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January 09, 2012 

An Open Letter from the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources 

An Open Letter from the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, on Canada's Commitment 
to Diversify Our Energy Markets and the Need to Further Streamline the Regulatory Process in Order to 

Advance Canada's National Economic Interest 

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--( Jan. 9, 2012) - Canada is on the edge of an historic choice: to diversify our 
energy markets away from our traditional trading partner in the United States or to continue with the 
status quo. 

Virtually all our energy exports go to the US. As a country, we must seek new markets for our products 
and services and the booming Asia-Pacific economies have shown great interest in our oil, gas, metals 
and minerals. For our government, the choice is clear: we need to diversify our markets in order to create 
jobs and economic growth for Canadians across this country. We must expand our trade with the fast 
growing Asian economies. We know that increasing trade will help ensure the financial security of 
Canadians and their families. 

Unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity 
to diversify our trade. Their goal is to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families 
in lost jobs and economic growth. No forestry. No mining. No oil. No gas. No more hydro-electric dams. 
These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda. They 
seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill 
good projects. They use funding from foreign special interest groups to undermine Canada's national 
economic interest. 

They attract jet-setting celebrities with some of the largest personal carbon footprints in the world to 
lecture Canadians not to develop our natural resources. Finally, if all other avenues have failed, they will 
take a quintessential American approach: sue everyone and anyone to delay the project even further. 
They do this because they know it can work. It works because it helps them to achieve their ultimate 
objective: delay a project to the point it becomes economically unviable. 

Anyone looking at the record of approvals for certain major projects across Canada cannot help but come 
to the conclusion that many of these projects have been delayed too long. In many cases, these projects 
would create thousands upon thousands of jobs for Canadians, yet they can take years to get started due 
to the slow, complex and cumbersome regulatory process. 

For example, the Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline review took more than nine years to complete. In 
comparison, the western expansion of the nation-building Canadian Pacific Railway under Sir John A. 
Macdonald took four years. Under our current system, building a temporary ice arena on a frozen pond in 
Banff required the approval of the federal government. This delayed a decision by two months. Two 
valuable months to assess something that thousands of Canadians have been doing for over a century. 
Our regulatory system must be fair, independent, consider different viewpoints including those of 
Aboriginal communities, review the evidence dispassionately and then make an objective determination. 

It must be based on science and the facts. We believe reviews for major projects can be accomplished in 
a quicker and more streamlined fashion. We do not want projects that are safe, generate thousands of 
new jobs and open up new export markets, to die in the approval phase due to unnecessary delays. 
Unfortunately, the system seems to have lost sight of this balance over the past years. It is broken. It is 
time to take a look at it. 

It is an urgent matter of Canada's national interest. 

The Hon. Joe Oliver 
Minister of Natural Resources