Editor Kevin Weedmark interviews Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer at the Pro-Resource Rally in Moosomin on Saturday, February 16.

‘It’s not just important to Saskatchewan. It’s not just important to Alberta. It’s important to the entire country’: Sheer

February 26, 2019 9:33 am

World-Spectator editor Kevin Weedmark spoke with federal Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer at the Pro-Resource Rally in Moosomin on Saturday, February 16. The Pro-Resource Rally was organized by Moosomin’s Economic Development Committee and included presentations by Scheer, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Senator Denise Batters, and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, and was attended by about 950 people.

Why is this issue important enough to you that you came out to Moosomin, Saskatchewan?
The pain that’s affecting workers across the country is very real. This isn’t just a little downturn in the market, this is a sustained period of difficulty.

I wanted to show the people here who have been affected by that, that not only do Conservatives care, not only are we fighting against the policies that are coming from the Liberal government that are making the situation worse, but we also have a vision for the future that will restore confidence in this sector, bring the investment back, bring the jobs back.
When I heard about this, I made sure that I could come and be here today. This is a very important sector, for the entire country, but obviously for Saskatchewan as well.

What’s the main point you were trying to get across in your speech today.
That there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

That come October, we’re going to win the next election, we’re going to undo the damage, we’re going to rebuild our approval process, restore confidence in the sector.

My message today was that we get it. We get what’s causing the problems.

We also have a solution, that the pain right now is temporary because we’re going to win and we’re going to address the issues.

What would be your entire solution around pipelines? Besides repealing Bill C-69, what are the other pieces of the puzzle?
I have unveiled a comprehensive plan, that speaks not just to TransMountain but to the sector in general.

A brief summary of that includes appointing a special ministerial representative for the minister of indigenous affairs, so that consultations are done properly, up-front, earlier on in the process.

It calls for defining federal jurisdiction in legislation so that there’s certainty between federal and provincial areas of responsibility, invoking the constitutional clause that declares projects to be in the national interest, to give the federal government the ability to actually get these things done, and part of our plan includes ensuring that foreign-funded advocacy groups don’t have the ability to gum up the approvals process.

We see more and more evidence of foreign-funded groups using aspects of the approvals process just to block pipelines, or to delay them to death. So that’s a summary of what we’re going to do and it has been very well received by the sector.

What do you think is the impact of events like this. You came here today, so you must think it has some effect.
I hope that people who are two or three steps removed from the energy sector come to understand the importance.
It’s not just important to Saskatchewan. It’s not just important to Alberta. It’s important to the entire country.

I hope people here and across the country see what’s happening so that they understand that the road they’re driving on, the hospital they’re going to when they need care, the services their provincial governments are able to supply, the small business that they work for—there are links between all of that.

There are only a few degrees of separation between the natural resources sector and all the other industries in Canada.

That’s our message here today, that’s what this campaign is all about, is that Canadians consider that when they’re considering this government’s performance.

And what will you take away from this event today, seeing the people who came out today in support of pipelines and the energy industry, hearing some of their stories, and hearing the reeve talk about the crude oil train derailment that happened at St. Lazare just this morning?
My takeaway is that now more than ever we see the need for pipelines.

We know that if we can’t move it through pipelines, the only way to expand the industry is to move it by rail. There have been tragedies before, and thankfully, my understanding is, no one was hurt today, and that’s great, but there is going to be environmental damage to the Assiniboine watershed in the area.

It’s time to get as much oil and gas as we can off the rails and into safe pipelines.