Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Alice Wong Profile
CPC (BC)
View Alice Wong Profile
2019-06-10 22:42 [p.28872]
Mr. Speaker, I have been to the north several times and have listened to seniors and to members of the organizations helping them. They are crying out for more resources. At the same time, they say that if the economic situation in the north can be improved, that is definitely a big driver. In our previous Conservative government, we viewed the north as a driving force for economic development as well.
Let us look at other nations, like China and Russia. They are both Arctic nations and they are now exploring a lot of opportunities for economic development.
Let us look at Canada and our Liberal government. Right now, the Liberals are arbitrarily hindering things and creating barriers to economic development in the north. I would like the hon. member to comment on that.
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
CPC (ON)
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
2019-06-10 22:43 [p.28872]
Mr. Speaker, I am not sure why the government has such a war on natural resources. Across the country, we see 100,000 jobs lost in the west in the oil and gas industry. We see that the softwood lumber sector has been without a deal since 2015. I remember the foreign affairs minister telling us it was a huge priority, yet here we are four years later, still with no deal and mills are closing across the country.
The fact remains that the Prime Minister is against fossil fuels. He has said multiple times that he wished he could shut down the oil sands and he was sorry he could not shut them down faster. This is just another example with this northern petroleum opportunity that the government is shutting down.
In Canada, our oil and gas sector is a huge benefit not just to us but from a climate change point of view, if we could get our oil and gas to either coast, we could sell it to many people in the developing world who are building coal plants. We could reduce their footprint by a factor of five. Would that not be a great thing?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-10 22:44 [p.28872]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the member said it was important to have reconciliation with this bill, and the fact that the three first nations affected, the Sahtu, the Gwich'in and the Tlicho, are all in support of this bill. Therefore, I could hardly imagine that reconciliation would be voting against those three first nations. I hope that when the member says that she thinks it should be reconciliation, she means that she will vote for the bill, which is for all the first nations that this affects.
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
CPC (ON)
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
2019-06-10 22:45 [p.28872]
Mr. Speaker, reconciliation is a very important thing. One of the things I have observed is that the government may think there is reconciliation and agreement at a certain level with the different tribes that are participating, but in many cases it does not have the support of all the people. It is almost like ratifying a union agreement where everyone needs to get on board. It is clear from the comments that I have heard that not everybody is on board and either more consultation is needed, or listening to the existing commentary and opening up that moratorium would be good.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-10 22:46 [p.28872]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my colleague from Markham—Unionville.
I appreciate having the opportunity to speak to Bill C-88 at third reading stage.
This bill is divided into two parts, as we have heard. Part 1 amends the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act while part 2 amends the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. It is the second part of the bill that I will primarily be addressing in the time that I have today.
Simply put, this part of Bill C-88 makes a mockery of the government's claim to seriously consult with aboriginal and Inuit peoples. Furthermore, it proves yet again that the Liberal Party is no friend of the Canadian oil and gas sector.
Part 2 of Bill C-88 imposes a five-year moratorium on the development of offshore oil and gas projects in the Beaufort Sea. This is not surprising for anyone who has followed the government with even a modicum of attention. The Liberals have proven time and time again that they are opposed to Canada's energy sector. Whether it be the carbon tax or Bill C-48 banning tanker traffic off of British Columbia's northern coast or the 180-amendment, Frankenstein monster of a bill that is the “no more pipelines” Bill C-69, or the cancellation of the northern gateway and energy east pipelines, or the continued bungling of the Trans Mountain extension, we can always count on the Liberals to find a way to make life miserable for workers in our oil and gas sector.
At every opportunity, the Prime Minister has politicized the regulatory and environmental assessment processes. Bill C-88 follows this already established pattern. As a result, it is no wonder Canada has been bleeding foreign investment funds and suffered economic stagnation under the Prime Minister.
Bill C-88 is about more than just the Liberals' clear disdain for our natural resource sector. This bill exposes the Prime Minister's false claims of consultation.
Under the previous Conservative government, we made a concerted effort to devolve power to the territories to ensure that they had the decision-making powers they needed to develop their abundance of natural resources in a safe, secure and sustainable manner. I will not pretend that we got it right every step of the way but there was no doubt about our goal and our honest attempt to transfer power to the territorial level.
In one afternoon, the Prime Minister derailed years of progress by the territories toward full self-governance. At a glitzy press conference in Washington designed to garner praise from the international press, he announced that Canada would be placing a moratorium on offshore drilling in the north. This announcement came as quite the surprise to the governments of the territories. Some of them received less than an hour's notice that the Prime Minister was about to throw their economic futures out the window so he could get a nice write-up in Vanity Fair.
Minister Wally Schumann of the Northwest Territories described how they found out about the ban and the impact it will have on our north. He said:
When it first came out, we never got very much notice on the whole issue of the moratorium and the potential that was in the Beaufort Sea. There were millions and millions, if not billions, of dollars in bid deposits and land leases up there. That took away any hope we had of developing the Beaufort Sea.
Really, we should not be surprised. The Prime Minister has always believed in a paternalistic, “Ottawa knows best” relationship with the territories, provinces and indigenous peoples. Mayor Merven Gruben put it well when speaking at committee in Ottawa. He said:
It’s so easy to sit down here and make judgments on people and lives that are 3,500 klicks away, and make decisions on our behalf, especially with that moratorium on the Beaufort. That should be taken away, lifted, please and thank you. That is going to open up and give jobs to our people—training and all the stuff we’re wishing for.
The Prime Minister has decided the future for the north and he is using this bill to make that happen but he never stopped and asked what the people in the north want, and they do not want this.
Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod stated clearly how his government felt about the announcement. He said:
It feels like a step backward.
We spent a lot of time negotiating a devolution agreement and we thought the days were gone when we'd have unilateral decisions made about the North in some faraway place like Ottawa, and that northerners would be making the decisions about issues that affected northerners.
Then premier of Nunavut, Peter Taptuna, shared McLeod's frustrations. He said:
We do want to be getting to a state where we can make our own determination of our priorities, and the way to do that is gain meaningful revenue from resource development.
And at the same time, when one potential sources of revenue is taken off the table, it puts us back at practically Square 1 where Ottawa will make the decision for us.
In my role as shadow minister for transportation, I have had the chance to meet with companies and groups seeking to develop in the north to provide jobs and future prospects to Inuit and other northern Canadians. I heard one phrase repeated over and over again: one big park. Stakeholders told me over and over again that they feel the Liberals do not care about their economic development, but are only interested in making northern Canada one big park even if that means ignoring the will of indigenous peoples.
As I prepared these remarks and delved into Bill C-88, I could not help but see the parallels between the top-down “Ottawa knows best” bill and Bill C-48, the Liberals' ideological oil tanker moratorium act. Bill C-48 is called the oil tanker moratorium act, but everyone knows it is an anti-pipeline bill designed to eliminate any possibility of a pipeline to tidewater through northern British Columbia.
The Prime Minister has a pattern of imposing his will on indigenous groups while still claiming to consult. Just like they did when banning northern development through Bill C-88, the Liberal government pushed ahead on Bill C-48 without consulting indigenous stakeholders.
When testifying at transport committee on Bill C-48, Gary Alexcee, hereditary chief of the Nisga'a Nation for the community of Gingolx, made the following comments about the Liberal government's consultation process:
With no consultation, the B.C. first nations groups being cut off economically with no opportunity to even sit down with the government to further negotiate Bill C-48.
In fact, Eagle Spirit Energy, a first nations owned energy company, is taking the government to court over Bill C-48 because of, among other reasons, the very lack of consultation. In cancelling the northern gateway pipeline, the Prime Minister ignored the input of over 30 first nations along the route who have revenue agreements in place. Again, this is the Liberals' “Ottawa knows best” mentality in practice, yet the Prime Minister continues to claim time and again to consult with indigenous stakeholders.
I oppose this Ottawa-centric anti-Canadian energy industry mentality and it is for that reason that I will be voting against Bill C-88.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-10 22:55 [p.28873]
Mr. Speaker, Bill C-88 is intended to enhance the involvement of indigenous people in the regulatory process. When changes were brought forward by the Conservative government in 2014, everyone was against them, including industry. They were saying, “Do not change the process. This is a process they are familiar with. Everyone is used to it. Let us continue to use it.”
However, the government of the day decided to get rid of the regional boards. It said that land and water boards were not needed. It wanted to have one superboard and it plowed ahead, even though everyone recommended against it.
When I hear the hon. member talk about disdain for industry by introducing this bill, it makes me wonder why she would say that when industry supports the bill. When she says that the bill is going to be detrimental to industry, she is forgetting that the bill is going to enhance the involvement of indigenous people. Is she saying industry is more important than the indigenous people of the north?
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-10 22:56 [p.28874]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for the question, although I will dispute his characterization of what I said in my speech. He is trying to confuse the issue, when, in fact, the issue that most indigenous communities have and that we have with this bill is part 2.
We have heard that indigenous peoples and communities were not consulted on this part of the bill. We know that part 2 would amend the Canada Petroleum Resources Act to allow the Governor in Council to issue orders, when in the national interest, to prohibit oil and gas activities and freeze the terms of existing licences to prevent them from expiring during a moratorium. Again, we have heard that indigenous communities were not consulted on this part of the legislation.
Further, this bill reveals a full rejection of calls from elected territorial leaders for increased control of their natural resources. We heard that. I am deeply concerned that with Bill C-88, the Liberals will continue to entrench into law their ability to continue to arbitrarily and without consultation block oil and gas projects.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are consistently trying to confuse as they ask questions tonight. I have described part 1and part 2 as the paradox in this bill. Part 1 is about the consultation process and reflecting on what happened, and part 2 is about ignoring the appropriate consultation process.
With regard to part 2, I would like my colleague to talk about how it is consistent with almost every single piece of legislation the government introduces in Parliament in being anti-resource development and against support for our industry.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-10 22:58 [p.28874]
Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize the very good work my colleague does as the shadow minister for indigenous and northern affairs and how well she keeps us informed about what is happening on the files she oversees on behalf of our Conservative caucus and on the work the committee is doing.
It is my understanding that with part 2, the Liberals are further politicizing the regulatory and environmental processes for resource extraction in Canada's north. They have consistently politicized these processes, as I shared in my earlier remarks. As the shadow minister for transportation, we heard testimony from witnesses on Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 who told us very clearly that first nations communities were not consulted when it came to the introduction of these bills. In fact, many of the changes being proposed in these bills were simply the result of direction that had been included in the mandate letters for these ministers. There was actually no evidence to support what the minister was proposing when it came to making those changes.
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Saroya Profile
2019-06-10 23:00 [p.28874]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.
Before I get into the details of the bill, it is important to look at the context of what has been happening over the past three years and what is starting to be a pattern of the Liberal government. The decisions it makes consistently increase red tape and bureaucracy and are mostly anti-resource development. This bill is no different.
I would like to talk about a few areas that show the context, which will then show that this follows a pattern that adds to what is becoming an increasing concern in the country, which is the ability to move our natural resources forward.
When the Prime Minister took office, there were three private companies willing to invest more than $30 billion to build three nation-building pipelines that would have generated tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic opportunities. The Prime Minister and his cabinet killed two of them and put the Trans Mountain expansion on life support. Bill C-69 would block all future pipelines.
In addition, the government has made a number of arbitrary decisions regarding natural resource development, with absolutely no consultation with those impacted. Today, we only need to look at what is happening in Alberta with the hundreds of thousands of job losses. Who has ever heard of a premier having to decrease the production of a needed resource throughout the country and the world because we simply cannot get resources to the market? This is because of the government's failure.
The northern gateway project was approved by the former government in June 2014. It had a number of conditions on it, just like the current Trans Mountain project does. In November 2015, just one month after being elected, the Prime Minister killed the project without any hesitation. It was subject to a court challenge. When we finally heard what came out of that court challenge, to be frank, it was nothing that could not be overcome. We could have dealt with that.
The court decision told the Prime Minister to engage in consultation in a more appropriate and balanced way. The court really gave what I would call a recipe for perhaps fixing some problems with the process. Did he wait for the court decision? No. He went out and killed it flat. With this approved pipeline, he did not wait for a court decision or wait to see how it could move forward. He decided that he did not want that one.
I think we are all pretty aware of the Trans Mountain pipeline as it has been moving along for many years. We know that many first nations support it and hope to see it go through, as they see enormous opportunities for their communities. Of course, others are against it.
What happened in this case? When the Liberals formed government, they decided they had to have an additional consultation process. However, did they follow the directions of the court in the northern gateway decision, in which the court was very clear about what the government had to do in order to do consultations properly? Apparently not.
When the court decision came down, we learned otherwise. To be frank, it was much to my surprise, because the Liberals talked about how well they were consulting and that they were putting this additional process in place. The court said that the Liberals did not do the job. What they did was send a note-taker and not a decision-maker.
The fact that the Liberals did not consult properly on the Trans Mountain pipeline is strictly on their laps, as they had very clear guidance from the northern gateway decision, and they did not do what they needed to do. They should be ashamed of themselves. Had they done a proper process, they likely would not have had to buy the pipeline, the pipeline would be under construction right now and we would be in a lot better place as a country. With respect to the Trans Mountain pipeline, the blame for where we are on that pipeline lies strictly on the laps of the Liberals.
I also want to note, in spite of what people say, that the courts have said that the process was okay, so it had nothing to do with environmental legislation by the previous government or with anything the Conservatives put in place. It was—
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-10 23:06 [p.28875]
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I note that you just notified the member that he only had several minutes left. However, his entire speech has not made even the vaguest reference to Bill C-88. Hopefully, in the last couple of minutes, he will refer to the bill we are discussing.
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Saroya Profile
2019-06-10 23:07 [p.28875]
Mr. Speaker, it was the Liberals' execution of a flawed process.
Energy east was another one. The former Liberal MP who is now the mayor of Montreal was very opposed to it. I am not sure of all the pieces that went into the Liberals' decision-making, but all of a sudden, the downstream and upstream emissions of energy east had to be measured. As people have rightfully asked, has that happened for the tankers coming down the St. Lawrence from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela? Did that happen with the bailout of Bombardier?
The Liberals created regulatory barriers. Trans Mountain hung on for a long time before it finally said it was a no go. I think energy east saw the writing on the wall, knowing that the government was not going to be its friend and create an environment in which to get work done. It could see the new rules coming into place, so it walked. What a double standard. Canadians who extract energy in an environmentally sound and environmentally friendly way have had standards applied to their ability to move oil through a pipeline that no other country in the world imposes on companies in terms of upstream and downstream emissions.
The final part of Bill C-88 is the drilling moratorium. It is perhaps the most troubling. It would allow the federal cabinet to prohibit oil and gas activities in the Northwest Territories or offshore of Nunavut if it were in the national interest. This is a much broader power than currently exists, which allows Canada to prohibit that activity only for safety or environmental reasons or for social problems of a serious nature.
As I have noted, Bill C-88 is another anti-energy policy from the Liberal government. It is driving investment out of Canada, costing Canadian workers their jobs and increasing poverty in the north. Like Bill C-69 before it, Bill C-88 would politicize oil and gas extraction by expanding the power of cabinet to block economic development, and it would increase red tape that proponents would face before getting shovels in the ground. Further, Bill C-88 reveals a full rejection of calls from elected leaders in the territories for the independence they desire.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-10 23:10 [p.28875]
Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the hon. member about the changes brought forward in 2014 to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. The act was created through the negotiation of the land claim agreements, which are constitutionally protected. The Conservative government of the day decided to move forward and make changes, which were challenged.
Why did the Conservatives make these changes and expect them to stick, when they knew that they were breaching the Constitution?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Saroya Profile
2019-06-10 23:10 [p.28875]
Mr. Speaker, in 2014, the Liberals voted for it. However, all of a sudden, in 2015, there was a whole mind change on the political process and the reason was to gain more votes. This was the main reason they voted against it, and for the same reason energy east was cancelled, northern gateway was cancelled and TMX is still waiting for final approval.
We talk about the environment. If the Liberals were really concerned about the environment, where were they when eight million litres of sewage water was dumped into the St. Lawrence? What did they do? Did they ask questions of anybody about what was going on? It is just nitpicking here and there.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-10 23:11 [p.28875]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to compliment the member for being able to get away with spending nine minutes and 30 seconds of a 10-minute speech not talking about the bill at all. Therefore, because he only got to speak to the bill for 30 seconds, I am going to give him lots of time now to talk more about this particular bill, Bill C-88.
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