OTTAWA – New Democrats strongly criticized the majority report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources tabled today in parliament calling it a whitewash which simply echoes the Conservative’s unbalanced oil extraction policy that doesn’t take into account the damage to Canada’s environment and economy.
“The Conservatives want to fast-track pipelines and strip away environmental protections with no regard for the consequences to our environment or economy” said New Democrat Energy and Natural Resources critic Peter Julian (Burnaby – New Westminster). “The report recommendations clearly put private interests ahead of Canadians’ interests, focusing on increasing raw oil exports, with little consideration given to domestic value-added jobs and the supply of either renewable or non-renewable energy resources.”
The number of Canadian refineries has plummeted from 44 to 19 in the last 50 years, while export of raw bitumen that could be further refined within Canada has increased dramatically.
Today Canadian refineries produce 400,000 fewer barrels of refined products per day than they did in the early 1980s and employ 10,000 fewer people than they did in 1989. In spite of these facts, the majority report promotes raw export pipelines and includes no vision for Canada’s energy future.
“The NDP’s dissenting report prioritizes the need for a Canadian energy strategy that focuses on protecting high quality, long term jobs in the refining sector, and the need to ensure sustainable and responsible resource development through a robust environmental assessment process” said NDP MP Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby – Douglas).