Interventions in Committee
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View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I also wanted to pass along some thanks to the interpreters in the booth, the technical folks and the staff who sit behind us and prepare us for these meetings. This wouldn't be able to happen without you.
Minister, this is a great week for Canada. I'm really excited about the prospect of Trans Mountain. You've been a leader in our party not only on the infrastructure file, but since you've taken over this very delicate but economically vital matter of twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline. You've been a very steady hand at the wheel.
I just want to get a sense from you of how important it is not only to you personally but also to Albertans to have this significant victory in finally getting an opportunity to triple the capacity of this pipeline.
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
Thank you very much, Minister.
In your opening remarks, you chastised the Conservatives for wanting to do appeals and for taking the legislative route. I must admit that I was also nervous about the path that had been chosen. You and the Minister of Finance convinced me that it was the right way and, of course, I guess now I have to admit that I was wrong on this and you were right, so congratulations on that.
I also have found that some of the opposition rhetoric on this project—including at today's meeting, when the member suggested that somehow we should have begun the process of obtaining permits and entering into construction contracts prior to the completion of the process—demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of how this process is meant to work. How irresponsible would it have been to prejudge the outcome or to have rushed this court-required and constitutionally required process?
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
I'm sorry, Mr. Minister, but were all those decisions and mistakes that were highlighted in the Federal Court of Appeal decision made when the Conservatives where in power?
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
We've had a lot of difficulty until very recently on clearing exploratory drilling on the east coast, and of course we have the injunction on TMX. Bill C-69 seems to achieve the right balance and seems to push us beyond the mistakes that existed in CEAA 2012 to ensure these types of mistakes don't happen again. Are you confident that's the case?
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
We were very excited to see that completed in December to provide an off-ramp from exploratory drilling and massive environmental assessments on a well-by-well basis. That's a great initiative from your and Minister McKenna's departments.
Another concern that's been expressed to me is that we want to make sure the Canadian building trades have access to as much of the work on the Trans Mountain expansion as possible. I know there are different thresholds and limits in other projects. How can we ensure that Canadian workers benefit as much as possible from this megaproject?
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
As a final very short question, there's been some scuttlebutt at the table here about whether or not a constitutional right is implicated in this process. I'm perhaps not as close to this issue as you are, but do you feel that the section 35 rights of indigenous peoples are implicated by the expansion, and was that something that we were trying to make sure we got right with Bill C-69?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all the witnesses who are here today.
Mr. Wilson, as you well know, my riding is New Brunswick Southwest, which borders the state of Maine. I'm wondering if you could speak directly to the impact, opportunities and maybe challenges that the ratification of CPTPP, CETA and soon to be CUSMA have and will have for Atlantic Canada.
Thank you.
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
I'll just add to that, Mr. Wilson.
This committee has studied the small to medium-sized enterprises, how to make trade real for them and also how they could take advantage of that.
When we were in Washington on the steel and aluminum tariffs, one of the messages that definitely resonated with me was when one of the members of Congress said that with regard to President Trump, his sensitivity is, similar to our egg farmers, leaving people behind. So, anytime we can pull people forward, I think that's an important element.
You mentioned the business traveller visa. If any one of you would like to speak to that as well.... What are the benefits of the reduction in red tape for the business traveller, considering how integrated our market is in North America?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
Great, thank you.
To our egg farmers, you mentioned that 88% of Canadians would like to buy from Canadian farmers. What is the value of actually having a maple leaf on Canadian eggs, so that when I go to the grocery store I know they're from Canada?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thanks Chair, and thank you to all of the witnesses.
My question is for Ms. Citeau.
You had mentioned in your testimony about different committees, a committee on trade, a working group, and a sanitary/phytosanitary group. How does your consultation process work in feeding that consultation back to government?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
When we look at international trade or expanding to different markets, is there a skills gap that government can help fill or support within your members?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
Great, thank you.
You also mentioned competitiveness, certainly between urban and rural areas. I represent a rural riding and also a coastal riding, so ratifying NAFTA is certainly an important trade deal for us in Atlantic Canada.
How do you see that for your members in the Atlantic region?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
In terms of expansion, then, on the innovation side, I can tell you that some of the farmers in my area have done amazing work on innovation, certainly working with government on that partnership. When we're looking at the barns or, as the chair mentioned, the happy cows, what innovation opportunities do you think are before us in terms of expanding to different markets?
View Karen Ludwig Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you.
Mr. Adams, my question for you stems from Mr. Peterson's question on the threat of President Trump's ripping up NAFTA. What impact would that have not only on the Canadian auto sector, but also on the Canadian economy?
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