sands development or petroleum product development.
    We have nothing to fear here. In fact, I would ask the hon. member who is questioning me to have a conversation with the premier of Alberta. Even she understands that there is social licence for this pipeline and that this pipeline needs to be built in order to get petroleum products to tidewater.

  (1520)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his fine speech that, although interrupted by a question period, was excellent. I had the pleasure of visiting my colleague’s riding this spring, when there was still a bit of snow. I saw for the first time the scale of oil development in western Canada, and as a Quebecker, I was impressed. We cannot imagine it, living in a small rural Quebec community. When travelling around these huge tracts of lands, on every block, we see pump jacks, which are making Canada the prosperous country it is today.
    Today we are speaking on the motion by my colleague from Chilliwack—Hope, which reads as follows:
    That the House agree that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project: (a) has social license to proceed; (b) is critical to the Canadian economy and the creation of thousands of jobs; (c) is safe and environmentally sound, as recognized and accepted by the National Energy Board; (d) is under federal jurisdiction with respect to approval and regulation; and (e) should be constructed with the continued support of the federal government, as demonstrated by the Prime Minister personally announcing the approval of the project.
     I wanted to talk about this motion because it is an important debate. In fact, I want to thank my colleague for this initiative which will allow us to have a debate. However, even though the House of Commons sitting hours have been extended, I feel that many of my colleagues would have wished to discuss it further. Unfortunately, motion No. 14 on the extension of sitting hours will not enable us to continue discussion on this opposition motion.
     I know that my NDP colleagues also have an opposition motion to present next week, and their time will be cut short, too. Nevertheless, extending the sitting hours is a unique opportunity for Canadians to hear what the official opposition and the NDP think on the issues that matter most to them.
     The record now corrected, I would like to speak a little bit about the reasons why went in this particular direction. Obviously, the results from the last election in British Columbia have certain people worried, people who firmly believe in this project. Namely, they are worried about the coalition that has been formed by the New Democratic Party and the Green Party. This leads us to wonder if the Liberal government's commitment to the project is sincere.
    Important projects such as these always face a certain amount of opposition by people or environmentalists, obviously, and this happens for all kinds of reasons. These projects still have a purpose, however. We sometimes have to try to convince people to get on board, but it is not always possible. There are many similar examples of this in Quebec. Some would say the Kinder Morgan project is one of them.
     What role should leaders play when it comes time to create acceptance for and defend a project that is important to the economy and which might impact local communities? It is up to the leader to roll up his sleeves and start selling his project. In this case, the leader is the Prime Minister of Canada and he approved the Kinder Morgan project. It is up to him to head west and sell his project, to explain to people who still oppose it today why it needs to be completed for the welfare of all Canadians, including Quebeckers.
     Unfortunately, the Prime Minister seems to talks about Kinder Morgan everywhere but in British Columbia, the very place where the leader's message needs to be heard. That is where the leader needs to go to underscore the project's importance and it is the only place where the Prime Minister of Canada refuses to talk about it. Maybe he does not want to upset his voter base. I do not know. Far be it from me to impugn the Prime Minister's motives, but I am appalled at his refusal to go British Columbia.
     Energy resources are important for the economy not only of western Canada, but of the country as a whole.

  (1525)  

    According to Natural Resources Canada, with a production of 3.8 million barrels of crude oil a day in 2014, Canada is a major supplier of safe and reliable crude oil for all international markets.
    Canada also has one of the largest oil reserves in the world, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Canada has 171 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, including 166 billion in the oil sands. That is important for jobs in Canada. Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain project could create up to 15,000 jobs for Canadians.
    Again according to Natural Resources Canada, the oil and gas industry directly employs over 700,000 Canadians, which represents nearly 4% of jobs in the country.
    Of course, we just went through a difficult period because of the downturn in global oil prices. The industry has obviously been greatly affected by that. Over the past few weeks and months, we have heard our colleagues from oil-producing provinces calling on the government to help the sector weather this difficult crisis.
    During my trip to Alberta, I saw many unused construction trailers. From what I was told, that is not normal. Usually, these trailers should be on site making work for Canadians from every province.
    I know many people from my riding who went to work in Alberta. Unfortunately, that is not what is happening right now. We need projects like Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain project to help the oil industry weather the crisis.
    Despite technological advances, there is still a high demand for petroleum products. Of course, we can seek to reduce our use of oil and work to develop new sources of energy, but in the meantime, oil is there. Oil exists. I do not know very many of my colleagues who do not use a single drop of oil in a day. Why? Because oil is absolutely everywhere.
    Canada therefore needs to have trade opportunities for those products and needs to ship them to ports so that they can be exported to other continents, particularly Asia.
    I will now turn to another important reason why I believe we must support the industry: safe transportation of petroleum products.
    As the member for Mégantic—L'Érable, I am deeply concerned about transportation of oil by rail. The government has amended the rules and is going to change the kind of tank cars being used, but in the meantime, a lot of oil is still being transported by rail all across Canada. Pipelines are one of the safest ways to transport oil.
    According to Natural Resources Canada, pipelines are are a safe, reliable and environmentally friendly way of transporting oil and gas. On average each year, 99% of the oil transported on federally regulated pipelines moves safely. That is one of my concerns, and I feel we should give these considerations some thought before we say no. That is why I encourage the government to vote in favour of this motion.

[English]

    In Quebec, a lot of us are thinking that the Liberal government is trying to hide itself behind the Rocky Mountains instead of facing people in B.C. and explaining to them why the Kinder Morgan pipeline is important for our economy.
    I am not afraid to support this project and the motion of my colleague, the member for Chilliwack—Hope. For the people of Quebec, pipelines are safe and are good for our economy, not only for Canada but for Quebec.

  (1530)  

[Translation]

     In closing, the Prime Minister has expressed support for Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain project several times. He did so in Calgary, in Houston in the United States, and in Italy, and I think he should continue to support it. Now, the Prime Minister needs to make a similar show of support in British Columbia. This is an urgent matter.
     I encourage all of my colleagues to support the member for Chilliwack—Hope's motion.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague opposite for supporting this project.
    If the National Energy Board ever approved the energy east project, would my hon. colleague be in favour of those pipelines, considering how safe they are and the fact that we could then finally ship petroleum products across the country both safely and efficiently?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his very relevant question. The Conservative Party has just come through an excellent leadership race.
    The new Leader of the Opposition brought forward a proposal for ensuring that Quebeckers and Canadians always know where the gas they put in their vehicles comes from. At each and every pump, Canadians would know where it comes from. Right now, Quebeckers would see that their petroleum does not come from Canada, but rather from other countries. This is one way of making Quebeckers and Canadians understand the situation, and they could contribute to the economy of their own country. Indeed, I am sure they would choose to fill up at places that sell petroleum from their own country.

[English]

     Mr. Speaker, I want to inform you that I am splitting my time with my hon. colleague, the member for Edmonton Centre.
    Let me begin by thanking the hon. member from Chilliwack—Hope for this motion endorsing our government's decision to approve the Trans Mountain expansion—

[Translation]

    Order. The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, could we verify that my five-minute question and comment period is really up? I have only been able to answer one question. I believe that I have time remaining to respond to comments and give my colleagues the opportunity to ask questions about my speech.

[English]

    There is a bit of confusion up at this end in terms of the clock.

[Translation]

    Therefore, we will continue with questions and comments and the member for Mégantic—L'Érable has a further two and a half minutes. After that, we will ask the hon. parliamentary secretary to give his speech.
    The hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith can ask a question or make a comment.

[English]

     Mr. Speaker, is my colleague on the Conservative bench not aware that the Kinder Morgan pipeline is entirely an export pipeline for 100% unrefined raw bitumen, that there is no energy security benefit for Canada whatsoever, that this is not going to be fuelling our vehicles, that this is not going to be heating our homes, and that this is entirely an export of jobs and energy potential that Canada will not benefit from?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I have difficulty understanding how Canada would not benefit from a pipeline to export oil, when building the pipeline will generate jobs in the tens of millions. This pipeline will benefit Canada.
    It is the Prime Minister's responsibility to go to British Columbia, explain things, and speak clearly to people. He does not have to invent reasons. If increasing oil output means jobs for Canadians, I believe we must maintain our support for this project.

[English]

     Mr. Speaker, I heard very clearly that the Liberals are supporting this motion, but they suggest that there is politics behind it. Having the government approve the National Energy Board is one approval, but does he not believe that the message Parliament will send if it approves this motion is also a very important message? I think there are two processes here, and they are both very important.

  (1535)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that question. For Canadians to get on board, it is important to understand that, beyond the legislative or regulatory process, what counts is also the message that leaders send. Right now, the House can send a clear message that shows that we support the Kinder Morgan project because it will create jobs and benefit the economy and Canadians.
    That is also why I am calling on the Prime Minister to do his duty and make his way over to British Columbia to explain to people why this project is important not only for western Canada's economy, but also for that of the entire country.
    It is the Prime Minister's job to do that, and it is Parliament's job to sometimes adopt motions to support the Prime Minister's work. I am sure that, if the Prime Minister has a unanimous motion from all members of the House defending Kinder Morgan's project in British Columbia, it would make his job a lot easier. It is not every day that I try to help the Prime Minister do his job, but in this case we are prepared to do it.
    I apologize again for the confusion.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as I was saying earlier, it is great to have the opposition's support on our approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Everyone in this chamber recognizes that the past years have been difficult ones for Canada's oil and gas sector. The sharp drop in oil prices has taken a heavy toll on the men and women and their families who depend on the industry for their livelihoods, not just in Alberta or Saskatchewan or Newfoundland and Labrador but indeed right across the country.
    As the minister has pointed out, for every job created in Alberta's oil patch, at least two more jobs are created across the country. Of course, the converse is also true. Every job lost in the oil patch ripples across the whole country, affecting not only the person losing the job but the family who depends on them. All of us understand that, just as we understand that we cannot move global commodity prices with a snap of our fingers, no matter how much we want to.
     Our government believes we can strengthen Canada's ability to access new markets and compete in the global economy, all the while protecting the environment, working with indigenous communities, and creating well-paying jobs. That is what the decision to approve the Trans Mountain expansion project is all about.
     I am not sure why the members opposite would think this would change with an election in British Columbia. After all, it was the right decision at the time, for all the reasons outlined in this motion, and it remains the right reason today. The fact is that the Trans Mountain expansion project does have social licence to proceed, despite the comments of a vocal minority. It is critical to the Canadian economy and would create thousands of jobs. It is under federal jurisdiction.
    I am pleased to confirm, in no uncertain terms, that it does have the support of this government and of our Prime Minister. It has our support because the decision was made based on solid science and clear evidence. Its environmental impacts were carefully considered, its effect on communities was exhaustively canvassed, and its economic potential meticulously measured. We understood and heard the opposing views. However, at the end of the day, Canadians expect their government to decide, and in the best interests of the country as a whole, and that is exactly what we did.
    Our approval was rooted in a balanced approach, one that ensures Canada's energy sector remains a source of well-paying, middle-class jobs as we also tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That is the message of this decision: balance. Thinking only of the environment without any regard for economic growth strangles the vitality needed to sustain both. At the same time, considering only economic growth while ignoring environmental impacts would be like fixing a leaking roof by borrowing materials from the foundation. It may provide temporary progress, but it undermines long-term stability. That same sense of balance informed our decision to propose a moratorium on tanker traffic off the British Columbian coast and to make the most significant investment ever to protect our oceans and coastlines with the $1.5-billion oceans protection plan.
    The Prime Minister's mandate letter to the Minister of Natural Resources is very clear on this balanced approach. It says, “Throughout Canada’s history, our prosperity has been built on our natural resources. It is a core responsibility of the federal government to help get our natural resources to market, but that is only possible if we achieve the required public trust”. That has been our approach since we took office, rebuilding trust and restoring faith after a decade of the previous government doing everything in its power to ignore valid questions and bulldoze through its constitutional obligations.
    We have done that in a number of ways: by strengthening our environmental assessments and regulatory reviews, expanding public engagement and consultations with indigenous peoples, and ensuring local communities and indigenous peoples are true beneficiaries of resource development. It is the only way to make sure that the right resource projects, the sustainable resource projects, proceed, creating new jobs and opportunities for Canadians from coast to coast to coast and in every corner of this country.

  (1540)  

    It is an approach that has come to define our government, promoting cleaner economic growth by getting our environmental house in order and rallying Canadians behind us.
    If I may, I would like to use my remaining time to talk about this new approach. It is the foundation upon which we have built our energy vision. Our efforts started as soon as we took office when the Prime Minister went to Paris with our provincial and territorial colleagues and Canada helped lead the way with a global agreement on climate change, a role we will continue to play because it is the right thing to do.
    While in France we also helped to found Mission Innovation, the ambitious new global partnership aimed at driving clean energy research and development like never before. Then the Prime Minister again met with the provinces and territories to launch the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. This framework has set us up on a clear path toward ensuring Canada is a global leader in the transition to a lower carbon economy.
    We also continue to work on a Canadian energy strategy that, among other things, will protect Canada's energy security as we put a price on carbon pollution, redefine our relationship with indigenous people, and invest in new technologies to protect our coastlines through our oceans protection plan.
    All of these measures are critical to the long-term future of Canada's energy sector, including the oil and gas industry. How? By making the industry more competitive in a world that increasingly values more sustainable practices. This was reflected in our government's first budget, which featured significant new investments in clean energy and new technology, including technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector. It continued with budget 2017 with billions of dollars invested to ensure that Canada leads in the clean growth economy of tomorrow.
    Let me just add that no one understands the need for clean technology and innovation better than Canada's oil and gas sector. There would be no oil sands if it were not for the Canadian ingenuity that found a way to separate oil and sand. That innovative spirit continues today through Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. It is a formal partnership of 13 leading companies that have invested, to date, more than $1.3 billion to develop and share more than 935 distinct technologies and innovations.
    For our part, we have proceeded with thoughtful, inclusive, and measured steps. For example, we began overhauling Canada's environmental processes earlier this year when we adopted an interim strategy for reviewing and assessing major resource projects already in the queue. We have now turned our attention to a more comprehensive review of Canada's environmental assessment and review processes, including a modernization of the National Energy Board. We need to ensure that Canadians have confidence in the approvals of these resource development projects.
    We are taking a hard look at our institutions, our processes, and our regulations to make sure they deliver the best long-term results for the environment and for the economy, and while we have been protecting our environment, we have also been working hard to enhance Canada's business climate. We are improving our competitiveness at home and creating new opportunities abroad by attracting more investments, improving access to new markets, and increasing trade.
    That is what is behind the decision to approve the Trans Mountain expansion project: creating jobs and prosperity through a stronger, cleaner, and more sustainable energy sector, one built for today and for tomorrow.

  (1545)  

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the well-thought-out information my colleague presented.
    One of the things I have always firmly believed in and a lot of the things that I have been involved with is using incentive to change rather than the disciplinary aspect, when wanting change to happen.
    We talked about a carbon tax and where that money goes. As my colleague mentioned, the technology has changed things. My belief, as I have known the oil and gas industry for generations, is that when the is incentive there, rather than a tax, that industry is incredible at making changes toward the safe and clean environment that we all want.
    I wonder she would comment on a more incentive-oriented approach rather than a disciplinary tax approach.
    Mr. Speaker, we have heard from industry across this country about the price on carbon pollution and the opportunities for innovation that it brings. As the member knows, all of the revenues from the price on carbon pollution will be provided to the provinces. It is revenue neutral to the federal government and the provinces can determine how to best use that tax resource. Whether it is to give other incentives to the oil and gas sector, whether it is to help with building new hospitals, roads, or whatever the case may be, that is a provincial decision.
    I would say that after all of my meetings with the oil and gas sector, I agree it is an extremely innovative and determined industry. In the last number of years, we have seen some amazing innovations coming out of that sector across the country, and indeed, it supports the price on carbon pollution because it believes it has gotten it to where it is now.
    Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary skipped over the reality that the Prime Minister, as opposition leader during the campaign, promised Canadians and British Columbians, more particularly, that there would be a new environmental assessment process for all projects, including Kinder Morgan. That did not happen.
    The Prime Minister's hand-picked expert panel, which reported back just weeks ago, found that public confidence in the NEB is so eroded that it recommended it be completely replaced. The panel co-chair reported, “Everywhere we were there was this issue with confidence, transparency, independence, safety and security”. The Prime Minister said the process was broken, the ministerial review panel on Kinder Morgan said the process was broken, and the expert panel on the NEB said the process is broken.
    How can the Liberals continue to stand behind a flawed review process? How could they approve this project? Why can they not keep their promise to Canadians and make sure we actually do it right?
    Mr. Speaker, during the review of the Kinder Morgan process, the minister announced five interim principles that would help guide that process and make it more robust than it had been before. There was a recommendation, because there were projects in the queue, to ensure that we were fair to all parties involved.
    Further to that, as we know, the minister also appointed a special panel of very well-versed, responsible people who went up and down the Kinder Morgan pipeline route and engaged in an even more robust way with communities, indigenous peoples, and industry, and all of that informed the decision that we made when the Prime Minister announced in November the approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

  (1550)  

    Mr. Speaker, I will begin by thanking the hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South for splitting her time with me.
    I also want to thank the hon. member for Chilliwack—Hope for his motion on the Trans Mountain expansion project. It is one that I am happy to support. After all, it is a ringing endorsement of our government's decision to approve a project that will bring jobs and opportunity to thousands of Canadians, certainty for investors, and protection for the environment.
    What I find surprising is that the opposition thought that by proposing the motion, it could embarrass our government or split our ranks. On the contrary, it provides an opportunity to speak to the merits of the decision and the comprehensive and thoughtful process that produced it. Unlike members opposite, our government has demonstrated its support for the energy sector, not simply with fine words but with firm action.
    In nearly 10 years in office, the previous government got exactly zero kilometres of pipeline built to tidewater. It talked a good game and made all the right noises, but it just did not do anything. The result was that our producers were stuck being price takers instead of price makers. They were forced to sell, essentially, to one customer. When new technology, such as fracking, opened up that customer's own energy reserves, reducing the need for Canadian energy, what happened? Our energy industry was left holding the bag. Its assets became essentially landlocked, the markets few, and the future grim. That was the legacy of the previous government.
     Despite pleas to build the infrastructure necessary to reach tidewater and new global markets, our predecessors remained unable to act. Why? It was because they preferred to bully opponents rather than build bridges, they preferred to issue orders rather than engage in dialogue, and through their determination to downplay climate change, to ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence of climate scientists, they earned dinosaur awards abroad and isolated even potential allies here at home. Quite simply, they lost the confidence of Canadians.
    Our government took a different approach. We began by seeing the provinces not as enemies to be confronted but as allies to be consulted, and as partners to be included when we went to Paris to negotiate the agreement on climate change.

[Translation]

    We followed through on our commitment to fundamentally rebuild our relationship with indigenous people by restoring the nation-to-nation approach. This meant taking a meaningful approach to resource projects by doing our best to ensure that opportunities are spread widely and that the benefits are shared widely.
     We also took action to restore the regulatory process by introducing interim principles that were clear, inclusive, and fair and by modernizing the National Energy Board to ensure that it has the resources and expertise it needs for the 21st century. We have invested in the clean technology and renewable energy sectors, which are sure to generate a great many jobs and opportunities in this century of clean energy.

[English]

    Engaging with Canadians, reaching out to indigenous peoples, modernizing our regulatory system, and investing in clean technologies reassured Canadians that our government understood their concerns, that it shared the view of climate change as the great imperative of our times, and that it was prepared to marry economic growth and environmental protection.
    All of this made it possible to approve the Trans Mountain expansion project and other projects critical to ensuring that the vastness of our energy resources would be matched by the vastness of the opportunities to sell them to the world.
    The Trans Mountain expansion project will deliver real benefits to Canadians: a $7.4 billion investment for Alberta and British Columbia, and the creation of 15,000 new jobs during construction alone. Indigenous communities will benefit from jobs and business opportunities through the impact and benefit agreements they have signed with Kinder Morgan. For the first time in our history, indigenous peoples will remain engaged through monitoring the project over its lifespan.
    This is what inclusive development looks like. It is what real progress looks like. It is what the future of resource development in this country looks like.

[Translation]

    Our government’s commitment to this project’s environmental integrity is not limited to the 157 legally binding conditions imposed by the National Energy Board. We have also taken extraordinary steps to protect the most sensitive areas with a pipeline to the Pacific Ocean by making the largest investment to date to protect our oceans and coastlines, the $1.5 billion national oceans protection plan. We followed that up with a crude oil tanker moratorium along the north coast of British Columbia, specifically around the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. These are significant measures and reflect how important we believe it is to preserve the environment that is so vital to us all.

  (1555)  

[English]

    While I am happy to support this motion and to discuss this particular project, what is more important is to see it as part of a wider plan, a plan for economic growth in the 21st century, a plan that builds the infrastructure to get our resources to global markets and to use the revenues to fund Canada's transition to cleaner forms of energy. It is a plan that understands that even as we make the transition to renewable sources of energy, we continue to drive innovation in the oil and gas sector and export Canadian breakthroughs around the world.
    This is a process that is already under way, as the parliamentary secretary has said, through Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance and a host of other initiatives.
    That is why Alberta is legislating limits on oil sands greenhouse gas emissions, creating the conditions for innovation and demonstrating that a forward-thinking, energy-producing jurisdiction can also be a leader in combatting climate change. That is why virtually every province has agreed to put a price on carbon.
    That is the way forward for Canada. That is our vision for the future: to use the coming decades to meet the rising global demand for oil and gas while funding the next generation of energy.

[Translation]

     That is why projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion are so important and why our national oceans protection plan is crucial.

[English]

    Today economic growth and environmental protection are not competing interests. They are vital components of a single engine of innovation.
    When I was on the campaign trail, and since, when I have been knocking on doors in my riding, it has been clear from the comments I have received from residents of Edmonton Centre that they want to see us develop our oil and gas resources. They want to see us have markets that are more than just one client to the south. They want to see well-paying jobs in the energy sector from coast to coast to coast. They want to see that we are protecting our oceans, that we are protecting salmon stocks, and that we are protecting the planet for their children, their grandchildren, and all the generations yet to come. They want to see us as a government make sure that we keep the promise the Prime Minister made in the mandate letters to all the ministers that there is no more important relationship to this government than the one with indigenous peoples.
    The example of the expansion of the Trans Mountain project is an example of collaboration. It is an example of a new triple E: the economy, the environment, and energy, all fused together.
    Opposition members may have thought to do some mischief with this motion, but that would only be possible if our government did not believe in the decision we made in November. Unfortunately for them, we do. It would only be possible if we were not prepared to stand firm. Unfortunately for them, we are. It would only be possible if this government was not ready to argue the merits of this project. Unfortunately for them, we are.

[Translation]

     We believed that the Trans Mountain expansion was in Canada’s best interest before the B.C. election, and we still do today.
     We recognize and respect those who view things differently. Perhaps the opposition believed they could find a few on this side of the House.

[English]

    Our government and I stand united, and we stand proudly behind the approval of this vital project, the Trans Mountain project. We are delighted that the members opposite do so too.
    Mr. Speaker, the member for Edmonton Centre talked about there being mischief behind this. To be quite frank, this is not mischief. This is a very important debate we are having today.
    The executive branch of government made a decision on the National Energy Board. As a member of Parliament, does the member not believe that the will of Parliament is important to express on this important issue? This is the opportunity before him. The executive branch made a decision. The will of Parliament is also important. Could he perhaps reflect on that?
    Mr. Speaker, at the time this decision was made, as a parliamentary secretary I was part of that extended executive branch of government. I fully supported the decision on Trans Mountain then, and I do so now.
    As a parliamentarian, I think it is very important to stand up and talk about jobs, talk about the economy, talk about energy, and talk about the environment. It is important to work forward with indigenous peoples in contribution agreements that are not simply paper-based consultations. They are meaningful, they are going to see long-term jobs, and they are going to see shared stewardship and a co-management approach that makes sense in the 21st century.

  (1600)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to discuss with the member opposite one of the promises made in the election campaign, which was to “ensure that decisions are based on science, facts, and evidence, and serve the public’s interest”.
    The second was, “Use scientific evidence and the precautionary principle, and take into account climate change, when making decisions affecting fish stocks and ecosystem management.”
    Being a coastal member of Parliament, my particular concern with this pipeline approval is that there has been no consensus on how bitumen, which is a raw, sticky, unrefined form of oil, would interact in a marine environment.
    In January, in an interview on radio station CKNW, the transport minister said that this research has not been done. He said, “if certain products fall into the water...like bitumen...there is still quite a bit of research required to find out what happens when it gets into the water.... How it potentially disperses or sinks is very much related to a number of factors such as the sea state...the temperature of the water, the salinity...those are things where we need to do more research...and proper methods to recover”.
    How did the government approve the pipeline without having that research done?