The House resumed from May 3 consideration of the motion that Bill , be read the third time and passed.
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for .
I would like to thank my colleagues across the aisle for accommodating me this morning. Sometimes I think we should issue a press release whenever goodwill shows up between parties, because all Canadians see in this chamber is something other than that, which is unfortunate, because we do work together many times to get things done.
I am rising today to talk about Bill and the importance of making sure that we get this right. I am also going to talk about the concerns that we in Saskatchewan have about how this is being handled.
I sit on the trade committee. When the Liberals came into power, they wanted to review the TPP. They said that proper consultations had not happened. They said that the consultations had to be redone before the agreement was signed by the Liberal government.
The trade committee went across Canada. It redid all the work that the previous government had done and then some. Committee members made sure they talked to first nations and to business communities. They talked to people right across Canada. A lot of people said it was the third or fourth time they had talked about the TPP and it was being done again. The Liberals were telling us that we had to consult, that we had to do our homework, that we had to make sure everybody was aware of it, and that we had to be aware of all circumstances before going forward with that trade deal.
I look at this bill and I say the same thing. When we look at the impact this legislation would have on western Canada and Canada as a whole, we know we need to talk to a lot of people before this can be done.
I am from Saskatchewan. Some may ask why people in Saskatchewan would care about a tanker ban. A lot of people in Saskatchewan work in the oil and gas sector and their jobs will be impacted by this ban.
Let us not fool ourselves. This is not a tanker ban. This is to stop development in the resource sector and to stop shipping products to the west coast. It is nothing more than that. It is what the Liberals really planned to do from day one, and this bill is how they are going to achieve it. That is very disappointing.
If the Liberals wanted to make this major change, where were the committee meetings? When did the committee travel out there and talk about this with the various people who would be impacted? When did the Liberals talk to the premiers? When did they talk to the Premier of Saskatchewan and tell him this is what the government had planned? They did not do that.
This is the personally saying that he is going to ban tanker traffic because he thinks it is bad. Where is the science? What is his logic for doing this? Is there a problem with tankers? Are tankers unsafe? Is there a problem with the currents and other things in that area? The science that we have says no.
If tankers were unsafe, why would we allow them down the St. Lawrence River? Why would we allow them off the coast of Atlantic Canada? As we speak, tankers around the world are shipping oil out of places like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. They do this every day and we hear nothing about it.
What is it about this coastline that is so unique and special that Atlantic Canada does not get the same special consideration? Why is Atlantic Canada or the St. Lawrence not treated the same way? If we are concerned about the west coast, why are we not concerned about the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Canada? It does not make sense.
Some from western Canada may ask why the is doing this. It comes back to what he said before. He does not want the resource sector to be developed. He wants to shut it down. This bill is one of the corner pieces of the puzzle that would actually do that. What does that mean for the people of Saskatchewan, the people of Alberta, and the people of northern British Columbia? It means lost economic opportunity and lost jobs. What is left for the families that are employed in this sector, who are in good, well-paying jobs, who are in a good situation and are able to give their kids a good quality of life?
People in western Canada right now are taking part in rallies. I was on Facebook last night and watched a rally in Fort Nelson. Families are saying, “Enough is enough.” They have had enough. They want their MPs to represent them. They want their MPs to tell them that they care. They want their MPs to understand that the resource sector is not bad. They want us to understand that people need fuel in their cars and they would love to provide it. They want us to understand that they provide it in the most environmentally friendly fashion in the world.
What is the deal? Where is the problem? It comes back to one thing. The does not like the resource sector.
The went to Paris. He wanted to be the big guy in town, so he made commitments. He came back to Canada and he took the Conservative targets. He brings in things like a carbon tax, which he is going to shove down the throats of Canadians. People in Saskatchewan are looking at that carbon tax and they know it is really going to hurt them because they cannot pass those costs on.
A farmer cannot pass a carbon tax on. He cannot take the cost of fuel for his tractors, his combines, and his machinery and put it in the price of a commodity that is traded on the world market. However, he is still forced to compete against Americans who do not have a carbon tax. The Australians removed their carbon tax. Other countries are not going down this road.
What is even sadder about carbon is Saskatchewan has a really good game plan that does not involve a carbon tax, which would actually meet our commitments, and the Liberals will not agree to that. Why is that? What is the issue there? If their goal is to reduce carbon and there is a game plan that will not impact the economy and will actually achieve that goal, why not take it? It goes back to one thing: lack of respect.
The Liberals want to shut down the resource sector. We are hearing stories now that they want to shut down the coal sector. In Saskatchewan, we have carbon capture off our coal power plants. With this technology, those power plants have five times less emissions than natural gas. However, the Liberals say, “Let us get rid of coal.” What does that mean? Is that really crazy? I think so.
If there is technology to make coal clean and to reduce its carbon footprint, why would we not embrace the new technology and still use this fuel source? No, we are going to get rid of it. We are to ignore the science because, heaven forbid, cabinet knows best. That is what is happening. All the regulations and science are being thrown out the window, and it goes back to cabinet, and its members are going to say “Do I like this guy or not?”, or “I have a toothache so I'm going to vote no.” What about the science? Science needs to trump that.
In Bill , where is the science to say it requires this type of ban? It is not there. There is no science.
There have been no consultations. It is something that is going to drastically change the lives of families across western Canada, if not all of Canada, yet the Liberals just march ahead. They put the earplugs in and just do what they do. Then they wonder why people are protesting in western Canada. They wonder why families are concerned and upset. They cannot understand why they do not love them. There needs to be respect. The Liberals need to talk to them. The Liberals need to understand why this is important to people. They need to show common sense, because there is no common sense in bringing oil from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela when we have oil right here in Canada. It is actually clean oil. It is more environmentally friendly than any oil we would receive from other parts of the planet.
This bill is a bad piece of legislation. It should be thrown away. If the Liberals want to talk about protecting the environment in that region, or maintaining areas in that region in their natural state, let us have that discussion. I have no problem with that. There might be areas where we see that through. However, to say there will be no more tankers in the whole region is absolutely crazy. It is ludicrous.
People in western Canada just cannot understand the government. It has so many things at its fingertips to make this economy run really well and still meet all its environmental commitments and the government keeps chopping off the hand that feeds it. It is so sad.
I will not be voting in favour of the bill. It is a bad piece of legislation. It sets a bad precedent. It does not meet the commitment Liberals made to voters about consulting before making legislation. It does not meet the commitment about working with opposition parties and other groups at committee to have good pieces of legislation. It does not meet any of those criteria. However, the Liberals will still ram it through. It is unfortunate they are going to do that because they are making a huge mistake.
I will leave it at that, and I will entertain some questions.
Mr. Speaker, first, the Enbridge line through northern B.C. would have gone through territory that had not seen pipelines. It is a highly ecologically sensitive area. That was the first concern. It was a concern of our party. It was a concern of the Supreme Court of Canada when it overturned the process the previous government had used to try to get that pipeline built.
There are alternatives. I wonder if the member would like to comment on the advent of processes to render bitumen into, basically, hockey pucks that could be shipped in bulk, so we we would not be dealing with what they call a persistent oil. These are oils that will not evaporate if they hit the water. These hockey pucks float, and they can be easily recovered. Has the member examined the option of refining the product more on the Canadian side, in Alberta, before it gets to the west coast? Then if it becomes a non-persistent oil, if it is something that would evaporate if it hits the water, as I understand it, that would be allowed under this tanker moratorium.
Perhaps he would like to comment on what the options may look like.
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's openness in saying we should look at technology to see if we can do this better and more safely. That is a wise approach. However, the Liberals are not doing that here. They are not doing that with coal, for example. They are just getting rid of it. They are saying that there is no technology, so get rid of it and do not allow anyone to use it. That is wrong. If there are new technologies that should be embraced, let us embrace them. If there are things that will make it safer, let us embrace them too. However, to impose a moratorium right across the west coast and say no is wrong. That is what this bill is doing.
They have not talked about the consultations. They have not talked about the impact it is going to have on western Canada or Canada as a whole. We are talking about a new technology that has come into play. Let us look at that new technology. I do not think the government is willing to accept new technologies, because if it did, it would mean it would allow the oil and gas sector to grow a bit, and that would be a problem for it. We in western Canada cannot understand why that is a problem.
I would encourage the government to look at new technologies. I would encourage it to find new ways of doing things. If there is a problem, it should address the problem, but it should not take a sledgehammer to it and say it got rid of the problem by just making sure that it is impossible to do.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for for his heartfelt speech. It is clear that he is an honest man who is doing a good job of representing his riding by raising concerns about what he sees as a holdup.
Everyone looked up when the member opposite asked his question about alternative ways of distributing the resource in a more solid, more liquid, or more refined form. That is exactly what a debate like today's is meant to achieve. We can all learn something new. If any other members have similar knowledge, I hope they will share it with us, because the debate on this subject is usually like the blind leading the blind.
My colleague mentioned earlier that our oil is the most environmentally friendly oil in the world. Funnily enough, we are constantly being told the opposite. I do not know how many times I have read that using steam to extract oil from sand produces wastewater. I have also read that this steam is generated using natural gas and that the natural gas emissions create a massive carbon footprint.
If there are any alternatives, we should talk about them. I quite agree with him. I am thinking specifically of the work of Paul Painter, who used ionic liquids to separate sand from oil. Let us talk about alternatives before we talk about distribution and increasing extraction.
Mr. Speaker, that is why the Liberals need to have proper consultations. That is why they need to say to the public that this is what they are thinking and this is the problem. They would be surprised by what would come up as solutions. There are solutions to the problems. If they do not want to hear the solutions, they do stuff like this. They shove it down people's throats and get it done so they do not have a chance to present a solution. That is what they are doing in this case.
I will remind the House that there are still going to be tankers going up and down the west coast. However, they will not be Canadian tankers, and they will not be hauling Canadian oil.
We can look at all these new processes and new technologies and embrace them. I encourage us to embrace them. However, the government will not embrace them. It does everything but that. Instead, we see things like Bill , which takes a sledgehammer to it and bans it outright. It takes all the development and throws it away, when there are probably opportunities here to make it better so that it works for everyone involved. That is so disappointing.
Mr. Speaker, today I rise to speak on Bill , the oil tanker moratorium act. The name of the bill is actually quite curious, because when we look at the facts, we see that this piece of legislation has very little to do with banning oil tankers from the B.C. north coast and everything to do with continuing the government's hurtful campaign against pipeline and oil development throughout this country, and in particular in western Canada. Little is surprising in this regard. The Liberals arbitrarily shelved the northern gateway pipeline in 2016, forced the cancellation of the energy east pipeline in 2017, and continued to do as little as possible to support the development of the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline, which has been put on life support now, certainly in this month of May.
First, let us examine what the Liberals are saying this bill would do. Time and time again, we have heard in this chamber that Bill is about environmental protection, that by imposing this moratorium, the northern coast will be better protected, specifically against oil spills. They argue that a moratorium is the only way to safeguard against the problem and that this legislation is therefore the way forward. There are numerous and significant flaws with this jurisdiction, which mark it as both hollow and ill-advised.
First, there is an issue of consistency. Why are the Liberals targeting the B.C. north coast for a ban on oil tankers while they apparently ignore the presence of oil tankers along many other of our coasts in this country? Why are they making the arbitrary decision to limit the transport opportunities for oil along the north coast and not the south? This kind of moratorium does not exist along the St. Lawrence Seaway or in the Great Lakes, and it does not exist along the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or New Brunswick. It does not exist around Vancouver. The fact that Bill quite arbitrarily applies only to the B.C. north coast sheds serious doubt on the Liberal claim that the intention of this bill is environmental protection.
Second, this environmental jurisdiction fails to consider that a voluntary exclusion zone of 100 kilometres for oil tankers travelling from Alaska to Washington State has been in place since 1985. These preventive measures have already been taken, prior to any sort of moratorium being put in place by the government. Additionally, oil tankers operating at this distance from the coastline would continue to be unaffected by this legislation. Once again, we struggle to find any support for the arguments being put forward by the Liberals in favour of this bill.
Third, the Liberal argument that the oil tanker moratorium is the only way to protect the environment completely ignores the current and extensive regulatory framework that exists for oil tankers today travelling within our waters. Canada's oil tanker safety procedures and processes still remain one of the best in the world.
We recall 2014. The former Conservative government introduced and implemented many innovative measures to ensure that oil tankers operated under strict regulations and environmental protections. These measures included modernizing Canada's navigation system, enhancing area response planning, building increased marine safety capacity in first nation communities, and ensuring that polluters pay for any spills and damages since 2010.
Every large crude-oil tanker that operates in Canadian waters must be equipped now with a double hull, so any tanker in our waters is covered by two full layers of water-tight surfaces to ensure safety and environmental protection. Oil tankers are consistently monitored by our national aerial surveillance program, and our data-sharing and communication technologies rigorously guide oil tanker traffic across this country to reduce the risk of collisions.
Do these kinds of regulations and protections exist for tankers exporting oil from, let us say, Venezuela or Saudi Arabia? There is no way. Given the strong and extensive regulations that exist for oil tankers travelling through Canadian waters, it is very clear that any jurisdiction for a moratorium on oil tankers for environmental reasons is completely unfounded.
What, then, is this bill all about? The answer, of course, is that it is about the Liberals' ideological objective to restrict Canadian pipeline and energy development as much as possible. The bill can most accurately be described as a moratorium on any and all pipeline development along the coastline of northern B.C., and as a result, this legislation would kill any economic opportunities communities in this region would otherwise have due to the increased energy investment in that area. We are already seeing that. This ban would seriously hurt many, and I say many, first nation groups that have stood to gain from a pipeline in their area.
The Eagle Spirit pipeline is a $16-billion project that would stretch from Bruderheim, Alberta, to Grassy Point, along the northern coast of B.C., which would be forced to reroute to Hyder, Alaska, and its end point. If this pipeline ban is imposed, the Eagle Spirit pipeline project, directed by more than 30 first nations across northern B.C. and Alberta, and their communities stand to lose a major economic opportunity due to the Liberal government's ideological and political posturing.
Bill has been brought forward without any true or meaningful consultation with first nation communities, which would be severely impacted by the implementation of a pipeline ban in northern British Columbia.
I will quote Calvin Helin, the chairman of Eagle Spirit and a member of the Lax Kw'alaams first nation, who said, “First Nations are completely opposed to government policy being made by foreigners when it impacts their ability to help out their own people [on reserve]. The energy industry is critical to Canada’s economy”, which no doubt it is, “and by some reports we are losing [an unbelievable] $50 million a day”.
We are losing $50 million a day. That could be many schools and hospitals that we could build in Canada every single day.
It is simply unacceptable that the government refuses to consult with these groups to allow them to develop energy infrastructure, which would create significant economic opportunities in these communities. However, this behaviour coming from the Liberals is also unfortunately unsurprising, considering that it is the Liberal government that has overseen the largest decline in Canadian energy investment in the past 70 years. We have talked a lot in the House about $80 billion-plus taken out of the economy, along with jobs in the energy sector. Well over 110,000 workers are unemployed in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
A moratorium on pipelines in northern B.C. is just another example of the government's blatant hostility toward our energy sector and the jobs and economic opportunities it would supply to communities across this country. The government has used the justification of environmental protection as a smokescreen for its anti-Canadian energy policies. When this argument is held up against the facts, we see it for what it is: a desperate attempt to mask the Liberals' ideological agenda. There are no real winners as a result of the northern B.C. pipeline moratorium, except American consumers, who receive discounted prices on our Canadian oil.
Mr. Speaker, listening to some of the members, particularly from the Prairies, talk about our great coastlines and waterways and then ask what the difference is between the St. Lawrence Seaway and the coast of northern B.C. is a little like saying I have a backyard garden and I know about agriculture. There is a very big difference between the St. Lawrence Seaway and the northern coast of B.C. For example, the St. Lawrence Seaway is man-made. That is one of the critical differences.
Does the member and the party opposite really think that the St. Lawrence Seaway should be governed with exactly the same rules as the most sensitive marine environments in our country, regardless of where they are, regardless of whether there is access, regardless of whether there is even a city or a real port on the site? Is that really what the Conservatives say, that all coastlines are equal and should be treated as such?
Mr. Speaker, it is a direct attack on the northern coastline of British Columbia. We have talked about it in our speech here. There are no regulations to bring in Venezuelan oil or Saudi Arabian oil. The Liberals seem to think that it is very good to bring it into New Brunswick. We do not even talk about southern B.C. The bill talks about northern B.C.
I just talked about the opportunities of first nations that want to join the economy in this country, and they want to shut it down. We have heard from many groups in northern B.C. that want an opportunity of employment, an opportunity of prosperity, only to be shut down by this bill and the Liberals.
Mr. Speaker, the revisionist history here is breathtaking. The northern gateway pipeline was defeated by first nations on the basis that the Harper Conservative government failed to consult them. Therefore, this is challenging language.
Given what we are now hearing from that quarter of the House about the Conservative Party's commitment to science and evidence, how does the member view the previous Conservative government's sabotage of the Environmental Assessment Act and the removal of protections under the Navigable Waters Protection Act? Where was the science that told that government it was a good idea to remove habitat protection from the Fisheries Act?
Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives did a lot in nine and a half years in government, and the Liberals have been undoing it in the last two and a half years.
I can stand here and talk about Eagle Spirit. All it wants is the opportunities in northern B.C., and they are being shut down here today. If and when the bill passes, this will be disastrous for northern communities. It is the same with Kinder Morgan. We have more first nations in B.C. that approve the pipeline than those that do not, and yet we cannot get it done.
Mr. Speaker, it is hard to know where to start.
I would point out to the member that, in 1972, there were extensive consultations when the government of the day, under former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, enacted a moratorium against oil tanker traffic in the passage that includes Hecate Strait and Dixon Entrance. That area has the fourth most hazardous body of water on the planet, and the transit is in interior waters with an immediate threat to Haida Gwaii and the B.C. coast. It is incomparable to any other body of water on any Canadian coastline. The moratorium was respected by Progressive Conservative federal governments and Social Credit provincial governments. It did not matter what government was in power, provincially or federally, until Stephen Harper, with zero consultations, ignored the moratorium and took it away.
I challenge the member to say why a government should not be allowed to fulfill an election promise and legislate a moratorium that we had for four decades.
Mr. Speaker, we are losing $50 million a day, and 110,000 jobs have been eliminated in my province and in Alberta because of the oil sands. It is because of the Liberals' attack on oil in Saskatchewan and Alberta. This is just another example. The Liberals are not listening to Canadians, and they will dearly pay for it next year.
Resuming debate, the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith.
Mr. Speaker, I thought the member for Cloverdale—Langley City was next.
As I understand it, there was a change earlier to accommodate one of the earlier speakers. I have the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith next. She has the floor.
Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to speak to Bill , the north coast partial oil tanker ban. That we have this in place is a credit to decades of work by north coast people. I also want to acknowledge the work of my colleague, the member of Parliament for . His version of this bill in the previous Parliament toured the entire country, and thousands of people came out under the “Defend Our Coast” banner. It was very powerful. It gave the Liberal government the mandate to implement this, so we are glad to see the legislation.
We will be voting in favour of the bill. Our New Democratic colleague from tried quite hard to strengthen it. There is more ministerial discretion than we would like to see. Some of our colleagues have been quoted saying that one could drive an oil tanker through this moratorium. Nevertheless, we are going to vote in favour and we are glad to see some version of it moving forward.
As a member representing the south coast of British Columbia, the Salish Sea and Nanaimo—Ladysmith, I can say that we have very complicated shorelines, very fast-moving currents, very sensitive ecology, and 450 islands between the area I represent on Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia and the U.S. border, with extremely complicated shipping traffic. We have very sensitive ecology and shorelines where we know that if there was an oil spill of any size, it would be extremely difficult to clean up.
Given that the industry standard for oil spill response is a 10% cleanup of oil, let me say again that members representing the southern part of British Columbia are committed to protecting their coastline, the economy, and the jobs that depend on it. They are just as concerned about the impacts of oil tanker traffic, especially when it is an unrefined, raw product that has no value-added jobs in Canada and no energy security benefit for Canada. Certainly, for British Columbians, the shipment of what we view as an increased level of danger by more oil tanker traffic and a thicker, unrefined product is all downside for our coast. There is no upside.
If the government is willing to put in strong measures for the north coast, why not for the south coast? There is still no peer-reviewed science that tells us how bitumen would react in the marine environment, in rough water with sediment in it. Who is going to have an oil spill with no waves? It just boggles the mind that the Liberal government could have approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline in the absence of evidence that bitumen can be recovered from the marine environment and that our response times are adequate to clean it.
What we have is some suspicion or concern based on what has been observed from other times when bitumen has been spilled in the marine environment. The diluent, which allows the raw, unrefined bitumen to flow, may evaporate very quickly. The evaporation itself may pose dangers to first responders, so it might be that first responders have to keep away. Certainly, if there was a bitumen spill in a heavily populated area, such as downtown Vancouver, a million people would be affected by a spill with much more toxic fumes than a refined product would have. We saw that in the Kalamazoo spill, which was in fresh water, but that was a huge occupational exposure.
When first responders have to stay away and cannot get to the spill quickly, this means that the diluent has more time to evaporate and there is an increased risk that the bitumen would sink. I have folders full of science reports from the Polaris Institute, the Royal Society of Canada, and others that talk about the stickiness and impact on marine wildlife such as sea otters and sea birds, let alone what would happen if we end up with bitumen coating the seabed. The damage that would be done trying to clean that up is alarming to contemplate.
We ask again, how is it that although the north coast partial oil tanker ban is being lauded by many of us on the coast and in the environmental movement, we do not have a concomitant level of protection in the south? We do not have confidence that our oil spill response is in a respectable and responsible place.
It turns out I am splitting my time with the member for . I look forward to his speech. We are full of surprises today.
My understanding is that the response regulations have not been updated or tightened since 1995. The Liberal government has had two and a half years to make that change. It has not. It is my understanding that if there is an oil spill in my region, the corporate entity responsible for the oil spill has 72 hours to get there. It is not in violation of the regulations unless it does not have booms and an oil spill response plan enacted within three days. How could that ever give any of us any confidence?
If the current government, or the previous government, really wanted to have pipelines approved and give coastal people any measure of confidence, then surely it would have upgraded and tightened those response times, as Washington State has done, repeatedly, as has Alaska.
When I was chair of the Islands Trust Council, we heard from our fellow governments at the local, regional, and state level that they were extremely concerned about Canada's, or British Columbia's, poor level of preparedness for an oil spill. Oil does not recognize the international boundary. They are very concerned, given the fast-moving currents. First of all, we are shipping a dangerous product for which there is no adequate response technology, and if we do not have the response times in place, the oil will move quickly to their side of the border. Certainly, their aquaculture industry is extremely concerned about our poor level of preparedness.
I am very glad to continue to see the Washington State governor salute the British Columbia NDP premier, John Horgan, for the very strong stand that he is taking to say, “I believe that the oil spill response plans for B.C.'s south coast are inadequate.”
We are seeing now, in court, the provincial government saying that as soon as the oil hits the shoreline, it is its responsibility and jurisdiction. If the federal government is not going to adequately regulate to protect this resource, then the provincial government will consider implementing regulations itself that would protect coastal ecology and coastal jobs.
To my regret, yesterday the federal Liberal government decided to intervene in that case to oppose my premier's efforts to better protect the coast where the Liberal government has failed to. Our New Democrat leader, Jagmeet Singh, urged the to join the British Columbia premier so they would co-operatively go to the courts together and ask for clarification.
That would have been leadership, and it would have been a real sign of co-operation and trying to get the right answer. Instead, to see the federal government intervening against the British Columbia government, which is simply trying to strengthen and increase the safety net, is extremely discouraging. What a strange way of spending both the government's legal resources and taxpayers' dollars. How on Earth could that be a good expenditure? What we need to be doing is strengthening the ecological safety net, and not fighting against stronger measures in court.
When I was chair of the Islands Trust Council, we heard from our Washington State colleagues about how important it was to have geographic response plans in place for oil spill prevention and preparedness. These are micro-studies of a particular region that would be enacted in the event of an oil spill. The responsible spiller, whoever that was, would know to boom this. The spiller is likely to be a corporate entity, and they do a pretty good job of looking after their own business.
We would love to see geographic response plans in place. I am pleased that the B.C. government is pushing for that.
Before I go to questions and comments, I simply want to advise the hon. member for that she was in fact correct that there was a mix-up here, for which I take responsibility. We probably should have gone to the hon. member for . We will get to him in due course. That was a bit of a mix-up, and I appreciate her readiness to carry on as she did.
Questions and comments, the hon. member for Winnipeg North.
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the fact that the NDP will support the legislation, which is a positive. This issue has been important to the government. It was raised during the last federal election, and the government is fulfilling that commitment.
I am a bit disappointed in the NDP's approach on the national interest and how it is prepared to forgo that based on the position that the environment has to be taken into consideration and there is absolutely no consideration given to the national interest. The member mentioned, for example, that she was disappointed by the federal government's actions with respect to the courts and not being onside with British Columbia.
Would the member at least acknowledge that the national interest does take into consideration our environment and the economy? The Trans Mountain pipeline is an excellent example of that. There even is controversy within the NDP. We have an NDP premier in Alberta saying that Albertans want the transcontinental. Does the member believe that the NDP premier has any merit whatsoever to her argument?
Mr. Speaker, I salute the Alberta New Democrat premier, Rachel Notley. She campaigned on a strong platform of standing up for the existing jobs and industry in her province, and she is continuing to do that. I also salute New Democrat premier, John Horgan, who campaigned against the Kinder Morgan pipeline and said loudly that he would use every measure he could within his limited provincial jurisdiction to protect the coast, and he is doing that.
From my perspective, when we hear in Kinder Morgan's filings to the National Energy Board that the permanent jobs in British Columbia are 50, and we recognize the tens of thousands of jobs that are dependent on a clean environment, on sport fishing, on tourism, and everything in the coast, for us it does not compute. I would argue that the true national interest would have been for the Liberal government to have kept its election promises to redo the Kinder Morgan review, but, most important, to truly reconcile with indigenous people. If the Liberals are to sign off on UNDRIP, then they certainly cannot ram a pipeline through and fight first nations in court. It is in the national interest to protect the environment. That is what we are doing.
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's contribution to the debate. Politicians will often pick a position and then try to find facts that support their position, and I completely understand that. However, the member raised concerns about the science regarding diluted bitumen.
In the recent response to B.C.'s policy intentions paper for engagement activities related to spill management by the government, it says:
|| Federal scientists have published or presented over sixty papers on diluted bitumen science in peer-reviewed fora since 2012....to determine the fate, behaviour, potential impacts, and effectiveness of response techniques on a variety of heavy oil products....This research has ranged from lab-scale and pilot-scale tests of oil spill behaviour to field trials and evaluations of response technology. Findings have shown that diluted bitumen behaviour falls within the range of conventional oil products and so conventional mechanical recovery methods have been found effective...
The science on this is very clear. Could the member point to actual evidence showing the contrary? Will she then go to other arguments that may back her position? Science should not be one of them.
Mr. Speaker, in my capacity as Islands Trust council chair, I started writing to the Conservative ministers of transport and environment starting in 2011, asking them to show me the science they had. Apparently that caused a bit of a ripple in the departments because it had not been studied. The marine environment studies are extremely limited.
Just a year ago, the Liberal was quoted on the radio saying that the government did not know how it reacted and through the oceans protection plan, it would study its behaviour in the marine environment. I have a file full of peer-reviewed papers that say this needs more study in the marine environment and in estuaries and places where there would be sediment and waves.
Mr. Speaker, it is a huge honour to rise today to speak to this bill. Before I get started, I want to acknowledge all my colleagues in the House, especially in the Conservative Party.
We have had an incredible loss this week of our good friend from . It is important that I acknowledge not just the loss of our friend, but the strength and courage of everyone in the House, especially our colleagues from the Conservative Party, for coming back here in honour of their colleague and constituents and for showing up for work yesterday. I was at committee and I was really touched by how everyone was dealing with this, but at the same time showing up for work. I want to commend them. My heart goes out to them, to the family, and to all the constituents of our good friend.
We are speaking to a bill to ban tankers on the north coast. I appreciate the efforts that are being made on the bill. Of course, there are some gaps that we have concerns about, certainly around ministerial jurisdiction and the ability for a minister to override some of this legislation. These are serious concerns. I could push the bill aside and open the door for something that we would not want to see happen, which is tanker traffic in a pristine area.
We have heard Liberal colleagues talk about the importance of this ecosystem. We have heard the Conservatives talk about jobs, and I will get to that in a minute. Most important, we are making a decision on legislation that protects our ecosystems for generations to come. We know how valuable those ecosystems are. I live on the coast, so I really understand how important our coastal waters are. We rely on clean oceans for our food, our economy, and our culture. It is precious and we must do everything we can to mitigate any chance that we could destroy these ecosystems forever, or even for decades, and upset our whole way of life.
When I talk about our way of life, we do not just use the ocean for transportation and the things I outlined. The ocean is our home. When I think about the north coast, I think about the south coast. There is no dividing line or border between the north and the south coasts. There is no wall between them. Currents, winds, and tides move the water from the north coast to the south coast. The fish migrate from the north coast to the south coast. Salmon move up and down. As coastal people, we move up and down. When I hear the say that tankers do not belong on the north coast, I have a hard understanding why he thinks they belong on the south coast and wants to increase tanker traffic sevenfold.
Yesterday, a great speech was given by my friend from . She talked about witnessing “the environmental, economic and social devastation caused by the Exxon Valdez and BP catastrophes” in the Gulf of Mexico. “One major spill along B.C.’s shorelines would threaten fragile ecosystems, endanger wildlife, harm lives and communities, and jeopardize many of our” tens of thousands of “coastal jobs”. It is simply not worth the risk.”
It is clear that the spill, which happened over 25 years, is still impacting the community and causing devastation. She expressed that, and I appreciate her efforts. She is genuine about her support of a ban on the north coast. However, she could not square it when I asked her how she could support the Kinder Morgan pipeline. I have a lot of concerns with the Liberals talking from both sides of the coasts, or from both sides of their mouth. I am confused and I have questions.
I will pivot over to Kinder Morgan. It is important to talk about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. It is integrated. When we talk about a ban on the north coast, again, it is connected to the south coast. We cannot lose sight of the fact that the government is looking to approve a pipeline that is going to increase tanker traffic sevenfold.
The said in his 2015 campaign that if he was the prime minister, Kinder Morgan would have to go back to the drawing board, and that the process would need to be redone. Redone was a three-member panel that travelled around, listening to selected people and groups. It heard loud and clear from southern British Columbians that we did not want a pipeline. Therefore, I am confused. If that is the renewed process and the government is still moving forward, then there is not a lot of trust in the new three-member process that was delivered to the coastal people.
I have another quote from my friend from Vancouver Quadra with respect to the tanker ban. She said, “promise made, a promise kept.” Let us talk about a promise made, a promise broken, because that is Kinder Morgan, that is electoral reform, and a number of things. The list goes on and on. What we heard was a promise to protect coastal British Columbians. However, we know we do not have the science and the evidence-based decision-making, which the government said it would abide by, on how it will clean up raw bitumen.
As a coastal person, in the last couple of years we had a diesel spill in the Heiltsuk territory that we could not clean up. It affected the shellfish. It affected the Heiltsuk people's way of life, their economy, and their ability to sustain themselves. After the Conservatives closed the Kitsilano Coast Guard station, there was a 14-hour delay in dealing with the bunker fuel spill. How will the government deal with a spill from a supertanker full of crude oil? It cannot.
When the Simushir was off the coast of Haida Gwaii, we worried that it would land on the beaches of Haida Gwaii, on the traditional territory of the Haida people. Luckily, the Coast Guard got up there in time. The government is saying that we are going to get two tugboats and that is going to save us. I am sorry. British Columbians do not feel safe about two tugboats saving us and protecting us from an oil spill. We will appreciate them and we will take them. However, we are not feeling that confident based on scenarios like the Queen of the North. These are all examples that we can cite.
We had a spill in 1988 off the coast of Washington, and it landed on our beaches as far north as where I live in Tofino. It is not that it might happen; it is that it will happen at some point. Therefore, I have huge concerns with respect to the pipeline.
The other part of the conversation I do not feel is happening is this, and there is misleading information with respect to it. We hear that jobs will be lost and that it will allow more foreign oil to come to Canada. This is misleading. These pipelines are not designed to replace foreign oil. They will not replace oil from Nigeria or Saudi Arabia. This is made for export. No conversations are happening about a transition, about energy security, about refining more oil, and how we do that while we are in the midst of a transition.
We have seen what Norway has done. It put a trillion dollars in the bank, while Canada put $11 billion in the bank. Where is the trust from the Canadian people that we are investing in assets for future generations? Norway is earning $50 billion in interest alone off of its wealth fund.
We know we can do better and be more responsible with the management of our resources. We can find a better way for our future and that of our children by creating jobs, not exporting jobs, but also with respect to the transition that is needed, and needed now. The world cannot wait. We have to protect our pristine coastlines and ecosystems. They are sensitive. They cannot afford an oil spill of raw bitumen.
After question period, the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni will have roughly five minutes of questions and comments in relation to his speech.
Mr. Speaker, if a supplementary response to Question No. 1564, originally tabled on May 3, 2018, and the government's responses to Questions Nos. 1568 to 1583 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Question No. 1564-- Mr. Daniel Blaikie
With regard to federal expenditures over the last two years: (a) what is the total disbursement of net expenditures, broken down by (i) provinces and territories, (ii) provinces and territories, per capita, (iii) provinces and territories, by organization and program; (b) what is the total disbursement of transfers to persons, broken down by (i) provinces and territories, (ii) provinces and territories, per capita; (c) what is the total disbursement of transfers to provincial governments, broken down by (i) provinces and territories, (ii) provinces and territories, per capita; (d) what is the total disbursement of business subsidies, broken down by (i) provinces and territories, (ii) provinces and territories, per capita; and (e) what is the total disbursement of infrastructure spending, broken down by (i) provinces and territories, (ii) provinces and territories, per capita?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1568-- Mr. Martin Shields (Bow River)
With regard to any contracts over $10,000 entered into by the government since January 1, 2016, but which were not disclosed on proactive disclosure: what are the details of all such contracts including (i) date, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) file number, (vi) reason why contract was not listed on the relevant proactive disclosure website?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1569--Mr. Martin Shields
With regard to gifts with a fair market value over $500 accepted by the Prime Minister or his wife since January 1, 2016, including, but not limited to any gifts of clothing or accommodations: (a) what are the details of each such gifts including (i) recipient, (ii) provider of gift, (iii) estimated value, (iv) description of gift, (v) date, and duration, if applicable, of gift; (b) was the gift handed over to the Crown, (c) was any action taken to either return the gift or reimburse the fair market value; and (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, what specific action was taken and when was it taken?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1570--Mr. Colin Carrie
With regard to the national vehicle registration system being set up by Natural Resources Canada: (a) what is the total projected cost to set up the system; (b) what is the breakdown of all projected costs by type; and (c) what is the projected carbon footprint resulting from setting up the system?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1571-- Mr. Larry Miller
With regard to the media briefing provided by the Prime Minister’s National Security Advisor in February 2018, where the theory that elements within the Indian government had conspired to embarrass the Prime Minister was advanced: (a) was any classified or national security information revealed at the briefing; (b) if the answer to (a) is negative, what are the details of the information revealed at the briefing; (c) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, has the matter of a potential breach of the Security of Information Act been referred to the RCMP; (d) did the Prime Minister or anyone in the Prime Minister’s Office advise or instruct the National Security Advisor to reveal classified or national security information at the briefing, and if so, who; (e) has any member of the Prime Minister’s Office been reprimanded for facilitating the release of confidential or national security information; (f) is it the policy of the government that civil servants are permitted to release classified or national security information if they are advised to do so by the Prime Minister or his office; (g) did the Prime Minister authorize a civil servant to release classified or national security information in order to protect his own image; and (h) is the rational for not referring the matter to the RCMP is that the information revealed in the briefing was fictitious?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1572-- Mr. Phil McColeman
With regard to projected expenditures related to the Canada Child Benefit: for each of the next five years, what is the total projected amount which will be distributed to families under the Canada Child Benefit program?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1573-- Mr. Dave MacKenzie
With regard to the March 6, 2018, event with the Prime Minister and Bill Nye at the University of Ottawa: (a) what is the total amount of all expenditures related to the event including (i) venue rental, (ii) staging, (iii) promotion, (iv) and other costs; (b) what are the details of all such costs referred to in (a) including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) description of goods or services provided; and (c) what are the details off all costs incurred by the government related to Mr. Nye’s appearance at the event including (i) airfare or other travel to the event, (ii) accommodation, (iii) speaking fees, either paid directly to Mr. Nye or through a third party, (iv) other expenses including a description and breakdown of each?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1574--Mr.Dave MacKenzie
With regard to the names provided by Members of Parliament to be included on the guest list for various receptions during the Prime Minister’s trip to India in February 2018: (a) which Members of Parliament submitted names; (b) what names were submitted, broken down by Member who submitted them; and (c) for each name submitted, was it submitted to the (i) Prime Minister’s Office; (ii) Global Affairs Canada, including the High Commission in India, (iii) another government department, agency or entity, specifying which one?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1575-- Mr. Tom Kmiec
With regard to any savings found as part of the expenditure review laid out in the 2017 Budget: (a) what is the total amount of savings found, broken down by department or agency; and (b) what are the details of savings found including (i) program from which savings was found, (ii) manner in which savings were achieved (e.g. selling of inventory, service contract renegotiation, etc), (iii) amount of savings derived from (ii)?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1576-- Mr. David Yurdiga
With regard to application processing and wait times at the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, from the date an application is received by the Department to the date it is processed, as of the most recently available statistics: (a) what is the average wait time for an individual who applies for a work permit in Canada; (b) what is the average wait time for an individual who applies for a visitor visa in Canada; (c) what is the average wait time for an individual who applies for a student visa in Canada; and (d) what is the average processing time for an application made under the spousal sponsorship program?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1577--Mr. David Yurdiga
With regard to the revocation of citizenship by the government, since December, 2016, and broken down by month: (a) how many individuals have had their citizenship revoked and in each instance what was the (i) origin of citizenship of the individual, (ii) age of the individual, (iii) sex of the individual, (iv) specific reason for their citizenship revocation; and (b) for each of the reasons listed in (a)(iii), was is the total number given, broken down by reason?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1578-- Mr. Matthew Dubé
With regard to addressing irregular border crossings by asylum seekers: (a) what is the protocol that RCMP officers are to follow when individuals irregularly cross the border; (b) how are RCMP officers prepared to be qualified to work at the border, particularly at Roxham Road, broken down by (i) type of training, (ii) training provider, (iii) training content, (iv) date of last training given, (v) cost; (c) since 2016, how many individuals have been sent to the entry points of the border between Quebec and the United States, broken down by (i) agency and department, (ii) quarter, (iii) administrative region; and (d) for 2018, how many individuals are being sent or will be sent to the entry points of the border between Quebec and the United States, broken down by (i) agency and department, (ii) quarter, (iii) administrative region?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1579-- Mr. Ziad Aboultaif
With regard to state and official visits to Canada by heads of state and heads of government, since November 4, 2015: (a) who has made a state or official visit to Canada; (b) for each visit, what are the dates, locations and nature (i.e., state or official) of the visit; (c) for each visit, did the Prime Minister meet with the visitor(s); (d) if the answer to (c) is negative, for a particular visit, what was the Prime Minister’s itinerary for the dates of the visit; and (e) for each visit, what other ministers met with the visitor(s)?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1580---Mr. Ziad Aboultaif
With regard to at-risk and bonus payments to employees of the federal public service, broken down by year for fiscal years 2015-16 and 2016-17 and by department or agency: (a) how many federal public servants received at-risk payments; (b) how many federal public servants received bonus payments; (c) what amount was allocated in each department’s budget for at-risk payments; (d) what amount was allocated in each department’s budget for bonus payments; (e) what was the cumulative amount of at-risk payments paid out in each department; (f) what was the cumulative amount of bonus payments paid out in each department; (g) how many public servants were eligible for at-risk pay but did not receive it; (h) what were the reasons given for each public servant who received an at-risk payment; (i) what were the reasons given for each public servant who received a bonus payment; and (j) what were the reasons given for each public servant who was eligible for an at-risk payment but did not receive it?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1581---Mr. Ted Falk
With regard to expense claims for the Minister of Natural Resources, since November 4, 2015: (a) what are the details of expenditure, including (i) total office expenditure, (ii) total travel expenditure, (iii) total staff expenditure, broken down by individual staff members, (iv) total other expenditure; and (b) what is the itemized breakdown of each expense referenced in (a), including (i) airfare, (ii) other transportation, (iii) accommodation, (iv) per diems, (v) other; and (c) what is the total monthly breakdown of expenditure for the Minister of National Resources?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1582--- Mr. Ted Falk
With regard to all infrastructure funding from the government to projects in the province of Manitoba since November 4, 2015: (a) how much money has the federal government committed; (b) of the figure identified in (a), how much has been delivered; (c) what is the list of projects for which money has been committed, detailed by (i) name, (ii) riding in which the project is located, (iii) amount committed, (iv) amount disbursed to date, (v) project description; (d) for each of the projects identified in (c) where funding has been committed but not delivered, why has the funding not been delivered; (e) for each of the projects identified in (d), when is funding expected to be disbursed; (f) what infrastructure funding has been cancelled, broken down by riding; (g) what was the rationale provided for the cancellation of each item identified in (f)?
(Return tabled)Question No. 1583--- Mr. Rhéal Éloi Fortin
With regard to management positions within the government: (a) what is the representation of francophones in senior positions (EX 01, EX 02, EX 03, EX 04 and EX 05), broken down by job classification in departments, government and special operating agencies and Crown corporations; and (b) what is the representation of bilingual individuals in senior positions, broken down by mother tongue and province of work?
Mr. Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand at this time.
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill , be read the third time and passed.
We will now go on to five minutes of questions and comments following the speech by the member for Courtenay—Alberni.
Questions and comments, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
Mr. Speaker, to reinforce the importance of the commitment made by the in the lead-up to the election in terms of having a moratorium put in place, this proposed legislation would fulfill that particular commitment. However, the government as a whole, in dealing with our natural resources and working with the many different stakeholders, from indigenous peoples to provincial entities, has recognized how important it is that we move forward in terms of both economic development and ensuring the interests of our environment.
Would the member not acknowledge that we can, in fact, do both at the same time and that it is indeed in the national interest?
Madam Speaker, yes, we absolutely can. In fact, we are doing that right now where I live in coastal British Columbia. We have 100,000 jobs in tourism that rely on clean oceans and a healthy environment.
As New Democrats, we would like to see a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. We wish that the government would have pursued those same ambitious goals the Liberals talked about in 2015 in their campaign. However, when we look at the bill before us, the made a commitment: crude oil supertankers just have no place on B.C.'s north coast. I could not agree more, but the seems to believe that they belong on B.C.'s south coast.
There is no wall between the north coast and the south coast. The water does not go through a filter or anything like that. Our tides move. Our currents move. The wind moves water. Water moves. Our fish move. They migrate from the north to the south. Our whales migrate from the north to the south. There is no wall between the north and south coasts.
We need to protect our coasts. Therefore, I wish that this proposed legislation expanded beyond the north coast and included the south coast and was bold in protecting coastal waters.
There was an oil spill off the coast of Washington State, and that oil spill ended up on the west coast of Vancouver Island. That is how far it travelled, and this was a small oil spill. When we talk about the environment and the economy, yes, we can do both, but we do not need supertankers moving crude oil to protect the environment and grow the economy.
Madam Speaker, my colleague really is a strong defender, not only of his riding but of what we on the coast of British Columbia feel.
It is odd being in the House, because we have the Conservatives and the Liberals both trying to out-pipeline each other, and here we are standing in the face of stark evidence of what climate change is currently doing to our planet and what it is about to do.
We acknowledge that there are economic opportunities in moving toward a just transition. My colleague talked about that. I would like him to highlight, when we are talking about the national interest, what our coastal economy is really based on and what the potential is for the future when we take that forward-looking view, bringing in first nations, bringing in economic tourism and sportfishing, and wrapping that up all together for a clear vision of what we want to see on the coast going on through this century?
Madam Speaker, I belonged to a chamber of commerce that went from 160 members to 330 members. In fact, I was the executive director of that chamber of commerce for five years. I watched the economy grow, and the economy grew with really great foundational principles of a community that had core values based on the protection of the environment while growing the economy and working for reconciliation.
These jobs rely on a clean environment. When we think about our oceans and the national interest, it is in the national interest that we have a clean, healthy ocean, whether we live in Regina or Newfoundland.
We have had people move to our community from every province in this country, work in our community, and enjoy the beautiful environment we have. Almost all of those people would say, after leaving a place like Tofino, that we should not be increasing tanker traffic on the coast of British Columbia.
That is in our national interest: protecting our economy and growing a sustainable, healthy economy, a marine-based economy that relies on clean sensitive ecosystems.
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity today to join in the discussion about Bill and the important role it would play in the protection of the province I represent, British Columbia.
Bill , an act that would establish an oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia's north coast, is a significant step we are taking to enhance environmental protections for our coastlines. Preventing accidents from occurring in the first place is our primary goal. This measure, which complements the $1.5-billion oceans protection plan, takes a precautionary approach to help safeguard the extremely ecologically sensitive marine environment in this region.
The B.C. oil tanker moratorium would build on the existing voluntary tanker exclusion zone, which has been in effect since 1985. To protect our shoreline, the voluntary tanker exclusion zone ensures that loaded tankers carrying oil from Valdez, Alaska to U.S. west coast ports transit west of the tanker exclusion zone boundary.
By formalizing an oil tanker moratorium, this legislation would prohibit tankers carrying large shipments of crude or persistent oils from stopping, loading, and unloading at ports and marine installations in northern British Columbia. The moratorium area would extend from the Canada-U.S. border in the north down to the point on British Columbia's mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and it would also include the beautiful islands of Haida Gwaii.
The legislation would also include strong penalty provisions for contravention that could reach up to $5 million. This would help keep our waters and coasts safe and clean for use today, while protecting them for future generations. Through this legislation, we would put in place unprecedented levels of environmental protections for the marine environment in northern British Columbia. The precautionary approach taken in Bill would target both crude oil and persistent oil products that are likely to remain in the environment the longest if spilled.
Under the act, the Governor in Council would have authority to amend the schedule of prohibited persistent oil products. Amendments to the schedule would be done via regulation and could be considered following a review that would assess new science and evidence around the fate and behaviour of the petroleum product when spilled, advances in cleanup technology, and institutional arrangements for responding to vessel-source oil spills. Indeed, environmental safety and science would be the main considerations for adding products to the schedule or removing products from it.
During consultations and witness statements, we heard about the importance of environmental protections in this region. Coastal communities and industries rely on healthy ecosystems to protect their way of life and livelihoods, for example through fish populations that could become threatened should a serious spill occur in this region.
The moratorium would protect the livelihoods of communities on British Columbia's north coast by providing a heightened level of environmental protection while continuing to allow for community and industry resupply by small tanker.
Bill demonstrates that we do not support large shipments of crude oil or persistent oil products in this region. The British Columbia oil tanker moratorium would take a preventative approach to oil spills in the region so that Canada's coastal habitats, ecosystems, and marine species, including marine mammals, are able to thrive.
In addition to establishing the moratorium, we are also taking steps through the oceans protection plan to improve our incident prevention and response regime, and address environmental concerns in the event of a marine incident.
The role and authority of the Canadian Coast Guard are being strengthened to ensure rapid and efficient responses in case of a marine incident. The Canadian Coast Guard will offer training to indigenous communities for search and rescue, environmental response, and incident command to allow for a greater role in marine safety for these communities.
We are implementing the incident command system and enhancing emergency coordination centres across the government in order to bolster our response capabilities. These measures would improve the coordination of response actions of departments and agencies when dealing with an incident by using a common response system.
During the response to larger pollution incidents, our government quickly brings together relevant subject matter experts in the field of environmental protection who supply consolidated scientific and technical advice on environmental concerns, priorities, and spill countermeasure strategies. This ultimately enables an effective and timely response to pollution incidents.
Clearly, the oil tanker moratorium is just one of many initiatives in our comprehensive plan to protect the marine environment. The oceans protection plan, which is the largest investment ever made in our oceans and waterways, and the oil tanker moratorium act are two concrete actions we are taking to ensure a clean and vibrant marine environment. These measures reinforce our determination to advance science and utilize valuable traditional knowledge to keep our waters and wildlife clean, safe, and healthy for generations to come. This is why we hope we can expect the support of the members present for the passage of this bill, which moves this critical agenda an important step forward in protecting our pristine environment.
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for .
I stand in the House today to speak to Bill , the oil tanker moratorium act, a bill that is yet another disappointment for all Canadians who want to see our country prosper.
The Liberals may want Canadians to believe that this moratorium is in their interest, but that is just not the case. This legislation is not justified by an environmental or economic study, nor is it supported by proper consultation with the impacted communities, industries, and experts. Rather, the legislation before us today is the fulfillment of political will, and its economic impact goes far beyond the prescribed geographic area in the legislation.
In considering Bill , we must look at the full picture. The proposed moratorium is yet another hit to Canada's oil and gas sector, a sector that has already lost $80 billion in investment under the 's watch. That is the biggest decline in Canadian energy investment in 70 years. Just last week, Canadians found out that the Prime Minister's government gave taxpayer money to an environmental lobby group to hire an activist to protest against the Trans Mountain pipeline project, a pipeline project that is supported by its environmental assessment and that the government told Canadians it supports. Canadians deserve a government that is up front with them, a government that does not undermine their prosperity.
Championing Canada's energy sector should be common sense. The responsible development of our natural resources is essential to our country's prosperity. It is our second-biggest export and provides tremendous economic opportunity. In fact, it employs hundreds of thousands of Canadians. It creates billions of dollars of tax revenue, tax revenue that benefits Canadians and communities across this country from coast to coast to coast, and we cannot dismiss the fact that oil produced and transported in Canada operates within strict environmental standards while also upholding human rights and workplace standards.
The message that the government's action is sending is that it would rather import oil from countries like Saudi Arabia than create infrastructure to move Canadian oil across this country, and by obstructing Canada's access to the global market, it is opening the door for countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Venezuela, countries that do not have the same environmental standards and human rights that Canada does.
The demand for oil is not ceasing but growing, and I believe the world needs more Canadian oil. The fact is that Canada is capable of providing more energy and greater energy security to Canada and the world, but to harness that opportunity, we need new infrastructure. We need pipelines and access to reach new markets, and to get that done, we need federal leadership, not tomorrow but today.
Unfortunately, that is not what we have before us. What we have is another step forward in the 's plan to phase out the oil sands. The United States is Canada's largest energy trading partner, which is an important relationship, but landlocking Canadian oil does not put our country on a path for long-term energy success. That is why the diversification of Canada's energy partners is also important. By not relying on a single market, we will reduce our economic risk and better protect the long-term health of our country's economy.
The Asia-Pacific region is a large and valuable market opportunity. It is a market that can only be accessed through marine transport. The tanker moratorium proposed on the north coast of British Columbia hinders that access. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has said, “The moratorium would cut off the most economic path to Asia and sends yet another signal to the investment community that Canada is not open for business.”
The Liberals are turning away business, and for what benefit? The moratorium bans oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tons of oil from loading, unloading, or anchoring in the north coast of British Columbia. It does not ban tanker traffic. It does not take any substantial action to protect the environment. It penalizes an industry and prohibits communities in northern British Columbia from accessing economic opportunity.
Let us contrast that with real action to protect our coastlines. Our former Conservative government took strong action to ensure that Canada's tanker safety system is robust and modern. It introduced changes that included modernizing Canada's navigation system, improving inspections for all tankers, enhancing area response planning, increasing penalties for polluters, and building marine safety capacity in indigenous communities. That is tangible action to protect our environment, action that improves environmental protection in our waters and our coastlines, all while keeping Canada on the right path to harness our economic opportunities.
The legislation in front of us does not build on that meaningful action. As I have said, it builds on the 's record of building roadblocks to stop the success of our energy sector. It is not in the interests of Canadians.
The already vetoed the northern gateway pipeline that would have brought economic opportunity to the impacted region. Now, if this ban is enforced, the north coast of British Columbia will be closed for energy business. Again, let us remember that is closed for business without any meaningful consultation, a concern that is rightfully echoed by industry leaders and impacted communities.
In fact, this tanker moratorium is even being pushed through without properly consulting coastal first nations. There is considerable support among British Columbia's coastal first nations who want to pursue energy development opportunities that are environmentally sound. I find it quite hypocritical of the Liberal government to move ahead without that meaningful consultation, particularly given that it has committed to implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including free, prior, and informed consent.
It is no surprise that the Liberals' actions are already being challenged. The Lax Kw'alaams are among 30 first nations that are challenging the tanker ban in court. This ban prevents them from opportunities for future energy development on their land. It hinders their people from the economic benefits that it could yield.
The Lax Kw'alaams band has said that they were disheartened that this bill that is directed at their territories was introduced “without prior informed consent or even adequate consultation and input” from their people.
Eagle Spirit Energy Holding Ltd. was working toward a pipeline project that would have yielded tremendous economic opportunity and helped Canadian oil reach the Asia-Pacific market. However, with this ban, its project is essentially rendered useless. In response to the government's legislation it has said:
|| [T]here has been no consultation with those communities harmfully impacted in the interior of British Columbia or those in Alberta—a situation which certainly falls short of the deep consultation the Crown requires of corporations proposing major resource development projects on the traditional lands of Indigenous Peoples.
I cannot support this legislation. It cannot be overstated that this legislation takes no meaningful action to improve environmental protection in the north coast of British Columbia. It is not justified by science or safety. I cannot support the Liberal government's continued mismanagement of the energy sector. Many of my constituents work in the energy sector and their livelihoods depend on it. Canada needs to diversify its energy-trading partners, not introduce regulations and measures that will landlock it.
The needs to show leadership. The Liberals need to start supporting energy projects that are determined to be safe for the environment and in the interests of Canadians. They need to stand up for our energy sector and they need to stand up for Canadians.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her speech. It is tremendously useful to debate these issues and get away from the overly dogmatic idea of being totally for or totally against oil. It is important to consider the realities of each side.
In my colleague's opinion, what kind of debate could we have in order to obtain information on oil production from the oil sands side?
Mr. Speaker, it is very important that we look at the bigger picture. Canada's economy relies heavily on the oil industry as a whole.
Coming from an area in Canada that has many different types of development of oil and gas, it is important to have those proper consultations with everybody, landowners, industries, first nations, to see how we can all benefit economically from these projects.
Canada has one of the highest, if not the highest, environmental standards for extracting oil, transporting oil, and also workplace standards for Canadians residents who work in oil and gas.
Mr. Speaker, the member and I both come from prairie provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, where the oil sector provides the main income and revenue, as well as provides for the rest of the country.
The word on the street is that the bill will really work against the oil and gas industry and will be step toward stopping and/or fighting the development of this sector.
Would the member share that same vision I have heard from people on the street?
Mr. Speaker, I live right in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan and Alberta. We are a very interesting city, because we are the only bi-provincial city in all of Canada. We rely on both provinces quite a lot.
During the past couple of years, my city has lost 8,000 to 10,000 residents because they have gone back home, typically to the east coast. They had come out to Lloydminster to work.
I completely agree with my colleague that this is nothing more than to keep our natural resources in the ground, which is shameful, especially when our country has some of the highest environmental standards and regulations to begin with, as well as with the transportation of our natural resources.
Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague on her maiden speech after her recent election in her beautiful riding. I know my colleague and all Conservative colleagues here, and probably all party MPs, go to their ridings each weekend. We work hard. We have activities in the communities, such as spaghetti dinners, etc.
The member will be able to share with us everything she hears from her constituents about the need to ensure Canadian oil can be exported outside the country. It is a major issue.
How can we still, today in 2018, be importing petroleum from dictatorship countries when we have all these resources here? Could my colleague share with us some of the comments she has heard from her constituents?
Mr. Speaker, the constituents of Battlefords—Lloydminster are very disappointed that the , who is from Saskatchewan, is not standing up for them and for the people of Saskatchewan. They do not believe the government when it says that it is for the extraction of our natural resources and our oil. I know many people will ensure they get out and vote in the next election. They will do everything in their power to ensure they do not have another Liberal government.
Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour to speak in the House of Commons.
On a more serious note, I would like to take a moment to talk about my colleague from , who passed away very suddenly this week. I never imagined this could happen. I share his family's sorrow, though of course mine could never equal theirs. His young children will not get to share amazing moments in their lives with their father, and that is staggeringly sad. I would therefore like to publicly state that I encourage them to hang in there. One day, they will surely find joy in living again, and we are here for them.
As usual, I want to say acknowledge all of the residents of Beauport—Limoilou who are tuning in. I would like to let them know that there will be a press conference Monday morning at my office. I will be announcing a very important initiative for our riding. I urge them to watch the news or read the paper when the time comes.
Bill would essentially enact a moratorium on the entire Pacific coast. It would apply from Prince Rupert, a fascinating city that I visited in 2004 at the age of 18, to Port Hardy, at the northern tip of Vancouver Island. This moratorium is designed to prevent oil tankers, including Canadian ones, that transport more than 12,500 tons of oil from accessing Canada's inland waters, and therefore our ports.
This moratorium will prohibit the construction of any pipeline project or maritime port beyond Port Hardy, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, to export our products to the west. In the past three weeks, the Liberal government has slowly but surely been trying to put an end to Canada's natural resources, and oil in particular. Northern Gateway is just one example.
The first thing the Liberals did when they came to power was to amend the environmental assessment process managed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency; they even brag about it. Northern Gateway was in the process of being accepted, but as a result of these amendments, the project was cancelled, even though the amendments were based on the cabinet's political agenda and not on scientific facts, as the Liberal government claims.
When I look at Bill , which would enact a moratorium on oil tankers in western Canada, it seems clear to me that the Liberals had surely been planning to block the Northern Gateway project for a while. Their argument that the project did not clear the environmental assessment is invalid, since they are now imposing a moratorium that would have prevented this project from moving forward regardless.
The Prime Minister and member for has said Canada needs to phase out the oil sands. Not only did he say that during the campaign, but he said it again in Paris, before the French National Assembly, in front of about 300 members of the Macron government, who were all happy to hear it. I can guarantee my colleagues that Canadians were not happy to hear that, especially people living in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta who benefit economically from this natural resource. Through their hard work, all Canadians benefit from the incredible revenues and spinoffs generated by that industry.
My colleague from gave an exceptional speech this morning. He compassionately explained how hard it has been for families in Saskatchewan to accept and understand the decisions being made one after the other by this Liberal government. The government seems to be sending a message that is crystal clear: it does not support western Canada's natural resources, namely oil and natural gas. What is important to understand, however, is that this sector represents roughly 60% the economy of the western provinces and 40% of Canada's entire economy.
I can see why the says we need to tackle climate change first. The way she talks to us every day is so arrogant. We believe in climate change. That is not the issue. Climate change and natural resources are complex issues, and we must not forget the backdrop to this whole debate. People are suffering because they need to put food on the table. Nothing has changed since the days of Cro-Magnon man. People have to eat every day. People have to find ways to survive.
When the Liberals go on about how to save the planet and the polar bears, that is their post-modern, post-materialist ideology talking. Conservatives, in contrast, talk about how to help families get through the day. That is what the Canadian government's true priority should be.
Is it not completely absurd that even now, in 2018, most of the gas people buy in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, and Ontario comes from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia even though we have one of the largest oil reserves in the world? Canada has the third-largest oil reserve in the world, in fact. That is not even counting the Arctic Ocean, of which we own a sizeable chunk and which has not yet been explored. Canada has tremendous potential in this sector.
As I have often told many of my Marxist-Leninist, leftist, and other colleagues, the price of oil is going to continue to rise dramatically until 2065 because of China's and India's fuel consumption. Should Canada say no to $1 trillion in economic spinoffs until then? Absolutely not.
How will we afford to pay for our hospitals, our schools, and our social services that are so dear to the left-wing advocates of the welfare state in Canada? As I said, the priority is to meet the needs of Canadians and Canada, a middle power that I adore.
To get back to the point I was making, as my colleague from said, the decision regarding Bill and the moratorium was made by cabinet, without any consultation or any study by a parliamentary committee. Day after day, the Liberals brag about being the government that has consulted more with Canadians over the past three years than any government in history. It is always about history with them.
The moratorium will have serious consequences for Canada's prosperity and the economic development of the western provinces, which represent a growing segment of the population. How can the Liberals justify the fact that they failed to conduct any environmental or scientific impact assessments, hold any Canada-wide consultations, or have a committee examine this issue? They did not even consult with the nine indigenous nations that live on the land covered by the moratorium. The NDP ought to be alarmed about that. That is the point I really want to talk about.
I have here a legal complaint filed with the B.C. Supreme Court by the Lax Kw'alaams first nation—I am sorry if I pronounced that wrong—represented by John Helin. The plaintiffs are the indigenous peoples living in the region covered by the moratorium. Only nine indigenous nations from that region are among the plaintiffs. The defendant is the Government of British Columbia.
The lawyer's argument is very interesting from a historical perspective.
“The claim area includes and is adjacent to an open and safe deepwater shipping corridor and contains lands suitable for development as an energy corridor and protected deepwater ports for the development and operation of a maritime installation, as defined in Bill , the oil tanker moratorium act”.
“The plaintiffs' aboriginal title encompasses the right to choose to what uses the land can be put, including use as a marine installation subject only to justifiable environmental assessment and approval legislation”.
The said action by Canada “discriminates against the plaintiffs by prohibiting the development of land...in an area that has one of the best deepwater ports and safest waterways in Canada, while permitting such development elsewhere”, such as in the St. Lawrence Gulf, the St. Lawrence River, and the Atlantic Ocean.
My point is quite simple. We have a legal argument here that shows that not only does the territory belong to the indigenous people and the indigenous people were not consulted, but that the indigenous people, whom the Liberals are said to love, are suing the Government of British Columbia. This will likely go all the way to the Supreme Court because this moratorium goes against their ancestral rights on their territory, which they want to develop for future oil exports. This government is doing a very poor job of this.
Mr. Speaker, first, I must say that I enjoy listening to the hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou speak because he is a good orator who articulates his thoughts very well. It is nice to hear well-thought-out arguments, even though I do not entirely agree with him.
That being said, you raised a number of very important arguments. However, I want to correct you right away when you describe the Liberals as idealists. Clearly, they are nothing more than opportunists. That is all there is to it.
However, I would like your opinion on the fact that Canadian oil has at times been described here as the cleanest in the world. Honestly, can we talk about the serious problem with developing the oil sands or the tar sands? Let us call them oil sands for some positivity.
What do you think of the new technologies that could make this operation acceptable? Transporting oil is on the same level as using it, but oil extraction is unequivocally damaging to the environment.
I would remind the hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert that he is to address the chair and not the other members.
The hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou.
Mr. Speaker, Canadian oil is the most highly regulated oil in the world. Our oil is subject to the largest number of regulations regarding the environment, transportation safety, taxation, consumption, royalties, and so forth.
Would the founding nations consider it normal today for hundreds of huge oil tankers to cross the Atlantic ocean and come to this country when scientists are telling us that we have the third largest oil reserve in the world? The carbon capture technology for the oil sands is getting better by the day.
We need to improve our environmental practices, I think that goes without saying. However, once again, how can we justify telling our grandchildren that we do not want to share in the wealth created over the next 40 years by the China's and India's incredible consumption of oil? Those countries are not going to stop purely for environmental reasons. They are going to consume oil. They are in a full-blown industrial revolution and it is their right to do so. We could sell up to $1 trillion in oil to build hospitals and an education system that are efficient.
Mr. Speaker, it is rare to be able to take part in a dialogue such as this. I would like to ask my colleague a question.
One trillion dollars is a lot of money. Do Canada's oil executives want to invest in improving the extraction process? This is what I know about the extraction process. Simply put, natural gas is used to heat water to remove the oil from the sand. This creates a lot of carbon dioxide. That is the biggest problem with production, but there is also the issue of the water contaminated by the different chemicals found in the tailings ponds, prominently displayed in National Geographic, to our disgrace.
Dare we hope that the industry will invest in making the process cleaner?
Mr. Speaker, environmentalists, just like NDP members, all have the same problem. They suffer from amnesia.
Since the 19th century and over the past 40 years, we have seen great environmental achievements, not only in Canada, but also around the world, with issues such as acid rain or the environment in our cities. The air in London in 1845 was worse than it is today in Beijing. Remarkable progress has been made on the environment. What is disappointing about the NDP, the Liberals, and environmentalists is that they never acknowledge progress and the efforts of Canadians.
We are transitioning towards green energy, but we cannot change Canada's entire supply chain in the space of a few years. This is why we are talking about it, because we need to be able to take advantage of our resources in the meantime.
Is the House ready for the question?
Hon. members: Question.
The Speaker: The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Some hon. members: No.
The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
Some hon. members: Yea.
The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
Some hon. members: Nay.
The Speaker: In my opinion, the yeas have it.
And five or more members having risen:
The Speaker: Pursuant to Standing Order 45, the recorded division stands deferred until Monday, May 7, 2018, at the ordinary hour of daily adjournment.
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think that if you seek it, you would find unanimous consent for the following. I move:
|| That, notwithstanding any standing order or usual practice of the House, the recorded division on third reading of Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, be further deferred until the expiry of the time provided for oral questions on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.
Does the member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. member: Agreed.
The Speaker: I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the recorded division stands further deferred until Tuesday, May 8, at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.
Mr. Speaker, I think that if you seek it, you would find unanimous consent to see the clock at 1:30.
Is there unanimous consent for this particular kind of magic?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Speaker: The House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's Order Paper.
The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill , as reported (without amendment) from the committee.
There being no motions at report stage, the House will now proceed, without debate, to the putting of the question on the motion to concur in the bill at report stage.
moved that Bill , be concurred in at report stage.
The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt this motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Some hon. members: No.
The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
Some hon. members: Yea.
The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
Some hon. members: Nay.
The Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.
And five or more members having risen:
The Speaker: Pursuant to Standing Order 98, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, May 9, immediately before the time provided for private members' business.
It being 1:02 p.m., the House stands adjourned until next Monday at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).
(The House adjourned at 1:02 p.m.)