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Results: 1 - 19 of 19
View Jenny Kwan Profile
View Jenny Kwan Profile
2019-06-04 20:42 [p.28546]
Mr. Speaker, people in Vancouver East expect their government to make life affordable, sustainable and fair for all Canadians. They expect their government to be on their side.
In Vancouver East, I have heard from my constituents time and time again that we need real measures to make life affordable for Canadians, that we need immediate and urgent actions to protect our climate and environment. On behalf of the constituents of Vancouver East, I have been strongly advocating for measures such as affordable housing, public universal pharmacare, environmental protections, climate action and tax fairness. Instead, we now have a country faced with many crises.
We have a climate crisis, where if we do not take immediate action our planet will not be inhabitable for our future generations. We have a housing crisis, where people are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and getting priced out of their own communities. We have a criminal crisis, where billions of dollars in profits from criminal acts were laundered last year in Canada. We have an opioid crisis, where Canadians are dying every day.
We have a humanitarian crisis, where so many indigenous women and girls have gone missing and are murdered. The impact of colonialism is so deep and so rooted in systemic racism and failures that the national inquiry on the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls has declared that is a genocide.
It was deeply disappointing to see how budget 2019 failed to meaningfully address our many crises, never mind the many other challenges faced by Canadians.
For many constituents of Vancouver East, the number one issue facing our generation is our climate and environmental emergency. To meet our goals under the Paris Agreement, Canada has to lower its emissions to 325 million tonnes by 2030. According to the government's own performance report, we will only get down to 500 million tonnes, which means we are not even close.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report stated last year that we have 12 years to avert climate disaster through a drastic overhaul of all our current economic systems. We now have only 11 years left to achieve this. As the clock ticks, people have been demonstrating persistently for immediate action for climate protection and the preservation of natural resources from our leaders, especially our youth, who will be most affected by the consequences of our inaction. The government has a responsibility to create the systems and frameworks to protect our environment and our future generations.
Many scientists have stated that the technology already exists that can maintain quality of life without further impacting our climate and environment. We simply need the political will and courage to change. And yet here we are, buying leaky pipelines and adopting the previous Conservative government's weak carbon emissions target, as if we do not have a climate crisis at our door.
On another critical issue, we are still waiting on government action to address our housing affordability crisis.
Housing has long been declared a basic right by the United Nations, and Canada has signed and ratified a number of international human rights treaties that identify the right to adequate housing as a fundamental human right.
In our national housing strategy, most of the funding in that new strategy had been announced years earlier and most of that funding, a full 90% of what was announced in budget 2017, has been off-loaded for spending after the next election. Even at that, the vast majority of that funding will not flow until 2024. It is a cynical communications strategy that plays politics with people's real struggles.
The government, in an attempt to inflate the result of its limited housing programs, has even resorted to double-counting the results for “rhetorical advantage”. Instead of playing numbers games, what we need is for the government to make real investments now. To that end, the NDP is calling for a commitment of 500,000 units of affordable housing across Canada.
In addition, despite decades of promising a national pharmacare program, after being lobbied by big pharma 680 times, the government has once again let big pharma win the day.
I recently met an individual who told me that she is taking her daily medication every other day in an effort to save money. This is wrong. No more excuses. Canadians need and deserve comprehensive public universal pharmacare coverage now.
On a related matter, we also need accountability for the opioid crisis. While the U.S. has successfully taken on big pharma for misbranding OxyContin with the intent of defrauding and misleading, here in Canada, the government is refusing to take action. Instead, budget 2019 continues with the blanket tax break for the richest corporations.
Tax havens are still in place and will continue to take over $16 billion every year from much needed programs for all Canadians, and of course, big oil continues to receive subsidies. In fact, the “2019 Spring Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development” was highly critical of the government's accounting of tax and non-tax subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.
As we now know, 47 billion dollars' worth of profits from criminal acts was laundered last year in Canada. It is extremely disturbing that money laundering has so extensively permeated the country. Equally disturbing is the fact that the report by Dr. Peter German, in B.C., revealed that no federal resources are being used to tackle money laundering. Literally, in the federal money laundering unit, no one is working on the issue of money laundering. This explains why there are so few prosecutions and convictions in money laundering cases.
During last year's statutory review by the finance committee of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, numerous expert witnesses agreed that to combat tax evasion and money laundering, the federal government needed to work with the provinces to establish a central public registry that would provide the identity of the beneficial owners of corporations and trusts. The Honourable David Eby, Attorney General of B.C., argued that this kind of registry is needed, in part by citing a study from Transparency International Canada. The study showed that it is impossible to determine the true owners of more than half the real estate properties for sale.
Denis Howlett, of Canadians for Tax Fairness, emphasized that the registry must be “in an open, searchable format”. Barrister and solicitor Mora Johnson added that a transparent public register would enable those searching the database to track the most common methods taxpayers use to avoid paying their fair share of taxes and to find individuals involved in money laundering. However, when all was said and done, the Liberals and Conservatives chose to join forces and ignore the recommendation of the majority of witnesses that a public register be established.
I also strongly believe that we need to increase oversight of home sales to ensure that sellers are not falsely reporting their secondary investment properties as primary residences, as this rule-skirting allows people to avoid paying capital tax gains.
I raised this issue when I was still the MLA for Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant. One way to address this is to ensure that proof of residency through income tax filing is provided at the completion of the sale transaction. With increased oversight and crackdowns on this behaviour, the increased tax revenue could be set aside in an earmarked fund dedicated to increasing the affordable housing stock in Canada.
Canada needs to put significant resources and effort into law enforcement, prosecution and adjudication to effectively tackle this problem. We can do this. We need to do this.
I have gone on also about the immigration issues that call for the government to not jam through the refugee determination process in this budget omnibus budget bill. The Liberals refuse to listen and are going ahead with it. Experts have already called on the government to stop this now. It would put people at risk, and most particularly, it would put women and girls at risk. For a feminist government, this is not acceptable. It still has a chance to do that. I hope that the government will listen to the experts.
View Ed Fast Profile
View Ed Fast Profile
2018-05-24 10:24 [p.19559]
That Bill C-57 be amended by deleting Clause 5.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to speak to Bill C-57 again. This bill, effectively, would amend the current Federal Sustainable Development Act. Members may recall that in a previous Parliament, it was John Baird and the Conservative Party that strongly supported the original legislation, brought forward under a private member's bill, to establish the Federal Sustainable Development Act. That act requires that all government decision-making be reviewed through an environmental, economic, and social lens in the appropriate balance. That is the rub: “in the appropriate balance”.
The bill before us today aims to make decision-making related to sustainable development more transparent, first; more certain, second; and subject to greater accountability, third, especially within government. This bill would require more departments and agencies of government—in other words, additional departments and agencies—to contribute to the federal sustainable development strategy, bringing the total to more than 90 departments and agencies from the current 26. The bill would also require these departments and agencies to prepare specific strategies to ensure sustainability and to table progress reports on their implementation.
Bill C-57 would also increase from three to six the number of indigenous representatives sitting on the Sustainable Development Advisory Council. Government, of course, relies heavily on these advisory councils to provide it with strategic advice on the implementation of that legislation. The bill would expand the council's mandate and provide that representatives appointed to the council may be compensated for expenses. We just heard the Speaker mention that a motion was being tabled that addresses the issue of remuneration. It has been my party's position that although the members of this advisory council should be compensated and reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses such as travel and lodging, they should not be remunerated. This should not be a job they do, but their contribution to society in making sure that Canada has an effective sustainable development plan.
The act would be subject to a mandatory review every five years. It has already been studied at the environment committee, on which I sit, where the Conservative members strongly supported it, subject to the amendments that have been brought forward this morning. We strongly believe that any decision government makes should always be reviewed through the lens of sustainability and should ensure that social, environmental, and economic factors are in the appropriate balance. This act also supports a whole-of-government approach to sustainable development.
As I mentioned earlier, the challenge, the real rub, is finding the appropriate balance among those three: social, environmental, and economic considerations, especially the balance between the environment and the economy. Our friends in the Liberal Party are fond of saying that the environment and the economy go hand in hand, which is a nice platitude, but the implementation of that intent is a different matter altogether. We see major failures in the Liberal Party's efforts to implement sustainability in Canada. Despite the fact that the Liberals brought forward this legislation, which is supposed to strengthen sustainability in Canada, their performance reflects quite a different approach. It is one that pits Canadian against Canadian, province against province, and the federal government against province and territory. While in government, the Liberals have not found it as easy as it may seem to implement sustainability.
I will begin by highlighting the relationship among the provinces, the territories, and the federal government. Members may recall that the Prime Minister, when running for election in 2015, made a host of promises, most of which have been broken.
One promise the Prime Minister made, which is now broken, was to usher in a new era of co-operative federalism. Nobody understood exactly what he meant, but everybody took him at his word. They assumed he was a man of his word and had every intention of doing this. In fact, he then began to interpret sustainability as having one's cake and eating it too.
When the Prime Minister was in British Columbia, he would pretend he was the champion of the environment. He would talk about the oceans protection plan and how we have to move off fossil fuels. However, when the Prime Minister was in Alberta to appease the residents there, whose livelihoods depend on our oil and gas, our resource sector, he would claim he was the great champion of the energy sector, again wanting to have his cake and eat it too and trying to be all things to all people. Those of us who have been involved in business, who have had to pay salaries and make important decisions within our businesses, know that we cannot be all things to all people. Tough decisions have to be made that serve the greater interests of Canadians.
There was our Prime Minister travelling across the country and pretending to be all things to all people, and suddenly the Trans Mountain pipeline comes along. He tells our friends in Alberta that if they implement a massive carbon tax, Albertans will win the social licence to be able to build the Trans Mountain pipeline to get their crude oil to foreign markets, get their crude oil to tidewater, where ships can then take that oil to foreign markets where it will fetch the highest price.
Trusting the Prime Minister, the Government of Alberta moves ahead with this massive carbon tax, which is hurting Albertans right across that province. I know some of my colleagues will share the pain being suffered by Albertans.
Now the Trans Mountain pipeline wants to move forward. Kinder Morgan wants to start building that project, but British Columbia steps up and says it opposes a pipeline coming through British Columbia. Even though there is an existing one there and all we are doing is twinning it, British Columbia is opposed. Now we have a war between the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, a fight between the provinces and the federal government, and there is an appalling lack of leadership on the part of the Prime Minister, who had made a promise that if Alberta implemented this heavy-handed carbon tax, at least it would get a social licence out of it. Now it turns out there is no social licence. In fact, there never will be a social licence.
Canadians have been misled by the Prime Minister, but it gets worse. We are talking about sustainability, finding the appropriate balance for our economic prosperity as a country, using our resources wisely, getting the maximum dollar for them, getting them to markets, and then a report comes out from the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. Actually, it emanates out of the Auditor General's office. In this report, dated March of 2018, we read that in Canada greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, which the government committed to reduce, are expected to be nearly 20% above target. This whole report from the commissioner is riddled with criticism of the government's performance on the environment file.
Then we have Bill C-69, which is the impact assessment act revisions, which were intended to shorten timelines and provide more predictability and certainty for approvals of resource projects and pipelines. In fact, we are now hearing from industry that these timelines are much longer than they were before and that there are many additional criteria that are going to make it even more difficult for resource projects to be approved in Canada. As a result, what we are finding is that on the economic side, we are losing out.
We have a Prime Minister who pretends he is the defender of our economy, but who in fact is completely pandering to the environmental movement and those who are on the extreme left.
I would suggest that this legislation, although it does reflect the consensus of the parties within this House, has not been implemented by the Liberals in their actions and in their legislation.
View Kelly Block Profile
View Kelly Block Profile
2018-04-30 12:05 [p.18887]
Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-48 at report stage, which the government has called the “oil tanker moratorium act”. I would assert that this title is misleading, as is the bill to which it is attached.
In my previous speech in regard to Bill C-48, I made clear how this not about banning the currently non-existent oil tanker traffic in the Dixon Entrance, nor will it affect the tanker traffic that is currently traversing only 100 kilometres off the northwestern coast of British Columbia. Furthermore, nowhere else in Canada is there a ban of this sort.
The Canada West Foundation, in its submission to the committee studying this proposed act, put it succinctly. It said:
There are no restrictions on tankers carrying crude and persistent oils from stopping, loading and unloading at ports along any of Canada’s other coastlines, particularly the East Coast or internal waterways, like the St. Lawrence River, where oil tankers regularly travel. Implementing Bill C-48 will send a clear message that it is okay to have oil tanker traffic when it supports refinery jobs in Montreal, Sarnia, Quebec City and Saint John, but not when it supports jobs in Alberta and Saskatchewan tied to the export of western Canadian oil to Asia.
The Conservatives will not participate in the fantasy that the bill has anything to do with transportation, of which I am the shadow minister. This is precisely why my colleague for Lakeland, who is our shadow minister for natural resources, has taken point and led the discussion surrounding the bill before us.
Despite objections, it is clear that Bill C-48 is about banning pipelines to tidewater in northern B.C. Of course, the Prime Minister cannot very well pass a bill in Parliament that bans pipelines in one part of British Columbia while supposedly championing another pipeline in the south—thus the charade.
The government should be forthright with Canadians by bringing forward the bill that the Liberals actually want, which is one banning pipelines in northern British Columbia. That way, they would find out what Canadians really think about their ideological opposition to Canadian oil. Of course, they will never do that. The government does not have the courage to take this to Canadians with the facts laid clear, because they know that their ill-conceived ideas would be absolutely rejected. In fact, I know of one group of Canadians in particular who do not support the government's de facto ban on pipelines in northern British Columbia, and that is the over 30 first nations who supported and stood to benefit from northern gateway.
When the Prime Minister intervened in the arm's-length, non-political review process and cancelled the northern gateway project, these first nations were taken completely by surprise. In committee we were told that they were excited to hold a significant stake in this important project and secure a better economic future for the members of their bands through the jobs and the financial strength that comes with natural resource development.
It was estimated that over two dozen first nations invested millions in legal fees to reach agreements with Enbridge to share in the prosperity that northern gateway would bring. However, instead of a generational wealth-generating project, these bands were left empty-handed because of the Prime Minister's political decision.
The Prime Minister claims that consultation with first nation stakeholders is a priority. However, the underhanded cancellation of northern gateway shows that the government's claim is demonstrably false.
Many first nation groups do support our oil and gas sector. Eagle Spirit Holdings, for example, is led by the Chiefs Council, which is composed of over 30 first nation communities. We also heard in committee that their goal is to create an energy corridor in northern Alberta and British Columbia that would change the lives of thousands of their band members.
Eagle Spirit was proposed as an alternative to northern gateway a pipeline that would be owned and managed directly by first nations, with stricter environmental standards than even the highest government recommendations. This project would be the greatest boon to communities along its route.
In addition to the thousands of jobs and millions of dollars that the project would generate on a continuing basis, Eagle Spirit would run power lines and fibre optic cable along its path, increasing the quality of life for everyone in the area.
However, now there is a significant stumbling block for Eagle Spirit, and it is this very bill. That is why the Chiefs Council has taken it upon itself to challenge the oil tanker moratorium bill. I will quote from an article:
The Chiefs Council represents over 30 communities engaged in the First Nations-led Eagle Spirit energy corridor proposed from Bruderheim, Alberta to tidewater in northern British Columbia. Its members have unextinguished Aboriginal rights and title from time immemorial and continuing into the present, or have treaties over the land and ocean of their traditional territories. Having protected the environment as first-stewards of their traditional territories for millennia, the Chiefs Council is vehemently opposed to American ENGOs dictating government policy in their traditional territories—particularly the illegal imposition of the Great Bear Rainforest and the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act proposed by the Liberal Government.
Further on the article states:
We have, and will always, put the protection of the environment first, however, this must be holistically balanced with social welfare, employment, and business opportunities. These government actions harm our communities and deny our leaders the opportunity to create hope and a brighter future for their members.
The Chiefs Council is challenging this bill because it takes away their ability to create, in their own words, as I quoted earlier, “hope and a brighter future” for those they represent.
Energy projects are a path to self-sustainability and a better future for many of these bands. Unfortunately, the Liberal government does not agree. There is abundant evidence that the government disapproves of our oil and gas sector. There is the recent revelation that the government is funding protesters against the Trans Mountain pipeline. As well, the government has refused to use its full power to get Trans Mountain built, and the Prime Minister made comments to the French media recently, bemoaning his inability to phase out the industry faster.
It is clear that the government cares more about signalling its progressiveness, and I used that term loosely, to the rest of the world than it does about results. I say that because if the Liberals cared about reducing carbon emissions worldwide and pursuing policy that is best for the environment, best for women, and best for minorities, they would be championing Canadian oil and gas worldwide whenever possible. No country has the environmental record that Canada has. No country has our commitment to clean production. Of the large oil-producing nations in the world, only the United States and Norway can touch our record on human rights.
Our oil is ethical, safe to transport, and it can change the lives of thousands of first nations band members who want to pursue that hope and a brighter future. Instead of championing Canada, the Liberal government is allowing the industry to be strangled by a lack of transportation, over-regulation, and overtaxation.
It may come as no surprise that I will not be supporting this bill. I urge all those in this place to join me in voting against this bill to support the rights of economic self-determination for first nations groups like Eagle Spirit.
View Marc Garneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, my colleague's question allows me to talk about what is in the oceans protection plan. There are two parts to it. There is prevention, and then, if there is a need to respond, there is the ability to respond. It is very important to realize that we will be putting a lot of measures in place for prevention. There will be six extra radar stations. We will be working with the first nations along the entire coast of British Columbia, who are often those who know the local waters where a potential incident can occur and are able to respond the most rapidly. We will be providing them with equipment, training, and with awareness of the traffic that is in the zone.
All of those things will help them to respond. At the same time, we are working to be in a position, when the TMX goes forward, to respond efficiently to any possible spill of dilbit. We believe that with the oceans protection plan, the chances are very minimal. However, if something should occur, we will have the necessary infrastructure and response capability in place to respond quickly and efficiently.
View Fin Donnelly Profile
View Fin Donnelly Profile
2018-04-30 12:35 [p.18892]
Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise to support Bill C-48, the north coast tanker ban. It has been a legislative priority of Canada's NDP for over a decade, and we welcome the Liberals finally taking action on this pressing issue. The NDP is pleased that the Liberal government is finally taking action to protect the north coast from crude oil tanker traffic. However, we are concerned that Bill C-48 would give the minister too much arbitrary power to exempt vessels from the ban and define what fuels are covered under the act. We hope the government will implement constructive amendments to limit ministerial power and increase spill response resources. We were also very concerned about the lack of consultation with first nations.
I want to give a little background about the moratorium. It is part of the government's oceans protection plan that was announced in November 2016. I have already brought up some of my concerns with the OPP. For example, the technology to clean up dilbit has not been identified and does not exist, yet we are still pursuing projects that would carry dilbit to our coast. If that were spilled in our oceans, that would have very devastating consequences. Bill C-48 proposes an oil tanker moratorium that extends from the Canada–U.S. border in the north, to the point of B.C.'s mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, including Haida Gwaii.
Oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil or persistent oil as cargo would be prohibited from mooring, anchoring, or loading or unloading any of the oil at a port or marine installation in the moratorium area. The bill would also prohibit vessels and persons from transporting crude oil or persistent oil from an oil tanker to a port or marine installation within the moratorium area to circumvent the prohibition.
In order to allow for community and industry supply, Bill C-48 would permit the shipment of amounts below 12,500 tonnes. This is still a huge amount of oil that could be transported on that coast. However, the bill would prevent large oil tanker ships from traversing the waters. The bill includes in its administration enforcement regime, reporting requirements, marine inspection powers, and penalties up to $5 million. That is a very insignificant amount, but it is a penalty nonetheless. Multiple private members' bills have been proposed in the past to protect the north coast, including mine. Back in 2011, there was Bill C-211.
Here are some facts about other impacts that the coast has had. Obviously, the most known is the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill on the coast, which was a catastrophic spill. The spill cleanup and coastal recovery cost $9.5 billion, of which Exxon paid only $3.5 billion. Twenty years after the spill, fish habitat and stock still have not fully recovered. An oil spill of this sort would be devastating to wild salmon, marine mammals, birds, and coastal forest, including the Great Bear Rainforest. It would devastate coastal economies by jeopardizing tourism, commercial fishing, and first nations fishing.
We also know about the recent sinking of the Nathan E. Stewart fuel barge, which shows that navigation in these waters can be extremely hazardous and dangerous, and what damage can be caused by even a minor spill. The Nathan E. Stewart ran aground in the early hours of October 13, 2016 near Bella Bella, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. The vessel eventually sank, spilling as much as 110,000 litres of diesel into the marine environment. Cleanup efforts were repeatedly hampered by bad weather, and the vessel was not recovered until a month after it sank. We were lucky that the vessel was not full to its maximum capacity, which likely prevented more extensive damage.
A north coast tanker ban is popular in British Columbia. Polls show that 79% of people in the province support a ban on oil tanker traffic in B.C.'s inside coastal waters. That was back in 2011, but if anything, it has gained strength since then.
The ban prevents the creation of disastrous pipelines like the Enbridge northern gateway, which would have run 1,177 kilometres from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C., at the head of the Douglas Channel. The westbound pipeline was to carry up to 525,000 barrels of diluted bitumen per day, meaning that up 220 oil tankers a year would have to navigate the waters of the Great Bear Rainforest to export the diluted bitumen to foreign markets.
The waters off the B.C. north coast are a significant salmon migration route. Millions of salmon come from the more than 650 streams and rivers along the coast. The impact of a simple oil spill would be catastrophic. The commercial fishery on the north coast catches over $100 million worth of fish per year, more than 2,500 residents along B.C.'s north coast work in the commercial fishery, and the fish processing industry employs thousands more.
The beauty of this region and the abundance of the salmon, whales, and other marine mammals have made it a world-renowned destination for ecotourism. The tourism industry has played a major role for employment, economic growth, and opportunity in B.C.'s coastal communities. Business in this region has worked hard to promote its location as a major tourist destination.
The west coast wilderness tourism industry is now estimated to be worth over $782 million annually, employing 26,000 people full time and roughly 40,000 in total. B.C.'s north shoreline is dotted with sport fishing lodges, as fishing enthusiasts take part in the world-famous fishery. People are amazed after spending even a day kayaking, bear watching, or enjoying a guided tour on B.C.'s northwest coast.
We know the importance of the coastline on the north coast. I want to turn now to the south coast, and how the people in the south of British Columbia on Canada's west coast find the amazing ocean economy and potential of the marine ecosystem just as important as that of the north coast. They are concerned about a similar project, the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion.
To give a little background information, this expansion project would include building a new pipeline and constructing 12 new pump stations, 19 new storage tanks, and three new marine berths at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burrard Inlet, which is near my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam and Anmore and Belcarra. Most of the pipeline oil would be destined for the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, where it would be loaded onto oil tankers that would navigate past Vancouver, the Gulf Islands, and through the Juan de Fuca Strait before reaching open ocean. The expansion would mean a sevenfold increase in oil tanker traffic from the Westridge terminal, from around 60 oil tankers to more than 400 per year.
I will give a quick update on that proposal, because it is very much a concern to many in British Columbia and in Canada.
Kinder Morgan has met less than half of the 157 required National Energy Board conditions. One-third of the final route has not been approved. Now the company is begging for relief on many conditions and wants to delay detailed route hearings. What this tells us in Parliament is that they are very concerned about what is happening on our coast.
Our coastal economy, community, and marine environment are very important. Salmon and whales are critical to our way of life, to west coast Canada, and to British Columbia. People are speaking out. They are very concerned. Yes, they want to find an economy that works, but one that works in tune with keeping our salmon, whales, and marine environment as intact as possible. Projects such as the northern gateway proposal and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain proposal would have a direct impact on that economy and on those features that make us British Columbians and keep us Canadian.
In conclusion, we welcome the Liberal government finally taking action to defend the north coast from oil tanker traffic. However, we are concerned that the loopholes in the legislation might be enough to drive an oil tanker through. Therefore, the government must adopt the amendments. The bill does nothing to protect the coast from spills of refined oil, and the government needs to work on that.
View Fin Donnelly Profile
View Fin Donnelly Profile
2018-04-30 12:47 [p.18893]
Madam Speaker, I think consistency is critical. I came from local government before my term here as an MP, and I know that businesses, community members, and individuals absolutely want to know what the rules are. They want to know that they are consistently applied. They want that to be transparent. They want governments at all levels to be very transparent about what those rules are. Therefore, I agree that there should be consistency.
Obviously, we are on the opposite side of the fence when it comes to oil tanker traffic and pipeline proposals when there is not a fair process applied, when first nations have not been consulted properly, and when environmental assessments are inadequate.
The member mentioned what energy alternatives could look like. I think, as do Canada's New Democrats, that we should be exploring hydro power, tidal power, solar energy, geothermal energy, and working with our cities right across this country and our diverse regions to explore those options.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2018-04-30 12:48 [p.18893]
Madam Speaker, I believe that there is consistency and that the government has been very straightforward right from the beginning when taking office two years ago. Because of that consistency, unlike the Harper government, we have actually been successful in dealing with the environment and our oceans and ensuring that there is a pipeline. There have been consultations. Members across the way do not make reference to the many different indigenous groups that are in favour of what the government is doing and are in support of it.
The problem in the House, as I see it, is that the NDP policy is that the best type of pipeline is no pipeline. The New Democrats do not believe in pipeline expansion. They would prolong any sort of process just to kill the potential markets, not realizing how important it is for the national interest to have a pipeline. The Conservatives, on the other hand, completely disregard any idea of consultation and the environment.
I believe that we have done well as a government. Therefore, I specifically ask the member this: where is it that he believes there is no policy, when in fact we know there is a policy?
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2018-04-30 13:06 [p.18896]
Madam Speaker, today I will address the oil tanker moratorium act, and in particular, its impacts on indigenous peoples and communities that support responsible resource development.
Bill C-48 is not really about the protection of coastlines or marine ecology. It is actually only a ban on Canadian oil development and exports, on the oil sands, and on pipelines. It is an attack on the hundreds of thousands of energy workers across the country, on one industry, and on one product.
Bill C-48 specifically and only prohibits the on- and off-loading of tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tonnes of crude and persistent oils at ports or marine installations along B.C.'s north coast. It does not target any other vessels of comparable capacity carrying any other product, or vessels of any size, which have similar volumes of fuel on board to operate. It does not even enforce the 100-kilometre voluntary exclusion zone, in the region since 1985.
It only applies to one coast, not to any other Canadian coasts or ports where tankers of all products and from all countries travel regularly. Its intent is clearly to permanently prevent vital energy infrastructure in the region, denying any potential for oil exports to the Asia-Pacific from there, which could expand market access for Canada and reduce Canada's near complete dependence on the United States as a customer for Canadian oil.
Diversifying Canada's exports is crucial now, as the U.S. ramps up production to secure its own domestic supply and rapidly escalates its own crude oil exports after removing the 40-year ban. It is estimated that the U.S. will supply 80% of the world's growing global demand for oil in the next five years, while the Liberals force Canada's oil to remain mostly landlocked.
Bill C-48 is also all about politics. It was a predetermined and foregone conclusion for partisan purposes entirely. The Prime Minister instructed its imposition in mandate letters to ministers only 24 days after the 2015 election. Despite all the Liberal rhetoric about consultation, science, and evidence-based, objective decision-making founding policy and legislation, that is not enough time to undertake comprehensive community or indigenous consultations. That is not enough time for thorough safety and environmental assessments, with an analysis of best practices, gaps, and opportunities for improvement; comparison, contrast, and benchmarking against other countries; or local, regional, provincial, and national economic impact assessments and the consideration of consequences. That is because the motivation was actually a political calculation to hold NDP, Green, and left-wing votes for the Liberals in B.C, which helped them win in 2015.
However, Bill C-48, while confined to one geographical area, will have profound negative impacts for all of Canada, on confidence in Canadian energy investment and development overall, and on Canada's ability to be a global leader and contributor in energy regulation, production, technology, service, supply, expertise, and exports to the world.
Reaching tidewater in all directions for Canada's oil and gas should be a top priority for the Liberals, but their track record so far has been to eliminate the only two opportunities for stand-alone pipelines to tidewater in recent history in Canada.
One was the energy east pipeline, which was abandoned after a billion dollars invested and years of review before it could even make it out of the regulatory mess the Liberals created because they changed the rules and added a last-minute, double standard condition for downstream emissions that does not apply to foreign oil or to any other infrastructure in any other sector.
The other was the northern gateway pipeline, which was initiated in 2002 and had actually been approved, with 209 conditions, under the previous Conservative government, in 2014. After a Supreme Court ruling that there was insufficient indigenous consultation by the crown, the Liberals could have ordered additional months and scope for expanded consultation, just as they did with the Trans Mountain expansion application, which started in 2013 and was under way when they announced a complete overhaul for major Canadian energy projects in 2016. However, that option was not offered for northern gateway. Instead, the Prime Minister outright vetoed it, even though it was reviewed under the exact same process, with the exact same evidence, as the other projects the Liberals announced were approved the same day, including Trans Mountain and the Line 3 replacement.
The Liberal government's decision to kill the northern gateway was a massive blow for expanded market access for Canadian oil. It was obviously a loss for energy producers in northern Alberta, for workers in the industrial heartland and Bruderheim, which is where the northern gateway would have started, inside the western boundary of Lakeland, as well as for workers who would have constructed and then maintained the pipeline through operations across Alberta and B.C. It was a loss for potential oil terminal, refinery, and deep water port workers near Kitimat, never mind of billions of dollars in investment and revenue for all levels of government.
However, there is another aspect of that veto of the northern gateway that is just as devastating. Thirty-one first nations and Métis communities were partners with mutual benefit agreements, worth more than $2 billion, in northern gateway, including skills and labour development opportunities.
In Lakeland and around Alberta, indigenous peoples are very active in oil and gas across the value chain: in upstream exploration and production; in service, supply, and technology contracting; and in pipeline operations. They support pipelines because that infrastructure is as crucial to the lifeblood of their communities, for jobs, education, and social benefits, as anywhere else.
Elmer Ghostkeeper of the Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement in Lakeland said, “Equity was offered to aboriginal communities, and with the change in government that was all taken away.... We are very disappointed.” Ghostkeeper pointed out that 71% of the communities along the proposed right of way looked forward to taking part in construction and in the long-term benefits. All that was destroyed by the Prime Minister. They were not consulted about it.
Bill C-48 would put a nail in the coffin of the $7.9-billion northern gateway pipeline and all its employment and economic and social benefits for indigenous and all Canadians, now and in the future.
However, it gets even worse. The $16-billion Eagle Spirit pipeline project could be one of the biggest private infrastructure investments in Canadian history, with meaningful revenue generation, business, employment, education, training, capacity-building opportunities, and long-term economic self-sufficiency for indigenous communities. From Bruderheim to Grassy Point, the Eagle Spirit pipeline project is supported by 35 indigenous communities, every single one along the corridor. Its proponents have been working for six years to secure that support, even from communities that opposed northern gateway, and to exceed regulatory requirements, including exceptional environmental protection, land and marine management, and spill prevention and response.
In 2015, community leaders said what the project meant to them. On behalf of elders, Jack White said, “We like the fact that the Eagle Spirit project put the environment first. Many of our elders are in need and we want our legacy to our children to offer something more that gives them opportunities.”
Youth representative Corey Wesley said, “There are no opportunities for young people in our community. We want a better way of life with real jobs and business prospects so we too can offer our future kids more hope.”
Deputy mayor of the Lax Kw'alaams band and matriarch Helen Johnson said, “Eagle Spirit has widespread support in our community because it shows a real way forward for our members.”
Eagle Spirit's Chiefs Council says the tanker ban is a government action that would “harm our communities and deny our leaders the opportunity to create hope and a brighter future for their members“, which all Canadians take for granted. The Premier of Northwest Territories said almost the exact same thing about the impact on the people he represents of the Liberals' five-year ban on northern offshore oil and gas drilling.
The Prime Minister often says that the relationship with Canada's indigenous people is the most important to him. He says he wants “an opportunity to deliver true, meaningful and lasting reconciliation between Canada and First Nations, the Métis Nation, and Inuit peoples”. However, for the second time, on a pipeline to tidewater, he is actively denying opportunities for dozens of indigenous communities. They say he did not consult them before he ordered the tanker ban.
The Eagle Spirit Chiefs Council says that the tanker ban and the creation of the concept of the Great Bear Rainforest were “promoted largely through the lobbying of foreign-financed ENGOs”. The Eagle Spirit chairman says, “they know nothing about our area, they know nothing about our regions. And they're telling us what we've got to do because it's in their financial interest to do so.” It is “without the consultation and consent of First Nations,” which are “opposed to government policy being made by foreigners when it impacts their ability to help out their own people.”
He says, “We don't need trust fund babies coming into our community...creating parks in our backyard when our people are literally starving”, with 90% unemployment.
I suggest that actual reconciliation involves employment and business opportunities, social welfare, and benefits through economic prosperity, like what is offered by Eagle Spirit, which would ensure environmental protection and benefits for all of Canada.
Eagle Spirit's chairman says, “This is an important issue for Canadians. If you look at what's happening with the oil industry, Canadians are losing $50 million a day. It's about $40 a barrel over four years in margin to the refineries in the U.S. What other country in the world would give away the value of these resources like that? It makes no sense, and it's harming people in northern Alberta and northern B.C. and the chiefs are going to do something about it.”
He is echoed by B.C. MLA and former Haisla chief councillor Ellis Ross, who says, “The more sickening thing for me is that these people who oppose development in Canada truly believe they win when they defeat a project.... Actually, you don't win. It's just that the United States buys the Canadian product at a discount and sells it on the international market.”
The tanker ban is a deliberate and dangerous roadblock to Canadian oil exports. It is detrimental to the livelihoods of Canadians everywhere. It would put very real limits on Canada's future and standard of living, with disproportionately harmful outcomes for certain communities and regions. The Liberals should withdraw it.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2018-04-30 13:37 [p.18901]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be joining the debate on this, but I think the bill has the wrong name. It is called the “oil tanker moratorium act” when it should basically be called the “pipeline moratorium act”. That is really what it is all about. It is not about cancelling the ability of tankers to move through a certain region of northern British Columbia. In fact, they will be able to move 100 kilometres off the coast, as they have been doing all along. It has put the last and final nail into the northern gateway project, and every single other potential pipeline project that might go through northern British Columbia.
There are a few points I will raise to add to this debate, including a letter I have from Prasad Panda, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, who is also the member for the provincial riding of Calgary-Foothills. In it, he notes a couple of discrepancies. He notes that Bill C-48 is a flawed piece of legislation, mainly because it contradicts the government's own free trade agreement that it signed.
There are two points that he makes in the letter. He writes that in that free trade agreement, article 301 states, “A Province shall not adopt or maintain any measure that restricts or prevents the movement of goods across provincial or territorial boundaries.” This is what the B.C. NDP is doing to try to kill off Kinder Morgan by harassing it through legal and regulatory means to try to put an end to that project. They are trying to end that and the hundreds of thousands of jobs in the energy sector, both in my hometown of Calgary, which depends on it, and also across Edmonton and a whole bunch of smaller communities across Alberta and Saskatchewan.
With regard to my second point, he writes, “The Government of Canada shall not adopt or maintain any measure that unduly restricts or prevents the movement of goods across provincial or territorial boundaries.” I think we can make a fine argument here that restricting tanker traffic off a coast like the northern British Columbia coast is that type of restriction on the movement through a territory that the British Columbia government claims as its own. It has a certain amount of environmental regulations that it can or it seems to want to apply. It is interesting that it only wants to apply it in the north, not in the south, when 95% of all tanker traffic happens to be in the southern part of British Columbia.
This particular member of the legislative assembly, a fine gentleman, wrote quite a long letter to the chair of the committee that reviewed this piece of legislation. He also brought to the attention of that committee that this ban, this supposed oil tanker moratorium on pipelines, would be like “banning ships from moving through the Welland Canal or using the port at Trois-Rivières”. It would be like “denying rail and truck access to the Michelin Tire factory in Pictou County”, like “detouring all the traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway and driving it down 92 Avenue in Port Kells”, like “taking traffic on Highway 400 and running [it] all down Weston Road in Toronto”, and like “stopping OC Transpo service to Kanata or GO service to Streetsville.” It would be the same principle. It is not science based, not evidence based; it is the random cutting off of the transportation of goods, people, and natural resources for political purposes.
There is absolutely no reason for it. As far as I know, there have been no spills in British Columbia. Members may want to correct me on that, but I do not know of any spills that have happened off the coast of British Columbia that would make it necessary for us to pass this particular piece of legislation.
I also note that in this legislation, the government is giving itself an exemption under clause 6 that basically states,
for the purpose of community or industry resupply or is otherwise in the public interest.
Therefore, if for any reason whatsoever the government believes it should provide an exemption for the import and movement of tanker traffic, it has a complete exemption. There is no real reporting standard there. All it would have to do is make a publication requirement that states,
the Minister must make it accessible to the public on the Internet or by any other means that he or she considers appropriate
I wonder what the minister will think is appropriate when the government provides the exemption. We can imagine how hard the advocates for communities, companies, and tanker companies will push the minister to provide them with particular exemptions and how sought after those will be.
I like Yiddish proverbs, and I have one. It states, “Heaven and hell can both be had in this world.” They can also be had through government policy and legislation. The principle is to protect the environment. That is the window dressing that the Liberals have put on this anti-pipeline bill. However, what they are actually doing when they repeat “the environment, energy, and natural resources”, two sides of the same coin, is only focusing on one part of this. That is their single focus on this point. It is is supposedly the environment, when we know, because of the details of this bill, it will do no such thing. Tanker traffic will simply be moved further to the west. It is not achieving any goals that the government has set for itself. There is no similar ban on any oil tanker traffic anywhere along Canada's other coasts.
Do those environments matter less? Do the beaches in Prince Edward Island matter less than those in northern British Columbia? Do the coasts matter less in Quebec? Do the coasts matter less in Ontario? I do not think that is the case, but I do not see tanker bans being imposed. I do not see pipeline bans being imposed. That is what leads me to say that this particular piece of legislation is all about northern gateway. It is to kill it off, and that is what the government intends to do through this particular piece of legislation.
The tankers that go through the southern part of British Columbia right now are in the 80,000 to 120,000 dead weight tonnage. If this were truly about tanker traffic, and there were worries about how many of these tankers are moving through a particular geographic region, then the regulatory process would be simplified to ensure the maximum size tankers could actually come through different channels as safely as possible.
If the government wanted to do it that way, it would ensure that ultra-large crude carriers, ULCCs, were able to navigate certain regions, doing so safely, with the necessary tugboats to pull them out in case they have security problems. It would not impose a random ban on geographic areas, pushing tankers further out into the ocean. That does not achieve any environmental goal I could easily name. It would also kill off economic jobs that northern gateway and other pipeline projects could provide in the future.
What it actually would do is sterilize an entire region of northern British Columbia from any type of development in the future. It would basically ensure that no company would ever propose a new pipeline project running through any of those communities, regardless of how many indigenous communities support it, regardless of how many of them are onside.
As the member for Lakeland has said, there are many indigenous communities that would depend on these energy and natural resource jobs of the future. Over 500 communities all across Canada depend either on energy or natural resources jobs.
When oil, natural gas, coal, or any type of mineral is extracted, it has to be moved to a market. It does no good to sit on a large pile here at home. It has to be moved to the buyer. That is done through a port, through the rail system, and through tankers. Those are the requirements of ensuring that the economy is looked after, and that is what the government is failing to do with Bill C-48.
This bill would kill off any future pipeline projects. It sends another chilling signal to the business community in Canada that we are not open for business. We have had the largest flight of capital from the natural resources sector over the past two and a half years. We are at the lowest level since 2010, and it just continues.
Energy east was killed off by the government. Northern gateway was killed off by the government. The government neglected Pacific Northwest LNG. It has neglected Alberta's energy sector. It has done everything possible to ensure that every single new piece of red tape would strangle the industry, and it has done a great job at it. This is one thing the government has been quite exceptional at, strangling the industry and putting tens of thousands of Alberta energy workers out of work permanently, with no reasonable expectation to return to work in the field of their speciality, in the field where they have spent years obtaining their education and working professionally.
Back home in Alberta, we have spent a generation trying to convince people to move to Alberta in the first place. British Columbia is beautiful, but we just wanted people to stop in Alberta and have a professional career with us. We spent a generation convincing people to move there, but we also spent a generation convincing young Albertans, men and women, that it was worth getting into the energy sector because there would be jobs well into the future and they could work anywhere internationally. They are not going to have that.
Bill C-48 is a nail in the coffin of every single future pipeline project. Every company that is even thinking about running a pipeline through northern British Columbia, or anywhere in fact, will think twice. All of their money could be lost, or there could be a random moratorium, a ban, or a cancellation of their project.
I cannot support this bill. It is another chilling signal to the business community and to energy workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia that the government is not on their side.
View Dan Albas Profile
Madam Speaker, it is always an honour to participate in the debates we have in this place.
Before I write debate speeches, I generally like to do a bit of background research. This can often be very revealing. This is a very important debate, important for many different reasons, a few of which I am going to touch upon today.
When I did my background research for this bill, I came across a Globe and Mail article from 2015. The headline read that the Prime Minister's promises to aboriginal people are “feared to be unachievable”. I then read a different headline from one year later, this time from APTN National News. This headline read that the Prime Minister “backs away from election pledge on First Nation veto”. We all know that is exactly what the Prime Minister has done because that is what he likes to do. He likes to promise things that he generally has no intent to deliver, because promises look good and promises sound good. When one's image is everything to one as a politician, this is where one ends up.
Why do I mention these things? I mention them because here we are with the Prime Minister proposing an oil tanker ban off the west coast of British Columbia. Actually, no, that is not correct. The Prime Minister is actually proposing to increase the tanker traffic off the west coast. It is the north coast where he is proposing to ban all oil tankers. Some see that as a contradiction. Some have told me that they view this bill as the Prime Minister acknowledging that there is a risk to tanker safety, and that is why he is proposing this ban.
However, some of the same people question if the Prime Minister acknowledged this risk in one place, why is this risk then being ignored in another? This is why those who oppose pipelines are so enraged with the Prime Minister, because they believe he says one thing while doing another.
It is not unlike the environment minister. Her favourite talking point is that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. The minister can continue to make this comment hundreds of times a year, but for those who oppose pipelines, they will never see them as supporting the environment. That comment enrages them, which at the same time, is politically damaging for the Liberals, a point that I suspect many Liberal members of Parliament from B.C. know all too well.
Back to the subject of this debate, the proposed tanker ban. We know another one of the Liberal government's favourite talking points, and also an election promise, was to make science-based decision-making. Let us look at some of the science from a safety perspective related to tanker traffic off the coast of northern British Columbia.
Can the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation provide spill responses in this geographic region? Yes, it can. Can the Pacific Pilotage Authority, a crown corporation, provide the same world-respected marine pilots to navigate these vessels in that very same region? Again, yes, it can. Could companies like Seaspan provide multiple tugboats to assist with docking, as it currently does in other parts of British Columbia? Yes, it could do that.
Has there ever been an oil spill in the area from an oil tanker that has been under the supervision of these service providers? No, never, not in 50 years. There is a perfect service and safety record. I mention these things because from a science and safety-based approach, tanker safety can be safely provided in this region. To be clear, I will commend the efforts the Liberal government has taken to increase marine spill response in the event that the Trans Mountain pipeline will be built.
The bottom line from my perspective is that the tanker ban seems to be entirely politically motivated because the science and the safety are proven in that there has been no tanker oil spill in 50 years. Our system of tanker safety has multiple overrides. Ultimately, in this case, this is a political decision, and political decisions are the reality of governing.
I merely point out that this is a political decision because some want to see this as a contradiction from a Prime Minister who wants to increase tanker traffic in one area of B.C., and then claims it is unsafe and bans it in another. This contradiction from the Prime Minister can ultimately undermine tanker safety. Given that we have a Prime Minister who is doing everything he can, at least in words, to build the Trans Mountain pipeline, I felt that adding clarity to the safety question would help the Prime Minister get the Trans Mountain pipeline built. I am certain he will want to thank me for that later.
Why should we care about this proposed pipeline, then? Yes, there is a huge loss of jobs, investment, and revenue for all, but it is more than that. I am fully aware many support this tanker ban, much as many oppose the building of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Indeed, that opposition is very much alive in this place as well. I submit it exists even within the Liberal caucus.
However, getting back to the reason for the speech, this Prime Minister has made serious promises to Canada's first nations, and here is a secret I am going to share with this place: some first nation communities fully support resource development, because they recognize the opportunity. They see how jobs and employment can help transform a community. They know with their own-sourced revenue they can build things that often add to the social fabric of their community.
We often talk about the rights of indigenous peoples and their communities, but what about the rights of those indigenous communities that support and want resource development within their traditional territories? Why are their rights so often ignored?
In this case, we even have a lawsuit. At the inception of this lawsuit, 30 different first nation bands joined together to stop this tanker ban from going forward. They call this proposed tanker ban an unjustified infringement of their aboriginal rights and title. They point out that this proposed tanker plan would thwart their ability to create economic support for their community through the development of an oil export facility. It is hard to argue with that fact, because it is true. Does anyone in this place disagree with these first nations communities?
Again, I ask why these first nations' rights are being ignored by the Liberal government. We know it is not about safety. We know we actually have a world-class response when it comes to oil safety. We know it can be done safely and we know first nations have that right.
I think I am out of time.
View Richard Cannings Profile
Mr. Speaker, the federal NDP has some real concerns with the Kinder Morgan project. One is the tanker traffic increasing sevenfold on the south coast. There is a concern about first nations consultation. I believe there are seven court cases going ahead on first nations consultation. A lot of groups think it was a total sham.
We saw what happened with the northern gateway pipeline. That court case was decided in favour of the first nations who thought that consultation was a sham. There are concerns about the pipeline going through the British Columbia Interior. There are concerns that if we build that pipeline, we would never even come close to meeting our climate targets.
There are a lot of concerns. Some of them are related to the reasons New Democrats support this tanker ban, which I just talked about. We are very concerned about the Kinder Morgan project. We do not think it is the right way to get oil to markets in Canada, so we are not supporting it.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, which would ban oil tanker traffic on the north coast of British Columbia.
I want to start by saying that this is a very poor name for this bill. It would be better labelled the “let's destroy Canada's opportunity for economic growth and prosperity, including for indigenous people” act, because that is exactly what this bill is going to do.
The government likes to talk about how the economy and the environment go hand in hand, and the importance of its relationship with indigenous peoples. I would like to illustrate how this bill is in fact a triple fail. It would actually hurt the economy; it would do nothing in terms of supporting the environment; and certainly many indigenous communities are very concerned.
Undeniably, the government's approach is incoherent and illogical. It is the furthest it could be from fact-based decision-making. Bill C-48 is one part of a bigger puzzle, in terms of the very incoherent approach the government is taking.
It is more rooted in government ideology. All we have to do is look at what the Prime Minister said last week in France, that he was sorry he could not phase out the oil sands more quickly. The Liberals, ideologically, want the oil sands phased out. All other pieces of legislation, whether related to pipelines or tankers, go back to their desire to take away the prosperity from our oil sands.
Venezuelan oil in Quebec is okay. Saudi Arabian oil on the east coast is okay. Canadian oil in Vancouver is okay, but it is not okay in northern British Columbia.
The Liberal government just released, on April 26, “Our Response to British Columbia’s Policy Intentions Paper for Engagement: Activities Related to Spill Management”. The government is telling British Columbians how it will be able to protect British Columbia, which I actually agree it can do through its marine protection plans.
This is a 62-page document. In talking about how the government is going to protect British Columbia, just a little further down the coast, I think the question we need to ask ourselves is, if it can protect a little further down the coast, what is wrong with a little further up the coast? I think the same principles would apply.
Again, it is a 62-page document put out by the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of Environment, and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. I am going to read some quotes.
Canada's actions have demonstrated our commitment to the highest environmental standards and strong Indigenous partnerships, while ensuring vital infrastructure for the Canadian economy moves ahead.
Our submission outlines the comprehensive scope of federal spill prevention and response activities to protect our oceans....
Then it talks about the $1.5-billion oceans protection plan.
Building on the existing safeguards, we are developing a marine safety system that rivals any in the world. The system draws on over thirty years of scientific research in spill prevention and response—including specific measures to ensure the safe transport of diluted bitumen.
Canadians can be assured that our coastline will benefit from a world-class marine safety system thanks to the implementation of the Oceans Protection Plan.
Then it talks about the science and the research.
If the government is confident that this could be done in Vancouver, then it could absolutely be similarly confident that the same protections could have been put in place, and it did not actually have to go forward with the tanker ban. That is one area of incoherence.
An article in the Calgary Herald looks at some statistics. These are really important statistics, from Statistics Canada's “Monthly Merchandise Trade Report—February 2018”, which tracks Canada’s international balance of trade.
The article states:
Hidden within those summary numbers was the revelation that imports of energy products into Canada advanced by a material 15.4 per cent to $3.4 billion, the highest level since November 2014, with the largest share of those imports originating from the U.S.
The importation of crude oil and bitumen advanced 15.4 per cent, with imported refined petroleum products up by 24.1 per cent, the latter due largely to increased imports of gasoline into British Columbia....
A recent study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute, using 2016 data, indicates that substituting Canadian oil wherever possible using space on existing pipelines, railcars and ocean tankers, could reduce foreign oil imports into Eastern Canada by a whopping 47 per cent.
Whether it is the energy east pipeline, because of the resistance in Quebec, or the northern gateway project, we are destroying not only Canada's ability to get the price it should be getting on the world market, but our internal domestic capacity. We have lots of imports, and we are cutting off our opportunities at the same time.
While a precarious B.C. government opposes oil pipelines, the Trudeau government’s avowed transition away from fossil fuels appears perversely to be directed solely at penalizing Canadian producers.
What is this? We are having more coming in from the United States; we are having more coming down the St. Lawrence seaway from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia; and we are not willing to let our own workers benefit, who produce in some of the most environmentally sensitive ways.
It goes on to state:
Canada is over-regulating domestic producers with misdirected policies that allow foreign petroleum imports—unimpeded by Canadian environmental laws, so-called social license, greenhouse gas reduction strategies and associated taxes....
The final point I want to make before I conclude is about our indigenous communities. The Liberals talk about the importance to consult, but they did not consult. They plunked down a moratorium with very limited discussion with the first nations that would be most impacted by these decisions.
This is one of the chiefs, on the day of the moratorium: “'I am just administering poverty,' despite sitting on some of the world’s richest oil and gas deposits, he said. 'I want the ability to share the wealth that has been taken out of our territories for the last one hundred years.'”
Another article stated:
“The reality is it is the only way forward. There's nothing else," [said] Calvin Helin, an executive with the Eagle Spirit Energy....
Helin said there are few economic alternatives for many rural and remote Indigenous communities where there are unemployment rates in excess of 90 per cent.
“Ordinary First Nations people want the same opportunities every other Canadian aspires to.”
Ellis Ross stated:
We were right on the cusp of First Nations in my region being able to look after themselves.
We were just starting to turn the tide on that opposition to everything. For the first time, since white contact, we were ready to take our place in B.C. and Canada. Instead, B.C. is not going to exist pretty soon in terms of investment. That is how worried I am.
We have a moratorium that is actually just shifting carbon pricing. We are getting more in from the States. If we can protect our coast in Vancouver, we can certainly protect the north with some of our best class pilotage in the world. This is an arbitrary political decision made by the government, which would certainly hurt not only indigenous communities but Canadians across this country.
View Erin O'Toole Profile
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2018-04-30 16:27 [p.18929]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his remarks, particularly for his great overview of the history of safe tanker traffic off Canada's Pacific coast. We hear a lot of rhetoric and clearly a lot of confusion from some members on regular marine accidents, where a vessel might spill some of its diesel or its own petroleum products. That is very much different from an oil tanker, which is designed to transport diluted bitumen or a range of petroleum products.
There have been no accidents on the Pacific coast. Multiple governments, of both Liberal and Conservative stripes, have continued, over the last few decades, to modernize marine navigation and regulatory regimes and safeguards. I think that unblemished record will not only continue but has been enhanced by Canada's world-class regime.
My remarks on Bill C-48 are going to touch on two things. When Canadians go to the polls in 2019, they are going to assess the Prime Minister. Before, they just knew him as the celebrity son of a previous prime minister. He had no record, no record in the private sector, no record in the non-profit sector, no record in academia, and no record, really, of any note from his days as a member of Parliament in this place. Therefore, he ran and won on a celebrity record.
Now they are going to judge him on his performance, whether it is broken promises on the deficit, whether it is hundreds of billions of dollars of investment fleeing Canada, or whether it is our competitiveness, which literally every bank and economic forecaster in recent months has said is at real risk with changes in the U.S., with Canada increasing taxes and the U.S. lowering taxes. They are going to judge him on his record.
Nowhere is the current Prime Minister's record worse than on first nation issues. There is some laughter coming from the Liberal benches. The Prime Minister has a tattoo of the Haida Nation on his shoulders. However, I cannot say one thing he has done for that nation or any other nation. The missing and murdered indigenous inquiry has been a disaster from start to finish. There has been no clarity for the families that were promised certainty. There have been departures, with people leaving. They are now asking for twice as much time and twice as much budget. The Prime Minister promised healing and to drive us toward reconciliation. However, he has not done that.
One might ask why I am speaking about this when it comes to the tanker moratorium and Bill C-48. I will quote a chief from the Buffalo Lake Métis, Elmer Ghostkeeper, who, when the Prime Minister unilaterally, and not following science or regulatory approvals, cancelled the northern gateway pipeline, and this moratorium bill is essentially a way of blocking that from ever coming back, said, “Equity was offered to aboriginal communities, and with the change in government that was all taken away.”
Another leader from that area, from the Gitxsan Nation, Elmer Derrick, said, “The fact that the Prime Minister chose not to consult with people in northwestern [British Columbia] disappointed us very much.” In fact, 31 bands across that route were going to be 30% equity holders in that line with Enbridge. Unilaterally, the Prime Minister of Canada took away that economic opportunity that could have eliminated poverty in many of those communities within a generation.
It is sad that the Liberals are heckling, in light of some of the language coming from first nation leaders. That would not suggest a reconciliatory attitude from those members.
This is a pattern that started back in 2016 with the Prime Minister. In fact, on his first state visit to Washington, he signed on to an accord with the United States and with President Obama that put a ban on development of 17% of Canada's Arctic land mass and on 10% of Arctic waters. How much consultation was done in conjunction with that? It was zero.
Days after, the Premier of the Northwest Territories confirmed his disappointment that there was no consultation, that the first nations and Inuit of the area were not consulted. Who was trotted out by the Prime Minister's office? It was the president of the WWF Canada, David Miller, the former mayor of Toronto. That seemed to be the only organization in on this ban on our Inuit development opportunities in the north. I would note that a year earlier, the president of that organization was Mr. Butts, who was a principal adviser to the Prime Minister.
There was zero consultation with Inuit and first nations leaders in our Arctic and in northwest British Columbia but lots of consultation with insiders and, I would say, groups on the left. Why is that important? It is because now we see the Prime Minister's record on economic development coming home to roost. He unilaterally cut the northern gateway project. He killed energy east through changes to regulation. Now Trans Mountain is on the precipice.
Today marks one month remaining until Kinder Morgan may be withdrawing its capital investment, having watched two and a half years of the Liberal government over-regulating, over-taxing, and becoming less competitive and with uncertainty on whether it can even get a twinning of its existing line completed.
What is going to happen now with Bill C-48? If Trans Mountain fails, and the government is doing its best, even funding protestors through Canada summer jobs, to make that happen, this bill will preclude 31 first nations from actually coming up with an alternative to northern gateway through some of their traditional territories.
The Prime Minister is a master at rhetoric, but he is a disaster at delivery. He talks about consultation and reconciliation and does none of it. I stress that 17% of the land mass in the Arctic was struck away without a phone call. That not only violates the spirit of reconciliation, following what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission outlined, but violates Canadian law and case law on the duty to consult, going from the Sparrow decision to the Delgamuukw decision right through to last year's recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada on the Clyde River matter and the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.
Consultation has to be meaningful to those affected, particularly when it is about the adverse impact of a decision. That is what the duty to consult, in Canadian law, with our first nations means. The Prime Minister has failed at every juncture on that duty. He did not consult Chief Derrick, Dale Swampy, or Elmer Ghostkeeper when he unilaterally took away an opportunity for 31 first nation communities to provide opportunities for their people. Where was the consultation?
Where was the consultation with our first nation, Inuit, and territorial leaders when, with the stroke of a pen in Washington, he struck away the opportunity for them to provide and make decisions on their own territory? Now, with Bill C-48, and with Kinder Morgan teetering on the brink, he is going to block yet another opportunity for Canadians and first nations to chart their own destiny.
As I said earlier, apart from the tattoo, I have not seen much commitment from the Prime Minister. In fact, his lack of consultation is insulting. I worked on these issues before becoming a parliamentarian. I was not a bouncer. I was not doing drama. I was working with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business on trying to provide opportunities by working with the resource industry. I have been blown away by some tremendous first nation leaders from across the country who are providing an opportunity for a new story for their people.
We have a Prime Minister who has killed northern gateway and energy east, and Trans Mountain is on the brink. I call him the serial pipeline killer. Not only do we have that happening to getting our resources to tidewater on our west coast, but the government is now going to block the opportunity for a new option with this moratorium, ignoring the fact that there has already been a voluntary 100-kilometre exclusion zone between Washington State and Alaska since 1985.
Once again, a government that talks a lot about reconciliation and building trust does not even have the courtesy to talk to the first nation communities that are going to be horribly impacted by their decisions.
The next apology I hear in the House of Commons I would like to come from the Prime Minister on his terrible decisions with respect to our first nations.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
View Kelly McCauley Profile
2018-04-30 17:00 [p.18934]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak on Bill C-48 again.
There is a content creator on YouTube who does these great videos called “honest trailers”. He discusses what movies should actually be talking about when they do their trailers. I would like to do the same with Liberal bills, because quite often we hear these grandiose names.
For example, for the budget, I would rename it the “Dude, where is my infrastructure budget?”, because no one seems to know where the infrastructure money went. Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer could not locate $7 billion of it. I do note that of the $7 billion, he was able to find that it was costing Canadian taxpayers $700,000 of spending for every job created.
I also called it the “Honey, I sank the kids” bill, because $100 billion in added debt is going to stick to our children and our grandchildren in the coming years. However, I stuck on a different name, the Vantablack bill. Vantablack is the darkest substance known to man, so I called it that because of the lack of transparency in the budget bill. In fact, it is so lacking in transparency that even a supernova could not bring light to it.
An issue with the budget bill was, for example, that the finance department refused to respond to either us or the Parliamentary Budget Officer about some five-year spending projections. There was vote 40, which the treasury board president has brought forward, which will allow him to spend $7 billion without any oversight from committees, Parliament, or votes once the money has been done. The government that brought us an $8 million hockey rink is going to be given $7 billion without any oversight or transparency.
With Bill C-48 there could be a lot of names, but I am going to call it the “hypocrite bill”. The name “hypocrite bill” could also be applied to a lot of other bills. For example, the government talked big on military spending, but it is not mentioned once in the budget. The Liberals also talk about helping the middle class, yet burdened it with tax hikes and hundreds of billions of dollars of added debt with no mention of how it will ever be paid back.
As well, the government brags about a gender-balanced cabinet, but they give all five junior ministries to women. No government since the Trudeau Senior government has given all five of the junior ministries to women.
The Liberals killed energy east by constantly changing the goalposts and requiring upstream and downstream emission considerations. At the same time, they have given hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to their friends in Bombardier to pay out millions of dollars in bonuses, by the way. Apparently Bombardier jets do not emit emissions. The Liberals have given millions and millions to Ford motor companies because apparently Ford cars now run on pixie dust.
Let us look at the general hypocrisy around Bill C-48. Do not let anyone be fooled. It is not about banning tankers; it is about killing the northern gateway pipeline once and for all and killing Alberta jobs.
The Liberals like to talk a lot about human rights, but they blocked Alberta oil, the cleanest, most ethically produced oil in the world, to bring in oil from some of the worst human rights-abusing countries in the world. We bring in oil from Saudi Arabia, where there are some of the worst oppressions of women and of the LGBTQ community.
The Liberals brought in oil from Nigeria, where the government will murder a person for being gay. Think about that. We are bringing in oil from Nigeria and giving them money. Instead of creating Alberta jobs, we are getting oil from people who murder gays just for expressing who they truly are. We bring in oil from Angola, a country that Human Rights Watch highlights for its heavy government oppression. However, we buy their oil and block Alberta oil.
This is really interesting. Just last week, the Liberal government banned the famous Angolan human rights crusader Rafael Marques from Canada. We have open borders to all those fleeing the tyranny of the U.S., where one million Canadians still live. I hope they are going to flee as well. The Liberals will allow open borders for that, yet an award-winning human rights crusader from Angola is banned by the government. However, we will buy their oil.
The Liberals talk about evidence-based decision-making, so let us look at the facts on tanker safety.
We allow tankers into the Vancouver harbour to pick up oil in Burnaby from Kinder Morgan, where it currently is. We are planning, if Kinder Morgan gets built, to move that up to one freighter a day. That is perfectly fine. The Liberals approved that.
We allow what is called an Aframax tanker to move under the Second Narrows bridge in North Vancouver or Burnaby, where there is a width of 137 metres across the narrows.
The government now also says that a tanker moving through a width of 1,400 metres, through the Douglas Channel from Kitimat to the open seas, is not safe. Not only is the Douglas Channel 10 times the width of underneath the Second Narrows Bridge, but it would be escorted with three pilots for the entire passage. That is something we do not do when bringing in Venezuelan oil, Saudi Arabian oil, or Nigerian oil on the east coast. It is something we currently do not do when we bring in ships through the much narrower passage from North Vancouver to Burnaby.
The TERMPOL document for northern gateway added many other safety measures, such as radar on Gil Island, and more response gear, which we also do not offer for the tankers coming in through North Vancouver or the east coast.
Let us talk about the hypocrisy of the government's empty statement on nothing being more important than the nation-to-nation relationships. We heard in the government operations and estimates committee that no industry does better in Canada than the energy industry in working with indigenous groups, indigenous business, and providing jobs and prosperity to indigenous people of Canada. Who does the very worst on engaging them? It is the Canadian government.
This is what the first nations are saying. Elmer Ghostkeeper of the Buffalo Lake Métis said that they and other first nations are disappointed by the political decision, not the evidence-based decision, but the political decision, made without their input. Mr. Ghostkeeper said that 30 bands were looking forward to the shared prosperity that northern gateway would bring, with $2 billion in set asides.
Again, let us remember. It is Suncor, Syncrude, Enbridge. These are all the companies that were named in the government operations and estimates committee as companies that do the very best of any industry in providing prosperity, jobs and opportunities for first nations, and we are throwing it aside.
Chief Derrick of the Gitxsan first nations said that the Prime Minister did not even want to hear from supportive bands.
The government will consult with every U.S.-financed radical environmentalist group on pipelines in the industry. It will even take taxpayers' money to give to these radical environmentalist groups, saying, “Here, take some taxpayers' money from Alberta, from all across Canada, and go out and work against the Canadian interest.” It is working against what the government has said is in the national interest. Will the government listen and consult with first nations? No, of course not.
I want to talk about some of the safety issues. B.C. coast pilots are some of the very best pilots in the entire world. They have a safety standard for shipping off of B.C. that far exceeds what we do on the east coast. I want to talk about their record.
Since 2007, the very worst year for incidents has been a 99.94% success rate. There was not a single issue of an oil spill from tankers since Kinder Morgan was built 63 years ago. Not one. On regular shipping, the very worst year was 99.94%. In 2017, it was 99.97%. They have gone above and beyond, as I mentioned.
With the portable pilotage units they put on their ships in case their ships piloting or GPS goes down, they can control it as well. They spend $600,000 a year in training for the pilots. As I mentioned, they have a perfect record for moving liquid bulk vessels of over 40,000 dead weight. These are the experts.
They did a computer program when northern gateway was being considered. The experts said that moving ships down, even without pilots, would be perfectly safe. However, the plan was to include three pilots. Here we have the experts saying it is perfectly safe without all the added measures, and they have offered to put on these additional measures to make them extra safe. The government shot it down.
Bill C-48 is not about coastal safety. If it were, the government would shut down the east coast and Vancouver as well. This bill is all about killing Alberta jobs, and about killing once and for all the northern gateway pipeline.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2018-04-30 17:10 [p.18935]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate a number of comments the member across the way has made.
Again, when we take a look at this particular bill, I see it as a positive bill that reflects the wishes and desires of a majority of Canadians in wanting to see the moratorium put in place. In that sense, it is a positive piece of legislation. I believe the Conservatives are going to be voting against it. They seem to want to vote against it because they are tying it to the pipeline issue and indigenous consultations. There have been consultations that have taken place. The pipeline is going to be built. This does not seem to fit the Conservative narrative of trying to divide and conquer.
It seems to me that the Conservatives are not in touch with what Canadians really want the official opposition party to be doing on such an important issue which is dealing with our oceans. Is the member not concerned that the Conservative Party continues to be out of touch with what Canadians want to see on such an important issue?
View Dane Lloyd Profile
View Dane Lloyd Profile
2018-04-30 17:31 [p.18938]
Mr. Speaker, before I begin my remarks, I would be remiss if I did not mention a great man who has been mentioned many times today in this House, former prime minister Stephen Harper, who is enjoying his 59th birthday today, so I wish Prime Minister Harper a happy birthday.
I rise today to speak to Bill C-48, which aims to ban oil tanker traffic on the northern coastline of British Columbia. This legislation is yet another blatant attack on Canada's energy sector, along with all the high-paying and high-quality jobs that go with it.
The current government can talk about balancing the environment and the economy, but this proposed legislation is not balanced, and it is a direct threat to the viability of Canada's energy sector. This bill not only threatens jobs and the prosperity of Canada but also the solvency of our governments. Furthermore, it fails to respect our commitment to first nations, because the Liberals failed to consult and are discriminating against first nations who support energy development.
This legislation sends a clear message that our country is closing up for business, and industry leaders are listening. Energy giants are already beginning to move their operations to Texas, taking jobs with them. Where will the wealth creation and tax revenues that are needed to finance our transition go? They will go straight south of the border, leaving Canada in a vulnerable position, with few resources, as we seek to embrace change and innovation.
The failure of our energy industry is simply not an option. Although oil prices have doubled over the last two years, governments in Edmonton and Ottawa continue to run substantial deficits. I would like to see the government start trimming these deficits. However, the Liberals cannot seem to kick the habit of spending more than they take in, even with significant tax hikes on small businesses. How is the government ever going to balance the budget while it campaigns actively to phase out the very industry responsible for those revenues? This does not square. Budgets simply do not balance themselves. The government must either raise taxes, cut spending, or, as we propose on this side of the House, grow the economy, not as the Prime Minister suggests, “from the heart outwards”, but by embracing the real opportunities in the energy sector.
The Minister of the Environment recently said in an interview, “Hard things are hard”, and they certainly are. However, the government has made things harder on the families that rely on the energy sector because of its ideological approach to energy development. Take, for example, that the current Liberal Prime Minister ran in the election on a promise to cancel the northern gateway pipeline. He did not run on a promise to review the science or to act in the national interest. No. He made a promise because it was politically expedient to do so. That is the easy thing to do. The problem with taking the easy way out is that someday one has to pay the price, and today, as we watch the dying throes of Canada's last, best hope of getting energy to tidewater, we have only the Liberals to blame. They are now doubling down on their mistakes. They are not content to just cancel northern gateway; they are legislating for future generations to ensure that no pipeline will even be considered for the northwest coast.
Actions have consequences, and those consequences are hard. The families of my constituents know that all too well. The reason for their hardship is that the current Liberal government made rash promises not founded on reason or science but on political calculation. Rather than recognizing that fact, the Liberals are closing their minds and hearts to the hardships of Canadians.
The bill before us today is an attempt to dig up the corpse of northern gateway and put it on trial. It is a declaration to the world that never again will a pipeline be considered to our north. This moratorium is not based on science. It is not even based on the national interest of Canada. It is a political exercise to try to appease those who oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline and who will oppose any energy infrastructure the Liberals' foreign masters will pay them to oppose. When will these Liberals show some backbone, stop caving in to foreign interests and radical activists, and instead stand up for science and stand up for Canadians?
If the Liberal government were to extrapolate its logic and apply it consistently across the country, it would severely hurt our economy. Oil tankers enter Canada daily through the Port of Vancouver, on the east coast, and through the St. Lawrence River without incident. The sad thing is that for the most part, these vessels have circumnavigated the globe to bring Canada energy from other countries, energy that we have ample reserves of ourselves. In ports like Saint John, New Brunswick, millions of tonnes of energy products have been shipped and provide jobs necessary for the prosperity of our eastern provinces. If Bill C-48 passes, the government will be setting a precedent for our entire coastline that will reverberate across our country, killing jobs and opportunities for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
Let me talk about the hypocrisy of the Liberal government, a government that stands every day in the House to malign the reputation of former Prime Minister Harper, a man they accuse of not consulting with first nations on energy development. Let us talk about the Lax Kw' alaams first nation and the nine tribes whose traditional territory lies within the zone that this moratorium would apply to. Did the government consult with the Lax Kw' alaams, or does it only negotiate with first nations who oppose energy development?
The nine tribes on the west coast have issued a legal challenge to this moratorium and this legislation. I wonder whether the Liberal government will respect aboriginal sovereignty, and will it fulfill its duty to consult? Evidently, it has not. The Lax Kw' alaams are fighting them in court. They are fighting for their economic future, the future of their children, and the Liberal government is disrespecting them and discriminating against them with this legislation. It is shameful, not only because it is the wrong thing to do, but because it flies in the face of everything the Liberal government claims to believe in.
For those who are reasonably concerned about environmental impact of oil tankers on our coast, let us look at some facts. In 2011, the Conservative government undertook the development and implementation of a world-class tanker safety system. This included modernization of navigation systems, enhanced area response planning, and ensuring that polluters pay for the spills and damages caused by accidents in their operations. As a result of this legislation, on top of Canada's sterling record of environmental safety, there has never been a major oil spill on our west coast.
Now the Liberals are pouring more resources into ocean protection, but for what purpose if they are not allowing development to proceed? Why are we spending taxpayer dollars to the tune of $1.5 billion, if they are going to ban the tankers in the first place? It is another example of the government's absolute incompetence when it comes to responsible development and environmental protection.
In the best-case scenario, even if this legislation only leads to preventing tankers from operating on the northwest coast, it would be an act of supreme unfairness for those communities on the coast. If there is a lack of infrastructure to protect from or mitigate a possible spill, then perhaps some of the Liberal money should be going toward that solution. Surely if this legislation is their solution, then it should be sufficient to protect our northwest coast. If oil tankers are as big a threat as the Liberals claim, why have they not invested in better ocean protection on every coast? Why are they not speaking in Halifax, St. John's, or other Atlantic city on the importance of protecting against oil spills with new funding?
The fact is that they are not. They know full well that there is no clear threat of a catastrophic oil spill. They are merely trying to score political points by shutting down an entire coast from any development, hurting communities like the Lax Kw' alaams in the process. It is a shameful state of affairs when a government chooses to put its own political self-interest ahead of the interests of all Canadians.
View Ben Lobb Profile
View Ben Lobb Profile
2018-04-30 17:45 [p.18940]
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House to talk about this bill.
I sat on the transport committee while this bill made its way through committee. I know this has been labelled by many as hypocrisy, but the number one thing I want to talk about today is consultation. It is interesting that it was brought up by the last speaker from Edmonton and the minister mentioned it as well.
The minister made a key point that I think will be proven wrong in a court of law. He mentioned it at committee as well. I asked him about the duty to consult. He responded to that question with a long list. He will remember full well the list he provided me. However, when he asked his question just now, he said that he had a meeting or that he met.
That is not consultation. I asked people whom he had on his list when they appeared before committee if they had met with the minister. They said, “Yes, we did.” I asked if they called that consultation. Whether they approved of the ban or opposed the ban, they all snickered because they all know it was not consultation. In fact, a number of the people who were there also said, and members can check the record because it is all recorded, that when they sat down with the minister, they told him that it was not to be considered consultation, that it was just a meeting.
The question constitutional experts, and I am not one, will ask is, “Do you need to consult to impose legislation?” Well, we might find out.
The flip side of this is, let us say another government gets in in another period of time and wants to do away with Bill C-48 and eliminate the tanker ban. Will it need to consult? We may find out the answer to that question as well.
The key point is, and I think we will see this in the court case that is being brought forward, whether the federal government has the right to impede on resource development on lands where it is clearly stated in their nationhood? Will the government have the ability to eliminate any possibility for them to develop resources, to transport resources across the area? Will it be able to tell them whether or not they will be able to develop a deepwater port along the coastline of their land?
I think most constitutional experts would say that as long as it passed all the regulatory requirements of an environmental assessment, etc., they probably should be able to. We will see.
I just wanted to make that point, that from the very beginning of when the minister appeared just down the hallway here on Bill C-48, I asked him the question, and all the way through the process of the bill going through committee, I asked the question. Each and every time, people felt they were not consulted. They had a meeting, but true consultation is not a meeting. We will see on that one. It will be an interesting court case.
I will also mention that there were a few comments that really raised my eyebrows on the reconciliation and rehabilitation between first nations members and government. Again, this is on the record. One of the main objectives of the government was to improve relations with first nations, and they made the comment, “We don't need a trust fund prime minister telling us what to do.” They also looked at this bill as “further colonialism.” We are talking 2017-18. These are their words. These are not my words. These are the words of first nations members.
Eagle Spirit Energy took five years to work on a project where members of first nations could come together to develop resources from Alberta to the coast of B.C. and to do a project. One of their comments, which I also thought was great, was that they were not looking for a handout, that they were looking for a hand up to further the economic ability and the economic development within their own communities to give their people, their children, and their grandchildren an opportunity to have a better life.
These are regular Canadians who just want a chance to develop resources in a safe manner and transport resources in a safe manner. They love their country, they love their environment, and they would not do anything if they ever thought it would have a negative impact on them.
I know hypocrisy has been mentioned before, and probably every speech has mentioned it in one form or another. We are banning tanker traffic in this area, yet we are not banning it in an area south of this area. We are not banning it in an area on the east coast. We are not banning it in an area along the St. Lawrence. It is just one specific area. Oil will be coming in from different countries that certainly have less stringent environmental regulations on the development of resources than we do. This has even been written about by former Liberal members of Parliament as well.
To show members the kind of crisis we are at and the situation we are in, instead of creating a pipeline to transport oil to a port and transporting it from that port on a safe vessel to a market and actually getting a fair price for it, we are now forcing companies like CN Rail and other technology companies to use this product called CanaPux. They are actually adding polymer plastic to oil so they can ship it by rail through the two CN rail lines on the northern coast. They ship these CanaPux on vessels that would normally handle coal. This is what we have been forced to do. Diesel locomotives are travelling thousands of kilometres of rail line up and down interesting terrain just to ship it along the way. As a guy from Ontario, I sometimes question what we are doing in this country.
Another thing I thought troublesome, and I think the minister and department officials would agree, is the schedule. Using the CanaPux example, I asked government officials if CanaPux would be put on the schedule. Well, nobody has an answer, and I am not sure anybody will have an answer. Also, if we get on that schedule, how do we get off the schedule? There are no answers to that. Before any proposed legislation comes into force, I think that needs to be clearly defined and clearly set out. The industry has a right to know.
A constituent of mine mentioned that there is a consortium of clean tech people who have the technology and ability to clean up spills. They have been on a contract to provide cleanup services on the west coast. Their project or their submission to public works was flatly declined in favour of a solvent that was an American technology. I do not think we have anything against America, but when we have a Canadian technology that has been proven to be able to clean up oil spills—not dissolve oil, but actually clean up oil spills—then we have to question exactly what we are trying to accomplish here. I feel fairly safe about what technology can do to deal with vessels exporting oil products to this country, China, and parts in between, but what are we doing?
The final thing I will add is that yes, there is a ban on oil, but there is no ban on diesel fuel. Obviously I am not a scientist and I realize that the two have different properties, but there is no ban on diesel fuel. That is further to the hypocrisy point. I would say that if we had a diesel spill, it would cause a lot of damage to the environment, marine life, and marine plants, yet there is no mention of that in the bill. Each side is making is making their points, and the bill will get passed, but I would like to mention that there will obviously be court challenges and perhaps quite a bit of hypocrisy as well.
View Marc Garneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I have a few clarifications.
The CanaPux development is an interesting one. I have been on public record saying that we would look at it. It may be something that does not need to be put in the schedule. On the schedule itself, that is for dilbit and persistent oils. The member mentioned diesel. There are different kinds of diesel. Some are more persistent than others. I suggest the member do a little bit of research on that.
What I really want to ask the member about is the consultation process. He definitely had his views on whether we consulted. We consulted an enormous amount, not just me but my ministry as well. We consulted all sorts of different groups. However, I wonder if the member consulted any first nations who are in favour of the moratorium, because there are quite a few. I would like to know what kind of feedback he got from them.
View Martin Shields Profile
View Martin Shields Profile
2018-04-30 18:01 [p.18942]
Mr. Speaker, today we have heard many intelligent comments about Bill C-48 from many people with an extreme amount of knowledge on this topic, and there have been many questions of those people. Maybe that leaves me with rhetoric. I do not know what is left to say, but I will try.
Trade has always been a pivotal component of life in Canada. Long ago, before European settlement, indigenous peoples traded prolifically. On the British Columbia coast, much of that trade was conducted by water. For example, the Haida Nation made use of large commercial canoes to achieve great prosperity along the Pacific coast. It is quite remarkable that this legislation makes such a radical departure from Canadian history. In Canada we have some of the most lucrative trading goods in the history of humanity at our disposal, namely oil and gas, but we cannot trade them, because we cannot access the market to do it. It seems a betrayal of Canada's historical legacy as a trading nation.
Unfortunately, this oil tanker moratorium appears to be just another stage of the government's plan to phase out Canada's energy sector. We desperately need to diversify Canada's export markets for oil and gas, yet Bill C-48 would take further steps to limit access to tidewater for Canadian oil. It is not just a tanker moratorium; it is a pipeline moratorium. The government has increasingly demonstrated that its agenda is dictated by radical activists and the foreign donors who support them. These people want Canada to be nothing more than a giant nature preserve.
Of course, we do have vast areas of pristine wilderness that I think all Canadians are proud of. I have been on the coast of Newfoundland all the way down to New Brunswick. It is a beautiful coastline. I was probably on the Pacific Rim, which is now the Pacific Rim National Park, before many people in the House were born. I have been on the tide pools and the coast and the beautiful Pacific part of Vancouver Island. Some members are older, which the minister might be, but some of us are a little older than he is.
I know that the Prime Minister was just in Europe, in France and Paris, and he apologized about being so slow to phase out the energy sector. It might have shocked his audience to find that Canada is not just one large nature preserve. People live here in Canada and people across the country work in the Canadian energy industry, and those people are being hurt by the government's disregard of the Canadian energy sector. In my riding of Bow River, the job losses have been catastrophic. People need pipelines with oil going to foreign markets. These people are highly skilled and highly trained. They may have found other jobs in other sectors, but they are much lower paying and are not using their highly trained skills.
Those foreign markets need oil. Global demand is growing. It is projected to keep growing at least for the next 30 years, especially in the Asia-Pacific region that we need to reach from the west coast. Let us get our economy back on track and meet this global demand.
As it stands, we are selling our oil at a huge discount to the United States. The U.S. sells it back to us to refine in New Brunswick refineries at the full market price. It is like building a car in Canada for $30,000 but having only one market, which offers us $15,000, and we take it, and then they sell it back to us for $30,000, because we have no choice.
By some estimates, the losses amount to at least a large school a day and a major hospital a week being built in the United States instead of in Canada. Hundreds of millions of dollars are lost because we cannot diversify our energy exports. It is a ridiculous situation. It is embarrassing to our country on the international stage when we look at countries that trade. Despite this totally unacceptable situation, we have learned that the government is funding anti-pipeline activists through the Canada summer jobs program, yet in my constituency, summer camps cannot get any money for summer jobs.
One constituent told me today that if people are convicted of obstructing justice, they should immediately be put on a no-fly list. They could not fly if they were convicted of obstructing justice while protesting. That is an interesting concept.
The government can dismiss the reality with its favourite talking points all it wants, but the issue is a lot more complicated than a talking point. Oil products are already shipped safely in and out of ports across Atlantic Canada and B.C. If we have to distill it down to a sound bite in the way the government likes to, let us put it like this: Venezuelan oil is shipped up the St. Lawrence to Montreal. If both those coasts were travelled on both sides of the St. Lawrence, one would find some of the most natural beauty in our country. It is very different on one side and the other, yet we are shipping large oil tankers all the way up the St. Lawrence to Montreal.
We are shipping Saudi Arabian oil to the east coast through the many islands to get to the refineries in St. John. If one has travelled on those islands and seen the beautiful coast, one knows we have skilled pilots on the west coast. It is tricky to get through to St. John's as well, but we are allowed to do that. Canadian oil is okay for Vancouver but not northern B.C. It does not make much sense when one puts it like that, but that is exactly what this legislation would implement.
This bill is yet another signal to investors that Canada's energy sector should be avoided. That is a travesty, especially since our former Conservative government already implemented responsible tanker safety regulations and established a world-class tanker safety system in 2014. That legislation modernized Canada's navigation system. It enhanced area response planning. However, we have had colleagues say we could do more. Well, we could do more. It built marine safety capacity in aboriginal communities and ensured polluters pay for spills and damages.
What we should be doing is building upon that successful safety record. Let us build more. We should be harnessing Canadian ingenuity and the great skills that our pilots have on the west coast. We should be collaborating with regional and indigenous stakeholders to develop even safer mechanisms for our coasts. We could maybe export that to the rest of the world. That is the logical next step, not a moratorium that would prevent any possibility of progress. Furthermore, a voluntary exclusion zone of 100 kilometres for oil tankers travelling from Alaska has already been in place since 1985 just beside this area.
Look at the current investment climate. Why pass legislation that does nothing more than remind investors of the government's attitude toward oil and gas? I guess what Maslow said was right. He said that when someone only has a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. This legislation is nothing more than a nail in the coffin of investor confidence in Canada.
Some $80 billion in investment has now been driven out of Canada. I hear about this in my constituency. That is a huge number, but the devastating impact of the government's attitude toward oil and gas is not limited to investors. The indigenous nations mentioned earlier have sued the federal and provincial government over this tanker ban. They argue that it is an unjustified infringement on their aboriginal rights and title. In fact, 30 first nations started an online campaign to raise money against this ban. It does not seem that the government was able to convince them in the consultation process that it was a good idea.
I have had the opportunity to meet with several first nations elders. Their views on energy development are not as uniform as the government would have us believe. Many I spoke with did not want to be told what they could and could not develop. They want the autonomy to make their own decisions in the best interest of their people. They view this as a lack of consultation and a form of colonialism, as they mentioned to me. Many first nations leaders want the right to develop their resources in the way they choose.
Even if this legislation receives royal assent, U.S. tankers travelling from Alaska to Washington would continue to travel up and down the B.C. coast. This is not about the tankers; it is about tying the hands of future governments and preventing pipeline construction. It is a pipeline moratorium under a different name. It is the opposite action to what the government should be taking. It needs to send positive signals to international and Canadian energy investors. It needs to actively champion the diversification of energy exports. This bill would not do that, and I cannot support it.
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