|| That, given the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is in the national interest, will create jobs and provide provinces with access to global markets, the House call on the Prime Minister to prioritize the construction of the federally-approved Trans Mountain Expansion Project by taking immediate action, using all tools available; to establish certainty for the project, and to mitigate damage from the current interprovincial trade dispute, tabling his plan in the House no later than noon on Thursday, February 15, 2018.
She said: Madam Speaker, I will share my time today with the member for .
I proudly stand with the hard-working Canadians who are waiting to get to work building the Trans Mountain expansion, waiting to start their next, higher-paying technical job so they can give even more to their families and to their communities. I proudly stand with investors and industry waiting to get answers from the government, to be permitted the opportunity to invest billions in Canada's economy to allow all of Canada to reap billions of dollars in rewards.
I moved this motion with every intention and all anticipation that it would receive the unanimous support of the House. The pipeline is in the national interest. The expansion would create jobs and provide provinces with access to global markets, but it has not been built yet. It has not even started, and no one seems to know when it will get built.
The time has come for the to take action. If federal approval for a project that is in the national interest means as little as it appears, it is now up to the Prime Minister to take sufficient next steps to ensure that federal approval of this national project under federal jurisdiction actually matters and that this pipeline actually gets built.
It is more important than ever, because the only other pipelines that would have reached tidewater and expanded Canadian markets were killed. Energy east was killed by changing the rules and red tape, and northern gateway was vetoed by the for political gain despite federal approval under the same rigorous process as Trans Mountain and despite the 31 first nations equity partnerships that were lost.
The oil and gas industry provides billions in tax revenue for important social programs. It directly and indirectly employs hundreds of thousands of Canadians in every part of the country. It provides the means to a better life for every Canadian. Without this expansion, Canada's key, almost only, customer is the U.S. Canada is a captive merchant, and our oil prices suffer directly as a result. It is an acute problem, because the U.S. is now Canada's biggest competitor in oil and gas, securing its own domestic energy production and supply while flooding world markets.
Let us review how we got to today. Six years ago, in 2012, Kinder Morgan said that it had received sufficient interest from oil shippers and that its projected demand required greater volume of product than the existing Trans Mountain pipeline could support.
In order to ensure that the capital funding would be in place to support that expansion, Kinder Morgan secured 15- and 20-year commitments from its shippers, including Canadian industry giants Cenovus and Suncor. Within one month, it had applied to the National Energy Board for approval of the overall contract and toll structure. A year and a half later, at the end of 2013, Trans Mountain filed its 15,000-page expansion application with the NEB. The NEB responded with a list of over 1,500 participants for hearings. The hearings got under way, and Kinder Morgan responded to more than 400 questions from the NEB and more than 17,000 questions from the participants in the hearings. A key component of those hearings was the contribution of traditional indigenous knowledge. That was in December 2013.
Twenty-nine months later, in May 2016, after a thorough and comprehensive scientific, technical, and environmental assessment, the strongest in the world, the NEB recommended the approval of the expansion, declaring it in the national interest. The recommendation for approval was contingent upon the successful fulfillment of 157 conditions, which apply to every aspect of the pipeline physically and temporally, before construction, during construction, during operation, and eventually to abandonment, addressing environmental protection, safety, emissions, marine and other ecological protection, prevention and emergency response capabilities, and the various communities impacted directly by the expansion.
Six months later, after yet another review of upstream emissions and an additional federal report on consultations requested by the Liberals, the finally approved it. Conservatives supported the approval but warned that approval was one thing and getting it built was another.
The NEB awarded a certificate of public convenience and necessity to allow construction and operation of the expansion. Since December 2016, Kinder Morgan has continued to comply with and fulfill the 157 conditions. It continues to engage with stakeholders and monitor environmental considerations. It was supposed to have started construction five months ago, but delays continue.
First were the City of Burnaby's delaying tactics. The city is along the expansion route, with a terminal enlargement as part of the project, and it is the permitting authority within its borders. It required Kinder Morgan to obtain preliminary plan approvals and tree cutting permits. Just as the city attempted to thwart Kinder Morgan's work on the Burnaby Mountain tunnel, it likewise attempted to use its permitting system to delay the expansion. In June 2017, Kinder Morgan applied for the required permits from the city, and finally in October 2017 it was forced to ask the NEB for relief. Two months later, only three months ago, the NEB responded and Kinder Morgan continued its work.
However, now it is delayed again, by the B.C. NDP, which claims that certain studies on the product that has been flowing through the existing pipelines for decades are still required, and that without those studies industry and government are necessarily underequipped to respond to a diluted bitumen spill. Those studies would take years to complete.
It is amazing that the did not anticipate this attack on Trans Mountain, since the B.C. NDP openly campaigned on killing it. Even more amazing is the fact that the Prime Minister did not bother to bring up the expansion with the newly elected B.C. NDP premier. That was just the beginning of the Prime Minister's failure to lead, since he has been MIA on Trans Mountain ever since.
Regarding the B.C. NDP's claims about the product, dilbit has been studied and researched thoroughly, both before it was ever put in a pipeline and ever since. I want to be clear. What I am not saying is that industry and academics know all they need and that no more research should be done on dilbit. What I am saying is that a very large body of research already exists, providing a solid foundation on which Canadian industry may confidently invest in critical capital energy infrastructure, and Canadians can be confident in the safety and the risk mitigation of the expansion. I know that in 2015 the Royal Society issued a report calling for additional research into the effects of an accidental release, but it is also true that many other reports and studies have built an existing body of research and literature that can reassure Canadians and educate industry.
Canada's energy industry is the nation leader in self-improvement, study, innovation, research and development, and precautionary spending. It plans and researches every conceivable problem in advance, to be prepared for when an accidental spill occurs. Canadians do not expect oil and gas companies to never have an accidental spill, because that would be unreasonable, but they do expect, rightly, that these companies be held accountable and be well equipped to deal with any such occurrences.
This expansion must be completed in order to allow Trans Mountain to ship products to its markets. The four key destinations reinforce the importance and urgency of the expansion. Currently, refined product is shipped to Kamloops and Burnaby for use within B.C. Crude product is shipped in part to Washington state through the interconnection at Sumas with the Puget Sound pipeline, where it connects with four other pipelines connecting to refineries. The remaining crude product is refined in Burnaby or exported through the Westridge Marine Terminal. Westridge is a key terminal because it allows for Aframax-size tankers to deliver to markets in Hawaii and the U.S. west coast, but most importantly to Asia-Pacific and India. If the expansion is built, Canada can be a provider of the most environmentally and socially responsible oil to meet the exponentially growing demand in those regions for decades to come.
The expansion is entirely focused on reaching new export markets and expanding the existing Canadian export market share, because it is going to carry unrefined products, which are aimed at export markets, not necessarily for domestic use or even for refining in the American Pacific northwest. That access, of course, is only one aspect of the determination that the pipeline is in the national interest. The Conservatives have long advocated that industry and the environment are two sides of the same coin. Canadians must have industry to work, innovate, build, invest, and profit, but they also must steward and protect the environment: air quality, water, land, and habitat. One cannot take precedence over the other. Government must strike that balance and protect the public interest.
The Trans Mountain expansion was assessed under the previous approval process, with the 157 conditions for approval, and was accepted by the Liberals. I must note condition 5, which states that unless the NEB directs otherwise prior to September 30, 2021, the certificate authorizing the construction will expire unless construction has commenced by that date. The year 2021 may seem like a long time from now, but it has been five months since construction was supposed to have started, and Trans Mountain is still at risk. It has not been allowed to put shovels in the ground. Therefore, I cannot help but wonder whether the reason the is sitting on his hands and failing to get involved and lead is that he is just waiting for the clock to run out.
The real deadline is when Trans Mountain decides that the likelihood of success is too small, but it recently announced that it is committed to the long haul. It is not going anywhere, and it expects to get this expansion built. This is embarrassing. It is embarrassing because Canadian energy investors feel compelled to affirm that in spite of all the delays, the uncertainty, the prospect of eventual failure, and the enemies on all sides, they are still trying to get the project built to benefit all of Canada. That is what energy investment in Canada looks like under the Liberals and under the current Prime Minister's failure of leadership.
The remaining conditions require Kinder Morgan to complete extensive assessments of environmental impacts, community engagement, and feedback, ensuring that all stakeholders and affected persons have been consulted and that their feedback has been implemented into the overall plan. That is especially and particularly true for the impacted indigenous communities. Kinder Morgan recognizes the unique nature of coastal indigenous communities, and it added a number of additional indigenous groups to its consultations.
I urge every member of the House to vote in favour of this motion. If we do not, then who will? It is our obligation as legislators to hold the—
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak today about the Trans Mountain expansion project.
Last week the Government of British Columbia announced that it would halt the flow of diluted bitumen through the Trans Mountain pipeline pending the outcome of what amounts to be an environmental review. This is in spite of the National Energy Board's 29-month review, the federal government's approval over 14 months ago, the B.C. government's requirement that 157 conditions be met, and the already issued environmental assessment certificate from the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office.
The project, which twins the existing 1,150 kilometre Trans Mountain pipeline between Strathcona County, Alberta, and Burnaby, B.C., would create a pipeline which increases the capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day. The expansion project would assure that the Canadian oil industry could reach new markets by expanding the capacity of North America's only pipeline with access to the west coast.
The Trans Mountain project is in the national interest of Canada. The project would inject $7.4 billion into Canada's economy during the construction phase. Oil producers would see $73.5 billion in increased revenues over 20 years. All three levels of government would share $46.7 billion in additional taxes and royalties from construction and 20 years of operation.
According to the Conference Board of Canada's estimates, the project would create the equivalent of 15,000 construction jobs and the equivalent of 37,000 direct and indirect jobs over the years of operation. Direct construction workforce spending in communities along the pipeline route is estimated to be $480 million. Overall, the project would generate more than 800,000 direct and indirect person years of employment during the project development and operation.
Last week the B.C. government, an NDP coalition held thinly together by Green Party members, put the rest of Canada on notice that there would be no oil heading west to tidewater. The reacted to this news by telling us that this was a disagreement between provinces. It has nothing to do with the federal government, he said, and off he went to the United States, abandoning Alberta and B.C. to work it out among themselves. With tens of thousands of jobs on the line and billions of dollars in revenue, Alberta's premier put it best when she told the that this is not a debate between B.C. and Alberta, that this is a debate between B.C. and Canada.
The said that B.C. can launch further consultations but he assured Canadians that they need to be done in a timely fashion, words that no doubt are inspiring confidence throughout the oil and gas industry, and please note my sarcasm. One might think that the oil and gas industry should adopt a wait and see approach. Perhaps the opposition should simply let things work themselves out, as suggested by the .
One only needs to look at the track record of the government to quickly realize what is going on here. The Liberal government is not interested in supporting the oil and gas sector in Canada. The Liberals will talk a good game; I will give them that. Members on that side of the House will claim they approved the project and they support opening markets for Canadian oil. Then why did the government cave to environmental activists backed by foreign interests by banning tanker traffic on the northwest coast destroying the northern gateway project? Meanwhile, on the east coast, which is dependent on tanker shipments of oil from foreign despots, those same tankers can pull into Atlantic ports but not into Prince Rupert, B.C. It makes no sense.
Then there was energy east. Perhaps everyone will remember that project, the one that would have created 15,000 jobs and injected $55 billion into the Canadian economy. The energy east pipeline would have decreased our dependence on oil from the Middle East and countries with questionable human rights records. The Liberals claimed it was a decision by Trans Canada, that it had nothing to do with the government. It is no wonder these projects fail when we change the rules and pile on endless regulations and more red tape, all done mid-process.
The failure of energy east has nothing to do with any decision taken by Trans Canada. Instead, it was a result of the mismanagement and failure to champion the Canadian energy sector.
The government is determined to keep Canada's oil, Canada's future, in the ground in northern Alberta. We can at least ship it to the United States, where Canadian producers are forced to discount their product by 30%.
If not pipelines, what is next? Today we rely on road and rail transport to move most of our oil at great risk to communities and Canadians on the road. This was made tragically apparent in Lac-Mégantic in 2013. A terrible event such as that would give us all reason to pause. The existing Trans Mountain pipeline system moves the equivalent of about 1,400 tanker truckloads, or 441 tanker railcars, daily. Expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline would result in safer, more efficient, and more economic shipment of oil between Alberta and British Columbia. Pipelines are safe. They are regulated. They are inspected.
The technology that goes into building and monitoring pipelines today is revolutionary. The Canadian men and women who build and monitor these pipelines, and who live and raise their families in the communities where the pipelines run, know what they are doing. They trust their skills and the skills of their co-workers. The government needs to stop the rhetoric and start supporting the hard-working Canadian families in the oil and gas sector.
I fear that the and the have made a fatal miscalculation in the standoff between Alberta and British Columbia. The B.C. government says that the proposed ban is designed to forestall any increase in exports via the Trans Mountain pipeline until it is assured the coast is perfectly safe from a spill. The truth is that the B.C. NDP government and its Green Party coalition detest Alberta oil, even though it fuels the productivity of their province. Their obstructionist strategy is clearly designed to sabotage the pipeline through indefinite delays. By changing the rules midstream, they hope to force Kinder Morgan to abandon the project in the same way the Liberal government forced the demise of energy east.
The 's failure to champion the actual and timely construction of this pipeline has created a void in national leadership, and there needs to be action right now. I urge the government to look at the options and begin a face-to-face dialogue with the province. It should look at invoking the use of special powers under section 92 of the Constitution to say that this is against the national interest and the roadblocks need to stop. There is no middle ground on this issue. The Prime Minister needs to pick a side. Either he is for environmentally responsible and sustainable natural resource extraction or he is not. To quote Jason Kenney, the leader of the United Conservative Party in Alberta, “Words are not enough, we need action”.
Each day of inaction by the Liberals fuels national conflict. The Alberta government has banned B.C. wine, and co-operation on interprovincial projects is in jeopardy. Alberta has suspended talks with British Columbia on the purchase of electricity from the western province. Up to $500 million annually hangs in the balance for B.C.
We cannot blame Albertans. The trade dispute between Alberta and B.C. is just a symptom of the 's failure to lead. It is no wonder energy investment in Canada was lower in the last two years than in any other two-year period in 70 years. It is no wonder oil and gas companies are packing up and heading south, where the business climate is robust and welcoming. ExxonMobil announced a $50-billion investment in the United States over five years. This is highly irresponsible at a time when the NAFTA negotiations are in such a state of flux, when we need to open markets, not shut them down, and when we need to reassure investors and not send them packing.
In the midst of this crisis, the government introduced Bill , meant, in the government's view, to speed up major resource projects and bring clarity to the approval process. Nothing, though, could be further from the truth. One only has to read the legislation to see that there are many exceptions everywhere. The 450-day and 300-day maximums for major and minor project approval, for example, can be extended indefinitely. Projects can be dismissed by the minister, even before getting to the initial assessment phase. Yet another example of increased uncertainty and unpredictability is the elimination of the standing test used by the NEB to restrict participation at hearings to only those who are directly affected or have knowledge or insight that is relevant and useful.
The Trans Mountain project is in the national interest. It would create jobs and provide provinces with access to global markets. Conservatives understand that the Trans Mountain project is important to Canadian energy workers because this project would create tens of thousands of jobs and help fund our hallmark national programs, such as health care.
This is a national crisis and the answer is not to send public servants to do this job. The needs to go to B.C., stand up to the premier, and stand up for hard-working Canadian families.
Madam Speaker, it is with disappointment that I join this debate.
Canadians look to their national Parliament for steady leadership and aspirational thinking. They look to us to unite our country and build our nation. Instead, they have seen too many examples of something quite different today. They see a motion seemingly designed to provoke anger and inflame anxiety, members who prefer to point fingers and sow division. At times, I have even wondered if the main purpose of this debate is to fan regional tensions and reopen historical grievances. We are better than that.
The world has reached a turning point. Climate change represents our generation's greatest challenge, and investing in a low-carbon future is the new norm.
Canada is uniquely positioned to rise to this occasion and to be a global leader, thanks to the resources of our country and the resourcefulness of our people. This is our government's vision for Canada in this clean growth century. It is a vision that brings all Canadians together under common cause, and one that includes using this time of transition to Canada's advantage, building the infrastructure we need to get our resources to global markets, and using the revenues they generate to invest in that future. That is what we are doing.
This is why our government is working with officials in Alberta and British Columbia to get a resolution on TMX. to premiers, ministers to ministers, and senior officials in each government, everyone working in good faith and without an artificial deadline, which is why the motion before us is misguided.
To suggest that the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline is not of the utmost importance to our government is the height of folly, and it flies in the face of the facts. The has been very clear about our government's position. As he said in Edmonton earlier this month, “That pipeline is going to get built”. He then added, “We need this pipeline and we’re going to move forward with it responsibly”. Nothing could be more certain, which means there is no need for a motion to tell our government to use all of the tools available to it, and certainly no reason for deadlines or ultimatums.
Interprovincial pipelines are the responsibility of the federal government, and a responsibility that our government takes seriously, respects, and will defend. When making decisions on interprovincial pipeline projects, it is our duty to act in the national interest, which is exactly what we did in approving the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline.
There is an indigenous proverb that says, “We do not inherit this land from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.” This perspective has inspired our government throughout its first two years in office. It is the reason we believe the economy and the environment must go hand in hand, and it was the motivation behind the launch of Generation Energy, the largest national discussion about energy in Canadian history.
I want to take a moment to remind the House what happened during Generation Energy, because, years from now, Canadians may very well look back and say that Generation Energy was a turning point, that it marked our emergence as a global leader in the transition to a low-carbon economy. We invited Canadians to imagine Canada's energy future, and they responded, joining the conversation by the hundreds of thousands, with hundreds more descending on my home city of Winnipeg for a two-day discussion on Generation Energy last fall. Let us reflect on that fact for a moment.
The people who came to Winnipeg for Generation Energy came from every corner of our country and from around the world. They came from Norway, France, Mexico, and the United States. They came from every sector of the energy industry: oil and gas, wind, solar, nuclear, electricity. Respected indigenous leaders, business leaders, community leaders, youth leaders, they were all there. It was only the Conservative Party that chose to send no one. People who may never have spoken to each other before were in the same room, challenging each other and themselves.
Suddenly, the questions became even more pressing, questions such as “What happens now?” and “What if our individual choices could add to transformational change?” Generation Energy tapped into something unexpected and unstoppable. Our government is building these ideas into a Canadian energy strategy, working with the provinces and territories to expand what they have already done: leveraging the fossil fuel resources we have today to deliver clean energy solutions for tomorrow; planning our energy future to align with a global transition to a low-carbon economy; leaning on shared priorities such as energy efficient, clean technologies, and green infrastructure; and linking those provinces that have an abundance of clean electricity with those trying to get there.
We do not share the views of those who would simply pump as much oil as we can as fast as we can, nor do we agree with those who say that we should leave all the oil in the ground and never build a single pipeline. Both sides miss the point that we can and must grow the economy while protecting our environment for future generations. How do we do both? One certainly does not take the approach of the Harper government, which was to ignore indigenous rights, climate change, and the environment in the name of economic development at any cost. One does it by fully respecting indigenous rights, climate change, and the environment as essential components of economic development.
To the hon. member and her party opposite, I offer a stroll down memory lane. This is an important point. The moment Harper decided to use all tools available in the sole name of pipelines was the moment he lost the trust of Canadians. To refresh our memories, the member opposite's government was focused on exempting pipelines from environmental assessments, treating environmentalists as terrorists, removing the ability for environmental groups to speak out, stripping the ability of Canadians to participate in project reviews, and using taxpayers' money to investigate any organization that cared about the environment, and eliminating decades' worth of legislation in one fell swoop. Harper truly did use all the tools he could find to dismantle anything standing in the way of rapid and unchecked resource development. What the Harper government never understood was that ignoring something does not mean it will go away.
When our government was elected by Canadians, we knew public trust was gone. We rolled up our sleeves to fix the mess the Harper government left behind. First, we launched a new interim approach to environmental assessments in Canada. Within weeks of taking office, we launched a different approach to major project reviews that put indigenous rights, science, environmental protection, and transparent and open public consultation front and centre. The Harper government removed all these things in the name of jamming things through. It did not work. We put these principles back, maintaining certainty for investors, expanding public consultation, enhancing indigenous engagement, and including greenhouse gas emissions in our project assessments.
Second, we acted on climate change. We ensured the Paris Agreement on climate change was ambitious. The House, including the members opposite, supported that agreement. We signed it, ratified it, and launched the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, which included Alberta's hard cap on oil sands emissions. This was the first climate change plan in the history of the country that was developed hand in hand with provinces and territories, as well as with first nations, Métis, and Inuit. For the first time in the history of this country, we launched a federal plan to put a price on carbon pollution. For the record, we are nearly 30 years behind countries such as Norway in pricing carbon pollution, and it seems to be doing okay.
Third, we acted on oceans protection. We launched the single largest investment in Canada's oceans in this country's history, $1.5 billion. It is the largest investment in the Canadian Coast Guard in a generation. We looked to the world's leading ocean protectors, Alaska and Norway, and we said that we should match or beat them, and we have. Once implemented, Canada will have the best oceans protection measures in the entire world. Canada has oil, gas, and fuel being shipped through, from, or to all three of our coasts, and we have had this for over 60 years. With this comes great responsibility to protect our oceans.
Let us be clear, these three things would have happened, pipeline or no pipeline. However, these three crucial plans had to be implemented because the Harper government eliminated climate change action and oceans protections in its own efforts to use all tools humanly possible in the name of pipelines.
Fourth, we approved three pipelines, the Trans Mountain expansion, Line 3, and Nova Gas, and denied one, the northern gateway pipeline. All those decisions were made based on the national interest, sound science and evidence, full public consultation, and upholding the rights of the indigenous peoples. Most importantly, all of these decisions took into account everything we had done before: a new method of doing environmental assessments, ensuring these projects fit within Canada's climate change action plan, making sure we have the world's safest and strongest oceans protections plan, and ensuring indigenous rights were held up.
Regarding the northern gateway pipeline, the vast majority of indigenous communities were opposed to the project. The Harper government's insufficient consultations and complete lack of scientific considerations or public engagement meant that it completely missed the fact that the Great Bear Rainforest was no place for a pipeline. The Federal Court of Appeal, in its judgment that quashed northern gateway, was not critical of the proponent or the regulator but of the Harper government.
On the Trans Mountain expansion project, the majority of indigenous communities were in support. Today, 42 have impact benefit agreements, while six exercised their rights in court.
Through re-establishing transparent and open public consultations, a process the Harper government had dismantled, we heard from thousands of Canadians who told us we have a responsibility to get our resources to market, to take action to protect the environment, and to create good-paying, middle-class jobs.
We launched a special ministerial panel of distinguished Canadians. They were appointed to travel up and down the length of the proposed pipeline route, ensuring indigenous peoples and local communities were thoroughly heard. For the first time, we made the record of those decisions public on the Internet for all Canadians to see.
We also carefully considered the findings of the National Energy Board. For the first time, the Government of Canada co-developed, with first nations and Métis leaders, the indigenous advisory and monitoring committee for both Line 3 and the TMX. We are investing $64.7 million over five years in these communities, which are essential to ensure the companies live up to their promises and fully engage rights holders throughout the entire life of the projects.
We understand that our decision on the bill to expand the Trans Mountain network is not unanimous, but we are determined to work with the provinces and with indigenous peoples to keep Canada's energy infrastructure safe and secure, all while showing environmental leadership.
The project represents a $7.4 billion investment and thousands of good, middle-class jobs, a project that stands to benefit Canadians across the country, just as the existing pipeline has done since 1953, creating new access for Canadian oil to global markets and world prices.
This access and the stable reaction of government is crucial to investor confidence. This is particularly important in a time of discounted and low oil prices. The expansion of market access will feed economic growth. Those billions of dollars of investment will trickle down into public investment in schools, roads, highways, and my personal favourite, even the symphony orchestra.
There is a community cost to blocking this project. Government revenues support all Canadians, and they support investment in the transition to the low-carbon economy, all of which combine to make this a very important project to the entire country. The TMX expansion approval also came with 157 binding conditions, 98 of which relate to pre-construction requirements.
Just as important, the pipeline is required to be consistent with Canada's climate plan to 2030, as the project must operate within Alberta's 100 megatonne cap. As I described before, we are implementing the most ambitious oceans protection plan in our country's history, with the single largest investment to protect our waters, coastlines, and marine life.
Canada needed this plan with or without an expanded pipeline, because our oceans protection had eroded under the Harper government.
We understand that one of the biggest concerns on everyone's mind is the potential oil spill. We share that concern, which is why we have developed a plan that puts in place every safeguard against a spill happening in the first place.
Through the oceans protection plan, the Canadian Coast Guard now has more people, more authority, and more equipment to do its vital and necessary work. For the first time, two large tow vessels will be on call on the B.C. coast. Several Coast Guard vessels will be equipped with specialized toe kits to improve capacity to respond quickly. Primary environmental response teams, composed of specially trained personnel, will further strengthen the Coast Guard's existing on-scene operations.
We also reopened the Kitsilano Coast Guard station with new rescue boats and specialized pollution response capabilities, and there is a targeted action plan to promote recovery of the southern resident killer whale population.
Last week we introduced legislation, Bill , that would restore the protections the country lost under the Harper government and would serve as a permanent fix in the way that Canada would assess and review major resource projects.
Bill is the culmination of more than a year and half of extensive consultations and thoughtful deliberations. It is informed by a comprehensive review that we launched just seven months into our mandate. The review also included modernizing the National Energy Board, protecting our fish, and preserving our waterways. We appointed expert panels, enlisted parliamentarians, released a discussion paper, and at every step of the way consulted Canadians, listening more than we spoke.
What emerged from these efforts were the same messages that we heard through Generation Energy, which is that Canadians are engaged. They are well informed. They know the economy and the environment can, and must, go hand in hand. They agree that Canada works best when Canadians work together. Those are the hallmarks of our legislation, a new and inclusive approach to protect the environment and build a stronger economy, creating good jobs and a sustainable future. It is an approach based on restoring public trust; renewing Canada's relationship with indigenous peoples; collaborating with the provinces and territories; protecting our environment, fish, and waterways; encouraging more investments in Canada's natural resources sectors; and better rules to build a better Canada.
Our approach is the exact opposite of the motion before us today, a motion that seeks to divide our country and pits the environment against the economy, province against province, and region against region. There is simply no need for a motion today that attempts to manufacture a crisis where one does not exist or that insinuates we return to the approach of the Harper Government.
All British Columbia has tangibly done at this point is to signal its intention to consult with the people of its province. That is its right. It is the right of every province to do that. However, we have clearly said that the federal government holds authority over the TMX pipeline, and we will. We will not entertain non-jurisdictional delays intended to stall or stop the project. That is simply not an option.
If that is the goal of any province, we will take the necessary action to ensure that federally-approved resource projects proceed. Until then, we will continue to work with all provinces and territories, and indigenous peoples, as we did on the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. By driving innovation, improving environmental performance, restoring public confidence, and advancing indigenous partnerships, we can create the prosperity we all want, while protecting the planet we cherish.
The motion before us today ignores all of this. It proposes a sledge-hammer solution where one is not required. There are better options, options that speak to the generosity of our nation, options that reflect our faith in Canada, and appeal to the better nature of all Canadians. That is what I will be supporting today
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Conservatives for putting this motion forward, because this is a debate that we are not having in the House of Commons. Nothing proves the theory of the Ottawa bubble more than our discussions about the Trans Mountain pipeline. We hear rhetoric, basically concerns about a line on a map, that does not look at the communities that are affected, so I invite the House to think about this project from the ground up rather than from Ottawa down.
This proposed project is 980 kilometres of new pipeline, much of which would go along another route, although the company has tried to disguise this and calls it “twinning”. It is new pipeline that would cross under the Fraser River and is a completely new route through Burnaby. This is a new pipeline. It carries bitumen, not for local use but for export, and the export is mostly to the United States. China has said over and over again that it cannot process this product. The only refineries that can handle this are in Texas.
The current TMX pipeline exports about 25% of what comes down the pipe. Where does it go? It all goes to California. There is so much rhetoric that is hard to counter because the pipeline companies and their consortiums put out false information.
There is something that trumps flashy commercials on television, and that is our Constitution that is also the law of our land. In British Columbia, although it seems beyond notice here, almost all of the territory in British Columbia is unceded. There are no treaties in British Columbia, so that makes negotiations with first nations very different. Although we hear lots of rhetoric about how many first nations have been consulted and how many have agreements, it only takes one nation to stop this pipeline.
This pipeline goes through about 80 different territories, and there are overlapping claims, but not all nations and people within the territories have signed off on this pipeline, not by a long shot. This pipeline also goes through first nations reserves. These are the last places for many first nations territories that were almost obliterated by colonialism, so there is a lot of anger and a sense of betrayal. When this pipeline was first built in the 1950s, first nations people could not vote or hire lawyers. The reason the pipeline was put through reserves in the first place was because it was the easiest place to put it. We can imagine having a pipeline put through our backyards without being able to hire a lawyer or participate in the process to get it built. There is a lot of residual anger over this, and I feel it is warranted.
The existing pipeline that goes through first nations reserves and territories, as well as many municipalities, has leaked a great deal. On the company's own website, we can see that 40,000 barrels have already leaked out of the existing pipeline. There was a very big spill in my community in 2007, and all along the route, if anyone would care to look, which no one usually does. This pipeline has already leaked. Therefore, we know the new pipeline will also leak, as they do all over the place. There is concern. These are not a bunch of hippies saying they do not want a pipeline; these people are concerned about their community.
I see how this project is going to go. In 2014, there were thousands of people on Burnaby Mountain when Kinder Morgan went into a conservation area without permission. These people placed their bodies in such a way as to prevent any future work. There were 125 people arrested. Gary Mason, from The Globe and Mail, likes to call these people professional protesters, but it shows that he is also out of touch. I was on the mountain. I went there 10 times. I crossed police lines to make sure that people were safe.
The people crossing the lines were local property owners, school teachers, university professors, hairdressers, regular people. The debate here has tried to taint normal people, people with property rights. In other cases, I am sure the Conservatives would fight for them, but, in this case, they seem keen to ram this project through. I am pleading with the House to look at it from the perspective of the people in the communities through which this pipeline would pass and to not believe what the companies are telling them.
The day after I was elected in 2011, I was called by Kinder Morgan. I have met with the company four times. I told them that I did not think the pipeline would ever get built. They walked me through the plan. I also said not only would the pipeline not get built, they would have to clean up the existing pipeline which leaks so much.
The current buzz in the media is the fight between Alberta and British Columbia, or really between Canada and British Columbia. British Columbia has said it is going to study the effects of bitumen, and well it should. I spoke to the environment minister. He is very well aware of the Royal Society of Canada report from 2014, which has many questions about the properties of bitumen. The has been wheeling out one scientist who has non peer-reviewed research that says it floats in certain conditions, but this is the Royal Society, which I think had about 30 prominent scientists on its panel. This is not a science-driven approach to pipeline building, because they are ignoring the Royal Society report.
There are many things wrong with how this pipeline has been approved and what people in the House are saying will occur if it is built.
The Province of British Columbia is right to conduct these studies and hearings, and it is right to protect its constitutional jurisdiction. That is what all provincial governments should do. However, I am afraid of the rhetoric in the House and in the media.
Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for .
I am very concerned about something that no one in the House is talking about. That is what I saw in 2014 on Burnaby Mountain. I have evidence that I would be happy to table in the House, polling information and other information. People who are opposed to this pipeline do not believe in the process anymore. They have written their petitions. They have sent their letters. They have marched in their protests. They say that no one is protecting their interests. Where does this take us? It takes us to a very familiar route in British Columbia, which is civil disobedience. This makes me very nervous. It keeps me up at night. I think it is not being looked at seriously in the House of Commons.
We have a lot of rhetoric from this side, and that is why I asked the minister if he is prepared to back up his previous statement and say he is prepared to use the defence forces and police forces in order to push the pipeline through British Columbia. I plead with him, I plead with the government, not to consider this.
Since being elected in 2011, I have talked to all sides. I have talked to CAPP, Kinder Morgan, all pipeline companies, provincial ministers, both Liberal and New Democrats. I feel that this part of the debate is being left aside and we are in a bit of a denial as to what would occur. What does it look like when we put a new pipeline, carrying 600,000 barrels a day over 980 kilometres, through communities that do not want it?
The minister, I think flippantly, boastfully, and with arrogance, said at a meeting that he would be prepared to use defence and police forces in order to push this through. However, we should think about what that would look like. We have reserve land where they do not want the pipeline. If we put bulldozers in, we are putting the workers in danger.
The minister said that we will use the military to make sure the pipeline gets built. It is irresponsible. No one here is talking about that, and they need to. A core part of this debate has to be about section 2 of the Emergencies Act and whether either side of the House is purporting that we use that. This is probably one of the most serious decisions we have to make in this Parliament.
I thank the Conservatives for bringing the motion forward, even though I do not agree with it and I will be voting against it. However, we need to have this debate, and the government has to make its intentions clear.
Madam Speaker, I would like to commend my colleague from for his sterling work in listening to his constituents and learning about the issues surrounding the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
August 20, 2015, was the genesis of the motion we are seeing today. I support the fact that it was brought forward. We are going to oppose this motion for reasons my colleague from spelled out.
On August 20, 2015, the came to British Columbia, and in front of a crowd in Esquimalt, said very clearly that Kinder Morgan would not be approved unless the entire process was redone. That was a solemn commitment he made to British Columbians on August 20, 2015, a few weeks prior to the election date, and that is the genesis of the problem we have before us today.
The Liberals and the Prime Minister have taken Mr. Harper's incredible gutting of environmental regulations and the NEB process and are making that discredited process, a process that does not involve Canadians, does not involve British Columbians, their own. In other words, the promised to redo the whole process and put in place something that would actually mean legitimate consultation with British Columbians, but he did the exact opposite. It is absolutely shameful.
The Liberals have compounded this, as my colleague for just mentioned, by threatening military action in British Columbia. We have an illegitimate process, one the Liberals promised to change. They did not change it. Instead, they approved the pipeline, which the said very clearly they would not. On top of that, they threatened British Columbians. It is because of that badly broken, gutted promise made solemnly to British Columbians, just a few weeks prior to the election date, that so many British Columbians have come out in opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline. We have first nations that have come out in opposition. The City of Burnaby, which I and my colleague from represent, has come out strongly opposed, as have municipalities throughout the coastal region.
Why have they come out in opposition? It is not just that the process is illegitimate, that Mr. Harper's Conservative government gutted the whole process and made it illegitimate in anyone's eyes, and that the Liberals promised to do one thing and are doing the exact opposite. It is also because of the impact on the coast, which could be catastrophic.
I grew up in New Westminster, and I am proud of growing up in the Lower Mainland. Four generations of my family have lived in that area. My grandfather came from Norway and fished on the coast for a number of years.
The fishing and tourism industries have a profound impact on our economy in British Columbia. We are talking about impacts the Liberals have never investigated or looked at, an illegitimate process, and the potential loss of billions of dollars if there is just one spill. That is why so many communities have come out in opposition to this project. It is why so many communities have said that, ultimately, without a legitimate process, this is simply something that has no credibility.
My colleague for talked about the impact on the Fraser River. I would like to mention the Brunette River area, where I walk my dogs every morning. It is an area that could be profoundly impacted by the new route that is being pushed through. There were no consultations. The City of New Westminster was not able to come forward with its concerns. This is habitat that has been restored through decades of work by people who are involved in the Sapperton Fish and Game Club and other community organizations. They restored the habitat, and now we have Kinder Morgan, with the approval of the Liberal government, putting at risk the Brunette River as well. These are profound risks that have not been investigated through a legitimate process.
I should mention, being one of the few people in this House of Commons who has been ankle deep in oil, having worked in the Shellburn oil refinery and the Burnaby tank farm, that I know how serious the environmental impacts can be. I know how difficult it is to clean up even a small spill. I can say with some assurance that the incredible irresponsibility with which the Liberals have approached this whole process, not just by betraying British Columbians by breaking their promise but by refusing to put in place any sort of public consultation process, is something that has alienated many British Columbians.
My colleague referenced the Royal Society report. The Royal Society report is something that every single Liberal MP, not just those from British Columbia, should be reading, because it speaks repeatedly to the fact that we do not know the impact on the Salish Sea or the B.C. coast of a spill of bitumen. We have no idea. The Royal Society repeatedly requests that high priority, urgent research be done in all these areas, because we simply do not know. The pipeline the wants to push through is something that could have profound impacts on the coast, and scientific evidence shows that the Liberal government and the have simply not done their homework.
I was in this House when the Harper government gutted the environmental rules. I spoke to the budget for 14 hours, because there was so much to glean because of the impact on fish habitat and on environmental legislation right across the country.
It never would have occurred to me, or to most British Columbians, that the Liberals, having promised to address the concerns raised by Canadians from coast to coast to coast about the gutting of those environmental regulations, would refuse to do that.
This is no small issue, because when we talk about the impacts of just one spill, we are talking about impacts that could last for a generation. David Schindler, who is the foremost authority on water policy and water in Canada, recently wrote about the impacts of the Exxon Valdez. One generation later, the impacts are still being felt. The fishery has not come back in Alaska. The coast continues to be polluted by that spill. David Schindler is someone who has profound scientific renown, yet the Liberals, just as they have thrown aside the scientific evidence from the Royal Society, have thrown aside the scientific evidence from David Schindler. We know that the Exxon Valdez had a profound impact and continues to have a profound impact. The Kalamazoo River spill continues to have a profound impact on habitat, after the spending of a billion dollars.
We have a who came to Nanaimo a couple of weeks ago and said that there would be no coastal protection unless British Columbians promptly ignored all that evidence and promptly agreed with the Liberals on building the pipeline. That is unacceptable. That is why there is so much reaction in British Columbia. There is the illegitimate process, there are the broken promises of the Liberals, and there are the threats that unless the pipeline is agreed to, there will be no coastal protection and no environmental policies to combat climate change.
That is childish rhetoric that comes from the government. It is childish rhetoric that is improper for a national government. We need a national government that will actually show leadership on climate change and put in place the kinds of policies and process that consults British Columbians and Canadians. That is something Jagmeet Singh will bring to Ottawa when he is elected in 2019.
Madam Speaker, I would like to advise you that I will share my time with the hon. member for .
For my riding in particular, this issue is of critical importance, and let me provide a quick example to illustrate exactly why. Within hours of the province of Alberta announcing what was basically a blockade of B.C. wine being sold or transported into that province, I received a call from a panicked B.C. wine owner. That winery owner has 6,000 cases of wine sold into Alberta, yet still has to make delivery. This is not some big corporate winery, and 6,000 cases represents a huge part of this winery's annual sales revenues and volume of production. This is a family-run winery, where on any given day we will see father and daughter working side by side. They have mortgages to pay, wages for staff, utilities, taxes, and hopefully at the end of the day, enough left over to draw a wage. I am certain everyone in this place can empathize with the resulting fear and frustration being felt by the British Columbia wine industry.
How did we get here? On the surface, we have two fighting New Democratic Party provincial governments. In B.C. we have a coalition NDP desperate to maintain its power through its deal with the Green Party. Of course, that coalition is on thin ice after the NDP approved the Site C dam project that it had railed against for years. Going after the Trans Mountain pipeline project is a political necessity for the B.C. NDP, and likewise for the Green Party in British Columbia.
So far, the Green Party has delivered very little. It abandoned its opposition to bridge tolling to support the NDP, and is likewise supporting an NDP government that approved the Site C dam and one that wants to support B.C. liquefied natural gas. B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver is desperate to show his base that his support for the NDP is not just a sell out deal that has resulted in little else but his party receiving taxpayer subsidies for political parties.
Meanwhile, over in Alberta, we have an NDP government essentially terrified after the two provincial political parties recently merged, with an election that is quickly approaching. For the Alberta NDP, fighting for the Trans Mountain pipeline is critically important not just for it to survive but because this project is absolutely critical to Alberta. That is what is troubling. This brewing trade dispute is politically helpful for both these NDP governments. Meanwhile, small family wineries are caught in the middle as political pawns.
As members of Parliament, how do we fix this? Ultimately, we know the has stated he strongly believes the Trans Mountain pipeline is in Canada's national interest. For the record, I agree with the Prime Minister on this. However, here is the problem. Beyond saying that he strongly supports the Trans Mountain pipeline and that the project is in Canada's national interest, the Prime Minister has said nothing else as to what measures he is prepared to invoke to make this project a reality. Of course that has created uncertainty, and in essence, a leadership vacuum on this file.
Therefore, the province of Alberta is basically in a situation where, absence of any federal leadership on this issue, it is now essentially forced to not only defend the interests of Alberta but also the Canadian interest. To be candid, I agree that the 's lack of action and leadership on this file has put Premier Notley into a difficult and unfair situation. That is why we are having this debate today.
It is all well and good for the to say that this project is in the national interest and that it will get built, but he does not say when it will get built. When will he show some leadership and take action?
Here is the part I find deeply troubling. Recently on CBC we heard that “ultimately the federal government will not allow any province to impinge on its jurisdiction over the national interest. Full stop.” On the surface, this sounds somewhat promising. There is only one problem. Who said it? According to the same CBC article, it was “a senior Liberal, speaking on condition of anonymity”. In other words, it was not the , not the . The best the Liberals can do is to send out some anonymous person to speak some tough talk to the CBC. Seriously, is this the best that the current Liberal government can do?
What troubles me more is that this is a and Liberal government who will fight against veterans in court, even after they promised that they would not. This is a Prime Minister and Liberal government who will fight against faith organizations receiving summer jobs funding for grants unless they take a values test. This is a Prime Minister and Liberal government who will fight against the Prime Minister's having to repay his illegal vacation expenses, but when it comes to fighting for a project that the Prime Minister has deemed to be within Canada's national interest, basically nothing. All we get is some lowly anonymous Liberal leaker hamming it up with his favourite CBC reporter. Of course, that is why we are in this situation and why we are having this debate.
The needs to clearly articulate to Canadians what actions he will take to ensure projects in Canada's national interest become a reality. I think everyone here gets that. The time for platitudes and flowery language is over. Now is the time for action and to deliver results. If this Prime Minister is not capable of doing that, I would suggest he should find someone else who can, preferably someone who is not a senior anonymous Liberal.
I would also like to add a few observations. When it came to potentially looking after the interests of Irving Shipbuilding, the was prepared to cancel another shipbuilding contract in Quebec at great cost to taxpayers, until the public found out. When it came to defending the interests of Bombardier, we know once again that the Prime Minister was prepared to cancel a contract. In fact, the current Liberal government has now announced a procurement policy with this in mind.
I mention these things because we know that the is actually capable of standing up for certain things from time to time. Surely if the Prime Minister strongly believes that the Trans Mountain pipeline project is in Canada's national interest, he will do the same. The only question to be asked is why he has refused to do it thus far. Ultimately, that is what we need: a Prime Minister who will step up, show leadership, and deliver results for the country. That is the job of the Prime Minister.
That is why today I will ask this place to support the motion before us. In effect, what it is calling for is for the to do his job. On this side of the House, we do not believe that is asking too much and I hope that Liberals on that side of the House will agree.
Madam Speaker, today's motion was precipitated by the British Columbia government's decision to challenge the approval of the Kinder Morgan expansion, and it represents possibly the greatest challenge to the federation in a generation. There are a number of things at stake in this, whether or not we are a country united in the principle of the rule of law and the Constitution of Canada, the viability of any large national project, and the future for any responsible resource development.
The response of the government to this crisis thus far has been wholly inadequate. We have occasionally heard from the minister who, in this House, quite smugly, almost condescendingly, merely repeated that the pipeline will get built. We have heard this a couple of times from the , but we have not heard the government championing this project in any meaningful way. This is important because the government's track record on energy project approval is abysmal.
Under the Liberal government, which is now into its third year, we have seen the northern gateway project killed by an arbitrary tanker ban that wiped out a project that was approved through an extremely rigorous and long-drawn-out approval process, with the support of dozens of first nation equity partners. We have seen how the government rendered the energy east project economically untenable by moving the goalposts, introducing upstream emissions, which is not an area of federal jurisdiction and not one which the NEB would have jurisdiction over, as well as downstream, which is quite ridiculous in a pipeline project. The final decision of what type of vehicle somebody is going to pour gasoline into is the strongest determining factor of downstream emissions.
Thus, we have seen two projects killed by the government. We have seen the anti-energy rhetoric that has come from many government members, including the himself talking about leaving resources in the ground. There are anti-energy activists in the governing party's caucus, in key staff positions, and indeed in the cabinet itself. We saw that ministers had to sanitize their social media accounts to delete anti-energy posts before the Liberals were in government.
The government has a large credibility problem when it comes to energy projects. Once in a while standing up in this House and trying to placate the Conservatives by simply insisting that this project will get built is not good enough. The Liberals need to do better than that.
Canada has lagged behind in energy infrastructure for years. We are way behind on LNG and are allowing the United States to become an energy superpower in exporting its product to international markets where we could be doing so ourselves.
The Canadian oil patch is not participating in the oil and gas industry recovery that is taking place in other producing jurisdictions. That is largely due to politics. It is due to the Liberal government's attitude and the signals it sends to the investment community. It is due to the attitudes of provincial governments as well.
We exist with a price differential on our energy products that is absolutely killing jobs. It is eroding our ability to produce public services. What we are doing because of the differential is exporting income taxes. We are exporting public service to the United States. A Canadian barrel has a $30 discount on world prices. Think of that one pipeline which has a capacity of half a million barrels a day, and we are taking a discount of up to $30 a barrel.
We should think of how much royalty money is not being paid to the Alberta, Saskatchewan, or other provincial governments. We should think of how much in equalization payments cannot be made. We should think of how much income tax is not being paid on money that is not being earned because of the differential. This has been going on for years and is exacerbated repeatedly by the absence of pipeline capacity.
By no means is this an Alberta issue alone. Although there are thousands of people in my riding whose livelihoods depend on the oil and gas industry, the benefits of this industry are spread throughout Canada. They are a major part of the public services that Canadians rely on and the revenue from royalties and from income tax.
Producers pay some of the highest royalty rates in the world on Canadian oil and gas. Producers are willing to do so because until now, Canada has been a reliable place where adherence to the rule of law, sanctity of contract, stable political regimes, and rigorous but predictable regulatory processes allow companies to invest in Canadian resources. All of this is being jeopardized by this current dispute. If international investors look at Canada and say this is not a country where they can rely on the rule of law because a provincial government can usurp federal approval, where the Constitution is not observed, where sanctity of contract in terms of governments moving goalposts on approval processes, this becomes a place where the international investment community will not go. All of the foregoing is under threat due to the 's inaction and the mixed signals it sends to the investment community.
The situation today is utterly untenable. The and Parliament have the tools to remedy the situation. We know that affordable energy is an important human need. We are talking out loud about trade disputes between provinces. People are actually talking out loud about what would happen if the Government of Alberta were to refuse to allow the export of crude through the existing Trans Mountain pipeline. What would happen to the economy of the Lower Mainland? It would grind to a halt in days.
The fact that we are even talking about these things is absolutely unbelievable. There is no way we should be having these discussions, yet they are happening. It is time for the to choose what kind of prime minister he wants to be and what he wants his legacy to be. Does he want it to be a divided union? He cannot continue to placate everyone. He may need to alienate some of the extreme elements of the environmental movement, and why not? The utter destruction of the oil and gas industry is all that those folks will settle for, so there really is no trade to be made with these folks.
We know that Pierre Trudeau's family has a history of fomenting constitutional crises. In Alberta the same resentments and anger that I am now hearing are very familiar. I grew up with them in the 1980s. In Alberta they see a Liberal government that is letting its ideological fellow travellers in British Columbia kill a pipeline that many in the Liberal caucus do not even want anyway.
It is time for the to stop letting the noisy few kill the jobs and prosperity for the many. He should stop hemming in our oil and gas even as in the east we import oil from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and the United States. He needs to stop exporting social services like health care and education to the United States. He needs to stop chasing away investment and tax dollars that would go with it from an industry because projects are not being developed. He should stop rewarding those who would subvert the rule of law and the Constitution Act. He should stop trying to ride both sides of every fence. He should show some leadership, stand up for jobs, and for once be proud of Canada's energy industry and the rigours of our environment policies.