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View Marwan Tabbara Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today.
I support Bill C-100.
Not that long ago, our workers and our businesses were in a state of economic insecurity. The U.S. president had demanded a renegotiation of NAFTA, which has guided our shared North American economy for 25 years. In response to that challenge, our government rose to the task. We met it head on, and it brings me great pleasure to say that we have been successful.
We are now in a place where we have secured our access to the U.S. market and have secured stability for Canadians. We have projected the economic relationship that Canada, Mexico and the United States have built together. It is hard to overestimate the importance of this economic relationship to Canadians.
In 2017, trade between our countries exceeded $1 trillion, more than a threefold increase since 1994, when NAFTA was born. The North American free trade zone is the biggest economic region in the world, encompassing a $22-trillion regional market of more than 480 million consumers. Additionally, with CETA and the CPTPP, we have now secured markets of a combined total of 1.5 billion consumers. Not only have our renegotiations secured our access to this market, but the new NAFTA will reinforce the strong economic ties and support economic opportunities.
Our achievements have brought back predictability and stability to the economic relationships between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. This modern trilateral agreement turns the page and focuses on what makes our economic relationship so successful: stability, economic integration and rules that work for our businesses and our workers.
From the start of the negotiations, Canada had three primary objectives. The first was to preserve important NAFTA provisions and market access to the U.S. and Mexico. The second was to modernize and improve the agreement where possible. The third was to reinforce the security and stability of our market access into the U.S. and Mexico for Canadian businesses.
We have achieved those objectives.
First and foremost, the new agreement would preserve Canada's market access into the United States and Mexico, securing our most important trading partnership. Canada's preferential access to these markets is vital to the continuing prosperity of Canadian workers whose livelihoods rely on trade.
As two of Canada's largest trading partners, it was a priority for our government to ensure that modernizing NAFTA would not allow for any disruption of North American integrated supply chain. We understand how vital this is to Canadian companies and to exporters.
As an annual average, from 2015 to 2017, Canada exported more than 355 billion dollars' worth of goods to the United States, Canada's top export market. For the same time period, Canada exported an annual average of 12.4 billion dollars' worth of goods to Mexico, Canada's fifth-largest export market.
The CUSMA ensures continued preferential access to these key export destinations. The new NAFTA preserves our market access. This means that duty free access for all non-agricultural goods from NAFTA will be maintained. For agricultural goods, Canadian exports will also continue to benefit from duty-free access for nearly 89% of U.S. agriculture tariff lines and 91% of Mexican tariff lines.
This is a big deal for Canadian exporters and a big deal for Canadian farmers.
Maintaining these tariff outcomes provide Canadians with an advantage over those countries without a preferential trade agreement with the United States and Mexico. It also ensures predictability and continued secure market access for Canadian exporters to our largest trading partner.
Other key elements of NAFTA are also preserved, including chapter 19 and state-to-state dispute settlement, the cultural exception and temporary entry for business persons. The new agreement also creates new opportunities for Canadians. It opens new market access opportunities in the U.S. market and improves existing market access.
It has new customs and trade facilitation measures that will reduce red tape and make it easier for companies to move goods across our border, including by eliminating paper process and providing a single portal for trade to submit most important documents electronically. This will make it fast and efficient, while keeping up with a fast-paced industry in the 21st century.
The agreement includes a new stand-alone chapter on rules of origin and origin procedures for textiles and apparel goods that will support Canada's textile and apparel sector.
The new NAFTA enhances regulatory transparency and predictability, which will provide added assurance for exporters that their goods will make it to market and not be delayed by unjustified or unclear measures at the border.
The new NAFTA also ensures Canada's agricultural and processed food exports can rely on sanitary measures that are risk-based and that increase predictability of market access, so products make it to market in a reasonable amount of time.
In addition, the section 232 side letter on autos and auto parts provides added security and stability for Canadian automotive and parts companies that export to the U.S. market and will reaffirm Canada's attractiveness as an investment destination for automotive and parts manufacturers.
I want to speak a little about the auto sector now.
In the new NAFTA agreement, we made key changes. One was that the parts for automakers used to be at 62.5% of North American parts. The new NAFTA agreement will raise it to 75% by 2023. This will increase North American parts made and will ensure that we increase and stabilize the auto sector.
Another addition to this new NAFTA deal on auto is that wages are at least $16 an hour, which will help keep jobs in Canada, instead of what we have seen with jobs going to Mexico. This increase in wages and stability in wages will ensure we keep jobs here.
I want to talk about Toyota in my riding. Canada will now produce the Lexus NX crossover and it will selling the RX sport utility in 2022. Up until now, these two vehicles have only been made in Japan. This will be the first time these two lines will be made in Canada. We are securing jobs, particularly in and around my region of Kitchener South—Hespeler.
I also want to mention that the federal government last year invested $110 million to support 8,000 jobs in southwestern Ontario. That will help create an additional 450 new jobs in the auto sector.
This is a progressive agreement that meets the needs of the 21st century, including bringing obligations on labour and environment directly into the agreement and subjecting them to dispute settlement.
The new NAFTA preserves key elements of the North American trading relationship, allowing for our continued regional prosperity and stability. It reinforces the strong economic ties among Canada, Mexico and the United States, while also recognizing the importance of progressive and inclusive trade, including key outcomes in areas such as labour and environment. This modernized agreement is good for Canadian workers and Canadian businesses.
We have faced up to the largest challenge in U.S.-Canada relations in decades and we have achievements and outcomes that benefits us all. This is a great achievement for Canada. This is a great trade agreement. It modernizes it in the 21st century. I am happy to support it.
View Kelly Block Profile
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-18 19:15 [p.29346]
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise to continue my response to the government's motion on the Senate amendments to Bill C-48.
As I said yesterday, I, along with millions of other Canadians, would rather that Bill C-48 be consigned to the dustbin of bad ideas. I read aloud the letter from six premiers that highlights the damage Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 are doing to our national unity. I left off quoting testimony from indigenous leaders and elected representatives on this and other bills, which underscored the hypocrisy of the government's claim to consult.
I will pick up there, considering the backdrop of Liberal attacks on the Canadian oil and gas industry, and share some of the testimony, much from first nations leaders, that the transport committee heard when we studied this bill. These are not my words. These are not the words of the Leader of the Opposition or any of my colleagues. These are the words of Canadians who, day in and day out, are working hard to provide good jobs and economic growth while maintaining a healthy environment.
Ms. Nancy Bérard-Brown, manager of oil markets and transportation with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said:
CAPP did not support the proposed moratorium because it is not based on facts or science. There were no science-based gaps identified in safety or environmental protection that might justify a moratorium.
Mr. Chris Bloomer, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, said:
The proposed oil tanker moratorium act, Bill C-48, is yet another change that will compound uncertainty and negatively impact investor confidence in Canada....
In conclusion, the consequences of potentially drastic policy changes for future energy projects have instilled uncertainty within the regulatory system, adding additional risks, costs, and delays for a sector that the Prime Minister publicly acknowledged has built Canada's prosperity and directly employs more than 270,000 Canadians.
The approach to policy-making represented by the development of Bill C-48 contributes to this uncertainty and erodes Canada's competitiveness.
Commenting on the practical, or rather impractical, ramifications of this bill, Mr. Peter Xotta, vice-president of planning and operations for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, said the following on what this bill could mean for the west coast transportation corridor:
With regard to Bill C-48, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority assumes that government understands the potential economic impact for such a moratorium, given that there are very few suitable locations, particularly on the west coast, for movement of petroleum products, as was articulated by my associate from Prince Rupert.
Notwithstanding the fact that any future proposals would be subject to government's rigorous environmental and regulatory review process, this moratorium could create pressure on the southwest coast of British Columbia to develop capacity for future energy projects.
As I said earlier, there were many first nations representatives who gave testimony at committee. Ms. Eva Clayton, president of Nisga'a Lisims Government, said:
In the weeks that preceded the introduction of Bill C-48, we urged that the moratorium not be enforced before further consultation took place and that the moratorium should not cover our treaty area.
Much to our surprise, Bill C-48 was introduced before we had been offered an opportunity to review the detailed approach that the government decided to take, nor were we able to comment on the implications of the proposed legislation on the terms and shared objectives of our treaty even though the area subject to the moratorium includes all of Nisga'a Lands, all of the Nass area, and all coastal areas of our treaty....
We aspire to become a prosperous and self-sustaining nation that can provide meaningful economic opportunities for our people. This aspiration is reflected in our treaty, which sets out the parties' shared commitment to reduce the Nisga'a Nation's reliance on federal transfers over time. The Nisga'a Nation takes this goal very seriously. However, it stands to be undermined by Bill C-48.
Mr. Calvin Helin, chairman and president of Eagle Spirit Energy Holding Ltd., stated:
In that context, first nations people, particularly the 30-plus communities that have supported our project, have told us that they do not like outsiders, particularly those they view as trust-fund babies coming into the traditional territories they've governed and looked after for over 10,000 years and dictating government policy in their territory.
Mr. Dale Swampy, coordinator of Aboriginal Equity Partners, stated:
We are here to oppose the tanker ban. We have worked hard and diligently. Our 31 first nation chiefs and Métis leaders invested a lot of time and resources to negotiate with northern gateway with the prospect of being able to benefit from the project, to be able to get our communities out of poverty.
Please listen to how Mr. John Helin, mayor of the Lax Kw'alaams Band, identified those who support the oil tanker ban. He said:
What we're asking is, what is consultation? It has to be meaningful. It can't be a blanket moratorium.
If you look at our traditional territory and the Great Bear Rainforest, that was established without consultation with members from my community. The picture that was taken when they announced that, it was NGOs from America standing there trumpeting that accomplishment. We can't let people from outside our communities, NGOs and well-funded organizations that are against oil and gas or whatever they're against come in and dictate in our territories what we should and should not do.
In contrast to Mr. Helin's comments, Ms. Caitlyn Vernon, campaigns director for the Sierra Club of British Columbia, a witness who supports this bill, actually let the cat out of the bag in response to a question, when she said:
on the south coast, tankers pose a huge risk to the economy, communities, wildlife, the southern residents, and endangered orca whales that live in the Salish Sea.... Absolutely, I would support a full-coast moratorium.
Mr. Ken Veldman, director of public affairs for the Prince Rupert Port Authority put the views of Ms. Vernon, and others like her, including, I would point out, members of this House in the NDP, the Bloc, the Green Party and likely even the Liberal Party, in perspective when he said:
As you may imagine, there are a wide variety of opinions as to what's acceptable risk and what isn't. However, the reality is that risk can be quantified, and if you're looking to achieve zero risk, then you're correct that zero transportation is really the only way to achieve that.
That said, if our appetite for risk is zero, that has very broad ramifications for shipping off the coast in general.
When speaking to our committee this spring, Captain Sean Griffiths, chief executive officer of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, also reflected on the impact of an oil tanker moratorium on the Atlantic Canadian economy. He stated:
Twelve of our 17 ports in Atlantic Canada ship large volumes of oil and petroleum products in and out of port. I can imagine it's a way of life back in the east, and it has been for quite some time. We move a lot of oil in and out of our ports. Placentia Bay alone, for instance, has 1,000 to 1,100 tanker movements every year on average, so a moratorium would, I'm sure, devastate the region.
Bill C-48, along with Bill C-88, and the “no more pipelines” bill, Bill C-69, paint a pattern of a government and a Prime Minister obsessed with politicizing and undermining our energy resources sector at every turn. Whether it be through legislation, the carbon tax, the cancellation of the northern gateway and energy east pipelines or the continued bungling of the Trans Mountain expansion, which we heard today the Liberals have approved yet again, the current Prime Minister has proven, at every turn, that he is an opponent of our natural resources sector. If the government was serious about the environment and the economy going hand in hand, it would implement real changes.
Hypothetically speaking, let us look at some the changes the government might make. It could use scientific independent studies to further strengthen our world-leading tanker safety system by making changes that would not only protect our domestic waters but the waters of any country with which we trade. It could require all large crude oil tankers operating in Canadian waters to have a double hull, since a double hull has two complete watertight layers of surface and is much safer. It could even go a step further and inspect every foreign tanker on its first visit to a Canadian port and annually thereafter, holding those tankers to the same standards as Canadian-flagged vessels.
This hypothetical government could also expand the national aerial surveillance program and extend long-term funding. It could increase surveillance efforts in coastal areas, including in northern British Columbia. It could ensure that the aerial surveillance program was given access to remote sensing equipment capable of identifying potential spills from satellite images.
This theoretical government could give more power to the Canadian Coast Guard to respond to incidents and establish an incident command system. It could amend legislation to provide alternate response measures, such as the use of chemical dispersants and burning spilled oil during emergencies, and could clarify the Canadian Coast Guard's authority to use and authorize these measures when there was likely to be a net environmental benefit.
It could create an independent tanker safety expert panel to receive input from provincial governments, aboriginal groups and marine stakeholders and then implement the changes recommended by this panel. It could focus on preventing spills in the first place and cleaning them up quickly if they did occur, while making sure that polluters pay.
Hypothetically, the government could modernize Canada's marine navigation system and have Canada take a leadership role in implementing e-navigation in our tankers while supporting its implementation worldwide. This is doubly important, since e-navigation reduces the risk of an oil spill by providing accurate real-time information on navigation hazards, weather and ocean conditions to vessel operators and marine authorities, thereby minimizing the potential for incidents.
It could establish new response planning partnerships for regions that have or are expected to have high levels of tanker traffic, such as the southern portion of British Columbia, Saint John and the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Port Hawkesbury in Nova Scotia, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Quebec. It could work to develop a close partnership with each of these regions, including with local aboriginal communities, to develop responses to the unique challenges facing their tanker traffic.
This theoretical government could strengthen the polluter pay regime by introducing legislative and regulatory amendments that would remove the ship-source oil pollution fund per incident liability limit and ensure that the full amount was available for any incident. It could ensure that compensation was provided to eligible claimants while recovering these costs from industry through a levy. As well, it could extend compensation so that those who lost earnings due to an oil spill would be compensated even if their property had not been directly affected.
All these changes could be done by a government that actually cared about protecting the environment and continuing to grow the economy. Wait a minute. We are not talking about a hypothetical government. Every single one of the changes I just mentioned was brought in by the previous Conservative government. Unlike the Liberal government, we listened to the experts, which empowered us to make real, practical changes that made a difference.
While Liberals vacillate between paralysis and empty, economically damaging, virtue-signalling legislation, Conservatives look for real solutions. Case in point, the Liberal government is so preoccupied with appearances that it just finished its third round of approving a pipeline supported by over 60% of British Columbia residents.
I read the quote earlier by some who support this legislation. Some would like to see a complete prohibition on oil movement.
This ideological oil tanker moratorium, as I have said, is not based on science. We know that. That is why, frankly, we did not propose any amendments when this bill was before the transport committee. We did not believe that this bill was redeemable, and I still do not. There was a brief moment of hope for me when the Senate committee recommended that the bill not proceed. Sadly, that hope was short-lived.
This brings us to today and the motion that is the basis of our debate. I will take a few minutes to outline my thoughts on the government's response to the Senate's amendments to the Liberals' terrible bill.
Last week, the Senate voted on three amendments to Bill C-48. One, by a Conservative senator, which would have given the Minister of Transport the authority to adjust the northern boundary of the tanker moratorium, would have been an improvement to the bill. Regrettably, it was narrowly defeated.
The amendment in the other place that did pass cannot be called an improvement to this bill. While somewhat noble in its intent, it is a thin attempt to mask the fact that this entire bill is an affront to indigenous people's rights. The inclusion of these clauses in the bill does not change that fact.
Regarding the second part of the amendment passed by the Senate, I acknowledge that it is at least an attempt to recognize that this bill is an assault on a particular region of the country, namely, the oil-producing prairie provinces. This second part of the amendment passed by the Senate calls for a statutory review of the act as well as a review of the regional impact this act would have. The government's motion, which we are debating today, amended certain elements of this Senate amendment.
No one will guess which section of this amendment the government kept and which section it rejected. Those who guessed that it rejected the section that, at the very least, acknowledged indirectly that this bill was an attack on western Canada, would be correct.
This further demonstrates that when the Prime Minister or one of his ministers claims that others are threatening national unity with their opposition to certain pieces of legislation by the government, it is the ultimate doublespeak. Hon. senators who support this bill had the decency to propose and pass an amendment that was at least a tip of the hat to the alienation felt by western Canadians brought on by the Liberal government's actions. The motion we are debating today has stripped these sections from the bill, proving once again that this is just another step in the Prime Minister's plan to phase out the oil sands, regardless of the impact on Canada's economic well-being.
It is for these reasons that my colleagues and I oppose the government's motion on the Senate amendments to Bill C-48. We on the Conservative side will always stand up for Canada. We support Canada's natural resource sector, which contributes billions to our economy and economic growth. We support Canada's environment with practical, science-based policies that have a real and positive impact on our country's, and indeed the whole world's, environment. We support Canadians in their hope and desire for sustainable, well-paying jobs so that they can support their families, support each other and contribute to a happy and healthy Canada.
Conservatives support legislation that is based on science, research and the facts, and this bill is none of the above.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2019-06-18 19:45 [p.29350]
Mr. Speaker, I think the time ahead of us is somewhat short. This bill is now under a measure to allow it to proceed at a certain pace. For some, it might seem like a bit of a rush, that this is happening at some accelerated pace, but for those of us who make our homes along the north coast and the northwest of British Columbia, this has been a conversation that has gone on for more than a generation. We have been talking specifically about the transit of oil across the northwest and off the north coast to some other ports for almost 50 years. It has been 47 years.
Going back through some of the history would be important to help colleagues and people watching this debate understand how much this has been studied by Parliament, the National Energy Board, people living in the northwest and industry. I am not sure there is another transit route anywhere in North America that has been looked at so often and so often rejected as a good or potential route to pass oil products through because of some of the inherent risks that make the transit of that oil difficult to do securely.
Fifteen years ago, I started my career in federal politics. One of our objectives in running for office and ultimately achieving success at the polls was to put Skeena back on the map, to have the conversation that we were having between and within our communities as part of a national dialogue, issues about the environment and resource exploitation, about indigenous rights and title, and the obligation of the Crown of this place to do a much better job than we have historically done through our colonial past. Fifteen years ago, when I first rose in Parliament, the issue that we talked about was this. We were talking about attempts to protect the north coast, which by anyone's estimation is deserving of our respect and protection.
In the most recent election in 2015, four of the five major federal parties campaigned on the promise to do exactly what we are doing here today. Of the people sitting in this House of Commons, representing over 12 million Canadian voters, 70% campaigned on this promise throughout that election. Making good on that promise is the least we can do for the people in the northwest, who have again been discussing this for more than a generation.
In 1970, a House of Commons committee first studied this question asking: is this a good idea or not; is there a port to the north of Vancouver that would make good sense to transit oil? That review came up negative.
In 1972, the declaration of a voluntary moratorium, an exclusion zone, was put in place. Also, in 1972, one of my predecessors, Frank Howard, the MP for Skeena, as it was known at the time, passed a unanimous motion confirming that exclusion zone. All parties in the House of Commons at that time understood the importance of this. It was multipartisan. It was not even partisan or bipartisan; it had all parties in agreement.
The federal commission was struck in 1978.
The voluntary agreement with the United States came in 1988, which has been reviewed many times since and confirmed each and every time.
In 2009, Stephen Harper decided to ignore this long-held moratorium. He simply called it a cabinet utterance, which it was. It had never been written down into law. Therefore, as the then prime minister, he said he did not need to abide by it and then opened up the conversation for a proposed project from the company known as Enbridge, which hived off to become Enbridge northern gateway, a subsidiary, which is a neat trick an oil and gas company sometimes does to protect itself. It creates a subsidiary to run a pipeline, which indemnifies it against legal action if ever there was an accident. This is the same company that spilled massive amounts of oil and diluted bitumen into the Kalamazoo River, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars. It is unable to clean up the Kalamazoo, by the way, in Michigan in the States. It is a very shallow, slow-moving, warm river. For anyone familiar with the circumstances of our rivers in British Columbia, particularly northern British Columbia, they are not shallow, slow-moving or warm. Every oil cleanup expert in the world, those based in British Columbia and throughout North America, has described a successful cleanup rate for a diluted bitumen spill on the north coast at less than 7% recovery.
Let me repeat that. What would be deemed as a successful, A-plus cleanup operation in the event of a spill from a pipeline or an oil tanker on the north coast in the waters that we know, is 7% recovery and 93% lost into the environment. As we know, diluted bitumen sinks and causes havoc in a place that relies on our rivers and our oceans for our very sustenance.
The great privilege that I have had for this decade and a half representing the people of the northwest is to come to know in some small way the ancient indigenous cultures that have resided there since time immemorial: the Tsimshian, the Haida, the Heiltsuk, the Nuxalk, the Tahltan, the Gitxsan and Wet'suwet'en, all the way through and to the coast.
The privilege that has been mine is learning from that leadership that the responsibilities of leaders are not simply to care for ourselves in the moment in which we exist, but in all of our best efforts to represent people, to speak on their behalf and to leave the place better than we found it.
In Kitimat, British Columbia, which would have been the terminus for the northern gateway pipeline, it was the Haisla leadership in particular, elected and hereditary leadership together, who spoke with such firmness and declaration. They rejected the idea of bringing diluted bitumen to the north coast and sailing it down the Douglas Channel in super tankers, trying to perform three 90-degree turns before getting into the Hecate Strait near Haida Gwaii, the fourth most dangerous body in the world, in an attempt to move oil safely hundreds and thousands of times over the course of the life of a pipeline. There is no reasonable person who can offer the people I represent the assurance that an accident will not happen.
The Exxon Valdez spill of 1989 was just north of us. To this day, we can go on the shorelines where the Exxon Valdez went down and where it spilled. All we have to do is dig half a foot into the gravel banks and the water that fills back in comes with an oil sheen that is detectable as spillage from the Exxon Valdez so many years ago.
Most Canadians approach these questions in a relatively straightforward way: What are the risks versus the benefits, not just to us as a community but to us as a province and a nation? The risks that are entertained in trying to move diluted bitumen and any oil product off the north coast in super tankers that are not designed for our waters through very narrow and treacherous passageways so far outweigh any imagined benefits that it is a no-brainer.
I can remember a letter that was issued by the then natural resources minister. I do not know if colleagues remember. It was directed by the prime minister's office, we found out later. It said that those who are opposed to northern gateway are enemies of the state and foreign-funded radicals. That is what they called us. Not only was that an incredibly offensive and ignorant thing to say about fellow Canadians from the prime minister's office and his minister, but it ended up having the reverse effect in the place I represent.
What the former Harper government had not learned was that sometimes those people who are concerned about the environment and worried about oil spilling into our oceans and into our rivers are not all wearing Birkenstocks. They are not all fully paid members of Greenpeace. In fact, in the place I live, some of the most conservative people I know take that word “conservative” seriously, to mean they want to be able to take their kids fishing and to the out of doors. I need to respect that place in order to have that privilege and for them to have that privilege for their children. The former government accused us of being radicals, of being foreign-funded stooges to some great, grand conspiracy theory, which continues on today, unfortunately, for law-abiding, proper-thinking Canadians who are simply saying they want a voice in this conversation and that the government has to listen to them.
It was so shameful for any government of any political persuasion to stoop to those tactics, and it had the opposite effect. People where I live, those from the right, the left, the middle and outside all of our conventional thinking said, “How dare you” to the former government. In fact, it may have in part contributed to the Conservatives' eventual downfall; that the arrogance and the bullying represented in that attitude toward citizens whom we seek to represent backfired completely and exposed that government to something else.
To former colleagues and current provincial premiers who are waving the national unity flag, one way to not do national unity is by threatening and bullying other Canadians. We do not bring this country together by yelling at each other. We do not represent the best interests of Canada when we talk to another province in a disrespectful and offensive way. Unfortunately, what we are seeing out of some of our provinces is to suggest to British Columbia, the place that I call home, “How dare you stand up for things you believe in? How dare you represent your views politically and socially?” We can see what is coming out of Edmonton these days, and it will not have the effect that I suppose they are hoping for.
To my friends and family in Alberta, whom I have spoken to many times over these long years, and we have been campaigning and talking about this for a long time: We absolutely understand the fear that is exhibited, particularly by those who are involved in the oil industry, because they have had a hard go. Oil went up to extremely high prices, $140 a barrel, money was easily made through hard work and focus, and then, steadily, prices collapsed. The economy of Alberta, in particular, and of Saskatchewan as well, are very reliant on that particular economy. They fell on incredibly hard times, and things got more and more tight and desperate. It felt as if the world was lined up against them. However, no one is controlling oil prices, last I checked, effectively. Not the current government and not past governments. This is a cycle that we have seen many times.
In the face of this, we are also collectively challenged with what we are seeing in our world. The predictions and thoughts we were getting in the 1980s and 1990s about the impacts of climate change were that forest fires would become more intense and broader, that floods and storm events would no longer be single-century events but many times over many years, and that we are seeing the impacts and the weather pattern changes that are directly attributable to dangerous climate change. Albertans know this. We saw the floods in Calgary. We saw the fires in Fort McMurray, and we saw them in my region as well.
I sat down with a forest firefighter just last season, which was another record and devastating year. For those who have ever experienced or been in proximity to an out-of-control forest fire, it is devastating. It is so shaking to our very understanding of home and security when we see the full rage and power of Mother Nature in effect. However, I was sitting across the lunch table from a firefighter who had blackened eyes and was completely covered in soot. He had just got off the line. He has been fighting fires for 30 years. I asked, “How are you doing?” He said, “It's different”. This guy is to the right of Attila the Hun and way out there in terms of his conservative views on the world and so I asked, “How is it different?” He said, “The impacts of climate. I'm watching it”. I said, “You're putting me on.” He replied, “Absolutely not. It's the way the fires are behaving; the way the things are conducting themselves is not the way that we know.”
Now, with the bill before us, many in the oil industry are seeking certainty. It is a common refrain: “We want certainty. We just want to be able to know what the landscape is”. I will offer this to those interested in certainty: We want certainty too.
For millennia, the people of the north coast have relied upon the oceans and rivers for our economy, our basic social fabric and the sustenance that builds the incredible cultures that we now celebrate and enjoy across the globe. The certainty that we require is that these moratoriums that were voluntary, that were utterances from the government, will no longer be uncertain; they will be certain, and that is what the bill would do. However, the bill would also bring certainty to the industry, because last I checked, and someone can correct me, there is no one knocking on the door to try to build a diluted bitumen pipeline to the north coast, because the risks so far outweigh the benefits. It is because the political and social environment of the northwest is so connected to the land, so connected to the oceans and the rivers, that the viability of anyone proposing to build a big old diluted bitumen pipeline and put all of that in supertankers with some faint promise to get it off to overseas markets is not a reality. So let us create that certainty.
I mentioned in a question earlier in the debate that I worked alongside Jim Prentice, who has left us, while he was environment minister for the former government. Jim had come to the north coast, unlike many people who speak with some sort of authority as to how the north coast works.
Jim came many times. He saw the splendour and the grandeur. He worked with us on bringing forward the Great Bear Rainforest initiative. It had started under a previous Liberal government but had never come to completion. I worked with Rona Ambrose and John Baird. It was all these folks who had not exactly hugged a tree every day, but who understood the importance of this part of the world. We funded that initiative, protecting the largest tract of temperate rainforest in the world, and protecting it in such a way that includes the people who live there. We did not draw a line on a map around people, saying that the local communities were not important. We included them in the creation of a global leading conservation effort.
We bought back some, and some companies just simply forgave the permits they had to drill for oil and gas in the Hecate Strait, a preposterous notion for anyone who has ever been across the Hecate Strait. It is incredibly shallow, prone to storms, and has some of the strongest winds in the world. It is a place that so relies on the ocean being intact for the survival of the people there.
It was through a Conservative, and I got in a lot of trouble for it. Some people said, “How dare you work with Conservatives to get something done?” There was a headline in the Toronto Star, claiming I had sold out. People wonder sometimes why we lose faith in politics. Something good was done, and I did not care who did it. I did not care who got the credit for it. I just cared that it got done. It was something people in the region wanted. It was through the Conservative government that we did it.
This is a strange, circular moment for me. When we came into this place, we were fighting to protect the north coast. As this parliamentary session winds down and my colleagues turn their eyes toward the next election, those who are re-offering, I think sometimes life offers us a little bit of a bookend to a story, that where one starts ends up being where one finishes.
For the people I represent, who have been engaged in this battle, indigenous and non-indigenous, right and left, rural and urban, for more than 40 years, to see this bill come to pass as one of the last acts of this Parliament, in which there have been disappointments, failures and mistakes as there always are, they can look to this piece of legislation, know that it is in fact founded in science, know that it is in fact founded in deep and profound consultations that have gone on for decades, and know for a fact that what we are doing as a Parliament here today is good.
What we are doing here as colleagues, as parliamentarians, who are called to serve, and in our best ways represent the people of this great country, is something right. There will be those who think it is wrong. I would invite them to come to the place where I live. I would invite them to see this place and meet the people who rely on this place for their very survival.
Allow me to end with this. I was in Bella Coola in Bella Bella, Heiltsuk and Nuxalk territory just last week. It was in the Heiltsuk territory where the Nathan E. Stewart went down. It is a relatively small, segregated barge. The world-class oil spill response that this country has claimed to have for 20 years was unable to handle a relatively small spill that took place on the clam beds and areas where salmon spawned, vital to the Heiltsuk Nation.
That experience was traumatizing for people there. It was traumatizing because they had been warning the federal government for many years that the clean-up for spills was insufficient, our navigational responses were insufficient, and what they were trying to protect was so precious to them. They could not go anywhere else. This was their home, this was where their ancestors were buried.
In watching the response, the brave response from that community, and knowing the risks posed by a much larger and more devastating spill, the least we can do is listen. Politicians are not always great at that. We like to talk. I have been talking for a bit here.
We have had many failures in this place. Parliament has failed rural people and indigenous people more often than not. Every once in a while, we can do something right and we can do something good. Passing this bill, enshrining what has existed for many decades into law, will be doing something right, and I believe doing our jobs on behalf of all Canadians.
View Erin O'Toole Profile
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2019-06-18 23:07 [p.29372]
Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure how to follow my friend from Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook. I will try to do so with facts, as opposed to volume. He knows that my family, who live in Fall River in his riding, have a great deal of respect for him, as I do. Unfortunately, the speech he was given tonight with respect to NAFTA does not reflect what really happened in the negotiations and the deal.
As a Nova Scotia MP, the member would know that the future of economic development in Nova Scotia, the success being had right now, is attributable to two things. First is the amazing potential of institutions and entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada, and Nova Scotia in particular. Second was the strategic focus on trade and infrastructure that took place during the Harper government. Specifically, Atlantic Canada has never seen a larger investment than the awarding of the shipbuilding contract to the Halifax shipyard. The largest investment in the history of Atlantic Canada is attributable to the Conservatives.
I am very proud of that, having served on board one of the frigates bought previously by the last majority Conservative governments of Mulroney. When Conservative governments are in, they have to modernize and update the Canadian Armed Forces every generation. We see the current government buying 40-year-old used aircraft from Australia and being parodied on the world stage, but the investment at the Halifax shipyard is impressive. In fact, I will be going to see it again this summer.
What is interesting as well for the Halifax Regional Municipality, an area that the member for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook should know well, as his riding abuts the Halifax airport, is that Peter MacKay made it a priority for the runways at the Robert Stanfield airport to be extended. Longer runways allowed for more cargo flights to take Atlantic Canadian exports around the world, exports like lobster to South Korea. As parliamentary secretary in the Harper government, I was proud to visit the cargo terminal at Stanfield International in Halifax to see one of the first few months' worth of flights taking Nova Scotia lobster, fished from Cape Breton right down through to the south shore and to Yarmouth, to new markets in Asia, to secure a better price for the products.
In fact, the CETA trade deal was particularly beneficial to a number of key industries in Atlantic Canada, particularly on the seafood side, as was the bilateral trade deal with South Korea, which I was involved in.
If we do the rundown, at Cape Breton, the tar ponds that were talked about for generations, when I was in law school at Dalhousie or serving at Shearwater, were finally cleaned up under the Conservatives. The trouble is that by the time we get these projects done, we have done the heavy lifting and we do not get to cut some of the ribbons that the new people do. However, I would like the member to spend a few moments researching that.
At the moment, I cannot point to one major investment by the current government. In fact, when the minister in charge of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is based out of Mississauga, and when the Liberals tried to break with 80-year tradition to block an Atlantic Canadian jurist from the Supreme Court of Canada, defying constitutional precedent, I would suggest Atlantic Canadians have seen that there is zero priority for their needs with the government. There are lots of photo ops and selfies, but that is wearing thin on them.
I would like the member to do some research on the items I have just spoken about. I would like anyone to bring it to the floor of the House of Commons if I am wrong about the shipbuilding investment in the Halifax shipyard being the largest single public procurement infrastructure project ever in Atlantic Canadian history. As someone who lived, served and studied in Atlantic Canada, I am very proud of that track record.
I am now speaking on a continued debate on Bill C-100 and the amendment offered by the NDP. I might as well get to the crunch of the challenge we face here.
As Conservatives, we negotiated 98% of Canada's export access; 98% were deals negotiated by the Conservatives. That included the U.S. free trade agreement, NAFTA, CETA and the trans-Pacific partnership, which basically was agreed upon in the middle of the 2015 election, but then the U.S. pulled out and there were some changes made. There was the agreement with South Korea and a tonne of bilateral agreements. There are really only two or three free trade agreements that were not negotiated by Conservative governments: the Israel free trade agreement, which we modernized, and I think maybe the Chile agreement. However, by and large, 98% of our export access was negotiated by Conservatives. Therefore, we have been frustrated in this process, seeing a lack of attention on trade, exports and key market sectors to be put forward in the renegotiation of NAFTA. This amendment raises a range of issues.
Core to the problems with the NAFTA negotiation were not the outcomes on labour, because the U.S. was concerned basically about labour rates in Mexico. In fact, Canada is a signatory to more ILO treaties than the U.S. is. What is interesting is that, just today, in front of Congress, the USTR, Ambassador Lighthizer, viewed it as a success that Mexico is going to have a secret ballot in the union elections, something the Liberals oppose as a democratic approach to elections for union representation. They likely oppose it because Jerry Dias appears to be a senior advisor to the Prime Minister, advising now on how to spend the $600 million media fund. That should trouble Canadians.
However, the problem was the focus in the NAFTA negotiations, which was softwood lumber, our eternal irritant with the U.S. relationship. In fact, Canadian softwood allows home ownership in the United States to be available to more people. The only reason the tariffs on our softwood lumber, which were agreed upon by the current government, are not having as big an impact as they could is the voracious appetite in the United States right now for construction and softwood in general. Therefore, the price and demand are strong enough that they are living with the tariff that has been imposed.
Members may recall that when the Harper government came in, it made the unusual decision of asking David Emerson to switch parties to help drive toward a deal on softwood. That was the last agreement we were able to lock down with the United States. Therefore, it has been a perpetual irritant in the trade relationship with Canada, which is largely due to a few stakeholders in the U.S. who have a lot of influence in Washington holding back affordability for millions of Americans. The Liberals should have used this opportunity of opening up NAFTA to get resolution on a core irritant of trade. If we are going to modernize, let us fix something that we are always fighting with the Americans on. It was not even mentioned in the priorities of the Liberals, nor was auto.
As I said earlier, the Auto Pact of 1965 was the first free trade agreement between Canada and the U.S. We would not have NAFTA, nor the USFTA, were it not for the Auto Pact. That was not mentioned as a priority.
Most of the agriculture sector is not mentioned. In fairness, the minister did mention supply management but did not push back at any of President Trump's inflated rhetoric on 200% tariff quotas. The U.S. spends more on agricultural subsidies than we spend on our military. When were we pushing back on that? There is no level playing field in agriculture if the U.S. is spending billions in direct subsidies.
We ignored agriculture, auto and softwood. We literally left out most of the areas that we should have been focused on right from the start. That is what the Conservatives said. That is what our leader said. That is what I said. That is what many of our members said.
We also urged them to look at ballistic missile defence, modernizing NORAD as a way to remind Americans that if they are going to impose section 232 tariffs because of security grounds, they do not do that with their one partner on homeland defence and security, Canada. They did not do that. In fact they took positions antithetical to the U.S.
Canada pulled out our jets in the fight against ISIS. When France and the U.S. were asking us to do more in security, the Prime Minister in a second vote in this Parliament, whipped by the former head of our army, I would note he is retiring. He was the whip. I know how difficult that must have been to withdraw from a battle when our allies are trying to step up.
The Obama presidency, the bromance the Prime Minister brags about all the time, wanted us to stay in. We were not seen as a trusted, reliable security partner under the Prime Minister. When section 232 tariffs were being talked about on security grounds, we were not making our case.
Here is something else I recommended and I would recommend the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, who informed us how they try and fool Canadians by being persistent, yelling, being loud and then Canadians will totally believe them. The big myth we have in modernizing NAFTA was modernizing trucking and transportation in North America. We knew that President Trump had issues with Mexican trucking and some of the border rules in terms of states on the border and trucking regulations.
When the Mulroney government negotiated the U.S. Free Trade Agreement, concluded in the 1988 election, Canada still owned Air Canada. We had not liberalized passenger airline travel. It was still a Crown corporation. Fast-forward to today in 2017, 2018, 2019, we see efficiencies for more open skies. I would like to see even more. We see efficiencies in the North American railroads where Canadian companies like CP and CN have done very well with liberalized transportation rules.
We urged the government, if it wants a game-changer, to truly modernize NAFTA, modernize trucking because in many cases because of state or provincial rules, if we send goods from Quebec to California, or from Ontario to Massachusetts, those trucking resources often have to come back empty or do not have the ability to transport interstate.
What is interesting about that, and I know my friend, the leader of the Green Party is listening intently, is that, had we brought cabotage and trucking into it, it would have been the single largest reduction in greenhouse gases in the history of North America, by modernizing trucking.
I recommended that and when David Emerson, a former transportation minister, someone very well regarded in the industry as well, appeared at transport committee, I asked him would that not have been a win on both the trade front and the environment front. He agreed it would have been the single largest way to reduce greenhouse gases.
Despite the rhetoric, the government's greenhouse gas emission reduction plan is a tax. We could have worked this into NAFTA. The timing was there. As I said, liberalizing trucking regulations was not even forecast in the eighties because there was still state ownership of airlines and so on. Today with air liberalized to a large degree to rail, to short sea shipping in many cases, we could have added trucking. Not only would it reduce greenhouse gases, it would have made businesses more efficient, would have potentially reduced costs and maximized the utility of our trucking infrastructure.
That is something we recommended for the agreement, particularly with a president who likes to tell everyone that he is a business leader. That would have been a way to say we can have a win for the customer, a win for competitiveness, fewer trucks on the road and fewer emissions. Let us modernize that in NAFTA.
No, we did not mention that either. We did not mention our core industries, like auto, softwood or key agriculture sectors. We did not even get modernized professional work abilities in the United States. We did not get digital modernization. We did not get security and certainty with respect to where data and data storage would be for privacy reasons. We really did not get anything in this agreement, because we did not go into the negotiations in a strategic fashion.
The Liberal government underestimated what the negotiations would amount to, and they went in with the sort of posturing image of the Prime Minister, his much vaunted progressive agenda. Liberals kind of said that they would work with Mexico, too. The Prime Minister went down to Mexico to say that we would work together. Then, what did Mexico do? It had 85 direct meetings with White House administration officials.
By the end, the last two months, we had negotiated ourselves away from the table, and the member for Fredericton should know, because the exporters in New Brunswick have been let down by him, remarkably, on this file, that when Canada is not present at the negotiation of a trilateral agreement, when there are only two parties present, it is a failure of the third party.
I understand why the member for Fredericton is frustrated. He might be the next first-term Liberal to announce his retirement. I am losing track of how many. Today it was the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard. We had a few others, I think. I would love to have the Library of Parliament research this fact because I am not 100% sure, but maybe the member for Fredericton could research it too. I think that a majority government has never seen more first-time MPs leave than the current government.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Darren Fisher Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Darren Fisher Profile
2019-06-11 15:08 [p.28925]
Mr. Speaker, the Port of Halifax plays a key role for businesses and employees in my riding of Dartmouth—Cole Harbour and to the economy of Atlantic Canada by moving Canadian products to international markets. Can the Minister of Transport please update all Canadians on the progress being made by this Liberal government to invest in good trade infrastructure?
View Marc Garneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour for his excellent question and his commitment to the Port of Halifax. We in the Liberal government believe in modern infrastructure for transportation and efficient trade corridors. It is good for the economy. That is why I was so pleased to announce two historic investments in the Port of Halifax to make it even more efficient and, incidentally, to reduce truck traffic in the Halifax area. We are all about creating good, middle-class jobs and growing the economy.
View Ed Fast Profile
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-06 13:44 [p.28691]
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to engage in this debate.
This debate is really a story of failed Liberal foreign policy. It is a story of failed Liberal trade policy. It is also a story about the abandonment of Canada's western manufacturers who depend on competitively priced steel and aluminum products.
As with most Liberal ventures, there is always a backstory, a very ugly backstory. In an earlier question, I signalled what that story might be. It is a story of a government that thought it could bluff the Americans. It thought it could get away with not addressing the issue of steel and aluminum dumping, and the U.S. called its bluff. A year ago, the U.S. imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, its most trusted trading ally.
When has that ever happened? Never. This is a Liberal government that cannot even get its relationship with the United States right. I can speak from experience. I am the former trade minister of Canada. Under our Conservative government, we were able to negotiate free trade agreements with 46 different countries around the world, the most successful trade policy ever implemented in this country. We left the Liberal government with a trade environment that was as good as it gets. There was not a relationship around the world that we had where we could not go to our counterpart, whether it was the U.S. trade representative or the trade minister for China or Chile or Peru, and resolve important issues, trade irritants between our countries.
Now we have found ourselves in this situation for a whole year. Canada has faced punitive tariffs from the United States, because of the incompetence of the Liberal government. Let me explain.
The present Liberal government thought it could bluff Donald Trump by saying, “I know you are concerned about the dumping of aluminum and steel products into Canada, for example from China, one of the worst offenders when it comes to dumping. I know you are worried about it, Mr. President, but we are going to do nothing about it.” Donald Trump said, “I am not someone who does nothing. I am going to do something about it. I am going to impose tariffs on you, Canada, one of our most trusted allies. I am going to do it under section 232, the national security provisions.”
What an embarrassment that should be for the Liberal government, that this would happen under the Liberal watch. However, that is what happened. For a year, we had American tariffs on any exports that involved aluminum or steel. We can imagine how difficult that has been for our industries.
I am going to speak a little about Abbotsford, my home community, where we have a number of very significant manufacturers that use steel and aluminum to create products for Canadians and for export to the United States and elsewhere around the world. These companies, small to medium-sized businesses, had been expanding.
In fact, one company, Mayne Coatings, a favourite of mine, had chosen Abbotsford as the best place to invest, assuming that under a Liberal government the trade policy of this country would continue on, that it would be a healthy one, and that our relationship with the United States would continue to be healthy. They made those assumptions, quite falsely, of course. They assumed that would carry on, and they invested heavily in Abbotsford. In fact, they built a manufacturing facility worth $100 million in a small community of 150,000 people. They trusted the Liberal government, and what a mistake that was. No sooner had construction started on this building that Canada was slapped with aluminum and steel tariffs that have seriously undermined the business model for this company.
I feel very sorry for Mayne Coatings and other industries and companies in Abbotsford that trusted the Liberal government. What a misplaced trust that was.
Today we are seeing the tail end of that process. For a year, we suffered under those punitive tariffs, and now finally the Liberal government has woken up to the fact that the Americans expect Canada to address the illegal dumping of steel and aluminum in Canada and to address surges.
The government is finally introducing Bill C-101, which addresses this issue, except it has a number of failings. We have introduced an amendment that highlights the fact that this legislation fails to take into consideration regional disparity. In other words, what happens in British Columbia, where I am from, is quite different from what happens in Ontario and Quebec, where steel and aluminum are produced.
Shipping that aluminum and steel to the west coast does not make any financial sense, so those who manufacture products in my region of the country need to have different rules, which take into account the fact that they have to bring in their steel and aluminum from elsewhere because it is not competitive to do so from central and eastern Canada.
Second, this legislation fails to add a geographic exemption for industries like Mayne Coatings from Abbotsford that are far beyond the reach of our own homegrown Canadian steel and aluminum producers.
Third, this legislation fails to stipulate specific tariff and trade disruption relief for steel fabricators.
The fourth one is the most important one, in my mind, because it is a breach of trust, a breaking of failed promises by the Prime Minister. A promise was made by the Liberal government that it was going to impose retaliatory tariffs on the Americans, which is great. They do it to us; we do it to them. We collect tariffs coming in. What did the Prime Minister promise? He promised that those tariffs would be used to offset the impact of American tariffs on our Canadian manufacturers.
How much did the Liberal government collect? It collected $2 billion in tariffs. How much of that money has actually gone to the manufacturers across Canada that were impacted by the tariffs the Americans imposed upon us because we would not act on their concerns? How much of that money went to our manufacturers across Canada? Virtually zero. This is another broken promise on the part of the current Prime Minister.
Members may remember that he made a ton of promises. He knew very well from the start, even before the last election, that many of those promises he could not keep. He made them anyway, because he just wanted to get elected. That is disgraceful. We see it playing out now here in Canada with our manufacturers who are suffering the consequences of it.
Two billion dollars were supposed to be dispersed to support our small and medium-sized businesses across Canada, and larger ones, that were all being impacted by this failure of the Liberal government to take care of our bilateral relationship with the United States. The Liberals could not even deliver on that.
I do not hold any ill will toward my Liberal colleagues across the way. They are not disputing the fact that $2 billion was collected by the Prime Minister, with the understanding that the money would be dispersed among Canadian companies to make sure they did not suffer as a result of the Donald Trump steel and aluminum tariffs. Guess what. It was a broken promise. Every single one of those MPs on the Liberal side is going to be held accountable for that in October. A reckoning is coming on October 21, and that reckoning is going to hold the Liberals to account for their false promises, such as their promises on balanced budgets, their promises on small deficits—
View Ken Hardie Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Ken Hardie Profile
2019-05-31 11:59 [p.28353]
Mr. Speaker, businesses and constituents in our riding have been very concerned about the status of collective bargaining at the Port of Vancouver. Just yesterday, I received an email from the owner of a small business in Fleetwood—Port Kells who has two containers on the way into port full of products that his customers need to get very quickly. Everyone on the coast knows how important this port is for our economy, our business, our farmers and all the workers right across Canada.
Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour please update this House on the status of those negotiations?
View Rodger Cuzner Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Rodger Cuzner Profile
2019-05-31 11:59 [p.28353]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Fleetwood—Port Kells, who has been a strong advocate and has quite often mentioned his concern around this issue of the negotiations. We believe, as a government, that a resolution is best found when labour and business sit, and when times need it, government assists.
I am really happy that our minister made the trip to Vancouver to encourage both groups to come to a resolution. We are really happy that a tentative agreement is now in place. I want to thank those who have given so much. From our labour department, Peter Simpson, who we call—
View Randall Garrison Profile
Mr. Speaker, the southern resident killer whales are under immediate threat of extinction, yet the Liberal government's recovery plan lacks urgency and fails to take on the major threat to these orcas: oil tankers and freighters. While the government has banned local small craft from the Swiftsure Bank, the most critical piece of habitat for the orcas, it will continue to allow more than 13,000 freighters and oil tankers to transit the bank each year. That makes no sense. In order to protect these endangered orcas, will the government act immediately to realign the commercial shipping lanes and move the major noise and pollution threats away from the Swiftsure Bank?
View Marc Garneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, we are taking unprecedented steps with respect to transportation, with respect to ships passing through not only the Juan de Fuca Strait, where they displace themselves, but also where they slow down when they are going through Boundary Pass and the Haro Strait. We have also put in place minimum distances from southern resident killer whales that are unprecedented and make us leaders in the world. We take this issue extremely seriously, and we are very proud of what we have done.
View Yves Robillard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Yves Robillard Profile
2019-05-06 14:04 [p.27392]
Mr. Speaker, I recently visited Nordresa, a company located in Marc-Aurèle-Fortin.
This jewel of Laval's economy develops, manufactures and commercializes electric drivetrains for commercial trucks. If I had to name one company that epitomizes the alliance between the environment and the economy, it would have to be Nordresa. With a highly skilled workforce drawn from Quebec, leading-edge expertise and economic prospects that extend well beyond our borders, this beacon of the Canadian ecological transition is a company we can be proud of.
I want to thank Nordresa's president Sylvain Castonguay and deputy managing director Caroline Lachance for the warm welcome they gave me and for all their hard work. By supporting their efforts, we will build a sustainable, innovation-driven economy—
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
Mr. Speaker, I have petitions here that were delivered to my former colleague, Sheila Malcolmson, the former member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith. I hope you, Mr. Speaker, will join me in wishing her all the best in her by-election today on her journey to becoming a member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
The petitioners are from Gabriola. They are very concerned with the Department of Transport's plans to establish new anchorages in and around the Gabriola coastline. Therefore, they are calling on the Minister of Transport to cancel the Department of Transport's plans to designate freighter anchorages in the Georgia Strait along the Gabriola coastline.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
Mr. Speaker, I am rising today on behalf of the residents of southern coastal British Columbia who are greatly concerned about the anchorages that are being used as a parking lot for freighters around the southern Gulf Islands.
The petitioners recognize that the ships that are staying for longer periods of time and with greater frequency are causing some stress for a very sensitive marine ecosystem. They point out that the bright lights and noise are affecting nearby residents.
The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to use its power to fix this situation and eventually get us to a situation where these anchorages are no longer needed in this sensitive area.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
Madam Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of residents of southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, who are petitioning the government over the use of the marine environment as a parking lot for freighters under the interim protocol. Many freighters are spending longer periods of time with more frequency and it is having an impact not only the very fragile and sensitive marine environment but also coastal communities' well-being.
The petitioners ask the government to come up with a plan to discontinue the use of the southern Gulf Islands of B.C. as a parking lot for freighters.
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