Agreement Reached to Create and Protect Jobs, Build Trans Mountain Expansion Project 

Speech

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Thank you and good morning everyone.

As you heard my colleague say, the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is a crucial infrastructure project for Canada and for Canadians.

Let me remind us how we arrived at where we are today.

This project had to pass a high bar. Our government improved how we assess projects, as soon as Canadians elected us. That move included opening the doors to public consultation, filling important scientific gaps, actually accounting for carbon pollution, and accomplishing the single deepest Indigenous engagement process in the history of this country. This was no easy test — and we approved the project, in the interest of Canadians, subject to those improved and crucial standards and conditions — 157 conditions, to be exact.

We knew that, to do energy differently in this country, we needed to act differently. The 157 conditions are in place to ensure we protect both communities and our waters. We launched the Pipeline Safety Act to ensure that all pipelines operate with world-class safety. And we co-developed, with partners, the Indigenous Advisory Monitoring Committee, to ensure Indigenous leaders keep watch and advise on the project throughout its life cycle.

And we built Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan, to take action on the scientific recommendations on how to best manage shipping dilbit, and how to restore and protect the iconic and brilliant species of our oceans.  

All this will be in place before the line is operational.

While this pipeline expansion has become a symbol of energy debate in Canada, it is also an example of how real change happens.

Better science. Real co-development with First Nations and Metis partners. A climate change plan. Public participation. Environmental protection. These are all values we will continue to build into Canada’s energy decision-making.

The previous government spent 10 years pitting the environment and the economy against each other. They pitted us against each other. It polarized us. That is not who we are.

The majority of Canadians support this project. The majority of Canadians understand that we are in a transition to a clean growth economy, and we will not get there overnight. But we will get there.

We will get there by working together, creating the good jobs, and livelihoods, of our neighbours. We will get there by building the path forward together. A path that brings workers with us, brings jobs with us, and brings following generations with us.

The conversations we have had as a country over the past few months have been about more than a pipeline. They have been about Canada’s future and how we get there. If there is one thing for sure, we all agree on the end goal: clean air, clean water, good jobs, and a better world for our kids. I can assure you that, whether you wake up in Alberta or British Columbia, or Newfoundland and Labrador or Nunavut, you wake up wanting the same thing.

Today, Canada’s economy depends on the unrestricted flow of resources to market. For too long we have relied on one trading partner for our oil and gas exports. In a changing global trade economy, it makes good sense for Canada to diversify our trading relationships as we diversify our economy.

Canada is an energy leader in the world, and we will continue to be just that. The world is changing, and Canada will not be left behind.

Canada has accelerated our clean technology leadership around the world. We have opened up offshore Canadian waters to wind and solar energy for the first time. We are pricing carbon pollution. We are launching a Just Transition Task Force to ensure workers help build this path forward with us. We are transforming our energy assessment system to ensure good projects get built the right way.

Canadians have never accepted that we have to choose between a healthy planet and a strong economy. Canadians want both, and they can have both. It takes hard work, but we know that better is always possible.

The path to a new energy vision for Canada is long, but we are well on our way.  This project moving forward is about reliability, stability and getting the best price for our resources — and, most importantly, about good, middle-class jobs for Canadians.

Today is about providing Canadian families with certainty. No political interference should ever get in the way of that. The political dynamic these days is not the norm. We are facing unprecedented headwinds.

I’ve said time and time again, pipeline politics are not always straightforward. There is not always consensus — even within political parties.  

When every corner of this country works together, you see how we can succeed. When we don’t, you see how we can fail.

To get there, we need to make big decisions that will get us from where we are today, to where we want to be. Supporting this project is one of those big decisions.

We will not lose sight of what is important. We will not lose sight of what this means for workers, for families, and for the future of Canadians. 

Now more than ever, all of us must work to bring Canadians together for the common good, that will last a generation and more. Let’s move forward, together.

Thank you.


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