Moosomin – Just a few kilometres south of the TransCanada mainline, which includes the 42-inch pipe that would have become the Energy East Pipeline, approximately 500 people rallied on Feb. 16. Part of their message was to urge that project be revived.
Federal Conservative Leader and Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer joined Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, Senator Denise Batters and several other speakers at a rally for resources in Moosomin. Scheer was the keynote speaker at the Canada Action event, whose speakers were mostly small-c and large-C conservatives.
Scheer noted that it wasn’t that long ago that Saskatchewan was alone in standing against the federal carbon tax, but now several provinces, including Ontario and New Brunswick, are against it.
Scheer said Canadians are tired of paying for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mistakes, including massive deficit leading to higher taxes, or wasteful government spending, “Canadians are paying for his mistakes on so many files,” Scheer said.
“But there’s one area, where he’s doing significant damage to our country and our economy. But he’s not doing that by mistake. His attack on Canada’s energy sector is by design. It’s on purpose. This is the one area where he’s doing exactly what he said he would do.
“He has talked down Canada’s energy sector for long before he became prime minister. And my message to you here today is that Canadians deserve a prime minister that is proud of the work that you do, that will champion Canada’s energy sector, and not talk it down.
“Justin Trudeau went around Europe telling his friends at fancy resorts and gatherings of famous people that he was frustrated that he couldn’t phase out Canada’s energy sector faster. Well, I’m here to tell you that I will travel around the world, promoting Canada’s energy sector as a source of ethical, and responsible, sustainable energy.
“This industry is hurting. I know that. We hear it all the time. We see it when we’re home in our communities. Your federal representatives know that there is a great deal of difficulty, a great deal of anxiety, in this province, in Alberta, and the sector across the country. We know that. We get that. We’re fighting to undo the damage that’s being done to you.”
He spoke of overcoming hurdles, and what really stings is when those hurdles are not from external forces, or markets from other countries or natural causes but rather from our own government.
He said the sector is not interested in bailouts to mitigate the damage from this government’s own policies. “We want Justin Trudeau to get out of the way so we can keep doing what we’ve been doing for generations,” Scheer said.
“A lot people ask me, under a Conservative government, how are you going to get pipelines built? How is a Conservative government going to build pipelines?
“The first thing I say to that question is, governments shouldn’t have to build pipelines in this country. The private sector, the free market has always built them. We don’t need governments to do it.
“We need governments to set the conditions so that energy proponents can do what they’ve been doing for decades, and that is, build them themselves. We need to make sure the goalposts stay in one spot, and don’t just keep moving side-to-side and back and forth.
“We need to have Justin Trudeau to stop playing the role of Lucy, pulling the football away from the energy sector every time it lines up to kick the ball,” Scheer went on.
Scheer noted the federal government paid a billion dollars over what the Trans Mountain pipeline was worth, paying “more than the sticker price.”
Not only did he overpay, but Scheer joked that Trudeau probably bought the extended warranty, too.
He said, “It’s not funny when you look at the damage his policies are having, the workers, the people in this room, the people that are looking for work. The people who are worried about how they are going to keep their house. The small business owner who has, for generations, supplied parts or services to this industry that feeds so many families, there’s a lot of anxiety when they know that, in the coming months, they may have to let some of their people go.
“There’s a lot anxiety when they know it’s going to be a struggle to make payables. When you see the insult that is added to the injury, when many of those companies are selling off rigs, selling off equipment, to American companies, who are taking that Canadian equipment, taking Canadian tax dollars, that Justin Trudeau wrote on your behalf, and investing in the United States. That’s frustrating. It angers me, I know it angers you,” Scheer said.
The Conservative leader expressed several sentiments he would repeat on the lawn of Parliament Hill a few days later, when he spoke to participants of the United We Roll! convoy to Ottawa.
“It’s frustrating when we see people blocking the export of Canadian Energy, when we see people lying down in front of bulldozers, or tying themselves to a tree, to prevent exports of Canadian energy, that’s extracting the highest environmental standards, that the profits go back into the Canadian economy, supporting public-sector pension plans and the retirement saving of people in every part of this country.
“But I don’t see them lining up and down the St. Lawrence, blocking tanker after tanker of foreign oil, bringing energy from countries like Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and the Untied States to this country,” he said to applause.
His next statement broadly alluded to the defunct Energy East Pipeline, which would have shipped up to 1.1 million barrels a day of oil from Western Canada to Central and Eastern Canada, regions that currently import foreign oil by tanker.
“So we’re going to get these pipelines built so that Canada can become self-sufficient when it comes to energy, so we don’t have to import oil or gas from anywhere in the world, we can develop it in this country, and keep those consumer dollars at home,” Scheer said.
“We’re going to do that by undoing the damage that Justin Trudeau has done to our approvals process. I have a comprehensive plan that stands up for federal jurisdiction; declares these projects to be in the national interest, because of the benefits it provides in literally every single region.
“And, my plan will make sure the decisions are made by Canadians. It is time we end the practice of allowing foreign-funded advocacy groups from blocking and standing in the way of these projects,” he said.
“We’re going to repeal Bill C-69.”
“Job Number 1 of a Conservative government, if we are elected this October, will be to repeal the carbon tax. Don’t let anyone call it a price. We know that a price is something the market sets, that you choose, as a consumer, if you want to pay; set by things like supply, demand and the cost of production. When the government assigns a cost, and forces you to pay it, and collects the revenue, that is a tax. That is a tax every day of the week, no matter what they call it.
“It does nothing to reduce emissions. We know that the Liberals are planning to raise it even higher. Internal documents from the governments own officials indicate they are contemplating a $300 a tonne carbon tax, driving up the cost of literally everything. Making home heating more expensive, groceries. We’re not going to let them do that,” Scheer said.
He spoke of positive solutions, with an environmental plan that recognizes steps that the energy industry has already made.
“We don’t do the planet any favours if we drive away jobs and investment, and we see production and manufacturing close down in Canada, only to pop up in other countries without our same standards. We don’t benefit the reduction of global emissions, if we chase away those jobs and investment from Canada,, just to see them start up in China, or India, where they don‘t have the access to the same clean technology or the same clean electricity that we have in this country,” Scheer said.
“It’s too bad this rally had to happen. You wouldn’t have to have these rallies, these demonstrations, if you had a government that believed in you, if you had a government that respected the work you do,” Scheer said.
“Come October, after forming government, we’ll start cleaning up the mess he’s left us. I believe in the work that you do. I recognize the contribution that you make to this country. I celebrate the fact that there are so many families that have been able to go to school, raise kids, own a home, thanks to the natural resource sector. I will never go around the world, talking down Canada’s energy sector. I will go around the world opening up new markets, championing Canada energy sector, so the world gets more Canadian energy, more Canadian oil and gas,” he concluded.
Moosomin rally stories