As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote in his mandate letter to my colleague Natural Resources Minister James Carr: “it is a core responsibility of the federal government to help get our natural resources to market…” It is a clear direction, by both this government and yours truly, to gain access to tidewater for Alberta’s products and to exporting energy abroad. And was why we approved both Trans Mountain and Line 3 on November 29th, 2016.
However, as the Prime Minister has emphasized time and time again, the only way to get resources to market in the twenty-first century is if they are done sustainably and responsibly. The environment and the economy are two sides of the same coin, and it is not possible to achieve long term economic success without having the trust of the Canadian people, support by Indigenous Peoples’, and allaying local concerns.
This is why we are working with the provinces and territories to develop a Canadian Energy Strategy. It’s why our government has committed $1.5 billion over the next five years to have a world-leading Oceans Protection Plan to safeguard our coasts and invest in the transportation corridors that gain access for all of Canada’s products abroad.
It’s why our government is moving forward with putting a price on carbon pollution, which will give us a competitive edge internationally and incent the marketplace to innovate to build a clean-growth economy. This will also have the additional effect of safeguarding Canadian’s health and clean air, and bring new and exciting job prospects for middle-class Canadians.
It’s why, in the fall of 2016, our government approved Pacific Northwest. This is project has an estimated total capital investment of up to $36 billion and is one of Canada’s largest resource development projects. This project will provide some 4,500 middle class jobs during construction and 630 indirect/direct jobs during its operation.
It’s why we are ensuring the environmental risks linked to development are addressed by industry before projects proceed. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency took in a ground-breaking 34,000 comments from the public, and was granted a three-month extension to the timeline to ensure we had the science right. Northwest will be required to comply with specific mitigation measures that will minimize adverse effects on fish habitat, wetlands, human health, and on Indigenous peoples. And for the first time ever, annual greenhouse gas emissions for the project have been capped at a maximum level that is substantially lower than initially envisaged for the project.
These decisions reflect our promise to work with provinces, indigenous peoples and Canadians to find practical solutions that will grow our economy, create good jobs and protect our environment for future generations.
As always, you can contact my office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 403.244.1880. My office is located at 950 6 Ave SW and my door is always open to you. You can follow my work in Parliament online and sign up for my e-newsletter at www.KentHehrMP.ca.
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