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Results: 1 - 30 of 649
View Gerald Soroka Profile
CPC (AB)
View Gerald Soroka Profile
2020-10-05 14:58 [p.548]
Mr. Speaker, last December, the environment minister declined to order an impact assessment of the Bighorn mine outside of Hinton, saying that it would be dealt with by provincial approval. However, on July 30, ministerial discretion was used to designate the Vista mine expansion to be under federal review.
When will the government finally admit that it does not want any form of natural extraction in Canada?
View Peter Schiefke Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Peter Schiefke Profile
2020-10-05 14:59 [p.548]
Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague could not be further from the truth. The reality is that we have and continue to support our energy sector workers. Just during this pandemic, we invested over $1.7 billion to help clean up abandoned oil wells. We have invested $750 million to support the efforts in the oil sector to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. We have put in place measures to support the workers, and we will continue to do that.
We are going to continue to support all Canadians, regardless of what sector they are in. We are going to be there for Canadians.
View Charlie Angus Profile
NDP (ON)
View Charlie Angus Profile
2020-10-01 16:04 [p.439]
Madam Speaker, I am very proud to be participating in this debate from a town in northern Ontario.
COVID-19 plunged Canada into the worst economic and medical crisis in a hundred years. The pandemic disrupted our economy and jeopardized the future of millions of workers. It is essential that Parliament show leadership in this crisis. We need to work together and invest the necessary funds to help our country get through the pandemic safely.
I am very proud to be participating in this debate today and to be discussing the situation in Parliament.
It is really crucial when we are talking about the Speech from the Throne and where we need to go that we frame our role in terms of us being in the worst medical and economic catastrophe in a century. I am on the phone all day with people who are really frightened, and I know that members of every party are as well. People are frightened by the rising numbers of COVID cases. People are still dealing with the catastrophe of long-term care homes, particularly in Ontario and Quebec, and worrying about their aged loved ones.
We need to be putting people front and centre, and we can do this. We can have a very spirited and at times confrontational Parliament, but the focus is to get the services out there and what the best ways to get them out there are. It is one of the reasons the New Democratic party fought so hard to change the CERB, which the Liberal government was going to drop to $1,600 a month. We said that would leave over a million Canadians, such as gig workers and contract workers, in a very precarious situation.
This has forced a discussion about the problems of an economic system that for years was dependent on keeping people in contract positions, part-time work and precarious positions in the gig economy. When COVID hit, two million people were not able to pay their rents within two weeks of the lockdown, and we have to change that. Our focus right now has to be getting people through the long winter ahead.
The Speech from the Throne reads like an NDP platform. It reads like everything the NDP has been running on for years. The problem is the Liberals always run on the NDP platform; they just never govern from it. I was a young man with little children when the Liberals started promising child care. I am glad they are promising it again, but will we see it? I am glad the Liberals are promising pharmacare, but they have promised it in many forms and never delivered it.
However, this is a minority government. This is our opportunity to put forward negotiations to make things happen, and there is a will right now to move Canada forward to a new normal. It is going to take an enormous investment from the federal government to get this nation through.
I want to speak to two issues. One is very concerning, and one may be very positive for my region in the north. In the midst of the pandemic, we are dealing with the other great pandemic: the opioid crisis. It has been a disaster. I am talking to people in North Bay, Sudbury and Kirkland Lake about it.
Timmins has been hit very hard. Mixed in with the opioid crisis is the homelessness crisis, with upwards of sometimes over a thousand people who are homeless in the Timmins region, a community of 44,000. I congratulate our mayor George Pirie, the people who work at the DSSAB, the mental health workers, the police and those at Living Space in Timmins. They have done an amazing job trying to keep people safe and housed.
I have noticed that the Liberal government has quietly let many of the programs that could have helped die over the last year. A lot of the monies that should have been there for the opioid crisis are not there. There have been great promises for money for homelessness, but the money dried up very quickly. We are hearing positive language from the government, but when will that money be delivered? This winter is going to be a very hard winter in Canada, and I am very concerned about the opioid crisis and the homelessness crisis in our communities in northern Ontario. This is something that is non-partisan. Every single community in the country is facing this disastrous crisis.
We have to be ready to work together to get through this, but that means the Liberal government has to move on from positive words. They think if they say positive words, they get positive results, but that is not how it works. Positive words mean action. Action means we have to get the money out now to address the opioid and homelessness crisis.
I was very pleased to hear in the Speech from the Throne the commitment on electric cars. That is certainly something that will help manufacturing in southern Ontario. If we are going to talk about a green recovery through a sustainability lens, we have to be saying that, if we are going to put federal investment into these plants, the sources of the raw materials need to have a green lens too. The products that are mined have to have indigenous agreements and they need to move toward sustainability. That will give an enormous advantage to Canada, rather than taking nickel from Indonesia or going to the war zones of Congo for copper and cobalt. We need to say we are going to insist on an environmentally sustainable and indigenous positive resource policy to help manufacture electric vehicles.
We may have a massive new nickel mine in the Timmins region, and they have already come out front saying they want a whole environmental plan to get to zero emissions. We have the Borden mine in northern Ontario, which is working with zero emissions. They have removed the diesel machines from underground and are going completely electric.
In my community of Cobalt, we have the first cobalt refinery being set up. Cobalt is essential. There is no clean energy future without cobalt, but right now the majority of the world's sources are coming from Congo, which has a horrific record of human rights abuses, child labour and environmental degradation. This also puts us into a geopolitical war with China for who is going to control the cobalt resources and the future of the digital economy. We have an opportunity in Canada to turn that around and say we can do it in an environmentally sustainable way.
One of the things that has to come out of the pandemic is a real discussion about when and how are we actually going to start meeting our targets and meeting an environmentally sustainable future so that we are making investments and creating the jobs that are important here. This is something we need to be doing now, because the government is making the investments to get us through the pandemic, but this has to be for a long-term vision.
At the end of the day, our focus right now is about working people who have been completely up-ended by the crisis, including people I know who were in the gig economy and people who worked in the service sector.
I am very, very concerned about the rising numbers of COVID and going into new lockdowns. We see Quebec just moved into the red zone. If restaurants start to close, many of them will not reopen. That is the reality. We need to be addressing the potential economic catastrophe if we do not get the numbers in check.
For this, the federal government can play a huge role. This is why the NDP pushed for sick leave benefits, something that allows less protected workers to actually be able to take time off, so we can lessen the COVID numbers.
We did something historic this week in putting workers first and making those fundamental changes. I know we stayed up until three in the morning, but I want to say how proud I was that the Bloc Québécois and the Conservatives supported the New Democratic Party's efforts and we voted unanimously.
We in the New Democratic Party will continue the tough negotiations to keep the focus on getting people through the pandemic, so people can look to the federal government and say that Canada is doing their part and not giving into to the kind of horrific political chaos we are seeing south of the border. We are also seeing this in other countries that are being plunged into much worse conditions. We need to stay focused at this time.
I thank the Liberals for stealing so many great new ideas from the New Democrats in the Speech from the Throne. I am going to make their lives a living hell, at times, to make sure they live up to those ideas. That is my job as a member in the honourable opposition, but I think we can come out of this Parliament with something better for Canadians and a reason to believe.
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-08-12 16:14 [p.2785]
Mr. Speaker, it has become clear that the Liberals are using the pandemic to shut down accountability and transparency, potentially to usher in big government dependency, while targeted support is not actually getting to Canadians who desperately need it.
In over five years, no province has borne the brunt of the Liberals' divisive, anti-business, anti-energy, anti-resource policies more than Alberta. The Liberals outright campaigned against Albertans and the oil and gas in 2019. Now the government is using COVID-19 to finish what it started, the destruction of Canadian oil and gas. What is crazy is that the finance minister and the natural resources minister keep acknowledging how bad it is for Canadian oil and gas now that the OPEC cartel has dropped prices, disproportionately harming Canadian energy. While demand has declined due to the pandemic, with no plan to go forward for Canadian energy, and the programs they have promised to help are complete failures, Albertans can be forgiven for concluding that the lack of support is by design or intentional.
Eighty-five days after the finance minister promised help in “hours or days”, the specific help for small and medium-sized oil and gas companies has never actually happened, but just got merged into a generic mid-sized loan program. However, a medium-sized company needs $100 million in annual revenue to qualify for the program. I guess the Liberals have a different definition of a medium-sized business than the rest of us do, or are completely oblivious to the damage in the sector so far. Even if a company does qualify, the interest rate is higher than that of the banks.
The large employer program has interest rates that rise to 15% by year five, which are payday loan rates, not emergency assistance. Furthermore, the small business loan amounts are too small for oil and gas suppliers, and when drillers face one or two years of zero revenue, short-term and fixed loans are really of no use.
The $1.7 billion for orphaned wells is a drop in the bucket meant to create 5,000 jobs for a sector that has lost more than 200,000 jobs since 2015 and 20,000 since the pandemic started, with no end in sight. Orphaned wells have increased by 300% since 2015, precisely because of Liberal policies that have bankrupted operators.
The Liberals put the big banks in charge of applying for most of the BDC and EDC COVID programs, but banks are refusing because of the risk-sharing provisions, or to avoid doing work with a program from which they will not profit.
The reality is that Liberal ministers have been told all of this directly, repeatedly, privately and publicly, so their lack of action seems intentional and malicious. These Liberals are either oblivious or do not care about the damage they are doing to the fabric of our country, giving billions of Canadian tax dollars to their elite cronies and entitled, connected buddies, or benefiting Liberal friends or families, while everyday Canadians are struggling.
On a personal note, let me say that it is incredibly sad that as their federal representative, often the first thing I hear my constituents say to me these days is that it is time for Alberta to leave Canada. It is not just that of a vocal minority, but a growing view in Lakeland, and I believe it is my duty to express the scale and scope of that frustration and anger. People are not just talking about the concept, but about the mechanics, which should be particularly troubling given the unprecedented health, fiscal and economic crisis Alberta faces now. I guess it does not make the news because we are from a rural area or the Prairies, which is easy to ignore in Ottawa, but these Liberals have destroyed the faith of many Albertans in the federal government to the extent they have given up on the idea of Canada. That should shake every person in this chamber and everyone listening. It did not happen overnight, but it accumulated after five years of targeted attacks on Lakeland and Alberta, on federal jobs in my riding, on the oil and gas sector, on rural communities, on farmers and farm families. Cutting so many Albertans out of COVID-19 emergency supports is only the latest example.
From day one, the Liberals have gone out of their way to destroy livelihoods in Lakeland and Alberta, ignoring hundreds of thousands of job losses, spikes in bankruptcies, suicides and family breakdowns. They are sacrificing families and the future of their children for ideology and partisan gain.
There is a serious agricultural emergency in Lakeland after an early snow trapped crops in the field last fall. This year's spring harvest was followed by excessive rains that flooded fields, prevented seeding or drowned crops, wiping out farm incomes for a third straight year. Liberal-caused uncertainty in export markets and the pandemic made things even more complicated for all producers. To make matters worse, the Liberals hiked their carbon tax by 50% on April 1, right in the middle of the pandemic, increasing costs for farmers who did manage to get their crops off the field and making literally everything more expensive in every sector of agriculture.
Of course, no industry has endured the single-minded sabotage and vilification of the Liberal government like oil and gas. The Prime Minister tells the world he wants to phase out Canada's most valuable export and largest private sector investor in the economy. The Liberals blocked, delayed and cancelled infrastructure for Canadian oil and gas, not for the benefit of the planet, because Canadian oil and gas is the most socially and environmentally responsible in the world, but in order to burnish the Prime Minister's celebrity status in the global jet-setting United Nations crowd. It makes no sense.
Developing all of Canada's resources and exporting Canadian natural gas will do far more to address global environmental challenges than anything the Liberals have imposed on Canada, and in particular on the prairies.
After the 2019 election, Liberal campaigners admitted they vilified the oil and gas sector. They put their electoral gain ahead of the country. Clearly, the Prime Minister has learned from his father's campaign tactics. As Pierre Trudeau's strategist said when justifying the pillaging of Alberta's earnings, “Screw the West, we'll take the rest.”
Liberal cabinet ministers and Liberal MPs actively campaign against opportunities for Albertans that would benefit all of Canada, such as the Teck Frontier project, and have supported funding pipeline protesters and petitioned against oil and gas projects that would benefit Alberta and all of Canada. It has created an inherent animosity that goes even beyond changing this Prime Minister and this government.
The Liberals and the establishment's ambivalence to the thousands of mom-and-pop oil and gas suppliers shutting down in western Canada in real time, the lack of long-term assistance measures, the domino effect for financial support for producers to get drilling started again have been heard loud and clear in Lakeland, make no mistake.
For the first time since 1965, Alberta will receive more money from the federal government in 2020 than it sends. For 55 continuous years, wealth generated by Alberta strengthened the rest of Canada. The NEP in the 1980s under Pierre Trudeau took the most, at over $30 billion a year, which has since declined, but since 2005, Alberta contributed more than $20 billion a year than it received, which is more than any other province. Structural changes are needed to make Canada work for Alberta and to level the playing field. It would be good for all of Canada to value all of the regions in our country.
The Liberals are using COVID-19 as a so-called opportunity to re-engineer Canada's economy in ways that will further alienate and impoverish the west, and they are supported by their allies on the left.
Alberta punches above its weight in Canada. It is not an accident of geography or natural resources or demographics. It is not a coincidence. It is because generations of Albertans and Albertans by choice created an advantage by combining hard work, innovation, personal responsibility and free-market principles and policies to create private sector opportunities and a growing economy that attracted the best, the brightest and the youngest from all across Canada and the world to work and raise their families. It is free markets and free enterprise policies that propelled Alberta's economy to create nine out of every 10 new full-time jobs in Canada as recently as 2014 and to be a net contributor to Canada continuously for more than half a century.
The worst damage has always been done by federal intrusions into Alberta's natural resources policy, such as the NEP and now the dismantling of oil and gas through bills like Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, the blocking of pipelines, other regulations and roadblocks, barriers to exploration and to drilling, the carbon tax and now the failure of COVID support programs. Other provinces and regions have similar natural resource assets and opportunities, but they have not taken the same approach. It was the private sector and Alberta's entrepreneurial risk-taking innovation, combined with positive federal and provincial fiscal policies, that unlocked remarkable opportunities in Alberta for all of Canada.
After the 2015 election, in my first words in the House of Commons, I said, “A strong Alberta means a strong Canada.” It is really a tragedy for my riding and for our country that the Liberals have done everything they can to undermine that reality. On election night, the Prime Minister said he heard Alberta and that he would do better. He has not. My constituents are watching everything they built for generations collapse in front of them, and the federal government keeps asking them to sacrifice more by accepting one more review, one more regulation and one more tax. It is suffocating Lakeland, and because of Alberta's outside contribution to Canada, it will suffocate Canada's economic recovery.
The perspective that Canada does not work for Alberta is unfortunately pervasive in Lakeland. As elected representatives, we owe a duty of more than platitudes about our positions on industries, laws and taxes, more than politics for personal and partisan gain. This is obvious to freedom-loving Albertans and Albertans by choice. In Lakeland, it is a self-evident truth that the status quo is neither acceptable nor sustainable.
If anything I have said in the chamber today makes colleagues angry or uncomfortable, I hope it weighs on them. I hope it keeps them up at night, like it does me. I hope they stop enabling and helping the most corrupt, entitled and out-of-touch Prime Minister, who is doing all this damage to our country.
View Glen Motz Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, three weeks ago, the finance minister said that help was coming for the energy sector within hours, and then nothing; crickets. Finally, the government announced something for orphan wells; however, it is woefully inadequate for an energy sector and economy already decimated by the Liberal government.
What will the Prime Minister's plan be when 7% of our GDP, hundreds of thousands of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in federal and provincial tax revenues are permanently lost because of his continued indifference and hostility towards Canada's energy sector?
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, our government is far from indifferent to Canada's oil and gas sector. We know how essential the energy sector is to our country and how the energy sector is the source of hundreds of thousands of well-paying, middle-class jobs.
That is why last week our government announced unprecedented support for workers in the energy sector in the form of support for orphan wells. This work is long overdue, and let me point out to the member opposite that it was welcomed by the Premier of Alberta.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-04-20 17:09 [p.2212]
Madam Chair, the government announced for the energy sector $1.72 billion for orphan well remediation, an emissions reduction fund and a business credit availability program. The first idea actually comes from Bill C-221, which is the MP for Lakeland's bill. A Conservative MP suggested it. The problem is the PBO's costing for that original private member's bill was $30 billion upwards of private sector investment. Seeing that WTI is trading today as low as minus $40.32, when can Albertans expect the rest of the energy subsidy help?
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, the long-awaited announcement of $1.7 billion for an active well cleanup and $750 million for methane reduction are very positive steps for the energy sector for Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. They do not need to take my word for it. I am going to quote Premier Jason Kenney, who said, “Thank you to the Prime Minister...for announcing $1.7 billion to accelerate cleanup of orphaned and abandoned wells in Canada's energy sector. This is critical to getting thousands of people in the energy sector back to work immediately.”
The premier is right, and we are glad to be contributing to that.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-04-20 17:10 [p.2212]
Madam Chair, I will finish the quote. The premier also said that was a good first step. To paraphrase, Sonya Savage, Alberta's energy minister, said on CTV News, “I'd like to see the rest of the package now, please, as well.”
As I said, WTI is trading at minus $40.32. That was the bottom. This will reset tomorrow, which means the May futures prices will be around $20 starting tomorrow.
One of the things the energy sector and workers are expecting and have heard from the Prime Minister and his ministers is on the liquidity program provided through the BDC. It is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, but the BDC does not list criteria size on its website or anywhere else.
What are the parameters to ensure that outcome that small and medium-sized oil and gas companies can access the help that they need?
View Mary Ng Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mary Ng Profile
2020-04-20 17:11 [p.2213]
Madam Chair, the BCAP that we have put forth provides government guarantees to Canada's financial institutions, banks and credit unions, and are absolutely available to Canadian small and medium-sized businesses of all sectors. These are not only the $40,000 interest-free loans that are available, but indeed loans that go up to $12.5 million are available to Canada's small and medium-sized businesses, including those in the oil and gas sector.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-04-20 17:12 [p.2213]
Madam Chair, with all due respect to the minister, she did not quite answer my question. I was asking the criteria for size. The American payroll wage subsidy program lists a small business as 500 employees or less. Everything is bigger in America it seems.
Again, for these BDC loans for small and medium-sized businesses that small and medium oil and gas companies want to access, what is the criteria for size? Is it wages? Is it revenue? Is it an FTE count? I would like to know the number, please.
View Mary Ng Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mary Ng Profile
2020-04-20 17:12 [p.2213]
Madam Chair, of course, for the small business loan of $40,000, as members already know, it is a payroll size of $20,000 to $1.5 million. That is the eligibility criteria for that category of loans. For other loans that are available, they are up to $12.5 million, and one can go to the financial institution and get access to that funding.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, on March 25, the finance minister told the Senate that help for the energy sector was coming within hours or days, not weeks. It has now been two and a half weeks since that date, with no announcement. Reports are circulating that a proposal did in fact go to cabinet but that it was rejected.
Is it the Prime Minister's position that there will, in fact, be no help for Canada's energy sector and the tens of thousands of Canadians it employs?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-04-11 13:35 [p.2114]
Mr. Chair, we recognize the triple challenge faced by workers in the energy sector right now, which has been extraordinarily difficult for people in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The low oil prices have long been a challenge. On top of that, the COVID crisis in economic terms has led to a lowering of demand for oil, as people do not travel nearly as much as normally, and at the same time, the health crisis has led people into isolation and remaining home. Families across the country are suffering from this, particularly those in Alberta in the oil sector.
That is why we moved quickly on two measures to help as many people as we could across the country: the Canada emergency response benefit and the wage subsidy at 75%. There will be more coming for the oil sector as we develop sectoral solutions.
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Chair, on another note, some may be surprised to hear that I believe the Canadian government must play a part in restoring the oil sector jobs in Alberta and western Canada to what they once were. I do not think we should ask these people to sacrifice their entire economic model.
I do, however, think that any future projects or expansions in the energy sector should involve transitioning the financial resources that would have been allocated to these projects—Trans Mountain in particular—to renewable energy, especially in western Canada, which will have unique needs.
In the current context, can we restore the status quo ante for oil workers but refocus our efforts on renewable energy?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-04-11 13:43 [p.2115]
Mr. Chair, I thank the hon. member for his perspective, which is important, as I well know.
We must support the workers and families that are struggling in all sectors across the country, including the oil and gas sector. We also recognize that we are committed to climate action and that we must find ways to create good jobs for these people in Alberta and elsewhere that will last for years and for generations to come.
That is why we continue to discuss this issue with the Government of Alberta and with experts around the world to ensure that Canada and Alberta are part of this transition to a better future for everyone.
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, Teck Frontier's application withdrawal was yet another devastating blow to western Canadians. That decision was a direct result of the Prime Minister's anti-energy death-by-delay tactics.
Canadians know that Liberals killed Teck. Recent revelations that senior cabinet ministers were actively campaigning for its rejection prove that. Among the most vocal was the Minister of Agriculture.
How can the Minister of Agriculture expect to have any credibility with farmers in western Canada when she attacks our region?
View Jonathan Wilkinson Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to growing our economy while also protecting the environment. We remain focused on ensuring that good projects can move forward.
Albertans certainly are facing real economic challenges. We work together to ensure that there are better economic opportunities for all. As Premier Kenney himself said the other day, we are seeing declining demand at the same as increasing supply. It is a very significant challenge that we need to work on together, and we certainly intend to work with the Government of Alberta going forward.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
View Gérard Deltell Profile
2020-03-12 14:42 [p.2018]
Mr. Speaker, I have bad news for the government: that is not really how things went down. The Globe and Mail reported this morning that senior ministers with economic portfolios did everything they could to block the very important Teck Frontier project. We knew that was happening, and The Globe and Mail identified the culprits, who included the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
How can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food say that she is standing up for farmers in the west and across Canada, while staunchly opposing a project that is good for the west's economy and Canada's economy? I hope that the Minister of Agriculture will answer this time.
View Jonathan Wilkinson Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to growing our economy while protecting our environment, and we will continue to ensure that good projects move forward in a timely manner. Investors and consumers are shifting to a cleaner economy, and many industries are innovating to achieve that. Our government will continue to work with Alberta and all provinces and territories to provide good jobs and clean, sustainable growth for people in all of Canada's regions.
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2020-03-12 14:44 [p.2019]
Mr. Speaker, the agriculture minister was not standing up for farmers before and she is not standing up for farmers now, and we know why. It is because she was too busy ensuring that Canada's oil and gas workers remain unemployed by opposing the Teck Frontier mine at cabinet. Her focus should have been reopening lost trade markets, removing the carbon tax from farm fuels, addressing the processing capacity for Ontario ranchers or removing illegal blockades, things that actually would have had an impact on Canadian agriculture.
Instead of advocating for farmers and standing up for Canadian agriculture, why is her top priority attacking Canadian energy workers?
View Jonathan Wilkinson Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I would suggest there is some revisionist history going on in the House. The CEO of Teck made the decision to withdraw the application before it ever came before cabinet for consideration.
We are very clear that the oil and gas sector in this country is going through an extremely difficult period of time. We are seeing declining demand and growing supply. That is something Premier Kenney has pointed out as a significant challenge going forward.
We intend to work productively and co-operatively with the provinces and territories most affected to ensure that we have a good path forward, to ensure that good projects succeed. That is exactly what we are going to do.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View James Cumming Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Cumming Profile
2020-03-09 15:27 [p.1810]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to the motion put forward by my colleague, the member for Carleton. I will be splitting my time with my colleague, the member for St. Albert—Edmonton.
It is a very important debate that we are having today, particularly given the circumstances we find ourselves in with the coronavirus, the blockades and a general slowdown in the economy. One thing of note is that the Liberal government has always prided itself on its fiscal anchors. Let us talk a bit about those fiscal anchors that have now put us in a situation where we have limited flexibility to react to crises like these.
The first fiscal anchor the Liberals claimed was that they would balance the budget within five years. They said they would have very small deficits and then they would balance the budget. Of course, that anchor has now fallen off. Next they said they would try to find a balance with debt-to-GDP ratios and continue to see a decline. That fiscal anchor has fallen off the boat as well.
The one anchor they have left is when they talk about employment numbers. I would suggest there is a weakening in the employment numbers and, when we compare ourselves against some of the other G7 countries, Canada's unemployment rate does not look as favourable. Here is a government priding itself on fiscal anchors. I would say the anchor has fallen through the boat, the boat has a big hole, the boat is sinking and the Liberals do not even see it happening.
The Minister of Finance keeps saying that we are in good shape and we have this great reserve built up so that we can weather these storms. I am wondering if we will ever find out what that reserve is because, from the numbers Conservatives are looking at, we do not see that being the case.
The leadership of the government and the regulations that are stopping the growth of business have resulted in over 200,000 job losses in my province of Saskatchewan. There is $150 billion in capital that has gone elsewhere.
I always hear that it is because the commodity price is low. The fact is that the money went somewhere. Norway has now opened up another field and says it will pump oil for as long as it is needed. It put that investment in. The Russians have just put a big capital investment into the resource sector, and we know the Americans have been very successful growing their resource business and market share, which is something the Liberal government has not been able to recognize.
There is also the tax structure that has been put in place, burdening small businesses with increases in CPP, EI and particularly the carbon tax. The carbon tax is a tax on everything. These hard-working small businesses are trying to produce products, trying to be competitive in the global market and are restrained by the government continuing to increase taxes. By throwing in the TOSI rules and limiting the ability of husbands and wives to split income through those corporations, it strikes me that we are doing everything we can to try to slow down these hard-working individuals and great businesses that are the strength of Canada.
Under the Liberal government's weak leadership, the energy sector alone has lost over $150 billion in investment. I can name off the projects: $20 billion for Teck, $8 billion for northern gateway, $16 billion for energy east, $36 billion for Pacific NorthWest, $28 billion for Aurora and $25 billion for WCC LNG. The list goes on and on.
I can give the government a little help. There is a quick fix to send the right message that it supports resource development, that it supports these great Canadian companies getting to market. The government can support my bill, which would take away the tanker ban and allow companies to export their products through a deepwater port, be competitive and export our clean energy to other countries.
Last week, I was in Toronto at the mining conference. There again I heard great concern about the regulatory process in this country. Project after project talked about how the current government does not understand the importance of investments. I hope it is listening to the extraction sector, whether it be the oil and gas or mining businesses. If it wants to get this economy going, it is time it recognizes these businesses are its lifeblood. They are the ones that produce the revenue, can help this economy and will pay for all these programs I continually hear about. At the finance committee, submission after submission was about spending. At some point, we have to have an economy that is growing at a rate to be able to pay for all that spending.
While I am on spending, there is spending that can work toward growing the economy and then there is outright waste. The government seems to be the expert on waste. We can talk about the $50 million to Mastercard, the $12 million to Loblaws or the $40 million to BlackBerry. It goes on and on. Those types of investments are not what we need; we need the government to invest in less regulation, to empower the private sector and let these people get back to work.
We have an infrastructure program. I will acknowledge that the Conservatives also had an infrastructure program. Here is the difference. When the Liberals put out their infrastructure program, they talked about the three anchors they wanted to have within that program: investments in productivity; a reduction in greenhouse gases; and an increase in GDP. When we had a discussion with the PBO about this program, we asked if they were hitting the mark on any of those measures. There is no evidence they are hitting the mark on the measures, particularly in the area of productivity, which is the way we can get this economy going. Putting an infrastructure program together that has a lack of accountability, focus and measurables makes it really difficult to see if it is working. I hope the government will reverse its course on the infrastructure program and recognize that it should be focusing on allowing companies to be more productive, giving them better access to markets and making sure we have the most competitive regime of any country out there.
This program is full of flaws. Now is the time to push the reset button and start to deliver on programs that would be effective, allow us to grow the economy and help industry grow, rather than grow the government's budget.
With respect to the future outlook, beyond anything else we need to see a plan that gets us back to a balanced budget. It is not unreasonable to ask government when it will finally get back to balance, and I think there is an opportunity for it to do that. We need the government to get out of the way of the private sector. The private sector offered to build the pipeline and government ended up having to buy the pipeline because of the regulatory burden the government put on that company. The private sector wants to invest in Canada and believes in Canada, but it needs the government to send the right message to say we are open for business again.
Our energy sector and the province I come from are proud of what they do. They do it well, they do it clean and they have an opportunity to gain market share if we let them. We need to expand our ability to ship. I ask the government to seriously consider making revisions to Bill C-69 to make sure there is confidence in the markets here, as well as eliminate the tanker ban off the west coast. It is certainly not there.
A pay-as-we-go principle would bring some discipline back to government. If government is going to add something new, it has to be able to pay for it, so it should be able to balance those things, which would ensure discipline in the government and make sure it gets back on a path of balancing the budget.
On the tax front for small businesses, we have to eliminate the input taxes, lower the burdens on these businesses and allow them to succeed.
View John Brassard Profile
CPC (ON)
View John Brassard Profile
2020-02-28 11:34 [p.1743]
Madam Speaker, all week the Liberals have been spinning Teck's decision to cancel their project as the company's decision. It is the same spin they used when TransCanada cancelled energy east.
The systematic destruction of Canada's energy sector is what the Prime Minister and the Liberals have always wanted. Here is the truth: Liberals have politicized the process to the point where these companies and others have decided not to invest further in Canada while the Liberals are in power.
Why will Liberals not stop the spin and acknowledge that billions of dollars in lost opportunity and the jobs that go with them lie directly at their feet?
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, let me just state very clearly for members of this House and for all Canadians that our government absolutely understands the importance of natural resources to the Canadian economy, and in particular, of the oil and gas sectors.
Canada is one of the world's leading oil and gas producers, one of the world's leading oil and gas exporters, and that sector provides hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs, including blue-collar jobs across the country. That is of great value and that is something our government supports.
View Arnold Viersen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Arnold Viersen Profile
2020-02-27 14:01 [p.1681]
Madam Speaker, a new beard and a new look, but we wish the Prime Minister had a new attitude.
Albertans work hard, we play hard, and we are proud of overcoming challenges, like landlocked resources, cold climate, rugged terrain, great distances from markets and strict environmental standards. We step up and we work hard to overcome every challenge put in front of us.
The Teck frontier mine project was a clear example of Alberta overcoming challenges. It had the support of 14 first nations and met or exceeded every environmental and scientific requirement that the Liberals had placed on it. The only obstacle standing in the way was the Prime Minister and his government. Last week, Teck made it clear that the lack of action by the government led to its cancellation. Now, 7,000 jobs and $20 billion are gone.
Albertans are a proud people. We work hard and we contribute to Canada. It is time for the Liberals to respect us, recognize our contributions and let us get back to work.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, the Teck Frontier mine would have been a big benefit to Canada's economy, creating 7,000 construction jobs and 2,500 long-term jobs. Fourteen indigenous communities signed partnership agreements and they were looking forward to benefiting from the jobs this project would have created. Therefore, the decision to cancel Teck Frontier should have been a massive disappointment to any government, but the Prime Minister has refused to tell us how he personally feels about this decision.
Can the Prime Minister tell us how he feels about Teck Frontier being cancelled?
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I know this was a very difficult decision for the company and a very difficult decision for our country.
Let me say how I feel about our country's oil and gas sector. We secured the largest investment in Canada's history with LNG Canada. We approved the Line 3 replacement. We approved TMX, and we will get it built.
Our government understands that Canada is one of the world's leading producers of oil and gas and that the sector is the source of hundreds of thousands of great jobs across the country. We support the sector.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, it was the Prime Minister who praised the protesters when he said they were out defending their community in the cold. Those were his words.
It is very complicated to get a project approved, but it is actually very simple once the independent regulator gives a recommendation, and that recommendation had been sitting on the Prime Minister's desk since July. The Prime Minister could have approved this project in July, but he refused to do so. He refused to approve it in August, September, October, November, December and January.
What I would like to know is what information the Prime Minister was waiting for that he could not approve this project back in July.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I do not agree with the members opposite about everything, but I think we can all agree that our country needs to find a path forward on getting big energy projects built and on acting ambitiously when it comes to climate change. It is simply untrue and false to suggest to Canadians that the path is simple. It is complicated. It is going to take all of us working together and that is what we are going to do.
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