Interventions in Committee
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View Kevin Waugh Profile
Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you, Minister and departmental officials.
Minister, one of the primary tasks of this bill, as you talked about, is to reverse changes made by the former Conservative government with the Northwest Territories Devolution Act back in 2014. As you mentioned, this included consolidating the four land and water boards in the Mackenzie Valley into one. The Liberal Party at that time supported it, including the current Prime Minister, and even your parliamentary secretary, MP Jones, who is with us here this morning.
I'm going to quote what she said at the time:
As Liberals, we want to see the Northwest Territories have the kind of independence it has sought. We want it to have the ability to make decisions regarding the environment, resource development, business management, growth, and opportunity, which arise within their own lands.
That is from 2014.
These comments actually stand in direct contradiction to Bill C-88, which extends powers to the cabinet to put moratoriums on energy development and to include the national interest, which, to be honest with you, has never really been clearly defined.
I will note that the Prime Minister of the day, when he did the moratorium, wasn't even in this country. He was in Washington, D.C., at the time he talked about the moratorium up north, and the elected northern officials at the time had less than half an hour to scramble to come up with the decision of the day.
I'm also going to talk, if you don't mind, about last night in the Senate, because it has major ramifications for northern Canada and moratoriums on northern development, allowing the north to make its own environmental and economic decisions. We have seen repeated paternalism coming from this government when it comes to energy development, not only in relation to northerners but as we saw last night first nations as well.
We saw it with Bill C-48 in the Senate last night: the B.C. oil tanker ban. As you know, Calvin Helin is the CEO of Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings, which is an indigenous-led group. He has been deeply critical of these types of moratoriums being directed by your government in Ottawa. He said, in response to these bans, “Is this what reconciliation is supposed to represent in Canada?”
That statement last night by Calvin speaks volumes, and we saw it last night in the Senate as they voted against Bill C-48. We'll see what happens when it comes back to the House.
We talk of an “Ottawa-down” approach. Can we let the north make the environmental and economic decisions instead of “Ottawa knows best”?
Bob McLeod
View Bob McLeod Profile
Hon. Bob McLeod
2019-05-16 12:39
In my mind, it will. Along with co-management of offshore negotiations, we have already done a study showing that it is both possible and feasible to go north. The Beaufort Sea used to be ice-free six weeks a year. Now it is ice-free 20 weeks or more a year. Bill C-48 only applies to the B.C. coast. We're concerned about Bill C-55. We understand that the Senate has passed an amendment so that the government has to consult before it imposes marine protected areas.
We think we're in a good position for that, going forward. We've had some discussions with other jurisdictions. We have a railway that goes to Hay River. We own a barging company now. We would have to look at some offshore off-loading and on-loading facility. We have a road to Tuk, so we have access to tidewater.
View Kelly Block Profile
Second, would a blanket moratorium such as Bill C-48, which imposes a ban on tanker traffic on B.C.'s northern coast, be good for our Canadian reputation and our economy?
Wendy Zatylny
View Wendy Zatylny Profile
Wendy Zatylny
2019-05-07 11:28
Well, Bill C-48, the ban, has been challenging to address. Certainly, the scope of the surface area was limited, such that two of the port authorities were not included. They're not caught up in that ban, other than in areas that we are flagging on the regulatory side: to be careful about issues, say, that you don't catch a bunkering, for example, or transportation of diesel.
I believe that in practical terms there is still the ability to continue to move oil. The signal that it sends internationally on its own would probably not have that much of an effect, because it aims to preserve the important space on our west coast, but any kind of reputational decision is made within a much broader context. The concern we have is that it, plus the current discussions around various pipelines, plus all of the other ranges of prohibitions or challenges to development, may end up negating Canada's positive reputation abroad.
View Matt Jeneroux Profile
Thank you, everybody, for taking the time to be with us here today.
Captain Haakonson and Captain Stewart, are my numbers right that 99.9% of your industry is incident-free, in terms of assignments and incidents with British Columbia Coast Pilots Limited?
Roy Haakonson
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Roy Haakonson
2019-05-07 11:54
With the amendments to the Pilotage Act, I think the golden moment through this whole two-year-long and very tiresome process was that the principles of pilotage—meaning unbiased independence—were enshrined. That was a fall-on-the-sword issue for us.
Going forward, when you're talking about mitigation, with the commitment to revamping risk assessment into a more streamlined process, I know that industry is worried about costs, and pilots less so. The risk-assessment process, the TERNPOL process and the PRMM process, are all lengthy, very in-depth procedures.
As far as energy goes, we're confident in the mitigation that we're presently using. The mitigation is rigid, but we're always open to better processes when we talk safety.
I think the amendments go a long way to moving ahead into the future. Technology does play a big part in it. Pilots embrace technology, but again, in the risk-assessment process, it's a new item. Pilots don't have an issue with including it, sir.
View Matt Jeneroux Profile
Bill C-48 makes 12,500 metric tons of crude oil the cut-off for loading and unloading on B.C.'s north coast. Do Canadian vessels of this size and smaller require pilotage services?
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