Yesterday in the House of Commons, the Conservative Party used its opposition day to force a debate on the following Motion:
a) recognize the importance of the energy sector to the Canadian economy and support its development in an environmentally sustainable way;
b) agree that pipelines are the safest way to transport oil;
c) acknowledge the desire for the Energy East pipeline expressed by the provincial governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick; and
d) express its support for the Energy East pipeline currently under consideration.
(Background: TransCanada’s “Energy East” project would create a pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to St John’s, New Brunswick. TransCanada intends to convert an existing natural gas pipeline that is currently in place from the Saskatchewan/Alberta border all the way to the Quebec/Ontario border. A new pipeline would be built from there to the deep water port and refinery in St John’s New Brunswick.)
Unfortunately, it has become very clear that this Liberal government does not understand the importance of the energy sector to Canada’s economic strength.
The federal government plays an important role in building consensus between communities for projects of this nature, and it is not doing so.
In fact, in the midst of a worldwide collapse in the price of oil and significant job losses in Alberta and Saskatchewan, this Liberal government is in the process of imposing burdensome new rules governing the construction of pipelines in Canada that will make it more difficult for producers to get their product to market.
Going forward, pipelines will be assessed to consider the environmental and social impact of the product being carried including the impact during its exploration and production phase (upstream) and its refining phase (downstream).
Perhaps more worrisome, all approvals for pipelines will now be made by Prime Minister Trudeau and his cabinet and not by the independent National Energy Board as has been the case since 1959.
I would note that to my knowledge, the oil and gas sector is the only one in Canada that will be subject to an upstream and downstream environmental assessment.
Imposing an upstream and downstream environmental assessment on Ontario’s vehicle manufacturing industry would never be considered by the current government which is a clear double standard.
It is my hope that the Liberals will step up in support of Western Canada’s resource sector and look for ways to approve major infrastructure projects like pipelines rather than excuses to block them.
I hope this MP Report has been informative for you.
Events and Activities
Monday, January 25: Worked in my Ottawa office and attended Question Period
Tuesday, January 26: Worked in my Ottawa office, met with representatives from the Canadian Health Coalition, attended Question Period, attended the Commonwealth Inter-Parliamentary Association AGM
Wednesday, January 27: Attended Regional Caucus, attended National Caucus, attended a luncheon hosted by the Canadian Ferry Operators Association, attended Question Period, did House Duty and attended a Parliamentary Pro-Life meeting
Thursday, January 28: Met with representatives from Transat A.T Inc., met with representatives from the Western Canadian Shippers Coalition, attended Question Period and worked in my Ottawa office
Friday, January 29: Worked in my Ottawa office