Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs sent a strong message of solidarity about supporting Canada’s energy industry at a pro-resource rally held in Moosomin on Feb. 16.
The three leaders were invited to the rally, along with Canadian Senator Denise Batters and other politicians, industry leaders, and association leaders, to show their support for the Canadian energy industry and Canadian resource sector. Close to 1,000 people attended the rally, held at the new IJack assembly plant just north of Moosomin.
All three leaders stressed how important it is to unite as a country, to support, rather than hinder, the Canadian energy industry, and to start pushing back against policies put in place by the Trudeau government that have harmed the Canadian energy industry.
Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he was proud of Canada’s energy industry, and that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s policies were set up to deliberately hurt it.
“Canadians are paying for so many of his mistakes on so many files, but there’s one area where he’s doing significant damage to our country and economy, and he’s not doing that by mistake. His attack on Canada’s energy sector is by design. It’s on purpose,” said Scheer. “This is the one area where he’s doing exactly what he said he would do. He has talked down Canada’s energy sector 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.”
Scheer says he believes Canada’s energy sector is something to promote around the world.
“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,” he said. “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 and sustainable energy.”
He said he was aware of how much people in the industry are hurting right now.
“This industry is hurting—I know that, we hear it all the time, we see it when we’re at home in our communities,” he said. “Your federal representatives know that there is a great deal of difficulty and anxiety in this province and Alberta and in the sector across the country. We know that, we get that. We’re fighting to undo the damage that’s been done to you.”
“In Saskatchewan we often face a lot of hurdles. You have to be made of special stuff to make it here in this part of Canada. Mother Nature doesn’t just give it to you. You have to work a little harder, you have to get that crop off a little quicker before the frost hits. When we have natural resources sometimes we have to innovate to get them out of the ground. We have to find new solutions to tackle the hurdles that have been placed in our way.
“But what really hurts, what really stings, is when those hurdles aren’t coming from external forces, they’re not coming from market developments in other countries, they’re not coming from natural causes, they’re coming from our own government. When it’s our own government that’s making it harder to make a living, that’s what really hurts.
“People in this province, in this sector across the country, we’re not interested in Justin Trudeau’s offers of bailouts, of extra funds to mitigate the damage from his own policies. We don’t want that, we don’t want more government assistance, we want Justin Trudeau to get out of the way so that we can keep doing what we’ve been doing for generations in this country.
“A lot of people ask me, under a Conservative government, how are you going to get pipelines built? And the first thing I’d say to that question is government shouldn’t have to build pipelines in this country. The private sector, the free market has always built them, we don’t need the government to build them.
“We need government to set the conditions so that energy proponents can be doing what they’ve been doing for decades, and that is building themselves. We need to make sure that the goal posts stay in one spot, they don’t just keep moving side to side and back and forth. We need Justin Trudeau to stop playing the role of Lucy and pulling the football away from the energy sector every time it goes to kick the ball.
“When he buys a pipeline—he bought the Trans Mountain pipeline—and we found out this week he overpaid for it. He paid almost a billion dollars more than it was worth. Can you imagine having a prime minister negotiate with a company that had already signaled its pull out of Canada? It was desperate to dump an asset and put their resources into the U.S. and Justin Trudeau paid more than the sticker price for a pipeline that you can’t even build. I have no doubt that in the days to come we’re going to find out that not only did he pay more than the pipeline is worth, but he probably bought the extended warranty as well.
“But it’s not funny when you look at the damage his policies are having on the workers, the people in this room, the people who are looking for work, the people who are worried about how they are going to keep their house, the small business owner that 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 is a lot of anxiety when they know it’s going to be a struggle to make payroll. When you see the insult that’s added to injury where many of those companies are selling off rigs and equipment to American companies, or taking that Canadian equipment, taking the Canadian tax dollars that Justin Trudeau paid on your behalf and investing in the energy sector in the United States. That’s frustrating. That angers me. I know it angers you.
“It’s frustrating when we see people blocking the export of Canadian energy. We see people lying down in front of bulldozers or tying themselves to a tree to prevent exports of Canadian energy that are extracted with the highest environmental standards, where the profits go back into the Canadian economy supporting public sector pension plans and retirement savings of Canadians in every part of this country. I get very frustrated about that myself, blocking Canadian exports of responsibly and sustainably developed natural resources.
“What I don’t see is people lining up and down the St. Lawrence, blocking tanker after tanker after tanker of foreign oil bringing energy from countries like Saudi Arabia, Algeria or the United States into this country.
“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 and gas from anywhere in the world. We can develop it right here in this country and keep those consumer dollars right here at home.
“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 our federal jurisdiction, and declares these projects to be in the national interest because of the benefits that it provides in literally every single region.
“And my plan will make sure the decisions are made by Canadians. It is time that we end the practice of allowing foreign funded advocacy groups from blocking and standing in the way of these developments.”
Scheer said, if elected, they would repeal Bill C-69, as well as the carbon tax.
“Job number one of a Conservative government after the election of this government will be to repeal the carbon tax,” he said. “Don’t let anyone call it a price. We know that a price is something the market sets that you choose as a consumer whether or not you want to pay, that is set by things like supply and demand and cost of production. When the government assigns the cost, forces you to pay it and collects the revenue, that is tax, it is a tax every day of the week, it doesn’t matter what they started calling it.
“It does nothing to reduce emissions. We know that the Liberals are planning to raise it even higher. Internal documents from the government’s own officials indicate that they are contemplating a $300 a tonne carbon tax, driving up the cost of literally everything, making home heating more expensive, gasoline, groceries. We are not going to let them do that, we’re going to repeal the carbon tax as job one.
“We know that there is an opportunity this October to undo this damage. We have in our party a great group of individuals, people with expertise, people from the private sector, people who know this industry so well. We are going to undo the damage that Justin Trudeau has done to this sector and we’re also going to offer positive solutions. An environmental plan that recognizes the innovation and steps that our energy industry has already made. The gains that Canada has made, whether it’s from agriculture to manufacturing, to respect our environment so we have an even cleaner Canada to pass on to the next generation.
“We’re also going to take credit for what Canada does so well. We don’t do the planet any favors 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 safely standards. We don’t benefit the reduction of global emissions if we chase away those jobs from Canada just to see them start up in China or India where they don’t have access to the same clean technology or the same clean electricity we have in this country. Our environmental plan will capitalize on the gains that Canada has made, incentivize reductions in emissions and stand up for the energy sector that meets those standards every single day.
“So we’re going to keep fighting the fight all the way to October."