Message from Joe Oliver

Joe OliverI would like to take this opportunity to update you on my activities since my last column. I had the chance to speak to many of you in January when I hosted a New Year’s Levee at the Columbus Centre. The night was a success and I want to thank everyone who assisted with the organization of the event. In May I will be hosting a fundraiser with the Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

In February, I traveled to China accompanying the Prime Minister, several other Cabinet Ministers and members of the Conservative Caucus. This marks my second trip to China since I was appointed to Cabinet as the Minister of Natural Resources. It was an important and eventful trip and we accomplished many things over three days. I met with top Chinese political officials and corporate officers to discuss trade and investment in the natural resource sector and ways in which we can mutually benefit from expanding our commercial relationship. Both Canadian and Chinese government officials had the chance to engage business leaders from both countries in discussions regarding current industry issues and signed deals totalling billions of dollars. We signed Memoranda of Understanding and generally deepened our personal contacts, which is important in building a long-term strategic relationship.

Canada is on the edge of a historic choice: diversify our energy markets from exclusive dependence on our traditional trading partner the United States, or maintain the status quo. We have the opportunity to capitalize on the booming Asian-Pacific economies, which have a great need for our oil, gas, metals, minerals and forestry products. Market diversification is fundamental to our future economic success and will be a focal point for our Conservative Government. Returning from this trip I am confident that our developing relationship with China will be extremely beneficial to Canada.

As the Minister responsible, I have been advocating strongly on behalf of infrastructure projects that will generate billions of dollars in economic activity and government revenue and create hundreds of thousands of Canadian jobs.

Our Government believes that achieving our objectives of jobs and growth in an environmentally responsible and timely manner is achievable and what most Canadians want. Inefficiencies in the review process come at a high cost to taxpayers without any additional environmental benefits. We are seeking an efficient and effective regulatory review process that will ensure projects meet the standards that Canadians demand, while avoiding the unreasonable delays and bureaucratic redundancies that currently plague our system. Improving the performance of our regulatory system will continue to be a high priority for our government and the improvements that we make today will help ensure energy and economic security for tomorrow.

- Joe Oliver


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