Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Official Opposition and the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, speaks about the idea of a national energy corridor in Calgary on Saturday, May 25, 2019. Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia Calgary
Azin Ghaffari / Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia Calgary
Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer renewed his vow to establish clear guidelines for project approval and restore investor confidence as he outlined his energy vision for Canada in Calgary Saturday.If elected in a federal election expected this fall, the leader of the opposition said his party’s first order of business would be to cancel the carbon tax and subsequently repeal Bill C-69, end the B.C. shipping ban, establish clear timelines for regulatory approvals to ensure investor confidence, eliminate foreign interference in the approvals process and finally, invoke federal jurisdiction when necessary.“We can pretend, as some do, that the world doesn’t need oil and gas anymore but that’s simply not true,” said Scheer, after taking a swipe at the ruling Liberals’ record.“Before Justin Trudeau became prime minister, we had three private companies willing to invest more than $30 billion to build three, nation-building projects that would have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated billions in economic activity,” he said, referring to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion, Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway pipelines and Trans Canada’s Energy East pipeline.“Those companies continue to invest in pipelines elsewhere in the world. Just not in Canada. I am confident that our plan will give Canada the best chance of having these kinds of projects succeed.”Bill C-69 was recently amended by the Senate and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney applauded the changes. However, Scheer said the bill is unlikely to pass under Trudeau, which is why they would repeal it if the Conservatives took power.The Conservative leader said his pipeline plan would allow projects to succeed in the short-term but also shared his vision for a national energy corridor to achieve long-term goals.A coast-to-coast corridor would move Canadian oil, gas, electricity, telecommunications and potentially anything else that runs along the ground across the country, he said.Despite the plan being in its infancy, Scheer said a national corridor would positively impact Canadians for generations and his party would take necessary steps to engage Indigenous communities and provinces.“As we saw with the court ruling striking down the Trans Mountain decision in the fall, it’s clear that the government did not ensure there was dynamic consultations,” said Scheer, who would dedicate a personal representative to the minister on file to ensure consultations would be ongoing and address concerns when necessary.He said Conservatives would make investments and incentives for further research and development in clean and renewable energy while balancing environmental obligations and government responsibilities to taxpayers in terms of controlling costs for energy.“We can do this but only if we stop being a country of no and get back to being a country of yes. Yes to more responsible resource exploration. Yes to more pipeline construction. Yes to investments in world-class leading technology,” Scheer said.