Scheer says Canada needs coast-to-coast corridor for pipeline construction

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 15, 2019. Sean Kilpatrick/CP

TORONTO — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says Canada needs a coast-to-coast energy corridor where it would be easy to build pipelines and power lines.

In a speech laying out his economic vision before the next election, the opposition leader says having one dedicated route would make it easier to approve major new energy projects.

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He says all planning and consulting would be done up front so industry wouldn’t have to submit “complicated” route proposals for new transmission lines and pipelines.

“With a single corridor, we could minimize environmental impacts, lower the costs of environmental assessments, increase certainty for investors, and, most importantly, get these critical projects done,” says the text of Scheer’s speech.

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Scheer also says the government should ensure Canada imports no foreign oil by 2030. Imported oil feeds “regimes that abuse human rights and take virtually no steps to protect the environment,” such as Iran, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, he says.

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Possible elimination of Alberta carbon tax has ‘no bearing’ on project approval: Trudeau

“An energy independent Canada would be a Canada firing on all cylinders — across all sectors and regions,” the speech says. “If the United States can do it, so can we.”

(According to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration, the United States imports nearly 10 million barrels of oil a day, including from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.)

Scheer says if the Conservatives win the next election, he’ll kill the infrastructure bank the Liberals created to entice private-sector investments in public construction projects, end corporate handouts and scrap the federal carbon tax.

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The Toronto speech is the second in a series of five Scheer is using to introduce major Conservative policies ahead of the election due in October. In a foreign policy speech last week, Scheer promised to move the Canadian Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Future speeches are promised on immigration, intergovernmental relations in Canada, and the environment and climate change.

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