In Parliament Feb 23: Asking about PM's Meeting with Joe Biden and Line 5

Question Period, February 23: In advance of the Prime Minister's meeting with President Joe Biden, I wanted assurances that energy and pipeline issues - and in particular the future of the critical but threatened Enbridge Line 5 pipeline - would be on the Prime Minister's agenda. It appears not.  [transcript below the video]

Mr. Greg McLean (Calgary Centre, CPC): Mr. Speaker, media reports from yesterday say that the Prime Minister will not be raising any specific energy projects when he meets with the President today. This is not a Seinfeld episode. We do not need a meeting about nothing when our public health and economic security are at risk. The Michigan governor is threatening to cut off Enbridge Line 5 in contravention of an international treaty. Jobs are at risk. The economy of Canada is at risk. As we all know, budgets do not balance themselves and this issue will not fix itself.

    Millions of Canadians who depend on Line 5 are wondering what is the Prime Minister waiting for?

    Hon. Seamus O'Regan (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, no other two countries have their energy sectors as closely linked as we do: 70 pipelines, three dozen transmission lines cross the border, over $100 billion in annual energy trade. We will raise opportunities for further collaboration with our American counterparts on security of energy infrastructure, on resilience of supply chains, on our common mission to lower emissions in the net zero future. The Canada-U.S. bilateral energy relationship is the strongest in the world. Today, we will make that relationship even stronger.

    Mr. Greg McLean (Calgary Centre, CPC): Mr. Speaker, if ministers were awarded for words, this minister would be an outperformer, however, the government's results on energy are dismal. Trans Mountain, its proponents left Canada and it is now years behind schedule. Northern gateway, cancelled. Energy east, cancelled. Teck Frontier, cancelled. Keystone XL, cancelled while the government sat on its hands. If we leave Line 5 in this minister's hands, we know the likely result. More apologies for failure, more jobs lost and more investments leaving Canada. Will the Prime Minister please step up and rescue Line 5 from this minister?

    Hon. Seamus O'Regan (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, to quote another Seinfeld episode, “that's a lot of Yada Yada Yada”. Let us talk about how we support our oil and gas workers. We approved TMX. We bought it and we are building it. Seven thousand jobs have been created, more to come. We approved Line 3 replacement. It is built on the Canadian side. Seven thousand jobs created. We approved NGTL 2021, thousands of jobs to be created. There is $1.7 billion for orphan and innactive wells creating thousands of jobs in Saskatchewan, B.C. and in Alberta.

    We will always defend Canada's interests when it comes to energy security and our energy workers.