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Results: 1 - 15 of 303
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-02-25 18:15 [p.1546]
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Madam Speaker, I suspect if you were to canvass the House you would find unanimous consent to call it 6:30 p.m. at this time, so we could begin the emergency debate.
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View Alexandra Mendès Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Alexandra Mendès Profile
2020-02-25 18:15 [p.1546]
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Does the member have unanimous consent?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
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View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-02-25 18:16 [p.1546]
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moved:
That this House do now adjourn.
She said: Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.
I rise tonight to address a national economic emergency, the cancellation of the $20-billion Teck Frontier oil sands opportunity, even though the expert joint panel recommended it in the national public interest seven months ago. The cancellation of Teck Frontier will cost Alberta alone 10,000 badly needed jobs and will cost all 14 local and supportive indigenous communities their long sought-after agreements with financial, education and skills training opportunities. It will eliminate the potential for $70 billion in revenue to all three levels of government for services and programs for all Canadians.
People may think oil and gas is isolated to Alberta and Saskatchewan, but the energy sector as a whole is the largest single private sector investor in the entire Canadian economy. B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada and all of the territories have onshore and offshore oil and gas resources, some stranded and some not, with related industries at various degrees.
Canada should be proud to be home to the third largest oil reserves in the world. Canadians should also know the reality that 97.3% of it is in the oil sands, so Canada's oil future is dependent on the future of the oil sands. Every one oil sands job creates five jobs in other sectors in other provinces.
Ontario, Quebec and B.C. companies are the biggest suppliers to the oil sands. In 2017, oil sands companies, even after all the losses, spent $1.9 billion on goods and services from over 1,100 Ontario companies. Here is the alarming part. That was a 45% drop from what was spent in Ontario in 2014, before the Liberals were elected and launched their plan to “phase out the oil sands”, in the Prime Minister's words. In 2014, nine of every 10 full-time jobs created in Canada were made in Alberta, offering opportunities to everyone across the country and the world, driven by a thriving energy sector. I think most Ontarians would be surprised to learn that the contribution from oil and gas businesses to Ontario's economy is more than half of the contribution of the automotive industry. Over the next 10 years, oil and gas could generate $12 billion in tax revenues for programs and services Ontarians value.
The livelihoods of many Quebeckers also depend on the oil sands, where approximately 400 companies are direct suppliers to the industry in Alberta. The federal tax revenue generated from the incomes of those multi-generational Albertans and Albertans by choice working in the province's energy sector is shared right across the whole country. As my Atlantic Canadian family members and friends remind me, a rising tide lifts all boats.
In 2018, Canada's oil and gas sector still contributed seven times that of the auto manufacturing sector and 15 times that of the aerospace sector to Canada's GDP, even after the colossal drop in investment and activity. No Albertan and no Conservative wants to stand in the way of any other Canadian province, territory or industry. We want all to thrive. However, the attacks by the Liberals on oil and gas, their anti-resource, anti-business bill, Bill C-69, their oil shipping ban bill, Bill C-48, the drilling ban, the development prohibitions, the Liberal fuel standard, layers of new taxes, red tape, and ongoing and escalating uncertainty, are actually all attacks on all of Canada's economy.
Nearly $200 billion in oil and gas projects have been cancelled or stalled, and 200,000 Canadian oil and gas workers have lost their jobs since 2015, a flight of capital that is the biggest loss of energy investment and jobs in any comparable time frame in more than seven decades. Teck's cancellation is the 11th major multi-billion dollar mega oil and gas project to be withdrawn, and the latest in the list of 18 companies that have cancelled or frozen their Canadian energy assets in the same time frame. To put it in context, these numbers are equivalent to Canada having lost both the entire automotive and aerospace sectors combined in Canada. That would rightfully be considered a national economic catastrophe and a severe crisis by every member of every party in this House of Commons, and it has been going on in Alberta for years.
Canadian-founded juggernauts like Encana and TransCanada are removing “Canada” from their name and moving out of Canada. Drilling companies like Akita, Trinidad, Ensign, Savanna, Citadel and Precision Drilling have all moved their drilling rigs, their expertise and their world-class skills to the United States.
Let me make clear the disproportionate impact of the attacks on the oil sands by the Liberal government on Alberta.
As of 2018, capital investment in the sector fell by half, more than in the last seven decades, and the oil sands development in particular has experienced an even sharper drop in investment of almost 70%.
Whereas most provinces showed a decrease in people on EI as of January 2019, Alberta saw a major increase.
Business bankruptcies in Alberta were up 28% between August 2017 and August 2018. Business insolvencies in Alberta have skyrocketed by more than 70% from their 2015 lows, compared to a 13.5% decrease on average for the country as a whole over the same time period. Real estate vacancies and food bank use are both at record highs.
Albertans wonder why oil and gas job losses and all the related social consequences, such as suicides, family breakdowns and crime, do not seem to be occupying the permanent attention of national media and commentators. The cancellation of Teck just adds to an already existing pattern of crisis and it has been escalating since 2015.
As recently as February 2019, Devon Energy announced it hired advisers to help sell off its oil sands assets and later sold its Canadian operations to CNRL. The CEO said the sale was part of the company's “transformation to a U.S. oil growth business”. Month after month it was the same in 2019.
Imperial Oil says it is slowing down the development of the $2.6-billion Aspen oil sands project due to market uncertainty and competitiveness barriers.
Trident Exploration said it would cease operations. It left 94 people without work and a large number of oil and gas assets with no owner, including over 3,000 wells, 240 facilities and 500 pipelines.
Later, Husky Energy cut 370 jobs after announcing it would cut capital spending by 10%.
Perpetual Energy then announced it had cut 25% of its workforce.
Here is the deal: Albertans cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel. The cancellation of Teck Frontier represents a growing crisis of investor confidence overall in the fairness, predictability, independence and certainty of Canada's regulatory system, policy framework and the economy overall.
Teck invested $1 billion over nine years while meeting every requirement during a multi-jurisdictional rigorous review and was approved. In the months since Liberals moved the goalposts, the environment minister said the political approval depended on Teck's capacity to be net zero by 2050. Teck took that unprecedented step of self-imposing that exact goal far beyond the already world-leading standards of Canada and the industry average, not a regulatory requirement and found nowhere in federal law. Teck also committed to recycling 90% of the water used in processing and generating half the emissions of the oil sands industry average.
The Alberta government even agreed to adopt a 100-megatonne oil sands emissions cap to remove all the Liberals' excuses 48 hours before Teck's decision to cancel Frontier over public safety concerns, political risk and policy uncertainty in Canada became public. Teck's other assets are in unstable South American countries.
We all know the truth here. In the last couple of weeks, Liberal cabinet ministers hinted publicly that they might delay past the February 27 deadline and that they were considering any and all information, presumably new or different from the evidence, science, technical, environmental and economic merits that actual experts already evaluated. Liberal MPs spoke out and promoted petitions and admitted most of the caucus was against it.
Is it really any wonder why the whole world is looking at Canada and wondering whether any major resource project can be proposed or actually built here ever again?
Make no mistake, Canada's oil and gas is produced with the highest environmental and social standards in the world, literally second to none with an environmental performance index of 25, compared to places like Nigeria with an EPI of 100 or Saudi Arabia with an EPI of 86. This is what is so crazy about what the Liberals are doing.
Canadian oil sands producers lead the way. They have reduced emissions per barrel by 32% since 1990 compared to resources of similar kind around the world. They are the biggest private sector Canadian investors in clean tech in Canada and world leaders in R&D and innovation. Canadian energy and the oil sands can be the future, not the sunset, and it should be for Canada and for the world.
A painful truth is that this loss also represents an escalating national unity crisis. Western Canadians see political double standards for oil and gas, exemptions and blind eyes turned to projects, industries, exports in other provinces and foreign oil imports.
A strong Alberta means a strong Canada. It should be unthinkable for a sitting Prime Minister to attack the lifeblood and the primary industries of any Canadian province. Can we imagine a Prime Minister saying he was going to stand up to big auto in Ontario or big manufacturing in Quebec? Canadians would be rightfully outraged and so would Conservatives. It seems like in this House of Commons, it is only Conservatives who would be outraged at divisive political attacks on the lifeblood and industries of particular provinces and regions in our country.
The Liberal Prime Minister decided his political gains were more important than the unity of our nation. Their electoral result was as expected and all the Prime Minister did was give his empty words and here we are in a national and economic crisis today.
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View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2020-02-25 18:27 [p.1548]
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Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's remarks, but I am worried that this debate is going to fan the flames of rhetoric on both sides.
As a member of Parliament on this Teck Frontier issue, I supported this and approved the proposal. In terms of supporting it, I also realize that there are already 20 oil sands projects in the mill with approval. This one probably will not come into being unless things really change within the next 10 years. The problem we see on that side, and on this to a certain extent, is the way it is viewed out there in Alberta.
I have a lot of Alberta friends. I spend a lot of time there. A lot of people from the Maritimes worked in the oil industry and still do. In fact 25 flights out of Moncton a week used to go to Alberta and they are not now.
Trying to blame everything on the Prime Minister is not the answer. Does the member really think that the price of oil in the market had nothing to do with this decision? It requires $92 a barrel of oil for it to be successful. Oil is nowhere near there and looks like it is not going to get there.
Let us have some real facts on the table here. The Teck company made the decision themselves and the price of oil is—
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View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-02-25 18:28 [p.1549]
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Madam Speaker, let me say this to my dear friend. As a first-generation, born-and-raised Albertan with a deceased mother from Newfoundland and a father from Nova Scotia, let me tell him that I know very well both what the energy sector in Alberta has contributed to the country, but also how hard it is on families and on communities when they have to go other places to find work.
Atlantic Canadians, Albertans and people all around the country and all around the world have built our province and built our industry together. Conservatives will not let the divisive Prime Minister take it down.
Now I take this personally because I started part of my public policy career in the oil sands business unit in the department of energy. I was part of the effort to get the world to recognize the oil sands as a recoverable resource, as recently as 2006, with existing technologies. At that time it was high risk, capital intensive and the entire world said that it could not be done. Do colleagues know who did say it could be done? It was Albertans and Albertans by choice. We are proud of that contribution, but does this member—
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View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-02-25 18:30 [p.1549]
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Madam Speaker, what is ridiculous is that that member would stand in this House and try to pretend that multi-billion dollar companies making multi-billion dollar, high-risk, capital-intensive, long-term investments actually base their decision on the spot price of oil on a daily basis. I mean how ridiculous. Are these guys actually serious? In this country this is the most—
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View Mario Simard Profile
BQ (QC)
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-02-25 18:30 [p.1549]
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Madam Speaker, in her speech, my colleague began by saying that oil was the future of Canada. To me, that future seems bleak. At times I got the impression that she was talking about oil the way we might talk about water, air or agriculture. There is something essential in life and that is the ecosystem we live in. The energy transition happening today makes fossil fuels no longer—
An hon. member: Did you walk here?
Mr. Mario Simard: Can you be quiet, please?
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View Mario Simard Profile
BQ (QC)
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-02-25 18:31
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Madam Speaker, I get the impression that Alberta's big problem is that it put all its eggs in one basket, namely, oil.
Albertans have never given a thought to economic diversification. Today they are still asking that we—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Mario Simard: My colleague needs to calm down, take it easy.
An hon. member: It is the Speaker's job.
Mr. Mario Simard: Yes, and it is not an MP's job.
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View Mario Simard Profile
BQ (QC)
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-02-25 18:32 [p.1549]
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Madam Speaker, would my colleague agree that the problem is that there is no economic diversification in Alberta?
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View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2020-02-25 18:33 [p.1549]
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Madam Speaker, that is one of the great myths spun by the left both inside and outside Alberta. If one would actually look at the facts on diversity across the workforce, one would see that Alberta has long been the province with the third most diversified economy in the country. That is what happens when you have pro-business policies in a legal framework.
Here is my concern. First of all, I am glad the member has realized that oil and gas is a natural resource. I agree with him. Here is the fact. The energy sector is the sector that is regulated the most by all three levels of government in this country.
When these lefty Liberal politicians try to say that the issue is market conditions and business decisions, it shows they have no understanding at all about it. They do not understand that legal policy and political, fiscal and regulatory frameworks are what set the potential market conditions to attract or, in our case, drive businesses out of Canada. This is all for the United States to leave us in the dust, and for the dirtiest energy producers in the world to keep skyrocketing to meet global demand? It is ridiculous.
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View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
View Cathy McLeod Profile
2020-02-25 18:33 [p.1549]
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Madam Speaker, the House has only been sitting again for two weeks and this is the second emergency debate that we have had. I do not think I have seen that in my 11 years of being here. We have had two emergency debates on two perhaps similar issues, but they are also different. What is happening to our country when we are at such a crisis point that we have had to have this kind of debate week after week?
So far the government has managed, in terms of the oil industry alone, to drive $150 billion out of the country. I want to talk about this project specifically, and then I am going to get into a bit of the context for the decision that was made.
Frontier mine was a proposed oil sands mine located between Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan in northeast Alberta. The process for this application started nine years ago in 2011, so it has been nine long years and $1 billion spent. It was projected to create 7,000 jobs during construction and another 2,500 during operations. Building the project would have required a $20.6-billion investment, and it would have contributed $70 billion in federal, provincial and municipal taxes over 41 years of production.
We hear about pharmacare programs and dental programs. If the government keeps driving businesses out of this country, we are not going to be able to afford anything.
This project had first nations support. The company had signed agreements with the 14 indigenous groups who live near it, and the latest agreement was made just last weekend before the decision was to be made.
Let me talk about the emissions. In its report on Teck Frontier, the review panel wrote the following:
The project is expected to have emissions that are equivalent to or lower than oil produced in some other jurisdictions. Not permitting oil production from the Frontier project may result in exporting emissions to other jurisdictions with higher emission intensity than the project and increase overall global greenhouse gas emissions on a per barrel basis.
The joint panel review acknowledged that there would be some environmental impacts. I have been to the oil sands and I have seen the amazing remediation work that has been done in that area. The panel recommended that the project move forward.
This is the panel's statement:
There are credible forecasts that indicate increasing hydrocarbon use globally over the next several decades. Evidence was not provided which demonstrated that oil produced—or not produced—in Canada would reduce domestic or global consumption or the associated carbon emissions.
These are two really important features. What the panel was essentially saying is we are going to continue to need oil and this would be produced in an environmentally reasonable way. The company committed to improving their process.
In November 2011, we had an application. In July 2019 we had a review panel that recommended the approval and then, to be quite frank, the cabinet sat on this for many months with the decision actually being due this week.
On Sunday night many MPs from the west, and I was one of them, got off the plane and heard the news. The immediate thing one does is look at what has happened in those four or five hours of being in the air. It was a stunning outcome to see that Teck had withdrawn its application.
I want to give the House some context for the decision. The government loves to say it was the company that made the decision but let us put this decision in context.
In 2017 the Prime Minister said we need to phase out the oil sands. Whoever thought that he meant to phase them out within a year or 24 months? No one thought that, but obviously that is what he is intending to do.
I would like to contrast this with the Alberta premier, who acknowledged the need for transition, but he said that he hoped that last barrel in the transition period would come from a stable, reliable democracy with some of the highest environmental human rights and labour standards on the earth. He wanted that to be Alberta.
Obviously, the Liberals do not want it to be Alberta. They want it to be Saudi Arabia. While we still need oil, we all recognize the need for transition. However, the government wants to remove that from Canada but not from anywhere else.
What we have next is a caucus revolt. I am going to give the House some quotes.
The MP for Scarborough—Guildwood was quoted as saying Liberal caucus members were “darn close” to unanimous in their opposition to the Teck mine. He guessed that the Prime Minister would not go against the views of caucus.
The MP for Beaches—East York said:
If we are truly committed to net zero by 2050, and to the science, and to the world, and to our future and tackling climate change, there is no explanation sitting here today as to how this project fits within that commitment. So should it proceed as it stands? I think it's a pretty easy no.
He said that the government was listening to caucus MPs voicing opposition. He also said, “They are incredibly serious about consultation with caucus and taking our concerns to heart.”
The MP for Pontiac weighed in and said that we have to meet those standards. He went on to say, “My constituents demand that we meet those, and our grandchildren demand that we meet those.”
The MP for Toronto—Danforth told the Toronto Star that she is concerned about the damaging impacts of the project on wildlife and old growth forest and that she questions whether the project would compromise the government's net-zero pledge. She also said that from everything she has read about the Teck Frontier project she does not think it should go ahead.
The MP for Kingston and the Islands actually paid money to boost a petition against the oil sands.
What we see is the majority of Liberal caucus members, as they themselves report, being against this particular project. Then we hear that the Liberals are preparing an aid package for Alberta in case this project does not go ahead.
As members are aware, there has been an incredibly weak and poor handling of the Coastal GasLink project, which has created issues across the country. The government is not managing to deal with it, so I think it feared having to make another decision that might have gone against the activists. Again, I have to say that the government continues to fail to recognize that if we do not produce the oil it is going to be produced elsewhere.
With the current government, the Prime Minister saw the writing on the wall. It is very clear he did not want to make a decision. What I have learned in this business is that things do not happen by magic. It was absolutely no coincidence when all of a sudden there was a decision not to go ahead with that project and that it was going to be withdrawn. We all would love to have been a fly on the wall for the conversation between the Prime Minister and the CEO of the company before that decision was made. There is no coincidence in this kind of business.
The Prime Minister says that he does not direct the RCMP. However, is it not interesting how the RCMP took no action on the current blockades until he said that those blockades had to come down. Is it not interesting that he does not want to make a decision about this particular project and all of a sudden a decision is made for him.
From the SNC-Lavalin affair, we all remember the statements about the Prime Minister being in “that kind of mood”. In this case, he has a crisis on his hands. It is happening throughout the country and he has dealt with it poorly. He also has an important project that he does not want to make a decision on. He has a caucus revolt and then, by coincidence, the company decides to withdraw its application.
This is a shame. It has certainly worried us incredibly on our side of the House. It is certainly not fair that Alberta is hurt and penalized and that we continue to look at Saudi Arabia and other places to import our resources from. It is wrong and the government should be ashamed.
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View Peter Schiefke Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Peter Schiefke Profile
2020-02-25 18:42 [p.1551]
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Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for the passion she showed. This is obviously a very important issue for her, her constituents, all Albertans and all Canadians.
I am hoping that tonight in this emergency debate we can have constructive dialogue and talk about how we can specifically respond to the letter put forward by Don Lindsay, the CEO of Teck, and his call for greater balance between protecting the environment and having a greater framework with regard to climate change that would allow for projects like this to move forward.
I am wondering if my hon. colleague could perhaps share with this House what she is proposing and what the Conservative Party of Canada is proposing. Perhaps she can share some discussions she has had with the Conservatives in Alberta with regard to taking action on climate change to ensure we can develop these resources in a way that allows us to meet our Paris climate targets and allows us to create jobs, as the hon. member mentioned.
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View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
View Cathy McLeod Profile
2020-02-25 18:43 [p.1551]
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Madam Speaker, perhaps that was a puzzling aspect of the letter that was written, because it is the framework that the government has put in place. It is the goalpost that the company agreed to meet. It was the Premier of Alberta who made significant commitments in terms of where he was willing to go, what he was willing to do to make sure the project happened. What really has to worry us, by suggesting that Canada has an unstable framework, is looking at where else oil is produced in the world. I would suggest that our framework and our emissions are some of the best in the world.
For those who suggest that we can do better, we absolutely can. However, this project had gone the mile and the premier had gone the mile. Clearly it did not matter what mile they ran, the caucus over there wanted to say no.
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View Alain Therrien Profile
BQ (QC)
View Alain Therrien Profile
2020-02-25 18:44 [p.1551]
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Madam Speaker, I commend the member on her speech.
However, I have to wonder about the fact that Canada imports oil from Saudi Arabia. Canada produces so much oil that, in addition to meeting Canadian demand for oil, it is our biggest export. We are the fourth-largest producer in the world.
The message sent by Teck Resources, a private company, is that the market has dried up and it is time to begin diversifying our economy. Alberta needs to diversify its economy.
Why not do it now? This is the perfect opportunity.
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View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
View Cathy McLeod Profile
2020-02-25 18:45 [p.1551]
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Madam Speaker, no company goes through nine years of process and tens of billions of dollars and then, four days before a decision is due, decides to pull the plug on the business plan. Obviously people are in it for the long haul.
Yes, we do need to change in terms of our environmental process. We do need a transition, but why are members of the Bloc, the NDP and the Liberals not willing to say “Canada, we stand proudly behind you and we will be the last barrel of oil that gets extracted”?
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