VANCOUVER, B.C. — The First Nations Forum on Energy in Vancouver concludes today, after an opening address yesterday from the Federal Minister of Natural Resources.
Jim Carr stressed what he called ‘the Trudeau government’s commitment to renew its relationship with Indigenous Peoples’ and highlighted what he views as some of the early actions being taken to try and deliver on it.
In particular, he cited advancing a clean environment and a strong economy, while restoring credibility in the environmental assessment process.
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Meantime, in one of his latest reports to constituents, Conservative MP of Prince George-Prince River-Northern Rockies Bob Zimmer says it is unfortunate a new level of uncertainty now surrounds the natural resource sector with the government’s announcement of pending changes to the environmental approval process.
He calls on the Liberals to announce these changes as quickly as possible to help stabilize an industry which is hurting and desperately needs our support.
Noting that Eastern Canadian refineries are not connected by pipeline to Western Canadian crude oil production, he argues approval of projects like the Energy East Pipeline would mean a province like Quebec — at the forefront of the project opposition — could step away from costly foreign oil imports and instead support our own domestic oil and gas industry.
To further drive home his point, Mr. Zimmer also notes that, in 2014, Canada spent over $20 billion importing oil despite having one of the largest proven oil reserves in the world.