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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 288

CONTENTS

Monday, April 30, 2018




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148 
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NUMBER 288 
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1st SESSION 
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42nd PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Monday, April 30, 2018

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 11 a.m.

Prayer



PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

  (1105)  

[English]

Visitability

    That the House recognize the importance that Visitability can have for Canadians of all ages and abilities, and particularly persons with a physical disability, aging individuals, seniors and their families, in Canada, by: (a) emphasizing the efforts of companies, contractors and builders who are already applying the principles of Visitability in their new constructions; (b) encouraging the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities to address the topic of Visitability in the accessibility legislation to be introduced in the House; and (c) inviting the federal government to address the subject of Visitability with its provincial and territorial partners in upcoming Federal, Provincial and Territorial discussions.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House today in the first hour of debate on my Motion No. 157 on visitability. It is the first time the term “visitability” has been used in the House of Commons, but the visitable housing, or visitability movement, began in the U.S. in the early 1980s. It is the concept of designing and building homes with basic accessibility. Visitability homes provide easy, independent access on main levels for all ages and abilities. Visitable houses also offer convenient, age-friendly homes for residents and a welcoming environment for visitors of all ages.
    Visitability does not mean fully accessible or universal design, and it does not apply to the upper floors or basement. Visitable housing benefits everyone: seniors, persons with a disability, parents, and children. It benefits parents manoeuvring strollers, people in the moving industry, people with temporary physical injuries, friends, family, and neighbours who have limited ability, and anyone who would like to invite a friend or family member who has a physical impediment over to their home.
    Visitability increases the usability of a home over its and the homeowners' lifetimes and makes economic sense. To simplify the basic accessibility I am referring to, a visitable home has three basic accessibility features. One, it has a no-step entrance. At minimum, there is one accessible, no-step level entrance at the front, back, or side of the house, with an accessible route to the driveway. Two, it has clear passageways, wider doorways and hallways, with all doorways and halls wider, i.e., a minimum of 38 inches, so there is clear passage throughout the main floor. Three, it has a main floor visitable bathroom. The bathroom on the main floor is accessible by visitors who use mobility devices.
    Motion No 157 is meant to introduce the concept of minimum accessibility measures designed to accommodate everyone, including our aging demographic, allowing individuals to stay in their homes for as long as they so desire, and to address the high population of persons with a disability in Canada, which we have seen growing especially in New Brunswick. By having this conversation, we are able to adapt our thinking patterns to better plan for the future, whether it is for our parents, our children, or ourselves. Motion No. 157 is a first step.
    Increasing public awareness and understanding is a large piece of this motion. Mutual respect and understanding, combined with further education, will contribute to an inclusive society, making it vitally important to improve public understanding of visitability and minimum accessibility standards.
    My interest on this issue is based initially around personal experience through family members and friends who have been affected through temporary or permanent disability and age-related health issues, which limit mobility and the ability to navigate steps and tight spaces, sometimes even in their own homes. Our approach to finding solutions must include conversations with stakeholders who work in the field of disability, seniors issues, as well as contractors and home builders, to encourage the possibility of access and small, minimum standards that can be followed to allow for this access.
    Over the past several months, I have had discussions and collaborated with municipalities, residents, other MPs, contractors, national organizations, provincial organizations, seniors, a significant number of persons with a disability, and young families, leading to a growing interest in the need for change. It is evident that through those conversations, visitability is a positive step forward. I was pleased to see it included in the recently announced national housing strategy by my colleague, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
    Houses are often built without any consideration of end users with mobility issues, such as those with a disability or an aging population. Each of our individual needs change over time, and when it comes to housing and our requirements throughout the time we live in our home, they will vary as we age. Changes could be associated with pregnancy, small children, equipment, illness, aging, or disability. We may not be the only individuals affected. It could affect any member of our family or our friends.
     I will quickly share a story. A mother of two living with a mobility disability moved to my riding a few years ago. After sharing a post on social media about my motion, she commented, “Thank you so much.... I dream one day of not considering home access when making friends.” Her mother then commented, “It is a matter of educating people, we never thought of accessibility until our daughter had a spinal cord injury.”
    Simply being aware of the concept of visitability or minimum accessibility can adjust our thinking to allow for the potential to age in place and allow access to all in our homes. There is very little accessible or visitable housing stock available in Canada. There are many architectural barriers in homes and little adaptability to the changing needs of residents over the lifetime of a home.

  (1110)  

    Many seniors and persons who are diagnosed with a disability are forced to sell their homes, such as split-entry level homes, because they are difficult to modify and due to the high costs of modifications. Split-level entry homes are becoming increasingly unpopular for new home buyers due to the desire to age in place. Whatever form it takes, as stated by the Canadian Medical Association, a spacious suburban bungalow or urban condo, our homes are more than roofs over our heads. We invest in them with memories and emotions.
     It is not surprising that a 2013 survey found that 83% of us want to age in place by remaining in our current dwelling for as long as possible. This seems like a reasonable objective. Statistics Canada has estimated that the over-65 population was numbered at just over six million in 2017 in Canada. They represent 17% of our population, according to information collected in the 2016 census, and it will be about 25% by 2036.
     It is reported that one in seven Canadians is living with a disability. Statistics Canada's Canadian survey on disability in 2012 indicated at that time the most common disability type nationwide was pain, followed by flexibility or mobility. In 2012, almost 14% of the Canadian population 15 years of age or older, which is 3.8 million individuals, reporting having a disability that limits their daily activities. That is one in seven Canadians 15 years of age or older.
    Although visitable housing was first introduced in consideration of people with physical disabilities, the concept is now widely accepted as a desirable home design for a wide range of residents, as cited by the American Association of Retired Persons, the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
    I would be remiss if I did not also mention the key benefits to visitability cited by the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies and pointed out by Ability New Brunswick, a non-profit provincial organization that works to empower mobility and independence for New Brunswickers living with a mobility disability.
    Designing a new home with visitable features promotes sustainable living, reduces environmental costs, and is more cost-effective than attempting to retrofit a home with narrow hallways and doors and an inaccessible bathroom at a later time when mobility changes. Visitable homes give the opportunity to welcome and be inclusive to guests who use a mobility device, reducing the social isolation often experienced by seniors and persons with a disability. Visitable homes help avoid the necessity of moving into an institutional setting. A house with a no-step entrance can also help reduce the number of falls and stair-related injuries by seniors, which in turn saves on long-term health care costs. Visitable houses can be aesthetically pleasing and marketable to home buyers. A visitable house design can also be useful for residents who have temporary difficulty in walking, for example, due to a broken leg or ankle, something which I have experienced personally over the past couple of years.
    When visitable features are planned from the onset, costs can be negligible. Retrofits of conventional homes to make them visitable cost significantly more than making the homes visitable from the building onset.
     Benefits of visitability go beyond the housing market. From an economic development standpoint, when we do not plan for the population of persons with a disability to simply come through our front door, as a business, for example, we are missing out. If we consider the statistics I mentioned, that more than six million people are living with a disability in Canada, and include their friends and families, so up to 12 million Canadians, we are looking at a huge market. This population has a large understanding of disability and its impacts on the people they love, and they represent more than a third of our population. All of these people pick cars and restaurants based on the needs of their loved ones with disabilities. This is a market we cannot ignore. By addressing the demands of persons with a disability, we are making options available to everyone.
     I would like to point out how amazing our environment would be if we took the principles of visitability beyond housing and into our greater community. It makes economic sense. Seniors issues are currently at a high point. The Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Health Coalition and other advocates are pushing for a national seniors strategy, one which would include housing. This is an opportunity to support seniors, persons with a disability, and Canadians of all ages and abilities today, while we are preparing for the diverse and growing needs of our population of tomorrow.
    To reference the study brought forward as a result of the motion from my colleague, the hon. member for Nickel Belt, around a national seniors strategy, affordable and accessible housing need to go hand in hand. When we talk about affordable housing, it is imperative that it go hand in hand with accessible housing.

  (1115)  

    The federal, provincial, and territorial ministers responsible for housing recently agreed to a shared vision where “Canadians have access to housing that meets their needs and they can afford. Housing is the cornerstone of building sustainable, inclusive communities and a strong Canadian economy where we can prosper and thrive.” This inclusive community needs to ensure that our needs are met through affordable housing, but we also need to be able to get through the front door in order to have full community participation from all Canadians who contribute to a thriving economy.
    I want to ensure that I emphasize the fact that visitable housing is beneficial to all, not just persons with disabilities or seniors. There are instances where a mother or a father is coming through the door with an armful of groceries, a stroller, and children. Not having to navigate steps on the way through the door, on top of everything else, allows for greater ease and less risk of potential injury. As a father of four, I can attest to that. I can think of countless times when a no-step entry could have been beneficial for my family.
     Houses are built and purchased every day. Visitability is something that can become a natural and common consideration in the pre-construction phase and implemented into the design. Several communities in Canada are leaders in developing and implementing visitability policies and practices. Beecher Bay First Nation in British Columbia has developed a policy where visitability is mandatory for all residential and non-residential buildings. Vancouver requires visitable elements in its building bylaw. The City of Winnipeg has developed design standards for visitable housing, and the City of Ottawa has committed to 100% of social housing projects being completely or mostly visitable.
    The first neighbourhood plan in Canada to include predominantly visitable housing is currently being developed in Manitoba. Over 1,000 single-family homes are being built with visitability features in Bridgwater, Manitoba neighbourhoods. Many of these homes have been completed and are already occupied, as cited by the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies in 2017.
    The Canadian Medical Association has stated that an increasing number of builders, contractors, and others have obtained a certified aging-in-place specialist certificate. Overseen by the National Association of Home Builders in the U.S., the CAPS program has a Canadian-specific syllabus that focuses on the needs of Canadian homes and climates. This specification is useful for Canadians looking to analyze existing housing or design new housing. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation maintains an online portal of aging-in-place resources, which includes some useful links for accessible and adaptable housing and aging in place.
    Canadians of all ages and abilities should have the opportunity to live and age in place in their homes. Working toward a more accessible society through considering and addressing basic minimum accessibility standards, so that Canadians have the option to build homes, grow old, live independently, and age in place as they get older, is crucial to our society. I applaud the work of companies, contractors, and builders who are already applying the principles of visitability in their new construction for Canadians who wish to plan for the future.
     Our government is committed to creating ambitious federal accessibility legislation that would lead to more consistent experiences of accessibility across Canada. Visitability is a great place to start. As we work to foster an environment where Canadians of all ages and abilities can age in place, we need to ensure that the frameworks in place to support research are effective and accessible and foster collaboration. It is imperative that we learn best practices from communities already demonstrating these practices and engage with our partners in order to coordinate and collaborate in combatting today's accessibility challenges. Planning and public education are needed if we are to ensure that Canada has communities, spaces, and homes where Canadians can be as independent as possible, be active in their communities, and age in place.
     As a member of Parliament in our great country, where I am proud to live and raise my children, I bring Motion No. 157 on visitability to the House as a first step toward a more accessible Canada. With this motion, my goal is clear: include these minimum standards of accessibility, known as visitability, in the anticipated federal accessibility legislation and encourage collaboration with provinces and territories to improve the possibility for Canadians of all ages and abilities to age in place. For people without a disability, seniors who experience mobility difficulties, and families requiring space, visitability makes things easier. Planning to age in place with visitability principles makes things possible for a large number of Canadians.

  (1120)  

    In closing, I would like to recognize the hard work and effort put forth by one of my team members, Courtenay Brennan, who worked tirelessly with me on this motion, and who has been a strong advocate in New Brunswick for persons with disabilities and for accessibility legislation.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his commitment to visitability, accessibility, and persons with disabilities.
    We have been waiting in the House for a very long time for an accessibility act, for more legislation to come forward, and we are now two and a half years in. What is the member's expectation in terms of the work that has been put into this specific motion being carried out in an upcoming bill provided by the minister for persons with disabilities? When does the member expect that to come to the House? Again, we are two and a half years into this four-year term.
    Madam Speaker, when we talk about visitability as a cornerstone at the beginning of a broader conversation about accessibility and national accessibility legislation, which is something our government has been working very hard on since the beginning of our mandate, it is imperative that we recognize that this type of legislation needs to be done in a timely fashion, but it also needs to be something that we ensure is done right. One thing our government has concentrated on is ensuring that we have done the proper consultations and that we have been engaging with these communities to ensure that, on all levels, we are creating legislation that is going to be inclusive and representative of the needs of Canadians, both persons with physical disabilities and seniors or other persons who would be affected by upcoming legislation.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for his effort in trying to foster a more meaningful discussion about the issue of visitability and helping us differentiate between visitability and accessibility. I would like to get into that a bit more, but right now I am more curious to hear about something else. Obviously this motion is aspirational, as it does not direct the government to do anything. There is an accessibility act coming, and we do know that we have a role and an obligation with regard to this under the UN treaty to which we are signatories.
    How does the member see this motion, which is without direction to study or create guidelines, as a significant tool in fostering the work that will be needed for the accessibility act?
    Madam Speaker, first of all, I would indicate that the time for action is now. The main point of this motion is to do two things: to highlight the issue and recognize the difference between accessibility and visitability, as was indicated earlier, and to create an opportunity for discussion around the issue as the national accessibility strategy moves forward in the coming months.
    I would be remiss if I did not mention that we have seconders from both sides of the aisle, including the members for Saanich—Gulf Islands, Nickel Belt, Nunavut, Yukon, Malpeque, Kildonan—St. Paul, Fundy Royal, Saint John—Rothesay, Fredericton, Toronto—Danforth, and South Okanagan—West Kootenay. I thank all of those members for their interest in this subject and for their support. It speaks to the core of this motion, which is that this is not a partisan issue. It is something important to Canadians that we need to see move forward.

  (1125)  

    Madam Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to stand and speak to this motion today. Too often, when we search for a definition of “visitability”, it comes up as “no results found”. I think this is one of the major reasons we are discussing this matter today. Therefore, I rise to talk about Motion No. 157 and the importance of visitability.
    This is a measure of a place's ease for people with disabilities: in other words, how accessible and easily visited a location can be. This is a subject that is often overlooked. I would like the House to recognize how much of an impact visitability can have on Canadians of all ages and abilities. More specifically, this motion can help Canadians with disabilities all over the country.
    However, while the motion is a good start, more work needs to be done on the subject, which is why I am asking the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities to include visitability in the upcoming accessibility legislation. I hope to see some concrete measures put in place when that legislation finally does come out. It is legislation that we have been waiting for patiently for two and a half years.
    This motion would emphasize the efforts of companies, contractors, and builders who are already ensuring that there are visitability principles in new construction. It would work to encourage those who are doing this currently, and encourage those who are not to take up the banner. We want to influence future construction projects to become more accessible. We need to set a higher standard of visitability than what we currently have, which is why we fully support Motion No. 157, as I know many members in the House do.
    I would like to thank the member for Tobique—Mactaquac for sponsoring this motion. His efforts are appreciated. I believe many other members in the House feel the same way.
     This is an area that has always been and will continue to be close to my heart. I have family members who have benefited from visitability, as well as family members who have suffered due to lack of it. My mother was injured in a car accident when I was 10 years old. She was unable to walk and sustained a permanent head injury. I can tell members that I have been in places, whether visiting doctors, friends, family members, or in fact her own residence, where visitability was a major issue. It showed me how important this subject is to Canadians. I want to continue to build upon the hard work that has been put in by the member.
    I believe this is something that would help many people in our country. I do not think I am alone in wanting to help Canadians. I think that everyone in the House wants to improve visitability for persons with disabilities in our country. I know that we can do better than we are doing right now.
    Historically, our party has given a lot of support to Canadians living with disabilities, and I am very proud of this. I am proud that the Conservative Party helped those who needed it. One way we have supported the community of those living with disabilities is through tax credits. Our previous government introduced the home accessibility tax credit and the home renovation tax credit.
    The home accessibility tax credit allowed Canadians with disabilities or those over 65 to save 15% on up to $10,000 in renovations to their residence, which is considerable for anyone. This allowed individuals to pay for walk-in bathtubs, wheel-in showers, and wheelchair ramps. It is a great benefit to any Canadian in need by significantly improving ease of access and visitability.
    Next, the home renovation tax credit was introduced in 2009. One in three households took advantage of it. It saved three million Canadians an average of $700 and was certainly a huge success. It was our future plan to make this credit a permanent fixture.
    These two credits helped Canadians increase visitability in their own homes. The previous Conservative government demonstrated its support for Canadians living with disabilities. We plan to continue this support. Every single Canadian has to be valued, no matter who he or she is. There is no reason why we cannot keep up this effort. We are doing so thorough this motion today, as well as through the legislation we are waiting for from the government.
    This motion is not about any single party. It is certainly not about our party. It is a motion that I consider non-partisan in nature, which is why we as a House need to support it in unity. It is about how we can help Canadians live their best life through visitability.

  (1130)  

    All of us know someone who could benefit from improved visitability. It could be one's grandparents, mom, dad, or even children. It could be a neighbour, and it could be a friend. It is essential that visitability be included in the upcoming accessibility legislation.
    We all have the potential to make a positive impact in our communities, and we must take up this fight now to ensure that it happens. We need to ensure that this becomes a reality, and we need to ensure that no partisanship creeps in. This is not a Conservative, Liberal, or even an NDP issue. It is the responsibility of each member of this House to ensure that action is taken. We need action.
    I have faith that the new minister will look at this motion and ensure that the legislation that comes to the House reflects what the House is going to ask, which is that visitability become a core piece of any piece of legislation drafted with the accessibility act.
    I, like many others, will be keeping a close eye on the upcoming accessibility legislation. We are patiently waiting to see whether visitability will be taken seriously. I hope the minister is taking this subject seriously, but if not, we will find out, hopefully very soon. Two and a half years is far too long to wait for a piece of legislation that was promised to this house immediately upon the forming of the government.
    At this point, we are on our third minister for persons with disabilities. We have seen a stop and start on at least two occasions, and quite frankly, at this point, I am not sure where the legislation sits. It is unfortunate that through the issues the government has had with regard to those fulfilling this role, Canadians have not been put first and at the centre. If they were, we would not be sitting here two and a half years later with absolutely no information to move forward with.
    It is important to recognize that the member's motion is coming from a government MP, someone who is sits on the government side. It shows that it is not just us on this side of the House who are patiently waiting for this legislation to come forward. It is actually members on all sides of this House who are saying that we need to act and ensure that the government is moving forward with an accessibility act, a piece of its platform, something that was promised upon the immediate forming of the government.
    It is not just members of this House who are waiting patiently, and they are definitely not the most important people, either. There are Canadians from coast to coast to coast who are saying that we absolutely need to have legislation put in place. We need to recognize the difficulties persons with disabilities struggle with in society every day and do everything we can to ensure that they have the opportunity to be part of our society in a meaningful way.
    I know I am probably near the end of my allotted time. I would just like to call upon the minister to stand in the House and tell us when the legislation is going to come, explain what the priorities are going to be, and respond to this motion by ensuring that visitability will be the cornerstore of what we see coming forward in the accessibility bill.
    I am thankful for the opportunity to speak today. Again, I would like to thank the member for graciously bringing forth this motion to the House.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise in support of the member for Tobique—Mactaquac's private member's Motion No. 157, because it will help to launch an important debate that needs to take place in this chamber on the concept of visitability in housing development and our obligations to persons living with disabilities, as laid out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities when we ratified it.
    I salute the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, whose excellent work on this subject has been central to my understanding of it. Visitability, for those not familiar with the term, as my hon. colleague has explained more succinctly, is a movement to change home construction practices so that virtually all new homes would offer a few specific features that would make the home easier for people with different mobility challenges to live in and visit, hence the name.
    Key features of visitable housing are one-level, no-step entrances, wider doorways and hallways, and a wheelchair-accessible bathroom on the main level. It is important to note that visitability designed homes are not fully accessible homes; they address basic needs on the main floor so that someone visiting in a wheelchair, for example, can visit.
    In some cases, there are guidelines in the United States right now for a five-foot turning radius, let us say, in a washroom, but this does not address issues of full accessibility, as was mentioned. With full accessibility, for example, a bathroom would be constructed with reinforced walls around a toilet so that there could be grab bars. This is the differentiation we are making. Visitability designed homes address basic needs and encourage inclusive neighbourhoods.
    Former NDP governments in Manitoba have been at the forefront of the visitability movement in Canada. Visitability is being applied to construction of all new units that receive financial assistance from Manitoba Housing, with 10% of all such new units designed to meet accessible design criteria. The Bridgwater neighbourhood, in Winnipeg, as my hon. colleague also mentioned, is one of the first communities in Canada to incorporate visitable housing as one of its key features.
    The woman who launched the visitability movement is an American by the name of Eleanor Smith, and she is held in high regard in my office. Stricken with polio at age three, Eleanor has been leading the movement for disability liberation for several decades. She helped to found the organization Concrete Change, the first visitable housing advocacy group. In 1992, she wrote and helped pass an Atlanta, Georgia, ordinance, which was the first law in the United States requiring a basic level of access in certain dwellings. Since then, she has helped advocates in many locales press visitability issues, both legislative and voluntary. In 1996 she was founder of the national umbrella group the Disability Rights Action Coalition for Housing, which gives me a lot of information that is informative in my advocacy work. She was also instrumental in helping to craft the first national visitability bill. Its drafters named it in her honour: the Eleanor Smith Inclusive Home Design Act.
    As for the motion being debated here today, my support comes with a few qualifications. There is no doubt in my mind as to the member's good intentions, yet the motion remains strangely insubstantial. It does not require the government to do much of anything. It emphasizes and encourages, rather than directs. It invites the government to address visitability, rather than calling on it to do so. It encourages the Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities to address the topic of visitability in her upcoming accessibility legislation, due, we are told, to be tabled as early as June, instead of directing her to address it.

  (1135)  

    If the member intended something more substantial, he might have had his motion direct the minister to do something such as establish guidelines similar to those in Manitoba. Other governments have developed accessibility and visitable housing guidelines as well. This is certainly an area where we can do better.
     At the very least, the motion debated today could direct the minister to launch a study of possible financial incentives, such as tax breaks and such, the federal government could deploy to promote visitable design elements, such as in housing construction and development in Canada. That kind of study would be within the acceptable parameters of a private member's bill, as it would not cost the government anything but would nevertheless result in something tangible. I am perplexed that the member did not take this route, particularly as he is a member of the governing party.
     I am genuinely appreciative that the work of the member for Tobique—Mactaquac is bringing this important subject for debate in the House today.
    Since the government plans to bring forward ambitious accessibility legislation as early as June, I do not see why a visitability bill, such as I have referenced, could not be enfolded into an accessibility bill. The NDP position regarding an accessibility bill is that it should be nothing less than enabling legislation for Canada's commitments under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These obligations would fall under a Canadians with disabilities bill, and though the government has chosen the phrase “accessibility bill”, we fully expect it to fulfill the obligations we agreed to under the convention. Canada ratified this treaty in 2010, and persons living with disabilities—and we have heard that there are six million persons living with disabilities—and their families and friends, have been waiting for the government to act.
     The government held lengthy consultations with Canadians between July 2016 and February 2017, and important stakeholder groups, such as the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, Barrier-Free Canada, and around 50 others, provided excellent input on what the legislation should look like. We also have existing legislation from other countries under the treaty.
     For the CCD, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, the immediate priority of an accessibility bill should be investments in disability-related supports. As they have observed:
     Over two million Canadian adults with disabilities, or two thirds of the disabled adult population lack one or more of the educational, workplace, aids, home modification or other supports they need. The lack of these supports results in poverty, unemployment and exclusion from workplaces, schools and communities.
    Along with the NDP, the disability community has been calling for a long-term disability strategy. An excellent way for the federal government to show real leadership on disability issues would be by regularly bringing together federal, provincial, and territorial ministers of social services to ensure that the establishment of supports became an ongoing priority for joint action. As such leadership would be a massive undertaking, the government should create a single agency for all federal accessibility standards and enforcement, which, as Barrier-Free Canada has recommended, could be called the office of the accessibility commissioner.
    Bringing Canada in line with these obligations will require real leadership from the federal government and a sustained and ongoing sense of national mission. This formidable but vital undertaking cannot succeed if we accept the kind of half-measures or tinkering at the edges for which the governing party is notorious.
     I hope this motion can bring our government to face our real responsibilities in this House.

  (1140)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to address the House today during this debate on a very good motion moved by our hon. colleague from Tobique—Mactaquac. I would like to thank him for giving us such an excellent opportunity to talk about the concept of visitability. The bill will be introduced by the end of spring and will touch on all areas under federal jurisdiction. The motion calls on the House to recognize the importance that visitability can have for Canadians of all ages and abilities, and particularly persons with a physical disability, aging individuals, seniors, and their families. It suggests three ways to do this.
    First, the motion suggests emphasizing the efforts of companies, contractors, and builders who are already applying the principles of visitability in their new constructions. The motion also encourages the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities to address the topic of visitability in the accessibility legislation to be introduced in the House. Finally, Motion No. 157 invites the federal government to address the subject of visitability with its provincial and territorial partners in upcoming federal, provincial, and territorial discussions. This is a good start.
     I would like to provide a few more details about what the concept of visitability really means to us. It is a simplified form of universal accessibility that advocates the construction of new visitable housing for everyone. Visitable housing ensures improved accessibility to visitors of all ability and mobility levels thanks to things like a no-step entry, wider doorways, and a main floor bathroom.
    Such housing would be more convenient not only for visitors who are elderly or have a disability, but also for its residents, who will appreciate its advantages as they age and their abilities decline. Visitable housing can be beneficial for many people, such as friends, family members, parents with strollers, and visitors using mobility devices. Visitable and accessible housing can therefore have a major impact on the physical, mental, and financial well-being of seniors and people with a disability, as well as their loved ones. It can also help prevent social isolation among those individuals and help them remain active in their communities.
    All stakeholders will need to be involved, including the federal government, the provinces, the territories, municipalities, social decision-makers, contractors, architects, and urban planners. One of out seven Canadians has a disability, and one-third of people aged 65 to 74 or older have mobility issues. Choosing visitability and accessibility for people with disabilities and the aging Canadian population is the way of the future. It will guarantee that everyone has the option to live and age in place.
    That is why our national housing strategy is primarily intended to meet the needs of the most vulnerable groups of people. It will help us address a wide range of housing needs, including shelters, community housing, and affordable rental housing. It will give priority to the housing needs of the most vulnerable Canadians, to help overcome the systemic obstacles they face.
    We are, of course, working in close collaboration with our provincial and territorial partners to carry out our strategy and establish a formal framework for the next steps. The national housing co-investment fund will provide $15.9 billion to repair existing rental housing and develop new affordable housing. The fund is expected to create up to 60,000 new homes and repair up to 240,000 existing community homes. It will also significantly improve access to a home for people with limitations or disabilities.
    To qualify for this fund, renovation or construction projects will have to include fully or partially accessible housing units. We are also inviting the provinces and territories to work with us to develop a Canada housing benefit, which would be launched in 2020.

  (1145)  

    This allocation will provide support to families and people in need of housing, including people who currently live in social housing, those waiting for social housing, and those housed by the private market, but who are having a hard time making ends meet. We estimate that every eligible household will receive $2,500 on average through the Canada housing benefit. Over time, this benefit will help at least 300,000 households.
    Now I would like to talk about the work the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the CMHC, has done on visitability. Over the years, the CMHC has done extensive research into visitability and developed information for builders, renovators, and consumers in order to better integrate accessibility and visitability concepts into housing designs. Many advances in our recent programs are based on the research that has been done over the past few years.
    The CMHC developed Flex HousingTM, an innovative approach to home design, renovation, and construction that is able to adapt and convert affordably and that takes into account the changing lifestyle that is able to adapt and convert as a household's lifestyle and needs change. This concept can be applied to, and seamlessly integrated within, all forms of conventional housing. It applies to any kind of new housing construction from singles and duplexes to multi-unit residential buildings. It also works for renovations, thereby helping to address the challenges associated with an aging population and an aging housing stock. Flex HousingTM helps people and their families to stay in their homes longer. That is not insignificant.
    Our government is committed to helping all Canadians find a place where they can feel at home. We will therefore continue to invest in the infrastructure associated with affordable housing and in housing for seniors and people with disabilities.
    I want to once again thank the member for Tobique—Mactaquac for moving Motion No. 157. This is the type of initiative that will help Canada to continue creating a fairer, more equitable, and more inclusive society for everyone.

  (1150)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in this House to speak to Motion No. 157 and discuss the important topic of visitibility in Canada, and the positive effects this principle can have on our communities when utilized. The concept is also of benefit to our seniors, aging individuals, as well as people of all ages and abilities. I would like to thank the member for Tobique—Mactaquac for his work on this motion and for bringing attention to this issue on behalf of many Canadians who live with a physical disability.
    Disability is a concept that has the potential to be life changing for those who face mobility issues on a daily and even temporary basis. The basic definition of visitibility is “a measure of a place's ease of access for people with disabilities”. It includes three main components: first, a no-step entrance, meaning that at least one of the entrances to a building or home is accessible, a level entrance with no stairs, and has an accessible route to the driveway; second, a clear passageway on the main floor, which often means wider doorways and halls; and, third, an accessible bathroom on the main floor that can be used by people who require mobility devices.
     A large part of the visitibility movement is to have the three components included in every new home build that occurs. It is much easier to integrate design features such as wider doorways during the building phase of a property rather than doing it after the fact. I am sure that many of us here know how expensive home renovations can be. By building homes that have visitibility features included from the get-go rather than having to retrofit at a later date, the homeowner saves a lot of money and effort, among the many other benefits.
    Our previous Conservative government recognized some of these hindrances and introduced the home accessibility tax credit and home renovation tax credit. It also promised in the 2015 election campaign to make the HRTC permanent. These were steps that would help disabled and all Canadians to increase the visitability of their homes. In fact, I recall my parents taking advantage of this to make their home more visitable in their senior years.
    One of the main aspects that supports the principles of visitability is that people should be able to age in their homes. Here in Canada, we have an aging demographic, with over 6.1 million individuals who are over the age of 65. As we age, our mobility tends to decline, and with it our independence. By encouraging visitibility features to be included in all homes, seniors would be able to live in their residences for longer and maintain more independence than they would, if, for example, the entrance to their home had a set of stairs leading to the door.
    This also has implications on the cost of our health care systems across Canada. If senior citizens are able to age in place and live at home for longer, it avoids the necessity of their moving into a long-term care home and the costs associated with that. Studies have shown that it is less costly to the health care system to keep seniors in their own homes. They are more comfortable, more likely to eat and hydrate, more likely to take medication, and their socialization is increased. Provision of home care services is more beneficial and not as expensive as institutionalization. My wife Donna has spent the last 10 years as a case manager and nurse providing these exemplary services and can attest to this personally.
    Statistics also show that the leading cause of injury among seniors is from falls due to stairs. By having a no-step entrance to a home, the costs associated with these injuries is saved and health care costs are reduced. This also applies to seniors who are hospitalized. Many times, seniors are able to return home from the hospital sooner if their home has visitibility features that allow them to live their lives more independently. It is yet another way that we, as a society, can curb the costs of health care while giving our seniors the chance to stay in their residences for longer periods of time.
    There is also a social benefit to be considered. One of the key components of visitibility is to allow individuals with a physical disability to visit a place knowing that their basic mobility needs will be accommodated. For seniors, this is extremely important. Studies have shown us that seniors who have a robust and fulfilling social life live longer and stay healthier than those who are isolated. Being able to have visitors or to go to a friend's house are key to maintaining social engagement, which in turn is essential to our mental health.

  (1155)  

    Having an accessible entrance to a home is much more than just an entrance; for many, it is a connection and the ability to be part of our communities in a larger sense.
    One of my roles here in Ottawa is as a member of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs. In my reading on visitability, I did not see veterans mentioned. However, I could not help but see how beneficial the features of visitability would be for the men and women who have served our country.
    Many of our veterans live with physical disabilities. They come in a range of forms, whether that might be back issues for a fighter pilot injured when he had to punch out of a CF-18, knee problems for soldiers who have spent their career jumping off a tank, or those who have unfortunately suffered a debilitating physical injury, such as the loss of a limb, while serving in Afghanistan. I have heard many stories of how difficult it is for veterans to get their homes retrofitted to accommodate their disability once they retire from the Canadian Armed Forces. If the principles of visitability were present in all homes, our veterans would have a little more peace of mind knowing that their homes were not only accessible to them but also to their brothers and sisters in arms who would like to come and visit.
    Socialization is not just important for seniors; it is at the heart of community for all Canadians, including our veterans. It allows them to maintain their feeling of self-worth and inclusion as they transition from a regimented life to one that is foreign to them, that of civilian life.
     As I have stated before, visitability has wide-ranging benefits for everybody. Easy access to and within a home makes it more attractive for buyers, including those who do not have a physical disability. Families with strollers, movers with heavy equipment, people who have larger beds, and those with grocery carts all benefit from having a no-step entrance and wider doorways and halls. These features are also beneficial for those who might be dealing with a temporary mobility issue, such as a broken leg or other such injury. Almost every person in this country would benefit from having the features of visitability present in their homes at some point in their lives.
     In my previous life as a chiropractor, my business partner and I made sure that the practice we built was as accessible and as visitable as possible. This included measures such as wheelchair ramps; no-step doorways; larger indoor spaces that allowed for manoeuvrability, such as wider hallways and washrooms; handrails; flooring that was not slippery but would still allow for mobility; and counters and sinks at accessible heights.
    Most people would not think twice about the height of a toilet, yet it can be challenging. Motorized chairs were hardly thought of then, yet the steps taken during construction were able to accommodate most chairs today. This is progression, and it is proactive, not reactive. Even though this was 30 years ago, it was a no-brainer at the time. As health care practitioners, we understood the need to accommodate those with physical disabilities, and in my view, it is a best practice that all businesses should be using.
    These people have homes and are more mobile today. Accommodating residences adds to their quality of life. There is essentially no downside to the principles and features of visitability becoming the standard to which new homes are built here in Canada.
    This motion calls upon the minister to address the topic of visitability in the upcoming accessibility legislation that will be presented to Parliament, and I would like to personally encourage her to be an advocate for visitability and those who stand to benefit from it. As the deputy shadow minister for youth, sport, and persons with disabilities, I am aware that this legislation has been delayed. Therefore, I implore the minister to take timely, concrete action and get the accessibility legislation out there as soon as possible. Canadians need their government to take leadership on these issues, and I trust that visitability will be part of that legislation.
    Finally, I thank the member for Tobique—Mactaquac for bringing this important matter to the House of Commons. By working together in a positive, non-partisan way, we can effect great change for those Canadians who need it.

  (1200)  

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the many positive and encouraging words I have heard this morning on a very important initiative. My colleague and friend has identified an issue that Canadians can also relate to, the issue of accessibility. I am proud of the fact that my home province and home city have shown fairly strong leadership on this issue.
    No doubt been a number of individuals have been assisting my friend in coming up with the wording and building the expectations, even doing a little lobbying. Even I have been approached, and justifiably so. It is a fantastic initiative that ultimately advances a very important issue, and I look forward to seeing the second hour of debate.
    The living environment we find ourselves and our constituents living in is critically important. It is not just individuals who are physically handicapped; it is much broader than that. We should be thinking in terms of housing developments and accessible complexes. It is not just housing units; it is also apartment units and condos.
    I see you are about to stand up, Madam Speaker. I will continue when the matter comes back.
    The hon. member will have eight and a half minutes the next time this matter is before the House.
    The time provided for the consideration of private members' business has now expired, and the order is dropped to the bottom of the order of precedence on the Order Paper.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

Oil Tanker Moratorium Act

[English]

Speaker's Ruling 

    There are two motions in amendment standing on the Notice Paper for the report stage of Bill C-48. Motions numbers 1 and 2 will be grouped for debate and voted upon according to the voting pattern available at the table.

[Translation]

    I will now put Motions Nos. 1 and 2 to the House.

  (1205)  

Motions in Amendment  

    That Bill C-48 be amended by deleting Clause 4.
    That Bill C-48 be amended by deleting Clause 25.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, Canadians are blessed with some of the most spectacular coastlines on the planet. Canadians boast the world's longest coastline, with over 243,000 kilometres—
    Just a moment, please. There seems to be a small technical problem here. Unfortunately, the person who moved the motion needs to go first.
    The hon. member for Carlton—Trail Eagle Creek.
    Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-48 at report stage, which the government has called the “oil tanker moratorium act”. I would assert that this title is misleading, as is the bill to which it is attached.
    In my previous speech in regard to Bill C-48, I made clear how this not about banning the currently non-existent oil tanker traffic in the Dixon Entrance, nor will it affect the tanker traffic that is currently traversing only 100 kilometres off the northwestern coast of British Columbia. Furthermore, nowhere else in Canada is there a ban of this sort.
    The Canada West Foundation, in its submission to the committee studying this proposed act, put it succinctly. It said:
    There are no restrictions on tankers carrying crude and persistent oils from stopping, loading and unloading at ports along any of Canada’s other coastlines, particularly the East Coast or internal waterways, like the St. Lawrence River, where oil tankers regularly travel. Implementing Bill C-48 will send a clear message that it is okay to have oil tanker traffic when it supports refinery jobs in Montreal, Sarnia, Quebec City and Saint John, but not when it supports jobs in Alberta and Saskatchewan tied to the export of western Canadian oil to Asia.
    The Conservatives will not participate in the fantasy that the bill has anything to do with transportation, of which I am the shadow minister. This is precisely why my colleague for Lakeland, who is our shadow minister for natural resources, has taken point and led the discussion surrounding the bill before us.
    Despite objections, it is clear that Bill C-48 is about banning pipelines to tidewater in northern B.C. Of course, the Prime Minister cannot very well pass a bill in Parliament that bans pipelines in one part of British Columbia while supposedly championing another pipeline in the south—thus the charade.
    The government should be forthright with Canadians by bringing forward the bill that the Liberals actually want, which is one banning pipelines in northern British Columbia. That way, they would find out what Canadians really think about their ideological opposition to Canadian oil. Of course, they will never do that. The government does not have the courage to take this to Canadians with the facts laid clear, because they know that their ill-conceived ideas would be absolutely rejected. In fact, I know of one group of Canadians in particular who do not support the government's de facto ban on pipelines in northern British Columbia, and that is the over 30 first nations who supported and stood to benefit from northern gateway.
    When the Prime Minister intervened in the arm's-length, non-political review process and cancelled the northern gateway project, these first nations were taken completely by surprise. In committee we were told that they were excited to hold a significant stake in this important project and secure a better economic future for the members of their bands through the jobs and the financial strength that comes with natural resource development.
    It was estimated that over two dozen first nations invested millions in legal fees to reach agreements with Enbridge to share in the prosperity that northern gateway would bring. However, instead of a generational wealth-generating project, these bands were left empty-handed because of the Prime Minister's political decision.
    The Prime Minister claims that consultation with first nation stakeholders is a priority. However, the underhanded cancellation of northern gateway shows that the government's claim is demonstrably false.
     Many first nation groups do support our oil and gas sector. Eagle Spirit Holdings, for example, is led by the Chiefs Council, which is composed of over 30 first nation communities. We also heard in committee that their goal is to create an energy corridor in northern Alberta and British Columbia that would change the lives of thousands of their band members.
    Eagle Spirit was proposed as an alternative to northern gateway a pipeline that would be owned and managed directly by first nations, with stricter environmental standards than even the highest government recommendations. This project would be the greatest boon to communities along its route.

  (1210)  

     In addition to the thousands of jobs and millions of dollars that the project would generate on a continuing basis, Eagle Spirit would run power lines and fibre optic cable along its path, increasing the quality of life for everyone in the area.
    However, now there is a significant stumbling block for Eagle Spirit, and it is this very bill. That is why the Chiefs Council has taken it upon itself to challenge the oil tanker moratorium bill. I will quote from an article:
    The Chiefs Council represents over 30 communities engaged in the First Nations-led Eagle Spirit energy corridor proposed from Bruderheim, Alberta to tidewater in northern British Columbia. Its members have unextinguished Aboriginal rights and title from time immemorial and continuing into the present, or have treaties over the land and ocean of their traditional territories. Having protected the environment as first-stewards of their traditional territories for millennia, the Chiefs Council is vehemently opposed to American ENGOs dictating government policy in their traditional territories—particularly the illegal imposition of the Great Bear Rainforest and the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act proposed by the Liberal Government.
    Further on the article states:
    We have, and will always, put the protection of the environment first, however, this must be holistically balanced with social welfare, employment, and business opportunities. These government actions harm our communities and deny our leaders the opportunity to create hope and a brighter future for their members.
    The Chiefs Council is challenging this bill because it takes away their ability to create, in their own words, as I quoted earlier, “hope and a brighter future” for those they represent.
     Energy projects are a path to self-sustainability and a better future for many of these bands. Unfortunately, the Liberal government does not agree. There is abundant evidence that the government disapproves of our oil and gas sector. There is the recent revelation that the government is funding protesters against the Trans Mountain pipeline. As well, the government has refused to use its full power to get Trans Mountain built, and the Prime Minister made comments to the French media recently, bemoaning his inability to phase out the industry faster.
     It is clear that the government cares more about signalling its progressiveness, and I used that term loosely, to the rest of the world than it does about results. I say that because if the Liberals cared about reducing carbon emissions worldwide and pursuing policy that is best for the environment, best for women, and best for minorities, they would be championing Canadian oil and gas worldwide whenever possible. No country has the environmental record that Canada has. No country has our commitment to clean production. Of the large oil-producing nations in the world, only the United States and Norway can touch our record on human rights.
    Our oil is ethical, safe to transport, and it can change the lives of thousands of first nations band members who want to pursue that hope and a brighter future. Instead of championing Canada, the Liberal government is allowing the industry to be strangled by a lack of transportation, over-regulation, and overtaxation.
     It may come as no surprise that I will not be supporting this bill. I urge all those in this place to join me in voting against this bill to support the rights of economic self-determination for first nations groups like Eagle Spirit.

  (1215)  

    Madam Speaker, of course, my government is implementing a promise we made in the 2015 election. Our Prime Minister made it very, very clear that one of the promises we would be making in that election was that we would impose a moratorium on oil tanker traffic on the north coast of British Columbia, and we are keeping that promise. In fact, we were elected and that is part of our commitment.
    I find my colleague's comments a bit disingenuous in the sense that, first of all, northern gateway, by the way, in consultation with the previous government, did not sufficiently address indigenous peoples. That is why it was blocked. That is very, very clear, and yet she talks a lot about indigenous peoples. The member failed to mention the many first nations that wholeheartedly support the moratorium. Why did she not mention any of them?
    Madam Speaker, I would put back to the minister that it is a bit rich for him to talk about consultation when we heard in committee that regardless of whether a first nation's community supported the moratorium or not, none of them had been consulted. This was an initiative written into that minister's mandate letter without any consultation with first nations in British Columbia.
    To talk about the Liberals' 2015 election platform where they promised to do this, their platform is basically a list of broken promises. We have seen considerable flexibility on the part of the government to break many of the promises made in its 2015 platform. To say that this particular platform commitment is binding would be the height of hypocrisy from the government.
    Madam Speaker, the member talked about putting the environment first and how that is important to her, and she talked about Canada's record in terms of shipping oil and energy. I live in coastal British Columbia, where we have seen recent failures to deal with spills, whether it be a bunker spill in English Bay or a diesel spill such as the Nathan E. Stewart spill up in Heiltsuk territory. The failure of Canada to be able to address these spills is clearly evident. We also know that the government has not been able to find a way to clean up raw bitumen, and neither has the industry.
    Maybe the member could speak to how she can support increasing tanker traffic and putting tens of thousands of coastal jobs at risk when we have not been able to deal with the spills that have happened currently, never mind shipping raw bitumen.
    Madam Speaker, I would suggest that Bill C-48 would do absolutely nothing for the preservation of British Columbia's environment. This is a symbolic bill. Ships, including U.S. tankers travelling from Alaska to Washington state, would continue to be able to travel up and down the coast just outside the 100-kilometre limit.
    Further, when we talk about Canadian oil production, Canadian oil is extracted and transported under some of the safest and most environmentally strict regulations in the world. I truly believe preventing our Canadian oil resources from reaching customers in other countries only serves to proliferate the use of oil products extracted and transported in a less safe and less environmentally friendly way.
    This is a strange contradiction we see, and I really believe the NDP's view on Canadian oil is that the NDP's opposition to its defeat is the supposed greater goal of protecting the world's environment.
    Madam Speaker, Canadians are blessed with some of the most spectacular coastlines on the planet. Canada boasts the world's longest coastline, over 243,000 kilometres from the Pacific to the Arctic to the Atlantic. In addition to offering exceptional economic development, tourism, and recreational opportunities, Canada's vast coastal waters are home to rare species and precious ecosystems. Our coasts are very special places, particularly for indigenous peoples who have occupied these areas since time immemorial.
    Bill C-48 recognizes that with these gifts provided by our natural coastal spaces, we also assume tremendous responsibility. We have a duty to protect our marine heritage for present and future generations. That responsibility includes safe and clean marine shipping, which is essential to our country's economic growth. Make no mistake, marine transportation is fundamental to Canada's economic well-being. Delivering our products to global markets and receiving goods from other countries is vital to the livelihood of Canadians.

  (1220)  

[Translation]

    The environmental and social aspects of marine transportation are also very important. Freight transportation in these sensitive waters must be done in an environmentally sustainable manner. Canadians expect us to strike a balance between economic growth and environmental protection.

[English]

    This is why the oil tanker moratorium act is so important to Canadians and to this government. Once in effect, this legislation would help protect the pristine waters off British Columbia's northern coast. Let me briefly summarize the key components of this bill, one of the many progressive steps we are talking under the $1.5-billion oceans protection plan.
    The oil tanker moratorium would prohibit oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tons of crude or persistent oils as cargo from stopping, loading, or unloading any of these oils at ports or marine installations in northern British Columbia. I am referring to products such as partially upgraded bitumen, synthetic crude oil, petroleum pitch, and bunker C fuel oil.
    Vessels carrying less than 12,500 metric tons of crude or persistent oil as cargo would also be permitted to stop, load, or unload in the moratorium area. This would allow northern communities to receive critical shipments of heating oils and other products they require. For many communities without road or rail access, the only way to receive products, like liquefied natural gas, propane, gasoline, or jet fuel, is by ship.

[Translation]

    The proposed moratorium area extends from the Alaskan border in the north down to the point on B.C’s mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, including Haida Gwaii. This moratorium will complement the existing voluntary tanker exclusion zone, which has been in place since 1985.
    A key concern is the transfer of crude oil or persistent oil from larger vessels to smaller ones. This bill would prohibit ship-to-ship transfers.

[English]

    Anyone caught trying to elude the moratorium would face stiff fines. The legislation includes strong penalties reaching up to $5 million.
    Equally important, the bill includes flexibility for amendments. For example, products could be added to or removed from the list of banned persistent oils based on science and environmental safety. Environmental safety would be the main consideration for any additions or deletions to the product list through the regulatory process. Once adopted, this legislation would provide a high level of protection for the Canadian coastline around Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound.
     Transport Canada officials and I have been working with marine stakeholders, as well as indigenous and coastal communities to make sure this happens. We have consulted extensively with a wide cross-section of Canadians on how to improve marine safety in Canada and successfully implement the proposed moratorium.
    Since January 2016, we have held roughly 75 engagement sessions to discuss the moratorium, including 21 round tables. Over the same time, my department has also received more than 80 letters and other submissions on the moratorium. In addition, approximately 330 people have provided submissions or comments on Transport Canada's online engagement portal.
    As parliamentarians know, the oceans protection plan includes more than just new measures to improve marine safety and responsible shipping, and to protect Canada's marine environment. It also includes a commitment to create new partnerships with indigenous and coastal communities. Indigenous peoples must have meaningful participation in the marine shipping regime. They must have a seat at the table.
    This makes practical sense. Indigenous peoples along the coast have valuable traditional and local knowledge. They are also often best placed to respond to emergencies. Recognizing this, I held round table and bilateral meetings with first nations on the north and cental coasts of British Columbia to understand their perspectives on the moratorium.
    As my hon. colleagues are undoubtedly aware, the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities also held public hearings on the legislation. I was particularly encouraged by the level of support for the bill at the committee hearings by witnesses representing indigenous peoples, and I would like to thank the various groups that took the time to meet or write and express their views with either me or members of the committee.
    I think it is important to note that there were some groups who would have liked the moratorium to be implemented in a different way or who spoke out against certain elements. We listened to their views and concerns, and we have determined that the right balance is achieved by the proposed legislation which takes a precautionary approach.
    We also met with environmental non-governmental organizations, and they had the opportunity to express themselves. We also met with industry representatives, as the industrial sector has a direct stake in these issues. Representatives of the shipping sector participated in a number of meetings, and provided letters to me. I received correspondence from the Business Council of British Columbia as well. In addition to the participation in round table meetings, representatives from the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta took part in regular bilateral discussions on the moratorium and marine safety.

  (1225)  

[Translation]

    We listened carefully. We listened to stakeholders and Canadians, and their comments formed the basis of this bill. We took careful note of the opinions of Canadians who are directly affected by the proposed moratorium. We are aware that some groups or individuals will think that their concerns were not taken into account, but we believe that this bill strikes a fair balance.

[English]

    The moratorium's parameters are also informed by and based on science. For instance, the moratorium would apply to products known to be the heaviest and that persist the longest when spilled. Crude oils and a range of persistent oils pose the greatest threats to vulnerable marine mammals and ecosystems.
    One does not need to live on Canada's west coast to appreciate the need for a new approach to securing prosperity for Canadians, an approach that protects and preserves the bounty that nature has bestowed upon us. The legislation before us does more than address the needs and concerns of Canadians living in B.C.'s coastal communities; it advances the interests of the entire country.
    The oil tanker moratorium act would mean much tougher laws for shipping and marine transportation, to reduce the adverse impacts of vessel operations on our environment and to better protect Canadians. As importantly, this legislation clearly demonstrates that we can make meaningful progress on both economic and environmental fronts for the betterment of all Canadians. We can ensure the safe, efficient, and secure transportation of goods that create jobs and prosperity while safeguarding the waters that are the very source of life.
    I encourage my hon. colleagues to make the oil tanker moratorium a reality, something that has been proposed and discussed by the Canadian public and in the House of Commons by all parties for years. It is long past time for this necessary and worthy legislation.
    Madam Speaker, we know that diversifying Canada's export market for oil and gas is critical to supporting the continued growth of our economy. Demand for Canadian oil is strongest in the rapidly growing market of the Asia-Pacific region.
    Venezuelan oil in Quebec is okay. Saudi Arabian oil on the east coast is okay. Canadian oil in Vancouver is okay, but not in northern B.C. Why?

  (1230)  

    Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague talked about the importance of oil. That allows me to ask, because I do not think it has been specifically asked to the Conservatives, whether they are going to be supporting the TMX pipeline, which we have very clearly said is important to the national interest. This is an extremely important pipeline. It has 157 conditions attached to it. We are putting in place the oceans protection plan, an unprecedented marine protection plan. However, I have not heard from the Conservative Party on whether it will support, in the national interest, the TMX pipeline.
    Madam Speaker, we certainly will be supporting Bill C-48. We have some concerns, and we have spoken about those concerns. However, the minister speaks of safety and protection of B.C.'s north coast. The minister mentioned the oceans protection plan in his speech. We have concern with this plan, in that there is no way to clean up toxic dilbit. I am wondering if the minister could elaborate on his oceans protection plan as to what technology exists to clean up toxic dilbit.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague's question allows me to talk about what is in the oceans protection plan. There are two parts to it. There is prevention, and then, if there is a need to respond, there is the ability to respond. It is very important to realize that we will be putting a lot of measures in place for prevention. There will be six extra radar stations. We will be working with the first nations along the entire coast of British Columbia, who are often those who know the local waters where a potential incident can occur and are able to respond the most rapidly. We will be providing them with equipment, training, and with awareness of the traffic that is in the zone.
    All of those things will help them to respond. At the same time, we are working to be in a position, when the TMX goes forward, to respond efficiently to any possible spill of dilbit. We believe that with the oceans protection plan, the chances are very minimal. However, if something should occur, we will have the necessary infrastructure and response capability in place to respond quickly and efficiently.
    Madam Speaker, I am going to reframe the question from my colleague, because the minister chose not to answer it.
    In the opposition, we are trying to understand the philosophy of the government with respect to energy infrastructure. The government is explicitly making it impossible to proceed with one pipeline while it has said it is supportive of the Trans Mountain pipeline, even while it is funding opponents of it. The government is okay with certain kinds of tankers, particularly if they are transporting Saudi oil or Venezuelan oil, but not Canadian oil.
    Could the minister tell the House what the difference is between allowing Canadian oil to be exported versus having Alaskan oil there? What is the difference between the pipeline that the government has approved, even though it is not doing anything to develop it, and this northern gateway pipeline? Does the minister have any coherent—?
    I did say to pose a quick question.
    The hon. Minister of Transport, can you provide a quick answer, please?
    Madam Speaker, I will try to provide a quick answer.
    We are in fact the only government that is trying to get a pipeline built to tidal water, something that the Conservatives under Harper were totally unable to do. I do not know why the member does not understand the fact that if we get a—
    An hon. member: Why not answer the question, Marc? Just talk about the issue. Answer the question.
    —pipeline to tidal water, we will be able to get world prices and help the Alberta economy. We feel very strongly that it is the national interest to do so. It is not very complicated.
    I want to remind the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan that no one interrupted him, except for me when he was over his time.
    As well, if the member for Edmonton West wishes to ask a question, he should get up and be recognized within the timelines.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Port Moody—Coquitlam.

  (1235)  

    Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise to support Bill C-48, the north coast tanker ban. It has been a legislative priority of Canada's NDP for over a decade, and we welcome the Liberals finally taking action on this pressing issue. The NDP is pleased that the Liberal government is finally taking action to protect the north coast from crude oil tanker traffic. However, we are concerned that Bill C-48 would give the minister too much arbitrary power to exempt vessels from the ban and define what fuels are covered under the act. We hope the government will implement constructive amendments to limit ministerial power and increase spill response resources. We were also very concerned about the lack of consultation with first nations.
    I want to give a little background about the moratorium. It is part of the government's oceans protection plan that was announced in November 2016. I have already brought up some of my concerns with the OPP. For example, the technology to clean up dilbit has not been identified and does not exist, yet we are still pursuing projects that would carry dilbit to our coast. If that were spilled in our oceans, that would have very devastating consequences. Bill C-48 proposes an oil tanker moratorium that extends from the Canada–U.S. border in the north, to the point of B.C.'s mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, including Haida Gwaii.
    Oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil or persistent oil as cargo would be prohibited from mooring, anchoring, or loading or unloading any of the oil at a port or marine installation in the moratorium area. The bill would also prohibit vessels and persons from transporting crude oil or persistent oil from an oil tanker to a port or marine installation within the moratorium area to circumvent the prohibition.
    In order to allow for community and industry supply, Bill C-48 would permit the shipment of amounts below 12,500 tonnes. This is still a huge amount of oil that could be transported on that coast. However, the bill would prevent large oil tanker ships from traversing the waters. The bill includes in its administration enforcement regime, reporting requirements, marine inspection powers, and penalties up to $5 million. That is a very insignificant amount, but it is a penalty nonetheless. Multiple private members' bills have been proposed in the past to protect the north coast, including mine. Back in 2011, there was Bill C-211.
    Here are some facts about other impacts that the coast has had. Obviously, the most known is the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill on the coast, which was a catastrophic spill. The spill cleanup and coastal recovery cost $9.5 billion, of which Exxon paid only $3.5 billion. Twenty years after the spill, fish habitat and stock still have not fully recovered. An oil spill of this sort would be devastating to wild salmon, marine mammals, birds, and coastal forest, including the Great Bear Rainforest. It would devastate coastal economies by jeopardizing tourism, commercial fishing, and first nations fishing.
    We also know about the recent sinking of the Nathan E. Stewart fuel barge, which shows that navigation in these waters can be extremely hazardous and dangerous, and what damage can be caused by even a minor spill. The Nathan E. Stewart ran aground in the early hours of October 13, 2016 near Bella Bella, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. The vessel eventually sank, spilling as much as 110,000 litres of diesel into the marine environment. Cleanup efforts were repeatedly hampered by bad weather, and the vessel was not recovered until a month after it sank. We were lucky that the vessel was not full to its maximum capacity, which likely prevented more extensive damage.

  (1240)  

    A north coast tanker ban is popular in British Columbia. Polls show that 79% of people in the province support a ban on oil tanker traffic in B.C.'s inside coastal waters. That was back in 2011, but if anything, it has gained strength since then.
    The ban prevents the creation of disastrous pipelines like the Enbridge northern gateway, which would have run 1,177 kilometres from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C., at the head of the Douglas Channel. The westbound pipeline was to carry up to 525,000 barrels of diluted bitumen per day, meaning that up 220 oil tankers a year would have to navigate the waters of the Great Bear Rainforest to export the diluted bitumen to foreign markets.
    The waters off the B.C. north coast are a significant salmon migration route. Millions of salmon come from the more than 650 streams and rivers along the coast. The impact of a simple oil spill would be catastrophic. The commercial fishery on the north coast catches over $100 million worth of fish per year, more than 2,500 residents along B.C.'s north coast work in the commercial fishery, and the fish processing industry employs thousands more.
    The beauty of this region and the abundance of the salmon, whales, and other marine mammals have made it a world-renowned destination for ecotourism. The tourism industry has played a major role for employment, economic growth, and opportunity in B.C.'s coastal communities. Business in this region has worked hard to promote its location as a major tourist destination.
    The west coast wilderness tourism industry is now estimated to be worth over $782 million annually, employing 26,000 people full time and roughly 40,000 in total. B.C.'s north shoreline is dotted with sport fishing lodges, as fishing enthusiasts take part in the world-famous fishery. People are amazed after spending even a day kayaking, bear watching, or enjoying a guided tour on B.C.'s northwest coast.
    We know the importance of the coastline on the north coast. I want to turn now to the south coast, and how the people in the south of British Columbia on Canada's west coast find the amazing ocean economy and potential of the marine ecosystem just as important as that of the north coast. They are concerned about a similar project, the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion.
    To give a little background information, this expansion project would include building a new pipeline and constructing 12 new pump stations, 19 new storage tanks, and three new marine berths at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burrard Inlet, which is near my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam and Anmore and Belcarra. Most of the pipeline oil would be destined for the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, where it would be loaded onto oil tankers that would navigate past Vancouver, the Gulf Islands, and through the Juan de Fuca Strait before reaching open ocean. The expansion would mean a sevenfold increase in oil tanker traffic from the Westridge terminal, from around 60 oil tankers to more than 400 per year.
    I will give a quick update on that proposal, because it is very much a concern to many in British Columbia and in Canada.
    Kinder Morgan has met less than half of the 157 required National Energy Board conditions. One-third of the final route has not been approved. Now the company is begging for relief on many conditions and wants to delay detailed route hearings. What this tells us in Parliament is that they are very concerned about what is happening on our coast.
     Our coastal economy, community, and marine environment are very important. Salmon and whales are critical to our way of life, to west coast Canada, and to British Columbia. People are speaking out. They are very concerned. Yes, they want to find an economy that works, but one that works in tune with keeping our salmon, whales, and marine environment as intact as possible. Projects such as the northern gateway proposal and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain proposal would have a direct impact on that economy and on those features that make us British Columbians and keep us Canadian.

  (1245)  

    In conclusion, we welcome the Liberal government finally taking action to defend the north coast from oil tanker traffic. However, we are concerned that the loopholes in the legislation might be enough to drive an oil tanker through. Therefore, the government must adopt the amendments. The bill does nothing to protect the coast from spills of refined oil, and the government needs to work on that.
    Madam Speaker, it is not going to surprise my colleague that we have some substantial disagreements about pipeline policy. I think probably we would both feel that there is certain lack of consistency from the government on the other end, and he spoke about the issue of Trans Mountain pipeline. Our party supports the northern gateway project and we support the Trans Mountain pipeline, because we see these as projects that bring energy resources to the coast. We see them creating export and economic opportunities for Canada. We also believe that Canada's high standard of environmental rules and performance compares favourably with the other countries that are selling oil to Canada or that are exporting oil along our coasts from Alaska.
    I wonder if the member would be inclined to agree with me that there is an inconsistency in terms of government policy, and that there is a lack of rationale for why it says it supports one pipeline but not the other. I think it should support both. I know he thinks it should support neither. Does he have any thoughts on the lack of clarity around how the government actually decides which projects it is going to support and which projects it will not?
    Madam Speaker, I think consistency is critical. I came from local government before my term here as an MP, and I know that businesses, community members, and individuals absolutely want to know what the rules are. They want to know that they are consistently applied. They want that to be transparent. They want governments at all levels to be very transparent about what those rules are. Therefore, I agree that there should be consistency.
     Obviously, we are on the opposite side of the fence when it comes to oil tanker traffic and pipeline proposals when there is not a fair process applied, when first nations have not been consulted properly, and when environmental assessments are inadequate.
    The member mentioned what energy alternatives could look like. I think, as do Canada's New Democrats, that we should be exploring hydro power, tidal power, solar energy, geothermal energy, and working with our cities right across this country and our diverse regions to explore those options.
    Madam Speaker, I believe that there is consistency and that the government has been very straightforward right from the beginning when taking office two years ago. Because of that consistency, unlike the Harper government, we have actually been successful in dealing with the environment and our oceans and ensuring that there is a pipeline. There have been consultations. Members across the way do not make reference to the many different indigenous groups that are in favour of what the government is doing and are in support of it.
    The problem in the House, as I see it, is that the NDP policy is that the best type of pipeline is no pipeline. The New Democrats do not believe in pipeline expansion. They would prolong any sort of process just to kill the potential markets, not realizing how important it is for the national interest to have a pipeline. The Conservatives, on the other hand, completely disregard any idea of consultation and the environment.
    I believe that we have done well as a government. Therefore, I specifically ask the member this: where is it that he believes there is no policy, when in fact we know there is a policy?
    Madam Speaker, I think the issues that I brought up in my speech would answer that question. Hopefully, the member was listening. I talked about ministerial discretion, which gives the minister the power to make huge changes and amendments. There is no time limit in terms of when those decisions could end. Therefore, a minister in a new government could reverse the entire point and purpose of this oil tanker ban on the north coast. That is a huge discrepancy under the oceans protection plan.
     I previously asked the Minister of Transport how, if the northern gateway project were to go through, it would go about cleaning up dilbit. The technology does not exist. The transport minister could not answer.
    Canada's New Democrats have been clear. We need to transition to a low-carbon economy immediately and start to work with our provinces, territories, and municipalities at exploring other options and ramping up hydro power, tidal power, geothermal energy, and solar energy. There are so many other examples that could get us to that low-carbon economy.

  (1250)  

    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to support Bill C-48, a bill to legislate a permanent tanker ban along British Columbia's north coast. I also have amendments that I hope will still pass, which I brought before the committee.
    I find the debate about this tanker ban to take place, as often happens, in sort of a miasma of amnesia. It is important for Canadians to know that we are now legislating a tanker ban that was honoured and in effect from 1972 until Stephen Harper chose to imagine it away. From 1972 until at least 2012, every federal and provincial government had accepted, as did our courts, that there was a moratorium against crude oil tankers along B.C.'s north coast, particularly in Hecate Strait, Dixon Entrance, and Queen Charlotte Sound.
    Just for the purpose of giving us our bearings, I want to revisit how that tanker ban came to be in effect and the implications today when we look at data about the safety of transiting B.C.'s north coast and the importance of recognizing that the tanker ban was in place from 1972 until, as I said, Stephen Harper chose to ignore it.
    That tanker ban was put in place in 1972 by former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. It was as a result of an immediate threat to the B.C. north coast, primarily from a proposed expansion of oil tanker traffic from Alaska to the Juan de Fuca Strait.
    Now, there was a backbencher in the Liberal ranks who went on to become the minister of fisheries, the minister of environment, and so on. At that point, Dave Anderson was a backbencher from a riding that was not yet called Victoria, but that is where he was. I think it was called Esquimalt—Saanich at the time. In any case, Dave Anderson was a backbencher MLA who was also simultaneously involved with environmental groups in a lawsuit in the U.S. to try to get the newly minted National Environmental Policy Act on the U.S. side of the border to have a mandatory, thorough environmental review of the threat of Alaska oil tanker traffic bound for Juan de Fuca and what that would mean for the B.C. north coast.
    David Anderson, Liberal MLA, went to Pierre Trudeau, Liberal prime minister, and put it to him that the case to protect the north coast of B.C. depended quite a lot on Canada federally exerting a policy that it would not put its tankers through there either. It was important for the legal case south of the border and it was important in principle.
    I would like to see a tanker ban on any tanker carrying dilbit because, as my other hon. colleagues have already pointed out, there is no technology to clean up dilbit, but I want to hold our attention for a moment on what was happening in 1972.
    I know a lot of hon. members are not from the B.C. coast, but if they look at a map, they will see why it is particularly important not to have any oil tanker traffic this area. Being originally from Cape Breton, I am often asked why there is no tanker ban on the Atlantic coast and why it only happened on the B.C. coast. It is all about the specifics of an extremely turbulent, active ocean in those places and the presence offshore of a land mass. Therefore, any spill that occurred along the Hecate Strait, Dixon Entrance, and Queen Charlotte Sound would create an oil spill that not only would not float out to sea but would go back and forth, between striking the coasts of Haida Gwaii, which we then called the Queen Charlotte Islands, and backing up to hit the coast of British Columbia. It was a specific geographical threat that continues to this day. I think it is the second most active ocean current on the planet, according to Environment Canada data from the time.
    David Anderson was able to convince Pierre Trudeau to put in place a tanker ban. It stayed in place from 1972 until 2012.
    What is the significance of that? It means that every time people proposing oil tanker traffic along our coast point to the safety and the safety record, the safety record has something to do with the fact that we have not allowed crude oil tankers through those waters since 1972. That has something to do with the great record of not having had oil spills: it is because we do not allow the oil tankers there. We have not since 1972.

  (1255)  

    This piece of legislation does what the Liberals promised. I heard my hon. colleague from Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek making the suggestion that they break so many promises, why not break this one too. I do not want to go in that direction. I want to thank them and approve and applaud when the Liberals keep a promise. This is an important promise. It is a legislated tanker ban that meets the goals of decades of commitments to protect those northern waters. What particularly important nation are we also protecting? It is the Haida Nation.
    The member talked about how first nations were consulted. There were extensive consultations before the 1972 tanker moratorium. The Haida Nation particularly, which has the most at stake, as well as coastal nations on the other side, along the mainland of Canada, has been consistent for decades that it does not not want tankers in its territorial waters. The Haida Nation is right. The threat is far too dangerous. Crude oil along that coastline would despoil traditional fishing, not to mention tourism and other economic benefits.
    This is not a tanker ban that came out of the blue. That is my main point so far. This is not something the current Prime Minister invented for an election platform. This would fulfill a commitment made in 1972 and finally give it legal teeth.
     It could be better. There is no question about that. For instance, we have had spills that were devastating from much smaller vessels that would still be allowed under this ban. Everyone knows about the really disastrous spill from the Nathan E. Stewart running aground off Bella Bella. It was certainly well below the limit that would be allowed under this bill. It had a huge impact on the Heiltsuk Nation. Chief Marilyn Slett has described it as a complete disaster for that nation, that community, those waters, and those species. That was well below the 12,500 metric tons that would be permissible under this bill. I would really prefer to see a 2,000-metric-ton threshold, which was actually initially in the Transport Canada discussion paper put forward. It was widely supported to hold it to a 2,000-metric-ton threshold.
     It is true that in the outer waters, those U.S. tankers could still move, but that is the point. We are protecting the historically significant internal waters of Canada that have been protected since 1972.
    Having had this moratorium for so long, the waters there have been protected from crude oil. However, in the intervening time since 1972, we have had an entirely different product proposed for shipment. The different product is bitumen mixed with diluent, which cannot be cleaned up. That is the best scientific advice we have in Canada from numerous studies that have been peer reviewed. Bitumen, which is a solid, is only mixed with diluent to make it flow through a pipeline. It is a unique carrying mechanism. It is not a product. Bitumen is the product; diluent is added only to make it flow through a pipeline.
    It really cannot be overstated in this place, for members who are not as deeply immersed as many of us in British Columbia are in the multitude of reasons the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion is not a good idea for Canada, that bitumen mixed with diluent cannot be cleaned up. The diluent, which is a fossil fuel condensate like naphtha, butane, and benzene, is added just to make the solid material, bitumen, flow through a pipeline. At the other end, it gets loaded onto a tanker. Wherever the tanker goes, maybe to a refinery in some other country, taking Canadian jobs with it and away from refineries in Canada, the diluent then needs to be pulled out of the material, because it is not commercially valuable at that point. The product then goes back to solid bitumen, and they have to upgrade the solid bitumen and put it through a refinery.
    The oceans protection plan is still not a plan. One of my constituents, the Hon. Pat Carney, who is the former minister of energy, says that it is an oceans protection wish list. We would like to see a plan. We know it is a $1.5-billion promise. We do not know how many millions are supposed to be spent on the Pacific, how many millions on the Arctic Ocean, and how many millions on B.C. oceans. We do not know.
    As we look at Bill C-48, I still hope to see amendments so we can be more protective of our coastlines. I will vote for Bill C-48 and I will defend it as the continuation of a tanker ban we have had in place since 1972.

  (1300)  

    
    Madam Speaker, we may disagree on policy in this place. That is why we have this place. Ostensibly, we can debate and work things out and come up with better public policy.
    At one time my colleague castigated me on parliamentary decorum. I would just love to give her an opportunity to tell this place and Canadians if she thinks it was parliamentary to wilfully break the law and disregard the rule of law in terms of her incident at the Kinder Morgan site in British Columbia.
    Madam Speaker, parliamentary decorum occurs in this place. I do not think choosing to use incendiary language or to be disrespectful to other members is helpful in this place. That is why I have never heckled, not once. I maintain parliamentary decorum.
    I respect the rule of law. I am very keen to see what the Federal Court of Appeal will be saying about the 15 court cases challenging the legality of Kinder Morgan's permits.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her historical perspective as well as a very timely perspective today.
    There has been some talk of governments, whether it be the Alberta government or the federal government, bailing out this Texas-owned pipeline to the point of several billions of dollars. I have heard anywhere from $2 billion to $9 billion. Could the member comment on what taxpayers might think is a better use if the government was going to invest between $2 billion and $9 billion in the oil industry?
    Madam Speaker, it is absolutely astonishing that the federal government would consider giving any money whatsoever to a Houston-based pipeline company with a very dubious record on environmental performance.
    By the way, Richard Kinder, the founder, was the vice-president of Enron. A good number of the executives at Kinder Morgan are alumni of Enron, which was, of course, found historically guilty of fraud, scams, and con games galore. Richard Kinder found himself not in jail, like some of his colleagues at the end of the Enron disaster, but owning Enron Liquid Pipelines. Enron Liquid Pipelines became Kinder Morgan, and it bought Trans Mountain, another company run by a Canadian company, Trans Mountain, from the early fifties. That is another historical glitch. Kinder Morgan has appropriated the safety record of a different company shipping a different product in the 1950s.
    There is no worse way to spend federal public revenue than by giving it to Kinder Morgan.
    Madam Speaker, one of the election commitments the government made in the lead-up to October was that we would bring in a moratorium, understanding and appreciating that the public desire is to see a government deal with our oceans and protect them, whether it is with the investment of literally hundreds of millions of dollars or the moratorium. This is, in fact, a commitment to fulfill a promise to Canadians.
    I am wondering if my colleague could provide her thoughts on why these are important commitments.

  (1305)  

    Madam Speaker, it is important to keep every promise.
    Democracy is fragile, and many Canadians and many voters in democracies around the world have a declining level of respect for people like us, because they watch politicians make promises, and they get into office and break them. Every single broken promise is a gamble on the future of democracy. Will the voter who believed the promise that 2015 would be the last election held under first past the post feel like voting again with that being a broken promise?
    Every promise matters. I think keeping this promise, legislating the tanker ban for the northern B.C. coast, is one that is historic and significant.
    Without any partisan spin whatsoever, I thank the government, the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Transport for bringing this in. Please, go back to keeping some of the other promises.
    I just want to remind the member to address the questions and comments to the Chair. Resuming debate.
    Madam Speaker, today I will address the oil tanker moratorium act, and in particular, its impacts on indigenous peoples and communities that support responsible resource development.
    Bill C-48 is not really about the protection of coastlines or marine ecology. It is actually only a ban on Canadian oil development and exports, on the oil sands, and on pipelines. It is an attack on the hundreds of thousands of energy workers across the country, on one industry, and on one product.
    Bill C-48 specifically and only prohibits the on- and off-loading of tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tonnes of crude and persistent oils at ports or marine installations along B.C.'s north coast. It does not target any other vessels of comparable capacity carrying any other product, or vessels of any size, which have similar volumes of fuel on board to operate. It does not even enforce the 100-kilometre voluntary exclusion zone, in the region since 1985.
    It only applies to one coast, not to any other Canadian coasts or ports where tankers of all products and from all countries travel regularly. Its intent is clearly to permanently prevent vital energy infrastructure in the region, denying any potential for oil exports to the Asia-Pacific from there, which could expand market access for Canada and reduce Canada's near complete dependence on the United States as a customer for Canadian oil.
    Diversifying Canada's exports is crucial now, as the U.S. ramps up production to secure its own domestic supply and rapidly escalates its own crude oil exports after removing the 40-year ban. It is estimated that the U.S. will supply 80% of the world's growing global demand for oil in the next five years, while the Liberals force Canada's oil to remain mostly landlocked.
    Bill C-48 is also all about politics. It was a predetermined and foregone conclusion for partisan purposes entirely. The Prime Minister instructed its imposition in mandate letters to ministers only 24 days after the 2015 election. Despite all the Liberal rhetoric about consultation, science, and evidence-based, objective decision-making founding policy and legislation, that is not enough time to undertake comprehensive community or indigenous consultations. That is not enough time for thorough safety and environmental assessments, with an analysis of best practices, gaps, and opportunities for improvement; comparison, contrast, and benchmarking against other countries; or local, regional, provincial, and national economic impact assessments and the consideration of consequences. That is because the motivation was actually a political calculation to hold NDP, Green, and left-wing votes for the Liberals in B.C, which helped them win in 2015.
    However, Bill C-48, while confined to one geographical area, will have profound negative impacts for all of Canada, on confidence in Canadian energy investment and development overall, and on Canada's ability to be a global leader and contributor in energy regulation, production, technology, service, supply, expertise, and exports to the world.
     Reaching tidewater in all directions for Canada's oil and gas should be a top priority for the Liberals, but their track record so far has been to eliminate the only two opportunities for stand-alone pipelines to tidewater in recent history in Canada.
    One was the energy east pipeline, which was abandoned after a billion dollars invested and years of review before it could even make it out of the regulatory mess the Liberals created because they changed the rules and added a last-minute, double standard condition for downstream emissions that does not apply to foreign oil or to any other infrastructure in any other sector.
    The other was the northern gateway pipeline, which was initiated in 2002 and had actually been approved, with 209 conditions, under the previous Conservative government, in 2014. After a Supreme Court ruling that there was insufficient indigenous consultation by the crown, the Liberals could have ordered additional months and scope for expanded consultation, just as they did with the Trans Mountain expansion application, which started in 2013 and was under way when they announced a complete overhaul for major Canadian energy projects in 2016. However, that option was not offered for northern gateway. Instead, the Prime Minister outright vetoed it, even though it was reviewed under the exact same process, with the exact same evidence, as the other projects the Liberals announced were approved the same day, including Trans Mountain and the Line 3 replacement.
     The Liberal government's decision to kill the northern gateway was a massive blow for expanded market access for Canadian oil. It was obviously a loss for energy producers in northern Alberta, for workers in the industrial heartland and Bruderheim, which is where the northern gateway would have started, inside the western boundary of Lakeland, as well as for workers who would have constructed and then maintained the pipeline through operations across Alberta and B.C. It was a loss for potential oil terminal, refinery, and deep water port workers near Kitimat, never mind of billions of dollars in investment and revenue for all levels of government.
    However, there is another aspect of that veto of the northern gateway that is just as devastating. Thirty-one first nations and Métis communities were partners with mutual benefit agreements, worth more than $2 billion, in northern gateway, including skills and labour development opportunities.

  (1310)  

    In Lakeland and around Alberta, indigenous peoples are very active in oil and gas across the value chain: in upstream exploration and production; in service, supply, and technology contracting; and in pipeline operations. They support pipelines because that infrastructure is as crucial to the lifeblood of their communities, for jobs, education, and social benefits, as anywhere else.
    Elmer Ghostkeeper of the Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement in Lakeland said, “Equity was offered to aboriginal communities, and with the change in government that was all taken away.... We are very disappointed.” Ghostkeeper pointed out that 71% of the communities along the proposed right of way looked forward to taking part in construction and in the long-term benefits. All that was destroyed by the Prime Minister. They were not consulted about it.
    Bill C-48 would put a nail in the coffin of the $7.9-billion northern gateway pipeline and all its employment and economic and social benefits for indigenous and all Canadians, now and in the future.
    However, it gets even worse. The $16-billion Eagle Spirit pipeline project could be one of the biggest private infrastructure investments in Canadian history, with meaningful revenue generation, business, employment, education, training, capacity-building opportunities, and long-term economic self-sufficiency for indigenous communities. From Bruderheim to Grassy Point, the Eagle Spirit pipeline project is supported by 35 indigenous communities, every single one along the corridor. Its proponents have been working for six years to secure that support, even from communities that opposed northern gateway, and to exceed regulatory requirements, including exceptional environmental protection, land and marine management, and spill prevention and response.
     In 2015, community leaders said what the project meant to them. On behalf of elders, Jack White said, “We like the fact that the Eagle Spirit project put the environment first. Many of our elders are in need and we want our legacy to our children to offer something more that gives them opportunities.”
     Youth representative Corey Wesley said, “There are no opportunities for young people in our community. We want a better way of life with real jobs and business prospects so we too can offer our future kids more hope.”
     Deputy mayor of the Lax Kw'alaams band and matriarch Helen Johnson said, “Eagle Spirit has widespread support in our community because it shows a real way forward for our members.”
    Eagle Spirit's Chiefs Council says the tanker ban is a government action that would “harm our communities and deny our leaders the opportunity to create hope and a brighter future for their members“, which all Canadians take for granted. The Premier of Northwest Territories said almost the exact same thing about the impact on the people he represents of the Liberals' five-year ban on northern offshore oil and gas drilling.
    The Prime Minister often says that the relationship with Canada's indigenous people is the most important to him. He says he wants “an opportunity to deliver true, meaningful and lasting reconciliation between Canada and First Nations, the Métis Nation, and Inuit peoples”. However, for the second time, on a pipeline to tidewater, he is actively denying opportunities for dozens of indigenous communities. They say he did not consult them before he ordered the tanker ban.
    The Eagle Spirit Chiefs Council says that the tanker ban and the creation of the concept of the Great Bear Rainforest were “promoted largely through the lobbying of foreign-financed ENGOs”. The Eagle Spirit chairman says, “they know nothing about our area, they know nothing about our regions. And they're telling us what we've got to do because it's in their financial interest to do so.” It is “without the consultation and consent of First Nations,” which are “opposed to government policy being made by foreigners when it impacts their ability to help out their own people.”
    He says, “We don't need trust fund babies coming into our community...creating parks in our backyard when our people are literally starving”, with 90% unemployment.
    I suggest that actual reconciliation involves employment and business opportunities, social welfare, and benefits through economic prosperity, like what is offered by Eagle Spirit, which would ensure environmental protection and benefits for all of Canada.
    Eagle Spirit's chairman says, “This is an important issue for Canadians. If you look at what's happening with the oil industry, Canadians are losing $50 million a day. It's about $40 a barrel over four years in margin to the refineries in the U.S. What other country in the world would give away the value of these resources like that? It makes no sense, and it's harming people in northern Alberta and northern B.C. and the chiefs are going to do something about it.”
     He is echoed by B.C. MLA and former Haisla chief councillor Ellis Ross, who says, “The more sickening thing for me is that these people who oppose development in Canada truly believe they win when they defeat a project.... Actually, you don't win. It's just that the United States buys the Canadian product at a discount and sells it on the international market.”
     The tanker ban is a deliberate and dangerous roadblock to Canadian oil exports. It is detrimental to the livelihoods of Canadians everywhere. It would put very real limits on Canada's future and standard of living, with disproportionately harmful outcomes for certain communities and regions. The Liberals should withdraw it.

  (1315)  

    Madam Speaker, when the minister spoke in the chamber a little earlier, he said that one does not need to live on B.C.'s coast in order to appreciate what this particular act would do. My daughter, who is an Earth Rangers ambassador, raised thousands of dollars for the Oregon spotted frog. Our young people understand the importance of protecting our environment. This moratorium would provide the highest level of environmental protection for B.C.'s northern coast.
    We have approved pipelines to tidewater. We understand that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. Would the member not say that there are employment opportunities and business opportunities available through the multi-billion dollar clean tech industry that is booming, not just here in Canada but around the world?
    Madam Speaker, the Conservatives support responsible development of all kinds of energy, in all sectors, across all provinces for the benefit of all of Canada. However, it is important for this discussion to be fact-based in the consideration of the risks, costs, and benefits associated with this legislation, which was imposed without sufficient consultation with local communities and with indigenous Canadians.
    The evidence is that tankers have safely and regularly transported crude oil from Canada's west coast since the 1930s, and there have not been any tanker navigational issues or incidents in about 50 years in the Port of Vancouver. The previous Conservative government implemented a suite of strong measures to create a world-class tanker safety system. It modernized Canada's navigation system, enhanced response planning and marine safety capacity for first nations communities, and ensured that polluters paid for spills and damages on all coasts. Canada has industry-leading regulations with standards that are well beyond those of other jurisdictions on all aspects of tanker safety, pipeline safety, prevention, and response. The Liberals have made additional investments to that end, which we recognize.
    Tankers and pipelines are safe in Canada and are critical to future prosperity.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, a number of people mentioned the wreck of the Nathan E. Stewart, which caused a spill of over 100,000 litres of diesel fuel. It is a disaster. Imagine if a supertanker caused an even worse spill on the coast.
    Are the Conservatives not worried about the potential dangers of such spills in high-risk areas?

[English]

    We should be discussing the legislation that is actually at hand. I am going to read a statement by the nine tribes of Lax Kw'alaams, which oppose the tanker ban. They say:
     We have unextinguished Aboriginal rights and title from time immemorial and continuing into the present within the land and ocean of our traditional territories...;
    We have protected the environment as first-stewards of our traditional territories for over 13,000 years;
    We have and will always, put the protection of the environment first, but this must be holistically balanced with community, social, employment, business and other priorities;
    We absolutely do not support big American environmental NGO’s (who make their money from opposing natural resource projects) dictating government policy and resource developments within our traditional territories;
    When such projects are environmentally acceptable and essential to meeting our non-environmental needs (such as the Eagle Spirit Energy Pipeline project) such foreign interference serves only to perpetuate the rampant poverty and dysfunction encouraged by previous colonial policies;
    We should listen to these indigenous people, who have been in that area, who support environmental protection, and who have managed their land, ocean, and habitat responsibly. They oppose the tanker ban, and they want the Eagle Spirit pipeline.

  (1320)  

    Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague from Lakeland referenced the decision to abort the energy east pipeline and blamed the government for that. Energy east was being built by the same company, TransCanada, that is also building Keystone. It made a business decision that two pipelines, both shipping bitumen diluted with diluent for export, could not be supported by the market. It picked one, and it picked Keystone. Would my colleague not agree?
    Energy is the most regulated industry in Canada by all three levels of government. The fiscal regulatory decisions set by governments are the business decisions made by energy companies in this country. TransCanada had committed to proceed with the energy east pipeline until one month before, after extended delays, rule changes, disbanding the panels, re-appointments, and a last-minute condition of applying downstream emissions to that project. That is why TransCanada abandoned the energy east pipeline, which was the only opportunity into the east coast for shipping to the European market and for securing Canada's domestic supply. That is exactly because of the Liberals' decisions.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased and proud to take part in today's discussions about implementing an oil tanker moratorium—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. There is some going back and forth. When speakers had the floor a while ago, they were provided with respect and other people were able to hear what they were saying. I would request the same for the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville.
    Resuming debate, the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville.
    Madam Speaker, again, I am proud and pleased to take part in today's discussions about implementing an oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia's northern coast. Canada has the largest coastline in the world, and we are so proud of it.
    I had an opportunity here to listen to the debate and hear from the opposition parties. What I heard was a lot of selective information toward building a pipeline and toward tankers, or with regard to the environment, the history, and the moratorium that has been in place on the coast since 1972.
    We have taken a fair and balanced approach to this. Through our extensive consultation, we have been able to land in the right spot, when we think about what is in the best interests of Canada and Canadians.
    I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the efforts made by the government and its partners to reach the decision to implement this moratorium. It is important to remember that, with this bill, the Government of Canada is honouring its commitment to Canadians. This was a commitment we made in the 2015 election campaign. Formalizing this moratorium and improving marine safety are among the priorities set out in the mandate letter from the Prime Minister to the Minister of Transport.
    We believe it is essential to protect the environment, in this case a particularly sensitive environment in northern B.C., while also developing a strong economy. It is just as important to note that the decision to impose this moratorium is the outcome of vast consultation. I understand that over 75 meetings took place through the Ministry of Transport and the minister's office, as well as committee meetings, and I will talk about some of the other initiatives that were taken for consultation. Our government is committed to pursuing its objectives in a spirit of renewed collaboration. I want to thank the minister and the committee for all the work they did with their stakeholder engagement.
    We firmly believe it is essential to maintain and enhance our relationships with the provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, as well as with indigenous groups, in order to bring about concrete positive changes. We therefore undertook these consultations when the government first announced its intentions to adopt a legislative framework to formalize the moratorium.
    The first meetings were held in British Columbia, where the minister brought together representatives from non-governmental organizations dedicated to environmental protection, representatives from first nations, and representatives from industry and local communities on the ground. Discussions were held across the country, in Iqaluit, St. John's, Montreal, and Calgary, to name only a few of the locations.
    It was important to bring together Canadians with differing opinions on the moratorium. The government took care to include various stakeholders from different settings, namely the marine community, the oil and gas industry, environmental groups, provincial and municipal governments, Canadians from across the country, and first nations. In total, Transport Canada organized 16 round tables and over 30 bilateral and multilateral meetings in order to involve all Canadians in improving marine safety, which includes discussions about the moratorium on oil tankers.
    With the aim of extending the discussion further and enabling those who were unable to attend those meetings, because we have such a vast land, Transport Canada set up a web portal. Many letters from Canadians were also forwarded to the department. Overall, nearly 5,000 users visited the online portal. Of them, 330 provided comments or submitted documents. Most of those comments were about the moratorium that is the subject of today's debate. It is obvious that Canadians wanted to be heard, and they were heard. I can assure members that this was done. We not only listened very closely to the concerns of our partners and Canadians about the matter, but we also took steps to meet their expectations.
    A number of stakeholders expressed concerns, for example, about the moratorium's potential impact on transporting supplies for the communities and industries on British Columbia's coast.

  (1325)  

    Resupply is vital to their welfare. It does not matter if it is a tourism operation or any other type of business employing many people in the area, we want to ensure that they continue to be viable and have the resources required for their communities and the industries there. They will continue to receive those shipments of petroleum products. The government ensured that the proposed legislation would allow resupply to continue. We set a threshold of 12,500 tonnes of crude oil and persistent oil in a tanker's cargo spaces. The resupply of communities and industries would therefore not be affected by this proposed moratorium.
    Some stakeholders clearly pointed out that they also want to ensure that the moratorium is transformed into action by an act of parliament. That is precisely what we are doing here today. Their voices are being heard. We are doing the people's work.
    During the Canada-wide discussions, concerns were raised about marine safety. The stakeholders found that the Canadian Coast Guard lacks resources, including salvage tugs. Stakeholders also raised concerns about the time required to respond to an incident. The oceans protection plan will allay those concerns by giving the Canadian Coast Guard a greater role when it comes to patrols and monitoring the marine environment. The Coast Guard is also going to have increased towing capacity. Through the oceans protection plan, we have created a world-leading marine safety system that improves responsible shipping and protects Canada's waters, including new preventative and response measures. We are investing $1.5 billion into priority areas for ocean protection, investing in oil spill cleanup research and methods to ensure that decisions taken in emergencies are evidence based.
    A number of stakeholders also noted that there could be more involvement from the local community and emergency responders. We thought that was great. For that reason, the government is taking steps to further and better coordinate the federal emergency response plan. With greater resource capacity from coast to coast to coast, the government is ready to work with local communities and indigenous groups. New indigenous community response teams will also be established, with training in search and rescue, environmental response, and incident command.
    Canada is a maritime nation that was built on a safe, secure marine transport system. The government is dedicated to developing a long-term agenda for marine transport that demonstrates that a healthy environment and a sustainable economy can go hand in hand. In order to implement this long-term agenda, our government is asking for Canadians' opinions and taking concrete action based on that feedback. The government is going to continue working with stakeholders by moving forward with implementing those marine initiatives, including the moratorium, and also of course the oceans protection plan.
     In short, the moratorium on oil tankers is a major initiative for protecting British Columbia's coast. This is the right thing to do. A moratorium has been in place since 1972. We have consulted extensively. We have heard from all groups. We do not take this approach and these decisions lightly. These are very serious decisions. We understand the economy and the environment and how they can go hand in hand. Because of that, I implore all those in this House to support this bill and this initiative to ensure that our coastlines are kept safe from spills and we can continue to protect our environment, while also understanding the economy that is vital to the livelihood of all Canadians. I appreciate this opportunity to speak to something that is so important to our country.

  (1330)  

    Madam Speaker, it is very clear that this is not about safety; it is only about killing northern gateway and Alberta jobs. From Kitimat to open sea, the very narrowest channel is 1,480 metres, which we say is not safe. However, bringing ships under the Second Narrows Bridge in North Vancouver to Westridge where they load up on fuel is 140 metres. This is an area where we are going to bring in more ships, thankfully for Kinder Morgan. Why is it safe to bring ships through a 140-metre narrow passage, but not through 1,480 metres?
    Madam Speaker, the member should look at history and understand that this moratorium has been in place since 1972. There is a reason for that.
    We believe in science. We believe in an evidence-based approach on this side of the aisle, which is why we have done our homework. The member and the member's party should do their homework, look at history, and understand the reasons for this decision.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville for his speech. We share in his belief that there should be a tanker ban on the north coast. We appreciate that this proposed legislation is moving forward, although we believe there are a lot of holes in it.
    The member talked about doing the right thing and evidence-based decision-making. However, we know we have not figured out how to clean up raw bitumen. Therefore, I have huge concerns, and I hope the member can square some things.
    The Prime Minister said, when the ban was first announced, that “crude oil supertankers just have no place on B.C.’s north coast.” Well, if the member had done his homework, he would realize that we do not know how to clean up raw bitumen and that we have huge risks on the south coast. Therefore, how can supertankers have no place on B.C.'s north coast, but they have a place on B.C.'s south coast and they want to increase tanker traffic sevenfold?
    The member can maybe explain to southern coastal British Columbians why their jobs, their environment, are going to be at risk. I would like him to square things up.
    Madam Speaker, it comes back again to being fair and balanced. We have heard from the Conservatives on their approach and what they believe. We have now heard from the NDP.
    We have taken the approach of consulting with Canadians, listening to everyone, looking at the best evidence and information that is out there for us, and understanding that with Kinder Morgan we are twinning a line. There are already tankers there. There is no moratorium in place, unlike the northern B.C. coast. Also, the member is right. It would mean one more tanker per day that would come into those waters.

  (1335)  

    Madam Speaker, I heard the member say that the Liberals were doing the people's work, that they were ready to work with local communities and indigenous peoples, and that they have consulted extensively with all people. However, we know that this was written into the minister's mandate letter long before the Liberals ever introduced the bill and had done any consultations.
    When we asked members who came and presented at committee, they said they had not been consulted. These were the members who may have supported the moratorium, and those who did not. Therefore, I would like the member to explain how he can make the kinds of statements he did when we heard from every witness that they had not been consulted.
    Madam Speaker, it is rich for that member and her party to talk about consultation when they would drive everything straight through without listening to anybody.
    I can tell the member that there have been 75 meetings, 25 round tables, a web portal, and over 5,000 submissions, 330 coming directly to the ministry. From coast to coast to coast, meetings took place.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Peter Fonseca: I think the member has a little amnesia from the time that the Conservatives were in government. Therefore, I reject their approach, and I will continue with the approach that our government has taken, which is one of consultation with all groups.
    Once again, I remind members that when someone has the floor to respect that person's ability to speak without interruption. I know it is Monday and people are anxious to get through the week, but I would remind them to afford that respect to whomever has the floor.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Calgary Shepard.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be joining the debate on this, but I think the bill has the wrong name. It is called the “oil tanker moratorium act” when it should basically be called the “pipeline moratorium act”. That is really what it is all about. It is not about cancelling the ability of tankers to move through a certain region of northern British Columbia. In fact, they will be able to move 100 kilometres off the coast, as they have been doing all along. It has put the last and final nail into the northern gateway project, and every single other potential pipeline project that might go through northern British Columbia.
    There are a few points I will raise to add to this debate, including a letter I have from Prasad Panda, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, who is also the member for the provincial riding of Calgary-Foothills. In it, he notes a couple of discrepancies. He notes that Bill C-48 is a flawed piece of legislation, mainly because it contradicts the government's own free trade agreement that it signed.
    There are two points that he makes in the letter. He writes that in that free trade agreement, article 301 states, “A Province shall not adopt or maintain any measure that restricts or prevents the movement of goods across provincial or territorial boundaries.” This is what the B.C. NDP is doing to try to kill off Kinder Morgan by harassing it through legal and regulatory means to try to put an end to that project. They are trying to end that and the hundreds of thousands of jobs in the energy sector, both in my hometown of Calgary, which depends on it, and also across Edmonton and a whole bunch of smaller communities across Alberta and Saskatchewan.
    With regard to my second point, he writes, “The Government of Canada shall not adopt or maintain any measure that unduly restricts or prevents the movement of goods across provincial or territorial boundaries.” I think we can make a fine argument here that restricting tanker traffic off a coast like the northern British Columbia coast is that type of restriction on the movement through a territory that the British Columbia government claims as its own. It has a certain amount of environmental regulations that it can or it seems to want to apply. It is interesting that it only wants to apply it in the north, not in the south, when 95% of all tanker traffic happens to be in the southern part of British Columbia.
     This particular member of the legislative assembly, a fine gentleman, wrote quite a long letter to the chair of the committee that reviewed this piece of legislation. He also brought to the attention of that committee that this ban, this supposed oil tanker moratorium on pipelines, would be like “banning ships from moving through the Welland Canal or using the port at Trois-Rivières”. It would be like “denying rail and truck access to the Michelin Tire factory in Pictou County”, like “detouring all the traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway and driving it down 92 Avenue in Port Kells”, like “taking traffic on Highway 400 and running [it] all down Weston Road in Toronto”, and like “stopping OC Transpo service to Kanata or GO service to Streetsville.” It would be the same principle. It is not science based, not evidence based; it is the random cutting off of the transportation of goods, people, and natural resources for political purposes.
    There is absolutely no reason for it. As far as I know, there have been no spills in British Columbia. Members may want to correct me on that, but I do not know of any spills that have happened off the coast of British Columbia that would make it necessary for us to pass this particular piece of legislation.
    I also note that in this legislation, the government is giving itself an exemption under clause 6 that basically states,
for the purpose of community or industry resupply or is otherwise in the public interest.
    Therefore, if for any reason whatsoever the government believes it should provide an exemption for the import and movement of tanker traffic, it has a complete exemption. There is no real reporting standard there. All it would have to do is make a publication requirement that states,
the Minister must make it accessible to the public on the Internet or by any other means that he or she considers appropriate
     I wonder what the minister will think is appropriate when the government provides the exemption. We can imagine how hard the advocates for communities, companies, and tanker companies will push the minister to provide them with particular exemptions and how sought after those will be.
    I like Yiddish proverbs, and I have one. It states, “Heaven and hell can both be had in this world.” They can also be had through government policy and legislation. The principle is to protect the environment. That is the window dressing that the Liberals have put on this anti-pipeline bill. However, what they are actually doing when they repeat “the environment, energy, and natural resources”, two sides of the same coin, is only focusing on one part of this. That is their single focus on this point. It is is supposedly the environment, when we know, because of the details of this bill, it will do no such thing. Tanker traffic will simply be moved further to the west. It is not achieving any goals that the government has set for itself. There is no similar ban on any oil tanker traffic anywhere along Canada's other coasts.

  (1340)  

    Do those environments matter less? Do the beaches in Prince Edward Island matter less than those in northern British Columbia? Do the coasts matter less in Quebec? Do the coasts matter less in Ontario? I do not think that is the case, but I do not see tanker bans being imposed. I do not see pipeline bans being imposed. That is what leads me to say that this particular piece of legislation is all about northern gateway. It is to kill it off, and that is what the government intends to do through this particular piece of legislation.
    The tankers that go through the southern part of British Columbia right now are in the 80,000 to 120,000 dead weight tonnage. If this were truly about tanker traffic, and there were worries about how many of these tankers are moving through a particular geographic region, then the regulatory process would be simplified to ensure the maximum size tankers could actually come through different channels as safely as possible.
    If the government wanted to do it that way, it would ensure that ultra-large crude carriers, ULCCs, were able to navigate certain regions, doing so safely, with the necessary tugboats to pull them out in case they have security problems. It would not impose a random ban on geographic areas, pushing tankers further out into the ocean. That does not achieve any environmental goal I could easily name. It would also kill off economic jobs that northern gateway and other pipeline projects could provide in the future.
    What it actually would do is sterilize an entire region of northern British Columbia from any type of development in the future. It would basically ensure that no company would ever propose a new pipeline project running through any of those communities, regardless of how many indigenous communities support it, regardless of how many of them are onside.
    As the member for Lakeland has said, there are many indigenous communities that would depend on these energy and natural resource jobs of the future. Over 500 communities all across Canada depend either on energy or natural resources jobs.
    When oil, natural gas, coal, or any type of mineral is extracted, it has to be moved to a market. It does no good to sit on a large pile here at home. It has to be moved to the buyer. That is done through a port, through the rail system, and through tankers. Those are the requirements of ensuring that the economy is looked after, and that is what the government is failing to do with Bill C-48.
    This bill would kill off any future pipeline projects. It sends another chilling signal to the business community in Canada that we are not open for business. We have had the largest flight of capital from the natural resources sector over the past two and a half years. We are at the lowest level since 2010, and it just continues.
    Energy east was killed off by the government. Northern gateway was killed off by the government. The government neglected Pacific Northwest LNG. It has neglected Alberta's energy sector. It has done everything possible to ensure that every single new piece of red tape would strangle the industry, and it has done a great job at it. This is one thing the government has been quite exceptional at, strangling the industry and putting tens of thousands of Alberta energy workers out of work permanently, with no reasonable expectation to return to work in the field of their speciality, in the field where they have spent years obtaining their education and working professionally.
    Back home in Alberta, we have spent a generation trying to convince people to move to Alberta in the first place. British Columbia is beautiful, but we just wanted people to stop in Alberta and have a professional career with us. We spent a generation convincing people to move there, but we also spent a generation convincing young Albertans, men and women, that it was worth getting into the energy sector because there would be jobs well into the future and they could work anywhere internationally. They are not going to have that.
    Bill C-48 is a nail in the coffin of every single future pipeline project. Every company that is even thinking about running a pipeline through northern British Columbia, or anywhere in fact, will think twice. All of their money could be lost, or there could be a random moratorium, a ban, or a cancellation of their project.
    I cannot support this bill. It is another chilling signal to the business community and to energy workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia that the government is not on their side.

  (1345)  

    Madam Speaker, a challenge with pipelines is to find a balance. As we have seen in the debate so far, some people are very upset that any pipeline could be built and some people want every single pipeline to be built. Our government is looking to find the right balance, as well as balancing that with the needs of the people, the economy, and the environment.
    We have approved the Trans Mountain pipeline. We are also putting in a moratorium on tankers in ecologically sensitive areas.
    Is there any area where the member would see a need for balance, not that this is right or wrong, but in a general sense, a balance of issues, where there could be good and bad, something we want to promote and something we do not want to promote? Does the member want us to promote every pipeline under every circumstance?
    Madam Speaker, maybe the member heard my Yiddish proverb that heaven and hell can both be had in this world. I think we are experiencing the other side of that proverb, which is that government has repeatedly gotten it wrong. Trans Mountain is the only line going through. With the length of time it has taken, from the first moment the company thought it up and went through the approval process, and it is not even built yet, it has been almost as long as World War II, quite literally. That is how long. It has taken six years to get to this point. Northern gateway was cancelled. Pacific NorthWest LNG was cancelled. Energy east was cancelled.
    We weep for those thousands of energy jobs that are gone. How many companies or young entrepreneurs were thinking they had new interesting projects they would like to proceed with? How many teams of young professionals out there were thinking they would propose projects but just shelved them instead? Who weeps for the jobs that were never even created?
    Madam Speaker, the Conservatives have this tendency of listing off projects where the proponents decided for market and internal reasons of their own to cancel a project. I think it was a travesty that the Liberal government gave a permit to Petronas LNG to build on Lelu Island, but the Malaysian state-owned enterprise, Petronas, decided not to proceed with LNG there. The member cannot lay that at the door of the Liberal government. I wish he could. I would respect the government more had it looked at the evidence that the Petronas LNG facility would wipe out our Skeena salmon fishery.
    The same claim has been made about energy east over and over again here today. TransCanada made its own decision that it could not support it as there was not a market for two pipelines for the export of raw bitumen. Therefore, it picked Keystone, which has approvals from Canada and the U.S., although in the U.S. there are court cases still trying to stop Keystone, and I hope that they are successful.
    The jobs that I would like the member for Calgary Shepard to consider are the jobs in Canada that we used to have when we had 40 refineries in this country, when we used to regard our own domestic requirements as a market instead of only creating those overseas.

  (1350)  

    Madam Speaker, on the refining capacity in Canada, it is true that a lot of refineries have started to close down, but it is for economic reasons. There is opposition to a carbon tax on large emitters. It happens to be the refineries and upgraders that are some of the largest emitters. If we want to refine the product, it is not free, either in GHG emissions or carbon, or NOx and SOx, as we call them. It is not free. Either it gets done in Canada or it does not. When we impose huge regulatory costs, when we impose a carbon tax, when we basically wrap a project up in so much red tape that the people who are proposing it on behalf of shareholders and other Canadians who are investing in it to get a return, we are telling them not to do it as they will not get their money out of it, and they will not be able to retire on this investment.
    Madam Speaker, I could have asked my colleague this question any time, but I want the public to hear the answer.
    The Pacific Pilotage Authority and the British Columbia Coast Pilots, some of the very best in the world, are charged with protecting our coasts. They did a full bridge simulation on bringing the ships down off the B.C. coast. They said it is so safe that ships can transit the area without tugboats. They are proposing to do two as part of the Enbridge project. Can the member tell me why that is not adequate?
    Madam Speaker, the simple and easy answer is to leave it to companies, people, and entrepreneurs to innovate and find solutions to problems out in the real world. When we come before the House and consider legislation like Bill C-48, that is not a solution. It is just more red tape to kill off energy jobs.
    Before I go to the next speaker, I will remind him that I will have to interrupt him and he will be able to continue his speech when we resume deliberations on this bill after question period.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola.
    Madam Speaker, it is always an honour to participate in the debates we have in this place.
    Before I write debate speeches, I generally like to do a bit of background research. This can often be very revealing. This is a very important debate, important for many different reasons, a few of which I am going to touch upon today.
    When I did my background research for this bill, I came across a Globe and Mail article from 2015. The headline read that the Prime Minister's promises to aboriginal people are “feared to be unachievable”. I then read a different headline from one year later, this time from APTN National News. This headline read that the Prime Minister “backs away from election pledge on First Nation veto”. We all know that is exactly what the Prime Minister has done because that is what he likes to do. He likes to promise things that he generally has no intent to deliver, because promises look good and promises sound good. When one's image is everything to one as a politician, this is where one ends up.
    Why do I mention these things? I mention them because here we are with the Prime Minister proposing an oil tanker ban off the west coast of British Columbia. Actually, no, that is not correct. The Prime Minister is actually proposing to increase the tanker traffic off the west coast. It is the north coast where he is proposing to ban all oil tankers. Some see that as a contradiction. Some have told me that they view this bill as the Prime Minister acknowledging that there is a risk to tanker safety, and that is why he is proposing this ban.
    However, some of the same people question if the Prime Minister acknowledged this risk in one place, why is this risk then being ignored in another? This is why those who oppose pipelines are so enraged with the Prime Minister, because they believe he says one thing while doing another.
    It is not unlike the environment minister. Her favourite talking point is that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. The minister can continue to make this comment hundreds of times a year, but for those who oppose pipelines, they will never see them as supporting the environment. That comment enrages them, which at the same time, is politically damaging for the Liberals, a point that I suspect many Liberal members of Parliament from B.C. know all too well.
    Back to the subject of this debate, the proposed tanker ban. We know another one of the Liberal government's favourite talking points, and also an election promise, was to make science-based decision-making. Let us look at some of the science from a safety perspective related to tanker traffic off the coast of northern British Columbia.
     Can the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation provide spill responses in this geographic region? Yes, it can. Can the Pacific Pilotage Authority, a crown corporation, provide the same world-respected marine pilots to navigate these vessels in that very same region? Again, yes, it can. Could companies like Seaspan provide multiple tugboats to assist with docking, as it currently does in other parts of British Columbia? Yes, it could do that.
    Has there ever been an oil spill in the area from an oil tanker that has been under the supervision of these service providers? No, never, not in 50 years. There is a perfect service and safety record. I mention these things because from a science and safety-based approach, tanker safety can be safely provided in this region. To be clear, I will commend the efforts the Liberal government has taken to increase marine spill response in the event that the Trans Mountain pipeline will be built.
    The bottom line from my perspective is that the tanker ban seems to be entirely politically motivated because the science and the safety are proven in that there has been no tanker oil spill in 50 years. Our system of tanker safety has multiple overrides. Ultimately, in this case, this is a political decision, and political decisions are the reality of governing.
    I merely point out that this is a political decision because some want to see this as a contradiction from a Prime Minister who wants to increase tanker traffic in one area of B.C., and then claims it is unsafe and bans it in another. This contradiction from the Prime Minister can ultimately undermine tanker safety. Given that we have a Prime Minister who is doing everything he can, at least in words, to build the Trans Mountain pipeline, I felt that adding clarity to the safety question would help the Prime Minister get the Trans Mountain pipeline built. I am certain he will want to thank me for that later.

  (1355)  

    Why should we care about this proposed pipeline, then? Yes, there is a huge loss of jobs, investment, and revenue for all, but it is more than that. I am fully aware many support this tanker ban, much as many oppose the building of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Indeed, that opposition is very much alive in this place as well. I submit it exists even within the Liberal caucus.
    However, getting back to the reason for the speech, this Prime Minister has made serious promises to Canada's first nations, and here is a secret I am going to share with this place: some first nation communities fully support resource development, because they recognize the opportunity. They see how jobs and employment can help transform a community. They know with their own-sourced revenue they can build things that often add to the social fabric of their community.
    We often talk about the rights of indigenous peoples and their communities, but what about the rights of those indigenous communities that support and want resource development within their traditional territories? Why are their rights so often ignored?
     In this case, we even have a lawsuit. At the inception of this lawsuit, 30 different first nation bands joined together to stop this tanker ban from going forward. They call this proposed tanker ban an unjustified infringement of their aboriginal rights and title. They point out that this proposed tanker plan would thwart their ability to create economic support for their community through the development of an oil export facility. It is hard to argue with that fact, because it is true. Does anyone in this place disagree with these first nations communities?
    Again, I ask why these first nations' rights are being ignored by the Liberal government. We know it is not about safety. We know we actually have a world-class response when it comes to oil safety. We know it can be done safely and we know first nations have that right.
    I think I am out of time.
    The hon. member will have three minutes remaining when this subject continues after question period.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[Translation]

International Workers' Day

    Madam Speaker, today is International Workers' Day, and on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I want to express my admiration for and acknowledge all workers in Quebec who help build a stronger and fairer society for all of us every single day.
    As a member of Parliament and as labour critic, I have a duty to remember and take action. I remind members that, originally, this was a day for workers to assert themselves. I want to reiterate that the Bloc Québécois fully supports workers in their fight for pay equity, minimum wage, tax havens, work-life balance, work-school balance, employment insurance, and pension funds.
    On May 1, as always, the Bloc Québécois will stand with workers.

  (1400)  

[English]

Nicholas Sonntag

    Madam Speaker, earlier this month in Gibsons, B.C., home of The Beachcombers, over 650 people opened the Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre in the Gibsons public market. It was as bittersweet day, as Nick had passed away suddenly two years earlier, before his vision for the market was fully realized.
    Educated at UBC, early in his career Nick caught Maurice Strong's attention and became the chief of staff for the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. Then he synthesized the ideas that became Agenda 21. In 1996, he became executive director of the Stockholm Environmental Institute, and he never stopped engaging.
    Nick has been a world leader in preserving the earth's resources for future generations. His home was the Sunshine Coast. The plaque written by good friends and colleagues Brian and Mary Nattrass says, “The more we know of the ocean, the more we understand ourselves and the changing tides of our lives.”
    Come and visit and share in our deep gratitude for Nicholas Sonntag.

Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame Inductee

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Ron Helwer, who recently celebrated 50 years in business.
    In 1968, Ron moved with his wife Vera and his growing family to Brandon. It was there that he started Shur-Gro Farm Services, which now includes Monroe Farm Supplier and partners with Double Diamond. Together they are the largest, longest-serving independent fertilizer and chemical dealer in western Canada.
    Through innovation, grit, and high-quality service, Ron has repeatedly expanded the business. From Waskada to Oakville, the company services almost the entire southern half of Manitoba. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find a farmer who has not dealt with Shur-Gro or one of its partners.
    I cannot say enough about Ron's commitment to farming, to his customers, and to his community. Ron is a stalwart of the business community, and for his lifetime dedication to the industry, he was inducted into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.
    I salute Ron for all that he has accomplished and I wish him and Shur-Gro all the best in the many years ahead.

Thomas D'Arcy McGee

    Mr. Speaker, as a Canadian of Irish heritage, it is my honour to rise today to commemorate the tragic assassination of a great Irishman, a great Canadian, a member of Parliament and father of confederation, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, who was gunned down as he was leaving this House 150 years ago on April 7.

[Translation]

    Born in Ireland, he emigrated to America and gained prominence as a journalist and advocate for the rights and freedoms that we cherish today. Although in his youth he supported the independence of his birth country, which the Fenians fought for, he rejected their violent cause, stating:

[English]

    “Leave the old troubles in the old country.”

[Translation]

    It was allegedly the Fenians who assassinated this great man who worked so hard with MacDonald and Cartier to found our Confederation.

[English]

    Earlier this month, the St. Patrick's Society of Montreal celebrated this great man in true Irish style.
    I ask all members of this House to join with me now to commemorate in one voice the Hon. Thomas D'Arcy McGee as the wisest, the bravest, and the best of mankind.

Attack in Toronto

    Mr. Speaker, the people of Toronto have taken their city back with a defiant act of hope after the senseless mass murder of so many people, the vast majority of whom were women. This atrocity compels us to deal with the vicious misogyny that is spreading on the Internet and throughout society. Words matter. It is incumbent upon all of us, particularly men, to call out this hatred.
    However, Torontonians show us that hatred does not win out. Their memorial exemplifies a city of diversity and faith where people do treat each other with tolerance and respect. I love their vitality and I love their cool defiance, a spirit that was exemplified by Officer Ken Lam when he stayed so calm in the face of carnage—and he does not want to be called a hero. How Canadian.
     After the attacks in other cities where we talk about Boston Strong and Manchester Proud, are we content to just say “Toronto the Good”? No way. It is Toronto the awesome.

  (1405)  

National Day of Mourning

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate Canada's National Day of Mourning, a day when we remember and honour workers who have been killed, injured, or become ill due to workplace-related hazards and accidents. We also remember the families who have lost loved ones.
    Unfortunately, not all workplaces are safe. On average across Canada, three workers per day are killed on the job or die due to workplace hazards. Many more are injured or develop illnesses. The National Day of Mourning focuses our attention on these personal tragedies and reminds us that there is more work to be done in this area.
    I was pleased to join the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793, and the Oakville and District Labour Council in my riding of Oakville this past weekend. Every year, these organizations bring the community together for events. Families, labour, management, and the public join as one to remember and commit to change. I thank them both for helping us to remember this year and every year.

[Translation]

Odilon Hudon

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the exceptional contribution of my friend, Father Odilon Hudon, who passed away on April 25 after dedicating his life to others. He worked with handicapped children, the most vulnerable people in our society.
    In 1973, Odilon and a group of volunteers established Camp Canawish in Rivière-Ouelle. He remained its president and executive director until his death. Odilon was a model of integrity, generosity, selflessness, and attentiveness.
    I personally had important discussions with him about community involvement. As a result, I have championed community involvement in my various public endeavours. Odilon was responsible for the awakening of my social conscience.
     Born in Sainte-Anne-de-La-Pocatière, he was ordained in 1963 and was the parish priest in Rivière-Ouelle for more than 20 years. In 2002, he was appointed priest of three parishes in Rivière-du-Loup, which he merged quite successfully. I offer my most sincere condolences to his family and his religious community.
    Odilon, goodbye and thank you.

[English]

Boy on the Beach

    Mr. Speaker, in September 2015, the world mourned the death of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old refugee boy found washed up on the shores of Turkey. Alan and his family were driven from their homes, driven to find a safe harbour, driven to discover a life free of war. Alan, his brother, and his mother did not make it to their safe harbour.
    Alan's aunt, Tima Kurdi, lives in the Tri-Cities. This month her memoir, Boy on the Beach, is on bookstore shelves. Tima hopes her book will bring a new awareness to the plight of refugees.
    I thank Tima for keeping Alan's memory alive. Her book reminds us that Canadians welcome those in need of protection and that our diversity makes Canada better and stronger.

[Translation]

Les Éloizes Gala and the Edmunston Blizzard

    Mr. Speaker, there is a lot going on in my riding, Madawaska—Restigouche. The 20th edition of the Les Éloizes gala will take place in the beautiful city of Edmundston, New Brunswick, this week from May 2 to 6. Since 1998, this multidisciplinary gala has awarded prizes for every artistic discipline, including visual arts, media arts, dance, literature, music, and theatre.
    It will be my privilege to be there in person, and I encourage all fans of cultural activities to join me. I congratulate the gala organizers, and I wish them a very successful event this year and for the next 20 years.
     On an entirely different note, I would also like to congratulate the Edmunston Blizzard on winning the Maritime Junior A Hockey League playoffs. That is quite an achievement for the team's inaugural year.
     This week, the team is in Ottawa to play in the Fred Page Cup tournament. Best of luck to the Blizzard from everyone in the riding of Madawaska—Restigouche.

[English]

Birthday Congratulations for Former MP

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the 80th birthday of the former member of Parliament for Haldimand—Norfolk, Mr. Bud Bradley. Bud was in this chamber from 1979 to 1988, where he was parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Supply and Services and to the Minister of Defence.
     Among his many accomplishments as an MP, Bud was a relentless advocate for the protection of supply management during NAFTA negotiations. Before his time in Ottawa, Bud was a lawyer and a dentist, and served 18 years as an officer in the Canadian Forces. He finally settled down in our beautiful town of Dunnville, where he established his practice and his family.
    Today, Bud remains a strong servant voice in his community through organizations such as Rotary and his volunteerism at numerous area events.
    The citizens of Haldimand—Norfolk, and indeed all Canadians, have been enriched by Bud's life. I consider it a privilege to call him a friend. Happy 80th birthday, Bud.

  (1410)  

Iran

    Mr. Speaker, the Subcommittee on International Human Rights is holding its sixth annual Iran Accountability Week to shine a light on the odious human rights abuses perpetrated by the Iranian regime. Iranians face severe violations of their civil and political rights and their rights to free expression, freedom of conscience, and due process.
    Women and girls face especially malicious systemic discrimination and violation of their rights. Women do not have equal rights in marriage, divorce, child custody, or inheritance. Repressive and discriminatory dress codes for women continue to be enforced with prison sentences. Adultery is punishable by death by stoning, and sexual assault victims themselves can face legal punishment for speaking out. LGBT persons face torture and death.
    The Iranian people suffer each and every day under a brutal regime that does not recognize their human rights. Iran Accountability Week is our way of telling them that we stand with them.

Hispanic Canadians

    Mr. Speaker, today along with my colleague, the member for Honoré-Mercier, we are honoured to welcome 20 exceptional members of Canada's Hispanic and Latin American communities, including the winners of TD Bank's 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians award. They are neuroscientists, musicians, entrepreneurs, professors, cancer researchers, and more, and they reflect the extraordinary diversity and talent of Canada's Hispanic community. We pay tribute to their extraordinary contributions and we thank them for inspiring not only the current and next generation of Hispanic Canadians, but indeed for inspiring all Canadians. Canada is truly a stronger country because of our amazing diversity.
     [Member spoke in Spanish].

Vietnamese Canadians

    Mr. Speaker, today, Canada's Vietnamese community, with all Canadians, marks the fourth annual Journey to Freedom Day. Enacted under our former Conservative government, it is a national day of commemoration of the exodus of Vietnamese refugees from their war-torn country after the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. As one who witnessed the first boats leaving on the Saigon River from a marine helicopter flying out of the U.S. embassy that night, it is an honour to recognize the refugees, known as the “boat people”, who fled their homes and communist rule to make the perilous journey to freedom. Many thousands perished at sea, but for over 60,000 people, Canada proved to be a safe haven.
    In marking this year's Journey to Freedom Day, I am proud to recognize the many contributions of Vietnamese Canadians and their descendants, who came to Canada in search of freedom and a better life.

Vietnamese Canadians

    Mr. Speaker, I too stand to recognize the significant number of Vietnamese Canadians who have chosen to make this great country of Canada their home. Vietnamese Canadians have contributed to the Canadian mosaic with such pride and admiration, and it is important that we recognize them on this important day of remembrance. Canada is now home to a vibrant community of close to 300,000 Vietnamese Canadians, many of whom reside in my riding of Humber River—Black Creek.
    The Vietnamese Canadian community has made a substantial contribution to our cultural, religious, political, and business life, and I am tremendously proud to know many as friends, colleagues, and supporters.
    Today I am delighted to wish the Vietnamese community great success in the future for all of those who mark this occasion in history.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

Tania Rancourt

    Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about a woman who was not a fan of gym class in high school, like many young girls. This woman had two beautiful children, but she became discouraged by her pregnancy-related weight gain, like many women in this situation.
    With the support of her family and the help of her father, this woman started to run. Little by little, she ran longer distances, up until she ran in her first marathon. She qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon and also completed the Défi 117 run.
    This woman's name is Tania Rancourt, and she is originally from Sainte-Germaine-Boulé, a village in Abitibi West. She now runs in the winter and the summer. Tania Rancourt just achieved an extraordinary feat when she completed the Zion Ultra Marathon, a 100-mile, or 160-kilometre, race in the Utah desert, in 27 hours and 37 minutes, which ranks her among the top 10 women to run this prestigious international race.
    I wanted to pay tribute to courageous, determined women like Tania Rancourt, who are a source of inspiration to many women, including me. Many congratulations.

[English]

Iran

    Mr. Speaker, today marks the start of Iran Accountability Week. The week has become an annual tradition on Parliament Hill. It is an opportunity to educate Canadians about the Iranian regime's complete disregard for the human rights of its citizens, its proxy campaigns of hatred and division, and its implicit support of international terrorism.
    The cradle-to-grave persecution of the Baha'i religious minority continues unabated. Six of the Baha'i Seven have served out their 10-year sentences for nothing but living out their faith within their communities. One remains in prison. I join international voices calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Afif Naeimi.
    The Iranian regime's hatred for the Baha'i extends beyond its borders. Directed by the regime, Houthi rebels in Yemen have intensified the rhetoric of Baha'i discrimination and genocide. Iran must cease its support of this inflammatory speech.
    This week, I encourage Canadians across the country to join us in examining the ugly reality of the regime for Iran's people and persecuted minorities around the world.

Paramedics

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to acknowledge the outstanding public service of paramedics from across Canada, many of whom have joined us on the Hill today.
    In every community in every part of Canada, these expertly trained and dedicated professionals are a critically important pillar of first response to crises, as they selflessly rush to provide expert medical care with skill and compassion. We also know that as they rush to the aid of others, they do so in the certain knowledge that they will face danger, unspeakable trauma, and tragedy.
    As the country mourns and recovers from the recent tragic events in Humboldt and Toronto, this is an excellent opportunity to acknowledge and express our gratitude for the exemplary service of our paramedics. They are true heroes in the public service.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, over the weekend there were yet more reports of just how severely Canada's competitiveness is suffering. One CEO said that there is a real, genuine, honest, non-partisan concern that Canada is so completely out of touch with the real world. While the Prime Minister ignores the facts, this is in part a direct result of the Liberal carbon tax.
    What about Canadian families? They too are going to suffer. What is the cost of the carbon tax on Canadian families?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to address the issue of Canadian competitiveness. We know that Canada has done exceptionally well over the last two and a half years. Over the last year and a half, we have had the fastest growth among G7 countries. Canadians have created over 600,000 new jobs. We have one of the lowest rates of unemployment we have seen in 40 years.
    We know that Canadians are competitive because we know that Canada can compete around the world. We will continue to focus on how to improve that competitiveness, working together on issues of importance, considering how we can make sure that for the long run these positive results continue.
    Mr. Speaker, $80 billion of investment has left this country in the last two years. Nothing the Minister of Finance tries to say will change that fact, and the carbon tax is contributing to it. The Liberals would have us believe that the carbon tax is going to magically fix all. It will put an end to floods, draughts, and forest fires, apparently. They will not tell us how much it is going to cost, but just with a wish, a prayer, a little pixie dust, and a new tax on Canadians, all that is wrong in the world will be made right. What a joke. Nobody believes it.
    How much is this bad joke going to cost everyday Canadian families?

  (1420)  

    Mr. Speaker, for decades people have been talking about taking action on climate change, but nothing has been done.
    We have taken action. We have put forward a world-class oceans protection plan. We have strengthened our environmental assessments, and we have put in place a price on carbon pollution to grow the economy in cleaner ways.
    The only idea the Conservatives have is the Harper Conservative approach of doing nothing yet claiming they will achieve our targets. It is clear the Harper Conservative approach is alive and well in the party opposite.
    Mr. Speaker, even Michael Ignatieff said the Liberals did not get it done on climate change, but here is what the Liberals are really good at: cover-ups. According to the Oxford dictionary, a cover-up is an “attempt to prevent people from discovering the truth about a serious mistake....” When the Liberals literally black out the numbers around how much a carbon tax is going to cost Canadians, they are covering up this cost to Canadians who deserve to know.
    The Liberals know. They have the numbers. How much is the carbon tax going to cost? Will one of them answer, please?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians asked us to plan for a better and safer future. They asked us to take concrete and thoughtful actions to tackle climate change. We listened and we heard Canadians. Our plan would cut pollution equivalent to closing 20 coal plants, while the economy and the GDP continue to grow in cleaner ways. That is the plan Canadians asked for, and we will continue to deliver.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Canada's energy sector is crucial to our economy. Businesses in every province and region of the country are active in this sector. In my riding, for instance, CO2 Solutions has been working on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Alberta for about a decade, and it is working. What is this government doing to applaud and thank them? It is imposing the Liberal carbon tax, which will have a $10-billion dampening effect on our economy.
    The question is, how much is this going to cost Canadians?
    The government knows, but refuses to say. Stop covering up the cost of the carbon tax.
    I would remind the hon. member to direct his comments to the Chair.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the opposition has absolutely no plan. That party had no plan for 10 years because it had absolutely no idea what it means to grow the economy while being respectful of the environment. That party did not respect the environment and it did not grow the economy.
    On the question of energy, just last week the CEO of Cenovus said, “I would tell you that the support we have received from the federal government—that support would not have been evident a few years ago.”

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, for the edification of the minister and all Canadians, between 2005 and 2015--in other words, when we formed the government--greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 2.2%, while real GDP grew by 16.9%. That is the Conservative record: a prosperous economy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
    Meanwhile, this government continues to hide the truth from Canadians regarding the $10-billion dampening effect its measure will have on our economy. How much is it going to cost Canadians?
    Why are you continuing the cover-up?
    I doubt the hon. member was addressing his comments to me. As he knows, when members use the word “you”, they are addressing the Chair. I would therefore remind the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent to direct his questions through the Chair.
    The hon. Minister of Finance.
    Mr. Speaker, we are staying the course to grow our economy. That is very important to Canadians. Our economic growth clearly shows that we are in a great position and that jobs are up across the country.
     Our approach is clear: we need a way to ensure economic growth while at the same time protecting the environment for future generations of Canadians.

  (1425)  

[English]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, when on the one hand first nations groups are told that no decision has been made in regard to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and on the other hand and at the same time, a top government official instructs her staff “to give cabinet a legally-sound basis for saying 'yes'” to pipelines, we can safely conclude that first nations were deceived by the government. We can also conclude that the whole process was rigged and that approval of the pipelines was in the cards all along.
    Is the minister denying it?
    Mr. Speaker, yes. We undertook the most exhaustive consultation on pipelines in Canadian history.
    What we actually did was add additional layers of consultation, principally with indigenous communities. The reason we did that was because the Federal Court of Appeal, on the northern gateway case, said that the Harper government failed to consult. The Harper government.
    We had a choice: repeat its mistakes or do better. We did better.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, either the minister is telling the opposite of the truth, or he does not know what is going on in his own department.
     Representatives from six organizations were present at a meeting on October 27, 2016, where his assistant deputy minister ordered her staff to give cabinet a legally sound basis for saying yes to Kinder Morgan's proposal. None of these organizations denied that these things were said.
    On the contrary, a person who was at the meeting told the National Observer:

[English]

     “I was rather shocked at being given that direction. It's not something that I would have expected from a Liberal government.”
    Is the minister still denying it?
    Mr. Speaker, I am not denying the facts. The fact is that our government released extensive materials explaining the basis for its decision-making. By the way, it is all available at www.nrcan.ca: the ministerial panel report, the summary of NRcan's online consultations, the crown consultations and accommodation report, Environment and Climate Change Canada's estimate of GHG emissions, summary of NEB recommendations, and the Order in Council approval.
    Mr. Speaker, there is growing evidence that the government had already approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion while it was publicly saying it was consulting with indigenous peoples.
    A first nations band in British Columbia has now submitted this evidence to the Federal Court of Appeal and plans to ask the court to order the government to produce all relevant documents.
    Will the government fight this out in court, or will it be fully transparent and release the relevant documents?
    Mr. Speaker, the government consulted with 118 potentially affected indigenous groups. The outcome of these consultations is publicly available.
    More than $300 million has been committed to indigenous groups by the proponent under mutual benefit agreements, and $64.7 million for indigenous advisory and environmental monitoring committees, co-developed with first nations for the first time in Canadian history, not to mention that there is a $1.5 billion oceans protection plan.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I have negotiated agreements all my life, and memoranda of understanding and letters of understanding are not agreements.
    The government continues to insist that no relationship is more important to it than its relationship with indigenous peoples, but it is becoming increasingly clear that this is just eyewash. All the evidence indicates that the government had already made up its mind on Kinder Morgan before holding its phony consultations with indigenous communities.
    What is the point of section 35 of the Constitution if the government is acting in bad faith and has no intention of respecting the constitutional rights of indigenous peoples?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, these consultations were meaningful, and so were the accommodations that are most important to many indigenous peoples. We understand that the relationship with the air, the water, and the land is fundamental and sacred to indigenous people, a lesson that all of us in Canada are learning day by day. The member should know that these conversations were impactful and meaningful, and so was the accommodation.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, why do we not try a thought experiment to help the government end the carbon tax cover-up? Imagine if I were holding a document right now, and imagine that document promised to explain to the reader how much that carbon tax would cost the average Canadian household. Now imagine that there was whiteout blocking out the numbers on that page, but imagine that a member of the government removed that whiteout. What number would be on that document?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, for years, people have been talking about taking action on climate change. In fact, the Harper government talked about it for a decade and it did virtually nothing. We have taken action. We have put a price on carbon pollution as part of a comprehensive plan to grow the economy in a cleaner way. The Conservatives do not want to take action. They want to go back to the failed Harper Conservative approach of doing nothing to achieve our targets.
    Canadians expect and deserve better. They want a plan that will address climate change and will grow our economy, and that is exactly what we are delivering.
    Mr. Speaker, the only thing the government's plan will grow is the bills of average Canadian households. They admit that gasoline prices will go up by at least 11¢ a litre. They admit that the cost of heating one's home will go up by over $200. However, they will not tell us the overall cost to an average Canadian family, because they do not want people to know what this scheme will cost.
    I will give the member another chance. How much will this Liberal carbon tax cost the average Canadian household?
    Mr. Speaker, we are putting in place practical, low-cost, effective measures to tackle climate change and to drive clean growth, including the pricing of carbon pollution. It is clear that the Conservatives have no intention of tackling climate change seriously, and no plan to promote clean growth in Canada. That is exactly the kind of inaction we saw for 10 years under Stephen Harper. It is the same party with the same empty words on climate change, and the same indifference for our children's and our grandchildren's future. Canadians expect better. They deserve better. That is what we are going to deliver.
    Mr. Speaker, they talk about clean, green companies. I have one in my riding, SunTech tomatoes. They have greenhouses that produce delicious tomatoes, the “miracles of Manotick” they are called. However, they cost four times as much to produce here as they would in Mexico, which means we ship tomatoes from Mexico to Canadian consumers, emitting greenhouse gases all the way through North America. The higher taxes imposed by Liberal governments contribute to environmental degradation. How much will SunTech have to pay in extra taxes under this scheme?
    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the environment and the economy, we have a clear choice. We can put the health of our environment and communities at risk, or we can take real action to address climate change and grow the economy. In opposing the practical cost-effective measures we are taking to fight climate change and grow the economy, either the Conservatives do not know what real action is or they do not care.
    I have two daughters, and the inaction of the Conservatives is simply not acceptable. Our government is working to ensure that we address climate change in a thoughtful way and drive economic growth, and that is exactly what we are going to do.
    Mr. Speaker, what they are going to do is drive business out of the country to other jurisdictions which have lower environmental standards. That is not only bad for the economy and jobs, but bad for the environment itself. Let us get back to the real issue
    The government wants Parliament's approval to impose a new tax on Canadian households. How much will it cost the average Canadian family?
    Mr. Speaker, let me a quote a couple of companies on this subject. Teck Resources: “we believe that [carbon pricing] can be one of the most effective ways to incentivize emissions reductions--ensuring sustainable resource development continues to support jobs [and] economic growth....” Cenovus Energy said that it supports the price on carbon. “Having a price on carbon is one of the fairest and best ways to stimulate innovation to reduce emissions associated with oil.” Imperial Oil: “The most effective policies in our minds would be those that place an economy wide, uniform and predictable [price] on carbon.” Shell Canada: “balancing Canadian economic development while protecting the environment will be enabled by a reasonable price on carbon.”
    Thoughtful businesses get it. This is the most appropriate way to drive emissions reductions and promote economic growth.
    Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt that the millionaire and billionaire CEOs he cites are just fine with a few extra thousand dollars in taxes, but it is the working families who cannot afford higher costs who we are championing on this side of the House of Commons. I would note that the very companies he pointed to are divesting themselves from Canada and investing in other places around the world, so, of course, they will not be affected by the taxes that the government supports. When will the Liberals stop siding with the CEOs and start siding with working families?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, let us set the record straight. Eighty per cent of Canadians already live in jurisdictions that have chosen to put a price on carbon pollution, and these four provinces had the best rate of economic growth last year. Our government is taking action by putting a price on carbon pollution to grow the economy in clean ways. For the Harper Conservatives, it was easier to stay silent and do nothing on climate change. They continue to ignore science and the reality unfolding around us with respect to the impact of climate change. In 2015, Canadians asked for a change. Doing nothing on climate like the Harper Conservative government is not acceptable. This government is going to approach it, driving economic growth and improving overall environmental outcomes.
    Mr. Speaker, all the government is improving is its own coffers. Liberals are taking money away from Canadian taxpayers, not only through the direct cost of a carbon tax, but then charging the GST on the carbon tax. We know that this is going to raise the price of the goods that Canadians rely on just to exist, and we know that when those costs go up, those with the least end up paying disproportionately the most.
    If the government cannot tell us what an average household will pay, how much will a family living below the poverty line pay in new taxes under this scheme?
    Mr. Speaker, for a decade, the Harper Conservatives were ready to risk our future and do nothing on climate change. Today, they still have nothing to propose. They are still gambling with the future of Canadians. That is not the right choice for my children. That is not the right choice for Canada. Canadians asked for a plan. We listened. We have a plan for all Canadians that will address climate change and grow the economy. That is exactly what we are delivering.

[Translation]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, the Trump administration is threatening to revisit its tariffs on our aluminum and steel products this week, but the government is keeping mum. Quebec accounts for most of Canada's primary aluminum production and our communities are worried. Are they doomed to endure another period of uncertainty?
    Will the government finally reach a permanent agreement with the U.S. in order to avoid these punitive tariffs?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is a strong supporter and advocate for Canadian steel and aluminum industry workers. We have worked very hard to obtain an exemption from U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. At this time, open trade is the best way to support U.S. and Canadian jobs. We will continue to stand up for our workers and our industry, as we always do.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, tomorrow our time will be up on the temporary tariff exemptions, and our steel and aluminum industry still has no idea what our government is doing about the Trump administration's deadline. We are talking about a 25% tariff on exports to the U.S., starting in less than 24 hours, and yet we have heard nothing about whether the government has reached a deal with the Americans. Workers and communities that depend on the 146,000 steel and aluminum jobs have spent too many sleepless nights worrying about their futures.
    Can the minister reassure them that they will not be slapped with U.S. tariffs tomorrow?
    Mr. Speaker, we have taken important action to defend and support Canadian steel and aluminum workers and industries over the last week. We strengthened our enforcement policies against the diversion and dumping of unfairly priced foreign steel and aluminum into Canada. This includes an additional $30 million for trade remedy enforcement and new powers for the CBSA. We also now have 72 specific trade remedy measures in force on steel and aluminum imports alone. We are also standing up for Canadian steel and aluminum workers. We have done so in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

  (1440)  

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, social programs across Canada are under severe strain due to tens of thousands of unplanned immigrants illegally crossing into Canada from the United States. Forty per cent in Toronto's homeless shelters are recent asylum claimants. This, food bank usage, and unemployment rates show that many new asylum claimants are not having successful integration experiences.
    This begs the question: How many people will the Prime Minister allow to illegally cross the border into Canada this year?
    Mr. Speaker, we commend the City of Toronto, as well as the Province of Ontario, the Province of Quebec, and all Canadians, on their generosity toward newcomers. That is something this country is proud of, and we will always be proud of our tradition.
    In terms of asylum processing, making sure that there are minimal impacts on provincial social services, we have provided $74 million to make sure that the Immigration and Refugee Board does its work so that legitimate claimants can move on with their lives and those who do not have legitimate claims can be removed from Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, that was not the question I asked.
    This year the sponsorship agreement Canadians who sponsor refugees have to sign was changed to prevent refugee allowances being reduced if a refugee rejects a reasonable job offer and so that self-sufficiency is not a requirement but is aspirational. Leaked drafts of the new citizenship guide remove references that it is the responsibility of new Canadians to find a job.
    Our immigration system should value integration, not entitlement. It should be managed to compassion, not to disorder. How many people is the Prime Minister planning to allow to illegally cross the border this year?
    Mr. Speaker, it is very rich for that member to talk about compassion and refugees when Conservatives only had a target of 4,500 in the privately sponsored refugee program. We more than quadrupled that program to 18,000. That member should never talk about settlement and integration, because they slashed settlement and integration money for newcomers. We are investing more than $1 billion in settlement and integration for newcomers. Last but not least, they should never talk about immigration processing, because under that party, when it was in government, wait times for legitimate immigrants ballooned.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, after failing to take action for more than a year, the Liberals finally recognize that it is illegal to cross the border illegally. Bravo. However, they have no plan to end this crisis that they created. As usual, they are blaming others and accusing those who have legitimate concerns of being divisive and alarmist. We expect that there will be a record number of illegal border crossings this summer. Quebec is asking for help.
    The question is simple: what is the Liberals' plan for stopping the migrant crisis at the border?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite wants to convince Canadians that Conservatives are serious about the border, when they cut $400 million from CBSA. The party opposite wants to pretend that it cares about immigration processing. What was its record under its system? Wait lines ballooned with spouses, with travellers, with visa applicants, with refugees, and with the live-in caregiver program. We have done so much to reinvest in those programs to make sure that wait times come down, and we have reinvested in border security.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals do not have a plan or a real answer. That is not surprising since, on Twitter, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour accused those who want to ensure the integrity of our immigration system and put an end to this unprecedented immigration crisis created by the Liberals of stoking fear and condoning violence. As usual, the Liberals do not have any answers and are saying that those who are asking legitimate questions are bigots, racists, or what have you.
    Does the Prime Minister agree with his labour minister? Is that what he thinks of all of the Quebeckers who are understandably concerned about the illegal immigration crisis at our border? Will he apologize for those remarks? That is unacceptable.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we will never apologize for our welcoming nature in Canada. We will always make sure that Canadian law is respected as well as meet our international obligations.
     Our record speaks for itself. We have invested $173 million in border security operations as well as faster processing of refugee claims. What is irresponsible is cutting $400 million from border security and pretending to care about the border.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, it seems like everyone, including the MPs on the other side of the floor, are starting to get why it is so important that web giants pay their fair share. I guess the Liberal government is not listening to its own MPs, because instead of making the web giants pay their fair share, it keeps signing sweetheart deals. With countries around the world moving to tax web giants, why is the government not doing the same?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, we do believe that it is important that we keep our tax system up to date with the changing norms of business. What we are doing is working together with other countries around the world. The OECD has been looking at how we can coordinate our taxation approach for large digital companies. That report came first to the G7 and G20 in the last months. We are expecting a further report in the next year to year and a half that will inform us on how we can do it together collaboratively to make sure that we do tax these organizations appropriately.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is pathetic when the government resorts to pretending that it does not understand.
    Last week, Liberal parliamentarians recommended that the government ensure that web giants collect GST, something that almost every OECD country is doing. I therefore asked the Minister of Finance whether he was going to listen to his colleagues' recommendations. I was told that the government would work with our OECD colleagues. The OECD has been recommending this course of action since 2015. We are not talking about corporate taxes, Mr. Minister of Finance. We are talking about GST.
    Are you doing this on purpose or what?
     I would remind the hon. member to direct his comments to the Chair.
    The hon. Minister of Finance.
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, it is very important to consider taxes in concert with other countries, especially when it comes to international corporations. We need to consider taking an approach that will truly work in the future. That is why we are working with the other countries, the OECD, on finding the best way forward for the future.

[English]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, this week the leader of the Conservative Party admitted that he, like Harper, has no real plan to protect the environment or grow the economy. Meanwhile, a new analysis from our government shows that a price on carbon is the foundation of any serious climate plan, cutting pollution in a way that is equivalent to shutting down 20 coal plants. Can the parliamentary secretary share with this House the positive impacts our plan to put a price on pollution will have for the environment and the economy?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians made a choice in 2015 to grow the economy while protecting the environment, something Stephen Harper could never do. Our plan to put a price on carbon pollution will reduce emissions, drive innovation, and help Canada compete in a global market for a clean solution, one that will be worth trillions of dollars.
    The Conservatives do not want to take action on climate change. They want to go back to the failed Harper Conservative approach by doing nothing to address climate change or to achieve our targets. We know that their approach does not work. Their poor economic and environmental records prove it.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, investment is leaving Canada under the Prime Minister. Scotiabank said, “Reliance on the existing pipeline network and rail shipments to bring Canadian oil to market has a demonstrable impact on Canada’s well-being, with consequences that extend well beyond Alberta.” BMO warns that the pipeline crisis sends a message that it is difficult to develop Canadian resources and will limit “revenues, tax...investment, production” and development. Why is the Prime Minister chasing billions in investments, jobs, and indigenous opportunities from Canada into the United States?
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was in Fort McMurray, and so was the Minister of Infrastructure, and we listened to workers at Fort McMurray. They actually came from every nook and cranny of the country working in the oil sands. They understand better than everybody else how important the energy sector is for families in virtually every region of the country.
    The member knows that we approved the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline for all the reasons she would agree with: jobs, expansion of export markets, and investor certainty.
    Mr. Speaker, the Business Council of B.C. says that the TMX delay is a “crisis of confidence” in Canada's regulatory processes, with far-reaching implications. Canada has always had the world's highest standards for energy and environmental regulation. However, the Prime Minister has killed over 6,600 kilometres of pipeline and driven over $80 billion in energy investment out of Canada in less than one term.
    RBC warns that capital is fleeing Canada in real time, and “if we don’t keep the capital here, we can’t keep the people here ”.
    When will the Prime Minister finally champion Canadian energy?
    How about pretty well every day, Mr. Speaker.
    It is remarkable what the members opposite do not want to hear. They do not want to listen to what we say when we talk about the oceans protection plan. They do not want to listen to us when we talk about working with indigenous communities. They do not want to listen to us when we talk about the pipelines we have approved, so it is very selective hearing and revisionist history.

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has not done that. He repeated in Paris that he wants to phase out the energy sector.
     Canadian pipelines are built with Canadian steel. The Ontario steel industry supplies some of the best quality green steel available. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister has committed over and over again to shutting down our energy sector. We have lost more than $80 billion due to his failed policies.
    No Canadian pipe means no Canadian steel and no Canadian jobs. Why is the Prime Minister killing good manufacturing jobs in Canada and in Ontario by phasing out our energy sector?
    Mr. Speaker, I guess the member opposite was not listening. He was not listening to what the Prime Minister has said and what we say every day. He is not listening to the number of pipeline approvals and why. He is not listening to the importance the natural resource sector continues to play in the Canadian economy.
    It does not matter if the Conservatives are not listening. We will continue to repeat that message every day.
    Mr. Speaker, today is the last day of April, exactly one month until Kinder Morgan will make its decision on whether it proceeds with Trans Mountain or whether it ends up in the graveyard of pipeline failures, like northern gateway and energy east. At the same time, when the Minister of Natural Resources wants to talk about what we are listening to, we are listening to the Prime Minister talk about phasing out the oil sands, and we are watching as the Liberals are funding summer student jobs to protest against pipelines.
    What does the minister not just admit that this was all part of the Prime Minister's plan to get rid of the energy sector in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, the member covered a lot of ground in 35 seconds.
    We could talk about the number of dollars the Conservative Party gave to the very same group they are criticizing us for having funded, or we could talk about freedom of speech. Maybe their preference is that we should make sure that we only fund those groups that agree with every single one of our policies. That is not the way we operate.
    It is also true, and the member should know, that 50,000 new jobs have been created in Alberta. Alberta continues to lead in GDP growth. We are proud—
    The hon. member for London—Fanshawe.

Canada Post

    Mr. Speaker, on August 24, the Toronto–Dominion Bank plans to close the last remaining bank branch in Old East Village in London, leaving payday lenders free to prey on residents. My appeal to the minister when TD closed its Hamilton Road branch got a pathetic response.
    The government stands by and does nothing when the big banks abandon our communities, but New Democrats and Canadians know the solution is postal banking. Will the government support my Motion No. 166 to study and implement postal banking?
    Mr. Speaker, our government was excited to release our vision for Canada Post earlier this year, and we stand behind our commitment to focusing on the core service it provides to Canadians across this country.
     A parliamentary committee and a second committee have looked at the issue of postal banking. We have tasked our new leadership at Canada Post to look into innovative and creative ways of better providing services to Canada. I am very excited at the progress that is being made.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, while Canadians have waited patiently for their governments to act, two caribou herds in British Columbia are almost extinct. The remaining herds of mountain and boreal woodland caribou in B.C. and Alberta are also on the brink of extirpation.
     Both federal law and Treaty 8 obligations require the Minister of Environment to intervene and stop further degradation of the critical habitat. Promised spending on future conservation just will not cut it. Would the minister now consider safety-net orders at least to spur a completion of effective provincial range plans to save this iconic species?
    Mr. Speaker, the plight of boreal caribou and south mountain caribou is one that is important to all Canadians. It is a test of all governments' ability to work to ensure an appropriate future in terms of biodiversity in our country.
    Since we came into office, we have been working very hard on this file with the provinces and territories that have primary responsibility on provincial and territorial lands, which is 95% of the land in Canada. We are working toward negotiating conservation agreements with the provinces and territories, and are contemplating other actions that we may need to take in order to move this file forward. We are committed to protecting boreal caribou in Canada.

  (1455)  

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, the Chief Electoral Officer said that the drop-dead deadline for passing legislation in order for it to be implemented prior to the next election has already passed. The Liberals have ignored warnings about foreign interference through third party spending in our elections. The Chief Electoral Officer has also said that there are no restrictions to prevent foreign funds from going to third parties in Canada, which means no restrictions on unlimited third party spending for election polling, canvassing, phone banking, or election websites.
    Could the Liberals explain why they only care about their own interests and not those of Canadian democracy?
    Mr. Speaker, we are moving forward to modernize the Canada Elections Act, and we will be repealing the unfair parts of the Harper Conservatives' Fair Elections Act. In fact, the Harper Conservatives made it harder for Canadians to vote. That is what the Conservatives continue to applaud today, that they made it harder for Canadians to vote.
    We will make it easier for Canadians to participate in the electoral movement, and to elect good, strong government serving all Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, an lpsos Reid poll found that 87% of Canadians think it is reasonable that Canadians be required to prove their ID and address before voting, yet the Liberals want to change this. We need ID to receive health care and to drive a vehicle, so why not in order to vote?
    Could the Liberals explain to Canadians why they do not think ID should be required to vote?
    Mr. Speaker, there is a court case going on right now on this very issue. I will not comment on that court case, but let us be very clear. We want to make it easier for Canadians to vote and participate in the Canadian electoral process.
     The Conservatives, on the other hand, when they were in government, made it more difficult for Canadians to participate. We think that was the wrong approach. We believe that engaging Canadians on the future of their country is exactly the way to proceed, and that is exactly what we are going to do.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are cooking up a plan for our Canada Elections Act in order to cause confusion 18 months out from the next election.
    In Quebec, voters are used to showing a health insurance card, a driver's licence, a Canadian passport, an Indian status card, or a Canadian Forces ID card. No one is excluded.
    Why are the Liberals trying to undermine the integrity of our electoral system?
    Mr. Speaker, again, we are modernizing the Canada Elections Act and repealing the unfair parts of the Harper Conservatives' Fair Elections Act. Their actions made it harder for Canadians to vote.
    We believe that our country is stronger when more Canadians, not fewer, participate in our democracy.

[English]

Workplace Safety

    Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday on our National Day of Mourning for injured workers, I had the honour of representing our government at a ceremony in Whitney Pier hosted by our local unions. I got to meet not only injured workers, but also families that lost their loved ones at the work site. Over the past two years, our government has brought in new measures to modernize the Canada Labour Code to better support Canadian workers and the businesses that employ them.
    Could the minister tell the House what other steps our government is taking to protect Canadians in the workplace?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Sydney—Victoria for his tireless work on behalf of injured workers.

[Translation]

    My sincerest condolences go out to the families, friends, and colleagues of the victims so deeply affected by these tragedies.

[English]

    Not all workplace injuries are physical. To help put an end to harassment and sexual violence, our government has introduced the historic Bill C-65.
    We are going to continue to work with the labour movement, with employers, and provincial and territorial partners to improve work environments, to better protect the safety of Canadian workers.

Human Rights

    Mr. Speaker, 15 years ago, Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was tortured and killed in Iran's infamous Evin prison. Weeks ago, Canadian Professor Seyed-Emami was killed in that prison while being detained without charge by Iran. Now Iran is detaining his widow, Maryam Mombeini, and not allowing her to return to Canada.
    Meanwhile, the Liberal government is planning to bring Iranian officials to Ottawa in order to negotiate an aircraft sale. Will the government commit today to not hold meetings or trade with Iran until she is released?

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, we will always defend human rights and hold Iran to account for its actions.
    The focus of any discussion with the Government of Iran will be on ensuring Maryam Mombeini is able to return home, and on demanding answers on the death of her husband, Mr. Seyed-Emami.
    Let me be clear that our government is committed to holding Iran to account for its violation of human and democratic rights. This is why we led a resolution to the UN in November, calling on Iran to comply with its international human rights obligations.
    We remain deeply concerned with the human rights situation in Iran, but that will be the focus of our discussions.

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, I know the Liberals have a hard time seeing past the ends of their noses, but I am going to help them.
    What comes after winter? Spring. What happens in the spring? The snow melts and it rains. Sometimes it rains a lot, and sometimes rivers overflow their banks. In many parts of Quebec right now, riverside residents are worried. Everyone remembers last year's floods.
    Does the Liberal government have a plan to deal with flood waters, or will it once again wake up too late, neck-deep in water?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the record shows that we never ignore the problem. As a matter of fact, the government operations centre, which is a part of my department, is in constant contact with all provincial officials across the country, including those in the province of Quebec, to determine if federal assistance is needed to alleviate emergency situations like flooding.
    If a request comes in, we will respond instantly.

[Translation]

Health

     Mr. Speaker, the sale of tobacco products not labelled with information about the product, its emissions, its health hazards, and its health effects is prohibited.
    Even so, unlabelled cigars and cigarillos sell for peanuts on the black market.
    Can the minister tell Canadians what is being done about this?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in budget 2018, we included $80 million over five years for the federal tobacco control strategy. We are now renewing agreements with the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service and the Kahnawake Mohawk Peacekeepers to address organized crime activities, including contraband tobacco.
    This new funding will help reverse the previous government's cuts, so that Canada can remain a leader in tobacco control.

[Translation]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, Mexico was the first country to ratify the trans-Pacific partnership, and Japan's parliament is currently debating it.
     Unfortunately for the Canadian economy, nothing is happening here. For the Prime Minister, TPP means “tiniest possible priority”. We saw this in Vietnam. Billions of dollars are at stake for Canadian agriculture. We must be among the first six countries to ratify the agreement, otherwise we will be left to pick up the scraps of Liberal incompetence. We are prepared to work with the government.
    When will we finally see legislation to ratify the TPP in this Parliament?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his passion on issues related to international trade.
     As I told him Friday, we plan to move quickly on ratifying this agreement. The Prime Minister and I both know that it is the right thing to do. That is an important market for Canada. We are talking about over 500 million consumers and 14% of the global economy.
    I am sure that all Canadians listening today will be happy to hear the member opposite say that he will support us in order to ratify the TPP quickly in the interest of all Canadians across the country.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, when the minister made promises to Quebec about the migrant crisis, he was clearly making things up as he went along. The minister assumed that Ontario would help triage the asylum claims, but the mayor of Toronto said no, since their shelters are overloaded as well. Twelve days after the minister made his promise, nothing has budged. We are not talking about a backlog of cases. We are talking about people in need who responded to the Prime Minister's irresponsible invitation.
    When will this government have a plan?
    Mr. Speaker, we have a plan. Canada's position on refugees has always been clear: we will welcome them according to well-established rules. Our position has not changed.
    We are currently in talks with the governments of Quebec and Ontario. I oversee a task force, which has regular discussions, and we are also in contact with the United States. We know that Quebec has borne a heavy burden, as has Ontario, which welcomed nearly 20,000 refugees last year.

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, what plan are we talking about?
    There are hundreds of families in makeshift camps waiting for the government to take action. The minister agrees that he should be organizing the transfer of applicants on the ground. To date, he has only floated a trial balloon that Ontario outright rejected.
    What is the government playing at? Quebec can no longer meet the need for health services, placement of children in schools, and social assistance.
    When can we expect the solution that was promised last week?
    Mr. Speaker, we are working very closely with the Government of Quebec. Twelve days ago, I announced that we would be setting up a task force to discuss the costs that Quebec has been forced to absorb.
    Furthermore, we are also discussing a triage system to determine if it is possible to send some claimants to other provinces or to Quebec regions where there is a labour shortage.
    I wonder if my colleague opposite is suggesting that we build a wall.

[English]

The Environment

    [Member spoke in Inuktitut].
     [English]
    Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
    My constituents continue to express concern about carbon pricing and how it may increase their cost of living, already the highest in the country. The minister has publicly acknowledged the unique nature of Nunavut, and has committed to designing a solution that takes us into account.
     It is my understanding that the Government of Nunavut has made specific exemption requests. Given that Nunavut accounts for only one-tenth of one per cent of Canada's total emissions, will the minister grant these exemptions?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians in northern communities in particular experience first-hand the effects of climate change. Putting a price on pollution will reduce emissions while maintaining a strong and growing economy. Carbon pricing is an efficient, low-cost way to reduce pollution.
    The pan-Canadian framework on Canada's clean growth and climate action plan recognizes that the territories have unique circumstances, including a high cost of living, challenges with food security, and the emerging nature of their economies. We are working with Nunavut and the territories to consider carbon pricing in this context. We are committed to developing solutions that work for northern Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order arising out of the Minister of Immigration's comments today. On two occasions he repeated that I should “never talk about” a topic of concern to many Canadians.
    It is certainly not parliamentary or democratic to attempt to silence someone simply because the member does not like the topic of debate or the position of another member. Fortunately for Canadians, my voice will not be that easily silenced.
    I do have to ask if the minister would have used that condescending, desperate phrasing if I were a man?
    I thank the hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill for her comments. It is maybe more debate than a point of order.
    I do not see the Minister of Immigration rising to respond.
    The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, hoping for more co-operation from all parliamentarians this time, I am seeking consent to table a document from Natural Resources Canada stating that, “[b]etween 2005 and 2015, Canada’s GHG emissions in the energy sector decreased 2.2% while real GDP grew by 16.9%”.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table this document?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.

  (1510)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to seek unanimous consent to table two documents to the House.
    One is from the Library of Parliament, which is on CBSA's spending by program. The second one is from the Library of Parliament listing the population of federal public services by department.
    Both documents show that despite what the Minister of Immigration said, that there was $400 million cut, the high of spending during this period was during the Conservative Harper government of 2014. The report shows that since then, the Liberal government has cut $300 million.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Parliamentary Delegations

    I have the honour to lay upon the table the report of a committee of a Canadian parliamentary delegation concerning its visit to the United States, in New York, from March 13 to 15, 2018.

Elections Modernization Act

Hon. Scott Brison (for the Minister of Democratic Institutions)  
     moved for leave to introduce Bill C-76, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make certain consequential amendments.

     (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present, in both official languages, four reports of the Canada-United States Inter-parliamentary Group.
     The first concerns the ninth annual conference of the Southeastern United States–Canadian Provinces Alliance, held in Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America, from May 26 to 28, 2016.
    The second concerns the Democratic National Convention held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America, from July 25 to 28, 2016.
    The third concerns the U.S. Congressional meetings held in Washington, D.C., United States of America, from March 20 to 22, 2017.
    The fourth concerns the 70th annual meeting of the Council of State Governments–WEST held in Tacoma, Washington, D.C., United States of America, from August 15 to 19, 2017.
    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, two reports of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union respecting its participation.
    The first is on the executive committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the High-Level Group on counterterrorism and violent extremism in Geneva, Switzerland, February 3 to 6, 2018.
    The second is on the meeting of the 12+ Group Steering Committee in Lisbon, Portugal, on March 4 and 5, 2018.

Petitions

Canada Summer Jobs Program  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to table my very first e-petition. This one is from 4,922 Canadians right across the country. The petitioners are calling to the government's attention that, as it is now written, the application form for the Canada summer jobs program forces employers to choose between their charter-protected freedoms and eligibility for government programming.
    They are calling on the government to remove the discriminatory attestation requirements from the Canada summer jobs application and to respect the charter rights of all Canadians, even if those Canadians' views differ from the political ideology of the government of the day.
    This brings the total number of petitioners to 6,083.

[Translation]

Income Inequality  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition signed by several residents of Hochelaga and the surrounding ridings.
    It states that Canadian families are working harder than ever but still struggle to make ends meet, that a decent minimum wage would help combat growing income inequality, and that the previous Liberal government abolished the minimum wage for workers at federally regulated businesses.
    This petition is therefore calling on the government to restore the federal minimum wage and gradually raise it to $15 an hour.

  (1515)  

[English]

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present Petition E-1364, spearheaded by a remarkable young woman, a constituent of mine, Niara van Gaalen. Ms. van Gaalen is a community leader in the environmental and conservation movement, and has laid out an ambitious plan in this petition to dramatically enhance Canada's wilderness protection and reduce our environmental footprint.
    I would like to take this opportunity to salute her passion, drive, and ambition as she pursues this cause that is near and dear to her heart.
    I remind the hon. member that this is not a time for comments on how they feel about the debate or a petitioner, even if it is a very nice person. Simply tell us about what the petition is about.
    The hon. member for Calgary Shepard.

Canada Summer Jobs Program  

    Mr. Speaker, I am tabling a petition on behalf of 39 of my constituents. It is on the values test imposed by the government. They are drawing the attention of the government to section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms detailing the rights and freedoms that they have. They are also mentioning that the Government of Canada must defend the rights of all Canadians regardless of whether they agree or disagree with them. Finally, they are calling on the government to defend the freedoms of conscience, thought, and belief, and withdraw the attestation requirement for all applicants of the Canada summer jobs program.

Democratic Reform  

    Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions. The first is a petition calling on the Government of Canada to keep its promise on electoral reform. The petitioners believe Canadians deserve a fair voting system, where every vote counts and their voices are heard. There were two-thirds of Canadians who voted for parties promising electoral reform in the last election, and nearly 90% of experts and public testimony at Parliament's consultations called for a proportional voting system. Therefore, these petitioners ask the Government of Canada to once again keep its promise and bring forward an electoral reform that is not first past the post, as it promised in 2015.

Banking Services  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from petitioners who support postal banking in Canada. Nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders. We have seen the impact of these heartless and terrible people who practise payday lending in our communities. They are crippling those who are poor and marginalized. There are 3,800 Canada Post outlets that already exist in rural areas, and they could help with postal banking. We hope that this Parliament will see fit to do that.

[Translation]

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition on behalf of the people of Brome—Missisquoi, especially the residents of Sutton, Frelighsburg, and Abercorn.
    They are calling on the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to create an inhabited park covering our great region, where wildlife protection and activities like hiking would be encouraged. Our region is home to this country's most beautiful scenery, and I am presenting this petition on behalf of my constituents.

[English]

Canada Summer Jobs Program  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by many Canadian citizens and residents. They point out that section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights identifies freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, and freedom of belief as fundamental freedoms. They call on the House to defend the freedoms of conscience, thought, belief, and to withdraw the attestation requirement for applicants to the Canada summer jobs program.

Indigenous Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present e-petition 1305, which was signed by nearly 4,000 people, including many people from Nishnawbe Aski Nation, who are deeply concerned about the role of Senator Lynn Beyak in the Senate, who uses her position as a voice for Canadians to push dangerously revisionist history on residential schools, and worse has used her position to promote—
    I would remind the member to keep to what the petition is calling for, because it sounds like he is getting into debate.
    Mr. Speaker, this is a petition that was brought forward by Canadian citizens who have a deep concern, and I can read it:
     On September 1, 2017, Senator Beyak posted a letter on her website repeating her defense of the Indian Residential School System, and urged First Nation people to “Trade your status card for a Canadian citizenship”. First nation and indigenous people are Canadians. [...]
    Senator Beyak's comments are extremely offensive, to not only Residential School Survivors but to all First Nations people....
    We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the Government...to take steps to remove Lynn Beyak from her position as Senator.
    That was brought forward by the people of Canada.

  (1520)  

Israel  

    Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by constituents from Dufferin—Caledon. They call upon Parliament to encourage the Canadian government to work with the Government of Israel to facilitate the completion of sponsorship applications of asylum seekers from Africa so that they can immigrate to Canada as soon as possible.

Canada Summer Jobs Program   

    Mr. Speaker, the petitioners draw the Prime Minister's attention to the following: That section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms identifies freedom of conscience, thought, and belief as fundamental freedoms. The Government of Canada needs to defend the rights of all Canadians whether they agree with them individually or not, and they believe that the current Liberal government's proposed attestation for Canada summer jobs contravenes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They are calling on the Prime Minister to defend the freedom of conscience, thought, belief, and to withdraw the attestation requirements which apply to the Canada summer jobs program.

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured today to table a petition on behalf of my constituents from Ahousaht, Tofino, Ucluelet, and Qualicum Beach. They call on the government to develop a national strategy to combat ocean plastics and to work with the provinces, municipalities, and indigenous communities. The goal is to reduce plastic debris discharged from stormwater outfalls; industrial use of microplastics; consumer and industrial use of single-use plastics like plastic bags, bottles, straws, tableware, polystyrene, cigarette filters, and beverage containers; and create a permanent dedicated annual fund for a cleanup of derelict fishing gear, community-led projects to clean up plastics and debris from our shores, banks, beaches, and other aquatic peripheries; and education and outreach campaigns on the root causes and negative environmental effects of plastic pollution in and around all bodies of water. They call on the government to redesign the plastic economy and to make producer responsibility intact in the regulation of plastics.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise to present another petition from the citizens of Saanich—Gulf Islands. This one pertains to the management of marine protected areas. The petitioners are looking for changes that will allow the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to work with different government branches to simplify what are very complicated communications between multiple levels of government, all related to the protection of offshore marine protected areas.

Fisheries  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present two e-petitions. The first is e-petition 1416, which was initiated by Poul Bech, a member of my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam Anmore Belcarra, which received 1,732 signatures. Thompson River steelhead are at risk of extirpation, with fewer than 200 expected to return to spawn from a run that once numbered in the thousands. Gillnets and purse seines in the chum salmon fisheries occurring in the Fraser River and approach areas intercept significant numbers of migrating interior Fraser steelhead and bycatch, which is unsustainable. Alternative selective fishing methods are required in order to help them recover.
    The petitioners call on the Minister of Fisheries to suspend gillnet fish and purse seine chum salmon fisheries in the Fraser River and approach areas, including Johnstone Strait during the annual interior Fraser River steelhead migration in the months of September, October, and November, and to work with gillnet and purse seine fishers to establish alternative, sustainable, fully selective and fully monitored fisheries practices during the annual interior Fraser River steelhead migration.
    Mr. Speaker, I would also like to table e-petition 1419, which was initiated by Gregory Gordon from Kamloops, B.C., which received 681 signatures. With fewer than 200 fish expected to return to the Thompson River to spawn, from a run that once numbered in the thousands, and less than 50 expected to return to the Chilcotin River, the situation is urgent. The petitioners call on the Minister of Environment to issue an emergency listing order under the Species at Risk Act for the interior Fraser steelhead.

Questions on the Order Paper

    The Speaker: Is it agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[English]

Oil Tanker Moratorium Act

     The House resumed consideration of Bill C-48, an act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of Motions Nos. 1 and 2.
    The hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola has three minutes remaining in his speech.
    Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate the opportunity to rise again in this place. I gave a full presentation earlier in regard to some concerns I have with the bill. The bill represents a political decision by the Prime Minister. By putting in place a ban in this one particular area, it is actually only going to exacerbate the problem in other areas.
    I met with first nations elders and chiefs, along with the member of Parliament for Cariboo—Prince George in his riding shortly after the bill was tabled. They were shocked that the government would have tabled legislation without first speaking to them. Since that time I have also met with first nations that want to see economic development areas. They want to see some heavy oil exports run so that their communities can benefit from that resource development.
    This is an area where we have to come to grips when we have a Prime Minister who says that he needs to hold consultations and build social licence and at the same time tables legislation that does neither. In fact, it makes many of those first nations that are seeking to develop their own economic resources so they can move to own-source revenue very cynical and skeptical not only of this government, but of government in general.
    When I was first elected to Ottawa, one particular politician, who had just retired, gave me some advice. He said to me, “Dan, you may think Ottawa is around 3,000 kilometres away, but to us back home, it's more like 30,000.” That view is felt even more closely when we start going into northern regions of British Columbia, where the actual communities themselves see this as an excellent way to develop their own own-source revenue, to train, to bring in new expansions for jobs.
    When I meet with many of the first nations leaders in my riding, the number one priority they have is for their children to learn skills. Instead, rather than taking advantage of these kinds of things, we have a Liberal government that seems intent on running counter to that. We have to figure out how we are going to deal with that, because there are communities that may not like resource extraction, whether they be first nations or otherwise, but we cannot allow just a few to make decisions on behalf of others in these rural and remote areas.
    I look forward to questions and further debate on this issue in this place.

  (1525)  

    Mr. Speaker, Bill C-48 fulfills a commitment the Liberals made in the last election to put in a moratorium. The government has been very clear in terms of how important our oceans are. We have seen literally hundreds of millions of dollars over a number of years invested in protecting our oceans, our marine life, and so forth. At the same time, we have also seen a government working with indigenous people and many different stakeholders. Unlike the previous Harper government, which was not able to get a pipeline to tidewater, we were able to do that through a process that respects the importance of consultation, respects the environment, and respects the national interest.
    Surely to goodness the member across the way would recognize that the bill fulfills a commitment made by the Prime Minister for a moratorium, while at the same time on another file, the pipeline, we were able to proceed with that too.
    Mr. Speaker, I try not to use this word too often, especially in a generalized way that should apply so broadly, but I cannot believe the arrogance of some of these Liberals. Earlier today during question period, the Minister of Immigration told a member several times to never refer to or talk about the previous government's achievements in certain areas on immigration.
    I just gave a speech, and the member was in the chamber, in which I said that first nations in the area were not consulted and felt cynical that the government would move forward with legislation and basically say, “This is how we are going to do it”, particularly when they had said earlier they wanted to develop resources and see heavy oils shipped out for the development of their own resources. The problem with the Liberals is they like to say things that make people feel good, things like, “We need to consult" and "We need to keep promises”, yet cynically, they do the opposite.
    I know it is not all of the Liberals. I know there are members out there who support our natural resources being developed and want to see indigenous people not only be consulted but actually participate. I stand with those Canadians who want to see all of us get to our highest attainment as far as economic development is concerned together.

  (1530)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for pointing out the incredible hypocrisy from the members on the other side of this House, as well as pointing out the concerns of our first nations communities in British Columbia who would have pointed out that no consultation took place before this bill was introduced.
    I am wondering if he would agree with me that the government should maintain strong regulations to allow for the safe passage of all vessels through all Canadian waters, rather than impose measures that target the development of a single industry.
    Mr. Speaker, I think it will come as no surprise to many in this place that not only do I agree with the member just in broad principle, but the Conservatives also believe that the product of an individual or community's labour should be able to be traded freely with other people. Whether that is free trade through international free trade agreements, opening up new market access and seeing that products get safely to market, or whether it is the trade of fine Canadian wines from the Okanagan, we want to see that market access established and we want to see people be able to come forward.
    We have first nations who want to participate in the Canadian economy. They see it as a way for them to grow their economy and provide their own education. Let us let people choose their futures. Unfortunately, the government is simply being prescriptive and saying that in certain areas, it will allow opportunity and in certain areas it will actually ban it.
    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise to speak to Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act. A north coast tanker ban has been a legislative priority of the NDP for many years, and we welcome the fact that the Liberals are finally taking action on this issue.
     The bill calls for a ban on tanker traffic carrying more than 12,500 metric tons of crude oil on the northwest coast of Canada. It makes exceptions for refined oil products, like diesel and gasoline, in order for coastal communities to be resupplied. Therefore, right off the top, the bill does nothing to prevent refined oil spills, like the Nathan E. Stewart disaster, from threatening our coast.
    We are concerned that Bill C-48 also gives the minister broad arbitrary powers to exempt vessels from the ban, and define what fuels are covered by the act. We hope the government will implement constructive amendments to limit ministerial power and increase spill response resources.
    I have had the good fortune and privilege of travelling to and working on the north coast of B.C. numerous times. I have been on that wild coast going around the eelgrass beds of Flora Bank when I was working on the environmental assessment for the Ridley Island terminals. I have worked on charter sailboat natural history cruises around the coast of Moresby Island, acting as a natural history resource person. For a young guy from the desert grasslands of the Okanagan Valley, those were really life-changing experiences.
    It is truly a wild coast. I remember one ferry trip to Haida Gwaii across Hecate Strait. The ferry was taking green water on the third deck, the restaurant deck. Sand was coming up from the bottom of Hecate Strait, in the middle of the strait, on to the boat's decks. Large semi-trailer trucks were being tossed around on the vehicle decks. A lot of damage was happening. It was quite an experience. I have really experienced the wild and crazy weather that can beset shipping traffic there.
    Not only is it a wild coast, it is really a rich coast. We heard a lot about the fish resource, especially salmon, from my colleague, the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam. For millennia, first nation cultures have relied on this diversity, this richness, and the local economy today continues to rely heavily on fisheries and tourism. I want to talk about the rich natural heritage of that coast.
    The northern B.C. coast is one of the richest in the world. There are great rivers, like the Stikine and the Skeena, that carry nutrients from the interior to the coast, where they mix in rich estuaries with marine waters. Currents, like the Alaska current, bring up more nutrients to the surface from the bottom sediments of the continental shelf. The cold waters of the Alaska current hold high concentrations of oxygen. The result is a natural diversity that is truly unbelievable. It is truly amazing. This topic may never have been brought up in this chamber before, but British Columbia and the British Columbia coast have the highest diversity of sea stars, starfish, as many of us call them, in the world. Members may not have known that. When one is kayaking along the coast of Haida Gwaii in Burnaby Narrows, one can see leather stars, bat stars, sunflower stars, and many more. It is incredible. That is just one example of that diversity.
    At the other end of the spectrum, we have marine mammals, whales, dolphins, porpoises, fur seals, sea lions, seals, and sea otters, the mammal that brought Europeans to the British Columbia coast and really fuelled the European exploration of the coast and the first contacts with first nations people because of their fine fur, fine fur that cannot withstand a drop of oil or the animal will die, because those animals require their fur to be in pristine condition.
    For many years, the whales were harvested in great numbers off the coast. Their numbers declined almost to extirpation and extinction. However, there have been some good-news stories. The humpback whales and the grey whales have now recovered in a dramatic fashion, and we can now see hundreds or thousands of them over a season along the coast.

  (1535)  

    Off the west coast of Haida Gwaii down to Cape St. James and other places, the land drops precipitously off into the waters. There is very little continental shelf, and sperm whales come close to the shore. If people are down to Cape St. James and they look up at the big cliffs that go straight into the water, they see thousands and thousands of seabirds, thousands of common murres and puffins. British Columbia has three species of puffins, and the Atlantic coast only one. I am looking for some Atlantic MPs, who only have one species on the Atlantic side, but there are three on the Pacific coast. They are all there in British Columbia.
    There is another little relative of the puffin called the ancient murrelet. I am going to go into birds and I hope people will find it educational. Half of the world's population of the ancient murrelet, about half a million birds, breeds on Haida Gwaii. This is a little seabird that eats crustaceans in the water, such as shrimp. They nest in burrows in the forest and the young go off into the ocean when they are just tiny little downy things. Again, they are very susceptible to any pollution.
    At the north end of Vancouver Island, which is the south end of the area that this bill covers, is Triangle Island. Triangle Island has another species of seabird breeding on it in immense numbers, the Cassin's auklet. There are about a million pairs of Cassin's auklets that nest there. Again, these birds are indicators of the richness of what is in the water, and we have to protect them. There are albatrosses that come from Hawaii to feed on the B.C. coast and then go back to Hawaii to feed their young.
    I would like to switch gears now and talk about the history of this oil tanker moratorium. In the late 1960s there was actually oil drilling off the B.C. coast, but in 1969 there was a big blowout at Santa Barbara that sent shockwaves through the industry, and drilling was stopped. Facing that threat and the new shipments of oil coming south from Alaska, in 1972 the federal government instituted a moratorium on oil tankers off the northern B.C. coast, but it was never put into law. This is the first attempt to do that.
    Plans for drilling rose to the surface again in the 1980s, but two incidents put an end to those plans. One was the Nestucca barge, which collided with its own tug off the coast of Washington just before Christmas in 1988 and spilled about a million litres of bunker C. That oil from the central Washington coast spread north and covered the entire west coast of Vancouver Island all the way down into Oregon, about 1,000 kilometres of coast. The Nestucca spilled less than one-tenth of the amount of the limit that we are talking about here today in this bill.
    Not many people have heard of the Nestucca, because three months later the Exxon Valdez went down in southeastern Alaska, spilling 40 million litres of oil. That disaster killed 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 seals, and 250 eagles. The Alaska coast has never been the same.
    We can see, therefore, why many British Columbians are concerned about repeated plans for bulk oil transport along the B.C. coast. The tourism industry there is worth more than $780 million a year and creates more than 40,000 jobs. Fishery is also key for the local economy, with $100 million input into the economy from that industry. There are 2,500 people working in the fishery and more in processing. Therefore, I am happy to support Bill C-48. It would put into law a policy that has been in place for almost half a century. The NDP has supported the moratorium through those years.
     As I mentioned before, we are concerned about several aspects of the legislation. First is the limit of 12,500 tonnes of oil allowed for community and industry supply. The vessels that supply these communities are now well under 1,000 tonnes in size, so it is unclear why such a high limit was put in place. We would like to see that lowered significantly.

  (1540)  

    Second, we are concerned about the amount of ministerial discretion in this bill, which would allow the minister to exempt vessels and define what fuels are covered.
    However, we will continue to support the bill, as it is a step in the right direction that protects the British Columbia coast.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate very much that the NDP as a whole is fairly supportive of the legislation. We believe it is long overdue. It is a commitment we made in the last election campaign. Fulfilling this particular commitment in this legislation is a positive step forward.
    One of the issues that has come to light over the last while is with regard to the transportation of oil and getting oil to tidewater. A great deal of consultation has been done in appreciating that we have to take into consideration the environment, indigenous people taking part in the consultations, and doing our homework, and at times there is a need for opposition parties to state what their opinions really are.
    I am curious about the member's concerns regarding Trans Mountain and getting oil to tidewater. Does he know where the national New Democratic Party stands on that particular issue? Would there be a situation in which the New Democratic Party would support it?
    Mr. Speaker, the federal NDP has some real concerns with the Kinder Morgan project. One is the tanker traffic increasing sevenfold on the south coast. There is a concern about first nations consultation. I believe there are seven court cases going ahead on first nations consultation. A lot of groups think it was a total sham.
    We saw what happened with the northern gateway pipeline. That court case was decided in favour of the first nations who thought that consultation was a sham. There are concerns about the pipeline going through the British Columbia Interior. There are concerns that if we build that pipeline, we would never even come close to meeting our climate targets.
    There are a lot of concerns. Some of them are related to the reasons New Democrats support this tanker ban, which I just talked about. We are very concerned about the Kinder Morgan project. We do not think it is the right way to get oil to markets in Canada, so we are not supporting it.

  (1545)  

    Mr. Speaker, here is the reality: rather than introducing evidence-based regulations to ensure that marine shipping of all resources everywhere in Canada is safe, the Liberals are moving with a full moratorium for political purposes, with the full support of the NDP. It would appear that Venezuelan oil in Quebec is okay, Saudi Arabian oil on the east coast is okay, and Canadian oil in Vancouver is okay, but not in northern British Columbia. I want to ask the member why.
    Mr. Speaker, the NDP has always stood for using our own oil for our own purposes. If we upgraded our bitumen into synthetic crude, refined that synthetic crude into gasoline and diesel, and used it throughout the country instead of importing crude oil from Venezuelan, Nigeria, or wherever we are getting it from, Canadians would be very much in favour. We would be creating jobs, we would have greater energy security, and the amount of traffic on our coasts going either way would be much reduced. That is the way we should be moving.
    Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-48.
    While it is a proposed act that deals with the prohibition of oil tankers on the British Columbian coast, let us be honest and just call it what it is: part 3 of the Liberal government's plan to phase out the oil industry.
    Let us recap. Part 1 is the carbon tax, which is just basically taxing investment and new jobs out of existence. Part 2 is to slowly kill off any pipeline to get product to tidewater. This part has been well under way since 2015. In fact, killing the oil and gas industry has been one of the few things that the government has achieved that will placate its militant left in British Columbia for votes in the next election, as my colleague just mentioned.
     The Prime Minister said that he misspoke when he said that he wanted to phase out the oil sands, but we know this is just simply a mistruth. We can see it from his actions and the actions of his government. His environment minister is prepared to unilaterally impose a carbon tax and dismisses those opposed to this job-killing tax grab as climate change deniers. She has even committed to battling in court any province that tries to block the carbon tax, but on pipelines her answer is to please not take it to court. Her strategy is to ask those committed to the destruction of the oil industry to allow for a pipeline in exchange for a carbon tax.
     There is no commitment to fight for the oil and gas industry, and one could say that the government is simply calling on paid protesters and saying “Well, I guess we'll allow that to occur.” No one is actually calling those paid protesters “job deniers”. As for the NRCan minister, who should be a champion of the natural resource industry here in Canada, he is actually just AWOL.
    Here is the reality. The Liberals are beholden to an anti-oil activist group to keep their seats in the Lower Mainland and their hopes of picking up additional seats in Vancouver Island.
    To those in the oil industry in my hometown of Fort McMurray who have lost their jobs due to the ineffectiveness of the Prime Minister on the energy file, the Liberals offer yet another slap in the fact to them. In Fort McMurray and across Alberta, we have people losing their homes. We have people committing suicide. We have an economic crisis happening, and the government could not care less. The Liberals would rather appease protesters and others who would kill jobs than stand up for those who actually want to go to work. Perhaps the oil workers left unemployed by the government's lack of leadership could find a summer job as an anti-pipeline protester now, since those jobs are available.
    While the Prime Minister is happily jetting around the world for photo ops, his labour minister happily approved a grant to an anti-oil NGO to hire students to “stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project”.
     It pays only $15 an hour for a summer student and so will not necessarily pay for someone's mortgage or their home. As a former labour minister myself, I can say that it is a problem overall that we are against well-paying, great jobs, the type of jobs that Canadians need and should be receiving, while we are creating temporary jobs for individuals who want to kill an industry that is doing outstanding work for Canadians.
    The Prime Minister refuses to use federal power to have a pipeline, built but he is happy to use them to impose a carbon tax. This country has not seen anything like this, and with so much division on the issue, since his father was prime minister.
    Regarding, as I said, part 3 of his plan, the tanker moratorium, I will offer some suggestions on what can be done to help ensure we get our product to tidewater, and once at tidewater, to market.
    First, increase the penalties for those engaging in acts of violence or vandalism designed to disrupt natural resource development. Second, ensure that those who provide support for the aforementioned resource disruption that disrupts the natural resource industry are actually charged. Third, classify environmental lobbying as a political activity to ensure transparency in their funding. This would prevent the Liberals from funding organizations that are acting in direct opposition to the scientifically reviewed, approved, and legal activity. It might stop the Minister of Labour from approving temporary jobs for summer students who want to protest against these projects and shut them down.

  (1550)  

    If the Liberals are really serious about getting oil to market, then they would pull this bill today. They would institute tough penalties, take real action to ensure that pipelines get built, and support getting the product to market once it arrives at tidewater.
    However, they are not. The Prime Minister will talk about building Kinder Morgan while he funds opposition groups fighting against it. He will ban oil tankers from carrying that product to market, and he will impose a carbon tax on everything.
    The Liberals' three-point plan to phase out the oil industry is well under way. In my opinion, 2019 cannot come soon enough, when we will form a new Conservative government, fix this mess, and allow Albertans, like my family and our family friends, to get back to working hard at their jobs, which they deserve.
    Mr. Speaker, I find it amazing that the member across the way has no problem making these comments, given the type of information on the record. She talks a great deal about the province of Alberta, and justifiably so. This government has been focused on Alberta. If we take a look at what Albertans, and Canadians as a whole, have been able to accomplish, we see that Alberta is leading the way on many different economic fronts today. I would like to think that it is because of co-operating with people and because of government policy. It is making a positive difference, and 600,000 jobs have been created in Canada, with Alberta virtually leading the way.
    The member talks about killing the industry. Harper did nothing. He did not build one inch of pipeline to tidewater. Within two years, we were able to get more things done than the Harper government was able to do in 10 years. It is almost as if the Conservatives believe they have a right to provide misinformation because the member feels that Alberta is Conservative somehow. I have news: Alberta is changing. Alberta is recognizing that our government has the right priorities, priorities that are establishing and reinforcing our middle class and adding more value to the economy. Alberta is one of the provinces that are leading our country.
    Does the member not agree that Alberta has actually been doing a lot of good things that have ultimately led to its leading the country on issues like employment growth?
    Albertans are doing great things because Albertans are great. It has nothing to do with the government opposite, which is trying to kill jobs and continues to do so.
    I encourage the member opposite to maybe go and visit some of these Alberta communities where people are losing their homes, where individuals do not have jobs, and where individuals actually want to work hard. Your government seems to think that protestors are the way to go. In my hometown, when someone shows up and decides to protest against someone getting work, people take issue with that.
    The government wants to support the oil and gas industry in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. The government says, let us bring in that foreign oil, but it will never, ever support Albertans, its own people. On this side of the House, we support Albertans and all Canadians, and we support their getting jobs.

  (1555)  

    I just want to remind the hon. members of something. I am sure when the member said “your", she meant the member on the other side, not the Speaker, who is perfectly neutral.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Winnipeg North.
    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite tries to give the impression that Alberta is not doing all that well compared to the rest of Canada. Sadly, under the Harper government we saw massive job losses and a massive number of bankruptcies and so forth. The economy has been getting better and the middle class has been getting healthier because of good, positive policy coming out of our government and because of the fine work Canadians are doing.
    Many of the issues the member across the way talks about are not only in Alberta; they are across Canada. Here is my challenge to the member: Will she not give Albertans credit for the hard work they are doing, given the degree to which they are actually leading the country on many positive things? It is not all that bad in Alberta. Our government will continue to build, whether through infrastructure, investment in the middle class, or something like the Canada child benefit. There are so many positive things. We did get the approval to go forward in getting oil to the Pacific Ocean, which is something Harper never did.
    Mr. Speaker, I would just encourage the member opposite to have a reality check. He might want to go out and visit a few Albertans to know what is really going on.
    The fact of the matter is that Albertans have experienced some very tough times. I would encourage the member opposite to actually have a reality check. Maybe he should watch a little more reality TV; he might get the message.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, which would ban oil tanker traffic on the north coast of British Columbia.
    I want to start by saying that this is a very poor name for this bill. It would be better labelled the “let's destroy Canada's opportunity for economic growth and prosperity, including for indigenous people” act, because that is exactly what this bill is going to do.
    The government likes to talk about how the economy and the environment go hand in hand, and the importance of its relationship with indigenous peoples. I would like to illustrate how this bill is in fact a triple fail. It would actually hurt the economy; it would do nothing in terms of supporting the environment; and certainly many indigenous communities are very concerned.
    Undeniably, the government's approach is incoherent and illogical. It is the furthest it could be from fact-based decision-making. Bill C-48 is one part of a bigger puzzle, in terms of the very incoherent approach the government is taking.
    It is more rooted in government ideology. All we have to do is look at what the Prime Minister said last week in France, that he was sorry he could not phase out the oil sands more quickly. The Liberals, ideologically, want the oil sands phased out. All other pieces of legislation, whether related to pipelines or tankers, go back to their desire to take away the prosperity from our oil sands.
    Venezuelan oil in Quebec is okay. Saudi Arabian oil on the east coast is okay. Canadian oil in Vancouver is okay, but it is not okay in northern British Columbia.
    The Liberal government just released, on April 26, “Our Response to British Columbia’s Policy Intentions Paper for Engagement: Activities Related to Spill Management”. The government is telling British Columbians how it will be able to protect British Columbia, which I actually agree it can do through its marine protection plans.
    This is a 62-page document. In talking about how the government is going to protect British Columbia, just a little further down the coast, I think the question we need to ask ourselves is, if it can protect a little further down the coast, what is wrong with a little further up the coast? I think the same principles would apply.
    Again, it is a 62-page document put out by the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of Environment, and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. I am going to read some quotes.
    Canada's actions have demonstrated our commitment to the highest environmental standards and strong Indigenous partnerships, while ensuring vital infrastructure for the Canadian economy moves ahead.
    Our submission outlines the comprehensive scope of federal spill prevention and response activities to protect our oceans....
    Then it talks about the $1.5-billion oceans protection plan.
    Building on the existing safeguards, we are developing a marine safety system that rivals any in the world. The system draws on over thirty years of scientific research in spill prevention and response—including specific measures to ensure the safe transport of diluted bitumen.
    Canadians can be assured that our coastline will benefit from a world-class marine safety system thanks to the implementation of the Oceans Protection Plan.
    Then it talks about the science and the research.
    If the government is confident that this could be done in Vancouver, then it could absolutely be similarly confident that the same protections could have been put in place, and it did not actually have to go forward with the tanker ban. That is one area of incoherence.
    An article in the Calgary Herald looks at some statistics. These are really important statistics, from Statistics Canada's “Monthly Merchandise Trade Report—February 2018”, which tracks Canada’s international balance of trade.

  (1600)  

    The article states:
    Hidden within those summary numbers was the revelation that imports of energy products into Canada advanced by a material 15.4 per cent to $3.4 billion, the highest level since November 2014, with the largest share of those imports originating from the U.S.
    The importation of crude oil and bitumen advanced 15.4 per cent, with imported refined petroleum products up by 24.1 per cent, the latter due largely to increased imports of gasoline into British Columbia....
    A recent study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute, using 2016 data, indicates that substituting Canadian oil wherever possible using space on existing pipelines, railcars and ocean tankers, could reduce foreign oil imports into Eastern Canada by a whopping 47 per cent.
    Whether it is the energy east pipeline, because of the resistance in Quebec, or the northern gateway project, we are destroying not only Canada's ability to get the price it should be getting on the world market, but our internal domestic capacity. We have lots of imports, and we are cutting off our opportunities at the same time.
    While a precarious B.C. government opposes oil pipelines, the Trudeau government’s avowed transition away from fossil fuels appears perversely to be directed solely at penalizing Canadian producers.
    What is this? We are having more coming in from the United States; we are having more coming down the St. Lawrence seaway from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia; and we are not willing to let our own workers benefit, who produce in some of the most environmentally sensitive ways.
    It goes on to state:
    Canada is over-regulating domestic producers with misdirected policies that allow foreign petroleum imports—unimpeded by Canadian environmental laws, so-called social license, greenhouse gas reduction strategies and associated taxes....
    The final point I want to make before I conclude is about our indigenous communities. The Liberals talk about the importance to consult, but they did not consult. They plunked down a moratorium with very limited discussion with the first nations that would be most impacted by these decisions.
    This is one of the chiefs, on the day of the moratorium: “'I am just administering poverty,' despite sitting on some of the world’s richest oil and gas deposits, he said. 'I want the ability to share the wealth that has been taken out of our territories for the last one hundred years.'”
    Another article stated:
    “The reality is it is the only way forward. There's nothing else," [said] Calvin Helin, an executive with the Eagle Spirit Energy....
    Helin said there are few economic alternatives for many rural and remote Indigenous communities where there are unemployment rates in excess of 90 per cent.
    “Ordinary First Nations people want the same opportunities every other Canadian aspires to.”
    Ellis Ross stated:
    We were right on the cusp of First Nations in my region being able to look after themselves.
    We were just starting to turn the tide on that opposition to everything. For the first time, since white contact, we were ready to take our place in B.C. and Canada. Instead, B.C. is not going to exist pretty soon in terms of investment. That is how worried I am.
    We have a moratorium that is actually just shifting carbon pricing. We are getting more in from the States. If we can protect our coast in Vancouver, we can certainly protect the north with some of our best class pilotage in the world. This is an arbitrary political decision made by the government, which would certainly hurt not only indigenous communities but Canadians across this country.

  (1605)  

    I would remind hon. members that when they refer to people, they should not refer to them by their names but by their titles or the ridings they represent. I know that when we are reading quotes, sometimes it slips in there, so this is a quick reminder.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Winnipeg North.
    Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier when reflecting on the last election campaign, we have a government that made a commitment, which is now being fulfilled. The New Democratic Party supports this piece of legislation, and the Green Party representative supports it. It seems to me that the Conservative Party continues to be out of touch with what Canadians expect of government. It is not listening. This moratorium has wide support in all regions of the country.
    Would the member not, at the very least, acknowledge that we can have a moratorium and still have pipelines bringing product to market? I am not too sure why the Conservative Party wants to tie the two of them together. It is almost for the sake of opposing and for no other reason.
    Mr. Speaker, absolutely, I can. I met with some of the proponents of Eagle Spirit, and they suggested that all we have to do is have that pipeline veer up into Alaska. Then we can be putting it in tankers there. That would achieve nothing in terms of what the government is trying to achieve, absolutely, but what is the sense in taking opportunities away from Canadians.
    All of a sudden, this is a commitment from the Liberals' platform. Well, how about we balance the budget? How about we show some fiscal responsibility? I think there are some things the Liberals could do. If you are going to show faithfulness to your platform policies, then I think you have a lot of work to do.
    Once again, I want to remind the hon. members, I am sure it was not me the member was talking to. She meant the hon. member across the floor.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Hochelaga.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the oil tanker ban on British Columbia's northern coast is very popular among British Columbians. A survey found that 79% of the province's population supports a ban on oil tanker traffic along the coast.
    That being the case, I wonder why the Conservatives, including Conservative MPs from British Columbia, would rather defend the rights of oil giants than stand up for British Columbia's coastal communities.

  (1610)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I think what British Columbians want is to get their products to market, and in a safe way.
    What I illustrated earlier with the paper that was just released by the government is it has committed to doing just that. It can do that in Vancouver with its oceans protection plan and with its commitment. A session was put on last week by the other place about our world-class expertise in terms of pilotage. That is what British Columbians want. They want to protect their environment. The government has said it can do that in Vancouver, and I certainly believe it can do that in the north.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague highlighted why this moratorium is undermining Canada's long-term prosperity. We have run into a situation where we have a government in place which, step by step, is undermining Canada's competitiveness, chasing away foreign investment, chasing away jobs, and chasing away talent. Perhaps the member could comment on a number of things the government has done that really hurt Canada's economic future.
    Mr. Speaker, we could look at, I believe it is about $87 billion in direct investment that has flown out of our country. Also, I only have to look at the east coast and the fact that we are importing oil from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria. Surely, Canada should be getting a good price for our oil, and our people in Alberta should have the jobs and prosperity, and enjoy the benefits of the rich resources they have.
    Mr. Speaker, I have been looking forward to the opportunity to engage in this debate.
    I am going to frame this discussion in terms of Canada's competitiveness and our future, what our future will look like for the coming generations if we continue to go along the path of sending terrible signals to the global investment community. My comments will actually focus on how Bill C-48 is poorly thought out and really does not reflect the reality of Canada's resource economy.
    I am a proud Canadian, but I am also a very proud British Columbian. Unlike many of my colleagues in this House, I have had the chance to hike many of the different remote wilderness areas of British Columbia. I have had the chance to hike the Chilkoot Trail, where one hikes out of the coastal rainforest in Alaska into the drier interior area of British Columbia and follow the trail the early gold miners took to the Yukon gold fields. I have had a chance to hike the Bowron Lakes. In fact, we canoed the Bowron Lakes, 12 lakes connected with portages, where one is almost guaranteed to see moose and bear along the way. I have had a chance to climb the Rockwall and Skyline trails in the Rocky Mountains. I have had a chance to hike in the Cathedral Lakes area outside of Keremeos, British Columbia. Also, in the northeast corner of British Columbia, there is the Muskwa watershed, Gathto Creek, and Pine River. British Columbia is an awesomely beautiful province, a place we as Canadians can be very proud of. It is a legacy that has been left to us.
    Anything that would threaten our coastal areas, any threat to the marine life in our oceans, is something I take very seriously. We know oil tankers have been plying our coastal waters for many, many years. Over those years, how many crude oil spills have actually happened in British Columbia waters? Does anybody want to guess? Zero. There have been zero crude oil spills as far back as we want to go. Why? Because we have superior pilotage, and we have tankers today that are double-hulled as opposed to single-hulled to make sure if they strike something, that object does not penetrate the hull. We now have a world-class marine oil spill response, and we love the government for doing that. That is good. We want to protect our coastal areas.
    What we do not want to do is undermine Canada's prosperity as we do this, so we have to be careful how we implement policy. We have to ask ourselves what the Prime Minister's motive is behind imposing a moratorium on tanker traffic off our west coast. By imposing a moratorium, we are preventing Canada from getting its oil and gas products to foreign markets where they fetch the best price. What is the motive? Well, we could just follow the Prime Minister around the world on his global travels from costume to costume, leader to leader. Guess what? We found him in France, where he thought he was safe and he started badmouthing Canada's resource sector. More specifically, he badmouthed Canada's oil sands and lamented the fact that he had not been able to phase out the oil sands by now.
    There is the hidden agenda. We have a Liberal government that wants to phase out our oil industry. It wants to put all kinds of impediments in the way of our resource sector to make sure Canadians do not get the maximum dollar that they should for their products.
     The Prime Minister goes so far as to pretend he is one thing in British Columbia, where of course he is the champion of the environment whenever he visits, but when he travels to Alberta of course he suddenly becomes the champion of the energy sector.

  (1615)  

    In fact, what he did in Alberta was to say, “If you impose a massive carbon price on your residents, you'll be able to get the social licence to get the Trans Mountain pipeline built.” What happened? Alberta followed suit. It trusted the Prime Minister, which is something I think Canadians are now very wary of. Premier Notley trusted the Prime Minister when he said, “Hey, a carbon tax and you'll get your pipeline to tidewater”. Well, do we have a pipeline to tidewater? Today we have protesters, no leadership from the Prime Minister, and court challenges. What happened to the social licence? It is bogus.
    Along the way, this moratorium on tanker traffic off our Pacific coast is just one more nail in the coffin of completely undermining Canada's competitiveness within the global marketplace. Every day that goes by, Canada becomes less and less competitive, especially vis-à-vis our partner to the south, the United States. I will mention a few things that this government has already done. If imposed, a moratorium on offshore drilling in the north undermines prosperity, because we leave resources in the ground that could have fetched good dollars, but we leave them there.
    On the massive carbon tax that Canadians are now being expected pay, members can imagine how that undermines our competitiveness as we layer tax upon tax. Foreign investors wonder why they would invest in Canada and not go to the United States where the corporate tax rate was dropped from 35% to 21% and it got rid of all the red tape. The Liberal government funds a Canada summer jobs grant to an organization that is actually organizing and protesting against the Trans Mountain pipeline. The Prime Minister publicly says that it is going to build, but then gives cash to oppose it. That is our Liberal government.
    Then, of course, there is Bill C-69, the new regulations that the Prime Minister would impose on resource projects. The bill would add more discretionary powers to the minister to extend and suspend timelines. There would be longer time frames. There would be new criteria added, including upstream and downstream impacts. This is how crazy it gets. The government would impose criteria, conditions, upon our own oil and gas producers that we do not impose on those who ship gas from foreign jurisdictions like Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, and Venezuela. The oil that comes from those countries into Canada right now does not have to comply with any of those criteria, but our own homegrown producers of that product, which is the cleanest in the world, and is subject to the toughest conditions in the world, have to comply with those criteria. We wonder why we have lost 100,000 jobs in our economy. It is because of policies like that. Over 87 billion dollars' worth of capital has fled Canada because of the poorly thought out policies of the Liberal government.
    As Conservatives, and the word “conservative” implies conservation, we believe that the highest environmental standards have to be complied with. When we extract our resources in Canada, whether it is mining, oil, or gas, Canadians expect that it be done to the highest environmental standards. Canadians also understand that those resources that lie in the ground represent huge opportunities for economic growth in our country, for jobs, for long-term prosperity, and for funding the programs that governments want to provide to Canadians. It is absolutely critical that moratoria, like the one the Prime Minister is trying to impose on our west coast, not proceed, because at the end of the day, Canadians will pay a very significant price for that. Quite frankly, if in fact the Prime Minister cannot get the job done, he should step aside and let the adults take over. Let someone else take over, someone who really understands the economy, someone who understands the environment, and the appropriate balance between the two.

  (1620)  

    Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my colleague speak about how the Harper Conservatives were committed to the highest environmental standards. I arrived here in 2008, and I remember, because I actually read that in 2007, the Conservatives came out with their sectorial approach. Those of us who have been here a while know about this famous sectorial approach. It promised, sector by sector, to really handle climate change and take care of the environment. Seven years later, in 2015, nothing had happened. They engaged two of the six sectors they talked about.
     I would like to know how they think Canadians are going to believe them on environmental issues, when in the 10 years they were here, they were totally unable to take care of their environmental commitments.
    Mr. Speaker, I am glad to answer that question. Under the Harper government, we actually found the right balance between the environment and the economy. We did not see $87 billion worth of capital fleeing Canada because of ill-thought-out policies.
    It is time we pointed the finger back at our Liberal friends. Do they remember when the City of Montreal officials said to the Prime Minister that they wanted to dump raw sewage into the St. Lawrence. Of course, we all expected that our wonderful green Prime Minister would step up and say no. Guess what. He approved it. Tonnes and tonnes of raw sewage went into the St. Lawrence, and these Liberals are standing here claiming that they have the high ground on the environment. That is pathetic.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague from British Columbia speaking about the environment. He said that the Conservatives had the highest standards in terms of protecting the environment. I live in coastal B.C., and we saw what happened recently to the Heiltsuk First Nation with the diesel spill. We saw the Simushir drift ashore in Haida Gwaii. We saw a bunker spill in English Bay. I could go on and on.
     We are ill-equipped, because we have gutted marine response. We have closed MCTS centres that were invaluable and were based on local knowledge. They consolidated five stations on the west coast into two under the Conservative government's watch. I am sorry. They still have not told us how to clean up raw bitumen or even if there is any science behind cleaning up raw bitumen.
    The member talked about this being the highest standard. If this is the highest standard, clearly we are ill-equipped to deal with what tanker traffic we currently have, never mind expanding tanker traffic. There is a good reason why a moratorium is being proposed for the north coast. I actually think we should be looking at all tanker traffic on the coast until we resolve these issues with evidence-based science and with a spill response program that could actually do the job, because they clearly did not do that during their mandate.

  (1625)  

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague obviously has not read this legislation. This is about tanker traffic. This is a tanker moratorium. Tankers carry crude oil, not bunker fuel and not diesel. They carry crude oil. This legislation would do nothing to solve the spills he made reference to.
    Any time there is a spill, it is a terrible thing for our environment. We acknowledge that, and occasionally that will happen. Yes, we did have one in English Bay. It was not a crude oil spill. It was bunker fuel that leaked into our pristine English Bay. It was cleaned up. Today that bay is as clean as a whistle.
    I would also say this. Our Conservative government never gutted the response times to spills. What we did was occasionally find efficiencies where we could consolidate resources and get a bigger bang for the buck. That is what Conservatives do. We are efficient with our dollars, something the Liberals are still learning.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his remarks, particularly for his great overview of the history of safe tanker traffic off Canada's Pacific coast. We hear a lot of rhetoric and clearly a lot of confusion from some members on regular marine accidents, where a vessel might spill some of its diesel or its own petroleum products. That is very much different from an oil tanker, which is designed to transport diluted bitumen or a range of petroleum products.
     There have been no accidents on the Pacific coast. Multiple governments, of both Liberal and Conservative stripes, have continued, over the last few decades, to modernize marine navigation and regulatory regimes and safeguards. I think that unblemished record will not only continue but has been enhanced by Canada's world-class regime.
    My remarks on Bill C-48 are going to touch on two things. When Canadians go to the polls in 2019, they are going to assess the Prime Minister. Before, they just knew him as the celebrity son of a previous prime minister. He had no record, no record in the private sector, no record in the non-profit sector, no record in academia, and no record, really, of any note from his days as a member of Parliament in this place. Therefore, he ran and won on a celebrity record.
    Now they are going to judge him on his performance, whether it is broken promises on the deficit, whether it is hundreds of billions of dollars of investment fleeing Canada, or whether it is our competitiveness, which literally every bank and economic forecaster in recent months has said is at real risk with changes in the U.S., with Canada increasing taxes and the U.S. lowering taxes. They are going to judge him on his record.
    Nowhere is the current Prime Minister's record worse than on first nation issues. There is some laughter coming from the Liberal benches. The Prime Minister has a tattoo of the Haida Nation on his shoulders. However, I cannot say one thing he has done for that nation or any other nation. The missing and murdered indigenous inquiry has been a disaster from start to finish. There has been no clarity for the families that were promised certainty. There have been departures, with people leaving. They are now asking for twice as much time and twice as much budget. The Prime Minister promised healing and to drive us toward reconciliation. However, he has not done that.
    One might ask why I am speaking about this when it comes to the tanker moratorium and Bill C-48. I will quote a chief from the Buffalo Lake Métis, Elmer Ghostkeeper, who, when the Prime Minister unilaterally, and not following science or regulatory approvals, cancelled the northern gateway pipeline, and this moratorium bill is essentially a way of blocking that from ever coming back, said, “Equity was offered to aboriginal communities, and with the change in government that was all taken away.”
    Another leader from that area, from the Gitxsan Nation, Elmer Derrick, said, “The fact that the Prime Minister chose not to consult with people in northwestern [British Columbia] disappointed us very much.” In fact, 31 bands across that route were going to be 30% equity holders in that line with Enbridge. Unilaterally, the Prime Minister of Canada took away that economic opportunity that could have eliminated poverty in many of those communities within a generation.
    It is sad that the Liberals are heckling, in light of some of the language coming from first nation leaders. That would not suggest a reconciliatory attitude from those members.
    This is a pattern that started back in 2016 with the Prime Minister. In fact, on his first state visit to Washington, he signed on to an accord with the United States and with President Obama that put a ban on development of 17% of Canada's Arctic land mass and on 10% of Arctic waters. How much consultation was done in conjunction with that? It was zero.
    Days after, the Premier of the Northwest Territories confirmed his disappointment that there was no consultation, that the first nations and Inuit of the area were not consulted. Who was trotted out by the Prime Minister's office? It was the president of the WWF Canada, David Miller, the former mayor of Toronto. That seemed to be the only organization in on this ban on our Inuit development opportunities in the north. I would note that a year earlier, the president of that organization was Mr. Butts, who was a principal adviser to the Prime Minister.

  (1630)  

    There was zero consultation with Inuit and first nations leaders in our Arctic and in northwest British Columbia but lots of consultation with insiders and, I would say, groups on the left. Why is that important? It is because now we see the Prime Minister's record on economic development coming home to roost. He unilaterally cut the northern gateway project. He killed energy east through changes to regulation. Now Trans Mountain is on the precipice.
    Today marks one month remaining until Kinder Morgan may be withdrawing its capital investment, having watched two and a half years of the Liberal government over-regulating, over-taxing, and becoming less competitive and with uncertainty on whether it can even get a twinning of its existing line completed.
    What is going to happen now with Bill C-48? If Trans Mountain fails, and the government is doing its best, even funding protestors through Canada summer jobs, to make that happen, this bill will preclude 31 first nations from actually coming up with an alternative to northern gateway through some of their traditional territories.
    The Prime Minister is a master at rhetoric, but he is a disaster at delivery. He talks about consultation and reconciliation and does none of it. I stress that 17% of the land mass in the Arctic was struck away without a phone call. That not only violates the spirit of reconciliation, following what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission outlined, but violates Canadian law and case law on the duty to consult, going from the Sparrow decision to the Delgamuukw decision right through to last year's recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada on the Clyde River matter and the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.
    Consultation has to be meaningful to those affected, particularly when it is about the adverse impact of a decision. That is what the duty to consult, in Canadian law, with our first nations means. The Prime Minister has failed at every juncture on that duty. He did not consult Chief Derrick, Dale Swampy, or Elmer Ghostkeeper when he unilaterally took away an opportunity for 31 first nation communities to provide opportunities for their people. Where was the consultation?
     Where was the consultation with our first nation, Inuit, and territorial leaders when, with the stroke of a pen in Washington, he struck away the opportunity for them to provide and make decisions on their own territory? Now, with Bill C-48, and with Kinder Morgan teetering on the brink, he is going to block yet another opportunity for Canadians and first nations to chart their own destiny.
    As I said earlier, apart from the tattoo, I have not seen much commitment from the Prime Minister. In fact, his lack of consultation is insulting. I worked on these issues before becoming a parliamentarian. I was not a bouncer. I was not doing drama. I was working with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business on trying to provide opportunities by working with the resource industry. I have been blown away by some tremendous first nation leaders from across the country who are providing an opportunity for a new story for their people.
    We have a Prime Minister who has killed northern gateway and energy east, and Trans Mountain is on the brink. I call him the serial pipeline killer. Not only do we have that happening to getting our resources to tidewater on our west coast, but the government is now going to block the opportunity for a new option with this moratorium, ignoring the fact that there has already been a voluntary 100-kilometre exclusion zone between Washington State and Alaska since 1985.

  (1635)  

    Once again, a government that talks a lot about reconciliation and building trust does not even have the courtesy to talk to the first nation communities that are going to be horribly impacted by their decisions.
    The next apology I hear in the House of Commons I would like to come from the Prime Minister on his terrible decisions with respect to our first nations.
    Mr. Speaker, it is truly amazing how the member across the way tries to give a false impression. Never before have we had a Prime Minister who has done such a fabulous job in trying to build and re-establish a relationship with first nations people.
    For years in opposition, for example, I would say to the then Prime Minister Harper—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    That is exactly what we are trying to avoid, so if I could encourage the members to listen to the question and listen to the answers, we will all be further ahead.
    The hon. member for Winnipeg North.
    Mr. Speaker, when Stephen Harper was the prime minister, for years we were saying we wanted to have a public inquiry on the murdered and missing women and girls, but Harper closed a deaf ear to it. Within months we had one established. We have a Prime Minister who is committed to all the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. What did Harper have to say about it? Nothing.
    When it comes to the issue of the pipelines or the moratorium, this is something on which, after serious consultation with Canadians, we went into an election and we made a commitment. It is a fulfillment of an election commitment that we are witnessing. Only the Conservatives continue to be out of touch with reality and what Canadians expect a good government to do. Only the Conservatives want to oppose the bill, and for what reason? It is because they just want to oppose the bill. They disagree with having a moratorium and they try to come up with ideas as to why it is not a good government.
    This is a government that is actually building the pipeline. This is my comment and we will let the member respond to the comments.
    Mr. Speaker, I am astounded by the member's comments, and not by the volume and number of words he speaks, because he is famous for that. I talked about how the Prime Minister has provided zero consultation with respect to his unilateral decision on northern gateway, zero consultation when he signed away Inuit rights to self-determination on 17% of their lands. The member comes back to me and suggests that their consultation was the election. I guess that is what he is saying.
    I would bet that the Liberals have not consulted on Bill C-48 with the 31 first nations impacted by the northern gateway decision, but the member seems to think the election writ period qualifies as consultation with our first nations. I would suggest that is not meaningful. I would suggest that falls short of Supreme Court decisions.
    The second apology I would like to hear in the House is from that member for that suggestion.

  (1640)  

    Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate the member for Durham's renewed interest in indigenous issues in this country.
    He refers to those 31 indigenous communities that have signed agreements. I have looked at the list of those so-called agreements. As a matter of fact, the 31 agreements that he refers to are secret, confidential letters of undertaking and memoranda of understanding. I have been in this business for 30 years, and those are not agreements, to my mind.
    Second, does the member find these so-called agreements consistent with what the Supreme Court has said in the Haida Nation case? On that case, the Supreme Court said that on important matters—and I would suggest that pipelines are important matters—we need the full consent of indigenous communities. Does the member agree?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou because he has shared his perspective in the House on many occasions, and it is appreciated.
    What I would suggest to him is that a 30% equity stake in a pipeline is a substantive agreement. Now, he is suggesting that they are not real agreements, but an equity stake in a project of that size is significant, and for him to discount it is simply wrong in law.
    The second thing I would point out to him, if we want to debate Supreme Court cases, is that I would refer him to more updated cases from the Supreme Court, which I cited, from the Clyde River decision and the Chippewas of the Thames from last year in the Supreme Court. The decisions said that the duty to consult must be meaningful—and obviously the Prime Minister's zero consultations do not qualify as meaningful—but that consultations are limited in scope.
    I have said clearly that there is no duty to veto projects in Canada. That does not help either first nations or the development of our resources for all Canadians. We have to engage in pragmatic, positive dialogue that builds partnerships with first nations. I think the member would agree with that, and it would agree with the Supreme Court.
    My highlight tonight is that the Prime Minister's unilateral actions in our Arctic and in northwestern British Columbia fall short of the Supreme Court's expectations on Canada.

[Translation]

    Order. It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni, Indigenous Affairs; the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, Employment Insurance; and the hon. member for Calgary Shepard, Foreign Investment.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by saying a few things about pipelines in French. There are francophones in Alberta, and pipelines are an important issue for the entire country.
     An American journalist by the name of Michael Kinsley once said that a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. That is an interesting thought. It might be rephrased a little to say that a gaffe is when politicians say what they actually think. When we look at some of the comments that have been made by ministers and by the Prime Minister about the energy sector or various other issues, these one-off comments are often dismissed as gaffes or mistakes. We are told not to worry, that the tweet was deleted and the minister provided clarification.
    However, when we start to see a pattern when comments are made, it is worth reflecting on this Kinsley quote. These are gaffes in the sense that these are cases when people are actually letting the curtain slip and are showing what their real agenda is with respect to our energy sector. For example, in 2012, the Minister of Democratic Institutions tweeted that it was time to “landlock” Alberta's tar sands. That is pretty offensive language, but it came from an MP who is now a minister in this government. The minister once said that she wanted to landlock Alberta's oil sands. Clarifications were provided and the tweet was deleted, but that person is now sitting in cabinet, and it makes people wonder what her views are with respect to Alberta's energy sector. Actually, we do not really need to wonder, because she has already told us what her views are in that regard.
    More recently, the Prime Minister stated that the time had come to phase out Canada's oil sands. He has also said that Canada was not doing well with people from my part of the country in key management positions.
     Such remarks, which are very disparaging towards Alberta, also indicate opposition to energy development and the desire to landlock our energy resources, and are sometimes deemed blunders or gaffes. I think they are truly revealing. They are gaffes in the sense that sometimes the Prime Minister and cabinet members let a comment slip and say what they are really thinking.

  (1645)  

[English]

    We have a government here that is attacking our energy sector, and people in my constituency and across the country realize that. The government has all these fancy talking points to try to hide what it is doing. The Liberals will say in one part of the country with one kind of audience how they are stopping energy development. These things will come out about what the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet really think. On a different day, the Liberals will say that they are getting the pipelines built and that the previous government did not build pipelines.
    Let us correct the record on that. I am very proud of the record of the previous government when it comes to delivering for the energy sector. Not only did we say no to a carbon tax and not only did we approve the northern gateway pipeline, but it was under the Conservatives that four pipelines were built in this country: the TransCanada Keystone pipeline, Enbridge's Alberta Clipper, the Kinder Morgan Anchor Loop pipeline, and Enbridge's Line 9 reversal. Every single pipeline project to tidewater that was proposed under the Conservative government was in fact approved. For the minister to say that more could have been built, well it beggars the imagination how Conservatives could have approved pipeline projects which at that time had not even been proposed, but we put through a rigorous process and we approved pipeline projects that were proposed. We built projects. We approved the northern gateway.
    We got it done, and we established an environment in which people wanted to build and invest. They saw Alberta and Canada as a place with the kind of taxation and regulatory environment that made it a good place to invest and create jobs. That is why we had the best economic record, the lowest unemployment, and the best fiscal performance in the G7 under Stephen Harper.
    Since members across the way want to talk about the record of Stephen Harper, on all of these fronts, support for the energy sector and strong fiscal management, that is a record very much worth defending. We can line that up against the terrible performance of this government running massive deficits during good years, rather than using fiscal stimulus only during economic downturns.
    The Liberals want to run deficits all the time, whereas Conservatives take a balanced approach. We believe in balanced budgets over the medium and long term. We believe in establishing the conditions that allow all sectors of the economy to succeed, including the energy sector, the auto sector, and the forestry sector, not pitting them against each other, but rather to survive, thrive, and excel together, recognizing their interdependence. The steel industry benefits from the energy sector because pipelines have to be built. Indeed, there are other parts of the country outside of Alberta that benefit. I know there is a plant in our leader's riding, but there are other regions of the country, as well, that benefit from the steel industry that serves the pipeline industry.
    We see with the government an attack on the energy sector. What has it done when it comes to pipelines? With northern gateway and what we are talking about today, the Liberals killed the northern gateway pipeline. They are proposing today Bill C-48, an arbitrary bill that says we cannot export from northern B.C., from this established exclusion zone.
     Let us dig into this a little. They say that we cannot export Canadian oil from this exclusion zone, yet we have Alaskan tankers taking oil as close as they can come to the coast, outside the designated area, but quite close in principle. Canada cannot benefit from that economic activity. We cannot export, but the same activity and potential theoretical vulnerability is very much still there. We have tankers coming into the St. Lawrence Seaway and on the east coast that are bringing foreign oil into Canada for import, yet we cannot get the energy east pipeline built because the government has introduced regulatory hurdles that make it difficult for the project to proceed. It killed the energy east pipeline indirectly. It has killed the northern gateway project quite directly.
    However, the Liberals cannot explain why it is somehow okay for tankers to import foreign oil into Canada and not okay for Canadian oil to be exported by tankers from Canada. They cannot explain why there is some environmental risk that is unique to Canadian oil being exported that does not apply in the case of oil from other countries being carried very close to international waters. They need to answer that question in order to justify putting forward this bill.
    They say they are in favour of the Trans Mountain pipeline. They have no plan to build it, but they say they are in favour of it. In the opposition, between the Conservatives and New Democrats, we have a different view on virtually every pipeline question, but one area where we agree is that the government is making strange unjustified distinctions. It claims to be in favour of the Trans Mountain pipeline and is doing nothing to build it, yet it is completely opposed to the northern gateway pipeline.
    Obviously, if we tell people that pipelines are dangerous, then there will be people in the Lower Mainland who are going to ask why the government is pursuing one policy in northern B.C. and a completely different policy on the Lower Mainland.
    We are clear in the opposition about the strong safety record of pipelines. We are clear about the benefit of Canada being an energy superpower, which means we seek to create jobs here in Canada by promoting the development and export of Canadian energy resources, by taking advantage of those export opportunities, because other countries are not going to wait for us.

  (1650)  

    There are countries in Asia, for example, Japan, which imports most of its energy resources. Canada could benefit from a stronger relationship with Japan by selling our energy resources to Japan. Right now most of its energy resources come from the Middle East through the South China Sea. There is a big opportunity for Canada to get in the game through helping Japan with its energy security and building a better partnership. I just use that as one example.
    Canada should be getting in the game and it should be growing economically. We need to end this Liberal attack on Canada's energy sector. We are proud to oppose this bill.
    Mr. Speaker, when I hear Conservatives talk about the energy sector, one of the things that strikes me is that there would be no energy sector in Canada without the Liberals. There would be no energy sector in the Athabasca oil sands without the Liberals, because Pierre Trudeau's government put measures in place to encourage development, and, through using the tax system, made sure that development occurred. Furthermore, under the Chrétien government, Anne McLellan made sure that there were accelerated writeoffs for capital investment. Now under this Prime Minister, we have achieved the appropriate balance between the measures from my colleague, the Minister of Transport, and others, especially with respect to carbon pricing, to ensure that we meet our environmental goals and environmental obligations to the world, while also making sure we get our landlocked and other resources to markets and to diverse markets.
    The thing that strikes me about the Conservatives is that in the last decade, we have had woefully under-prepared Conservative governments, in both Alberta and federally, presiding over a collapse in the world price of oil, allowing the employment situation in that province to decay, and showing themselves to have no clothes when it comes to managing a resource economy.
    It is in fact Liberal governments, which are the progressive governments in Canada, that are managing this resource economy back to prosperity.

  (1655)  

    Mr. Speaker, I know there may be close runners-up, but that is probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard said in the House of Commons. The member says there would be no energy sector in this country if it were not for the Liberal government, as if the Liberals had the wisdom to plant the oil in the ground or something. There would not be an energy sector in this country if it were not for the hard work of men and women in Alberta who do the necessary work in energy and who take the risks to get at the resource.
    I would never have the arrogance to claim that energy development was solely because of the Conservatives, and yet the members opposite have the arrogance to take credit for absolutely everything. The sun would not rise in the morning if it were not for Liberal governments, no doubt. The Liberals are applauding, of course.
    Let us be very clear: Liberal policies have consistently attacked the energy sector. If the member really wants to defend the record of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and the national energy program, I invite him to come to Alberta. He can stay in my office, and he can hold round tables there to tell people in my riding, and in the ridings of Edmonton Centre and Edmonton Mill Woods about the great legacy of Pierre Trudeau. That is a message he will have a hard time selling.
    Mr. Speaker, we heard the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan call on the Liberals to explain a lot of things.
    One thing we have not heard is an explanation from the Liberals or the Conservatives with respect to how they are going to clean up raw bitumen. In fact, the Conservatives talked about their great track record in protecting the environment. Ask coastal people what that looks like. The Nathan E. Stewart spill was cited earlier. Ask the Heiltsuk what the spill response was like in that case, or in the bunker fuel spill in English Bay.
     In fact, if we look at the Conservative track record, we can note that they closed the Kitsilano lifeboat station and they consolidated the MCTS stations on the largest coast in Canada, which is the 25,000-kilometre British Columbia coast, from five stations to two. In fact, they closed the Comox station, which is the only station above the tsunami zone, and the Liberals followed through with that even though they said they would not do it. They talk about modernization, and yet they have spent more on overtime than it would have taken to run those stations right now.
    Perhaps the member could explain how the Conservatives are going to clean up raw bitumen, because I can tell members right now that the Liberals' two tugs are not going to be able to pull it off. People in British Columbia do not feel safe and confident.
    Would the hon. member please respond in 45 seconds or less.
    Mr. Speaker, I do not know if I can do that justice, but I will say to my friend, who is a member of Parliament from B.C., that every week or maybe every couple of weeks, I know that he flies to Ottawa from B.C. and goes back to his constituency. All of us use energy resources. All of us have to use energy resources. It is part of living in the modern age. It is part of living in a country this vast. Therefore, I think it behooves us to look for every opportunity we have to improve the effectiveness, the safety, and the security of that use.
     Dramatic steps have been taken and continue to be taken in that direction. However, I think other members who support the bill need to answer these questions: What about the import of energy resources? What about the fact that we have Alaskan tankers just off the coast in B.C.?
    Let us take the steps that we need to take together to look for opportunities and to enhance safety and security. I think that process has already happened and is continually happening. It is unrealistic to say that we can simply shut it out, because if it is not Canadian oil, it is going to be international oil, which raises all of the same questions.
    Therefore, let us benefit from it, let us prosper here in Canada, and let us also look for opportunities to improve at the same time.

  (1700)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak on Bill C-48 again.
    There is a content creator on YouTube who does these great videos called “honest trailers”. He discusses what movies should actually be talking about when they do their trailers. I would like to do the same with Liberal bills, because quite often we hear these grandiose names.
    For example, for the budget, I would rename it the “Dude, where is my infrastructure budget?”, because no one seems to know where the infrastructure money went. Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer could not locate $7 billion of it. I do note that of the $7 billion, he was able to find that it was costing Canadian taxpayers $700,000 of spending for every job created.
    I also called it the “Honey, I sank the kids” bill, because $100 billion in added debt is going to stick to our children and our grandchildren in the coming years. However, I stuck on a different name, the Vantablack bill. Vantablack is the darkest substance known to man, so I called it that because of the lack of transparency in the budget bill. In fact, it is so lacking in transparency that even a supernova could not bring light to it.
    An issue with the budget bill was, for example, that the finance department refused to respond to either us or the Parliamentary Budget Officer about some five-year spending projections. There was vote 40, which the treasury board president has brought forward, which will allow him to spend $7 billion without any oversight from committees, Parliament, or votes once the money has been done. The government that brought us an $8 million hockey rink is going to be given $7 billion without any oversight or transparency.
    With Bill C-48 there could be a lot of names, but I am going to call it the “hypocrite bill”. The name “hypocrite bill” could also be applied to a lot of other bills. For example, the government talked big on military spending, but it is not mentioned once in the budget. The Liberals also talk about helping the middle class, yet burdened it with tax hikes and hundreds of billions of dollars of added debt with no mention of how it will ever be paid back.
    As well, the government brags about a gender-balanced cabinet, but they give all five junior ministries to women. No government since the Trudeau Senior government has given all five of the junior ministries to women.
    The Liberals killed energy east by constantly changing the goalposts and requiring upstream and downstream emission considerations. At the same time, they have given hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to their friends in Bombardier to pay out millions of dollars in bonuses, by the way. Apparently Bombardier jets do not emit emissions. The Liberals have given millions and millions to Ford motor companies because apparently Ford cars now run on pixie dust.
    Let us look at the general hypocrisy around Bill C-48. Do not let anyone be fooled. It is not about banning tankers; it is about killing the northern gateway pipeline once and for all and killing Alberta jobs.
    The Liberals like to talk a lot about human rights, but they blocked Alberta oil, the cleanest, most ethically produced oil in the world, to bring in oil from some of the worst human rights-abusing countries in the world. We bring in oil from Saudi Arabia, where there are some of the worst oppressions of women and of the LGBTQ community.
    The Liberals brought in oil from Nigeria, where the government will murder a person for being gay. Think about that. We are bringing in oil from Nigeria and giving them money. Instead of creating Alberta jobs, we are getting oil from people who murder gays just for expressing who they truly are. We bring in oil from Angola, a country that Human Rights Watch highlights for its heavy government oppression. However, we buy their oil and block Alberta oil.
    This is really interesting. Just last week, the Liberal government banned the famous Angolan human rights crusader Rafael Marques from Canada. We have open borders to all those fleeing the tyranny of the U.S., where one million Canadians still live. I hope they are going to flee as well. The Liberals will allow open borders for that, yet an award-winning human rights crusader from Angola is banned by the government. However, we will buy their oil.
    The Liberals talk about evidence-based decision-making, so let us look at the facts on tanker safety.
     We allow tankers into the Vancouver harbour to pick up oil in Burnaby from Kinder Morgan, where it currently is. We are planning, if Kinder Morgan gets built, to move that up to one freighter a day. That is perfectly fine. The Liberals approved that.
    We allow what is called an Aframax tanker to move under the Second Narrows bridge in North Vancouver or Burnaby, where there is a width of 137 metres across the narrows.

  (1705)  

    The government now also says that a tanker moving through a width of 1,400 metres, through the Douglas Channel from Kitimat to the open seas, is not safe. Not only is the Douglas Channel 10 times the width of underneath the Second Narrows Bridge, but it would be escorted with three pilots for the entire passage. That is something we do not do when bringing in Venezuelan oil, Saudi Arabian oil, or Nigerian oil on the east coast. It is something we currently do not do when we bring in ships through the much narrower passage from North Vancouver to Burnaby.
    The TERMPOL document for northern gateway added many other safety measures, such as radar on Gil Island, and more response gear, which we also do not offer for the tankers coming in through North Vancouver or the east coast.
    Let us talk about the hypocrisy of the government's empty statement on nothing being more important than the nation-to-nation relationships. We heard in the government operations and estimates committee that no industry does better in Canada than the energy industry in working with indigenous groups, indigenous business, and providing jobs and prosperity to indigenous people of Canada. Who does the very worst on engaging them? It is the Canadian government.
    This is what the first nations are saying. Elmer Ghostkeeper of the Buffalo Lake Métis said that they and other first nations are disappointed by the political decision, not the evidence-based decision, but the political decision, made without their input. Mr. Ghostkeeper said that 30 bands were looking forward to the shared prosperity that northern gateway would bring, with $2 billion in set asides.
     Again, let us remember. It is Suncor, Syncrude, Enbridge. These are all the companies that were named in the government operations and estimates committee as companies that do the very best of any industry in providing prosperity, jobs and opportunities for first nations, and we are throwing it aside.
    Chief Derrick of the Gitxsan first nations said that the Prime Minister did not even want to hear from supportive bands.
    The government will consult with every U.S.-financed radical environmentalist group on pipelines in the industry. It will even take taxpayers' money to give to these radical environmentalist groups, saying, “Here, take some taxpayers' money from Alberta, from all across Canada, and go out and work against the Canadian interest.” It is working against what the government has said is in the national interest. Will the government listen and consult with first nations? No, of course not.
    I want to talk about some of the safety issues. B.C. coast pilots are some of the very best pilots in the entire world. They have a safety standard for shipping off of B.C. that far exceeds what we do on the east coast. I want to talk about their record.
    Since 2007, the very worst year for incidents has been a 99.94% success rate. There was not a single issue of an oil spill from tankers since Kinder Morgan was built 63 years ago. Not one. On regular shipping, the very worst year was 99.94%. In 2017, it was 99.97%. They have gone above and beyond, as I mentioned.
    With the portable pilotage units they put on their ships in case their ships piloting or GPS goes down, they can control it as well. They spend $600,000 a year in training for the pilots. As I mentioned, they have a perfect record for moving liquid bulk vessels of over 40,000 dead weight. These are the experts.
    They did a computer program when northern gateway was being considered. The experts said that moving ships down, even without pilots, would be perfectly safe. However, the plan was to include three pilots. Here we have the experts saying it is perfectly safe without all the added measures, and they have offered to put on these additional measures to make them extra safe. The government shot it down.
    Bill C-48 is not about coastal safety. If it were, the government would shut down the east coast and Vancouver as well. This bill is all about killing Alberta jobs, and about killing once and for all the northern gateway pipeline.

  (1710)  

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate a number of comments the member across the way has made.
    Again, when we take a look at this particular bill, I see it as a positive bill that reflects the wishes and desires of a majority of Canadians in wanting to see the moratorium put in place. In that sense, it is a positive piece of legislation. I believe the Conservatives are going to be voting against it. They seem to want to vote against it because they are tying it to the pipeline issue and indigenous consultations. There have been consultations that have taken place. The pipeline is going to be built. This does not seem to fit the Conservative narrative of trying to divide and conquer.
    It seems to me that the Conservatives are not in touch with what Canadians really want the official opposition party to be doing on such an important issue which is dealing with our oceans. Is the member not concerned that the Conservative Party continues to be out of touch with what Canadians want to see on such an important issue?
    Mr. Speaker, speaking of being out of touch, I would love for the member to ask Canadians if they support giving taxpayers' money to radical environmentalist groups that kill jobs in Alberta and that want to kill the very pipeline this government says it supports.
    The Liberals say they support building Kinder Morgan, and then they go out and give money to a U.S.-backed environmentalist group, and say, “Take this money from taxpayers in Alberta and B.C., and go and stop the Trans Mountain pipeline.”
    If the member wants to talk about being out of touch, that is a perfect example from the government, and I thank my colleague for bringing that point up.
    Mr. Speaker, my friend talked a lot about jobs and his concern about jobs where he lives. Of course, he is going to be fighting for the people in his community just like we are standing up for our communities in coastal British Columbia.
     We have concerns. We had a spill in English Bay, a bunker spill, and we had a diesel spill up in Heiltsuk Nation. I have talked about this. I have talked about the gutting of the MCTS centres on the coast and the overtime that is being paid as a result of the so-called modernization by the Conservatives and the Liberals. However, no one here today has told us how to clean up raw bitumen, neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives. I can tell the member that two tugs are not going to protect the coast.
    An hon. member: How many?
    Mr. Gord Johns: A member is asking how many. Let us figure out how to clean up raw bitumen before we talk about increasing tanker traffic.
    I keep hearing from Conservatives that people in coastal B.C. and New Democrats are against jobs in Alberta. In fact, we are for jobs. We want to hear about how they are going to move forward with an oil economy that is going to be a transition economy to clean energy. We have not heard proposals about refineries and pathways forward.
    I would like to hear from the member about pathways forward, because shipping raw bitumen out of Canada is shipping jobs out of Canada. It is not about putting money aside for future generations like Norway has. We have not heard about responsible economic development.
    We care very much about our brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles in Alberta, but we expect the same kind of respect. We have 100,000 jobs in British Columbia that are based on tourism and hospitality that rely on a pristine, clean environment. Maybe the member could speak a little about that.
    Also, we have heard from Conservatives today talk about replacing foreign oil. This project is not proposing to replace foreign oil.

  (1715)  

    Mr. Speaker, replacing the foreign oil part just shows the hypocrisy of the current government.
    We talk about cleaning up bitumen. There is a senior researcher, Heather Dettman, with Natural Resources Canada, who has been working on this for years and years. She talks about methods, and there are chemical, booming, and skimming methods. There are methods to do it. There is a lot of misinformation about bitumen. They say that it sinks to the ocean floor, but bitumen floats. This lady knows a lot more about it than all of us, and she is saying that it is actually easier to clean up than regular oil.
    There has not been a single oil spill from a tanker off the B.C. coast. We hear a lot of fake horror stories. It is almost like we should never fly just in case there is a plane crash. What if the plane crashes into the hospital? Should we never have a plane? We should never get a new car because there could be a car crash.
    We have the very best pilots in the entire world, and the very best in Canada based on the west coast. We have the best technology. We have the best response, and we have the best record, with well over 50 years without a single oil spill from a tanker in British Columbia. We cannot go on the horror stories of what ifs. We have to go on facts, and the facts show that we have done a fantastic job, a perfect job, and I am sure that will continue.
    Mr. Speaker, I stand today on behalf of Nanaimo—Ladysmith to talk about regulating the shipment of oil tankers on B.C.'s coast and what is at stake.
     I worked for many years as an ocean kayak guide. I had the great privilege of going to B.C.'s wildest places and I so appreciate the ferocity of the weather, the complication of our shorelines, the speed at which currents and tides move, how the water is never standing still on the B.C. coast, how extremely complicated it would be to clean up oil, and how hard it is to get to some of these places. Where we have the roughest weather is where there is the highest probability of an accident and it would take the longest time to get to a spill. I know what is at stake: the coastal communities that are dependent on fishing, on tourism, and on a pristine environment; the people who live from the shellfish beds and eat the food of the sea, but also those who are invested in the marine economy, the wild salmon economy, and the aquaculture industry.
    When the Enbridge northern gateway pipeline was proposed, there was some semblance of a National Energy Board review that gave coastal people their voice. I had the privilege to be in hearing rooms and hear people with emotion in their throats and tears in their eyes talk about the beauty of taking their herring boat through skimming fish, zipping over the surface of the water, the sea life, the birds, and the whales. The connection to the coast is deep and heartfelt and it is our livelihood. It is why we are there. It is where we have come from. A lot is at stake.
    I was elected first in 2002 on fighting a pipeline that was going to run through the southern Salish Sea, through the southern gulf Islands. The community worked to fight it. It took four and a half years but we did beat that natural gas pipeline. I was elected to a local government with a conservation mandate. A few years later, I was the chair of council, and we got a real scare when a bulk tanker dragged its anchor in Plumper Sound. That is the sound between Saturna, Mayne, and Pender islands. It was a near miss with its huge tank of bunker sea fuel. We heard within days the head of the department of ecology in Washington state say it was a near miss, that another couple of hundred feet and that freighter would have been on the rocks. If its fuel tank had ruptured, it could have oiled the shorelines on both sides of the international boundary. That is when the lights went on for us. This was in 2009. The Hebei Lion was the first one. In 2010 and 2011, it was virtually the same thing. Huge container ships thought they were anchored safely but they were not.
     We started as a local government asking questions about what the oil spill response is and if there had been an oil spill, how quickly response vessels would have arrived. Once we started digging around, we figured out that in fact Kinder Morgan was gearing up for an expansion of its pipeline. This was not well known. The fight against oil tanker traffic was focused on the north coast, but it turned out that this expansion was upon us as well. It is only since 2007 that Kinder Morgan has been exporting in oil tankers out of Vancouver harbour, and so the phenomenon of shipping out an unrefined product is still very new.
    The lights went on and we started asking questions about bitumen. It was a Conservative government at the time in 2011. I started writing letters, as I was the trust council chair, asking the minister to tell us about bitumen. I asked where the science is that says it will float long enough for the government to be able to respond to it. I asked what response time was needed. I asked if the existing skimming technology was adequate. Those were questions I asked in 2011, and those questions remain unanswered today. We have never had a letter back from Liberal or Conservative ministers saying that they have a handle on that.

  (1720)  

    Indeed, we have repeated peer-reviewed studies from The Royal Society of Canada, Polaris, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, all of which say it is not clear with a spill in marine waters, especially with rough water and sediment, how long bitumen will float. Right now, the area I represent, the Salish Sea in between Nanaimo and Vancouver, is exactly the route of the Kinder Morgan tanker traffic that is happening now, let alone the sevenfold increase that will come if the Liberal government has its way and is able to force the project over the objections of coastal people.
    No one has been able to say that they know how to respond to it. The response regulations that we have in place date from 1995. The Liberal government, despite its deep affection for the coast—the Prime Minister said he is a grandson of the coast and promised he would do it no harm—has not changed the oil response regulations. A spiller in my region that I am elected to represent has three days to get to the site of a spill and boom and contain the oil.
    I keep hearing my Conservative and Liberal counterparts say not to worry, that they have this in hand. Who could possibly count on regulations that date from 1995? Who would ever allow regulations to remain in place that give a spiller three days to get to the site of a spill? I met with the Kinder Morgan CEO in Anderson about six years ago. My best advice to him was that he should be getting the Conservative government to up the oil spill response regulations. I know that he, as a corporate spiller, would respond faster, because he would not want the PR bad news of this. We continue to hear these old, broad announcements about the oceans protection plan from the government, but it has not actually implemented the regulations, which would have some teeth. It is one thing to say we are going to educate and do research, but we need tighter regulations right now.
    The diluent that would evaporate off a dilbit spill is thought to be highly volatile, potentially so much in the very first hours of a spill that first responders may have to stay away. That has not been sufficiently studied and we have ample evidence that says it has not. If the first responders have to stay away, after the volatile diluent has evaporated away, it may be that we remain with the crude that sinks faster. We need to have strong measures in place to protect first responders and have fast response times so that the spilled material does not contaminate shellfish beds, the animals that live on them, and the first nations communities whose culture and economy are entirely dependent on a clean ocean.
    I do applaud the government in moving forward with a north coast oil tanker ban. It is very much modelled on the legislation from our colleague, the NDP member of Parliament for Skeena—Bulkley Valley. His defend-the-coast tour in support of that legislation was famous in British Columbia. Thousands of British Columbians supported that initiative. Therefore, I very much applaud the government for advancing it.
    As I said before, New Democrats wish there was not so much ministerial discretion. We are concerned that accidents, like the Nathan E. Stewart, which so badly affected the Heiltsuk people just last year, and continues to, would not be blocked by this. We continue to be extremely disappointed that the government has invoked closure on this debate so that we are not able to elaborate on the remedies and be even more persuasive about closing some of the loopholes in the ministerial discretion around the types of fuel.
    That said, I will be voting in support of the bill, but I do not want friends and coastal people at home to have any false sense of security that the safety net is in place. If the government was really about oceans protection, tomorrow it would be legislating tighter response times so that our communities and ecology on the coast are safe from the threat of a bitumen oil spill.

  (1725)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to tell all Canadians, members, and constituents that our government is very much committed to protecting our oceans and marine mammals. We have seen ministers, up to the Prime Minister, talk a great deal about the importance to our government of advancing those issues.
    Today we are talking about the moratorium for tankers. I am glad it is something the NDP is supporting. We have also invested a significant amount of money, I believe over $2 billion, for oceans protection. It is closer to $5 billion. It is a significant amount of money over the years ahead, so I would remind my friend's constituents and the member across the way that we are committed to doing the right thing.
    That said, we are also committed to ensuring at the very least that a dialogue occurs and continues to occur. At times there is a need to get oil to tidewater or to market. I wonder if she could provide her thoughts in regard to that issue. Does she believe there is any situation in which there would be value in getting oil from, let us say, Alberta to tidewater?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague asked about four questions there.
    Yes, the government does talk a lot about marine protection, but I wish there was less talk and more action. One of the first things that happened under this government's watch was that it closed down the Comox Coast Guard base. How on earth could that be building the safety net? That closure was this government's decision.
    Here is another example of talk. In 2013, the Harper government said it was going to do scientific research on diluted bitumen to understand how it would behave in the marine environment. That was in 2013. Then in 2016, the Liberal government said the government would conduct research to better understand how different petroleum products behave in the marine environment. Then it approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline, without having that science done. It was completely irresponsible.
    Its action plan sounds just like the Harper Conservatives, and it never got implemented. I am afraid it is all talk and no action.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith for being a fierce defender of coastal British Columbia and for her work on abandoned vessels. In standing up for a pristine, clean environment, she truly understands the significant importance of clean oceans for a healthy marine economy and our way of life. I commend her.
    We support the bill, even though there are so many holes in it that a supertanker could be driven through it. The Prime Minister, when he talked about putting a ban in place on the north coast, said, “Crude oil supertankers just have no place on B.C.'s north coast.” He cited a number of reasons around the environment and the need to protect our coast. I would like to ask my colleague how she feels, because it seems the Prime Minister's words do not seem to apply to the south coast when they are looking at Kinder Morgan and increasing supertanker traffic sevenfold.

  (1730)  

    Mr. Speaker, absolutely, I stand with coastal leaders up and down B.C.'s coast in my firm opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline. It is all downside, no upside for British Columbia. Fifty permanent jobs are what are promised by Kinder Morgan, and there are tens of thousands of B.C. jobs right now, let alone the great value of the ecology.
    It is irresponsible of the government. I have been writing letters to the federal transport ministers in both the Conservative government and this one, urging them to put in place geographic response plans. Washington State has 19 of them. These are microplans that identify where there is a migratory bird habitat or what is most important to boom first if a spill happens when the tide is rising or when the current is running a certain direction. These are minutely tuned to local ecology and local human uses, and this government still has put none in place.
    How could it have approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline without regulating the safety of it? It is another example of the government being all talk and no action on marine protection.
    Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a very quick point of order. I would not want to mislead the House in any fashion. However, I might have said $5 billion with respect to the oceans protection plan, and it should be $1.5 billion.
    That is tagging onto debate. However, thank you for the clarification.
    Resuming debate. The hon. member for Sturgeon River—Parkland.