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Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development


NUMBER 118 
l
1st SESSION 
l
42nd PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1105)  

[English]

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, I wish to raise a point of order.

[English]

    Can I at least open the meeting?
    Voices: Oh, oh!
    The Chair: There's a point of order, and I haven't even started yet. What's your point of order?
    It's concerning the last meeting.

[Translation]

    I would like to take a minute to say that Her Majesty's official opposition is very glad to see the Minister of Environment and Climate Change with us this morning. As you know, the centre-left was in a bit of a quandary last week, and the Marxist left was all in a tizzy. We Conservatives were a little disappointed, because the accountability and responsibility inherent to the Westminster system are at the heart of our democracy.
    There was a communication problem. We surely misunderstood whether the minister wanted to appear before the committee or not. I just wanted to say that we are really honoured to see her here today.

[English]

    Be careful. That was an in camera session, so you just want to make sure that—

[Translation]

    Yes, I understand. That's true.
    Anyway, there is no longer any confusion. I hope that we will have a good meeting, and I hope that we will get some meaningful answers.

[English]

    Thank you very much. I, too, am looking forward to a very good meeting.
    On that note, I want to welcome the minister back. She has been with us now three times in as many months, so we're really grateful for the amount of time the minister has spent with us in front of committee.
    We also have with us the Parliamentary Secretary, Jonathan Wilkinson. We have Daniel Watson, the Parks Canada Agency Chief Executive Officer. We also have Stephen Lucas, who is the Deputy Minister of the Department of the Environment, and Ron Hallman, who is the President of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
    It's nice to see all of your faces. You have been with us quite a bit over the last little while. We really welcome you back and look forward to an excellent meeting.
    What I will do, then, is turn the floor over to the minister.
    You have 10 minutes.

[Translation]

    Committee members, dear colleagues, I am happy to be with you this morning to talk about the 2018-2019 Main Estimates for Environment and Climate Change Canada, for the Parks Canada Agency, and for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
    I believe that this is my sixth appearance before this committee since I became minister, and my third appearance in the last 11 weeks. It's a pleasure to be back.

[English]

    Today, as we have heard from the chair, I am joined by Jonathan Wilkinson, my amazing Parliamentary Secretary; Dr. Stephen Lucas, Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada; Daniel Watson, Chief Executive Officer of Parks Canada Agency; and Ron Hallman, President of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
    I want to start by recognizing that we're on the traditional territory of the Algonquin and Anishinabe peoples.

[Translation]

    As you all know, we're celebrating World Environment Day today.

[English]

    Happy World Environment Day.

[Translation]

    It's also Canadian Environment Week. So this really is the ideal day to be here. I'm glad I am, despite some scheduling conflicts.
    This year, the theme of World Environment Day and Canadian Environment Week is the fight against plastic pollution. This year's events and activities are inspired by the issues that will be discussed during the G7 summit, on June 8 and 9, in the Charlevoix region, in Quebec.

[English]

    I would also note that I was very pleased to see Bill C-57 pass third reading with the unanimous vote in the House of Commons yesterday, despite the Conservative attempt to delay the passage of the bill by deleting a clause at report stage that Mr. Fast had already convinced the committee to amend. That said, I am glad to see it moving forward, as it was based on the unanimous recommendations of this committee.

[Translation]

    I would also like to congratulate the committee on its in-depth study of Bill C-69 and on the many thoughtful amendments passed by the members of this committee. You heard from 80 witnesses and reviewed more than 150 submissions over a period of two months. The quality and scope of your amendments demonstrate the rigour of your study of the bill, and I am happy to be able to say that our government will support these amendments.

[English]

    We are now beginning report stage debate, and unsurprisingly, the Conservatives are once again engaging in delay tactics by moving to delete every clause of the act, with not one substantive amendment.
    Despite these actions, our government will continue to ensure that we restore public trust, protect the environment, introduce modern safeguards, advance reconciliation with indigenous peoples, and ensure that good projects go ahead and resources get to market, because that's what Canadians expect.

[Translation]

    On April 16, the president of the Treasury Board tabled the 2018-2019 estimates and departmental plans. The tabling of these documents is an important step taken by our government in the reform of the estimates.
    The estimates include 100% of the measures announced in the budget, and provide parliamentarians with key information to ensure better government accountability.

[English]

     Speaking of accountability, I trust that the Conservative members at this table will take some time to explain to Canadians why only 11 short weeks ago they attempted to gut the funding of this portfolio in estimates votes for this fiscal year by reducing the budget by over $625 million—in fact, $627,365,749. This included a cut of over $320 million to Environment and Climate Change Canada, a cut of over $15 million to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and a cut of close to $320 million to Parks Canada. This would have meant layoffs for public servants and the closure of our national parks. It was the height of irresponsibility, and I want to note it for the record at this meeting on the estimates today. Budget votes are not a game and Conservative members should know better. Decisions made in this place have real impacts on people's lives, our country, and our environment.
    With that, for Environment and Climate Change Canada, the main estimates include $1.5 billion in planned spending. That's an increase of $528.6 million, or a 54% increase over last year's main estimates. They also include a new central vote under the Treasury Board Secretariat for budget implementation. For Environment and Climate Change Canada, that central vote totals $71.4 million.
    With respect to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, for 2018-19, the main estimates provide total funding of $33.6 million.
    With respect to Parks Canada, funding of over $1.4 billion is expected through the 2018-19 main estimates, an increase of $83 million, or 6%, over last year's main estimates. For the Parks Canada Agency, the central vote includes two items: $23.6 million for protecting Canada's nature, parks, and wild spaces; and $1.25 million for supporting indigenous history and heritage.
    As minister, my key priority continues to be ensuring that our government provides leadership to take action on climate change. We're 100% committed to reaching our 2030 climate target and we're taking action, including accelerating the phase-out of coal, historic investments in cleaner infrastructure, and putting in place a price on pollution to grow the economy in cleaner ways.

  (1110)  

[Translation]

    Canadians know that pollution incurs costs, related to droughts, floods and extreme weather events, as well as effects on our health.
    We're expecting that climate change will cost our economy $5 billion per year by 2020. Doing nothing is not an option.
    We have a plan that will reduce pollution and allow us to meet our objectives, all while growing our economy and creating good jobs for the middle class.

[English]

    The Conservatives don't have a climate plan. They don't seem to believe that climate change is a problem—or real, in some cases—and they're missing the boat on the trillions of dollars of economic opportunity in green growth around the world. According to the World Bank, the Paris Agreement will help open up nearly $23 trillion in new opportunities—let me repeat, $23 trillion in new opportunities—for climate-smart investments in emerging markets between now and 2030. Our climate plan is positioning Canada among the leaders in seizing those opportunities.
     Canada's clean-tech sector is now ranked fourth in the world, and first in the G20. That's testimony to Canadian ingenuity, but it also reflects choices our government has made, such as putting a price on pollution and making smart support for clean innovation. The Conservatives, sadly, have no plan to support this essential part of our economy.
    This December, we'll seize the opportunity to advance the implementation of the Paris Agreement at the Conference of the Parties, COP24. COP24 will be pivotal for sustaining momentum on climate action created by Paris. Why? If this year's COP can, and should, land the Paris rule book, rules about reporting, transparency, markets, and more that help translate ambition into action, it will guard parties' efforts to implement the Paris Agreement and will support enhanced ambition in years and decades ahead.

[Translation]

    We will continue to protect Canadians and the environment from harmful substances by carrying out environmental assessments on the latter, by developing and implementing control measures, such as regulations, and by carrying out continual assessments on the reform of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, including the recommendations made by this committee.

[English]

     We'll be tabling our recommendation-by-recommendation response to this committee's report on CEPA later this month. We'll also be implementing the regulations to ban asbestos in Canada, limit toxic emissions for refineries and petrochemical plants, and reduce contaminants in effluent from mining. Our government is also committed to protecting and conserving nature and wildlife. After a decade of Conservative inaction, we're making real progress by listening to scientists and moving quickly to help species recover. We're showing leadership by investing a historic $1.3 billion in budget 2018 for nature and conservation.
    Canada is committed to conserving at least 17% of its land and inland waters by 2020, and we're making real progress. At this time, about 10.5% of Canada's land and fresh water, and almost 8% of marine and coastal areas, are under some form of protection in all 10 provinces, three territories, and three oceans. In support of this commitment, we're continuing to advance work on creating new national parks and national marine conservation areas, including the proposed Thaidene Nëné national park reserve in the Northwest Territories, the proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen in British Columbia, and Tallurutiup Imanga national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound, Nunavut.

  (1115)  

[Translation]

    To ensure that this progress continues, the budget implementation vote includes $52.9 million to protect Canada's wildlife, parks and spaces. This funding will support us as the federal government moves forward with the protection and recovery of species at risk. We are focusing on the priority areas, species and sectors to obtain lasting results for a number of species.
    I am delighted that the nature fund will supplement the funding given to the partners, businesses, provincial and territorial non-profit organizations, as well as to other entities to protect more private lands, and to support the provincial and territorial efforts that aim to protect species and enhance indigenous peoples' ability to conserve the lands and the species.

[English]

    Together, the main estimates and new spending in budget 2018 will help create the clean-growth economy necessary for the collective health, prosperity, and security of this generation of Canadians and the next.
    Thank you for your time today on World Environment Day. I look forward to your questions.
    Thank you very much.
    We'll now start questioning with Mr. Bossio. I think he's sharing with Mr. Fisher.
    Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
    Minister, as always, thank you so much for being here again. It's the third time in as many months. It's wonderful to see you. I think you're pretty much an honorary member of the committee now.
    You put an emphasis on pricing carbon. Why do you see putting a price on pollution as an essential part of having a serious climate plan?
    Thank you very much. Yes, it is my third time in 11 weeks. I am always happy to be here.
    After a decade of inaction under the Conservative government, we knew that we needed to take serious action, that we needed a climate plan that was smart and cost-effective and that meant that we reduced our emissions and grew our economy. That is exactly what we've done. Our climate plan is an across-the-board climate plan. It includes putting a price on pollution. It also includes phasing out coal-fired plants; making historic investments in public transportation, green infrastructure, and clean technologies; and also supporting adaptation.
    In terms of putting a price on pollution, as everyone knows, including Conservatives who have spoken in favour of this, it is a cost-effective way to create the incentives for people to reduce their emissions and also to foster the innovation we so greatly need. I hope I have the opportunity to talk in more detail about the amazing clean technology companies—made in Canada companies—that we see from coast to coast. In Alberta, New Brunswick, the Arctic, etc., Canadians are coming up with solutions, and you want that incentive. You want people to choose solutions that will save them money.
    That's what pricing on pollution does. It rewards efficiency. It rewards people for making decisions to use technologies that will help save money, to do things like insulate their homes, which we know saves money on their bills. It's just a really smart thing to do. It's also critical for any climate plan. The Conservative leader has said that he intends to meet the Paris Agreement target, and they don't have a plan. We have a serious plan that will meet our target, but will also, even more importantly, tackle emissions here, reduce pollution, and grow our economy.
     What do you see as the projected emissions reduction as a result of this price on pollution?
    This is really important because I think there has been some misleading fake news from the Conservative Party. We put out a study with estimates that said a national price on pollution that meets the federal standard would eliminate 80 to 90 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Let's figure out the equivalent. The equivalent is taking between 23 and 26 million cars off the road or closing 20 coal-fired plants. That's a critical piece in our making sure that Canada meets its emission reduction targets but also grows a clean economy.

  (1120)  

    Thank you so much, Minister.
    Thank you, Minister, for being here once again.
    Minister, the previous government never understood the environment file, and they certainly weren't concerned with protecting it. They never saw the economic opportunities that investing in clean technologies brings. I think we're a government that understands these opportunities. We know that by funding innovation, by investing in groundbreaking companies that are solving environmental issues, we will create jobs and take advantage of the generational opportunity to build a strong Canadian economy. I don't have to tell you, Minister, about companies like CarbonCure in Dartmouth—Coal Harbour doing exactly this.
    Minister, can you please tell us what the government is doing to continue to transform the Canadian economy into a green and prosperous one?
    The opportunity for Canadian companies is the really exciting piece. Unfortunately, the previous government didn't understand this. We have amazing Canadian innovators here who can take advantage of the $23-trillion economic opportunity. If you want to grow your economy and you want to create jobs you need to be investing in these companies. You talk to CarbonCure. CarbonCure is a made-in-Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, company. It captures carbon pollution from industry and then injects it into concrete: stronger cheaper concrete.
    I had the great pleasure of being in a manufacturing company in California where I was wearing my hard hat with the founder, a McGill graduate from Dartmouth, who was showing us technology. He's creating good jobs here in Canada. I was also at Dalhousie University where I met Jeff Dahn. He's a leader in lithium ion battery research. He was the first researcher to ever partner with who? Tesla Motors. I could go on.
    We could look at Alberta. I visited a manufacturing facility that creates super-efficient net-zero homes. This is a company, Landmark Homes, which employs 300 people in Alberta. Also, there is Shell Canada. We don't always think of our energy companies as being clean innovators but they are capturing carbon dioxide from an Alberta upgrader and storing it nearly two kilometres below the earth's surface. They are on track to store nearly a million tonnes of carbon a year. In Foam Lake, Saskatchewan, Milligan BioFuels is turning damaged canola seeds into biodiesel, a cleaner fuel that can power cars, trucks, and buses in our towns and cities. There are so many examples. In Winnipeg, Farmer's Edge is a global leader in precision agriculture where farmers are part of the solution. They are using cutting-edge hardware and software that allows them to waste less energy, save money, and increase their profits.
    You were right on time.
    Mr. Godin.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    This is the first time I've been in a committee meeting with so much partisanship from the minister and the members of the Liberal Party.
    I find it very unfortunate to hear the minister say that the Conservatives did nothing, that they wasted their time, and that they acted in bad faith. I do not accept this comment. Furthermore, since the minister had a number of problems managing her schedule, we had to run after her and insist that she come to testify. She has wasted our time.
    It is completely false to say that the Conservatives wake up every morning looking for ways to destroy the planet. The Liberals and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change are constantly telling us that we did nothing. That's completely false, and here's the proof: We set the greenhouse gas reduction targets, and the Liberals used them thereafter. They presented these targets in Paris. Where is the government's consistency? This isn't reassuring, Madam Chair.
    It's World Environment Day today, and I'm glad about it. Let's work together for the environment. That is what the members of this committee have always done.
    Since we're on the topic of Bill C-69, I will say this: The Liberal Party has tabled 100 amendments. You think you've done your job well, but I feel that the committee has done its work rigorously. As for your work, that's another story.
    You say that pollution costs $5 billion per year. In my opinion, it's important for us to meet with you and ask you questions on the budget. So, my question is the following: Environment and Climate Change Canada got $528.6 million more in the budget. Is this amount enough for you to reach your objectives?
    Thank you for your question.
    I am very happy to be here.
    First of all, I would like to talk about partisanship. It is something I do not appreciate. In fact, the Conservatives were the ones who launched an attack during a committee meeting.

  (1125)  

    Madam Chair, I have a point of order.

[English]

     Let me just repeat that.
    Minister, he's calling a—
    Partisanship is when you make an attack ad using one of my—

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, I have a point of order.

[English]

    Okay, sorry. Let's hear the point of order.

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, we are in committee, and we are asking questions. So I invite the minister to answer our questions and not spread her message.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.

[English]

    I might repeat that in English. You asked me about partisanship, so I'm going to respond about partisanship. What I don't appreciate is when Conservatives—

[Translation]

    That's what you did with the 10 minutes you had for your opening remarks.

[English]

    —take out attack ads involving my public servants who are non-partisan and who testify before committee. I take huge objection to that. That is partisanship. I'm here to talk about what we are doing on the environment, and unfortunately, the previous government didn't do anything. It is great to have a target but not without a plan.
    Voices: Oh, oh!

[Translation]

    It is demagoguery.

[English]

    We have a target and we have a plan, and I'm happy to talk about our plan.
    Minister, please. Sorry, the point of order is to get back to the question.
    Madam Chair, I have a point of order. We have the minister before us. I have never, in my 12 years here on Parliament Hill, seen such a partisan presentation from a minister. This should be an embarrassment to her. We have never attacked her officials. We've asked tough questions, but never attacked her officials.
    So the point...?
    For her to do the partisan presentation without any class.... Would she please focus on the questions that are being asked of her?
    Thank you very much. I'll see if the minister can bring that around to.... I think she was addressing one of the points in the comment.
    Go ahead.
    I am happy to address questions. I would just ask that anything my capable public servants say not be used in a Conservative attack ad, as happened in another committee when we were talking about an environmental issue. I'd just like that reflected on the record.
    I am very happy to answer questions. We do have a climate plan. A climate plan isn't just about targets. It's about having a plan to achieve targets. We spent a year going coast to coast to coast, working with premiers, indigenous leaders, and industry to come up with a plan that was made in Canada and that made sense.
    Mr. Joël Godin: I have a point of order.
    Hon. Catherine McKenna: What did it include? It included putting a price on pollution—
    Minister, I'm sorry to interrupt again.
    The last two points were not points of order. They were your opinions. I accept your opinion. However, the minister is allowed to answer the questions in whatever way she feels is fit.
    Is there a point of order this time?

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, I want the minister to be reminded that I asked a question and that I would like her to answer it as succinctly as possible because my time is running out and I have many other questions.

[English]

    Okay, the minister has the floor.
    I have a point of order, Madam Chair.
    Another point of order...? What's the point of order?
    Once again, the member asked the minister a question. Could we please allow the minister to answer the question and stop interrupting her? Thank you.
    Minister, you have the floor. Thank you.
    We do have a climate plan, and we intend to meet the target.
    How are we going to do that? As I said, we worked with provinces and territories, indigenous leaders, industry, and all Canadians. We have a plan that includes putting a price on pollution, phasing out coal, having a strategy with respect to vehicles and with respect to—

[Translation]

    A point of order, Madam Chair.

[English]

    What's the point of order?

[Translation]

    I accept her answer, but I would like to ask another question.

[English]

    You can ask another question at any time. Please go ahead.

[Translation]

    Madam Minister, will having an additional $1 billion have a greater impact on the environment? Are you short of money, despite the $500 million allocated to you this year? Do you need more money?
    I'm not sure I fully understood your question.
    In fact, we have a plan and the main estimates. We said we had an increase of $128.6 million.
    I'll turn things over to the deputy minister, who may be able to provide more details.
    In fact, this represents an increase to the low-carbon economy fund and an investment in freshwater resources and species at risk.
    Thank you.
    I would like to ask one last question.
    How much time do I have left, Madam Chair?

[English]

    You have around one minute.

[Translation]

    I would like to ask the minister a very simple question.
    The government invested $4.5 billion in a 65-year-old pipeline, an existing facility owned by an American company.
    Wouldn't it have been more profitable to invest this $4.5 million in policies, technologies or innovation to improve the environment and sustainable development?

  (1130)  

    We understand that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. So we have acted on the environment and on climate change. We also conducted a rigorous environmental assessment of this project.

[English]

     I'm quite surprised, though, that the Conservative member might be suggesting that they don't think that the Trans Mountain expansion project should go ahead.

[Translation]

    Actually, we are concerned about the $4.5 billion that have been invested in an existing pipeline in the United States. Nothing concrete is being done for the environment in Canada with this money.

[English]

    There wasn't any questioning on that point, but maybe we can pick that up in the next round.
    Next up is Mr. Boulerice.

[Translation]

    I would like to thank the minister for finding the time to be with us today. I know that it was a bit complicated and that there was a mix-up, but she's here.
    I'll try to change the tone of the discussion. Madam Minister, I'm going to ask you a few specific questions, and I would ask you to provide some very specific and short answers because you obviously can't spend much time with us today.
    My first question is very simple. What are the subsidies to oil and gas companies for the 2017-18 fiscal year?
    We said we needed to address those subsidies. I'm looking at the regulatory approach, and the department is looking at the other grants. We and our G20 counterparts have agreed to eliminate these subsidies by 2025.
    I know that you have set the objective of eliminating them by 2025.
    But the question I was asking was this: What are the government subsidies to oil and gas companies for the 2017-18 fiscal year? The answer needs to be a number.
    As I said earlier, we are conducting an analysis, because it is really important. On a personal note, I agree with you that we must ensure that what we do makes sense, and that the environment and the economy work together.
    Do you agree with the Auditor General, who said last May that your government did not have a clear definition of what a fossil energy subsidy is? So if you can't even define what it is and you have no idea what the figure is, how can you act to eliminate these subsidies when you don't even know what you're talking about?
    In fact, we have to have a definition first to be able to give you a number. So we're doing fact-based analysis. I think it's really important. I agree with you that our government must do these analyses, and that's what we promised in a previous budget document. We have already cut some subsidies, and we will see what more we can do.
    It is fascinating to see how long the analysis can drag on with the Liberals. I am a little disappointed to see that, after three years, you have neither an action plan nor a clear definition of what a subsidy to the oil companies is.
    You talked about the G20 process where countries will carry out indirect monitoring, and then they'll give another country the task of verifying what mechanisms are in place to reduce these subsidies to oil and gas companies. Canada has received an invitation from Argentina, but your government hasn't yet responded. What are you waiting for?
    Argentina has extended this invitation, which we are in the process of reviewing.
    I think it's important for everyone to work together, because it's not an easy file. We have taken the leadership. We do more than just consult, as we saw with the Bill C-69: we listen to people, and we move bills forward.
    Speaking of leadership, Madam Minister, we in the NDP are very disappointed by your government's lack of leadership. Canada is the only G7 country that does not yet have an action plan or national strategy to reduce the use of plastics.
    What are you waiting for? Will you soon commit to developing this strategy?
    It is really important to tackle plastic waste. It creates the equivalent of one full truck a minute, so much so that there is sometimes more plastic than fish in the oceans. Here again, we are taking the lead on this issue. The Prime Minister, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and I are pushing for an international plastics charter. Here at home, we have already announced that we will eliminate microbeads, but we still have work to do.
    Last week my counterparts and I met to develop a plan. We must do this not only with the provinces and territories, but also with the companies. In fact, I was really pleased to hear representatives from a company like Unilever say that producers also have a responsibility on this issue. So we are all working together.

  (1135)  

     I would have liked a date on the federal government's action plan to reduce the use of plastics. You tell me that we play a leadership role. Why is it then that after Ms. May applauded London's decision to ban plastic straws, the Prime Minister said he would not ban them? It may seem like a small detail, but these straws are very polluting and have a catastrophic impact on turtles and fish around the world. You say you are leaders, but every time there is a good idea, you don't adopt it.
    I think we accept a lot of good ideas, but we have to work with the provinces and territories. Canada is a federation. Quebec understands this very well and isn't happy when we act without it. I will continue to work with the provinces and territories, including Quebec, and with the municipalities. I am pleased to see that municipalities have undertaken initiatives. Today, people from Mill Street Brewery said that their company would no longer use plastic straws. It shows how everyone can take action.
    I think you should follow that example.
    Am I out of time, Madam Chair?

[English]

     Yes. You might get a chance to have the last round.
    Next, we have Mr. Amos sharing with Mr. Aldag.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Madam Minister, we very much appreciate that you are here today.
    I would like to begin by thanking you and the Environment Canada officials for your hard work on the 2018 budget with regard to conservation. It's historic and very special. Never in Canada's history has there been an investment of $1.3 billion over four years for marine and land conservation.
    What have you done in recent months to advance the conservation agenda, whether in national parks or other protected areas across Canada?
    Thank you very much for your question.
    Indeed, $1.3 billion over five years is a historic investment and a major announcement. Canadians are very proud of that because they want the government to preserve parks and protected areas. We also said that we would achieve our international protection goal of protecting 10% of our oceans and 17% of our land.
    We have already announced several initiatives. We announced the creation of the Tallurutiup Imanga protected area, which represents 2% of the oceans. We worked with the Inuit, and it was amazing.
    We have projects in the southern Okanagan region of British Columbia. There are also those in Thaidene Nene, the Manitoba Lowlands, the Churchill and Nelson rivers, the Magdalen Islands, James Bay, the southern Strait of Georgia. We are also continuing to work on the Scott Islands designation project.
    There are certainly many possible projects, but we must work with the provinces and territories. I know that environmentalists and philanthropists have a great interest in this. This is a good opportunity to do what it takes to meet our targets abroad and what Canadians want us to do to protect the environment, parks and protected areas. It is all the more important to do this because there is also the context of climate change.

  (1140)  

[English]

    Thank you, Minister.
    Congratulations on focusing also on that private sector aspect. It's very important to leverage private funds to achieve those public interest ends.
    How are you going to engage indigenous peoples in a more extensive manner in the achievement of conservation across Canada?
    Thank you very much. That's a really important piece.
    The reconciliation with indigenous peoples includes—as I've been told many times by indigenous peoples—“reconcili-action”. This is actually a great example of how we can partner with indigenous peoples. There was an ICE report with indigenous peoples—first nations, Métis, and Inuit—talking about opportunities. We've also met with the national indigenous organizations. We've been having conversations with indigenous communities who are particularly interested in the idea of indigenous protected areas, reimagining how we protect areas while recognizing the unique circumstances of indigenous peoples and their indigenous culture, their history, their role of indigenous knowledge and as indigenous guardians. Having young people—but also indigenous elders—on the land, protecting the land, is a huge opportunity and a huge part of our commitment to reconciliation.
     Mr. Aldag.
    Minister, as you know, last year our committee prepared and published a report on heritage conservation. In that report we had a specific recommendation, recommendation 10, that dealt with the Parks Canada national cost-sharing program. The recommendation, in case you don't remember it, said that the federal government should restore the funding level for the cost-sharing program for heritage places to a minimum of $10 million per year. This program, which I had familiarity with, provided excellent support to owners and lessees of national historic sites and heritage facilities not owned by the federal government.
    We heard from witnesses who talked about how oversubscribed this program is, and in the previous budgets, our government had increased the budget from $1 million to $10 million. It has reverted down to $1 million in this budget, so I'd like to know your thoughts on what role you see the federal government playing in the support and preservation of all of Canada's heritage moving forward.
    Could you further comment on what that role is and how it's supported by the budget that we have before us today?
    Thank you very much, and I really want to thank you for all your work advocating and practically working to protect national historic sites and heritage facilities. I'm very committed to protecting built heritage in Canada. We've made substantial investments in our national historic sites.
    With respect to cost sharing for non-federally owned heritage sites, the grant program has moved back to its previous A-base funding level in this fiscal year, but I'm certainly open to considering the committee's recommendation to move this grant to a permanent level of $10 million a year, going ahead.
     Great. Thank you.
    Maybe I will give your parliamentary secretary a minute to provide comment on how budget 2018 will transform the way Canada protects species at risk.
    You have 10 seconds.
     The resources being provided under the budget will enable us to be more effective partners with the provinces and territories from a financial perspective in terms of creating protected areas, which obviously is intimately linked to species-at-risk protection and will provide us with the internal resources we need to ensure that we are actually focusing on what is a critical issue from a biodiversity perspective for Canada and for the world.
    Well done.
    That was succinct.
    Madame Kusie.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Minister, it seems like you really don’t want to be here this morning and thank you very much for that super classy opening.
    How many deaths are there in Canada every year due to pollution?
    I'm very happy to be here. As I say, this is my third time in 12 weeks. I think you do good work and it's important to report—
    Answer the question, please. How many deaths are there in Canada each year due to pollution?
    We know that pollution worldwide accounts for over one million deaths. That's why doing things such as phasing out coal is so important.
    Minister, on May 25 of this year, you told the House, and I quote—
    On a point of order, Madam Chair, if the member is going to ask a question, then please allow the minister to answer that question.
    That's not really a point of order.
    An hon member: She answered the question.
    She hadn't finished answering that question.
    An hon. member: She said, it's one million.
    Let's give her the chance to answer and then go on to the next question.
    Thank you very much.
    Minister, on May 25 of this year, you told the House, “Almost 800,000 people die each year from pollution.”
    Which number is correct?
    Let me clarify. It's almost 800,000, closer to one million, probably, worldwide, who die from pollution, but in Canada—

  (1145)  

    Okay. Then why in the House, on May 25—
    No, sorry, I'm actually going to answer your question.
    —did you say 800,000?
    If you would like me to answer your question, I'm happy to.
    I now have the statistic. Thank you to my very able deputy minister.
    We know air pollution has resulted in 14,400 premature deaths, which is—
    Thank you, Minister.
    Minister, why is the number you gave on May 25—
    —over $110 billion per year in socio-economic terms.
    I have a point of order, Madam Chair—
    Hold on, everybody.
    If it's going to devolve into this, it's going to be a problem. I know she was in the middle of answering and I know sometimes you want the question to not be answered any more because you're running out of time.
    An hon. member: Well, she is running out of time.
    The Chair: At the moment, we're stopped.
    It would be helpful if we don't run out of time and you just give the minister a chance to finish the question. Not if she's running on—I get it—but just let her finish the original question and then we can move on to the next one. That will stop the interruptions from the other side of the table.
    Thank you.
    As I said, why is that number different from the 7,700 reported by The Globe and Mail? The number you gave in the House is almost 10 times larger than this number as reported. How could there be such huge discrepancies? With inaccurate facts and hyperbole such as this, how can Canadians take your claims seriously on the need for climate action?
    I hope Canadians take my claims seriously because we do it, unlike the previous government, based on science, evidence, and fact. It's 14,400 premature deaths every year in Canada from pollution. That's $110 billion per year in socio-economic terms, which I know the Conservative party would be very concerned about. The estimate is 800,000 globally and we think it's higher.
     But it's completely inaccurate.
     Minister, you speak all the time of concern for future generations in regard to the need to act on this environment. What do you say to all the young families in my riding who no longer have jobs today as a result of your government's inaction and poor policies?
    I'd just like to correct the record: my facts are accurate.
     We are growing the economy. I'm quite confused.... We've added 600,000 jobs to the economy. We're the fastest-growing economy in the G7. The previous government had a very poor economic record and was not creating jobs and also not taking action on the environment, so lose-lose. We're focused on win-win for Canadians: reducing emissions, protecting our environment, growing our economy, and creating good jobs.
    Minister, can you explain to the committee how it is possible to compost and recycle if you can't afford food to put on the table for your family because you don't have a job?
    Most Canadians I talk to actually really care about the environment. They really want to do right by the environment. They want opportunities to waste less. They want opportunities to save money by having energy efficiency measures, and that's what we're doing. I work with all Canadians. I work with people who don't have a lot of resources so that they can save money through energy efficiency measures. When you look at our social housing investment, that should be at the highest standard so that people who have no money pay less on their hydro bills. That's my focus, and I will continue to do that. We understand that the environment and the economy go together.
    Minister, do you know what carbon leakage is?
    I do know what carbon leakage is, but do you want me to explain it to your side or...? Carbon—
    No, thank you, Minister. I'll explain it. Carbon leakage is where, from policies, carbon production is too costly and is relocated to areas with less stringent environmental rules, actually leading to higher emissions globally. Out of the top 10 oil-producing countries in the world, Canada is by far ranked the best in terms of environmental performance. If oil and gas are going to be produced in the world, why shouldn't it be done by this country, Canada, with the highest environmental standards?
    I agree.
    Thank you very much for agreeing with that, Minister. I'm very much appreciative.
    Minister, I'd like to go back again: how many deaths in Canada do you think are due every year to pollution?
    I'm not entirely sure I can repeat this again. We look at estimates from air pollution from industry, transportation, and other human activities, resulting in 14,400 premature deaths, but it's also the economic costs: $110 billion per year in socio-economic terms. When we look at the number of people, when we look at the coal phase-out in Ontario, we had 53 less smog days—53 to zero.
    Thank you, Minister.
    Madam Chair, I will pass my last minute to Mr. Clarke.
    Mr. Clarke.

[Translation]

    Madam Minister, this is a very important question. You said that Canadians did not trust the Conservatives on the environment. However, for the past five years, the Liberal Party has shown a demagoguery that is totally disproportionate in this regard.
    You're a smart woman. You know the ecoTrust program, an environmental platform that dates back to 2007. On that occasion, Mr. Harper and Mr. Charest gave a press conference. The budget envelope for this program was $1.5 billion. We transferred $338 million to Quebec to support its environmental plan. It isn't without reason that Canada has been able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2% in recent years. Indeed, there was a real plan that the Conservatives had put forward.
    You are being demagogic when you say that the Conservatives have done absolutely nothing in this area. There was the ecoTrust program and the greenhouse gas emission targets, targets that you kept in the Paris Agreement.
    The minister talks about public confidence, but how can she have censored the results of the research done by her department and the Department of Finance?
    How could she hide the figures that indicated how much the Liberal carbon tax would cost per capita?
    Madam Minister, since you are talking about public confidence, you must tell us today how much the Liberal carbon tax will cost per capita.

  (1150)  

[English]

    I'm going to have to cut that off because unfortunately your question went over time. Maybe you could pick that up in the next round of questioning.
    Next up is Mr. Rogers. You'll be sharing your time.
    Thank you again, Minister, for being here. We appreciate the fact that you are able to sit in front of our committee and take questions. I know you have a busy schedule, so I'll get to a couple of points I want to make and then ask you a couple of questions.
    We know the Conservatives don't care for opinions that are different from theirs. That's why they refused to hold committee meetings on the 2012 changes to the environmental assessment process. Indeed, they even tried to remove the important role of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board from the review panel process in the Bill C-69 review. This was attempted despite massive objections from Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and the experts. It was quite shocking to people involved in the oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.
    We also know that prior to tabling Bill C-69, unlike the Conservatives with the 2012 changes, you engaged with stakeholders from a variety of sectors and perspectives for over a year. We know that you were engaged thoroughly with industry throughout the entire process, and the same can be said for our other environmental initiatives. Can you comment on the robust consultation processes that went into designing Bill C-69 and how they've been designed in consultation with industry?
    Could you also comment on how the competitiveness of Canadian industry goes into designing the programs and initiatives under your purview?
     Thank you very much.
    I think this is a really important question because when we had to rebuild trust in how we did environmental assessments, so sorely lost by the previous government, we needed to hear from Canadians because they had said they lost trust. We spent a lot of time with Canadians. We spent a lot of time with industry. We spent a lot of time with provinces and territories. I know the Government of Newfoundland was very interested in the role of the offshore petroleum boards. We also listened to environmentalists. We listened to all Canadians, and that started from the very beginning.
    When we came into government, we knew it was important to do what we could to build a more robust system, so we brought in interim principles that increased indigenous consultation, ensured decisions were made on science, and that we looked at the emissions associated with projects. Then we had an expert panel. There were three other ministers involved. One other minister had an expert panel. There were two committees that were involved. There was a whole process there with thousands of consultations literally across the country. Then we brought this all together in a document, which we then consulted again.
    I sat down with industry many times, including at tables that were organized by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, in order to listen to them. I also did the same with environmentalists. I did the same with the provinces and territories, and we listened to indigenous peoples and worked very hard to design something that made sense. We know that competitiveness is hugely important, that goal of “one project, one assessment” is important, but it's also important to ensure that we can approve projects in a timely manner with a clear process and ensure that good projects go ahead.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Bossio.
    Once again, Minister, it's great to be able to ask you questions and we really appreciate your once again coming to our committee.
    The proposed impact assessment act opens up new opportunities for indigenous peoples to participate in the conduct of impact assessments. How would these changes improve the assessment process and meaningful public participation?
    This is really extraordinarily important. We know that under the previous system, there wasn't proper consultation with indigenous peoples. As soon as we came in, we made it much more robust through the interim principles, but we've also spent time working with the national indigenous organizations and also in listening to indigenous peoples, first nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples from coast to coast to coast. We know that indigenous peoples are often the most profoundly and directly impacted when a project is built, and they also want the capacity to be involved, to evaluate and assess potential impacts of projects, and also to monitor them.
    The new impact assessment act now provides for meaningful collaboration with indigenous peoples, including through an early engagement process where we will design with indigenous peoples the consultation plan that we will be working in partnership with them on. Indigenous traditional knowledge will be a “must have“, not a “nice to have“. We know that this is a way to develop better relationships, to build better projects, and is also better for our longer term goal of reconciliation.

  (1155)  

    In 2017, the budget put forward by the Honourable Bill Morneau invested in the establishment and expansion of the land-based guardians program. How will these programs contribute to reconciliation and how will they help indigenous youth?
    Thank you very much.
    I had a great opportunity to see the indigenous guardians program in action at Gwaii Haanas. I would encourage everyone to go there if you haven't been there. There you see indigenous youth with elders, protecting the land, caring for the land, but also explaining to visitors about the history of indigenous culture. We now have built this in with other projects that we're moving forward with. Even if you visit the Franklin ships, there's a guardians program there designed by Inuit for Inuit. I think this is extremely important. It's about learning, healing, and nation building, especially for indigenous youth. There is so much that we can be doing and learning from indigenous peoples.
    Mr. Fast.
     Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
    Thank you, Minister, for appearing. I'm glad you changed your mind and are defending the estimates, as other ministers have done.
    I must say I am somewhat disappointed at the adversarial and highly partisan way in which you approached this meeting. Your introductory comments were effectively an attack ad on the previous government, when in fact the previous government did a lot for the environment, setting aside an additional 50% of parkland in Canada, having great relationships with groups like Ducks Unlimited to expand and protect wetlands, and it goes on and on.
    You didn't do yourself a service, I will tell you, by going on an attack in your 10-minute presentation, and then when Mr. Boulerice asks a question you talk about how it's important that we all work together. Suddenly there's a Kumbaya moment. I think you can do better, Madam Minister. You and I have known each other now for quite a while. I have the greatest respect for you, but you're going to have difficulty getting your climate change agenda through if it's all partisanship and attacks on the other parties in Parliament. We're all members of Parliament who believe we're doing our job in representing our communities and promoting a better Canada.
    I want to go back to a question I asked you a long time ago, which we still don't have an answer to, and that is the carbon tax. The carbon tax in 2022 will be $50, and it will be right across Canada in every province and territory. We've been asking what that will mean in costs to the average Canadian family. Can you answer that question today?
    I would just like to repeat that I think we work better together. I do not like seeing attack ads using my public servants, and that was a Conservative attack ad using a public servant who was talking about carbon pricing. I take great offence at that and I think Canadians take great offence.
    In terms of a price on pollution—
    Minister, with respect, you're in a political arena and—
    —we've repeated it over and over. In terms of a price on pollution, we know that 80% of Canadians—
    If you're going to be partisan at committee, you can expect an equivalent response.
    Do you want an answer, Mr. Fast?
    I do.
    Okay, then let's let the minister have the floor.
    Go ahead.
    Eighty per cent of Canadians live in a jurisdiction where there's a price on pollution through the leadership of the provinces and territories. The federal government has said that we have a backstop, but we are hoping that provinces step up like they've already done—Alberta, Quebec, and British Columbia.
    What will this cost the average Canadian family?
    What have we seen in those provinces? We have seen that they have been able to tackle climate change while also being the fastest-growing economies in the country. The question you're really asking is what happens with the revenues. That is up to the provinces to decide and—

  (1200)  

    Don't tell me the question I'm asking.
    —we've seen that B.C. has given the revenues back. They gave the revenues back so people had more money in their pockets, while they were also doing what was necessary, which was reducing emissions.
    Madam Minister, British Columbia, which is my home province, no longer has a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Every penny of that carbon tax goes into general revenues and is spent on the B.C. government's political priorities. You know that. There is not a jurisdiction in Canada that has a carbon price or a carbon tax where money is being returned to taxpayers. It's all going into general revenues. Those governments spend it on their priorities.
    I will ask you the question again. How much will your carbon tax of $50 per tonne cost the average Canadian family?
    I would like to correct that. Alberta, for example, returns revenues. I think you've just made my point—that was a decision by the Government of British Columbia. It's up to governments to decide what they're going to do with revenues. Governments can decide. For example, the Government of Saskatchewan could decide that they are going to return it all back in a tax cut. They could reduce their provincial sales tax. They could give a credit. They could give it directly back. That is up to the provinces and territories to determine and that will determine what the cost is. I can only tell you what is happening now.
    Minister, the buck stops with your government. You are the Minister of Environment for Canada. You are the one imposing a carbon tax backstop of $50 per tonne, so it's your responsibility to ensure that those revenues, that tax, remains revenue neutral. You've simply fobbed this off on the provinces and are saying to them that they can do as they wish, and that you don't want to take personal responsibility for the carbon tax anymore. I believe what you're doing is abandoning your responsibility to Canadians to ensure that taxes you raise on greenhouse gas emissions are returned to those very taxpayers.
    I have one last question. Minister, in 2022 the carbon tax will be $50. However, it's pretty clear from documents that have been prepared for you by your staff that there's a plan to increase the carbon tax from $50 to $100 to $200, because a $50-per-tonne carbon tax will not allow you to meet your Paris targets.
    Can you brief this committee on the discussions you've had with your officials on increasing the carbon tax from the $50 that it will be in 2022?
     Unfortunately, the length of the question means you have a very short 10 seconds.
    I'm going to pass it on to my parliamentary secretary.
    As the honourable members know, that's the product of a conversation between the federal government and the provinces that has not yet happened. It will happen as per the pan-Canadian framework. I would also say that the member is from British Columbia, as am I, and he has been quoted publicly in the press as saying—and has said to me—that he favours a carbon tax that is revenue neutral. So if the member has a problem with how the province is using the revenues, he should talk to Premier Horgan.
    I really appreciate all of the good questions. We have now finished that round.
    On a point of order, Madam Chair, the member for North Vancouver suggests that he quoted me as being supportive of a revenue-neutral carbon tax. I would like him to provide for this committee a transcript of that quote, because that's not what I said.
    Fair enough. We'll leave that on the record. I don't think we need to do it now. If there's a disagreement, that information will be provided, and we'll appreciate it if you don't agree with what's being said.
    Do you want to hear it now?
    Yes, if he's got it.
    We're running out of time. In fact, we're out of time, but if he's got it, he can go ahead then.
    Member Fast said that British Columbia “did the right thing” on carbon pricing.
    Can you repeat that?
    You can repeat it, and then I have to end this section of the meeting.
    Member Fast was quoted in the press as saying that on carbon pricing, B.C. “did the right thing”.
    That doesn't mean I support the carbon price.
    We're into debate, and this portion of the meeting is over.
    I want to thank the minister very much for appearing before us and answering our questions. Now the rest of the staff, the deputies and their assistants, are going to come up to the table, and we'll carry on our questioning.
    Thank you so much.

    


    

  (1205)  

    We'll resume. I would like to introduce the additional members now at the table with us.
    From Parks Canada Agency, we have Sylvain Michaud. Thank you very much for joining us. He's the Chief Financial Officer. From the Department of the Environment, we have Carol Najm, who's the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services and Finance Branch. With the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, we have Christine Loth-Bown, Vice-President, Policy Development Sector. She has spent quite a bit of time with us in the last month.
    I just want to let everybody know we're not doing statements; we're continuing with questions. We're starting a new round, so everybody has their six minutes. I'm going to carve out 10 minutes at the end, because we do have to move the estimates, and I need to go through that process. I also need to have a very quick conversation about Thursday's meeting, given the situation with when we're going to get the draft report. Let's save 10 minutes for that.
    Mr. Amos, you have six minutes.
     Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Thank you to our hard-working civil servants.
    I very much appreciate how busy the government's agenda is on environmental and sustainable development law reform. More broadly writ, what that really means is that you and all your teams are working overtime to make sure that we manage to transform this country's laws.
    I want to focus a bit on the conservation angle that I was pursuing with the minister. Obviously, we now have new funding to be injected into the park side, the wildlife service side, and into new programming around indigenous guardians. I imagine a suite of programs are being updated and new strategies are being developed. How specifically are we going about the process of encouraging federal-provincial collaboration in conservation?
    My understanding is that the invitation has been made through federal, provincial, and territorial discussions for the provinces and territories to come forward and indicate what opportunities they'd like to pursue. I wonder, is there not a more proactive role for the federal government to play to identify opportunities where the federal government sees them and to pursue very proactive collaboration with the provinces? For example, I can point to western Quebec where there are conservation opportunities, but I think there's a leadership role for the federal government to play.

  (1210)  

    Perhaps I can start and then turn to my colleague Daniel to go further.
    The Government of Canada has been working with provinces and territories, indigenous peoples, and other stakeholders over the course of the past 18 months to almost two years on a process called “Pathway to Canada Target 1”, the terrestrial target under the Convention on Biological Diversity of conserving or protecting 17% of our landmass by 2020. Minister McKenna and Minister Phillips of Alberta launched that process in December 2016, and in February 2017 met with provincial and territorial ministers responsible for wildlife conservation and biodiversity to engage in that broader work. There was work by an external panel, the national advisory panel, that provided advice as well, and as the minister mentioned, the indigenous circle of experts in regard in particular to indigenous protected and conserved areas.
    That work has supported provinces and territories, as well as indigenous groups and others, looking at opportunities across the country including, on our side, national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries. Daniel can speak to national parks in a second.
    Given the investment in the budget of $1.3 billion in conservation in particular in February 2018, the government's commitment to establish a nature fund of $1 billion, of which the government would invest $500 million, creates a platform for the government to work with partners, including provinces and territories, industry, philanthropic foundations, and indigenous groups to establish those areas in the spirit of partnership.
     I'd like to push this a bit further because I'd like to know specifically the state of the conversation with the Government of Quebec around a joint conservation agenda. Is there a dialogue around specific areas of Quebec that might be of interest to that province? Has there been feedback from them? I doubt it's on the parks side, but maybe it is. Everyone who's followed conservation in Quebec has known that for many years, with the exception of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, a lot hasn't been achieved. I think this is the moment when we have to get these two governments working together.
    I'll comment, and then I'll turn to my colleague Daniel.
    All provinces and territories are engaged in the conversation Daniel and I co-chaired with our colleague from Alberta, with deputy ministers, just last week. The Government of Quebec invested in the recent budget in conservation and protected areas. Discussions are under way at the officials' level, and I would point out recently in Alberta a significant commitment was made for protected areas in the Birch River area of the boreal forest, which involved work through nature conservancies and the Government of Alberta as well.
     I'd add that obviously if you're going to get the types of outcomes we want in protecting species at risk and others, the interconnectivity is critical. Of the investments that are available here, the science component will be critical. It will allow us to work better with all jurisdictions.
    I think one of the other pieces that has been a big plus is not only are we working with provinces and territories but also municipalities and indigenous governments. I think it brings together a more coherent program than we've been able to see before, given all the different players that are being brought to the same table.
     Very quickly, what is the status of the development of the indigenous guardians program? What successes have been achieved? My understanding is that things aren't moving as quickly as some proponents would like. Could you please update us on that?

  (1215)  

    These are obviously excellent programs. There's a long history with similar things the minister spoke to earlier. We do expect to see people on the ground this year in a number of communities as a result of those investments. We expect those to have a particularly strong impact on indigenous youth, Inuit and Métis in some parts of the country and first nations in others. Again, we expect to see people on the ground in very short order this season.
    My last question is.... I've run out of time.
    Sorry about that, good questioning but you're out of time.
    Mr. Fast.
    Mr. Lucas, a number of agencies including the UN and I believe the Auditor General have noted that Canada right now is not on track to meet its Paris Agreement targets. It's short somewhere around I believe 90 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Can you confirm today exactly how big that shortfall is?
    Canada reports transparently each year, every second year to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and in the alternate years in our public reporting in Canada on our emission forecast and the results of the the inventory on actual observations. In the most recent report to the UN in December 2017, it reported the single biggest drop in Canadian history of emissions, 232 megatonnes, which brought the total to about 583 megatonnes. That did not include a number of areas that weren't modelled, which has been our approach based on expert advice. That included the land use—
    I don't want to interrupt you but you didn't answer my question, which is how far short are we on our Paris Agreement goals?
    The response I was giving is that the government has articulated a plan to achieve the target. That includes both measures modelled in the report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change but also other measures that have not been modelled including public transit, areas of innovation technology development, and in particular in the land use and land use change sector in terms of stored carbon in the forest and agricultural lands.
    What's the shortfall?
    What I'm conveying is that in the model portion, it brings us to 583 megatonnes and we believe through these areas that have not been modelled—
    You say, areas that have not been modelled. Is that your way of saying you have a shortfall but you don't want to actually admit there's a shortfall?
    No, I believe what it represents in areas, for example, in land use and land use change, the international rules for that are still being developed. Canada has a very robust system of tracking stored carbon in forests and in agricultural lands, which we believe, until those international rules are secured, we will not report in our—
    So what's the shortfall?
    As I said, there's a difference between—
    Stephen, this is not looking good on you.
    You have an answer but you won't give it to this committee. I really find that troubling. You have an answer—
    Madam Chair, what I would like to do is just....
    He's trying to explain his answer.
    Go ahead.
    I was trying to explain my answer. The target in 2030 is 517 megatonnes. We believe that we're on a path to achieve that target through the measures in the pan-Canadian framework, which include those modelled and reported in the UNFCCC and in that same report, and in other public documents. There are areas that we have not modelled because we're taking a conservative expert-driven set of assumptions to that modelling, including public transit—
    Both the United Nations and the Auditor General have noted that in fact the Pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change and all the programs that are within it, will not meet the Paris Agreement targets. Correct?
    The commissioner on environment and sustainable development's report was focused on previous plans that looked at targets in 2020. She did not audit the 2030 target. We look forward to that assessment.
     Let me ask you a different question. What role will international carbon credits play in achieving Canada's greenhouse gas emissions?

  (1220)  

    The pan-Canadian framework did indicate that internationally traded mitigation opportunities, which is the way they're described in the Paris Agreement, can represent a contribution to that. At present that article in the Paris Agreement, article 6, in terms of the rules governing it, continues to be negotiated.
    The agreement, through the pan-Canadian framework that the provinces and territories agreed to, recognizes that as a financial area of contribution, as well as measures crossing economic sectors in this country.
    Just to be clear, when you're talking about carbon credits and trying to negotiate something that's going to allow Canada to purchase carbon credits, this is about Canada making up any shortfall in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by sending money to other countries or other jurisdictions to purchase credits so that Canada can meet its targets, and that money then goes to other jurisdictions to be spent on the priorities of those jurisdictions. Is that correct?
    What I described was that the pan-Canadian framework plan looks at a variety of measures touching all sectors of the economy across all regions. The modelling of that shows a reduction in 2030 of 232 megatonnes relative to the current baseline. In addition, there are a number of areas that have not been modelled, including the investments in public transit, which are anticipated to reduce emissions, changes in technology through innovation, as well as stored carbon in forests and through agricultural soil. The pan-Canadian framework really outlines a plan to achieve the target domestically.
    Thank you very much.
    We are out of time on that round.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Boulerice.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Thank you for being with us.
    Last year or two years ago, I had the unique opportunity of visiting Sable Island National Park Reserve, off the coast of Nova Scotia. It is a magical and unique place in the world. In fact, it is the only place in Canada where there are still wild horses. We recently learned that the Minister of the Environment had authorized several offshore drilling operations in the vicinity of this national park.
    Could you tell us if you have analyzed the impact that these drilling operations might have on the national park's ecosystem?
    I'm not aware of any authority that would allow the minister to approve drilling outside the park. I'm also not aware of any drilling authorizations inside the park. In fact, I'm almost certain that nothing could be described in this way, unless I'm forgetting something. However, no drilling is done inside the park and the minister does not have the authority to authorize drilling outside the park.
    There isn't any inside the park, obviously. However, according to the information we received, authorizations covering areas near the island and the park were granted to British Petroleum. This worries many citizens who want to protect this gem. I would ask you, if possible, to do the necessary checks and forward the relevant documents to the committee afterwards.

  (1225)  

    Yes, but I can assure that I'm not aware of any authorization my minister has given for drilling off Sable Island National Park Reserve.
    Very well.
    With regard to the greenhouse gas reduction targets that we presented at the Paris Agreement, everyone seems to agree that we are behind schedule and that we will not achieve them. That was the opinion of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development last year. She predicted that we would miss our 2020 targets and that we would very likely miss our 2030 targets if no adjustment was made. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, is also concerned that Canada may not meet its commitments and objectives. This is also what the United Nations expressed in a report only a few months ago.
    Unfortunately, the minister seems to be the only one who believes that she will achieve these objectives. I know that you aren't political leaders, but I would like to know what you have to say to everyone who thinks we won't succeed in meeting our commitments.
    In 2016, the government and my staff worked hard to develop, in collaboration with the provinces, territories, indigenous peoples, businesses, civil society, young Canadians and all other Canadians, a plan to achieve our 2030 Paris Accord target, promote economic growth and increase Canada's resilience to real climate change.
    This plan, published in December 2016 and sent to the United Nations, will inform Canadians of the measures and the effects they will have produced each year by 2030. As I just said, the plan also contains non-modelled measures, because we are developing rules to account for the effects of these measures on land use, carbon storage in Canada's forests and agricultural areas, and the further reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through public transit, which is a high priority for Quebec.
    Okay, thank you.
    Unfortunately, the Liberal government eliminated the public transit tax credit. I think it does one thing on one side and the opposite on the other, as happens too often.
    We have just collectively become the owners of a pipeline, which is a big surprise for many people. We don't know how much it will cost us. This acquisition cost $4.5 billion, and its expansion will likely cost $7.4 billion. This pipeline will transport raw bitumen, which is extremely difficult to recover in the event of a spill because it sinks. We will triple the production of fossil fuel energy, which means putting three million more cars on the road.
    By making such decisions, which go completely in the opposite direction from the goals set, how is it possible that Canada will achieve its objectives, which it is already at risk of not achieving?

[English]

     You have 12 seconds.

[Translation]

    The government has assessed the direct greenhouse gas emissions that will result from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, as well as those from upstream oil production. These emissions are reflected in the National Energy Board's forecasts and in the modelling of our targets.

[English]

    Thank you for that. I gave a little extra time to get the answers.
    Next up is Mr. Aldag.
    Thank you.
    I will start off with a question for Mr. Watson. It's building a bit on where my colleague Mr. Amos was going on how we're moving forward on meeting the 2020 targets, particularly looking at the 17% terrestrial.
    I'm interested that within Parks Canada.... We heard of great examples of work that is under way right now for the creation of parks when our minister was here, and lots of really exciting work that's happening for both terrestrial and marine. I wonder if you could provide a comment for us more on the front end of the intake process. We know that there are still some zones in Canada that are not represented and where target areas have not yet been identified.
    I'm wondering if you have the capacity for the science or the research, the discussions, for the planning of the next round of intakes through the budget that you've been allocated here.
    Thank you very much for the question.
    In fact, the latest budget will add nearly 200 FTEs into the science component of Parks Canada, which is a very significant contribution. That will play out in a number of very important ways. When it comes to protection, it's not just the number of square kilometres that are important, but it's where those square kilometres are and what they protect. You can only understand that with really solid science.
    The other part that's important, which I think everybody who has been in this business has learned over the years, is that what is up against that can either help or limit the degree of protection you do inside your own areas. With this increased science, we will be better able to talk to first nations, to Métis, to Inuit, to provinces, to territories, and better able to talk to regional and municipal governments. In all of those instances, the science should lead us all to better decisions, better interconnectivity, and better protection.

  (1230)  

    Great.
    I'd also like to get your thoughts, briefly, on the national historic sites side of the program, and how you're resourced right now. I know that work has happened over the last few years on improving condition reports, and the condition of built heritage in Canada. How is the agency poised right now to continue advancing the work on the federally held, and particularly the Parks Canada-held national historic sites, federal heritage buildings, classified and recognized FHBRO buildings, and those types of areas? Are you able to move forward on some of the work you need to do on improving conditions?
    Thank you for the question.
    We obviously take very close note of the report this committee did on cultural heritage. We're following that very closely.
    I have a couple of concrete things—no pun intended—on the protection of cultural heritage sites. First and foremost, we are responsible for some of the most iconic cultural heritage sites in the country. The monies we've had in recent budgets have allowed us to do several billion dollars' worth of work to protect that. I think that's setting a solid example across the country.
    In terms of the work with other jurisdictions, we are not only working with them on maintaining at least a modest level of this year's cost-sharing program, but the minister has written to her colleagues across the country, following the report this committee did. I will actually be attending a meeting of deputy ministers and ministers in Yellowknife very shortly, and will be speaking to this topic as well.
    We did something that we're taking very seriously, and we will look forward to continued work on this now that we have more to do.
    It's wonderful to hear you'll be there at the meeting. I have also met personally with a number of colleagues at the provincial and territorial level. They felt that it was very important to have the minister responsible for built heritage at those meetings. I'm delighted that you'll be attending.
    Mr. Hallman, I'd like to turn to you for a moment.
    We have Bill C-69 working its way through the House. Could you provide a comment or two on the impact that Bill C-69 may have on the required spending authorities of the agency that you're responsible for in 2018-19. Are you poised to move forward?
    Budget 2018 did provide for up to $259 million of additional resources over five years for the agency to transition to the new impact assessment agency of Canada to enhance indigenous outreach and engagement, to effect the early planning aspects of the bill, and to work with proponents, provinces, indigenous groups, and other interested parties to build greater certainty up front of the process. Those monies will flow over the period of five years, as laid out in the budget. The first part of that will come to the agency later in the year, through supplementary estimates.
    Thank you.
    I'm not sure who's responsible for the species at risk program, but I put a question to the parliamentary secretary and in 10 seconds he gave a fairly tight answer. I wonder if there's any further information that you can provide. Essentially, the question was this: How will budget 2018 transform the way that Canada protects our species at risk?
    Thank you.
    The budget represents a really significant investment in protecting nature, both through protected areas and species at risk. As Daniel noted, it recognizes the benefit for those species of protected areas, particularly in areas of high biodiversity value where connectivity is key, and in terms of measures to protect critical habitat. The budget will allow us to work in partnership with provinces and territories, landowners, industry, and indigenous groups to focus on priority places and to take a more place-based approach to species at risk—for example, in the south of the divide area in southern Saskatchewan. We will also look at critical anchor species that are in areas that touch on many different species at risk. An example is caribou, where we are working in partnership with the provinces and territories, industry, local communities, and indigenous groups to support protection of critical habitat.

  (1235)  

    I'm going to have end it there because we're running over. Sorry.
    I hate doing that, but once it gets past a little bit, I have to cut you off.
    One thing I always do, and didn't do earlier, was introduce members who aren't normally at the table. I just wanted to recognize Stephanie Kusie and Michael Levitt for joining us today.
    Now we're over to Monsieur Godin.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    First, I would like to thank our witnesses for being here this morning. I apologize for the first part of the meeting, where people were emotional and partisan. I know you rise above that. Members of the Conservative Party have great respect for senior public servants. Thank you for being here and answering our questions.
    Next, I would like to ask Mr. Watson a very simple question about Parks Canada.
    The budget indicates that there will be an increase of $83.6 million. If I recall correctly, in her presentation, the minister talked about the possibility of creating new parks in Canada. Did I understand correctly?
    Thank you very much for the question.
    We are still working on a system plan that will ultimately cover all of Canada's ecoregions. We haven't finished this task, and it won't be done any day now. Unfortunately, a lot of time is needed, but we continue to work on new parks, especially in the south Okanagan region, as the minister mentioned, and the Thaidene Nene project in the Northwest Territories. We are also holding discussions in other parts of the country.
    Thank you, Mr. Watson.
    If you're ever looking for a suitable place, I would say this: Canadians living in the Quebec City area unfortunately don't have access to parks managed by the Parks Canada Agency because there aren't any nearby. But I would like to suggest a place in the beautiful riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, the historic site of Fort Jacques-Cartier-et-du-Manoir-Allsopp, which straddles the municipalities of Cap-Santé and Donnacona. We would be very happy to welcome you there. If you have any ideas, please contact us.
    In the meantime, I will tell you that La Mauricie National Park, about an hour and a half away, is fantastic.
    That's true. We want to be attractive.
    Thank you very much.
    My next question is for Mr. Lucas.
    The budget indicates that $14.5 million is being provided to support the implementation of the pan-Canadian framework. There was a meeting between the provinces and the federal government. Will $14.5 million be used for management and coordination or is it cost-shared with the provinces?
    Could you tell us what you're going to do with the $14.5 million?
    Yes.
    This funding will allow our employees to advance some of the measures contained in the pan-Canadian framework, as you mentioned. This includes the use of funds to support adaptation to the impacts of climate change, to develop regulatory frameworks in the electricity sector, and to enable research and development related to the regulatory framework in the transportation sector.
    If I understand correctly, this means adding employees who will follow up on the accountability and instructions given by the provinces. Is that correct?
    In fact, we work closely with the provinces and territories, while respecting their jurisdictions. For example, with respect to reducing and eliminating carbon emissions in electricity generation, we have an equivalency agreement with Nova Scotia. We are also working with other provinces, including Saskatchewan.
    I understand that these aren't transfers to the provinces.
    My next question will also be for you.
    The federal contaminated site action plan was put in place in 2005 for a period of 15 years. We have received information that indicated that the department is on track to meet its objectives.
    Could you explain why we need more funding for this program in 2018-19? I know my question is quite specific. Why are we on track to achieve the objectives?
    I think we could give priority to other issues, to other aspects related to sustainable environment development. Why are we paying special attention to this program?

  (1240)  

    As you mentioned, we have a long-term commitment to removing contaminated soil. As for the 2018-19 fiscal year, this includes increased funding for cleaning up the Pacific Environmental Centre site in Vancouver.
    Thank you.
    Now, here is the burning question. The Department of the Environment has three institutions, if you will.
    Do you have the means to meet your objectives?
    If we give you additional funding of $4.5 billion, will we make it easier, even faster, to reach the targets that we, the Conservatives, established?
    The government has decided to invest in our department and other departments, including Infrastructure Canada, to help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We can talk, for example, about green infrastructure or about public transit programs, about the unprecedented investment of $1.3 billion to protect nature.
    What would the situation be if you had $4.5 billion in additional funding?

[English]

     I hate to do this, but we are over. I know that you're trying to squeeze in another round over there, so I don't want to stop that from happening.

[Translation]

    I'm sorry, Madam Chair.
    Thank you.

[English]

    It's okay. I'm just trying to mind your interests over there.
    Mr. Rogers, go ahead.
    Thank you, Madam Chair, and thanks, panel, for being here.
    In 2017, the Government of Canada announced the $2-billion low-carbon economy fund. To date, authorities have been sought in the supplementary estimates 2017-18 to allocate $115 million to the leadership fund component of that fund.
    Can you update the committee on the state of the discussions with the provinces and the territories regarding the fund's bilateral funding agreements?
    That work has proceeded significantly. A number of announcements were made last December and some subsequent to that. In terms of the partnership agreements and projects with provinces and territories, we now have those projects concluded plus signed bilateral agreements with Ontario, New Brunswick, P.E.I., Alberta, and British Columbia. We have agreements in principle just waiting to be signed with Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, NWT, and the Yukon. We're making significant progress in terms of concluding that agreement with Quebec. Manitoba signed on to the pan-Canadian framework only in February, and we're having very good discussions with them towards that.
    Therefore, there's very significant progress in partnership with the provinces and territories that is resulting in a number of programs across the country, in particular in the area of energy efficiency, stored carbon in forests, and support for reducing emissions in the transportation sector.
    How close are we to an agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador?
    My understanding is that the agreement has been concluded in principle, and we're just waiting for signature of it.
     How do you ensure that the funds that will be transferred to the provinces are spent in a way that supports the implementation of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change?
    In addition to the projects being proposed by the provinces and undergoing rigorous review, including expert review of emission reduction calculations, we have the strong accountability through the transfer payments through the provinces to ensure that the funds are utilized as intended and work through partnership committees with each province and territory to oversee the implementation of the programs. It's a great example of partnership, respecting the leadership of provinces and territories and working closely with the Government of Canada.

  (1245)  

    I appreciate that, Madam Chair. That's it for me.
    Is there anyone else? You still have time.
    Go ahead then, Mr. Amos.
    I'd like our officials to take us back to 2012 and the budget bill, which incorporated, holus-bolus, a new environmental assessment law.
    What officials testified before any standing committee at that time?
    I would simply note that it's before my time at the agency, so I don't have that at the tip of my tongue to answer. I could provide one later if that's the committee's desire, or perhaps others might have...?
     I believe Deputy Minister Lucas was with NRCan in a senior position at the time. Perhaps he recalls. If not, I would accept a written response to that question, because I think it is in the public interest. We've had significant discussions with our counterparts opposite on the apparent democratic sham of a process around Bill C-69. I would like to make sure that the record is clear as to what process is involved with Bill C-69 and what the process was involving the budget bill—I believe it was Bill C-38 at the time.
    As Ron indicated, in terms of specific witness testimony, we'd be happy to provide that.
    Okay. Thank you.
    I'd like to return to Mr. Watson around the issue of the building-out of the indigenous guardians program. What has been the nature of engagement of indigenous peoples in the development of this program? Where have there been points of friction, if any, in this process?
    Very quickly, in the case of the program that was announced in last year's budget, that was actually developed by indigenous people, so it was a proposal that was brought to government on that front. We've been working very closely on the administrative end of that. I think it's fair to say that there are no administrative conversations about government programs that go exactly the way you wished they would. When you come from outside government, you always wish that it will be faster and easier.
    However, we are working hard to make sure that the money actually gets delivered for the purposes for which it was required, because it's a very important purpose. What is common there, though, is that everybody wants to see it succeed. Everybody wants to make sure that youth contribute a significant amount to this. Everybody wants to make sure that the elders, who are a source of enormous wisdom and knowledge, have the opportunity to pass that on to the youth, who will be a part of this process.
    Thank you, Mr. Watson.
    Excellent.
    Madam Kusie.
     Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Mr. Lucas, it's public knowledge that the carbon price is set to be $50 by 2022, but in aNational Post article on March 30, 2017, it was revealed through an access to information request by our party, the Conservative Party, the official opposition, that, to meet climate target objectives, the price of carbon would in fact have to go up to $300. That's another $250—a significant increase—by 2050. That's not a lot of time. That's only another 28 years.
    I'm looking to you, Mr. Lucas, to confirm that these discussions are in fact taking place. It's painful for Canadians in terms of carbon pricing. There's the lack of transparency by this government in an effort to inform Canadians as to the price of carbon, to allow them to prepare and change and consider what this means for their lifestyles and families. This continues to be hidden. Mr. Lucas, can you please confirm that these discussions are taking place in regard to a $300 price on carbon by 2050?
    Thank you.

  (1250)  

    What I would indicate is that there is no target for 2050. There's no target set for Canada. The government has worked with provinces and territories, indigenous people, business, civil society, and all Canadians to develop a plan that has a variety of measures that are transparent. Our modelling in terms of how those measures contribute to meeting the target in 2030 is transparent, based on what was agreed to with provinces and territories at the first ministers meeting in December 2016.
    An element of that agreement was a commitment to undertake a review of carbon pricing in 2020, and then again in 2022. It's those elements that are the basis for our work going forward with our counterparts in the provinces and territories, in consultation with business, indigenous groups, and civil society based on those transparent assumptions and the detailed information provided for all regulatory and other measures as part of the consultation process.
     Based upon documentation you have seen, should Canadians prepare for a carbon price of $300 by 2050, yes or no?
    As I had indicated, Canada has not set a target for 2050. The government, with provinces and territories, in Vancouver in March 2016, affirmed a target and worked together through a very open and consultative process to develop a plan for how to attain that with those assumptions, in terms of the nature of the measures and their modelled impact provided in the report of the United Nations as well as in reporting to Canadians on an annual basis.
     I have to end it there. Thank you very much. We're out of time for statements, and questioning of witnesses has now expired.
    Now I'm going to call each vote separately.
     I'd like recorded votes.
    We're very well practised now.
CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AGENCY
ç Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$30,232,320
    (Vote 1 agreed to: yeas 5; nays 4)
DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT
ç Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$752,618,946
ç Vote 5—Capital expenditures..........$76,158,025
ç Vote 10—Grants and contributions..........$600,641,292
    (Votes 1, 5, and 10 agreed to: yeas 5; nays 4)
PARKS CANADA AGENCY
ç Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$1,275,738,115
ç Vote 5—Payments to the New Parks and Historic Sites Account..........$9,007,000
    (Votes 1 and 5 agreed to: yeas 6; nays 3)
    The Chair: Finally, shall I report the votes on the main estimates to the House? A recorded vote.
    (Motion agreed to: yeas 8; nays 1)
    The Chair: That did carry, so I'll be reporting that back. It could be as early as tomorrow morning.
    The next meeting is Thursday, and it's on the consideration of the draft report on the built environment study. Our analysts just want to have a few words. I think we're going to need a bit more time.
    Go ahead, Alex, if you wouldn't mind.

  (1255)  

    We've spent some time updating the report based on your suggestions last week.
     The full version of the report, French and English, will be ready tomorrow at the end of the day.
    There's a fair bit of change, because we did ask for quite a bit, so they spent a lot of time getting that all worked in. You're going to see quite a bit of change in the report and more recommendations.
    Given that we're getting it late tomorrow, I thought we might want more time to go through it and be really ready to do the recommendations. I'm suggesting that we do not have a meeting on Thursday. We'll start again on Tuesday. It gives us lots of time to digest what's coming at us. It's because of translation that we won't get it until late tomorrow. It's up to you.
    Go ahead, Joël.

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, I would like to ask the analyst a question about the presentation.
    Will we be given the wording of the first version and the changes in addition, in bold or underlined?
    Yes. The changes will be underlined, especially the additions. We had to do a little reorganization, though, given the number of changes. You may not see all the paragraphs that have been moved, but all the additions will be clearly marked.

[English]

    Is everybody okay with not meeting Thursday, and we'll start again Tuesday next week?
     Thank you very much.
    This meeting is adjourned.
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