After recently being sworn-in as your Member of Parliament, I got the news I've been tapped to be the Conservative Deputy Shadow Minister for Natural Resources.
This portfolio includes the energy, mining, nuclear, and forestry sectors.
It goes without saying that I’m thrilled to once again work with the Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner.
This appointment is fitting as Westman is home to Manitoba’s petroleum reserves, which can be found along the northeastern flank of the Williston Basin. Since producible petroleum was discovered near Virden, Manitoba in the 1950s, other deposits have been located across the region. As of October 2021, there are approximately 5194 wells capable of production. The energy industry directly contributes to thousands of jobs across the province and supports countless families. Each year the industry invests hundreds of millions of dollars in the province, which does not include royalties paid to mineral rights holders nor the taxes collected by the various levels of government. Many businesses and jobs across Westman also indirectly benefit from the industry and the total economic impact is worth millions of dollars. I am eager to take on this new role as I recognize the massive contributions the energy sector and its workers make to our country. Workers and their families have felt the financial consequences of projects being abandoned and billions of dollars have fled the country. This reliable source of energy must be kept viable to help ourselves and other countries reduce emissions while alternative sources are developed. I will also be focused on fixing the Impact Assessment process for energy projects so that it upholds best-in-class environmental standards and sets clear expectations and timelines for environmental reviews. I believe we should be proud of our energy sector as projects are adherent to strict environmental and labour standards. If Canadian energy is not available to the world market, the void will be filled by resources from countries with lower environmental and human rights standards – countries that do not undertake mitigation and remediation efforts that we already do in Canada. Canada’s greatest ability to address global environmental challenges is dependent on getting natural gas to international markets to lessen the reliance on coal and other harmful sources of energy.