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  • Standing Up for Canada’s Exports

    Parliamentary Report

    For a number of years the world has recognized that Canada has a growing role as the world’s energy source.  We have even been labelled an “energy super power”.  Last week, Canadians were disappointed with the United States’ delay of a decision on when or if they will proceed with the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper was quick to point out that the delay in the decision was due mainly to ‘internal’ American politics.  The delay measure is more understandable in the context of the “political season” in the United States – the pending Presidential election – than on the merits of the pipeline proposal itself.  While our Conservative government remains hopeful the project will eventually be decided on its merits and approved, the delay highlights the need for Canada to ensure it opens export markets outside the United States, into Asia in particular.

    The priority of our government remains jobs and economic growth.  We were elected to continue to provide a strong and stable national government to guide Canada through the difficult times the global economy is experiencing.  Canada is not immune from the problems created by certain debt and deficit ridden nations.  Our Prime Minister, our Cabinet, and our party have a proven record of protecting Canada’s economy since the onslaught of the global economic crisis.

    In our riding of Crowfoot, we have seen how the work of Canada’s International Trade Minister and our Agriculture Minister turns into opportunities for our agricultural producers.  We are increasing the number of customers to whom we sell our products.

    The same logic applies to Canada’s energy exports.  The Keystone XL pipeline will create thousands of jobs and billions in economic growth on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.  Regardless of the delay in the Keystone decision, our Government will continue to promote Canada, and the oil sands, as a stable, secure, and ethical source of energy for the world.

    Canada will apply to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership and we will look to sell our oil and gas to these Asian countries.  The Northern Gateway project would help provide the means to fulfilling contracts from Asia for Canada’s energy by 2017.  This project is already being reviewed by the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

    U.S. President Barack Obama has already asked for Canada to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade group of nine Asia-Pacific countries.  Prime Minister Harper says Canada can “easily meet” the broad strokes of the initial TPP agreement.  All countries approach negotiations with a view to protecting their interests.  Canada’s approach to TPP will seek to defend and promote our specific interests in every sector of our economy.

    Again, our Conservative government’s top priority is to keep Canadians working and growing the Canadian economy.  Our performance is crucial in these tough economic times.  Our nation’s products are in demand and of the highest quality.  We will not keep other customers waiting even if our largest customer by far (the United States) drags its feet.

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding this or previous columns you may write me at 4945-50th Street, Camrose, Alberta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, toll-free 1-800-665-4358, fax 780-608-4603 or e-mail  sorenk1@parl.gc.ca.