Rally against Bill C-69 in Saskatchewan draws Conservative leaders

Dec. 13, 2018: During Question Period on Thursday, Alberta MP John Barlow took the Liberal government to task for Bill C-69, or what he called the "no pipeline bill."

The premiers of Saskatchewan and New Brunswick joined Conservative leader Andrew Scheer on a panel at a rally in rural Saskatchewan on Saturday that was held to draw attention to legislation that would overhaul how major energy projects are assessed.

WATCH: Conservative leaders from across the country rallied in opposition of a Bill C-69, a bill that would overhaul the approval process for major energy projects.

Andrew Scheer speaks at pipeline rally
Andrew Scheer speaks at pipeline rally

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe called Bill C-69 “the no more pipelines bill.”

READ MORE: ‘Lack of clarity’ in Bill C-69 leads Senate to send act to committee

“We have a very thorough process that does work. What we need is a federal government that supports our resource industries across this nation,” Moe told a crowd of hundreds in southeastern Saskatchewan.

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  1. “Unfortunately what we have is a federal government that is pressing forward with Bill C-69.”

Scheer vowed that if elected in October, he would repeal C-69 if it passed, but his government’s first job would be to scrap the carbon tax.

READ MORE: Scheer slams Liberal’s carbon tax for exemptions, but experts say that’s not the whole story

He said he will spend from now until the federal election fighting against Trudeau’s energy policies.

“We’re not interested in Justin Trudeau’s offers of bailouts,” said Scheer.

“We want Justin Trudeau to get out of the way.”

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Rally organizer Sinclair Harrison said before the event that he hoped the rally would encourage TransCanada Corp. to reapply to build Energy East, a pipeline that would have transported oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to New Brunswick and Quebec.

WATCH BELOW (Feb. 13): Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said on Wednesday that his party is expecting to release its climate change plan in the coming months, and said the Liberal government’s carbon tax is a tax grab “not an environmental plan.”

Carbon tax ‘not an environmental plan’: Scheer
Carbon tax ‘not an environmental plan’: Scheer

The company scrapped the $15.7 billion project in 2017.

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Energy East would have featured a tank terminal in Moosomin, Sask., near where the rally took place. There were also plans for additional pipelines to be built further south.

Harrison said the area already sees tax revenue coming from the existing TransCanada mainline and is reaping the benefits from construction taking place on another nearby pipeline.

“We’re here to speak for the silent majority that are in favour of pipelines,” said Harrison.

“The more pipelines, the better off we are.”

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READ MORE: New Brunswick premier joins push to bring Energy East pipeline back from the dead

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs also said he hopes to revive the defunct project.

“When I read the T-shirts about the world needs more Canadian oil, New Brunswick needs more Canadian oil,” Higgs said.

Afterwards, Moe said he is willing to work to improve C-69 and has submitted suggestions as part of the consultation process to the federal government.

He also said he is talking to different premiers, including Higgs, about developing more energy corridors throughout Canada.

READ MORE: Truck convoy leaves Alberta for Ottawa Thursday: ‘This is about uniting Canada’

Saturday’s crowd also heard from local business and municipal leaders who spoke about the importance of pipelines to the sustainability of rural communities and the construction industry, as well as safety.

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About 50 kilometres away near St-Lazare, Man., approximately three dozen tanker cars of a Canadian National train derailed early Saturday.

An undetermined amount of oil leaked, CN said, but it was later contained and there were no reports of injuries or a fire.

READ MORE: About 40 derailed train cars leaking crude oil near Manitoba town of St. Lazare

Marlene Spear from Langenburg, Sask., who’s husband works in oil and gas and whose son-in-law was at the derailment, attended the rally and believes more pipelines are needed because it is safer than moving oil by rail.

“Travelling the oil and gas across our country by train is not necessarily any safer than travelling it though a pipeline,” Spear said.

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Marc Porter, from Wawota, Sask., was also at the rally, and said times are tough.

“This is the first year that I’ve ever applied for unemployment insurance, probably since I was a kid, so it hasn’t been that great.”

Saturday’s rally comes as a truck convoy that started in Red Deer, Alta., is making its way to Ottawa as part of a protest in support of the energy sector.

WATCH BELOW (Feb 14): A convoy left Red Deer for Ottawa Thursday to protest several issues including the carbon tax & bill C-69. As Tracy Nagai reports, people have been showing their support as the group travels across the country.

Alberta convoy heads east to promote jobs and pipelines
Alberta convoy heads east to promote jobs and pipelines