Quebec City, July 14, 2022 – The crisis in Ukraine has revived an issue of the utmost importance: energy supply. As a striking example, Germany, victim of gas cuts from Russia, is now living in a state of alert and is forced to install rationing measures for lighting, heating, and running its factories. And winter has not yet arrived… The most deplorable part of this story is that Germany, which gave up nuclear power to “save” the planet, is now forced to go back to using its ultra-polluting coal-fired power plants to meet its own energy needs. This problem of energy dependence experienced by several European countries raises a major issue for Canada, which is the world’s fifth largest producer of energy resources. More than ever, we must pose the question: do we want to help our fellow Europeans to obtain energy, since we have the power to do so?
On July 11, I went to Calgary to attend a meeting. Around the table, there were five major players in the energy field: the Canadian Energy Centre, the Pathways Alliance, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and TC Energy. They share a common mission: to restore the image of this under-appreciated sector by showing that energy companies are more than ever focused on new green technologies. Despite the bad press they have received over the years, environmental protection remains at the heart of their concerns, and they have an obligation to find innovative solutions to produce greener energy, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is non-corrosive and non-toxic.
That being said, Canadians must now take a stand on the sensitive issue of the development of our natural resources. They must do so in a context where demand for energy is expected to continue to grow worldwide in the coming years and considering the major global upheaval we are currently experiencing, that of the war in Ukraine. We are in a position to help Europeans regain their peace of mind by providing them with the gas they need to live. And we can do it with much less environmental impact than we did 20 years ago. Our energy companies are ready to supply on demand and want to be part of the solution. Most importantly, we have the opportunity to be energy sovereign with our natural resources, to not depend on anyone to provide for our needs.
So, do we want to continue the green ideology of environmental purity or are we willing to do our part to provide for ourselves and our allies? Will we continue to entertain the myth or are we ready to face the reality that we still need our natural resources to survive in this world? A great reflection is needed collectively, and the words “fair balance” should be part of it…
Shadow Minister for Public Services and Procurement
Member of Parliament for Charlesbourg – Haute-Saint-Charles