A tanker is anchored in Burrard Inlet just outside of Burnaby, B.C.
Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press, file
Bill C-48 is the result of the worst form of political decision making. A Conservative government will scrap Bill C-48.This legislation enacts the Liberals’ 2015 election threat to permanently block export pipelines from B.C.’s north Pacific Coast — a threat they began to implement 30 days after forming government without hearing from scientists, economists and industry experts and without consulting Indigenous communities.In 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave the order to cancel the approved Northern Gateway pipeline that was designed to export oil from B.C.’s north coast.The goal is to landlock Canadian oil so it cannot reach the Asia Pacific market — even though foreign oil tankers will still be able to transit these same waters to deliver their oil to B.C.’s south coast.Alarmingly, foreign funds are behind this bill. The Oak Foundation, based in Switzerland, gave $97,000 to the West Coast Environmental Law group to stop Canadian oil and gas development “through a legislative ban on crude oil tankers on British Columbia’s north coast.” This is in addition to the $1.5 million that the Tides Foundation from the United States used to campaign against resource development in the 2015 federal election.Gary Alexcee, vice-chair of the Eagle Spirit Chiefs Council, says “with no consultation, the B.C. First Nations groups have been cut off economically with no opportunity to even sit down with the government to further negotiate Bill C-48.”Indigenous communities that had benefit agreements with the Northern Gateway pipeline said they were “deeply disappointed that a prime minister who campaigned on a promise of reconciliation with Indigenous communities would now blatantly choose to deny our 31 First Nations and Métis communities of our constitutionally protected right to economic development.”Bill C-48 would also block the Eagle Spirit proposal, a $17-billion Indigenous-owned energy corridor that has been called “the largest first nations endeavour in the world.”Calvin Helin, the chairman and president of Eagle Spirit Energy and a member of the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation, said that the 35 First Nations that support the project, “do not like outsiders, particularly those they view as trust-fund babies coming into the traditional territories they’ve governed and looked after for over 10,000 years and dictating government policy in their territory.”The United States is Canada’s top customer — and competitor. The United States will become the world’s largest exporter of oil and gas, and when that happens Canada must be able to export to new markets.The lack of oil-export pipelines is causing massive job losses in Canada. The oil and gas industry is the largest private-sector investor in the Canadian economy. Under the Liberals, investment in Canadian energy has dropped more than at any period in the last 70 years. Hundreds of thousands of jobs in manufacturing, transportation, construction, finance and oil and gas development have been lost across Canada.Is this good for the planet? No.The International Energy Agency predicts global oil and gas use will climb for the next 20 years. Canada has the most environmentally sustainable oil and gas production in the world — with the highest standards and strictest conditions for environmental remediation and water use.The intensity of emissions of Canada’s oil sands fell 21 per cent between 2009 and 2017, and will decline by an additional 16 to 23 per cent over the coming decade. Half of the commonly traded crude oils in the United States have the same or higher emissions than the average Alberta-produced crude.The increase in Canadian oil and gas production will actually lower predicted global emissions growth as Canadian oil displaces higher-emitting sources of oil and gas.In short, the world needs more Canadian energy, not less.Shannon Stubbs is the shadow minister for Natural Resources and the Member of Parliament for Lakeland.