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View Brad Trost Profile
CPC (SK)
View Brad Trost Profile
2019-06-19 14:05 [p.29381]
Mr. Speaker, this July 1, millions of Canadians will wish each other a happy Canada Day. I will join them by wishing them a happy Dominion Day.
Drawing its inspiration from Psalm 72:8, “And he shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth”, the term “dominion” has a distinctly Canadian origin. It was proposed by Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley of New Brunswick, and it is a beautiful term to describe this vast land we call Canada. The loss of Dominion Day, to quote former Senator Hartland Molson, was “another very small step in the process of obscuring our heritage.”
Dominion is a term of dignity, beauty and poetry. It signified that Canadian origins were different from the republics and kingdoms of the world. It is a term and a day that needs to be brought back.
Therefore, let me wish my fellow Canadians, this July 1, happy Dominion Day.
View Sheri Benson Profile
NDP (SK)
View Sheri Benson Profile
2019-06-19 14:20 [p.29384]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the wonderful, passionate Betsy Bury and to honour her 97 years of a life well lived. Betsy died in April.
Betsy fought for a world that was safe from nuclear weapons and war, a world safe for all women and children. She did this both as part of social movements and in the realm of partisan politics.
In 1962, when Saskatchewan doctors went on strike to oppose universal health care, Betsy, along with a small group of women, started the Saskatoon Community Clinic to provide free care to anyone who needed it. Those women are a big reason that we have universal health care today. She helped start the first planned parenthood organization in Saskatchewan and the first public kindergarten in Saskatoon, and the list goes on.
From Tommy Douglas's campaign to my own personal campaign, from the CCF to the NDP, Betsy was there volunteering, leading, advising and supporting.
In 2017, Betsy received the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case for her lifetime dedication to bringing about gender equality.
Losing Betsy is devastating, but our broken hearts are comforted by the lives she touched and the young leaders who will follow in her inspiring footsteps.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:24 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, it has been a year since the Prime Minister promised that construction on Trans Mountain would begin.
Not one ounce of dirt has been moved so far. Canada's entire economy is suffering as a result. Every day of delay is costing Canadians $40 million. The Prime Minister promised that Trans Mountain would be built and operational in 2019.
Why did he mislead Canadians by making a promise he could not keep?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:26 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, again, he keeps saying things that are just not true. The previous Conservative government saw the private sector build four major pipelines, including one to tidewater, increasing our capacity to foreign markets. It is under the Liberal government that major pipeline proponents have pulled out of Canada. In fact, the C.D. Howe Institute estimates that 100 billion dollars' worth of energy projects have been killed by the government.
The Prime Minister committed to Trans Mountain being completed and in operation this year, but it is over a year later, and there is still no start date. His failure is costing Canadians. Why did he not say so?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:27 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, all the Prime Minister has done is buy a pipeline with taxpayers' money that he still does not have a plan to build. It is a terrible indictment of his record that in Canada, under his prime ministership, the government must nationalize a project to get it built. Under the Conservatives, the private sector did that.
We should not be surprised. After all, this is the Prime Minister who wants to phase out the energy sector and who has a senior minister who tweeted that they want to landlock Alberta's energy.
Why does the Prime Minister keep hurting our energy sector and the thousands of Canadians who work in it?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:28 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, we know what to do to get these projects built, starting with replacing the Prime Minister, scrapping the carbon tax, repealing Bill C-69 and giving our investors certainty that when they meet those standards, they can actually get it built.
The Prime Minister is great at saying yes. He just cannot get it done. Yesterday was another approval without a plan. Canadians did not want to see a photo op yesterday. They wanted a date on which this project would start.
Why did he fail to do that?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:30 [p.29386]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can take great comfort in knowing that a real plan for the environment is coming at five o'clock. What it will not include is special deals for Liberal insiders.
Under the Prime Minister, well-connected friends of the Prime Minister have done very well. He rewards his well-connected billionaire friends with taxpayer handouts, like $12 million to Loblaws. He interfered in a criminal court case to help his corporate friends at SNC. He targeted entrepreneurs and small business owners while protecting his vast family fortune.
Why do the well-connected Liberals and the wealthy always get a better deal under Liberals?
View Georgina Jolibois Profile
NDP (SK)
Mr. Speaker, the Denesuline of northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba were supposed to sign an agreement with the government after 18 years of negotiating for their land, harvesting and resource rights. A week ago, the minister backed away and now refuses to meet with them. She broke her promise and betrayed the Dene.
Meaningful reconciliation is about working with indigenous people and meeting in good faith. Will the minister meet with the Dene while they are in Ottawa and explain why she broke her promise, face to face?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-19 16:14 [p.29402]
Mr. Speaker, I am presenting three petitions to the House today from the constituents of the Yorkton—Melville area, as today is the very last day I will be in the House to do so before the summer break and ensuing federal election.
The first petition is signed by 85 petitioners who are calling on the government to establish a national strategy on palliative care.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-19 16:15 [p.29403]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition holds 550 signatures of petitioners who are calling on the House of Commons to scrap Bill C-71, the firearms legislation that would do nothing to provide the resources to front-line police forces to tackle the true source of firearms violence, gangs and organized criminal enterprises, and instead targets law-abiding gun owners.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-19 16:15 [p.29403]
Mr. Speaker, the third petition I wish to present contains 75 signatures of petitioners who are calling on the government to condemn discrimination against girls occurring through sex-selected pregnancy termination and the use of ultrasound for this purpose.
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2019-06-19 16:22 [p.29404]
Madam Speaker, I have a number of petitions on two subjects.
The first consists of eight petitions, including an electronic petition, with almost 4,000 signatures. The petitioners call on the government to ensure that conscience rights of medical personnel are protected by passing Bill C-418.
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2019-06-19 16:23 [p.29404]
Madam Speaker, the second petition references that on April 7, 2017, Arianna Goberdhan and her unborn child Assara were murdered in a brutal act of domestic violence. At the time of the murder, she was nine months pregnant with her soon-to-be-born daughter. Assara and other preborn children in similar circumstances deserve to be recognized as victims of a crime and should be entitled to justice and legal recourse. Therefore, petitioners call upon the House of Commons to pass legislation that recognizes that when an assailant in the commission of a crime attacks a pregnant woman and injures or kills her preborn child, the assailant may be charged with an offence on behalf of that child.
View Randy Hoback Profile
CPC (SK)
View Randy Hoback Profile
2019-06-19 17:19 [p.29417]
Madam Speaker, I need to straighten out the record. The parliamentary secretary said that his government saved the TPP. The reality is that it was signed, and if we had passed it, we would not have had to renegotiate NAFTA. What happened? The government stalled. The Liberals dragged their feet. They kept hesitating. They kept making it impossible for the U.S. to move forward. If the Liberal government had embraced it and ratified it, we would not be talking about NAFTA today. That is the reality.
The Liberals have upset many of our trade partners around the world: China, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines. Which country has the Prime Minister travelled to where he has not upset someone?
The reality is that this agreement is not perfect, but it would provide stability, and business communities want stability.
Our structural steel is going to face tariffs in August. Our softwood lumber has tariffs right now. What are the Liberals going to do to solve those problems once they ratify this deal?
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2019-06-19 18:56 [p.29430]
Mr. Speaker, what the minister did not say is that they never consulted the victims of crime in this country. On the second to last day of Parliament, Bill C-75 comes to us. It does not show that they are taking the safety and security of Canadians seriously. We have seen this. They are attempting to water down serious offences in this bill, such as impaired driving causing bodily harm. The province of Saskatchewan has the worst record in the Dominion of drunk driving charges. I have talked to many victims, and they are upset with this bill, because they have not had chance to address it. Many of them have lost loved ones. When they look at this flawed bill, it is all about criminal rights and nothing about the victims in this country.
I would like the minister to answer that. What is the government doing for the victims in this bill, because they are upset with this?
View Tom Lukiwski Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 19th report of Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, entitled “Veterans: A Valuable Resource for the Federal Public Service”.
Furthermore, pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
Lastly, since this will be the final time I have an opportunity to speak on committee business before this Parliament dissolves, I want to thank, once again, all of those important people who assisted our committee over the last four years. In particular I want to point out one of analysts, as they say in Ottawa, who is with us today, Raphaëlle, who has been with this committee for four years and who has done an exemplary job. Frankly, without her assistance and her guidance, at times our committee would not have been able to perform the duties that it did.
Once again, I thank not only Raphaëlle but all those officials, translators, interpreters, clerks and others who made our committee as efficient as it was.
View Georgina Jolibois Profile
NDP (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I am happy to present a petition led by the Elizabeth Fry Society about children in irregular situations.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 11:32 [p.29277]
Mr. Speaker, one of the main concerns the Conservatives have raised is that if we have a carbon price, it could prompt a carbon-intensive industry to move to jurisdictions with weaker environmental standards, eliminating Canadian jobs and potentially increasing global emissions. The government is trying to address this problem of carbon leakage with output-based rebates to industry that keeps its production here. Another approach to this problem would be carbon border adjustments, extending the carbon price to the carbon content of imports and rebating it on Canadian-made exports.
I would like to invite the parliamentary secretary to comment a bit further on the importance of maintaining a level playing field between Canada and countries that do not price emissions.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-18 12:34 [p.29286]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciated hearing my colleague's perspective on the answer given to me by the minister to a question I posed on behalf of an energy-efficient home builder in my riding who is concerned about the increased cost of his products as a result of the carbon tax.
Her response to me was about a company named VeriForm that is doing remarkable things. It reduced its greenhouse gases by 80% and increased its bottom line by $1 million. What she failed to mention was that this happened in 2014, under the Harper government.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Robert Kitchen Profile
2019-06-18 13:50 [p.29297]
Mr. Speaker, the member talked about how he did not want to call it a tax. However, what we do know is the government put a GST on the carbon tax.
In 2017, 43.6 billion litres of gasoline were used in Canada and $2.6 billion were collected in GST. The Liberals said that they would give 100% of this money back. Surprisingly, the GST money will not be given back. We found after the fact that actually only 90% would go be given back. Therefore, any way we look at it, this is a tax.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-18 14:13 [p.29301]
Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister enjoys the life of being in the world's top 1%, and the use of taxpayer-funded carbon-spewing government jets, most Canadians have to budget to get by. It is no wonder there is a disconnect between the current Prime Minister's policies and the impacts they will have on middle-class Canadians.
A carbon tax raises the price of everything. Food, flights, gas and all household items are more expensive because of it. This week we learned that the Liberal carbon tax will fail in its alleged purpose of helping Canada reach its Paris Agreement targets. This is further evidence that the Liberal carbon tax is a tax plan, not an environmental plan. Canadians cannot afford this tax.
When something does not work, we replace it with something else that does. On October 21, Canadians will have the opportunity to exchange the current defective Liberal government for a Conservative government that will work for them.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-18 14:28 [p.29304]
Mr. Speaker, our government proudly introduced Canada's first-ever national housing strategy. We recognize that every Canadian deserves a safe, affordable place to call home.
The new report on housing from the Parliamentary Budget Officer highlights that without the national housing strategy, housing investments in the country would have been cut by more than 75% over this next decade. We are maintaining the momentum and the growth to ensure Canadians have the housing they need, deserve and can afford.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-18 14:29 [p.29304]
Mr. Speaker, thanks to our unprecedented investments in housing since taking office in 2015, we have helped more than a million Canadians find a place to call home. The national housing strategy ensures that we will continue to be a full and active partner in Canada's housing sector for the decade to come.
I have had the honour in my constituency to help dig the foundations and open the new buildings that new citizens in my riding are able to enjoy.
View Sheri Benson Profile
NDP (SK)
View Sheri Benson Profile
2019-06-18 14:46 [p.29307]
Mr. Speaker, we have a housing crisis in Canada, and the Liberals are failing to address it. The PBO report shows that the Liberals are inflating their own figures while families in our communities are facing constant stress to find a place to call home. The report says the Liberals are doing even less to help people with immediate housing needs than the Harper government did. I find this shameful. Enough with the empty promises. Will the government act now to end homelessness and ensure families in Canada have a place to call home?
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-18 15:06 [p.29311]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has been in touch with me many times about this matter. The safety of Nova Scotians is the top priority for the RCMP's H Division, which functions as Nova Scotia's provincial police force. In that capacity, it makes the necessary decisions about the most effective deployment of provincial assets and facilities, including the provincial operations and communications centre.
It is obtaining the counsel of an independent assessor to ensure that its provincial responsibilities are safely and properly discharged in the best interest of Nova Scotians.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Robert Kitchen Profile
2019-06-18 16:15 [p.29321]
Mr. Speaker, the member talked about helping the oil and gas industry reduce its emissions. Putting a carbon tax on small businesses is not going to help those people, but there is something that is. The member is probably well aware that in the Paris accord, three of the four recommendations on progressing were about using carbon capture and sequestration, which were talked about and signed off on. This innovation already exists in Canada. Not only does it exist in Canada, but it takes the emissions captured and puts them underground, which helps the enhanced oil recovery.
In fact, just the other week, Mr. Michal Kurtyka, from the Ministry of the Environment for Poland, stated, “Carbon capture and sequestration will be important to make an advance to carbon neutrality”. Mr. Pawel Leszczynski, the COP24 presidency bureau chief, was also there.
My question is very simple. Why are you not championing this?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Robert Kitchen Profile
2019-06-18 17:23 [p.29331]
Mr. Speaker, as we prepare to leave the House and the 42nd Parliament for the summer, I am happy to have a chance to speak to today's motion, which reads as follows:
That, given that the carbon tax will not reduce emissions at its current rate and it is already making life more expensive for Canadians, the House call on the government to repeal the carbon tax and replace it with a real environment plan.
This is an initiative that I am passionate about, which I have spoken about here many times. In fact, when I am back in the riding, my constituents continually talk to me about the carbon tax, how we are going to get rid of it and how quickly can can get rid of it. The carbon tax is something that has resonated particularly strongly with the people in my riding, and not in a positive way.
I have been privileged to serve the people of Souris—Moose Mountain for the last four years, and part of why I am speaking to today's motion is due to the commitment I made upon becoming an MP. I promised that I would represent the interests of all my constituents at every possible opportunity, and I am proud to stand here today to denounce the ineffective Liberal carbon tax and the negative impact it is having on Canadians across the country.
The fact of the matter, as stated in today's motion, is that the Liberals' carbon tax is not effective in reducing emissions, and it makes life more expensive for hard-working Canadians. The Liberals seem to think that all of Canada is urban. I say this because the majority of their policies, and especially those tied to reducing emissions, are targeted toward urban areas, with almost nothing for those living in rural Canada. When a major city gets new environmentally friendly buses, how does that benefit the people in my riding? Guess what: it does not.
Furthermore, Canadians living in rural areas are going to be hit hard by the carbon tax and in some ways more so than those who are living in urban areas. It is a normal and acceptable thing for people in southeast Saskatchewan to drive 30-plus miles just to get groceries. Driving 50 miles or more to see a doctor is the status quo, and nobody complains about it, because that is just the way it has always been done. Small businesses have no avenue to rebate the carbon tax. They end up eating it or increasing their overhead or passing it on to their customers, and risk losing their customers.
What does make people frustrated and angry is when a government swoops in and unilaterally decides that Canadians now have to pay more to go about their usual day-to-day lives, and with none of the benefits that those living in urban areas receive. The Liberal carbon tax is not helping the environment, but rather it is hurting Canadians through the increased price on things like gasoline, groceries and home heating.
I would like to share the experiences of some of my constituents that touch on how ill thought out and ineffective the carbon tax really is.
As members know, under the carbon tax, fuel used for farm purposes is meant to be exempt, but this is not the case here. Due to the Liberals leaving a loophole in their legislation, farmers who obtain their fuel at pump locations and not designated cardlocks are paying the carbon tax when they should not be. There is no mechanism to rectify this, and it is creating some big issues for farmers. While I have written letters to the minister, I have not heard one response.
Many farmers are not able to have fuel delivered directly to their farms, because they do not have the ability to store it, and so pump locations are necessary for them to do their jobs. There are huge increases in cost to secure storage areas and to protect storage areas from environmental issues, not to mention the security and protection of this resource. Furthermore, there is no cardlock station within a reasonable distance of these farmers, and a pump location is their only option.
For example, farmers on acreages that are 20 miles east of a pump location have to travel to fill up their vehicles and their equipment, and they are not even getting the promised exemption. They may farm acreages another 30 kilometres in the other direction or west of where they are coming from. We are now at the end of the spring seeding season, and farmers are still having to fight for their government to make good on the commitments it made to not charge farmers a carbon tax. It is yet another example of how the Liberal carbon tax continues to fail Canadians time and time again.
Unfortunately, Canadians have become accustomed to the Liberals misleading them and providing them with misinformation, especially when it comes to the carbon tax. When it was introduced, the minister said that 100% of the revenues from the carbon tax would go back to Canadians and that it would end up being revenue neutral. When asked specifically if that figure included the GST, the Liberals said no, that the GST would stay in our pockets. We have now found out that this is patently untrue and that the GST is being charged on top of the carbon tax, essentially a tax on a tax.
Here are some simple figures when it comes to the carbon tax and the GST on that. In 2017, the number of litres of gasoline used in Canada was 43.6 billion litres. The carbon tax at 4¢ per litre amounts to $1.7 billion that is collected. The Liberals are refusing to tell Canadians how high this tax will go as we move forward. This means that people living in this country are unable to make concrete plans for their future.
According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the Liberals would need to hike the carbon tax up to at least $100 per tonne to meet the Paris targets that they committed to. The PBO has also stated that in order to meet the Paris targets, gasoline prices would need to increase by 23¢ per litre. Despite their claims that they are on track to meet these targets, there is clear evidence to the contrary. It is yet another example of the Liberals attempting to mislead Canadians so that they can save face when it comes to their failed and ineffective carbon tax that has done nothing to reduce emissions.
I would like to highlight some of the innovative work that is happening right here in Canada with respect to reducing emissions. That is the utilization of CCS, carbon capture and storage, technology. The CCS technology is installed on unit 3 of Boundary Dam, the power station in my riding. CCS allows for the CO2 emissions of that unit to be captured and stored three to four kilometres underground, preventing these emissions from being released into the atmosphere. The stored CO2 is then used by the oil industry for things like EOR, which is enhanced oil recovery. The by-product of this process is also fly ash, which is a saleable product that is used in the production of cement. The EOR helps the oil industry reduce its emissions, and the fly ash helps the cement-production companies in reducing their carbon emissions.
While retrofitting power plants with CCS can be expensive, a recent study done by the International CCS Knowledge Centre found that the cost of retrofitting the Shand Power Station would be 67% cheaper per tonne of CO2 captured, compared to the Boundary Dam that is built today.
According to the Paris agreement, CCS is mentioned in three or four potential pathways to reducing emissions. In fact, the secretary of state in the ministry of the environment of Poland, Mr. Michal Kurtyka, and the COP24 presidency bureau director, Mr. Pawel Leszczynski, were visiting the Boundary Dam and they basically said that carbon capture and sequestration will be important and make an advance to carbon neutrality.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 18:23 [p.29336]
Mr. Speaker, the CCF agrees to apply and, like the rest of the independent caucus, will be voting yes.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 18:30 [p.29338]
Mr. Speaker, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation agrees to apply and will be voting in favour.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 18:32 [p.29339]
Mr. Speaker, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the election of our first government in Saskatchewan, agrees to apply and votes yes.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-18 18:35 [p.29341]
Mr. Speaker, while I welcome the opportunity to ask these questions of the minister, it bears repeating that it is quite shameful that the government is imposing yet another closure on very important legislation.
Currently, there is a voluntary moratorium on tanker traffic in the area that would be affected by this bill. Regardless of whether one philosophically agrees with this voluntary moratorium or not, it has been working for over 30 years.
Since Bill C-48 would do nothing to change the current situation in regard to tanker traffic on B.C.'s coast, how is this bill anything more than empty symbolism?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 18:39 [p.29341]
Mr. Speaker, the government has approved the LNG Canada project, which of course entails a significant number of liquefied natural gas tankers on the north coast of B.C. I appreciate that the government has done its due diligence and put in place safeguards to ensure those LNG tankers can safely navigate the north coast of B.C.
Could the Minister of Transport explain why he does not have confidence that those same safeguards could not be made to enable oil tankers to safely navigate those same coastal waters?
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2019-06-18 18:55 [p.29344]
Madam Speaker, the government's environmental plan is all show and no go. Yesterday, we saw a climate emergency declaration that is all show and no go. That is on top of the fact that today the Liberals brought in a pipeline approval that is all show and absolutely no go. Now, we are dealing with Bill C-48, which is all show and no go. That is on top of the foundation of the Liberals' climate plan, which is a tax plan and not a climate change plan; again, it is all show and no go. Does the minister realize how much of a joke Canadians realize his environmental program actually is?
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-18 19:01 [p.29344]
Madam Speaker, I would suggest that the minister's reference to the products on the schedule confirms what we know about the Liberals' willingness and desire to phase out the oil sands.
The second amendment put forward by the other place to Bill C-48 would have added a new section to the end of the bill. Even though it was not very substantive, at least it was a tip of the hat to the regions that would be most affected by the bill. However, the Liberals gutted this amendment.
Could the minister explain to the House why the rules and regulations that govern the loading and off-loading of oil on Canada's east coast are not good enough for the loading and off-loading of oil on Canada's west coast? Will you simply admit that the bill—
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
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 Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-18 19:36 [p.29349]
Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what my hon. colleague's question has to do with the bill or Senate amendments before us. I absolutely reject the premise of his question.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-18 19:37 [p.29349]
Mr. Speaker, I would suggest there have been consultations along the way with first nations. Consulting with first nations is very important. We know there is considerable support among first nations on B.C.'s coast for energy development opportunities. We even heard support at committee for these opportunities. We recognize, just as the minister did earlier, that there are varying views, whether first nations support the bill or not. However, what we heard in committee is that they were not consulted.
I would suggest that the government is only consulting when it believes it will get the answer it wants. When it knows it is not going to get the answer it wants, it does not consult.
I would remind the House that this directive was put in the minister's mandate letter long before he had any opportunity to consult. I would ask the hon. member to reflect on what the current government is doing with respect to consultation.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-18 19:41 [p.29349]
Mr. Speaker, I would remind my hon. colleague that there were 31 first nations that were equity partners. They held a 30% financial position in the northern gateway pipeline project. I am pretty sure that there was consultation that took place in regard to that project with first nations communities that were were going to be directly affected by the project.
I would also remind my hon. colleague that it was the previous Conservative government that created the Major Projects Management Office - West, which was bringing together provincial governments, federal governments and first nations leaders to talk about resource development and resource projects in their territories and in those provinces.
I would also quote the Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde. He said that we know that 500 of the 630 first nations across Canada are open to pipelines and petroleum development on their land. We definitely need to create partnerships to have these conversations to ensure that they have every opportunity to succeed economically as the rest of Canadians do.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-18 19:44 [p.29350]
Mr. Speaker, I have travelled throughout this entire country and recognize that there are extraordinary, beautiful places across this country that we all want to see stewarded carefully. When it comes to the environment, when it comes to this bill and when we are talking about the impact this bill will have on the environment, Bill C-48 will do nothing more to preserve the area off the northwest coast of British Columbia than is already being done.
Ships, including U.S. tankers travelling from Alaska to Washington state, will still continue to be able to travel up and down the coast just outside of the 100 kilometre limit. There already is a voluntary moratorium in place. It is being observed. It has been there for three decades. The bill is nothing but symbolism. It is not going to preserve that northwest coast any more than what is already being done through the voluntary moratorium. All it is doing is putting a moratorium on Canada's Alberta oil sands.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-17 12:07 [p.29164]
Mr. Speaker, we have arrived at the stage of debate where there is now an opportunity for the House to respond to the work that was done in relation to this legislation by the Senate. In other words, the bill has had a thorough debate in the House. It has passed through all the stages in the House. It has had extensive committee hearings. It has gone to the Senate and has been reviewed there. The Senate has considered the legislation, made a number of amendments and sent the bill back to the House with those amendments.
The point is that this is a very advanced stage of debate. We are not beginning with the bill in its raw form; we are beginning with the bill at a very advanced stage. Therefore, members have had extensive opportunity to debate, consider and in fact make amendments.
The point of contention between the House and the Senate is the independent review process that was crafted by the House. Therefore, we are defending the position that was taken by the House on the very important question of how there could be proper review and oversight of the correctional system.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-17 12:10 [p.29164]
Mr. Speaker, with the greatest respect, I have to disagree with the hon. gentleman.
First, he was critical of omnibus legislation. This is not omnibus legislation. It is legislation pertaining specifically to the correctional service and is focused upon one piece of legislation, not a number of different bills.
Second, he was concerned about what he called a “gag” order or the closure procedure. This is not a closure procedure. This is time allocation, which is qualitatively different from what he was criticizing.
Third, I would point out that amendments to the legislation have been welcomed and accepted from all parties in the House and indeed by the Senate as well.
Therefore, this is not a peremptory approach. There has been a huge amount of debate and a lot of input. That input has been weighed very carefully and a great deal of it has been accepted.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-17 12:12 [p.29165]
Mr. Speaker, there have been many hours and days of debate in consideration of the legislation through all the stages in the House of Commons and in the Senate. We are now at the point of responding to the Senate's recommendations. It is not as if the debate was just beginning today or four minutes ago. In fact, the motion that was moved by the House leader provided for five more hours of debate on the specific question of how the House would respond to the recommendations made by the Senate.
This is not a closure motion, it is time allocation and it follows the full length of parliamentary procedure through both the House of Commons and the Senate, where many worthy suggestions have been made, a lot of very well-informed debate has taken place and many amendments have been accepted. We are now into the final stages of that discussion where it is appropriate for the House to take a decision and to vote.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-17 12:14 [p.29165]
Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary is quite right. There are occasions when such procedures are perfectly appropriate, and that is especially the case when we are into the final days of a Parliament. We all know what the parliamentary calendar is, and it is important for key measures to be approved by Parliament while the time remains for that work to get done.
I would point out that the matters at issue in this legislation are also before a number of courts in this country where the courts have set a deadline. They have indicated that Parliament has an obligation to take certain decisions one way or the other, to make up their minds and vote, so that certain situations pertaining in the correctional system can be corrected. If Parliament is not able to take those decisions in a timely way, that could in fact throw the system into chaos. Therefore, because of the court proceedings, it is also important for Parliament to be timely in bringing this legislation to a conclusion.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-17 12:17 [p.29165]
Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. gentleman brought up the issue of consultation because, as always, we try our very best to consult with all of those who have a stake in the decisions that are made with respect to our public safety systems in this country.
A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to attend the triennial meeting of the major union that represents correctional officers who work at the various institutions across this country, including the one in the hon. gentleman's riding. That national meeting of the union was held in Calgary. It was very well attended by correctional officers all over the country. We had the opportunity to discuss this specific legislation. It was clear from that discussion that the union representatives were anxious to see legislation of this nature proceed because it is needed for the safety of the officers, the inmates and the other members of the public who attend from time to time within the correctional system. Indeed, that consultation has taken place.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-17 12:19 [p.29166]
Mr. Speaker, once the discussion about time allocation has concluded, members will have five additional hours of debate to consider this stage, which is on top of all of the stages in the Senate, which was on top of all of the previous stages in the House of Commons.
There has been extensive opportunity to examine the details of this legislation. In particular, the portions of the legislation that are subject to the advice and recommendations coming from the Senate are the portions of the legislation which this House and the committee examined in detail, and made extensive changes and improvements to during the course of the parliamentary committee's work.
It is not as if this is a new subject that suddenly has been sprung upon the House of Commons or upon the public safety and national security committee of the House. The House examined this in detail, and in fact renovated these provisions in detail. It was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, who was not in that role at that time but who was a member of the public safety committee who moved those extensive amendments, which were then debated in the House and adopted in detail by the House.
There has been very careful, conscientious attention given to this issue by members of the House of Commons.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-17 12:23 [p.29166]
Mr. Speaker, while I may have spoken vigorously when I was a member of the opposition on issues of this kind, I do not think it is fair to describe it as screaming and hollering. It was passion.
In relation to this legislation and the important question the hon. gentleman makes with respect to the UCCO union, the point that they made was really twofold in the consultation. Number one, there needed to be a system whereby when it was necessary, inmates could be separated from one another in the interests of public safety. They wanted to ensure that that kind of a system would be available to maintain safety within the institution. This legislation does that.
Secondly, they wanted to be sure that the resources would be there for the mental health services and the other correctional services that would be necessary to make this legislation effective. I am pleased to confirm that the Minister of Finance has made that funding available in the last fall update and in the spring budget. A total of $450 million has been made available for the implementation of this legislation to meet what the UCCO union suggested was absolutely essential for success.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-17 12:25 [p.29166]
Mr. Speaker, let me once again point out that what we are beginning here is not the end of the debate but another five hours of debate on this very topic. There will be five more hours of debate, in addition to all of the debate that has taken place in the Senate, in addition to all three stages that were dealt with earlier in the House, plus extensive committee hearings by both the Senate and the House of Commons.
The opportunity to discuss in detail has, in fact, been very considerable. I congratulate all members on this side, on the opposition side and in the other place, who have participated in this discussion about Bill C-83 in a very fulsome way.
I would also point out this timing consideration. As I said earlier, there are several outstanding court cases pertaining to the use of administrative segregation in the Canadian correctional system. Those court cases date back to 2015. They have come to decisions in the last number of months, which have imposed upon the government and Parliament an obligation to consider the matters and make decisions in a timely way. We are up against those deadlines now, so it is simply not possible and it certainly would not be responsible to ignore the deadlines that have been imposed by the courts. Otherwise, we are inviting chaos in the correctional system.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-17 12:28 [p.29167]
Mr. Speaker, those are indeed the terms of the motion put before the House by the government House leader, and as soon as we adopt that motion, the five hours are written into the procedures of the House.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-17 12:29 [p.29167]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member, as well as all members who served on SECU and all the senators in the other place who have been debating this legislation. It has been given very conscientious attention, amended many times and improved in the process. We are now in the final stages of sorting out the last of the amendments to finalize the bill.
The issue is simply this. When we abolish the long-standing practice of administrative segregation, as this legislation does, and replace that with specific units within the correctional system that can provide the capacity to separate people when necessary but ensure that their programming, mental health services, counselling and other treatments continue nonetheless, when we establish that new system to replace administrative segregation, the question is what kind of oversight we need to ensure that all the rules are being properly followed by the Correctional Service of Canada.
The Senate has made one set of proposals. The legislation includes a different set of proposals. Indeed, we believe that the procedures in the legislation, with proposals put forward by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, are the correct ones. Our response to the Senate is to thank senators very much for their very hard work, but to defend the amendments that were made by the House.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-17 12:32 [p.29167]
Mr. Speaker, if this were a brand new topic that had never been introduced in the House before, it would present a challenge to deal with all of the detail within five hours, but this is a topic that has been amply debated in the House, in the Senate and now back in the House again.
It is time, in light of the very pressing court decisions that are outstanding, for the House to conclude the debate and take a final vote, knowing very clearly, already on the record, what the important views are, for example, of the correctional officers union, which has been very clear in its position, wanting to see Bill C-83 accepted by the government and by Parliament.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-17 12:35 [p.29168]
No, Mr. Speaker, and let me help the hon. gentleman with some further information.
All of his criticism in the statement he has just given is directed toward the procedure of closure. This is not closure. It is a different procedure under the House. I appreciate the passion with which he opposes closure, but he should direct that toward another target, because this is not closure.
The member is obviously very opposed to solitary confinement. So am I. That is why, in this legislation, we abolish it.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-17 13:34 [p.29172]
Mr. Speaker, I would note that this bill actually was created as a result of a directive that was given by the Prime Minister to the Minister of Transport through a mandate letter. When we were studying the bill in committee, to a witness, none of the witnesses were consulted when it came to it, especially when it came to first nations communities.
Would the member care to comment on why no first nations communities were consulted before the bill was introduced?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-17 13:38 [p.29172]
Mr. Speaker, while this legislation has been making its way through Parliament to ban oil tankers on the north coast of B.C., the government has approved the LNG Canada project, which would entail a significant number of liquefied natural gas tankers on the north coast of B.C.
I congratulate the government for putting in place safeguards to ensure that liquefied natural gas tankers can safely navigate the north coast of B.C. However, I would ask the member for Burnaby North—Seymour this. Why does he not believe those safeguards that would be adequate for liquefied natural gas would not be adequate to enable oil tankers to safely navigate those same waters?
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-17 13:44 [p.29173]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to respond to the government's motion on the Senate amendments to Bill C-48. While I do appreciate the opportunity to speak to the motion, what I do not appreciate, what millions of other Canadians do not appreciate, is that we have to respond to the bill at all.
I want to recap what the bill would do.
First, this legislation was created as a result of a directive in the Prime Minister's mandate letter to the Minister of Transport dated November 2015.
If passed, this legislation would enact an oil tanker moratorium on B.C.'s northwest coast. The proposed moratorium would be in effect from the Canada-U.S. Alaska border to the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
The legislation would prohibit oil tankers carrying crude and persistent oil as cargo from stopping, loading and unloading at ports or marine installations in the moratorium area. Vessels carrying less than 12,500 metric tons of crude oil would be exempted from the moratorium.
I would suggest that this bill is an open, sneering attack on our oil and gas sector, an anti-pipeline bill poorly masquerading as an environment bill.
Environmental legislation is supposed to be based on science. Bill C-48 is not. It is not science but rather politics and ideology that inform this legislation: Liberal ideology that is as damaging to national unity as it is cynical.
Afer reviewing the bill, which included travelling across the country to hear from witnesses from coast to coast, the Senate transport committee recommended that it not proceed. While the Senate as a whole rescued Bill C-48, the Prime Minister should have taken the hint and withdrawn this anti-energy legislation.
Six premiers, including Premier Scott Moe from my province of Saskatchewan, wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister outlining their legitimate concerns about the anti-oil, anti-energy legislation pushed by the Liberal government here in Ottawa, in particular Bill C-69 and Bill C-48.
The premiers explained the damage that these two pieces of legislation would do to the economy, but more importantly, they warned of the damage this legislation has done and will continue to do to our national unity.
This was not a threat. This was not spiteful. These six premiers were pointing to a real and growing sense of alienation, alienation on a scale not seen since the Prime Minister's father was in office.
Rather than listening to their concerns, the Prime Minister lashed out at the premiers, calling them irresponsible and accusing them of threatening our national unity if they did not get their way.
The premiers are not threatening our national unity; it is in fact the Prime Minister's radical, anti-science, anti-energy agenda that is, but he is refusing to listen.
Since the Prime Minister is refusing to heed these warnings on Bill C-48 and Bill C-69, I am going to take this opportunity to read them into the record now:
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing on behalf of the Governments of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Collectively, our five provinces and territory represent 59 per cent of the Canadian population and 63 per cent of Canada's GDP. We are central to Canada's economy and prosperity, and it is of the utmost importance that you consider our concerns with bills C-69 and C-48.
Canadians across the country are unified in their concern about the economic impacts of the legislation such as it was proposed by the House of Commons. In this form, the damage it would do to the economy, jobs and investment will echo from one coast to the other. Provincial and territorial jurisdiction must be respected. Provinces and territories have clear and sole jurisdiction over the development of their non-renewable natural resources, forestry resources, and the generation and production of electricity. Bill C-69 upsets the balance struck by the constitutional division of powers by ignoring the exclusive provincial powers over projects relating to these resources. The federal government must recognize the exclusive role provinces and territories have over the management of our non-renewable natural resource development or risk creating a Constitutional crisis.
Bill C-69, as originally drafted, would make it virtually impossible to develop critical infrastructure, depriving Canada of much needed investment. According to the C.D. Howe Institute, between 2017 and 2018, the planned investment value of major resource sector projects in Canada plunged by $100 billion – an amount equivalent to 4.5 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product. To protect Canada’s economic future, we, collectively, cannot afford to overlook the uncertainty and risk to future investment created by Bill C-69.
Our five provinces and territory stand united and strongly urge the government to accept Bill C69 as amended by the Senate, in order to minimize the damage to the Canadian economy. We would encourage the Government of Canada and all members of the House of Commons to accept the full slate of amendments to the bill. The Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources heard 38 days of testimony from 277 witnesses including indigenous communities, industry, Premiers, and independent experts. Based on that comprehensive testimony, the committee recommended significant amendments to the bill, which were accepted by the Senate as a whole. We urge you to respect that process, the committee’s expertise, and the Senate’s vote.
If the Senate’s amendments are not respected, the bill should be rejected, as it will present insurmountable roadblocks for major infrastructure projects across the country and will further jeopardize jobs, growth and investor confidence.
Similarly, Bill C-48 threatens investor confidence, and the tanker moratorium discriminates against western Canadian crude products. We were very disappointed that the Senate did not accept the recommendation to the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications that the bill not be reported. We would urge the government to stop pressing for the passage of this bill which will have detrimental effects on national unity and for the Canadian economy as a whole.
Our governments are deeply concerned with the federal government’s disregard, so far, of the concerns raised by our provinces and territory related to these bills. As it stands, the federal government appears indifferent to the economic hardships faced by provinces and territories. Immediate action to refine or eliminate these bills is needed to avoid further alienating provinces and territories and their citizens and focus on uniting the country in support of Canada’s economic prosperity.
Perhaps having heard the letter read aloud, the Prime Minister will acknowledge that it contains no threats, but rather it is an appeal from leaders who have listened to their constituents. The Prime Minister needs to understand that simply saying things louder is not going to make them go away. Shouting will not put food in the stomachs of the laid-off construction workers' children. Chanting talking points will not pay the gas bill in the middle of winter.
If this were the only piece of legislation that the government had introduced, one might argue that this is an overreaction, but it is not just one piece of legislation, it is a targeted, cynical, ongoing political attack of our resource sector. The Prime Minister has filled his cabinet with vocal opponents of the oil sands. In 2012, the now Minister of Democratic Institutions posted a tweet that read, “It's time to landlock Alberta's tar sands - call on BC Premier @christyclarkbc to reject the #Enbridge pipeline now!”
Then there is the President of the Treasury Board, who said publicly that the approval of the Trans Mountain extension was deeply disappointing and who celebrated when the Prime Minister killed the northern gateway pipeline project. Here I should pause and point out the ridiculous theatrics surrounding the TMX project.
In 2016, the government approved TMX, yet tomorrow, we are told, the government will decide on whether to approve the project all over again. It is like we are in a terrible remake of Groundhog Day. Meanwhile, not an inch of pipeline has been built since the government nationalized Trans Mountain.
However, it is not only the cabinet that the Prime Minister has filled with anti-oil activists, but senior staff positions as well. Here I quote an article from the March 14 edition of the Financial Post:
Prior to ascending to the most powerful post in the Prime Minister’s Office, from 2008 to 2012 Gerald Butts was president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada...an important Tides campaign partner. Butts would use his new powerful position to bring other former campaigners with him: Marlo Reynolds, chief of staff to the Environment Minister...is past executive director of the Tides-backed Pembina Institute. Zoë Caron, chief of staff to Natural Resource Minister...is also a former WWF Canada official. Sarah Goodman, on the prime minister’s staff, is a former vice-president of Tides Canada. With these anti-oil activists at the epicentre of federal power, it’s no wonder the oil industry, and hundreds of thousands of workers, have plummeted into political and policy purgatory.
Why should we be surprised? The Prime Minister is no friend of the oil sands. The Prime Minister stated that he wants to phase out the oil sands and during the election loudly proclaimed, “If I am elected Prime Minister, the Northern Gateway Pipeline won't become a reality”.
The Prime Minister has spent his time in office attempting to do just that and he has been willing to trample on not only the rights of the provinces, but the rights of aboriginal peoples as well to get his way. When the Prime Minister used an order in council to cancel the northern gateway pipeline, he stole the future of 30 first nations that would have benefited enormously from it. This very bill is facing a lawsuit from Laxkw'alaams Indian band for unjustly infringing on their rights and titles.
Bill C-48 will prevent the proposed first nations-owned and operated Eagle Spirit pipeline project from being built as the proposed route to tidewater ends within the area wherein this bill bans tanker traffic. It was done without any consultation with first nations communities. Again, this should come as no surprise.
Just last week I spoke against another anti-energy bill, Bill C-88. As I said then, C-88 makes a mockery of the government's claim to seriously consult with indigenous and Inuit peoples. Without any consultation with Inuit peoples or the territorial governments, the Prime Minister unilaterally announced a five-year ban on offshore oil and gas development. Not only did the Prime Minister refuse to consult the premiers of the territories, he gave some of them less than an hour's notice that he would be making that announcement.
Does that sound like a Prime Minister who wants to listen, consult and work with aboriginal Canadians? Does it reflect the Prime Minister's declaration that his government's relationship with indigenous peoples is their most important relationship or does it sound like a Prime Minister who says what he believes people want to hear and then does the exact opposite by imposing his own will on them? If he had consulted, this is what he would have heard:
Minister Wally Schumann of the Northwest Territories, on how they found out about the ban and the impact it will have on our north, stated:
When it first came out, we never got very much notice on the whole issue of the moratorium and the potential that was in the Beaufort Sea. There were millions and millions, if not billions, of dollars in bid deposits and land leases up there. That took away any hope we had of developing the Beaufort Sea.
Councillor Jackie Jacobson of Tuktoyaktuk said:
It’s so easy to sit down here and make judgments on people and lives that are 3,500 klicks away, and make decisions on our behalf, especially with that moratorium on the Beaufort. That should be taken away, lifted, please and thank you. That is going to open up and give jobs to our people – training and all the stuff we’re wishing for.
Then premier of Nunavut, Peter Taptuna stated, “ We do want to be getting to a state where we can make our own determination of our priorities, and the way to do that is gain meaningful revenue from resource development.”
Mr. Speaker, I note that you are indicating that my time is up. I assume that I will be able to continue at another time.
View Tom Lukiwski Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, entitled “An Even Greener Government: Improving the Greening Government Strategy to Maximize its Impact”.
Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
Also, since this may be my last opportunity in this Parliament to say a few words on behalf of our committee, I want to congratulate and thank all our clerks, analysts, interpreters and translators, who helped our committee achieve, I think, some very worthy and laudatory work on a number of reports. I also want to thank all the members of the committee. As members know, many times in committee, discussions can get quite heated and quite partisan. I was fortunate enough to chair a committee on which all the members acted with great professionalism and respect for one another. I look forward to once again returning to Parliament in the fall, hopefully to have the same response from future committees.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-17 15:56 [p.29196]
Mr. Speaker, I have the privilege of presenting two petitions today.
The first petition is on behalf of hundreds of Canadians who believe that the conscience rights of health care workers are not being protected when they are forced or coerced to become parties in assisted suicide. Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, yet the current government has done nothing to defend these rights in its euthanasia legislation. These citizens are calling on the Government of Canada to enshrine in the Criminal Code protection of conscience for physicians and health care workers. I trust that the government will urgently deal with these concerns and defend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-17 15:57 [p.29196]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on behalf of hundreds of Saskatchewan residents who believe that the Government of Canada must defend the rights of all Canadians, regardless of whether the Liberal Party of Canada agrees with their individual views. Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms identifies freedom of conscience, freedom of thought and freedom of belief as fundamental freedoms. These citizens believe that the current government requiring Canada summer jobs program applicants to hold the same views as the Liberal government is in contravention of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The petitioners call upon the Prime Minister to defend the charter and withdraw this requirement from the Canada summer jobs program. I hope the government will deal with the concerns of these citizens.
View Randy Hoback Profile
CPC (SK)
View Randy Hoback Profile
2019-06-17 22:24 [p.29247]
Mr. Speaker, one thing about the Conservatives is we stand for the rights and concerns of the victims over the concerns of the criminals. I would ask the minister this. How can he justify the watering-down of offences such as impaired driving that causes bodily harm, the use of the date-rape drug or human trafficking? How can he justify the changes in these areas that make it less offensive or less of a consequence for people to participate in these types of crimes?
View Randy Hoback Profile
CPC (SK)
View Randy Hoback Profile
2019-06-17 23:03 [p.29252]
Mr. Speaker, it is interesting when we start comparing the Liberals and the Conservatives. The Liberals tend to come in here and say they know best. They will do what they think is best and what people should understand is best. The Conservatives talk to people. We talk to them about what they would like to see in regard to legislation, how criminals are treated and how victims are treated. Could the member inform this House on the difference between how the Conservatives approach this versus the Liberals? The reality is, they are preaching and we are listening.
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2019-06-17 23:47 [p.29259]
Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I will be getting up again in Parliament. We are coming to the end of this time and I will not be back in the fall, so I want to take a moment to recognize the staff members who spend so much of their time trying to get us ready so that we can come into the House and do our job. I want to particularly acknowledge my present staff, Anita Hindley, Anna-Marie Young, Joycelin Mosey and Tristan McLaughlin, for the work that they do.
In the House we often find ourselves at odds in terms of perspectives on issues and certainly that has been the case with the bill. Liberals have failed in so many areas in terms of justice bills. I think of Bill C-45, when they were told they were going to end up in court over their drunk driving provisions. That certainly is happening.
This bill lessens sentences for dozens of different offences in spite of what the Liberals are saying tonight. I am wondering if the member opposite could tell us why all of their conversation about justice issues is focused basically on giving criminals a break and so little of it is focused on protecting the public and victims of those crimes.
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