Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Robert Sopuck Profile
Mr. Speaker, I have a perfect example to answer his question. Today the Minister of Natural Resources had the gall to stand and say, with a straight face, that he is denying a permit to allow Manitoba to deliver clean, green hydroelectricity to Minnesota, as though it were some spurious thing. It has been a five-year process with the National Energy Board. Having worked on transmission lines, I know that there are thousands of kilometres of transmission lines in this country. Once the transmission line hits the U.S. border, it is going about 100 kilometres or so.
To have that project stalled at the whim of a natural resources minister who really knows nothing about the file is nothing but shameful. It is also shameful that members of Parliament on the Liberal side are not protecting and defending the interests of Manitoba. Shame on them.
View Richard Cannings Profile
Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise tonight to speak to Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act.
As I said in my first speech on this bill, the overall position of the NDP is that northerners know best how to manage their own resources. We supported this bill at second reading and will support it again at the final vote, but we feel that there were some opportunities at committee to improve parts of it that were lost.
There is a lot of history to this bill and the measures taken over the years to bring more democracy to the north and to end the colonial style of government that has been in place since Confederation. It seems that with every step forward, there are a few steps back, and this bill is perhaps no exception.
This is a bit of an omnibus bill. It sets out to do two very different things. First, it would repeal parts of Bill C-15, the Northwest Territories Devolution Act, which was passed in the last parliament. Second, it would bring into force an announced moratorium on oil and gas exploration and development in offshore waters of the Canadian Arctic.
Bill C-15, passed in 2014, was also a bit of an omnibus bill in that it did two things. The bulk of that bill dealt with the devolution of powers from the federal government to the territorial government. The general public opinion in the north was that this was, as Martha Stewart would say, a good thing. However, the second part of Bill C-15 went back on that, eliminating four regional land and water boards and replacing them with a single superboard. The feeling was that this was not a good thing. Those four boards were originally created out of land claim agreements and negotiations with various first nations in the Mackenzie Valley area, and the new superboard significantly reduced the input those first nations would have on resource management decisions.
In passing, I will note that the previous Conservative government did similar things to the Yukon, so the present federal government had to remove contested reforms to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act litigated by Yukon first nations. This led to Bill C-17, which rescinded those contested reforms in 2017.
I will return to the Northwest Territories and a brief list of modern agreements and treaties. There are a few smaller ones I will not mention. The member for the Northwest Territories has told me that there are 10 more that are in the process of negotiation as well, but I will just mention four here.
First, the Inuvialuit agreement covers the northern part of the Mackenzie Delta, the Beaufort Sea and the Northwest Territories portion of the Arctic Archipelago. That region is outside the areas covered in the regional land and water boards covered in Bill C-88, but it does bear on the second part of the offshore and gas exploration part of this bill.
Second, the Gwich’in agreement covers the southern portion of the Mackenzie Delta and the northern part of the Mackenzie Mountains.
Third, the Sahtu Dene and Métis agreement covers the region around Great Bear Lake and the adjacent Mackenzie Mountains.
Fourth, the Tlicho Land Resources and Self-Government Agreement covers the area north of Great Slave Lake.
These agreements are modern-day treaties that create and confirm indigenous rights and are protected by section 35 of the Constitution. The Gwich'in, Sahtu and Tlicho agreements contain provisions for the creation of a system of co-management boards enacted by the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. On each of these boards, there are four members and a chair. Two of the four members are nominated or appointed by the Gwich'in, Sahtu or Tlicho so that they have an equal partnership in those decisions.
In parts of the Northwest Territories where there is no settled land claim, the main board created by the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, is in operation. In the lnuvialuit Settlement Region, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency conducts environmental assessments.
This was all working well until the previous federal Conservative government came to power and was looking for ways to speed up resource development. It commissioned the McCrank report in 2007, which eventually put forward two options to streamline the assessment processes in the Northwest Territories, both of which would significantly affect the operations of the regional land and water boards. Option one was to eliminate the boards and replace them with a superboard. The McCrank report warned that this option would take a long time to implement, as it would necessitate renegotiation of the land claims affected and a lot more consultation on top of that. Option two would keep the boards but reduce their mandates. Again, there would be a lot of consultation needed but perhaps not a full renegotiation of the treaties.
In its habit of cutting corners and ignoring indigenous rights, the Harper government picked option one but dropped the pesky renegotiation and consultation requirement and then slipped that into Bill C-15, introduced in December 2013. Bill C-15 was primarily meant to implement the provisions in the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement. However, as I mentioned, it contained a kind of poison pill in the form of changes to the land and water co-management boards. The Harper bill eliminated the regional boards in favour of a single superboard consisting of ten members and a chair. These changes were widely and wildly unpopular in the Northwest Territories, and contrary to the wishes of northerners.
In committee, we heard from a number of witnesses about the negative effects of Bill C-15 and the legal battle it unleashed. I would like to quote, first, directly from the testimony of Chief Alfonz Nitsiza, of the Tlicho government. He testified:
The Wek'èezhii Land and Water Board [the Tlicho board] and other boards in the Northwest Territories would be replaced with a single super-board. Instead of appointing 50% of the board members, as our Tlicho agreement requires, the Tlicho Government would appoint only one out of 11 members on this super-board. The Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act amendments could allow decisions about Wek'èezhii to potentially be made by a panel of the super-board that could lack Tlicho Government appointees entirely. This was unacceptable to us. Tlicho were promised something different in their treaty from what was designed in the Northwest Territories Devolution Act. The treaty promise was broken with no good reason, so we went to the courts for justice.
The Tlicho Government immediately sought an injunction from the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories. That injunction was granted. It prevents the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act amendments from coming into force, and remains in effect to this day. You should also know that the underlying lawsuit also remains active, pending the results of this legislative process. The injunction will remain in effect until either a new law is passed [this one] or our lawsuit regarding the Northwest Territories Devolution Act runs its course.
The Gwich'in representative at committee, David Wright, also mentioned the damage that even this temporary dissolution of regional boards would do to regulatory capacity in the Northwest Territories. He said:
The injunction says the Tlicho, in particular, because they were the primary litigant in that case, would suffer irreparable harm if those amendments were brought into force, because what it would mean is that the Tlicho, Sahtu and Gwich'in land and water boards would be dismantled. Picture staff being sent packing, corporate memory and resources and capacity being disbanded, and the single Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board being created.
The irreparable harm is at that institutional bureaucratic capacity level, and it would take a lot to get that engine going again if the court result was ultimately favourable and was in line with the findings of Justice Shaner, I believe, in the injunction case.
In other words, depending on what level of court this stopped at, if the result was, yes, indeed, this is an unconstitutional set of amendments that go against land claim agreements, then you would have to restart these boards years from now, which would just be lost time and waste and uncertainty.
We also heard from Bob Mcleod, the Premier of the Northwest Territories, regarding the need for the timely passage of Bill C-88. The premier said:
The Government of the Northwest Territories supports swift passage of Bill C-88. The implications of not proceeding with the bill within the lifetime of this government and retaining the status quo are significant. Amendments to the MVRMA have been on the books for five years, and we don't want any more uncertainty associated with our regulatory regime. Resource developers are contemplating investing in developing the Northwest Territories' rich natural resources, and everyone benefits from regulatory certainty.
Here we are with Bill C-88 before us. Part of this bill is what the Northwest Territories wants. It wants the devolution of powers. It wants to keep the regional boards.
However, there is a part 2. This is kind of a mini-omnibus bill. I will now go to the second part of Bill C-88, which deals with the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. This began in late 2016, when the Prime Minister was meeting with President Barack Obama and they both gave what was called the “United States-Canada Joint Arctic Leaders' Statement”.
In that statement, President Obama said that the U.S. was designating the vast majority of U.S. waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas as indefinitely off limits to offshore oil and gas leasing. At the same time, it seemed that Canada felt obliged to designate all Canadian waters as indefinitely off limits to future offshore Arctic oil and gas licensing, to be reviewed every five years through a climate and marine science-based life-cycle assessment. The Prime Minister made this decision without properly consulting any form of government in the north. He made a phone call to everybody 20 minutes before the fact. Northwest Territories Premier Bob Mcleod reacted by issuing a red alert, calling for an urgent national debate on the future of the Northwest Territories and saying that the Prime Minister's announcement was the re-emergence of colonialism.
A year later, in October 2017, I spoke to Duane Smith, the board chair of Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. This was at the Generation Energy Forum meetings in Winnipeg. A year later, he was still hopping mad and very concerned about this issue. In 2016, he stated, “There was a total lack of consultation prior to the imposition of the moratorium. This and the subsequent changes to key legislation impacting our marine areas are actions inconsistent with the way the Crown is required to engage with its Indigenous counterparts.”
These concerns were again heard loud and clear in committee testimony. Merven Gruben, the mayor of Tuktoyaktuk, said:
I just didn't want this to be seen again as another case of Ottawa throwing in this moratorium and showing us what to do—do as I say, you know. That's what I didn't like. I thought we were going to be...but there was no negotiation. You just do this. Ottawa says if you do this, you do that.
In response to the concerns of northerners, Canada began a consultation process and agreed in October 2018 to begin talks with the territorial governments and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to reach a co-management and revenue-sharing agreement. Meanwhile, the current oil and gas development moratorium remains in place to be reviewed in 2021.
I would like to comment briefly on the rushed timelines faced by this bill. Here we are in June 2019 debating a bill that everybody knew was coming before the election in 2015. Consultations began on the Mackenzie Valley part of this bill right after the election and if my understanding is correct, the consultations were largely finished by the summer of 2017, yet this bill was not tabled until just before Christmas. It sat in limbo for 18 months. I can speculate that maybe it was a decision to bring the oil and gas moratorium into the legislation that caused this delay because it needed more consultation, but whatever it was, here we are staring the end of this Parliament in the face and risking the untimely death of this bill in the Senate. When legislation is literally being forced upon us by the courts, it behooves the government to move quickly, and that would have been to keep the two issues separate so the Mackenzie Valley act could proceed first.
I will mention a couple of ways Bill C-88 could have been easily improved. New Democrats brought amendments forward in committee, but were unsuccessful. New Democrats are disappointed that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is not mentioned at all in this bill, despite the fact that of all the bills before us in this Parliament, Bill C-88 seems to be the one most needing this reference. The bill deals specifically with resource development, precipitated by litigation put forth by indigenous peoples, pointing out, with good reason, that treaties have been broken, their views ignored and consultations not done.
The Liberal government supported the private member's bill of my colleague, the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, on putting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into every appropriate legislation that the government produces, but there is no mention of that at all, nor the underlying concept of free, prior and informed consent in this bill. This was brought up in committee testimony as well.
In its brief, the Northwest Territories Chamber of Commerce argued that the final decision to prohibit certain works and activities in the national interest “needs to be approved by the Indigenous Nation of the prescribed area who are the stewards of the area but also rely on the land to provide economic independence” to their membership.
In its brief, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation said:
Further, while the Oceans Act and CPRA include non-derogation clauses, the requirement to consult with those who hold rights in marine areas is not clearly articulated. It is important to note that the imposition of the Moratorium by the Prime Minister was done without consultation with any Inuvialuit in contravention of the IFA [Inuvialuit Final Agreement] and with the framework established and the promises made under the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement.
The IRC added:
The proposed Section 12(1) introduces “national interest” as a further basis for “freezing” licenses indefinitely. The national interest criterion is problematic as it elevates the national priorities of the day vis-à-vis Inuvialuit priorities within our traditional territory.
David Wright of the Gwich'in suggested that if it could not be inserted into this bill, reference to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples should at least be seriously considered when the Mackenzie Valley agreement itself is reviewed in the near future.
The second place that Bill C-88 could be improved is through a real commitment for intervenor funding in the review processes that the bill puts forward. While there is a separate funding source available for indigenous intervenor funding in the north, it is not enshrined in legislation and it is not available for non-indigenous groups.
Intervenor funding is included in Bill C-69 and it should be included in this bill as well. It is a critical part of any proper consultation.
To conclude, I will reiterate that the NDP will support the bill and hopes to see it move quickly to royal assent before Parliament is dissolved.
View Nick Whalen Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Nick Whalen Profile
2019-06-10 21:37 [p.28863]
Mr. Speaker, I have been listening with some intent to the debate. We had a very interesting set of remarks from the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa and then of course some questions from the member for Northwest Territories and then perhaps slightly backhanded support from the member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay for the bill.
Many of us were elected in 2015 on the sense that people did not want a “father knows best” approach to government any longer. The top-down, unconstitutional approach is actually what was stalling our resource development and leading to so many injunctions against resource projects.
Perhaps I should not say this because they might actually do it, but until the Conservatives take a long hard look in the mirror and accept their failure on this file, they will stay on that side of the House for a long time.
Does the member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay think that this bill would allow more resource development to happen in the north, or should we go back to the Harper form?
View Richard Cannings Profile
Mr. Speaker, the member for St. John's East is very attentive to resource issues across this country. I would just like to reiterate what he said. A lot of the failure to move forward on a lot of energy files, resource files over the last 10 years has been because the Conservative government was really trying to rush these through and by rushing them through, it cut corners. It did not do environmental assessments properly. It did not do consultation properly. That resulted in a lot of litigation in the courts on various issues.
Unfortunately, that has continued with the Liberal government. We have seen the same thing happen with the Trans Mountain expansion project, where the so-called consultation done by the Liberal government was completely inadequate and that put the project back for a year or so.
It seems that the rush to get these things through has resulted in very few actually getting through. Therefore, I would say that both the Liberals and the Conservatives are to blame in this regard.
The NDP is very much in favour of the first part of this bill. It would restore the four land and water management boards. It would do what indigenous peoples and the peoples of the Northwest Territories want and we are very much in favour of that.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
Mr. Speaker, my colleague from South Okanagan—West Kootenay brought up what is truly the paradox of this bill. On the one hand, there is part 1 which the government says it has put forward due to some lack of consultation and some movements made by the former Conservative government. It has said many words about that. Then in part 2 of the bill, I would suggest the government has done more with less rationale in terms of lack of consultation, arbitrary moves, creating moratoriums, and a new concept of “in the national interest” by the Governor in Council, all with no consultation.
I would like my colleague to talk about the paradox of what the government has done. I also would appreciate his comments on the timelines and why, with only a week and a half left in this session, we are being told that we are stalling this bill which was not actually presented for debate until very recently.
View Richard Cannings Profile
Mr. Speaker, I will start with the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo's last question or comment about the timeliness of this bill. Again, I just reiterate that we are seeing this with a number of bills that should have, and probably could have, been tabled a year or two ago, but instead right now, at the very end of this Parliament, we are being asked to rush them through.
We only had one committee meeting on this bill to hear from witnesses. I think it deserved more than that. It was the same for Bill C-69. It was a very big omnibus bill. I think only 48 witnesses were heard at committee on that bill.
We therefore end up relying on the Senate for sober second thought. That says a lot about the lack of work that we are doing here in this House, but to do that work, we have to get these bills before us in a timely manner. I think it is unfortunate that is not happening.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
Mr. Speaker, I was listening to the previous Conservative speaker talk about the Liberals and the NDP and our positions on various government bills in this Parliament.
I take real issue with some of his commentary on Bill C-68. I represent a coastal riding, which is heavily dependent on wild salmon for its economy. Members do not have to take my word for it. Our opinion on Bill C-68 was actually formed from people who have spent their entire lives working as fisheries biologists. There is unanimous support in my riding for that. It is a rural riding. I will not take any lessons from the Conservatives about C-68 and rural communities. I represent a rural community. It is on the coast. It is dealing with a resource of wild salmon that directly affects the people who live in my riding.
On Bill C-88, I think the member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay clearly elaborated to the House the testimony that we heard at committee from the people who are most directly affected by this legislation. I listened with great interest to his comments, particularly about the timeline that this bill is facing and that one first nations group was saying that it was either going to go through the courts or rely on this piece of legislation.
Given the mess that is happening in the other place right now where we are going to have government bills coming back to the House with Senate amendments, some bills having had trouble, does the member realistically think that Bill C-88, with the time that is left is going to see royal assent or is the government going to actually have to entertain the thought of bringing the House back in the summer months? Is that how much importance the government is going to attach to this bill?
View Richard Cannings Profile
Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford. My riding is in the British Columbia interior where issues are different. We do not have that direct attachment to the sea, and yet my constituents certainly told me during the last election that these environmental issues were very important and that things had to be done properly. They were dismayed at the Conservatives' gutting of environmental legislation, including navigation protection and the Fisheries Act and the way the National Energy Board was conducting its hearings. Those were all things that got me energized in the last election. I am a little disappointed, to say the least, at the slow place that the Liberal government has been taking to turn that around.
As to the timeline for this bill, what goes on in the Senate is fairly mysterious to me. I am not going to comment on how rapidly this bill may or may not pass through the Senate. I will just leave it at that.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-10 21:45 [p.28864]
Mr. Speaker, in committee, we heard quite a few presentations, and most were favourable to Bill C-88.
We heard from the premier, stating that he was happy with the negotiations on oversight and management of the Beaufort Sea, and that things were going well. Along with Grand Chief George Mackenzie from the Tlicho government, they talked about how they needed to see this move forward through the legislative process and receive royal assent in this Parliament. The negative implications of the status quo would be significant. If the bill is not passed in this Parliament, rising in June, indigenous rights and other federal-territorial initiatives, such as the five-year review of devolution agreements would be compromised.
Does the member agree with the premier and the grand chief that the negative implications of the status quo are significant?
View Richard Cannings Profile
Mr. Speaker, I totally agree that we need to pass this legislation quickly. The part that affects the Mackenzie Valley in particular is attached to a timeline of litigation. We are in an injunction situation right now.
If we do not pass this, that litigation will start up again and continue. If a new government is elected in the fall, it may well appeal this and we will be in this endless cycle of litigation. It is really incumbent on us to pass this quickly.
My comment to the member would be that if the government had tabled this legislation back in the fall of 2017, we could have been done with this legislation, and everybody would be working on other things. Instead, we are here in June 2019 facing the end of Parliament, and this is the result.
It has to be passed, and I hope it will.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
Mr. Speaker, I also want to join the parliamentary secretary in wishing the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade a full recovery. I know that everyone in the House is thinking of him and wishing him a full recovery. We hope to see him back here in the fall after the election.
I am going to start my comments on 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, with some technical details. Anyone watching CPAC rather than the Raptors tonight will appreciate understanding what the debate is actually about. I will then go broader with my comments and more generally into terms of the current government's approach to the energy industry and, I am going to suggest, the natural resource industry, which is putting us into an incredibly difficult position.
The member for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa in Manitoba talked about having the great privilege of spending a lot of time in the Mackenzie Valley. I suspect that there are not many people who have had that opportunity in their lifetime. Therefore, I think it may be a good thing for us all to put on our bucket list, travelling this beautiful country to see some of these beautiful places.
However, I want to talk about the Mackenzie Valley regulation management regime, which was enacted in 1998. It is called the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. It came into being 20 years after the Berger inquiry. It recommended a 10-year moratorium on development in the Mackenzie Valley in order to settle land claims and involve indigenous peoples in modern treaties that provide an integrated, co-managed land and water management regime delivered through a quasi-judicial process for the entire Mackenzie Valley.
The Northwest Territories, in its release, talks about it providing a progressive regulatory environment that integrates and sequences authorizations in one single process. It entrenches indigenous peoples rights and their governments' role and processes. It provides a way to mitigate environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts through conditions set by boards that represent the interests of all NWT residents.
The scope of the MVRMA lays out decisions and functions in a single piece of legislation for federal, territorial and indigenous governments. It eliminates the need for harmonization of substitution agreements and allows for life-of-project regulations from project inception, including conformity of proposals against the land-use plan, environmental screening and assessment to permitting site closure and remediation of major industrial sites. Decision-making is based on lines of evidence that consider science, traditional knowledge, economic impact and mitigation of environmental assessment, and socio-cultural impacts of the project and integration with other resource management legislation, notably the federal and territorial species at risk and broader social economic perspectives.
When we hear that sort of description of the process, I think there are many provinces in the country that perhaps could learn from it. Certainly the territories, in many ways, have moved forward with sort of a tripartite process for environmental assessments that we could all learn from.
As other speakers have noticed, the bill before us really has two parts, and I would say it is the paradox of two very different pieces of legislation that the Liberals have put together. One part is where they are moving back from some measures that we had put in place, which they actually voted for in the last Parliament. I would note that the Liberals voted for Bill C-15 in the last Parliament. They are very critical now, but they certainly did stand up in support of Bill C-15 and now would make some corrections to it.
This is part A of the bill and it is an amendment to the act, Bill C-15, Northwest Territories Devolution Act in 2014. A major component of Bill C-15 was restructuring the three land and water boards in the Mackenzie Valley into one. After this was passed, there were concerns expressed by the Tlicho and Sahtu first nations who filed lawsuits against Canada. In 2015, there was an injunction. The first part is reversing some of the work that was done around the land and water boards.
It is interesting, as we are trying to understand why that change was put in place, that we did have Neil McCrank as a witness. He talked about the process, about the engagement. Contrary to what the member for Northwest Territories indicated, he clearly said he was not given any direction by the then aboriginal affairs minister, Chuck Strahl, but he was asked to engage and come up with what seemed to be a better process.
It was not that this idea of the amalgamation of the water boards came out of the blue; it came through a process of engagement. One thing he said, which was an important piece of information, was that he always contemplated that the land use plans needed to be done first, so that all the land use plans needed to be in place and then the water board would just be a very technical group to deal with the actual assessment, so very technical. What I had not realized is that the land use plans were not in place. However, there was rationale and consultation, but obviously there was also in the end some resistance to that particular section of the bill.
Perhaps a more concerning part of this piece of legislation is part 2 of Bill C-88, clauses 85 and 86. This expands the Liberals' five-year moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the Beaufort Sea. It amends the Canadian 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 while the prohibition is in place.
What we have again is the Liberals politicizing the regulatory and environmental process for resource extraction in Canada's north by giving cabinet sweeping powers to stop projects on the basis of national interest. Who defines the national interest? I would suggest it might be Liberal interests in this case defining what is the national interest. It is certainly not national interests.
We have not been alone. We heard from my colleague from the NDP about the terrific concern when President Obama and our Prime Minister were in the United States, when 20 minutes before he was going to make an announcement, he phoned the premiers with 20 minutes' notice. This is not called engagement. It is not called consultation. It is not called discussion. It is called “We are doing this and, by the way, I am giving them 20 minutes' warning, so maybe they can react when the media calls them”.
The premier from the Northwest Territories and many others were scathing in terms of this action by the Prime Minister. They indicated a red alert: the Liberal government of this country wants to turn the north into a park. It does not care about their economic opportunities. It does not care about their future. It sure does not care about engagement and consultations.
We have created in legislation the opportunity for 20-minute phone calls to come any time the government thinks it wants to make a change. With 20 minutes' notice, by the way, Liberals are going to do another moratorium in the national interest. Rightfully, it is absolutely incredible that they are responding to concerns from indigenous communities in part 1 and they are ignoring concerns in part 2, which again is the paradox of this.
I will go to the broader picture, which is what has become incredibly clear over the four years. The government wants to not only shut down our energy industry, it really gives very limited care to our natural resource industry. I will go through a number of measures.
The government is all about superclusters and giving Loblaws fridges, but it does not understand and it does not care about our rural communities, our resource development and the enormous wealth and jobs it provides for the citizens.
Let us start with Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium. The Liberals talked about caring about consultations. How much consultation did they have with the 33 first nations that were represented by Eagle Spirit Energy? They want to build a pipeline in northern British Columbia. Now they cannot do that. There was no consultation. The Liberals arbitrarily said they would put in a moratorium on tankers carrying a specific product.
The Liberals pay no attention to the tankers going from Alaska, down the coast. They pay no attention to the tankers that are coming down the St. Lawrence Seaway, from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. However, they have cut off an opportunity for communities in northern B.C., through the tanker moratorium, to prosper and have a future for their communities.
It is so bad that the Senate took an unprecedented step. Senators were given the opportunity to review the tanker moratorium. They were able to go out and talk to communities. The Senate committee members had an opportunity. Their advice to the government was, to forget it, to get rid of the bill as it was terrible, wrong and unfair. They said it should not move the bill forward.
Unfortunately, Liberal appointed senators are carrying the day. I understand there was great arm-twisting that went on between the government and its senators. I understand the Senate did not take the advice of the committee members who had the knowledge, who talked to the people, who quite frankly did an amazing analysis of what the issues were. The Senate just ignored the committee, and there was arm twisting. It fits with the Liberals' narrative that they do not care about resource development and want to shut down the oil sands.
The next project, energy east. All of a sudden, energy east was going to be—
View Cathy McLeod Profile
Mr. Speaker, I absolutely talked about the bill. I went from the small picture of the bill and to the broader picture of the philosophy of the government. Obviously it all feeds back into what was a very arbitrary move in part 2 of Bill C-88.
With energy east, new things were imposed on the company that made it uncompetitive. All of a sudden, company representatives had to meet criteria around upstream and downstream emissions. They knew those same criteria were not being imposed on foreign imports. They knew they were putting good money after bad if they continued, so they walked away from the process.
As soon as the Liberals took office, they immediately cancelled northern gateway. The National Energy Board had approved it with conditions and the Liberals just cancelled it. Eventually, we got some very clear guidance from the courts around what needed to be done with indigenous consultation.
The next pipeline on the list was the Trans Mountain. Unfortunately, the Liberals did not bother to do what the courts had told them to do with the northern gateway decision. They were given a recipe and clear directions and they said they would follow that for the Trans Mountain pipeline.
The Liberals have put all their eggs into one basket. I know the Liberals have said they want to shut down the oil sands. They have done everything they can to do so. For some reason, they have decided they will support one pipeline, because they want to play both sides in this debate. They blew the consultation process. We thought they were doing it properly. They talked about how they were putting extra effort into it. However, we found out that the Liberals had not done proper consultations. They did not follow the guidance that was given in the northern gateway decision and they were put back to the drawing board.
Meanwhile, the Liberals bought the pipeline. From all accounts, they spent $1 billion too much and then they could not build it.
I want to talk a bit about this pipeline. The Trans Mountain pipeline is going to be very important for my riding for a number of reasons, and I will also link this to the Liberals' lack of concern for natural resources.
We have the softwood lumber dispute, which has now been unsolved since the Liberals took office. I have a community on this pipeline route which has just lost one of its mills. The people in the community are saying to please ensure the Trans Mountain pipeline gets built. They know it will not be a long-term solution but it will see them through. They say that the 18 months of construction for the Trans Mountain pipeline will see them through an incredibly difficult time, from the shutdown of their mill, their forestry industry and loss of over 180 well-paying jobs. Certainly, the Liberals' lack of ability for the softwood industry to get that deal done has impacted that community. Now the people in the community are pleading to get the Trans Mountain pipeline built.
Here we have a bill, one for which the Liberals voted. In part A, they are making some changes to deal with the court issue. However, part B is really about the Liberals' anti-energy position, their anti-natural resources position, their desire to shut down the oil stands and their desire to shut down drilling in the Beaufort.
We all recognize we need to move toward a lighter carbon footprint. However, why should we be importing oil when the demand is there? Technology is going to take us there. Meanwhile, Canada needs to benefit from the opportunities we have. The government is totally uninterested and unwilling to do so.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-10 22:06 [p.28867]
Mr. Speaker, I want to correct the member. She mentioned there were two aspects to this legislation, but there are three. First, it would repeal the restructuring of the superboard. Second, regulatory items negotiated with the Conservative government of the day, which we consider positive, are included. Third, changes are proposed to the Canadian Petroleum Resources Act.
I was very pleased to hear the hon. member talk about the need to listen to people who were impacted. In 2014, the consultant who was hired heard many presentations in the first round of discussions, during which indigenous governments and the Government of the Northwest Territories sat in the same room. All governments there indicated they did not support the changes. There was not one word of support at that time. However, the consultant still chose to recommend that changes be made in three different sections of the bill.
Bill C-88 is an important bill. It is now supported by the Government of the Northwest Territories, which has provided written support. The Tlicho government, the Gwich’in government and the Sahtu government support it. All the impacted indigenous governments, along with the Government of the Northwest Territories, support it.
Now that the member has been reassured that governments in the Northwest Territories support Bill C-88 and that it is positive, will she vote to support it?
View Cathy McLeod Profile
Mr. Speaker, I have to talk about the paradox of the bill. Part 1 has two parts to it. Part 2 has received no consultation. The Governor in Council can impose moratoriums in the national interest. Doing things this way has never happened in our energy industry.
The Liberal government is, without consultation, embedding moratorium measures in legislation, providing governments the ability to be arbitrary in future decisions. Part 2 is fundamentally wrong, in my opinion.
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