moved for leave to introduce Bill C-214, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (qualifying environmental trust).
He said: Mr. Speaker, the bill is about equity for the Canadian resource industry. It would provide a level playing field in the oil and gas sector and a financial instrument that is already available for every other extractive industry in Canada, including pipelines. It would allow us to move forward in dealing with environmental liabilities associated with end-of-life wells, inactive wells and suspended wells from the oil and gas sector.
Qualified environmental trusts were brought in by a previous Liberal government, in 1994, in recognition of the fact that liabilities occurred at the end of well life and resource life whereas revenues occurred toward the beginning of resource life. This would match income with expenses. It is a good instrument for our oil and gas industry, particularly in these times when there is so much environmental remediation required in the industry.
Why was it was left out of that legislation in 1994? It is only because oil and gas companies at that time had a surfeit of opportunities that were at all stages of their development, and it was not recognized as being necessary. It is completely necessary now, given what is happening in the oil and gas industry and in Alberta.
We need to recognize that this industry provides so much for Canada. There is so much value to be brought by this new legislation, including $20 billion of economic activity over the next 20 years. This would be a boon to employment in Alberta and GDP across Canada.
The bill would level the playing field for an industry that has not been represented well at this level. I hope we can move it forward very quickly.