Moosomin – Premier Scott Moe was joined by New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, federal Conservative leader and Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer and Senator Denise Batters at a rally for resources in Moosomin on Feb. 16 that had approximately 500 in the room.
The event took place in the brand new IJack Technologies factory, still unfinished, on the north end of Moosomin. Surrounded by IJacks’ hydraulic pumpjacks lining the walls, the event, hosted by Moosomin and Canada Action, featured a who’s who of small-c and big-C conservative and industry speakers.
The day before the event, a convoy to Ottawa passed through Moosomin with many similar concerns as those raised by the speakers. And early the morning of the rally, about a 40 minute drive away, near St. Lazare, a CN train carrying crude oil derailed in the Assiniboine River valley.
Here is Moe’s speech, picking up after the introductions:
Ladies and gentlemen, is there a better place in the world to hold a Rally for Resources than Moosomin, Saskatchewan, Canada?
This is most certainly a community that encourages and celebrates the growth in our economy, the Canadian economy, that is driven by energy, mining, manufacturing and agriculture.
There is opportunity in Moosomin and the surrounding area because of those industries, because of our resource sector, because of what happens every day in businesses just like this one – IJACK Technologies – a new company building on Saskatchewan’s reputation in energy innovation.
Dan McCarthy, thank you so much for hosting us this morning, and thank you so much for what you, and all the people that work with you do each and every day for our Canadian economy.
My friends, it’s time for us to stand up for our resource sector, for Canada’s economic future.
The fact that you are all here today, on a cold Saturday morning in February, speaks volumes.
It tells me that in this province, in this industry, that you’ve quite simply had enough.
Because for far too often, we, you, have been excluded from the conversation about developing our Canadian resources and our Canadian economic future.
For far too long, that conversation has been dominated by those who disapprove of how you, and myself and our neighbours in this province make a living in our communities.
And for far too long, our voices have not been heard.
The voices, the voices of the ones that are being hear, are of the voices who would shut down our oil and gas industry, shut down our mining industry and shut down modern agriculture, as we know it. And the moment has come, in the nation of Canada. It’s time for us to begin to push back.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to push back against a federal government that just isn’t listening to us, that just, quite simply, doesn’t get it.
A federal government that is moving forward relentlessly with policies that are destructive for our economy, to our communities, policies that are driving out investment out of Moosomin, that are driving investment out of Saskatchewan, that are driving investment out of our nation of Canada.
The message that we are here to send today, and send it loud and clear, is that it is time for all of us to stand up and defend our world class, our wealth-generating, our sustainable energy sector here in Canada.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a regional issue. This is not a Saskatchewan issue. This is not an Alberta issue. If it was, we wouldn’t have the leader of the federal opposition, Mr. Scheer, here today. If it was a regional issue, we wouldn’t have the premier of New Brunswick in this building, in this province, in this community here today.
Today, this morning, we are sending a message this morning on behalf of all Canadians, from Moosomin to Barrie, Ontario, to Saint John, New Brunswick.
This is about Canada’s future.
All of Canada benefits from the sustainable, responsible production of our natural resources.
All of Canada benefits from what you do, in your the job, each and every day.
Everyone, every single Canadian, has a stake in this.
Ladies and gentlemen, when commodity prices plunged in 2014, we expected the federal government to open up the conversation about how we can cushion the blow, to this ever so important industry, to our economy, our communities.
That was not an unreasonable expectation.
We certainly did not expect them to get in the way of an impending recovery. And that’s precisely what has happened, at the worst possible time, just as commodity prices were recovering, our Prime Minister Trudeau introduced Bill C-69 – the no more pipelines bill.
In Canada, we already have one of the most stringent review processes in the world. And considering the effort undertaken by the proponent of the Energy East pipeline to make sure it was meeting each and all of those environmental obligations.
I point a few out. In Quebec alone, Trans Canada deployed nearly 100 environmental specialists, across the route.
They collected data from hundreds of waterways, plant ecosystems, wetland locations, and animal and bird habitat. They did this for more than three years to begin the approval process of that project.
They held more than 130 open houses, talked and consulted with over 7,000 landowners, 755 municipalities and more than 150 Aboriginal organizations, a thorough process, without a doubt.
They changed the route of Energy East due to those consultations in more than 700 locations.
Folks, we don’t need a complete overhaul of the federal environmental review process that we have. We have a very thorough process that does work.
What we need is a federal government that supports our resource industries across this nation.
Unfortunately, what we have is a federal government pressing forward with Bill C-69.
And just the conversation of that bill – not even the introduction in the House – the conversation of that bill caused the proponent to walk away Energy East, from an energy corridor that would connect our provinces – Saskatchewan, Alberta and New Brunswick and make life better for all Canadians.
For a moment, think about what we lost when Trans Canada backed away from Energy East. Think about what we lost, as a nation. It would have would have boosted Canada’s GDP by $55 billion while creating thousands of jobs in virtually every province of the nation, in Saskatchewan and Alberta, but also New Brunswick, and every province along the route.
A project that would have meant so much for thing community, Moosomin. A major terminal was planned for this community.
This community would have served as the on-ramp for crude oil from Saskatchewan and Manitoba that would move through Energy East to refineries in New Brunswick.
Energy East was a project that would have meant so much, not just for our province, but for the province of New Brunswick. I know Premier Higgs is going to talk more about that in a minute.
But I want to tell you this today today: the people of New Brunswick, the premier of New Brunswick, and us in this room, and us in this province and us in this nation, we share so much common ground on this nation building energy corridor project.
With Northern Gateway dead and buried, with the Trans Mountain Expansion slowly dying a slow death by strangulation, it’s crucial that we start the conversation about revitalizing an energy corridor with Eastern Canada.
In the days ahead, you are going to see how we are going to work together with other premiers to engage Canadians on how we might move forward with this vitally important project.
Ladies and gentlemen, Canada hasthe third largest proven oil reserves in the world. We have clean, sustainably-produced energy, yet we import oil each and every day into this nation because we aren’t able to build these energy corridors.
The federal government says no to big oil tankers on the north coast of British Columbia, which shuttered Northern Gateway. They say yes to big oil tankers coming into the province of New Brunswick, from Saudi Arabia, bringing oil for Canadians to use.
It just doesn’t make any sense, to me, and I know it doesn’t make any sense to those in this room.
This is but one of the challenges the federal government has laid in front of the industries we have here in this province.
We have tougher federal methane regulations coming down.
We have a federally mandated phase out of coal-fired power generation that the ultimate impact will be losing jobs here in Saskatchewan.
And of course, we have the carbon tax, which I have a lot to say on, from time to time.
I’ll just say this. I’s a policy that doesn’t work. It doesn’t reduce emissions, it reduces jobs in our province and in our country.
We have a federal government that is trying to impose on you and the rest of the people in this province. We spent this last week in court, saying that they couldn’t. And I look forward to the outcome of that.
Ladies and gentlemen, today, we are dealing with a federal government that just doesn’t get it.
A federal government that doesn’t understand our industries, in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, and I would say, across Canada. And it doesn’t understand how we support our families in these communities.
A federal government that doesn’t understand that in Canada, we are developing resources, we are adding value to these resources, in the most efficient and the most environmentally sustainable manner in the entire world.
They don’t understand, but I know we do.
So I say, I say with you, to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberal government in Ottawa, if you’re wondering, again, how far we will go to stand up for Saskatchewan and Canada’s resource sector?
Just watch us, you’re going to find out!