Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources.
Credits: REUTERS/Brett Gundlock
OTTAWA — Look for the feds to become a lot more vocal in support of building new oil pipelines and other infrastructure for natural resources development.
Defending his department's request for an extra $4 million for advertising, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Canadians need to hear more about the benefits of resource development projects.
"The point is to provide facts to Canadians about measures taken by the government to protect the environment and other information on responsible resource development," Oliver told the Commons natural resources committee Tuesday.
The new money would take Oliver's ad budget to $9 million for the year.
New Democrats claim that's a waste of money, but Oliver says Canadians need to know what could be lost if infrastructure isn't built to take Canadian energy exports to new markets, such as Asia.
"What it translates into is fewer jobs and less money to governments, which is going to impact on the health care of Canadians," he said. "It's going to affect the amount of money that can go to education, the amount of money that can go to housing."
Oliver says Canadians need to hear from more than just those "who are opposed to every form of resource development."
NDP natural resources critic Peter Julian says he's mystified by Oliver's comments.
"I have no idea who the minister is referring to because my sense is most Canadians take a very prudent and balanced approach to the idea of stewardship of our natural resources, which also includes economic stewardship and environmental stewardship," he said.