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Results: 1 - 15 of 72
View Monique Pauzé Profile
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2019-06-17 19:15 [p.29224]
Madam Speaker, at the beginning of his speech, my colleague talked about young people being environmentally responsible, saying that that is the way to go. I would just remind him that a network called the Établissements verts Brundtland, comprising several green schools in Quebec, was created in the 1990s. People have already started adopting environmentally responsible behaviour. However, that is not going to solve the climate crisis. The elephant in the room is oil and gas, fossil fuels, the oil sands.
What could the Conservatives propose when they want to develop the oil sands at all costs? What could a Conservative government propose to resolve the climate crisis or, at least, to start working on it?
View Steven Blaney Profile
Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague for having a fully electric vehicle. Based on my recent conversations with her, it is working really well.
Unfortunately, we still need oil. The best-selling vehicle in Quebec is the Ford F-150. It is all well and good to attack the oil sands, but gas use is the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions. I prefer to use Canadian oil rather than unethical oil from another country. This allows us to reinvest in our social services and in our community.
View Robert Sopuck Profile
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to stand in the House to speak to this particular bill. Unfortunately, Bill C-88 is another anti-energy policy from the Liberal government, which is driving energy investment out of Canada, costing Canadian workers their jobs and increasing poverty rates in the north. Like Bill C-69 before it, Bill C-88 politicizes oil and gas extraction by expanding the powers of the cabinet to block economic development and adds to the increasing levels of red tape that proponents must face before they can get shovels in the ground.
Further, Bill C-88 reveals a full rejection of calls from elected territorial leaders for increased control of their natural resources. I am deeply concerned that with Bill C-88, the Liberals would entrench into law their ability to continue to arbitrarily and without consultation block oil and gas projects. As witnesses noted in the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, again we see the Liberal government putting together very different pieces of legislation. Before taking office, they promised to table only legislation that stands alone, and they have run away from that promise altogether.
The former Conservative government viewed the north as a key driver of economic activity for decades to come. Other Arctic nations, including China and Russia, are exploring possibilities. The Liberals, meanwhile, are arbitrarily creating more barriers to economic development in Canada's north, with the Liberal government's top-down and ever-paternalistic action to do nothing to reduce poverty in remote and northern regions of Canada. Northerners face the unique challenges of living in the north with fortitude and resilience. They want jobs and economic opportunities for their families, and they deserve a government that has their back.
Bill C-88 is another one in the long list of failed Liberal environmental policies. There are Bill C-69, which will further throttle natural resource development; Bill C-68, the new fisheries act, which will add another layer of complications to all Canadian economic development; Bill C-48, the tanker ban; as well as Bill C-55, the marine protected areas law. Added together, it is a complete dog's breakfast of anti-development legislation.
The natural resource industries are extremely important in this country. Indeed, I am very honoured and proud to represent a natural resource constituency. What do the natural resources consist of in this country? They are energy, forestry, agriculture, mining, commercial fishing, hunting, fishing, trapping and so on. In my riding of Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, all of these activities take place in various regions, in all 66,000 square kilometres of my riding, and it sickens and angers me how the workers in the natural resource industries and the people in the communities are continually being attacked by the government, whether it is anti-firearms legislation, Bill C-69 or Bill C-68. All of these pieces of legislation collectively add up to a complete throttling of rural communities.
I listened with great humour to the parliamentary secretary's comments about the Mackenzie Valley. I cut my teeth as a young fisheries biologist doing environmental impact work in the Mackenzie Valley. I was there in 1971, 1972, 1975 and again in the 1980s. While I would certainly never claim to know as much about the Mackenzie Valley as does the hon. member for Northwest Territories, my experience as a biologist has been unique.
Back in the 1970s, when the first environmental impact assessment work was done in the Mackenzie Valley, I was part of teams of biologists who sampled every single waterway in the Mackenzie Valley where the pipeline would cross. We assessed fish and wildlife habitats up and down the valley, and I am one of the few people in this country, apart from the residents of the Mackenzie Valley itself, who have seen, experienced, photographed and measured essentially all of the environmental amenities and characteristics that the Mackenzie Valley has. In addition, I have also visited most communities. It was quite a while ago; nevertheless, I do not think a lot has changed.
The implication from the parliamentary secretary is that absolutely nothing has been done in the Mackenzie Valley, nothing at all. The work started in the 1970s, with the aforementioned environmental impact assessment that was done and that I was a part of. Those were the years of the Berger commission. The shameful Berger commission held hearing after hearing. That was a time when natural gas and energy prices were fairly high, so much so that Thomas Berger recommended that the project be shelved, which it was, after hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on exploration activities and with much community involvement. I was there. I saw it. I was part of it.
In the 1990s, it was done all over again. The same streams that we sampled in the 1970s were looked at, the same wildlife habitat, the same environmental characteristics were all measured and, again, the same conclusion was reached: no development.
The late 1990s were a time when natural gas prices were something like $15 per 1,000 cubic feet. It made the pipeline economical. Well, along came fracking, and the price of natural gas went down to $3 per 1,000 cubic feet, and in the mid-2000s, the pipeline project was shelved in perpetuity, leaving these communities consigned to poverty.
The Mackenzie Valley is a unique and wonderful place. The soils are rich and the trees are big. It is indeed an anomaly in the north. One does not have to go too far east of the Mackenzie Valley to hit the tundra. There have been experimental farms in the Mackenzie Valley. There was one at Fort Simpson when I was living there. Again, the agricultural and forestry potential is absolutely enormous.
The parliamentary secretary talks about the fragility of the Mackenzie Valley. I doubt he has seen it. All of the world's environments need to be treated with care. However, does he realize that there have been oil wells in Norman Wells since the Second World War? Does he realize that, in 1980, a pipeline was built from Norway House to Zama Lake, Alberta? All of these developments were done without any fanfare, and Norman Wells, producing some of the finest crude oil in the world, has been operating for decades now with little or no environmental impact. People who do not know what they are talking about and do not know about the environment are making laws that consign people in these communities to poverty in perpetuity, and that is absolutely shameful.
In terms of indigenous communities and resource development, one need only look at the Agnico Eagle gold mine at Baker Lake. I hate to break it to my friends opposite, who so object to resource development, but the employment rate in Baker Lake is 100%, thanks to that mining operation.
During the testimony for Bill C-69, I asked Pierre Gratton, the head of The Mining Association of Canada, about the social conditions in communities that operate in the diamond mining area. These are his words, not mine, but I am paraphrasing. He talked about the increase in education levels. Literacy went up; job training went up; and the social conditions improved.
The current government is consigning Canada's north and Canada's northern communities to poverty in perpetuity, and I hope it is happy about it, because I certainly am not. It is shameful what it is doing.
In my time as a biologist, I have seen the evolution of environmental policy, starting in the 1970s. I was not there, but I remember the first Earth Day in 1970, which Maurice Strong organized. Back in the mid-1980s, the Brundtland commission came out with “Our Common Future”, which talked about the concept of sustainable development. Gro Harlem Brundtland was very clear on the concept of sustainable development. She said clearly that sustainable development is not an environment concept; it is a development concept, and it is development in harmony with the environment. However, the current government has seen fit to break that particular compact with the people.
In the 2000s, of course, I also saw the rise of climate science and environmental policy. It is an evolution I have been very fortunate to witness, but what I see now, from the Liberals especially, is that they are phony environmentalists, most of them, apart from the member for Northwest Territories, whom I have an enormous amount of respect for. They talk a good game about the environment, but they do not know anything about it. They have never been there. They have never studied it. They do not measure it, and they have no concept of what goes on.
There are two paths in terms of environmental policy. One is with the Liberals and the NDP. For them, environmental policy is all about process, consultation and nothing else. Strategies without results are meaningless. On this side of the House, Conservative environmental policy is focused on real and measurable environmental results. It is no accident that former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney was named the greenest prime minister in Canadian history: the acid rain treaty, the Montreal Protocol, the green plan, the pulp and paper effluent regulations. My own previous prime minister, Stephen Harper, connected with that particular legacy.
The track record of Conservative governments is by far the best in terms of measurable results. Environmental assessments should be all about what effect a project would have on the environment, how we mitigate it and how we ensure the project moves ahead with all the attendant benefits that it will develop?
What is really interesting is that those on the Liberal left think modern society is the problem. Those of us on the Conservative side of the House say modern society is the answer.
A group of academics coined an index called the “environmental benefits index”. Basically, it is a graph comparing country income, per capita income in any given country, and environmental quality. It is very clear, if we look at measurable environmental indicators, such as water quality, air quality, amount of protected land, conservation agriculture, the fewest species at risk and on and on, that the wealthy countries have the best environments.
Which party delivers economic growth, economic development through trade, creating a business climate for economic growth? That is only the Conservatives. That is why, under Conservative governments, if one looks at the actual measurable environmental characteristics of Canada, for example, indeed all of the developed nations of the world, they are vastly superior to countries that are run under the stultifying control of excess governments.
We can look, for example, at the Sudbury miracle. What happened there? A few decades ago, a moonscape was around Sudbury. Investments were made in sulfur dioxide removal. Now the forests have all come back. There are still jobs there. The forest and the environment have come back. That is what happens when we have Conservative-style environmentalism. We actually get results.
Let us get back to the Mackenzie Valley. When we were doing our assessments in the Mackenzie Valley, we had aerial photographs. This was back in the days before GPS or any of that kind of stuff. We sat down with aerial photographs in our laps, big huge rolls. We were in the helicopter, following this black line through the Mackenzie Valley. The GEO chemist beside me would take notes, the hydrologist would take notes, and then the helicopters would land in various stream crossing areas, where we knew the pipeline would cross.
All of us scientific types, hopped out and did our various work, such such wildlife habitat and fisheries habitat assessments. I would set my little nets in the pools and see what was there. I have to confess something, I was actually paid to fish back in those days. It is something that a young biologist very much appreciated.
This was back in 1975, the care with which the pipeline was planned, the soil types were measured, the depth of the permafrost was looked at, all that kind of stuff. Even back then, in the dark ages of 1975, we knew darn well that that pipeline could be built and delivered in an environmentally sound way. Indeed, my friend, the natural resources critic would know how many kilometres of pipeline there are in the country, about 30,000 kilometres of pipeline, give or take. However, nobody knows where they are, because they are all cited according to our best environmental practices.
It always bugs me when I hear members opposite, or the NDP members, talk about cleaning up our economy, going green, clean tech and so on. I have a dirty little secret to share with them. All industries in Canada are already clean.
Let me give an example of that. Brian Mulroney, the Conservative PM in 1989, implemented the pulp and paper effluent regulations. They mandated the construction of a waste water treatment plant at every pulp and paper facility. What was once a toxic effluent now became an effluent that people could actually drink. Industry after industry across the country follows those exact same guidelines.
Before I became an MP, I had this pleasure through environmental assessment in the oil sands. I lived at the Denman camp, part of the Kearl project. It is a human tragedy what the Liberals are doing. I had a chance to mix, mingle and make friends with people all across the country of all ages, of all education levels, from tractor drivers to hydrogeochemists and everything in between. They were all fulfilling their dream, making a very good living, helping their families, paying their way through school, buying that first house. The Liberals are destroying that for the families of those good people who work in the oil sands. That is something I will never forgive. It is simply not true that our industries are not clean. They are the cleanest in the world.
Here we are importing oil from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, leaving aside the social conditions in those countries. We know there are simply no environmental standards in those countries. The government and the NDP willingly import that kind of oil, yet block the exports of Canadian oil and gas whether it is from the Arctic or the west coast.
What is also interesting is that there are national security implications to this as well. I remember meeting with the ambassador from Slovakia. That country is dependent on Russian gas. It would only be too happy to buy energy from us. The implications of what the Liberals and NDP are doing to stop Canada's resource development goes far beyond our country. Indeed they go far beyond Alberta. Again, Canadians from all walks of life have worked in the oil sands.
Getting back to the bill for the Mackenzie Valley, it truly saddens me when I think about the communities of the Mackenzie Valley, which are ably represented by the member for Northwest Territories. It really saddens me to see what is perhaps going on there, apart from where there is no resource development. I mentioned Baker Lake and the diamond mines. Where there is resource development, communities are thriving. Wages are high. Environmental quality is very high because all these industrial activities, all these installations are built with the highest environmental standards in mind.
People say that this industry did this badly or this industry is not doing it right. Every industry in the country operates under the terms and conditions of an environmental licence. I should know. I managed an environmental licence for a paper company. We had to do the appropriate monitoring of our industrial activity. I had to submit reports. We were checked on a regular basis.
If any industry in the country does not operate in an environmentally sound way, it is not the industry's fault; it is the government's fault. Either the terms and conditions of the environmental licence are not right, but the company is following these terms, or the government is not enforcing the rules.
I, for one, will stand and proudly defend all the Canadian industry. What we do in our country is right and proper and is a model for the world.
Therefore, I move:
That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following therefore:
Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts, be not now read a third time, but be referred back to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs for the purpose of reconsidering clauses 85 and 86, with a view to removing the ability for the federal cabinet to prohibit oil and gas activities on frontier lands based on “national interest”.
View Randy Boissonnault Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Randy Boissonnault Profile
2018-11-28 22:17 [p.24157]
Madam Speaker, I appreciate memory lapses on the part of the people on the other side. On this side, we are going to continue with our defence of Canadian workers in the energy sector.
Despite the empty rhetoric and talking points we hear from the Conservatives, our approach will help to diversify Canada's energy markets by ensuring that good resource projects get built in a timely, responsible and transparent way.
That is why the government and my friend, the Minister of Natural Resources, the member of Parliament for Edmonton Mill Woods, have developed a comprehensive response to the Federal Court's ruling, by instructing the National Energy Board to reconsider the effects of marine shipping related to the project and to report back by February, by relaunching phase 3 consultations with indigenous communities affected by the project, work that the minister has been conducting over the last weeks and that he will continue to do.
Let us be clear. We have to respect all of our legal and constitutional obligations in that we have to take into account environmental considerations. We have to ensure that our consultations are meaningful, that we make accommodations and that we work with indigenous peoples in the communities along pipeline lines to ensure the build is respectful and meets their needs. This is a direct part of our program and our project to ensure Alberta resources can get to new markets.
We see our support for the energy sector in the new USMCA agreement, which features significant gains for Canada's energy sector, an agreement that enhances our competitiveness and inspires greater investor confidence. It is an agreement that removes NAFTA's proportionality clause and restores Canada's sovereignty over our own energy resources.
The side agreement on energy between Canada and the United States recognizes the importance of integrating North American energy markets based on open trade investment, commits our two countries to supporting North American energy competitiveness, security and independence, requires independent energy regulators and prohibits discriminatory or preferential access to energy infrastructure.
It is important to pause and understand where some of the elements in the fall economic statement came from. When the Prime Minister met in the recent past with members of the oil sector, executives, he asked a very simple question. He asked them what they needed from the federal to help them get their product to market. It was very clear. They asked him to get them a pipe to tidewater that would get them to customers other than the U.S. and get them accelerated capital cost allowance so they could build and ensure they were able to recoup their capital costs before they started to pay royalties.
What have we done? What has the Prime Minister led this government to do? The $4.5 billion investment in the TMX pipeline is producing $300 million a year right now. Should we be able to do exactly the plan we are following in the right way, it could be three times that amount going through that pipe on an annual basis, which would be $900 million going to new markets. The $14.7 billion in accelerated capital cost allowance in the fall economic statement is exactly what oil executives have asked a Liberal government in Ottawa to do.
That is like a Liberal government in the 1970s, when there was a Liberal government in Ontario and a Peter Lougheed-led government in Alberta that decided to create Syncrude, which decided to be innovative and take this new stuff out of the ground, known as oil sands, and figure out how to separate it and get it to the world. Syncrude was led by a federal Liberal government, an Ontario Liberal government and a Conservative government led by Peter Lougheed. That was the kind of leadership we saw in the 1970s, and it is the kind of leadership we see again in 2018.
Once again, we have listened and taken action. We have offered an accelerated investment incentive that lets businesses immediately write off the full cost of machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and processing, as well as all clean energy equipment.
We have also promised to modernize federal regulations, because we understand that the regulatory burden can add up over time. The fall economic statement proposes to eliminate obsolete regulatory requirements, making Canada a more attractive place to invest.
This includes encouraging regulators to take into account efficiency and economic considerations. How will we do this? An annual modernization bill to keep regulations up to date, an external advisory committee to look at Canada's regulatory competitiveness, a centre for regulatory innovation and immediate action to a number of business recommendations.
As well, to boost trade overseas, our government is proposing to accelerate investments in trade transportation corridors, leading to Asia and Europe. Just yesterday I had the honour to join the Minister of International Trade Diversification in my own home city of Edmonton, as we announced a new e-hub logistics centre at the Edmonton International Airport. This is another example of how this government is not only working to meet the needs of energy sector workers, but diversifying our economy so we can be a global hub in centres across the country for global commerce. That is leadership, that is innovation and that is exactly why we, on this side of the House, are working to improve the lives of Canadians.
I was a management consultant before I came to this place. This place has a lot of process. I am in the Parliament of Canada not to spend endless hours on process, but to deliver results. I have nieces and nephews who are now 17, 15 and soon to be 11. When they ask me what I do, I ask them if they watch me on TV. They tell me not for too long because it looks a little boring. I told them that in a nutshell, we were making decisions now to make things better for them in the future, so when they were finished school, they could decide if they wanted to go into the trades, or go to northern Alberta Institute of Technology and become a broadcaster, or to go into the oil patch or be a Ph.D. in neurophysics.
Our whole purpose on this side is to make the lives of Canadians better and that includes the hundred thousand Albertans who lost their livelihoods in the 2008 downturn.
Our country is doing well. We are leading the G7. However, 12% of the population, 16% of the GDP, is still hurting. While we have five out of six cylinders firing in the country, with our plan and our project and the work of this part of the government, we will ensure that all cylinders are firing in the country, and that Albertans and Canadians get back to work.
At the end of the day, when I talk to my niece and nephews 10 years from now and they ask me if I am proud of my time in the House of Commons, I will tell them “We got the work done. We transformed the energy sector. We kept our promises.” That day I know I will be proud not only of my work but of every member on this side of the House.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2018-11-28 23:16 [p.24165]
Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member do I thought the impossible, which was defend three years of failures that the Liberal government is responsible for. What the Liberals have been good at is defending the jobs of Liberal insiders whose sole goal is to shut down the oil sands and cost hundreds of thousands of energy workers their jobs all across the country, not just in Alberta.
I am going to actually name these Liberal elitist insiders. The principal secretary to the Prime Minister, Gerald Butts, is a known supporter of the tar sands campaign. The chief of staff to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Marlo Raynolds, the former executive director of the Pembina Institute, is a known supporter of the tar sands campaign. The senior policy adviser on energy and environment, Sarah Goodman, the former VP of Tides Canada, is a known supporter of the tar sands campaign. Zoë Caron, a past president of Sierra Club Canada and a former official with the World Wildlife Fund, is a known supporter of the tar sands campaign.
Why is the member so good at defending the jobs of Liberal insiders but is not great at defending the jobs of Alberta energy workers?
View Kent Hehr Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Kent Hehr Profile
2018-11-28 23:17 [p.24165]
Mr. Speaker, with the deepest of respect to the hon. member, I think he may have lost track of his senses during that long list that he must have got from The Rebel Media. How can he even say that? Our government is so committed to the people of Alberta that we invested $4.5 billion in a pipeline. We know that it is in the national interest to move that project forward in the right way. For him to say that is just nonsensical.
I would ask the member to revisit the evidence as to what we did and how we are going to go forward.
View Linda Lapointe Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Linda Lapointe Profile
2018-09-24 19:39 [p.21753]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak this evening. I will be speaking in English so please forgive me if I make a few mistakes.
The great philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “It's like déjà vu all over again.” He could have been talking about this debate, because it seems we are just going around in circles here, with many of us saying the same thing in different ways.
Our government has already endorsed the House committee's report on the future of Canada's oil and gas sector. Why? It is because the committee was right when it concluded that the future of the industry is tied to innovation, sustainable solutions and new economic opportunities. Who would disagree with that?
However, the critics in the House say, “Yes, but what about the upstream greenhouse gas emissions? Why are we including them in the review of oil and gas projects? What about the uncertainty facing the industry with respect to environmental assessments? What about recognizing that Canada has a world-leading regulatory regime and an internationally renowned track record? What about the United States' transformation from being our main customer to our biggest competitor?”
On each count we say, that is what we have been addressing over the course of our mandate. We have been addressing existing problems and tackling the challenges that continue to emerge. One key way we have been doing that is by bringing forward legislation, Bill C-69, to make environmental assessments and regulatory reviews timelier, more transparent and more predictable. We get it. Investment certainty is critical to the energy sector's future, and Bill C-69 would provide that, with better rules for a better Canada.
However, again, the critics argue, “Yes, but why are you singling out the oil and gas industry by including upstream greenhouse gas emissions for pipeline projects?” We are not. It is just the opposite. Everything we have been doing, from Bill C-69 to the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, is aimed at strengthening Canada's economy and creating jobs for the low-carbon future. That includes our oil and gas industry and all the other resource sectors that are the backbone of the Canadian economy.
Here is a fact that is not widely known. Natural resources account for 47% of Canada's merchandise exports. That is almost half our total merchandise exports. There is no getting around it. Our natural resource industries are not just the historic foundation of our economy, they are helping to drive our future prosperity, and in a world increasingly looking for sustainably produced products, Canada is unmatched. We have a huge natural advantage, and our government is determined to build on that competitive edge by making sure that Canada can take on the world in this clean-growth century and win.
However, again, the critics argue, “That is all well and good, but you have to realize that our oil and gas industry is now competing with the United States. You have to do something about that.” Again, we say that they are right, and we are doing something about it. It is right there in the Prime Minister's mandate letter to the Minister of Natural Resources. The Prime Minister asked the minister to identify opportunities to support workers and businesses in the natural resource sectors that are seeking to export their goods to global markets.
The Trans Mountain expansion project is part of that, part of our plan to diversify markets, improve environmental safety and create thousands of good middle-class jobs, including jobs in indigenous communities. That is why the Minister of Natural Resources just announced the first step in our efforts to make sure that any expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline proceeds in the right way. When 99% of Canada's oil exports are destined for the United States, it just makes sense for us to seek other buyers for our resources. The problem is that there was not a single pipeline built to tidewater in the decade before we formed government. We have to address that, and we are.
Before anyone watching thinks we are doing all of this alone, let me make this clear. Canada's oil and gas industry is working hard investing in innovation, improving its environmental performance, building new partnerships and creating new opportunities. The oil sands are a great example. They are one huge innovation project. Nobody figured out how to get oil out of sand until Canadians created the technology, and that ingenuity continues today through Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. It is a partnership of Canada's thirteen largest producers, all of them working together to ensure the industry's sensible growth and to accelerate its environmental performance. To date, those 13 companies have invested more than $1.3 billion to develop more than a thousand distinct new technologies and innovations, such as using the latest in artificial intelligence to pinpoint where to inject steam, and how much, to maximize the return of oil, or developing technology that could reduce CO2 emissions from the steam generation process to almost zero within five years.
Our government is working with them, supporting their efforts through our CanmetEnergy lab in Devon, Alberta, through our oil and gas clean-tech program and through our clean energy innovation program. We do that because our job is to make sure that Canada is developing its resources in the most environmentally responsible ways possible and using them in the most sustainable ways possible. That is exactly what we are doing. We are investing, for example, in the latest carbon capture technologies and are supporting centres of excellence in Alberta and B.C. and coming up with innovative ways to turn carbon dioxide into commercial products, everything from concrete and plastic to fish food and even toothpaste. Members may have recently read about the promising pilot project just north of Vancouver, where they are actually grabbing carbon dioxide out of the air and turning it into a replacement for gasoline.
The bottom line is that the low-carbon economy is not just the challenge of our generation, it is the opportunity of a lifetime. We are seizing this opportunity and making Canada a global leader.
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
2018-09-24 20:14 [p.21758]
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to speak this evening and to add my voice in support of Canada's oil and gas sector.
The report that we are discussing covered economic drivers, such as oil and gas prices, production costs, export capacity, future demand, investment and competition. The arguments that various witnesses presented dealt with the ways in which we could foster investment and trade opportunities, promote a new era of indigenous engagement and public trust, deal with a price on carbon, invest in technological innovation and establish the right policy framework. The concern that I have about this report, as was agreed upon by the majority on committee, was that on so many fronts, the conclusions did not address the true realities that exist in the industry today.
The unanimous motion to undertake the study on the future of Canada's oil and gas sector, with a focus on innovation, sustainable solutions and economic opportunities, presented an excellent forum to showcase to the world our first-class oil and gas sector. As I read through the report, what became obvious was that it seemed to be an apology piece for a natural resource sector rather than a chance to explain why Canada's resource development should be encouraged and promoted throughout the world.
At the time of the project, energy east, as well as Kinder Morgan, were being recognized as the final pipeline opportunities to have oil exports added to the four major pipelines that the Conservative government had previously overseen. These pipelines have become even more significant after the arbitrary cancellation of the previously approved northern gateway project.
The report also looked at pricing and production costs, which, of course, are indeed considerations that any company must keep in mind when determining where their investment dollars would go. It is too simplistic to say that investors are shying away from Alberta because of those economic factors, unless, of course, one factors in the uncertainty caused by the ever-burdensome red tape for the industry; the assault on all Canadian small businesses, particularly those that supply the oil and gas sector; a bizarre approach to international trade, which makes investors nervous; and the made-in-Canada disaster program that forces a non-competitive carbon tax on all Canadians that has no equal with our global competitors. The Liberal mistruths about Conservative pipeline management were at least exposed during the study, but once that was on the table, the report reverted back to an anti-oil spin to justify the foot-dragging that has been the hallmark of the Liberal government.
There was an acknowledgement that we needed to get moving on LNG pipeline projects, but the reality is that the same global investors that are agitating against our oil pipelines will use their network to stop LNG projects as well. After all, if Canadian resources produced under the strongest environmental standards in the world could ever get to market, who would need or want products from other countries?
In the report, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce warned that certain environmental policies, namely, carbon pricing, could undermine Canada's competitiveness unless it is aligned with trading partners. Its conclusion was that a price on carbon would cause a lack of competitiveness. There was an expression of concern regarding the greenhouse gas emissions levels of oil sands operations and how that might hinder Canada's ability to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions as addressed in the report. The irony associated with that discussion has always been the degree to which those calculations and the actual contribution to overall global emissions are portrayed.
In a November 27, 2014, Financial Post report, an energy adviser to some of the world's most developed economies, Fatih Birol, presented his concerns not only about the security of world energy sources but also the impact of fossil fuels on the climate.
What he said was that of all the issues that exist, he would never spend any time worrying about the level of carbon emissions from Canada's oil sands. He was frank about saying that oil sands CO2 emission from the oil sands is extremely low.
When speaking of the expected global requirement, Mr. Birol, chief economist of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, said that the IEA forecasts that in the next 25 years oil sands production in Canada will increase by more than three million barrels per day, “but the emissions of this additional production is equal to only 23 hours of emissions of China—not even one day.” Now, Mr. Birol also did not think a carbon tax was a particularly useful way of managing emissions. However, the sad part is that this carbon pricing scheme remains a major talking point in the report and is punishing one of our most important drivers of Canada's economy.
One cannot help but comment on the frustration industry has had with respect to the pipeline fiasco. The Prime Minister falsely claimed that the energy east project had been cancelled because of market and volume considerations. The major nail in the coffin was the government's intrusion into the pipeline approval process. It would seem as though the Liberals have used the cover of this report as a rationale to launch its disastrous Bill C-69.
In a recent Bloomberg report, former TransCanada CEO Hal Kvisle stated that in assessing the environmental impact in Canada's energy regulations this was “an absolutely devastating piece of legislation.” Mr. Kvisle also said that he did not think any competent pipeline company would submit an application if Bill C-69 came into force.
The key point is that any government needs to review projects early on and quickly send a signal to both the community and the pipeline proponent as to whether or not the Government of Canada supports the project. If pipeline companies are worried about Canadian projects going forward, then one should not be surprised that other investors around the world are no longer looking to Canada as a reliable investment. The sad part of this is that it does not mean oil and gas will not be sold around the world. It will be supplied from countries that truly have much less concern about the environment than we do. This carbon “slippage”, as it is called, will not help the global environment but it will continue to hamstring our economy.
The dissenting opinion presented by Conservative committee members addressed many of the points I have spoken about this evening, so let me put into the record the recommendations we presented.
We strongly encourage the Government of Canada to establish and make publically available strict, clear criteria and a fixed timeline for their assessment and consultation processes for major projects. The timely approval of new energy infrastructure projects would not only reduce Canada's reliance on foreign oil, but would also allow responsible, world-renowned and respected Canadian oil and gas to reach broader international markets.
We strongly encourage the Government of Canada to show confidence in our national regulators by allowing them to make evidence-based decisions independent of government politicization and unnecessary, duplicative interim principles.
We strongly encourage the Government of Canada to publicly and unequivocally support strategic energy infrastructure approved by the national regulators after extensive and thorough evidence-based processes to ensure Canada's competitiveness in the global energy market.
We strongly encourage the Government of Canada to recognize and to promote Canada's world-leading regulatory framework and environmental standards and stewardship by instilling rather than eroding public confidence in our national regulators and Canada's energy developers.
We strongly encourage the government not to impose any additional tax or regulation on the oil and gas sector or the Canadian consumer that our continental trading partners and competitors do not have. This includes measuring the upstream greenhouse emissions from pipelines, as laid out in the five interim principles, given pipelines do not contribute to these emissions in any material way and upstream emissions fall under provincial jurisdiction. Any national carbon pricing initiatives should undergo a thorough economic assessment to ensure balance between economic growth and environmental stewardship and responsibility.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
View Pierre Nantel Profile
2018-06-14 16:04 [p.20960]
Mr. Speaker, I would first like to congratulate my colleague from Barrie—Innisfil, whom I hold in high regard, for his speech and for providing a point of view definitely held by people elsewhere in the country. There is no doubt about that.
I truly appreciate his arguments and his approach to different issues. I understand that the figures must have come out, but I would still like to know what the environmental cost of doing nothing would be, if any. A carbon tax is an incentive that encourages businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and clean up emissions.
Is there something else we could do? For example, has the member heard of a cleaner way to develop the tar sands? Is that something he would like to see? I suppose I should use the term “oil sands” to eliminate the negative connotation.
Currently, this energy source is a monster emitter since domestic natural gas is used to heat the water, create steam, and extract the oil from the sand. Could he propose a solution other than this incentive, which is a proven solution?
View John Brassard Profile
View John Brassard Profile
2018-06-14 16:06 [p.20960]
Mr. Speaker, the issue of the oil sands comes up quite regularly. I know, in speaking with our shadow minister for natural resources, who has a tremendous amount of experience in the oil sands, that nowhere in the world is there a more sustainable or environmentally sustainable way of extracting oil from the ground than in the oil sands. That has been an issue that has been argued time and time again and has been proven to be the case.
To the point of an alternative, we hear the environment minister stand up and ask all the time, “where is their plan?” We are going to develop a plan. In fact, we are in the process of developing a plan. This is a plan that is not going to cost the average Canadian family for the basic necessities of life. It is going to be a sustainable plan. In fact, during the previous government, we saw emissions go down.
Those targets the government is now looking to implement are the same targets of the previous government. I do not know whether it was a faux pas on the part of the environment minister, but during question period, she said that they were not going to meet their targets either. Clearly, the government has no intention of reaching those targets. The only thing the Liberals plan to do is tax Canadians disproportionately, especially those who can least afford the carbon tax.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
View Pierre Nantel Profile
2018-06-14 16:31 [p.20964]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Glengarry—Prescott—Russell for his speech.
Unfortunately, I think the Liberals are going to have to make an effort to explain their point of view. In his speech, the member said we need to send clear market signals. I am lost for words, because buying a leaky, overpriced pipeline does not send a clear market signal that things are changing in Canada.
If this government really wants to ensure that economic development goes hand in hand with natural resource development, it needs to show us that it is making progress on promoting cleaner extraction methods. This is a dialogue of the deaf. Some members are saying we must not implement a scary carbon tax, while others are saying we should implement it and then going off and buying pipelines.
Can we get some nuanced thinking? Could someone in the government tell us what the cleanest options for oil sands development are? I never hear anything about that, and buying a pipeline certainly does not send a clear market signal.
View Francis Drouin Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I can assure my colleague that our approach is well balanced. If we told the Albertans tomorrow morning that we were going to shut down all the oil plants, I do not think they would be happy. Telling a family they will be out of a job tomorrow morning does not work. We need to rally all Canadians, which is why I believe in the approach taken by the Minister of Environment, who quite rightly said we need to put a price on carbon while growing the economy.
View Linda Duncan Profile
View Linda Duncan Profile
2018-06-14 17:09 [p.20969]
Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to rise to speak to this motion. I am going to say many things that my colleagues from Alberta should hear because it is very important for them to be reminded where this idea of a carbon tax or carbon levy came from.
I am a proud Albertan for many reasons and counted among them is the fact that my province was the first Canadian jurisdiction, in fact the first jurisdiction in North America, to impose a levy on carbon emissions. Our colleagues in the Conservative Party, minus the Progressive Conservative aspect of it, seem to want to forget about that. In fact, my guess would be that not a single one of them mentioned that fact during the debate in this place on the carbon tax. In 2007, Premier Stelmach's Progressive Conservative Government of Alberta became the first in Canada, a North America jurisdiction, to legislate greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The specified gas emitters regulation imposed a carbon levy on large industrial emitters.
This came about because of the remarkable institution in Alberta called the Clean Air Strategic Alliance. It is a mechanism that I have long recommended should be duplicated at the federal level. It is a tripartite organization shared jointly by someone senior in industry, maybe a TransAlta, Suncor, or Syncrude vice-president, and by a deputy of energy or environment, and a senior environmentalist. It also includes indigenous peoples and farmers. On behalf of the Alberta government it takes on what should be done to reduce air emissions in our province. The alliance took on the coal-fired power industry and significantly reduced those emissions. It also took on the major emitters of greenhouse gases and as a result, the government very wisely issued these regulations.
Those regulations have since been replaced and I will talk about that in a minute, but under those regulations, an industry could choose to either reduce its emissions substantially or contribute to a research fund. That research fund was headed up by the former head of Syncrude Canada. It is considered a great model for investment in cleaner technology. A lot of the money went to try to clean up the fossil fuel industry, which some people might question, but it indeed does also need to clean up. A lot of that money also went into things like geothermal energy, renewable energy, using alternative energy in the fossil fuel industry, and reducing the energy used by the fossil fuel industry. It was remarkable.
We really need to honour Alberta for that because Alberta did that first. I find it really stunning in this place that every Conservative keeps standing up and ranting about the very measure that my Government of Alberta put in place.
A decade later, along came the government of Rachel Notley who put in place a very impressive climate action portfolio. She announced a new regime that includes the carbon competitiveness incentive regulations. Those have been in place since January of this year. They apply to facilities like the oil sands, cement plants, fertilizer producers that produce more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2003 or thereafter. The Notley government also imposed a cap on oil sands carbon emissions and it was great news for me because I volunteered for seven years to finally deal with the emissions from the coal-fired power sector.
Again, I am very proud of Alberta because it has moved forward. The federal government is still talking about it and the federal government acts as if it has done it, but in fact, it has done nothing to change the Harper era coal-fired power regulations.
All the Harper government did was to say that by 2050 the coal-fired power industry either has to shut down or deal with carbon emissions. That was the big push for carbon capture sequestration. Guess what? It is really expensive and with the big push for that, in the end, the industry did not want to pay for it and the public is not happy about subsidizing it. At the big international conferences there are people trying to sell this, but it just did not work in Alberta.
The reason this industry was not shut down earlier in Alberta was that the government refused to look at the health impacts of that sector. I tried really hard to get the federal and provincial governments to speak to it. I eventually had to intervene on my own with a lifelong friend who is a family doctor and who had documented in the Lake Wabamun area, where most of the coal-fired power industry is, the higher rates of multiple sclerosis and other diseases related to neurological disease. As a result of his and my intervening, and our having brought in an American expert from the eastern coast, the government finally put in place the only mercury control regulations in this country for coal-fired power.
Bit by bit, the Government of Alberta was doing good work. Along came the Rachel Notley government and Dr. Joe Vipond, who is a Calgary physician. He started gathering information from the Canadian Medical Association to determine an absolutely huge number of serious illnesses and deaths related to coal-fired power in my province. As a result of that data and as a result of costing those injuries, health impacts, and deaths, a lot of the issues having to do with asthma, lung disease, and heart disease, the government decided that it would move forward the date for the shutdown of coal power in Alberta. Therefore, by 2030 the coal power industry will be gone in Alberta.
Those are great measures by the Government of Alberta, which were initially started by Premier Stelmach, a Progressive Conservative. These regulations replace the specified gas emitters regulation.
I want to share with members the voice of one of my neighbours, who is a remarkable man. He travels around the world and advises China and Bhutan; he goes everywhere. He is an environmental economist. Mark Anielski has reminded us that the health care costs associated with climate change are “in the order of $300 million per year, along with other impacts of pollution”, and it is what he dubs an “unfunded liability”. He estimates this overall liability is worth “about $13.7 billion if you value carbon at $50 a ton which is what Shell and other companies shadow price carbon at”. He added, “This is in the spirit of taxing the bads and not the goods” and “everyone requires a share of responsibility...paying for that liability. But the tax really is an incentive to change our behaviour to be more efficient.”
I heard my colleague from Calgary rant about what the gas tax will do to address and stop the floods and terrible fires that have blighted British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. That is not the point. The point is we need to reduce the burning of fossil fuels so that we do not have more catastrophic floods and fires. We have been fortunate in Canada because we are not seeing the brunt of it that the rest of the world is already seeing. We need to understand that putting in place a carbon tax is meant as a preventive measure, not an after-the-fact enforcement measure. It is meant to trigger a different behaviour.
The Alberta regime is forecasting $5.8 billion over a three-year period from the carbon levy on large industrial emitters. We need to also recognize that the regimes put in place in each province are going to be different. My province is blessed with, although some people say it is cursed with, major emitters. We have the major oil and gas sector. What that means is if we impose a tax, we are going to generate a lot of revenue. We also have been blessed with having a good number of people earning a good income that is higher than in a lot of places in the country. Therefore, we are going to garner a higher tax revenue. However, most of that tax will be from the purchase and burning of fossil fuels in our homes, in small businesses, and our vehicles.
What will happen with that revenue? Unlike what British Columbia originally did, where it simply returned that tax money, I am glad that Alberta has taken a different direction. My understanding is that under the new B.C. government, it has also shifted over what it is doing with that revenue.
Two-thirds of that revenue is going to be reinvested in the Alberta economy: $1.3 billion in green infrastructure and $300 million in phasing out coal power. The government, in its wisdom, decided to buy out some of the coal industry because, foolishly, previous governments had allowed the coal power industry to expand at a moment in time when we should have known it was going to be phasing out. It has agreed to pay out some of those operations and the power purchase agreements. There will be $600 million going to energy efficiency for homes and businesses, and $1 billion will be going to support the coal communities that have housed the workers who have worked in the coal mines and the coal-fired power plants. That is a good initiative. It will also go into renewable energy investments, and innovation and technology.
I would add here that the Rachel Notley government has also put $50 million toward the retraining of workers in the coal-fired power and mining industries, and persuaded the federal government finally to extend EI. Where is the money from the federal government to match that? We hear a lot of talk, and there is yet another advisory committee.
We hear pleas from members of the Conservative Party about what the carbon tax is going to do for them. What Canadians are looking for is what is being done to help communities and workers who feel they are suffering directly because of the shift to a clean energy economy.
One-third is going to helping households, businesses, and communities directly. Some $500 million is going to small business tax cuts. Some $1.5 billion is going to low- and middle-income households. There is $1.5 billion in assistance for indigenous communities. It would be nice if the federal government would match that. The effect will be that the average natural gas bill is to rise by approximately $5 a month, and that is before the 2018 rebates. The majority of the gas bill costs remain in delivery, administration, and fixed costs because of the Ralph Klein deregulated system, which the Notley government is also trying to deal with. Two-thirds of Albertans are to receive a rebate.
The projected costs are actually posted on the Alberta website. Any members in this place who are concerned about their constituents can go to the Alberta government website and find out what the carbon tax will be.
As long as Alberta's carbon tax remains in place, we in Alberta will not be subject to the federal tax regime. The government has been very clear on that. Of course, all provinces and territories have the option to implement their own choice of cost regime: cap and trade, carbon tax, or anything else that they can invent.
However, a tax alone will not cut it. Broader federal action is needed if we are to deliver on our Paris commitments. Who said that? Many, including the federal commissioner of the environment and sustainable development, who continues to raise concerns that we are failing to deliver on our commitments in meeting our greenhouse gas reduction targets. Deeper actions are needed, including on climate adaptation. That was in a very recent report by the commissioner. Of course, the government thanked the commissioner for the report, but where is the action?
I have great admiration for the Pembina Institute. The institute and others have said that the political will still appears to be high in the Liberal government. At least they voice support for it, but so is the greenhouse gas inventory high, and it is rising. The government cannot keep adjusting the timelines forward. Now it is saying it cannot possibly meet the 2020 target, so let us try for the 2030 target. The commissioner has spoken out loudly against that. She said that the government has to stop just moving the targets forward and it has to start taking action. Of course, we are already not going to meet the 2020 Copenhagen accord target. Apparently, we are also slated to fail to deliver on our Paris commitments for 2030. That is less than 15 years away. That means we have to be taking a lot of action right now.
Close to 50% of emissions come from two sectors: oil and gas and transportation. We should also take care in the conversion from coal to gas. Burning fossil fuels will remain a health threat. There should be clear timelines for shifting to renewables. I am deeply concerned, and most Canadians are probably not aware that the standards the government is about to impose for a coal plant shifting to gas are not as strict as they are for building a new gas-fired plant. That is unforgivable. That is unforgivable for regions like mine in the Lake Wabamun-Genesee area that is almost the entirety of the supply of electricity in my province. Switching to gas is still going to provide a lot of pollution and we will have a lot of health impacts, and therefore a lot of costs to the public coffers.
The reductions in the building sector have also remained stagnant. We need to move forward on changes to the national building code so that new housing stock is energy efficient. All federal dollars for indigenous housing, schools, and facilities should require energy efficiency standards for sustainability and major cost savings to the communities.
We absolutely need the federal government to deliver the promised dollars to get isolated northern communities off diesel. We can look at the budgets over the last three years that the Liberals have put forward, and I have memorized page 149 and 150 of the 2017-18 budget. All I saw were zeroes for moving reliance of rural and remote communities off diesel: budget 2016-17, zero dollars; 2017-18, zero dollars; and 2018-19, nearly $40 million.
We know how many first nations communities there are, and we know what the costs will be in some of those isolated communities, particularly in the high north. Come on, get with it. Let us move that spending forward.
Supposedly the nation-to-nation relationship is the most important, and we recognize that those communities are struggling. We hear story after story of first nations that are fed up with waiting for government to help them, and they are moving forward themselves with groups like Iron & Earth.
For example, Iron & Earth is partnering with first nations in a community in the Maskwacis in Alberta teaching the local indigenous people how to install solar, and then installing solar. Why are we not doing that right across our country? I do not understand what the delay is.
We talked about skills development in the New Democrats opposition day. In the pan-Canadian program, supposedly for all the jurisdictions to work together to address climate change, what is missing? It is investment in skills development. Even when we put those questions to the government the other day, the answer back is always exactly the same: “Well, we're supporting clean technology”. However, who is going to work for the clean technology firms?
There should be massive amounts of money flowing right now into every technical school in Canada. I sat down the other day in my constituency and started listing all the technical schools across this country that deliver renewable energy training. It is unbelievable. It is almost every community college. Certainly the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in my city has a fantastic program, but it is oversubscribed. Young people are dying to learn these skills. Who is dying to learn it the most? It is our boilermakers, steelworkers, and electricians. They are begging to get into this field. They are saying that they may still work in the fossil fuel industry, but they want to transition over. There is no reason why, when there is a downturn in the oil and gas sector, they could not slide over and work in the renewable sector.
Kudos to Iron & Earth, which started as a small group of men and women who worked in the oil sands. It has now spread right across the country. There is testimony after testimony. I encourage members to go to the Iron & Earth website and look at the testimonials from men and women working in those sectors, and how badly they want to get into this sector.
We heard all the promises from the Conservatives when they were in power. They were in power for 10 years, and they never issued those promised oil and gas regulations. So much for their actions on climate change. They never joined IRENA. Finally, three years later, kudos to the Liberals for finally discovering this international agency for renewable energy and joining it. However, I do not know what they can bring to it. I think they need to start investing and showing that we are actually taking action.
I will close with my former colleague, Paul Dewar, who is kick-starting an initiative next week for youth. I have been working closely with a fabulous group called the 3% Project. Two young people have travelled right across the country visiting just about every high school and every university, including in this city. Their objective of 3% is to reach one million young people in Canada. They want them to learn about the need for action on climate change and sustainability, and to take on a project. It is absolutely inspiring. I encourage everyone to look into 3% Project. That is our future, and I know that they believe we should take action and will not listen to the naysaying from this motion, which we will clearly vote against.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
View Pierre Nantel Profile
2018-05-04 10:15 [p.19109]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Prince Albert 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 waste water. 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.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
View Pierre Nantel Profile
2018-05-04 12:36 [p.19135]
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?
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