Canada's Original Think Tank

Trans Mountain Pipeline

Trans Mountain Pipeline

Trans Mountain Pipeline

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: 

My question is also for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Yesterday, Minister Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, joined us for Question Period. I asked him a question on the genuine concerns of British Columbians towards the pipeline project and its effects on our lakes.

After yesterday’s mostly unanswered questions, I am no longer sure that it is helpful to have a minister here when they give no answers, compared to you, who tries to give us answers. So we may have to visit that at another time.

My question to Minister Carr at Question Period yesterday was: At the time of the arrest at the Trans Mountain pipeline protest, the Leader of the Green Party of Canada, Elizabeth May, expressed her concerns on bitumen oil projects. I asked four questions and I’m going to ask you, leader, to ask the government or the Minister of the Environment to give full answers. I am a believer that there should be a pipeline, but I’m also a believer that I must put the concerns of British Columbians here in the chamber.

My first question to the minister was — and this is what Elizabeth May had said — why does crude bitumen have to be transported and not refined in Alberta as it would save hundreds of lakes? Second, she believes the permits that were issued to Kinder Morgan did not represent a proper process. Third, she said the permits issued to Kinder Morgan do not respect the rights of intervenors or the rights of Indigenous peoples on these territories. Finally, she said the commitment to build a pipeline in 2018 while we are in a climate crisis is a crime against future generations.

Leader, I ask that comprehensive answers be given so that we can give British Columbians the full picture as to why it is in the national interest that there be a pipeline. Non-answers are not helpful; a comprehensive answer would help British Columbians understand this.

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for her questions. I’ve noted them and will ensure the appropriate response is forthcoming.

Hon. David Tkachuk: I have a supplementary question. I also asked the minister yesterday about whether the Prime Minister had sent a letter to the Premier of British Columbia, and whether he would table it. I never got an answer to that question.

Perhaps the honourable senator could inquire of the Prime Minister’s Office if a letter has been sent on behalf of Canada to the Premier of British Columbia, and whether it could be tabled in the Senate.

Senator Harder: Again, I thank the honourable senator for his question. I will undertake to do that.

I do, however, want to take the opportunity to repeat, as Minister Carr did, that the Prime Minister has, on a number of occasions, made very clear the position of the Government of Canada. As to whether that was in a letter, I will make inquiries.