June 1, 2017

LIB

Kevin Lamoureux

Liberal

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Madam Speaker, I wonder if my colleague could share with the House the importance of considering the economic and social issues surrounding pipeline development.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
LIB

Jim Carr

Liberal

Hon. Jim Carr

Madam Speaker, the world has changed. If this debate would have happened 20 years ago, the balance between economic development and environmental stewardship would have been lame. It would not have been at the centre of Canadian consciousness. It is now.

If this debate would have taken place 20 years ago, there would not have been much attention paid to indigenous communities. There would not have been much attention paid to the meaningful accommodation that is necessary to gain the support of indigenous peoples. That is not just in Canada. Wherever we go internationally, we find that the issues are the same. The issues are about sustainable development. Sustainable development, in the case of Canada, means paying close attention to environmental stewardship, honouring the teachings and realities of indigenous communities, and also knowing that the energy sector will continue to be an important source of economic development and job creation for Canadians.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
?

Thomas Mulcair

NDP

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP)

Madam Speaker, I am rising today to speak to the Conservative opposition day motion on the Kinder Morgan pipeline. I will also be talking about sustainability, because I just heard the minister responsible for natural resources try to appropriate to himself the teachings of first nations. He should learn one thing, which is that first nations are opposing Kinder Morgan because it is not a sustainable project.

It is worth reminding ourselves what sustainability is. Going back more than 20 years now, when we got the first report that said we had to start looking at the environmental, social, and economic aspects of all projects, what that essentially said was that we have to remove one of the last remaining and huge inequalities in our society, which is the inequality between generations.

What the minister is trying to support and defend today is precisely the type of development that we have had in this country over the centuries. We take raw natural resources, we do not add value here in Canada, and we try to ship them out as quickly as we possibly can. I heard the government say yesterday that the real problem right now is the shipping of our raw petroleum resources to the United States in far too great a proportion, that we have to start shipping them off to the Asian continent just as rapidly as we were shipping to the United States.

However, it forgets the obvious, which is that when we are talking about replacing some of the fossil fuels we are burning now, those very same products can produce some of the ingredients for a sustainable future. In other words, whether it is epoxies or carbon substances that go into solar panels, or the propellers for wind turbines, these are all things that require us to learn how to be prudent with our resources, including the oil we are blessed with in this country. I do not think that statement is one that anyone would ever oppose. We are blessed in Canada to have this type of natural resource. Countries around the world realize just how lucky we are.

I remember dealing with this on another occasion. When we were fighting the closure of the Shell refinery in Montreal, people asked me how I, as an environmentalist, could support keeping the refinery in Montreal open.

I was quite pleased when Louis-Gilles Francoeur, by far the best journalist to have written about the environment in Quebec, wrote a front-page article in Le Devoir backing us. He wrote that we should stop the foolish practice of exporting our raw natural resources. For example, we export B.C. cedar logs to China where they are transformed into children's play structures, and then we go to Costco to buy what was made in China with this beautiful cedar.

Why do we not add value here? Quebec prohibited this kind of wood export a long time ago, and there are furniture factories along the border.

The first step towards sustainable development is adding value to our products here in Canada, which has never been a priority for the Conservatives or the Liberals.

It is not very surprising, of course, that the Conservatives are going to put forward a motion in favour of Kinder Morgan. They do not like it when we remind them that they used the technique of budget bills that used to hide all sorts of things, that they gutted key, century-old legislation like the navigable waters protection act. What is even more disturbing is that I was there on the night that the mammoth budget bill was going through, and it was hiding all sorts of things. I remember the Liberals rending their garments, saying how terrible it was, promising up and down that they would bring back the navigable waters protection act.

If we understand that we are blessed with these natural resources, then we have to understand that the only way they can be developed with people onside, what we sometimes call social licence, is to have a clear, credible, thorough, transparent environmental assessment process. However, the Conservatives showed a bit of frustration, that there were too many decisions of the courts according the rights to first nations to have a word to say about how resources were developed after 400 years of colonization and oppression. They thought it was about time that we started giving first nations the proper hearing respecting their rights. Conservatives did not agree with that.

The Liberals, the whole time, talked a good game. It is worth looking at the words that were used by the Liberals, because they cannot weasel away from those right now. The Prime Minister's approval of the process that he once condemned, for us, is a fundamental breach of his obligation toward British Columbians, and all Canadians.

In Esquimalt, B.C., on August 20, 2015, the Liberal leader, the now Prime Minister, was asked “does your NEB overhaul apply to Kinder Morgan?” He replied, “Yes, yes.... It applies to existing projects, existing pipelines” as well. He was asked for further clarification: “So if they approve Kinder Morgan in January, you're saying”, and then the Prime Minister cut him off. He said,“No, they are not going to approve it in January because we are going to change the government. And that process [has to be] redone.” The tape of that is easy to find.

The Liberal MP for North Vancouver and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change proclaimed on his campaign website: “A new, independent, evidence-based process must be established. The Kinder Morgan expansion project must satisfy this new rigorous review..”.

The Liberal MP for Burnaby North—Seymour, who is now the parliamentary secretary to the minister of fisheries, of all things, told voters, “We are going to redo the National Energy Board process. [...] Kinder Morgan will have to go through a new, revised process.” That was a solemn promise. They broke that promise.

Madam Speaker, you were right, under the rules of this Parliament, to remind us that there are certain words we cannot use here, but I can say that they did not keep that promise, that what they said was not true. It was the opposite of the truth. I can use the word to describe when somebody intentionally says the opposite of the truth, and I will use that word for the rest of the day when I speak to people outside of this hall. It is important to remind Canadians how we came here.

We came here with Conservatives, Mr. Harper, who famously said that Kyoto, which sought to deal with the real crisis that is global warming, was “a socialist [plot] to suck money [from] wealth-producing countries”. That was at least an honest expression on the part of a climate change denier.

What we have over on this side, and it is interesting because the head of the Green Party just used similar terms to describe it, is the smiling version of Stephen Harper. We have the reassuring version. We have the snake oil salesman version, in fact. Throughout the campaign, Liberals promised to do politics differently. They promised to bring back the navigable waters protection act. Of course, they have not brought back a single article. They promised to bring in a new environmental assessment process. Of course, they broke that promise.

What the Minister of Natural Resources was referring to before was something that even the people who were put on that panel after, as some sort of patch job, said. They do not have records of anything that they heard. He had the nerve to stand in the House a few minutes ago and say, “All is well. We received 10,000 emails.” What does that even mean? They are trying to snow people. They are trying to con people into believing that they are somehow different. The only difference is that instead of approving Kinder Morgan with a scowl, they are approving Kinder Morgan with a smile. It is still Kinder Morgan. People of British Columbia cannot be fooled on that one.

On the subject of what is often referred to as social licence, let us be clear. The process did not allow people to even cross-examine witnesses. Why is that important? It is important because all of these types of approaches, this type of tribunal, this type of hearing, have to follow what are called the rules of natural justice.

Major energy projects across Canada are no longer undergoing credible assessments that make Canadians feel as though their voices are being heard. Under the rules of natural justice, when witnesses are being heard, people have the right to ask those stakeholders questions and cross-examine them.

What did the Liberals allow to happen in the case of Kinder Morgan? They allowed people who represent Kinder Morgan to come and give their opinion. Then, rather than saying that it was an opinion, they said that it was evidence, facts. It cannot be evidence or facts if no one had the right to ask them any questions about their testimony or cross-examine them. That is a violation of the rules of natural justice, but the Liberal Prime Minister is trying to cover it up and lead us to believe that he changed the process.

There are rules of sustainable development. When I was the Quebec environment minister, I banned seismic testing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for 10 years. Shortly after that ban was lifted, seismic testing was conducted for another pipeline, the energy east project. Seismic testing was done right in the middle of a beluga whale breeding ground. It is mind-boggling.

I am proud to have included a provision in Quebec's Sustainable Development Act, which I presented in the National Assembly and which was unanimously passed, that changed the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, just as my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona here, in the House of Commons, is proposing to change Canadian law to recognize the right to live in a healthy environment, under existing legislation. The David Suzuki Foundation, among others, has used this provision of the Quebec charter to stop seismic testing in the habitat of beluga whales, a species that is already threatened in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

How can the public have confidence in either Kinder Morgan or energy east?

In the case of energy east, it is worth remembering that if we go to Quebec City, we will see very large crude carriers right across from there, at the big Valero refinery. If we go to Sorel-Tracy, we will see even larger crude carriers filling up the new Enbridge Line 9B that was recently installed. What they are doing is so obviously dangerous that those crude carriers are only allowed to fill up to a certain level because they are close to the bottom of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Between a train, a pipeline, and one of those very large crude carriers dumping in that ecosystem in the St. Lawrence, I know which one is more dangerous. I also know that it has to be studied. It does not make any sense that in Canada right now, we are importing crude oil from insecure foreign sources like Algeria and Russia, and having it refined at Valero's large refinery in Saint-Romuald across from Quebec City.

However, we cannot even have that discussion because neither Kinder Morgan nor energy east can go forward. There is no thorough, credible evaluation process for that type of project in Canada right now. The reason we do not have that project is because the Liberal government and the Liberal Prime Minister broke their word.

Recent spills have demonstrated that B.C. is not prepared to deal with current traffic, much less with a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic. B.C.'s coast and economy are too important to risk. That is why we are demanding a new and comprehensive review process, exactly what the Liberals promised but have not delivered, that would address environmental concerns, properly consult with first nations, fully evaluate regional economic impacts, and allow for full public participation.

I go back to the words of the member for Winnipeg, who reminded us that he has played some kind of role with regard to sustainable development in the past. That makes it even more unpardonable, because he does not even have the excuse of ignorance. He is claiming to have social license to go forward with Kinder Morgan. He has no such social licence. His government has no such social licence.

We are also demanding that the review process that addresses those environmental concerns properly consults with first nations, fully evaluates regional economic impacts, and allows for full public participation. That's the only way to obtain that social licence. Pre-election, the Prime Minister knew that. It is too bad that the post-election Prime Minister will not admit it.

Under Stephen Harper's NEB process, the public was excluded and hundreds of applications to provide comment were rejected. As I mentioned earlier, there was no ability to cross-examine witnesses. Important issues were also ignored, including climate impacts. In addition, first nations were not adequately consulted.

Even the government’s own ministerial panel on the project criticized the significant gaps in the NEB process and found that the proposal could not proceed. Was it not enough that the National Energy Board had met in private with the former premier of Quebec, Jean Charest, to figure out how to better sell the energy east project? Since when is a decision pre-determined by people whose only mandate is to listen to the evidence, weigh what is presented in public, and make a decision based on what was heard and in accordance with the rules?

I often say that, generally speaking, it is just as big of a mistake to decide in advance that a project cannot go ahead as it is to decide in advance that it must. There was only one time in my career that I refused to consider a project. It was another project in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the completely ludicrous Rabaska project, which sought to bring huge ships filled with liquid natural gas to a terminal located across from Île d'Orléans and Quebec City, where it would be converted back into gas. It was so dangerous and so absurd that I said I would not even consider it.

Similarly, I was one of the people that said that there was no way that the Douglas Channel project near Kitimat, in northern British Columbia, should go forward. The name Thomas suits me because I always want to go and see and touch things for myself, so I went to visit the Douglas Channel with my friend and colleague who represents that area of British Columbia, the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley. There, I was able to see for myself that the idea of bringing large tankers into that channel was absolutely insane.

It is therefore possible for a government to refuse to even consider a project, so why then did the Liberals have reports from the National Energy Board on the Trans Mountain project? There were two projects: one in northern British Columbia and the other in the south. As a result, there were two reports from the NEB. In the case of the Douglas Channel in northern B.C., the NEB said that the project could not go forward unless it was sustainable, unless the first nations were consulted, and unless it obtained social licence. However, the NEB said that everything was fine for the project in the southern part of the province. That does not make any sense.

Even the panel co-chair reported that everywhere they went there were issues with confidence, transparency, independence, safety, and security. The Kinder Morgan pipeline will not be going ahead because the Liberals did not respect their promise to British Columbians to bring in a new process that would be credible, thorough, transparent, and that the public could have confidence in. Without those key elements, none of these major projects can go ahead, because in this day and age the public knows we have an obligation not just to ourselves now, but to future generations. That is the essence of sustainability, and that is why the New Democratic Party will be opposing the motion, and why we oppose the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
CPC

Mark Strahl

Conservative

Mr. Mark Strahl (Chilliwack—Hope, CPC)

Madam Speaker, I always enjoy the leader of the NDP's contributions to the debate in the House. The NDP has always been clear on this pipeline and certainly on any major pipeline that was proposed under the Conservative government. The NDP was opposed to the pipeline. That was its position and the member has just outlined the reasons for it.

What I have more trouble with is the Liberals saying one thing when they are running for election and doing something else when they are in government. Canadians should be concerned about that, as well as having the Prime Minister say one thing and Liberal MPs from B.C. say either the opposite or nothing, which appears will be the case.

I want to ask the member a sincere question. The NDP Premier of British Columbia—

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
CPC

Mark Strahl

Conservative

Mr. Mark Strahl

Sorry, I meant the NDP Premier of Alberta. Yes, I walked into that.

The NDP Premier of Alberta made it clear. She said, “Mark my words, that pipeline will be built.” Obviously, John Horgan said something else. Tom Sigurdson, Mike Harcourt, Dan Miller, and other B.C. NDP luminaries have said they think it is good for the building trades and that it should go ahead.

I want to get the member's perspective on the comments of the Premier of Alberta and what he might say to her in opposing this project.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
?

Thomas Mulcair

NDP

Hon. Thomas Mulcair

Madam Speaker, the member is also from British Columbia and has looked at this for a long time, but let us not forget that it is not Rachel Notley who promised a new system to evaluate the Kinder Morgan project; it is the Prime Minister. He is the one who is breaking his promise, and that is why British Columbians and the NDP say that the Kinder Morgan project cannot go ahead, because it has never been studied in a thorough and credible manner.

I would also add, and I think that Alberta has shown the way on this to many other provinces, that the Rachel Notley NDP government is the first one in the history of Alberta to come up with a plan to start bending the curve with regard to greenhouse gas reduction. It put on a hard cap. It brought together first nations, business groups, and non-governmental organizations. That is bridge building. I also like to see the NDP Premier of B.C., as he was just referred to, and the leader of the Green Party getting together. That is also bridge building.

I am sure that with a lot of goodwill, we can do a lot, including creating new jobs in the new economy. It does not have to be based on those same resources of the past. We can do a lot and the people of Alberta can be part of that.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
LIB

Kim Rudd

Liberal

Ms. Kim Rudd (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

Madam Speaker, I will go back to the hon. member's original comment and ask if he purports to speak for all indigenous groups. If so, what does he say to those indigenous groups in communities that, indeed, support this pipeline?

I also want to follow up on something the member for Chilliwack—Hope mentioned, and that is the comment by Premier Notley, the NDP Premier of Alberta, who clearly supports this project.

In addition, I would ask the member opposite what he would say to NDP members across Canada who, indeed, support this pipeline and the workers, a lot of whom are represented by trade unions, who want the 15,000 jobs because they are good, middle-class, well-paying jobs and they are important to communities across this country.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
?

Thomas Mulcair

NDP

Hon. Thomas Mulcair

Madam Speaker, in the filings of Kinder Morgan with the National Energy Board, it did not talk about 15,000 jobs. It talked about 50, not 50,000 but 50 jobs permanently created by that pipeline. I do not know where the 15,000 comes from.

I would ask my colleague one thing. Why did she enter politics? Does she feel good when she meets with a group in her riding and says the Liberals told the people of British Columbia that there would be a new process, but that was just something they were saying to get elected and had no intention of doing it?

Does that make her feel good about coming into politics and investing that much time and energy? I would feel terrible if I had ever done something like that. When I was the minister of environment, I was able to reduce greenhouse gases every year I was there. Does anyone know why? It was because I went in with core beliefs of what was important in terms of sustainable development and I dedicated myself, heart and soul, to respecting what I had promised people. People who get into politics making fake promises they have no intention of keeping is something that you should be ashamed of.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
?

Carol Hughes

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes)

I would remind the member to address his comments to the Chair and not to use the word “you”. It would be a lot easier.

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
CPC

Dan Albas

Conservative

Mr. Dan Albas (Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, CPC)

Madam Speaker, in regard to the Kinder Morgan existing pipeline, it actually runs through my riding. Obviously I am an interior B.C.-based MP.

I would like to see a new pipeline, because it is 60-plus years old and the design standards and requirements today are unparalleled, considering the ones that the original pipeline was built under. Having a new pipeline built would allow for a greater amount of oil, but would also be able to pay for increases to safety and response times, as well as all the infrastructure that goes along with that.

The member has also mentioned his issues with the credibility of the National Energy Board. Could the member actually concretely say what elements he would change, and tell us why no member of Parliament has put forward a private member's bill to introduce that change so that we can have that debate on whether or not the board could be tweaked to build bridges, as the member said, and pipelines?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
?

Thomas Mulcair

NDP

Hon. Thomas Mulcair

Madam Speaker, we know that the members of the National Energy Board, who were holding hearings on the energy east project, actually sat down with Jean Charest and admitted, because they had to be replaced because they were in an obvious conflict, that they were there to find out the best way to sell the project. Though they had not even heard the evidence yet, they had already decided the result.

That is a bit of a problem for most Canadians, if members of the NEB are supposed to be in an adjudication process listening to evidence and they have already made up their minds in advance. I do not know about the member, but I find that to be a bit of a problem.

With regard to the changes that are necessary, there has been another report brought in. I will distance myself from one key element of that. I did not think it made any sense whatsoever to say that the NEB cannot sit in Calgary. I thought that was an absolutely unacceptable sleight to the people of Calgary and to the ability of people to do their jobs.

However, the question is, what is necessary? We need a thorough, credible, transparent process. We do not have one. That is not just our opinion; it is the opinion of all the experts who have looked at it. We have to replace the energy board with something that is credible. If we do not, none of these projects, whether it is energy east or Kinder Morgan, can go ahead.

If the member believes in the sustainable and environmentally respectful development of our natural resources, which I repeat are a blessing, then he should get on board with trying to put in place something that the public can have confidence in. That is the nature of social licence.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
?

Nathan Cullen

NDP

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)

Madam Speaker, the Liberal Minister of Natural Resources started his speech earlier by saying that he was in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with the Conservatives, and that he had some soul-searching to do. That is strange, because Liberals so often agree with Conservatives when it comes to pipelines.

If the expert panel that the Prime Minister appointed to review the National Energy Board came up with the following conclusions: that the public has fundamentally lost confidence in the National Energy Board, and that there is a “crisis of confidence” with respect to the decisions that are being made because the public overwhelmingly feels that the National Energy Board is a “captured” regulator. That means it is too close to industry and is too often approving whatever it is that industry wants, leaving the public out.

If that is the situation and the promise was clearly made by the Prime Minister that in order to get that social licence, we have to restore and renew the NEB on this project before it gets approved, what situation do we have now? He went into British Columbia a week after the election and said that British Columbian voters, 60% of which voted for parties against this pipeline, were wrong.

What message is this Prime Minister and his silent Liberal MPs from British Columbia actually sending to the people of my province?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
?

Thomas Mulcair

NDP

Hon. Thomas Mulcair

Madam Speaker, that question really is the essence of what we are discussing here today.

The Prime Minister said the process was broken. The ministerial review panel on Kinder Morgan said the process was broken. The expert panel on the NEB said the process was broken.

Why do the Liberals now think the process is fine?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
CPC

Dan Albas

Conservative

Mr. Dan Albas (Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, CPC)

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House today of behalf of the good people of Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola. I would like inform the House that I will be proudly sharing my time with the member of Parliament for Battle River—Crowfoot.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
?

Carol Hughes

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes)

Order. I just want to remind the members of the NDP at this point that the House is still going on, and if they want to have conversations, they should have them in the lobby.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
CPC

Dan Albas

Conservative

Mr. Dan Albas

Madam Speaker, before we begin this debate, I think it is important for us to recognize why we are having it. We know that recently, the BC Green Party and the B.C. NDP did a backroom deal, with the intent to form a government in my home province of British Columbia. As part of this deal, it has been made clear that should a B.C. NDP-Green Party-supported government come to power, it will use every tool at its disposal to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline.

On top of that, we know that there are multiple Liberal members of Parliament from British Columbia who have publicly stated that they are opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline being built. Meanwhile, when the Prime Minister was doing his cross-Canada feel-good tour, he conveniently skipped my home province of British Columbia. That is a curious omission. There is no question that when the Prime Minister is in Alberta, he is very committed to the Trans Mountain pipeline. However, this same commitment has not been demonstrated in British Columbia.

These things, all added up, raise concerns for me. That is why I think we are having this debate today.

I will do something a little unusual for an opposition member. I will give some praise to the government, first, for approving the Trans Mountain pipeline. However, I must add that while one of the Liberals' favourite talking points is how the former government did not get any pipelines built to tidewater, to be clear, the National Energy Board did not green-light the Trans Mountain pipeline until the new government was in power.

On the same note, I will credit the government for keeping a campaign promise to re-open the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station and for adding spill response capacity at this station. I will recognize also that when the Prime Minister is in Alberta stating the reasons his government supports the Trans Mountain pipeline, he makes a compelling case. Let us hope that more of this happens in British Columbia where it is truly needed.

Now that I have given the government some credit where it is warranted, I would like to add a few thoughts on the topic. To be clear, if the Trans Mountain pipeline were not built, it would not stop the flow of oil, so to speak. It will simply guarantee that oil continues to go in the same direction across the same border, where we yield a much smaller return.

Let us be clear. The revenue and related taxation from resource royalties is part of how governments at all levels provide critically needed services for our citizens. The question is, ultimately, where we send the oil to maximize the return for the citizens we all, collectively, represent.

In Alberta, we have an NDP government that has paid a massive political price for introducing some extremely unpopular environmental regulations, the carbon taxation, to be blunt, in an effort to secure social licence on pipelines. It has been a failed effort, because those who oppose the oil sands will continue to oppose them, regardless of what the Alberta NDP government does.

However, here in this place we have an obligation to represent our citizens in a manner that also strengthens the fabric of the country, and ultimately the Canadian national interest.

In British Columbia there is an added concern about the presence of oil tankers off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Indeed, this Liberal government proposes to ban large tankers off the north coast of British Columbia. I mention large tankers, because of course, the proposed legislation says that smaller tankers are okay, because even those who oppose tankers on the north coast still need them. Because of that, they will get less efficient, smaller tankers.

Getting back to tankers off the west coast of Vancouver Island, there is an international shipping lane off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Just across the border and south of Vancouver, British Columbia, is a place called Cherry Point, Washington, home of a massive refinery. It is a destination for all kinds of large-scale tanker traffic. The bottom line is that tankers ply the waters off Vancouver Island, and will continue to, regardless of any legislation passed in this place or in Victoria.

The only question is this. Do we allow our resources to be discounted, and our jobs lost solely because some in the United States have figured out a loophole that makes it very easy to send large amounts of money into Canada to oppose not U.S. oil or Saudi Arabian oil but just oil from Canada? I would suggest that this is wrong. It is one of the many reasons I support the Trans Mountain pipeline.

In fact, on a local level, some of the communities in my riding also publicly support the Trans Mountain pipeline. Aside from the job benefits, they stand to get some taxation benefits from the improvements. For a community like Merritt, which was hard hit by the closure of the Tolko lumber mill, these are critically needed jobs and revenues for local government.

Looking at the bigger picture, I also believe that there are times when we need to have a national vision and the leadership to see it through, because that is how we build a stronger Canada. We watch celebrities charter 100-foot yachts and jet around the world. They have a carbon footprint hundreds of times that of normal, everyday citizens. They will fly into Alberta, hire a local jet-fuel-powered Bell helicopter, and then blast us for our oil sands.

We see oil-producing countries with nowhere near the environmental regulations being implemented in Alberta that are getting a complete pass, because here in Canada, we have become the low-hanging fruit of the anti-oil industry. It is an industry. There is big U.S. money that flows across our border to fight Canadian oil.

We know that U.S.A. oil production is massively on the rise. Strangely, there is mostly silence on that. By the way, most of that growth was under the previous president, not just the current administration.

We have an opportunity today with this opposition day motion. The Liberal government can support this motion. It is in our collective interest to do so. Crown resources ultimately belong to the people, and we have a duty, an obligation, to ensure that we maximize the return on these resources to pay for the very services Canadians hold near and dear.

It is all well and good to offer $372 million for a carbon-burning aviation project for a private company in Quebec, and likewise, $35 billion for an infrastructure bank in Toronto, but that money needs to come from somewhere. Here we have a project not looking for a handout, not looking for a government guarantee on the money needed to finance the project. What it needs is not handouts; it needs the certainty that when it needs to build this project and put Canadians to work, it will have a federal government in Ottawa that will be there to help Canadians say yes.

I recognize that the government itself so far has said yes. Words are important, but so are actions. Taking action today to support this motion will send a message that we have a federal government that is not afraid to diversify our oil export market away from solely the United States to allow us to get full value from what everyone would agree is a limited, finite resource. When we send that message, we will create jobs and increase our future revenues. Given the large deficits of the government, and likewise of many provincial governments, now is the time to take action and support Canadian oil produced by Canadians.

I appreciate the opportunity to stand on behalf of my constituents.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
?

Pierre-Luc Dusseault

NDP

Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault (Sherbrooke, NDP)

Madam Speaker, I always enjoy working with my colleague, and I thank him.

What bothers me about this motion is that it mentions social licence. It assumes that social licence for this oil pipeline is a given, but there are many people and quite a few communities vehemently opposed to it, and there are even legal proceedings under way against it.

I would like to know why the Conservatives decided to put social licence in their motion and what makes them think that this issue has been resolved and is no longer an issue. They think there is social licence and everything is fine. They seem to be looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses.

Why did the Conservatives put that in the motion when it is obvious that there is no social licence?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
CPC

Dan Albas

Conservative

Mr. Dan Albas

Madam Speaker, I first heard this term “social licence” being used in the context of oil sands and pipelines from the Premier of Alberta, Premier Notley, and it has also been used by the Prime Minister.

The problem with “social licence” itself is that it is a very loose term. It creates a sense that somehow we can always build consensus. In our modern society, we know we will not always have consensus. The New Democratic Party should know better than anyone that ultimately we have democracy. When we cannot get past feelings and regrets and questions and whatnot, when we have to come to decisions, we stand in this place, we vote, and we move forward. We have moderating institutions, like courts, to make sure that if people have legitimate concerns that the government is trespassing on people's individual rights, there is recourse. That is democracy. I support democracy, because it is something every Canadian knows, understands, and respects.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink
LIB

Celina Caesar-Chavannes

Liberal

Mrs. Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Lib.)

Madam Speaker, during the last few months while we have been in government, we have approved pipelines to tidewater. Our Minister of Natural Resources has been working on approving these pipelines, and our Prime Minister has done so, respecting the fact that we know that the economy and climate action go hand in hand.

I am just wondering what our hon. colleague has to say about the fact that we as a government have been able to do them together, the economy and the environment. The previous government made a number of removals from our climate-change policies.

What does he think about that, and why is he not satisfied with the actions our government has taken so far, and hence, has brought this motion forward?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Permalink

June 1, 2017