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View Shannon Stubbs Profile
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2019-06-12 17:20 [p.29016]
Mr. Speaker, I apologize. I would say that it demonstrates his basic lack of knowledge on indigenous consultation and the impact of Bill C-69. Nothing in the legislation or Senate amendment package would change the current situation.
For decades, Canada has been a world leader in the incorporation of indigenous knowledge and expertise in project reviews and partnerships with indigenous communities, particularly of the top 10 major oil-producing regions in the world. Without a doubt, governments must improve their execution of their duties in this regard. However, the Prime Minister is wrong about this issue and Bill C-69.
The proposed Senate package and the specific amendments the Liberals rejected responded to the concerns of indigenous communities to elevate and amplify their locally impacted voices in early engagement and throughout the review process.
Mark Wittrup, vice-president of environmental and regulatory affairs at Clifton Associates, reinforces that point. He says that Bill C-69 “will create significant delays, missed opportunities and likely impact those that need that economic development the most: northern and Indigenous communities.”
The Liberals have caused uncertainty around resource development in the past three and a half years, with their imposition of layers of costs and red tape in policies like the carbon tax. Canada is the only country out of the top 10 oil producers in the world to adopt one.
The Liberals' new fuel standard is a reckless experiment, with severe cost consequences for refining, petrochemical processing, manufacturing and others. Then there is their unilateral imposition of the offshore drilling ban and unilateral prohibitions of activity on wide swathes of land. Their shipping ban, Bill C-48, is a direct attack on a specific industry, particularly damaging to a specific region of the country. It has already driven jobs, businesses and capital out of Canada at a nearly historic rate, resulting in a complete failure to build a single new inch of in-service pipeline.
The consequences of the Liberals' deliberate rejection of constructive suggestions from private sector proponents, economists, regulatory experts and various governments will be measured in more lost jobs, more cancelled projects, more missed contracts and more investment lost for a generation.
Energy companies are warning about the devastating impact on their workers and operations. This is in light of the oil and gas sector, which has already lost more than 100,000 jobs. It is likely closer to 200,000, if the statistics reflected employed individuals in the south. Over $100 billion in energy projects have been cancelled since 2015.
To put this in context, it is important to note that these numbers are the equivalent of losing the jobs created by the entire aerospace sector and almost all the auto sector. It is the equivalent of losing eight times the annual GDP generated by the aerospace sector and five times the GDP generated by the automotive sector.
If either of those two sectors were to face the same job losses and collapse in investment, we can bet, as there ought to be and has been, that there would be full attention and action from the federal government. However, the response to the devastation of the energy sector, of oil and gas workers and of their families has been empty rhetoric and platitudes, as well as a piling on of policies and laws, like Bill C-69, that are out right hostile and make things so much worse.
Concerns about Bill C-69 span sectors and regions.
A joint letter from the Association of Canadian Port Authorities, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, the Canadian Gas Association, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, The Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. and the Petroleum Services Association of Canada says that Bill C-69 will:
lead to greater uncertainty in the assessment and review processes [because it] requires assessment and decisions based on broad public policy questions that are beyond the scope of individual projects. It introduces longer timelines, and vague criteria that will increase the risk of legal challenges.
This is what the private sector proponents are warning.
They also take issue with the fact that Bill C-69 “gives the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada broad discretionary powers, which could further increase uncertainty for major infrastructure projects.” It also “put[s] at risk the investment needed for Canada to create the jobs and government revenues that support our quality of life.”
Certain criteria are essential to attracting and retaining investment in Canada, such as certainty in regulations, permanence of regulations, certainty in the form of timelines, performance-based policies that ensure benefits to communities by tying incentives to performance-based measures, such as job creation, research and development, innovation and capital investment.
Those criteria were hallmarks of Canada's regulatory framework for decades, with the most rigorous assessment, comprehensive consultation, high standards and strongest environmental protections in the world. However, from the beginning of the consideration of Bill C-69, starting when the Liberals rushed the bill through the House a year and a half ago, proponents raised major concerns on each of these key elements. One of those elements is timelines.
Bill C-69, as it is going to be passed by the Liberals, would create a potential for a delay that would allow the Governor in Council to extend timelines without providing justification. There is no hard time cap for the overall process. The criteria for making such an extension will be defined in regulations. Even after the Liberals ram the bill through the House, there will still be uncertainty around timelines, which we developed after the fact.
Literally, therefore, the cabinet will be the only power to decide when to delay a project. That is clear further politicization of the process and introduces further uncertainty for proponents considering a new project. That is why so many of the Senate amendments are dearly needed. They introduce legislative maximum time frames, they remove the ability for Governor in Council to extend timelines indefinitely and force the Governor in Council to provide reasons for suspending timelines. Maximum timelines set in law reduce uncertainty for investors, because time is money.
The Liberals' rejection of the Senate amendments clearly shows their intention to return to open-ended timelines. According to their legislation, the federal cabinet can keep resetting the process, forcing proponents to go through the same stage multiple times. That is the definition of “death by delay” now being implemented in law by these Liberals, which is a term and a tactic that anti-resource activists call their campaigns to kill Canadian resource projects.
Bill C-69, without accepting the amendments from the Senate, would also grant a single minister the power to refuse to undertake an assessment at all. It would grant a single minister complete discretion regarding whether to designate a project under Bill C-69's lengthy and uncertain assessment process. That would result in considerable uncertainty for proponents, even where proposed projects would not be included on the project list. They simply could be added to it by a single minister, the Minister of Environment.
That sort of political uncertainty is unacceptable. Therefore, a single minister could kill a project by adding years of delay and hundreds of millions in additional costs. It does not really get any more political than that. This is why so many of the Senate amendments must be preserved to make this legislation workable.
That is, of course, related to one of the major concerns from industry, provinces and municipalities, and the Conservatives have been warning about it, which is the uncertainty around vague project criteria. As originally worded by the Liberals, who are again intending to ram through Bill C-69, it would increase the length and the uncertainty of regulatory and judicial processes that already pose significant challenges to a timely completion on major resource projects.
Regulatory reviews already require significant commitment and exceptional due diligence by proponents, communities, as should be the case, but they are often extremely complex, duplicative and expensive and sometimes result in deep divisions.
Clear and concise criteria that projects are measured against ensures predictability for all parties and that ensures approved projects can actually get built, instead of having to repeat key parts of the process or spending years in court defending in approval.
However, the Liberals' Bill C-69 would add numerous additional criteria that would not be within the direct control of the proponent and criteria that would be so vague that it would be difficult to determine what they even would involve precisely, never mind for proponents to be able to determine how to incorporate them or how to account for them in their project proposals.
The Senate amendments, while not even as concise as the Conservatives would make them, are a vast improvement over the original Liberal wording. They would remove broad political debates from the formal review process and focus the fact and evidence-based review on criteria that would be measurable, quantifiable and predictable.
The concern with the Liberals' criteria that they are proposing in Bill C-69 by rejecting all the Senate fixes is that they are requiring the panel conducting the review to make determinations on matters that are subjective, that relate to the subjective policy priorities of the government and are inherently political.
How can a project proponent proposing a physical project based on engineering realities and the technical, economic, environmental and safety merits of a specific project anticipate and account for the particular political objectives of the current government of any given day? The answer is that it cannot. That uncertainty will stop proponents from proposing big projects and crucial infrastructure in Canada.
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2018-11-06 16:48 [p.23354]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are drowning Canadian job creators in red tape and tax hikes. Whether it is the carbon tax, small business tax hikes or the many cancelled tax credits and deductions, the Liberals are driving businesses out of Canada and killing Canadian jobs, hurting workers and middle-class families across the country.
Every other day major oil and gas companies cancel future projects, stop expansions or completely sell their Canadian businesses and take their money to other countries. It is a crisis, and it is not a result of external factors beyond the government's control. In fact, it is a direct consequence of the Liberals' message to Canadians and the world that Canada is closed for business because of the Liberals' added red tape and imposed cost increases.
Context is important. The energy sector is the biggest private sector investor and accounts for over 11% of the value of Canada's economy. To put this in perspective, it contributes twice as much as agriculture and fisheries combined, sectors in which farmers and fishermen also often have jobs in oil and gas. It contributes more than the banking and finance sector and more than the auto sector. The benefits are shared across Canada. Every one job in the oil sands creates seven manufacturing jobs in Ontario. Every one upstream oil and gas job in Alberta creates five jobs in other sectors, in other provinces.
However, spending in Canada's oil and gas sector declined 56% over three years, from $81 billion in 2014 to $45 billion in 2017. More money has left Canada's oil and gas sector since the 2015 election than at any other comparable time period in more than 70 years. The equivalent value would be losing 75% of auto manufacturing in Canada, or almost the entirety of the aerospace sector in Canada, something no one rightfully would accept.
The biggest beneficiary is the U.S. where spending in oil and gas increased 38% to $120 billion in 2017. Today, U.S. investment in Canada is down by more than half. Canadian investment in the U.S. is up by two-thirds. The consequences of these losses are hundreds of thousands of Canadians out of work and less revenue for core social programs and services at every level of government in every single province.
Over 115,000 Albertans are out of work and not receiving any employment insurance assistance right now and tens of thousands more have lost their jobs. The Liberals' anti-energy agenda is clearly both hindering the private sector from being able to provide well-paying jobs, but it is also risking the life savings of many Canadians.
Oil and gas companies are a big part of most people's pension plans, and whether through employer provided defined contribution plans or personal investments in mutual funds, chances are that most Canadians are invested in oil and gas. When oil and gas companies leave Canada, the value of those investments in Canada drops, reducing the value of everyone's retirement savings. Now CPP and the Ontario teachers' pension plan are also investing in the United States.
I want to highlight an aspect of this legislation that will compound uncertainty and challenges for Canadian oil and gas proponents. On page 589, in the very last chapter of this 840-page omnibus bill, clause 692 implements sweeping new powers for the federal cabinet to impose regulations on marine transport. Included in these powers is the ability to pass regulations:
(j) respecting compulsory routes and recommended routes;
(k) regulating or prohibiting the operation, navigation, anchoring, mooring or berthing of vessels or classes of vessels; and
(l) regulating or prohibiting the loading or unloading of a vessel or a class of vessels.
This means the Liberal cabinet can block any class of tanker from any route leaving Canada or from docking at any port the Liberals choose. In Bill C-48, oil tankers of a certain size will be prevented from travelling and from the loading and off-loading of crude at ports only off the northern coast of B.C.
This legislation, Bill C-86, would be a dramatic expansion, giving the Liberal cabinet the power to block oil exports from any port anywhere in Canada or to block oil tankers in general from entering Canadian waters. Places like the Arctic could lose access to the fuel tankers that keep power on during the winter. Offshore oil and gas development in Atlantic Canada could be blocked overnight. That is alarming in itself, and it gets worse.
This legislation authorizes a single minister to be able to make legally binding changes to these regulations for a year at a time and even up to three years, regarding “compulsory routes” and “prohibiting the operation, navigation, anchoring, mooring or berthing of vessels or classes of vessels”. One minister with one stroke of a pen can shut down an entire industry with wide-ranging impacts.
This is a pattern. The Liberals repeatedly demonstrate their hostility to the oil and gas sector in Canada. The Prime Minister of course said that he wants to phase out the oil sands, and Canadians should believe him. He defended the use of tax dollars for summer jobs to stop the Trans Mountain expansion. The Liberals removed the tax credit for new exploration oil drilling at the very worst time.
Also, many Liberal MPs ran in the last election opposing the export of Canada's oil to the world. Since they formed government, the Liberals have used every tool at their disposal to kill energy sector jobs.
Canada is the only top 10 oil-producing country in the world, let alone in North America, to impose a carbon tax on itself. While there are significant exemptions for major industrial emitters, it will hike costs for operations across the value chain, and certainly for the 80% of Canadian service and supply companies that are small businesses. Moreover, individual contractors will still have to pay it.
The proposed clean fuel standards—which would be unprecedented globally because they would be applied to buildings and facilities, not just to transportation fuel—will cost integrated oil and gas companies as well as refining and petrochemical development in Canada hundreds of millions of dollars. Canada is literally the most environmentally and socially responsible producer of oil and gas in the world, oil and gas that the world will continue to demand for decades. We are falling dramatically behind the United States and other countries for regulatory efficiency and clarity.
The Liberals imposed the tanker ban, with no substantial economic, safety, or environmental assessments and no real consultation, and a ban on offshore drilling in the north against the wishes of the premier of the Northwest Territories.
The Prime Minister vetoed outright the northern gateway pipeline and then intervened to kill energy east with delays, rule changes and a last-minute double standard. Now, the Liberals' failures have driven Kinder Morgan out of Canada. Construction of the Trans Mountain expansion has never started in the two years since the Liberals approved it, and they have repeatedly kicked the can down the road for months. The consequence is that crude oil is now being shipped by rail and truck at record levels, negatively impacting other sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and retail.
The Liberals would add uncertainty and great expense for any resource project that has even a ditch on its property, by subjecting all water to the navigable waters regulatory regime in Bill C-68. Moreover, their “no more pipelines” Bill C-69 would block any future pipelines and therefore stop major oil and gas projects from being built in Canada.
Kinder Morgan is now going to take all of that $4.5 billion in Canadian tax dollars the Liberals spent on the existing pipeline and will use it to build pipelines in the United States, Canada's biggest energy competitor and customer. The consequences are that large companies are pulling out of Canada and investing in the U.S. or elsewhere.
Encana, a made in Canada success story, is selling Canadian assets to buy into projects in the United States. Gwyn Morgan, its founder, did not mince words. He said:
I’m deeply saddened that, as a result of the disastrous policies of the [Liberal] government, what was once the largest Canadian-headquartered energy producer now sees both its CEO and the core of its asset base located in the U.S.
It is estimated that the Liberal failure to get pipelines built is forcing Canadian oil to sell for $100 million dollars less a day than what it should be worth. That is $100 million dollars a day that is not providing for middle-class families, that is not fuelling small businesses, and not generating taxes to pay off the out-of-control Liberal deficit.
RBC recently reported that in 2008, taxes generated by oil and gas were worth $35 billion a year for provincial and federal governments. That is now down to almost $10 billion a year in 2016. That is more than $20 billion a year that could have gone to health care and education or to cover old age security costs, or be invested in building bridges and roads. Of course, the Liberals promised a deficit of only $10 billion a year and that the budget would be balanced by 2019, but none of that is anywhere in sight. They choose to spend recklessly: millions of dollars on perks like renovations for ministers' offices, a $5 million hockey rink on Parliament Hill that operated for a couple of months, or $26 million for vehicles. Never mind the billions of dollars spent outside Canada, building oil and gas pipelines in Asia with Canadian tax dollars or funding groups linked to anti-Semitism and terrorism.
Never has a government spent so much and achieved so little. The end result is Canada is trapped in a debt spiral. The ones who are going to pay for these deficits are millennials and their children, and it makes life less affordable today while federal government debt increases interest rates across the board. That poses significant risks to Canada and leaves us utterly unprepared for a global economic recession or worldwide factors that the government cannot control, unlike the Liberals' damaging policies. Future generations will find that their governments cannot afford services or programs they are counting on, and their governments will be in a trap of borrowing and hiking taxes. That is why Conservatives advocate balanced budgets, because it is the only responsible thing to do for Canada's children and grandchildren.
The out-sized contributions of the energy sector to the whole country's economy and to government revenue is also why the future of energy development in Canada is one of the most important domestic economic questions facing all of us. That is what makes the Liberal layering of red tape and costs on Canadian energy so unconscionable, and the consequences so devastating for all of Canada.
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2018-06-12 21:21 [p.20790]
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of Lakeland, I oppose Bill C-69, which would have wide-ranging, significant impacts on Canada's oil and gas, nuclear, and mining sectors, and by extension on every other sector in the country.
Bill C-69 does not involve minor tweaks. It is a major overhaul of multiple laws and regulations related to Canada's assessment processes, and it would damage Canada's capacity to attract investment that benefits everyone. Canada is a resource-based economy and is a world leader on responsible resource development.
Those facts are among Canada's greatest strengths and contributions to the world. Canada's exploration and mining sector is a major driver of the economy. In 2016, it contributed $60.3 billion directly to Canada's GDP, 19% of Canada's total domestic exports worth $92 billion, and the employment of nearly 600,000 Canadians. As a sector, it is the largest private employer of indigenous people in Canada, often where jobs and opportunities are scarce, in remote and northern regions.
At the end of 2015, the value of Canadian mining assets at home and abroad totalled $171 billion across 102 countries. From remote and indigenous communities to large cities across Canada, and the Toronto Stock Exchange, the mining sector generates significant economic and social benefits for Canadians. Of course, the oil and gas sector is also a key generator of middle-class jobs and Canada's high standard of living.
The International Energy Agency projects global oil demand will continue to grow, with oil maintaining the largest share of any energy fuel source in the global energy market for decades. The average energy demand is predicted to increase approximately 30% by 2040. For context, that is the equivalent of adding another China or India, the most populous countries in the world, to the current level of global energy consumption.
Canada is home to the third largest oil reserves in the world, with recoverable reserves of 171 billion barrels. Canada is the fifth largest producer of natural gas and has the 19th largest proven natural gas reserves in the world, enough to supply consumers with natural gas for more than 300 years.
The Canadian Energy Research Institute says that every job in Canadian upstream oil and gas creates two indirect and three induced jobs in other sectors across the country. Scholar Kevin Milligan notes that without income derived from the resource boom, Canadian inequality and the well-being of Canada's middle class would be much worse.
The Liberals talk a big game about making life better for middle-class Canadians, but, in fact, the Prime Minister has turned his back on the hard-working men and women who have given so much to our country through responsible resource development. Last year, the Prime Minister talked about phasing out the oil sands, and a couple of months ago, he told the world he regrets that Canada cannot get off oil “tomorrow”. The cumulative impacts of the Liberal-caused uncertainty and their imposition of layers of cost and red tape are driving investment out of Canada.
The Liberals have imposed a carbon tax on everything, which is something that major oil and gas producers are not imposing on themselves around the world, and the anti-energy legislation and policies like removing the tax credit for new exploratory oil and gas drilling last year was at a time when more than 100,000 energy workers had lost their jobs after the Prime Minister chased more energy investment out of Canada than in any other two-year period in 70 years, more than half a century.
The Liberals killed the nation-building energy east pipeline with last-minute rule changes and a double standard of upstream and downstream emissions assessments that they would now formally be imposing on all pipeline reviews with Bill C-69. The Liberals outright vetoed the already approved northern gateway pipeline. Both of those were the only actual new stand-alone proposals for exports to markets other than the U.S. in recent history. They are forcing a tanker ban on B.C.'s northern coast, which is really just a ban on the oil sands and on pipelines, and they have imposed an offshore drilling ban in the north.
Even before Bill C-69 has been implemented, the Montreal Economic Institute says that “The message being conveyed to investors is: ‘Don’t come here to do business. Even if you fulfill all regulatory requirements, you’ll still face many obstacles.” That is exactly what happened to the Trans Mountain expansion because of the Liberals' failures and the Prime Minister's response was to pay $14.5 billion tax dollars for Kinder Morgan to take its $7.4-billion private investment plans out of Canada. It is clear, the Prime Minister's anti-energy policies are chasing energy investment away at historic rates.
Now, the Liberals would pile on even more regulatory uncertainty for investors in Bill C-69. The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association said that “If the goal is curtail oil and gas production, and to have no more pipelines built, this legislation may have hit the mark.”
In a recent letter to Alberta MLA, Prasad Panda, several associations directly impacted by Bill C-69 outlined the following criteria essential to attract investment to Canada: “Certainty in regulations, in order to plan capital investments of large magnitudes and reach final investment decisions in Canada's favour. Permanence, because if programs or policies are temporary or have an expiry date, they will be deemed too high risk to factor into capital planning life cycles, which span approximately 6-8 years. Certainty in the form of timelines. Performance-based policies, ensuring benefits to communities by tying incentives to performance-based measures such as job creation, research and development, innovation and capital investment.”
These criteria were hallmarks of Canada's regulatory framework for decades, with the most rigorous assessment, comprehensive consultation, highest standards, and strongest environmental protections in the world.
A 2016 WorleyParsons study echoes conclusions of the 2014 benchmark analysis of Canada against the top major oil and gas producing jurisdictions in the world. It confirmed: “Canada is a global leader in environment, Aboriginal relations, and governance of resource use, with state of the art processes, practices, and legislation. Canada is recognized internationally as a nation that has contributed significantly to the development and advancement of regional and strategic environmental assessment since the introduction of the Canadian Directive in 1990 requiring federal departments and agencies to consider environmental concerns at the strategic level of policies, plans, and programs.”
However, every time the Liberals attack the last 10 years of Canada's energy and environmental assessment and evaluation for politics, trying to keep the NDP and Green voters who helped them win in 2015, they empower foreign and domestic anti-Canadian energy activists who are fighting to shut down Canadian resources. It is becoming a crisis, and this debate is a critical policy question for the future of our country. Canada must be able to compete.
Of the top 10 most attractive jurisdictions for oil and gas investment, six U.S. states rank at the top 10 global jurisdictions: Texas, Okalahoma, North Dakota, West Virginia, Kansas, and Wyoming. According to a 2017 World Bank report, Canada ranked 34 out of 35 OECD countries in the time required to obtain a permit for a new general construction project. There are real impacts of falling behind in competitiveness.
In committee, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers representative said:
Canada is attracting more uncertainty, not more capital, and we will continue to lose investment and jobs if we do not have a system of clear rules and decisions that are final and can be relied upon.
...Unfortunately, CAPP and the investment community today see very little in Bill C-69 that will improve that status.
Suncor said, “The competitiveness improvements that we're achieving as an industry through ongoing innovation are being largely negated by the continuously increasing cost of new regulations.”
Paul Tepsich, founder of High Rock Capital Management Inc., said, “I'm not crazy about Canada. We've got taxes going up and regulations going up.”
In committee, the president and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada said, “Proponents making billion-dollar investments need to know what the rules are and how they will be implemented. You can't have this certainty knowing that the rules may change midstream in some way.”
The Liberals have already caused a regulatory vacuum for major resource developers since January 2016, and they have exacerbated uncertainty for investors and for workers. With Bill C-69, the Liberals might as well hang a sign in the window that says, “Canada is not open for business”.
Clear timelines and requirements, and predictable rules and responsibilities provide certainty. The Liberals claim Bill C-69 would implement short and clear timelines for reviews, but that is not true. The planning phase, during which the impact assessment agency would determine whether a project is in the public interest, for which Bill C-69 sets some guidelines but leaves wide arbitrary discretion for the minister to define, would add an extra 180 days, which could be extended by 90 days at the request of the minister or Governor in Council. That is before a project can even get approved to start an impact assessment. Bill C-69 also does not establish criteria that a project must meet, or what constitutes a complete application for it to be granted an assessment in the first place.
The bill has been amended so the minister would no longer have the power to veto a project before it can move on to the impact assessment stage, which I support. However, under proposed paragraph 17(1), the minister could still interject opinions about the potential environmental impacts of a project that may or may not influence the impact assessment agency's decision to review. So much for objective, independent, expert-based decisions. Even after the Liberals pass Bill C-69, the parameters of the project list would not even be revealed to the public until fall, and regulations would not be fully implemented until 2019.
When the Liberals ram through this legislation, there will still be ongoing uncertainty for potential proponents of long-term, capital-intensive, multi-billion dollar, major resource projects, following almost three years of the same.
If a project is granted an assessment, there are still no concrete timelines in Bill C-69. Proposed subsection 37(6) states, “The Minister may suspend the time limit within which the review panel must submit the report until any activity that is prescribed by regulations made under paragraph 112(c) is completed.” Bill C-69 would allow the assessment to be stopped and started, and for timelines to be extended indefinitely. Obviously, there would be yet more uncertainty for potential proponents and investors.
In committee, the director of environmental services at Nova Scotia Power, Terry Toner, stated, “while the timelines in the bill provide some guidance for project proponents, the government's goal of process predictability is significantly diluted by provisions in the acts that permit limitless extensions and suspensions.”
Time is of critical value, and it can make the difference between a project built and a project abandoned. We accept that there must be some flexibility, but there must also be discipline and transparency in order to ensure investor confidence in Canadian infrastructure projects.
In committee, the president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission stated, “It is important that we all know, from the get-go, the length of time to get project approval. From our experience, industry can accept a quick 'yes' or 'no' decision. What is unreasonable is to get a 'maybe'.”
Unfortunately, Bill C-69 is ripe for a swath of “maybes” on project applications, because of the potential for suspensions, delays, and uncertainty about measures for applications and outcomes. Clearly, Bill C-69 will not deliver on discipline and transparency in all aspects of the assessment of major resource projects.
According to proposed subsection 183(5) in part 2 of the bill, the regulator may exclude any period of time from the time limit calculations so long as reasons are provided. If resource development proponents have a choice between multiple “maybes” over years of review in Canada and a timely “yes” south of the border, where do the Liberals think their investments will go? Unfortunately, the answer is already obvious in the flight of investment capital from Canada, with U.S. investment in Canada falling by nearly half and Canadian investment in the U.S. going up two-thirds.
While the Liberals claim that Bill C-69 would streamline and clarify the approval of major federal resource projects, its requirements create confusion and unanswered questions. For example, Bill C-69 mandates that proponents must demonstrate “health, social and economic effects, including with respect to the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors”.
Obviously, job creation, research and development, innovation, and capital investment from resource development reduce poverty, benefit the economy, and provide revenue for governments and public services such as health, education, and social services, as well as funds for academic and charitable organizations, but I think proponents can be forgiven for uncertainty around how their investments and initiatives relate to identity factors.
It is rich for the Liberals to argue that Bill C-69 would enhance scientific evidence in reviews, beyond what has already been done in Canada's regulatory system. In fact, during committee, Mr. Martin Olszynski of the University of Calgary pointed out that the terms “science” and “scientific” are mentioned only five times in all the 400 pages of this major omnibus bill that the Liberals are using all procedural tools to push through, while rejecting the vast majority of the over 400 amendments submitted by opposition members.
In the process of issuing certificates, the Canadian energy regulator is tasked with establishing a commission and undertaking public consultation. At committee, one of my amendments was adopted, which requires the commissions to make public any reasons for holding a hearing about the consideration of issuing a certificate. However, there still remains uncertainty around the assessment, and Bill C-69 would open the door to foreign influence in these public hearings.
Bill C-69 would enable increased foreign influence on Canadian resource development decisions because of the removal of the previous standing test, which ensured that intervenors in the process either were impacted directly by the project under review, or had specific knowledge or expertise that would contribute to the assessment.
Some claim that foreign groups have always been allowed to participate in Canada's environmental assessment processes, but that is just not true. This has only rightfully been the case for projects that cross international borders. Canada has never permitted foreign interference in the environmental assessment process for interprovincial pipelines or other resource projects in federal jurisdiction that do not cross international borders. However, the removal of the standing test now opens up this process to groups that are either directly or indirectly backed by foreign dollars or by Canada's competitors.
The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association warned that “[t]here are recent examples in Canada where the absence of a standing requirement has led to highly inappropriate participation that had no probative value with respect to the issues to be decided in the review” and that the elimination of the standing requirement could “be used to clog the hearing process in an attempt to delay projects to the point that they are abandoned”.
Foreign interference in Canadian resources is already growing, to the detriment of all of Canada. Millions in foreign money is funding opposition to the Trans Mountain expansion. It was used to challenge Canadian LNG development opportunities, too, and it is growing as a barrier to Canadian mining.
The Financial Post recently revealed that “Tides has granted $40 million to 100 Canadian anti-pipeline organizations”, which, in return, fight to stop Canadian energy development and access to export markets, disadvantaging Canada against the U.S., its most significant energy competitor and primary energy customer.
Foreign funds are interfering in and influencing electoral outcomes in Canada, too. A report to Elections Canada and Senator Frum has highlighted foreign funding funnelled to third party groups, such as the Dogwood initiative and Leadnow, to defeat incumbent Conservative MPs in certain ridings in the 2015 election, and to fight Canadian resource development.
I support Senator Frum's bill, Bill S-239, which would define foreign contributors, add classifications of foreign contributions, and make it an offence for any third party to accept foreign dollars “for any purposes related to an election”.
However, the Prime Minister defends using Canadian tax dollars to fund jobs specifically for activists to stop the approved Trans Mountain expansion, and he is resisting Conservatives' calls to ban foreign funding in Canada's elections, too, which makes the case that he seems to welcome foreign influences to deliver on his stated objective of phasing out Canadian energy.
Bill C-69 would put Canada's economic future at risk.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers warns that Bill C-69 would harm Canada's reputation as a transparent, stable, predictable, and fair place to do business, and this would risk Canada's ability to be a supplier of choice for world demand of responsible energy in the future.
Suncor's CEO warns that “Canada needs to up its game” to attract investment and to compete with the United States. Instead of upping its game, Bill C-69 is the equivalent of the Liberals folding Canada's hand.
The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association warns that Bill C-69 would damage Canada's reputation as a priority choice for energy investment. It says:
[I]t is difficult to imagine that a new major pipeline could be built in Canada under the impact assessment act, much less attract energy investment to Canada.
Investment in oil and gas is projected to drop 12% this year from 2017, and the Bank of Canada already says that there will be no new energy investment in Canada after next year, 2019. In the last two years, at least seven multinational companies have divested from Canada's energy sector completely, and many more have frozen existing operations or shelved future plans.
CEPA's CEO says:
Currently there is profound uncertainty in advancing new major pipeline projects. We now have a significant problem as a sector and as a country in accessing new markets for our products around the world. The development of new projects is grinding to a halt. CEPA member companies that have material assets in other countries are actively pursuing those opportunities because of the uncertainty and potential implications of further potentially seismic regulatory changes that will directly impact the pipeline sector. Our sector is suffocating because of it.
It is clear that Liberal red tape and uncertainty are already forcing investors and developers to seek out other markets, causing hundreds of thousands of Canadians to lose their jobs. Bill C-69 would make it worse. The Prime Minister must stop sacrificing Canada's interests to the rest of the world. Canada already has the highest environmental standards in the world and the most responsibly produced oil and gas.
Canada will continue to do so long into the future, if only governments would allow energy, and all responsible resource development, to continue to fuel Canada's economy and contribute public revenue for all levels of government.
Resource jobs are middle-class jobs, so if the Prime Minister truly cares about the middle class, he will stop increasing red tape and imposing policies that drive out investment and the hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs in every corner of the country that go with it.
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.
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