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 in November of last year.
I would like to inform the House that I will be sharing my time with the member for , 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 '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 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 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 .
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 has been clear, we know from their public record that they oppose it.
The is on the record, before she became a Liberal politician, as being vehemently opposed to pipelines. The member for Burnaby North—Seymour, the 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 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 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.”
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.
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 told the world that Canada will phase out the oil sands and left the at home during trips in the U.S. focusing on trade and energy; the , 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 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 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 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 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 must support this motion.
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 .
As hon. members will know, in the immediate aftermath of the election in British Columbia, the 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.
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 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.”
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 , 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 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 , 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 personally announcing the approval of the project.”
I would have thought that the answer to that request would have been clear from the 's statements of the past week, so I was somewhat surprised to hear the hon. member for 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, 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.
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.
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 '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 , 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 and the 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 , who is now the , 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 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.
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 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 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?
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 broke their word.
Recent spills have demonstrated that B.C. is not prepared to deal with current traffic, much less with a sevenfold 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 knew that. It is too bad that the post-election Prime Minister will not admit it.
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 . 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.
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, 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 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 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 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.
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.
Mr. Speaker, it is a real pleasure to stand in this House at any time to represent the people of 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 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.
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.
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 will be sharing my time with my hon. sparring partner from .
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 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 , 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.
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.
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 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. , the , and the 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.
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.
Mr. Speaker, on January 25, my colleague, the , 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 .
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 , 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.
I believe in our government and I believe in the process. We are committed to meeting these responsibilities.
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for .
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 , 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—
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to say that I will be splitting my time with my hon. colleague, the member for .
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.
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.
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 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—
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.