Week of June 4, 2018
Much has been said since the federal government purchased the Trans Mountain Pipeline from Kinder Morgan last week. For some, there is a misconception that we have to make a choice between protecting the environment and growing the economy. We don’t. We know this is a country where it is possible to do both at the same time.
Government infrastructure investments help build our country. If we go back more than a hundred years, we’ll see the Canadian Pacific Railway wouldn’t have been built without the help of the federal government. The same can be said about the oil sands in Alberta, which injected almost $13 billion into the Canadian economy in 2017.
Take our riding for example. The federal government has invested millions into infrastructure projects, such as our airports in Red Lake, Kenora, Pickle Lake, Cat Lake First Nation, Fort Severn First Nation, just to name a few. More than $40 million went towards improving internet infrastructure in our local communities last year, bringing us closer to having the 21st century technological services that are required for businesses to compete in today’s world.
This March, a $1.6 billion investment was made into the Watay Power Project to connect 16 remote First Nation communities to the provincial power grid. The project will not only create jobs and improve the lives of everyone in the communities – it will bolster the economy by continuing to open up the North.
Red Lake is still benefiting from a pipeline project that is delivering clean, affordable natural gas to local residents and businesses. The $40 million project was funded in part by the federal government and saves residents and businesses money while creating jobs locally.
I truly understand and appreciate the concerns of British Columbia residents. Our government is a leader when it comes to protecting our environment as we demonstrated recently when we invested in the IISD Experimental Lakes Area, which the previous conservative government failed to do. We again demonstrated our commitment by investing $5.5 million to help improve water quality and the ecosystem in Lake of the Woods. These are but a few examples, so I remain very confident that all necessary preventative measurements will be in place to minimize any risk to the environment that the Trans Mountain Pipeline may present.
Not everyone is going to be happy with the federal government’s decision to purchase the pipeline. At the end of the day, the government stepped up and made a decision in Canada’s interest. That’s what leadership is about. We need to do what is best for the country, and ensuring this pipeline gets built does just that.
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