IN THE HOUSE ~ Question to the Harper government on the Keystone XL pipeline proposal

M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, la panique des conservateurs dans le dossier Keystone est devenue un problème à la veille du discours sur l'état de l'Union du président Obama.

Il s'agit maintenant d'un important irritant pour nos relations avec notre principal partenaire commercial, provoqué par les conservateurs. Avec Keystone, les conservateurs n'ont aucune intention de favoriser la création d'emplois à long terme au Canada.

Pourquoi veulent-ils exporter 40 000 emplois bien payés aux États-Unis?

 

Hon. Joe Oliver (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it amazes me how much the member opposite misunderstands the benefits to Canada of this great project which will create tens of thousands of jobs in this country and billions of dollars of economic activity.

The vast majority of Americans are in favour of this project. The majority of senators, the majority of congressmen and every one of the governors of the states to which this project will go are also in favour.

This is an excellent project for both our countries. The member opposite should get on the side of Canadian workers.

 

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, we are on the side of Canadian workers all right. We do not believe in shipping jobs out of the country.

The NDP believes in projects that are in the best interests of our communities, our environment and our economy.

Conservatives are panicking on Keystone XL just as President Obama is about to deliver his state of the union address. Even the Minister of Finance admits Keystone will send tens of thousands of jobs south of the border.

Conservatives are spending millions of taxpayers dollars promoting this project. Why do Conservatives always want value-added jobs to be in some other country than Canada?

 

Hon. Joe Oliver (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the U.S. State Department has said that this project will not have a negative impact on the environment, and in fact, this pipeline would be safer than existing pipelines.

As to this preposterous allegation of exporting jobs, the fact is, jobs will be created in Canada in the tens of thousands. That is something that the unions in this country understand and support.

The member opposite should speak to the construction union workers who are very upset with their alleged supporters. This is not a position which will garner support among Canadians.

 

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