Scheer outlines vision for Canada that includes national corridor for energy, telecom – CBC News

Scheer outlines \vision for Canada\ that includes national corridor for energy, telecom - CBC News
Unifor Accuses Scheer Of Making Trump-Style Attack On Canadian Media
On Saturday in Calgary, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer laid out his party's vision for Canada's future resource development.

There were short-term fixes, but also a long-term pitch for a national energy corridor that Scheer said he believes Canadian premiers will embrace.

The committee report noted how a 1971 report by Richard Rohmer – an air-force veteran of D-Day who became a prominent land-use lawyer with the ear of governor general Roland Michener – proposed the development of a mid-Canada corridor, recommending federal, provincial and territorial governments make it an urgent priority. Rohmer imagined a massive transportation network for goods and people could turn communities such as Flin Flon, Whitehorse and High Level into major new urban centres.

"I want to talk about a national corridor that would move Canadian oil, gas, electricity, telecommunications and potentially anything else that runs along the ground," he said.

G. Kent Fellows, who co-authored the report, said the right-of-way could be used for roads, rail, pipelines, electricity transmission lines and telecommunications. The studys proposed 7,000-kilometre corridor would also serve communities well north of the existing east-west routes that run closer to the U.S. border. In concept, a main line and offshoots would connect ports in northern British Columbia and the Northwest Territories to Churchill, Man., eastern Quebec and Labrador.

"I believe a national energy corridor can do for Canada what the railway did in the early days of Confederation," he said.

On climate change, Ragan said the country will want to find ways to get through tough approval processes to run more east-west energy grids. For example, he said clean electricity could move from British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba into Alberta, Saskatchewan and parts of Ontario to help displace fossil-fuel generation.

Without specifying geography, cost, or timeline, Scheer said he believes there's a will among different provinces to find a way to agree to create a route that will move Canada's natural resources across the country through an area where there will be a kind of pre-approved status that would provide the kind certainty that the private sector craves.

Obviously it's going to take a lot of work to find the right balance between Indigenous concerns and environmental concerns and any provincial issues- Andrew Scheer, Conservative LeaderThat included increasing refining capacity in New Brunswick, exporting hydroelectricity in Quebec and Manitoba, and shipping oil and gas to tidewater and to eastern Canada from Alberta.

"I'm optimistic. I believe there's a recognition of the need for it," Scheer said.

We're talking about the people on the panel. We're not talking about the journalists who might be benefiting from these funds. We saw that Unifor, it was quite partisan during the 2015 election campaign, that they put out attack ads against Stephen Harper's Conservatives, which surely helped you get elected. So, again, we're back to this problem of an appearance of bias. That if you have, if you are giving this position to Unifor, to the union, to decide who is going to get this funding, when it's an organization that has clearly come out … going against your political enemies, that's a problem, isn't it?

"Obviously it's going to take a lot of work to find the right balance between Indigenous concerns and environmental concerns and any provincial issues. There may be a lot of private property concerns for any individuals who may be living along the proposed route.

But it also represents a very, very strong bias, doesn't it? Because Unifor has made it quite clear that they call themselves "the resistance." They have put out publicity. I'm sure you've seen their publicity: "The resistance: Welcome to Andrew Scheer's worst nightmare." If you want to have a panel that appears to be unbiased, how does that help you?

"But if we don't start now, then it'll never happen," he added. "And what we've seen in the country in the last four years under this Liberal government is that our resources are becoming landlocked.They're not being able to be developed.

I guess what I'm trying to get to … is that you want people to trust this fund, and Canadians want journalism they can trust. They want to believe that it's unbiased. But if the critics of your fund have always raised the alarm about any possible bias, that's why you wanted to have an independent panel. But haven't you just walked into that trap?

"I believe in the benefits of our natural resources — not just in their ability to create wealth, prosperity and opportunity, but their power to bring Canadians together from right across the country," he said.

They are News Media Canada, the Association de la presse francophone, the Quebec Community Newspaper Association, the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec, Unifor and the Fédération nationale des communications.

In the short term, that vision was articulated as a six-point plan that would see a Conservative federal government, if elected:

He also called for the continued development of renewable resources and spoke about the need to create opportunities for innovators to develop new clean energy technologies, but said that Canada has lost its energy sovereignty under the federal Liberals, and needs to reclaim it.

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"Now we can pretend — as some do — that the world doesn't need oil and gas anymore," Scheer said. "But that's simply not true, and it sells Canada short."

The plan includes: cancelling the carbon tax, repealing Bill C-69, ending the B.C. shipping ban, establishing timelines for approvals, eliminating foreign interference in approvals process, and invoking federal jurisdiction when necessary.

"Let's not forget before Justin Trudeau became prime minister, we had three private companies willing to invest more than $30 billion to build three nation-building projects that would have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated billions in economic activity," he said.

The ruling is considered a major win for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which Ottawa and Alberta view as crucial to getting more oilsands crude to overseas markets.

"Those companies — Kinder Morgan, Enbridge and TransCanada — continue to invest in pipelines," he added. "Just not in Canada."

He called on Ottawa to put the brakes on a bill to enact new environmental assessment legislation and to fast-track any judicial reviews to the Supreme Court.

When asked by CBC's Helen Pike where clean energy fit into his vision, Scheer said Canada can be a world leader in creating clean technology.

Andrew Scheer will be holding a news conference on Saturday on Scotsman’s Hill to discuss the idea of a national energy corridor.

"Obviously clean energy will be a big part of our environmental plan which we will be announcing in a few weeks. Around the world, Canada needs to lead the way and develop those world-class leading technologies — and use them to ensure that other countries can benefit from that to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as well.

"What we do know is the advancements made in Canada's energy sector — especially here in Alberta — we've come so far, we've developed so many new technologies right here at home reducing the environmental impact of energy extraction here in Canada.

"We're going to continue to do that and continue to make investments and incentives for further development in investment and research and development in clean energy and in renewable energy."

On Wednesday, Heritage minister Pablo Rodriguez announced the eight groups invited to join a panel tasked with determining what constitutes a Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization. Organizations that make the cut would then be eligible for up to $13,750 in annual tax breaks for individual editorial staff.

In an emailed response, Vanessa Adams, the press secretary for Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi, pointed out former prime minister Stephen Harper's failure at getting pipelines built.

This is highly controversial for journalists. There are journalists who think the government shouldnt be doing this. There are journalists who are ok with it, said Pugliese, whose day job is director of current affairs and news for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

"The Conservatives spent a decade failing our energy sector and failing Canadians," she wrote. "For 10 years they ignored Indigenous communities, environmental and local concerns. And for 10 years, they got nothing built to new markets.

While federal government spends on local and national media advertising have fallen, online media giants like Facebook and Google have benefited – in 2018, Ottawa dolled out nearly $25 million to these and other U.S. internet companies to promote government programs and services.

"Andrew Scheer's plan is no better," she added. "He's making it up on the fly. And he will use the same outdated approach. "Canadians won't be fooled. The result will be the same."

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