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Perhaps you will indulge me in a few moments of personal reflection.

Like many of us I daresay, like most of us I am fortunate to enjoy, indeed, I feel blessed by,
everything Canada has given me.
Partly because my parents instilled in us the value of work;
Partly because I studied at a time when certain academic programs still had Jewish quotas;
[Partly because I was born during the dark hours of World War II, and came of age in its
Partly because of my outlook on life;
My philosophy was, not to squander, but to make the most of every opportunity presented.
Over the years, I have enrolled in, and graduated from, different programs. I have lived in
different communities. I have held diverse jobs.
At the time I graduated from business school, I was the only Quebec lawyer with an MBA.
Today that double designation is so common that its unremarkable.
Wilder Penfield, the great Canadian neurosurgeon, advocated that people not rest after one
vocation. He even titled one of his books, The Second Career.
I think Ive doubled Dr. Penfields two-career target. And that was before I entered politics.
All of my jobs, and all of my experiences, have been exceptionally interesting, and enriching,
and stimulating.
Even in that context, my current responsibilities stand out.
For it is a special privilege to serve as Minister of Natural Resources in a country so rich in
Canadians feel a special bond to the land and its resources.

Residents of Northern, rural and remote communities understand first-hand what it means
for ones well-being to be resource-based.

The First Nations, Inuit and Mtis have traditionally lived closest to the land and have
deep reverence for the gifts of Mother Earth.

But even those who live in cities and suburbs feel pride in the majesty of this great land.

-2It is truly a blessing to live in the shadow of the Rockies, or to witness the Northern Lights, or to
who watch sunrise where the Atlantic Ocean meets the coast but matter where we live,
Canadians embrace these wonders as part of our shared natural heritage.
From the beginning until present times, the land and its resources have fueled Canadian
prosperity. First, the resource economies of the First Nations. Then the cod-fishing economy.
After that, the fur-trade economy. Later, the gold rush.
Today, natural resources account for one-sixth of Canadas economy1 and half of our exports.
Across the country, one job in ten is dependent on natural resources.
Beyond measurement are the contributions of Robert Service, Emily Carr, the Group of Seven,
and other great creators, all of whom drew inspiration from our resource richness.
Culturally, artistically, economically, psychologically, Canadians are bound to the land in a way
that citizens of many other places are not.
As a result, one value Canadians all share is the concept of stewardship:
The principle that these resources are gifts, not to be taken for granted:
Gifts to use and enjoy, and to better our lives but also gifts to respect and protect and pass to
the next generation.
The First Nations and Inuit embraced stewardship millennia before anyone else arrived on the
The early settlers believed in stewardship and practised it.
Various faith communities accepted stewardship of the earth as a moral imperative.
To this day, anyone who lives on, or by, or from the land understands [and practises]
environmental and resource stewardship.
The importance of resource stewardship is evident in the consequences of failure to uphold this
duty. John Cabot described the cod stock off Newfoundland as so plentiful that the fish could be
caught without nets, just baskets.2 495 years later, international failure to respect the principle of
stewardship caused the cod fishery to collapse.

1 15 per cent of GDP is here described as one-sixth of the economy.

2 [T]he sea is covered with fish which are caught not merely with nets but with baskets, a stone
being attached to make the baskets sink with the water. (1497)

-3What some call stewardship, others call sustainability.


Still others, Responsible Resource

[need transition]
I think it was a former Prime Minister who observed that we Canadians chose to settle the more
challenging half of the North American continent.3
He was not the first to remark that the Canadian land defines our character ... and our character
reflects the land.
Hockey could only have been invented by a strong and vigorous people inhabiting a northern
Equally revealing, in my view, is what we have done to the game of football.
Canadian football, in contrast to the American rules, requires particular strength and
determination. We must carry the ball farther for a touchdown ... across a wider field ... in a
more open and unpredictable game ... relying on fewer downs.
Thats the Canadian approach: rugged, determined, and worthy of the land known as, the true
North, strong and free.
[need seque]
As Canadians, we know there is another aspect of our character. An aspect that has been
described in various ways.
Historian Desmond Morton calls us cautious and sensible.4
Others might use term reasonable or open-minded.
Novelist Doug Taylor has one of his characters explain that Canadians strive to see both sides of
an argument and prefer tolerance and compromise ... except when it comes to their favourite
hockey team.5

3 I have heard this sentiment attributed to Joe Clark but cannot find any online confirmation or
specific source.
4 Canadians, like their historians, have spent too much time remembering conflicts, crises, and
failures. They forgot the great, quiet continuity of life in a vast and generous land. A cautious
people learns from its past; a sensible people can face its future. Canadians, on the whole, are

-4Comedian Mike Myers jokes that we have the flavour of celery.6

Whichever words we use, to approach issues from a reasonable, open and even-handed
perspective is the Canadian way.
And this, friends, is the specific topic I wish to address this afternoon.
I believe that these Canadian character traits our sense of balance, our open-mindedness are
not merely important, but essential, to environmental stewardship and Responsible Resource
On the one hand, Canadas continued (future?) prosperity depends on continuing to unleash the
potential of our resources. On the other hand, Canadas continued (future?) prosperity requires
that we act in an environmentally responsible, and sustainable, manner.
These demands are not a contradiction.
Indeed, despite some peoples attempts to paint a false dichotomy, most Canadians realize that
we can achieve both prosperity and sustainability.
Polling shows that Canadians rank the environment, the economy and energy as roughly equal
They see no need to choose.
In typical Canadian fashion, they reject extremes and either-or propositions.
Canadians understand that our well-being includes both economic prosperity and environmental
They dont want development at any cost, nor do they want to stop development entirely.
Canadians want to increase prosperity, but only by sustainable means. Canadians want to
develop our resources, but only in a responsible manner.
5 From Arse Over Teakettle: An Irreverent Story of Coming of Age During the 1940s in Toronto
6 Canada is the essence of not being. Not English, not American, it is the mathematic of not
being. And a subtle flavour were more like celery as a flavour.
7 Liepert and Annesley describe a new poll by Leger Marketing as largely consistent with
government and industry surveys. Canadians rate energy, the environment and the economy as
virtually equal top priorities.

-5Our government agrees.

We are aggressive in seeking new markets for Canadian oil, gas, metals and minerals in order to
create jobs and boost incomes for Canadian families. But we are equally aggressive in insisting
on safety and environmental protection.
We will not proceed with any resource project no development, period unless it is safe for
the environment and safe for Canadians.
And determining whats safe and whats harmful is not a political exercise. These are scientific
questions that require scientific answers.
Is diluted bitumen more corrosive than conventional oil? How does dilbit react in water?
It doesnt matter what Joe Oliver thinks are the answers. Or what Stephen Harper thinks. Or
what the professional activists think. It matters what science will say.
Remember that, as a non-scientist, I have been asking some of the same questions that you are,
and looking forward to scientists answers.
This is why we are investing in the best scientific research, and relying on the results.
Being open-minded means recognizing areas where you have more to do.
As Minister of Natural Resources, I accept that there are places where we can do more, topics
where we can learn more, times when we must seek advice.
Thats why the government relies on the feedback provided the independent Commissioner of
the Environment and Sustainable Development, and are actively working to address concerns
raised in the Commissioners reports.
The outgoing commissioner, Scott Vaughan, provided an objective and vital assessment of how
well we are balancing economic and environmental objectives. We look forward to the advice of
his interim successor, Neil Maxwell.
Of course, Commissioner is not the only one commenting on responsible resource development.
Numerous community groups, and local governments, and individual citizens are raising
concerns in a manner that is so characteristic of Canadians: balanced, reasonable and fairminded.
Your contribution is all about charting the middle course that embraces and balances both
economic prosperity and environmental prosperity.

-6First Nations peoples live closer to the land than most Canadians and they possess millennia of
experience in responsible environmental stewardship and balanced use of our resources.
The contribution of First Nations communities is vital because we can learn much from their
These contributions from First Nations, community groups and concerned citizens stand in
contrast to a small minority that is not satisfied with a reasonable, cautious, middle course.
I am referring to those professional activists who make no pretence at open-mindedness because
their minds are made up:
The no oil lobby.
The no-oil lobbyists are trying to force a choice between the environment and the economy
because their vision of well-being is too narrow and too limited to accommodate both
environmental prosperity and economic prosperity.
In the process, they are badly underestimating Canadians.
The no-oil lobby peddles inflamed rhetoric, when Canadians are reasonable and broad-minded
and want to base their decisions on facts and science.
The no-oil lobby posits a false dichotomy between economic growth and environmental
protection, when Canadians want to achieve both.
The no-oil lobby is pitching an extreme solution, when Canadians try to identify the middle
The no-oil lobby wants to veto resource development, when Canadians want to develop
resources in a responsible and sustainable manner.
Last month,8 Patrick Moore, co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace, wrote a submission to
several Canadian newspapers in which he challenged the no-oil lobby head on.9
Mr. Moore called for a balanced approach that sees us developing resources in an
environmentally responsible manner.
He explicitly warned against vetoes that would bring progress to a standstill.
8 Assumes an April delivery of speech.
9 Ottawa Sun (March 27, 2013), p. 21.

-7On the issue of balance, he wrote:

Having visited Canadas oilsands extensively, and having worked on environmental
issues for more than 40 years, I am at ease with the notion that the oil is produced under
the best environmental regulations, labour conditions, human-rights laws, and First
Nations participation in the world.
As to the alternative, Mr. Moore warns against going to the extreme:
Without oil, economies and civilization in general would come to a virtual standstill.
From the perspective of sustainability, where aspects of environment, economy and
society work in balance with one another, decisions that bring civilization to a virtual
standstill are obviously to be avoided. Pipelines, properly constructed and properly
maintained, make sense and should be part of our sustainability equation.
Thats Patrick Moore, who served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada.
Canadians have every right to be frustrated by extreme rhetoric.
Its impossible to talk about a balanced, middle course, with a no-oil lobby that doesnt believe in
Someone once quipped that there are two acts in conversation: Talking, and waiting to talk.
Its impossible to have a constructive dialogue with unless theres listening on both sides.
[perhaps need segue here, or a pause]
All of us must work together to chart that balanced, reasonable, quintessentially Canadian middle
course. The stakes are high.
I began my speech talking about this great land and the character of the people who inhabit it.
I return to that theme with a prediction by Winston Churchill who, incidentally, ascended to the
office of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 10 days before I was born.
According to Churchill, There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty
expanse of Canada with its virile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people.
Churchill was right. Canadas best days still lie ahead. Our future is indeed majestic and
unlimited but its majesty and unbridled promise depend on Responsible Resource

-8Over the next decade, current and planned resource projects will be worth 650 billion dollars in
investment, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs for middle class Canadian families in every
sector of our economy and every region of the country.
We will reap the harvest of those opportunities, provided we choose a balanced path that protects
both the environment and economic growth.