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SCOTT TANNAS SPEAKS ON THE NEED FOR AN EMERGENCY DEBATE ON THE ALBERTA / BC PIPELINE DISPUTE

– 2:30 PM February 6, 2018 (edited)

Hon. Scott Tannas: Thank you, Your Honour. I want to commend my colleague Senator Black (Alberta) and others. I agree and associate myself with their comments.

I want to talk a little bit about my own experiences on the streets of my hometown in Alberta.

Certainly we all know that tensions right now between Alberta and British Columbians are flaring. We can’t forget that the tensions between Alberta and Quebec are simmering. They have not gone away. In Quebec, they may have forgotten. Alberta has not forgotten.

Thirty-five years ago, Alberta elected a separatist member of its legislature. I remember those days. I was a young adult, and I remember what happened to the separatist movement. It was defused by Brian Mulroney’s government. When he was elected in 1984, he took swift action and leadership to quell the anger and the concerns that were in Alberta as a result of the National Energy Program.

Today we are in a situation—I can tell you—where separation talk is again on the lips of many Albertans, and this time it’s even a little bit worse because they’re on the lips of eminent Albertans, not just angry cowboys from the sticks.

The other issue that I find worrisome, and it is happening daily now, is ordinary Albertans are beginning to take actions that will hurt ordinary B.C. people. There are Facebook discussions about cancelling vacations in British Columbia. Alberta is the largest contributor to tourism in British Columbia. The B.C. wines have been disappearing from restaurant lists, and in liquor stores they’re reporting that nobody is buying B.C. wines. These are all things that will hurt regular British Columbians — actions by regular Albertans. Why? Because there is a vacuum of leadership that exists now, and into that vacuum are ordinary Albertans stepping forward.

Canada needs to take leadership. The Canadian government needs to take leadership. We are a part of that apparatus, and we need to have that discussion soon.

 

SCOTT TANNAS ADDS COMMENTS DURING EMERGENCY DEBATE 8PM FEBRUARY 6 (edited)

Hon. Scott Tannas: I’ll be very brief. I had a chance to vent my spleen… earlier today…

I feel old today. I spent my life and career building something, and I remember old complaining men — didn’t pay them any attention. I just got on with doing things. And I was inspired by Canada’s big dreams and by the big dreamers who built the country and made progress. We celebrate them here in the chamber (points to WW1 Paintings in Senate), Canada’s coming of age, when we did something for the world.

We used to celebrate that. We celebrated, we were inspired and we wanted to emulate people who did things. As I listen to the opportunities lost and decisions that don’t make sense, it seems like more and more we’re celebrating people who stop people from doing things, and I don’t understand it.

I think there are many countries that we are somehow trying to impress… however some of those countries are busy doing things, they are seized with doing things — China, India, and newly awakened America…

Senator MacDonald (Nova Scotia) is right; this differential in the price of oil, where America and American refineries can buy it from us at a discount and then sell their excess to the world at a world price, has got to have American business people laughing their heads off at us. We must be the dumbest-looking Boy Scouts on the planet that we allow this to happen.

It’s incredible to many of us in Alberta that the epicenter of environmental indignation and condescension –Victoria, BC-  pumps millions of gallons of raw sewage into the Pacific Ocean every single day…

Premier Notley told us that if we play ball, if we worked hard at doing the right thing, if we led the way on carbon tax, that there would be sensible responses from those around us. That’s not the case.

I want to say in closing that I support what Senator Black has suggested, that we do something. We pass a law. We do something. I liked your suggestion, Senator Black…

I look forward to supporting your bill.