Today in Question Period, I asked the government leader in the Senate, Senator Harder, what action the Prime Minister is taking to get Trans Mountain built. Apparently he still isn’t taking any action, only talking.
Hon. Betty Unger: My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate and concerns the Trans Mountain pipeline project.
Following Kinder Morgan’s announcement earlier this month, which threw serious doubt on the future of the Trans Mountain pipeline, the Prime Minister reiterated his support for the project and stated that it would be built. Well, talk is cheap here, because in recent days, we’ve heard very little from the Prime Minister as to how he intends to translate his words into action.
Senator Harder, the clock is ticking on the Kinder Morgan pipeline. This impasse seriously impacts not only Alberta but all of Canada, and can be resolved only by the Prime Minister. Talk about leaving workers out to dry.
What concrete action does the Prime Minister intend to take in order to ensure that Trans Mountain will be built?
Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for her question. She will know that as recently as yesterday, the Prime Minister repeated his commitment to this project. Senators will also know that the Minister of Finance is leading the Government of Canada’s discussions with Kinder Morgan, and I’m sure that announcements will be made when appropriate.
Senator Unger: As recent as a week ago, Tim McMillan, President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. Mr. McMillan told our committee, “The reputation we have around the world today is a country that can’t get things done.”
As the Royal Bank recently warned, investment capital is already leaving our country in real time. Energy projects worth tens of billions of dollars have been cancelled since the government took office, and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association also recently stated our energy sector is in crisis mode.
Why then the government’s apparent lax attitude toward what’s happening to this very important sector, and why is the Trudeau government funding anti-pipeline activists?
Senator Harder: Again, let me repeat that there is no apparent lax attitude. The Prime Minister has been personally involved.
As honourable senators will know, the Government of Canada has had the active engagement of the ministers responsible. The Prime Minister has met with first ministers specifically on this and continues to be actively engaged in ensuring that this project is completed, as it is in the interest of Canada to have it done.