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Results: 136 - 150 of 737
View Paule Brunelle Profile
BQ (QC)
View Paule Brunelle Profile
2010-05-31 19:44 [p.3193]
Madam Chair, it seems to me that the minister cannot shirk his responsibility for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. He is the minister after all.
I would like to talk to him about the energy efficiency program with regard to home renovations. The Standing Committee on Natural Resources had two sessions on the ecoenergy home retrofit program. The witnesses all agreed that this program produced nothing but positive results.
This begs the question: why discontinue the program so soon? Does the minister see a future for this program? How can he even question a program that is so very popular?
View Christian Paradis Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, we are pleased with the success of the ecoenergy home retrofit program. Some 500,000 Canadian homes will consume less and have better energy efficiency. The average savings is 22% per home. Imagine how many fewer tonnes of greenhouse gases will be emitted and how much energy will be saved. In our Speech from the Throne, we promised to review how the programs were doing in order to keep investing in clean energy in the years to come.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2010-05-31 19:46 [p.3194]
Madam Chair, I thank the minister for being here, and his fan club, too. I think if the minister were to announce the time, he would get a cheer. We have slightly higher standards on this side.
We have all been horrified by the British Petroleum leak. The government in the U.S. has decided to suspend all drilling for six months until it can be determined why the leak occurred in the first place. The minister said he was glad to see the U.S. suspend drilling. Is the government considering a similar measure here for Canada?
View Christian Paradis Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, it is unfortunate that my colleague does not have his fan club with him.
That being said, as I stated earlier, the National Energy Board has engaged in a review of the entire process. This is exactly what it is doing to better understand what happened in the Gulf of Mexico and how we can improve our regulations.
Let me be clear that Minerals Management Service in the United States will be reformed to make sure it is an independent body, which is already the case here with the NEB. The United States is headed toward the stage we are at right now.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2010-05-31 19:47 [p.3194]
Madam Chair, in the gulf, British Petroleum was exempted from detailed environmental study because it thought a spill was unlikely and the spill response capability was not sufficient. In Canada this is not the exemption, it is the rule.
In 2005, oil companies were given the right not to do a comprehensive study at the exploratory drilling stage, which is what the deepwater was at, but just to hand over a two-page screening to the government. Is the government comfortable with such a weak environmental assessment of the potential damage from the drilling process?
View Christian Paradis Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, Canada has legislation in place that provides a robust regulatory regime for all offshore oil and gas activities to ensure the highest standards for safety and protection of the environment and management of our petroleum resources.
As part of the application assessment process, Canada's regulators ensured that each company has an effective management system in place that addresses safety and environmental protection, ensures personnel are properly trained and facilities are safe, monitors companies' mandatory safety drills and emergency response exercises, and inspects drilling rigs before and during operations. Contingency plans must include emergency response procedures which address how the company will work with the local community and the other levels of government.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2010-05-31 19:48 [p.3194]
Madam Chair, that is simply not the case. When a company under Canadian law goes to do an exploratory well, just like the Deepwater Horizon, there is no regulatory requirement for an environmental assessment. There is no regulatory requirement for a cleanup plan. There are no specific regulatory requirements for any of these things. This is in fact the matter. This, in 2005, was given over by the NEB to say that these are objective based.
In 2009, the government moved to goal-based regulations from prescriptive ones. The terminology is important. In the U.S. the government requires the “best available and safety technology”, while in Canada the rules require that it be “adequate” and “reliably operating”. These are guidelines, not regulations. There are no regulations guiding this. Is the minister concerned at all about that fact?
View Christian Paradis Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, with all due respect, Canada's oil and gas drilling and production regulations are very strict. The operators must follow a series of steps because, as we know, it is the responsibility of the operators.
The National Energy Board, an expert, quasi-judicial organization, also has the right to ask for a financial guarantee in advance, up front, to ensure that it is able to act immediately if there is a spill or damage. And it always works on a cost-recovery basis. It is an independent organization with very rigorous standards.
As I said before, if we look at the United States, President Obama has decided to divide the Minerals Management Service into three divisions in order to ensure impartiality and to create an independent organization, which is what we have had here for 50 years with the National Energy Board.
And the National Energy Board has decided to launch an in-depth study on the entire procedure. The public will be invited to submit comments, and the study will be open and transparent.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2010-05-31 19:50 [p.3194]
Madam Chair, I have a very specific question for the minister.
In the U.S., there is a regulatory requirement that companies prove they have the fiscal capacity to drill a relief well in the case of a blowout. Is that the case in Canada?
View Christian Paradis Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, I invite my colleague to look at the act governing operations, the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act. This act clearly establishes a liability regime. As I said earlier, the National Energy Board can require operators to provide both an up-front financial guarantee as well as a solvency plan. I invite my colleague to look at these provisions.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2010-05-31 19:51 [p.3194]
Madam Chair, I just want it to be clear for those watching. In the U.S., there is a regulatory requirement that companies have the fiscal capacity, the money on hand, to drill a relief well. In Canada there is no such requirement.
Second, the minister seems to have an unending faith in the oil and gas companies to regulate themselves. In the U.S., when a lease is taken out, as in the case of the Beaufort, on both sides of the border, an environmental assessment is required. Is this the case in Canada? Is an environmental assessment required at the leasing stage in offshore drilling in the Arctic?
View Christian Paradis Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, again, as I was saying earlier, when it comes to financial obligations, the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act is quite strict. Guarantees can be required by the National Energy Board.
The important thing that we ultimately want, and only the National Energy Board can provide, is the assurance that no project will see the light of day until the board is convinced that workers' safety and environmental protection are guaranteed.
We have the tools to do this in Canada and, again, a general review will be done shortly to which the public will be invited to submit comments.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2010-05-31 19:52 [p.3195]
Madam Chair, when contracts are signed for leases in Canada, the oil companies must commit to explore and spend money. Is there an environmental assessment required at this stage by Canada?
View Christian Paradis Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, perhaps the member should address his questions to my colleague, the Minister of the Environment. What I can tell him is that the National Energy Board is in charge of managing the application process for drilling offshore or on land. And when it comes to drilling, strict regulations must be followed and no project will see the light of day until the board is convinced that there will be no harm to workers' health or the environment. And this requires response plans and contingency plans. The operators must prove that they are able to take action.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2010-05-31 19:53 [p.3195]
Madam Chair, I am concerned by the minister's unwillingness or lack of knowledge on this file. He asked me to refer to the Minister of the Environment. The Minister of the Environment has no purview over this whatsoever. It is under his watch and the Minister of Indian Affairs. That is it.
The requirement by the NEB to have these so-called stringent rules that the minister spoke of, in 2005, NEB Chair Caron said “to contribute to an innovation and economic growth and to reduce the administrative burden on business”.
At the Nova Scotia level, the chair there said:
And we are considering allowing new technology [to reduce costs] for exploration. This might require regulatory changes. We’re looking into that now. Flexible. Flexible. Flexible.
Does the minister feel that the NEB is in any conflict of interest whatsoever?
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