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Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development


NUMBER 090 
l
1st SESSION 
l
42nd PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (0850)  

[English]

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, I rise on a point of order following correspondence and distribution of documents in only one of the two official languages by you on December 7 and by my colleague across the way, Mr. Amos, in November.
    I will refer to a motion put forward by Mike Bossio on February 4, 2016.
    I would also like to move another motion. May I ask for the unanimous consent of my colleagues so that I can put it forward?

[English]

    Could you explain? There's a document that was distributed, but it wasn't distributed as part of the committee. It was distributed by an individual member for interest—
    —at this table.
    —but not as part of committee information.
    I'm sorry, but that's part of the committee. Come on. Even Gerretsen's laughing.
    We're missing translation. Hang on a minute. I'll just say that again.
    If it was the letter that Mr. Amos asked to distribute at the committee, it wasn't committee work. It wasn't from the committee. It was just a member asking to distribute a letter. I did not know what was in the letter when he distributed it, and as soon as he did, we basically said it's something between you and committee members. It wasn't committee business.
    I want to make sure that was clear. I never saw that as committee business, and it wasn't intended to be committee business. I didn't know what it was until he put it in front of us. It was not committee business.

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, a motion was adopted on February 4, 2016, that only the clerk of the committee is authorized to distribute documents, including motions, to committee members, and all documents distributed to committee members must be available in both official languages. This was adopted on February 4, 2016. That's the first thing.
    The second is the correspondence that the chair sent to all committee members. Although the correspondence was addressed to all MPs, it was in only one language—English. I have a copy of the correspondence you sent to us last week. I won't refer to the content of the correspondence, but unfortunately—

[English]

    The Chair: That was last week?
    Mr. Joël Godin: Yes, last week.
    What was it?
    Do you understand?
    You're referring to an email that I send out just to let you know, and I didn't do it in two official languages.
    Yes.
    Fair enough. It was just a note, but that's fine. I get that. I won't do that again. I just wanted to give people a heads-up.

[Translation]

    I know it wasn't ill-intentioned.

[English]

    No, I get it.

[Translation]

    I'm working very hard to learn English. However, considering the rules governing the committee, both official languages must be used.
    Receiving documentation in only one official language prevents me from doing an effective job and makes my job as a parliamentarian harder. That's why this morning, I would like to move the following motion:
That all correspondence distributed in any form by the members of the Committee, including the Chair of the Committee, to the other members of the Committee be presented in both official languages.

[English]

    Fair enough.
    Is there any discussion?
    He's giving notice of a motion. I don't mind. If you want, we can deal with it right here.
     If he's giving notice, let's just give ourselves time to look at his motion.
    I'm fine with the content of it, but I'm hearing the feedback as, “Thank you for the notice and we'll discuss it when we come back.”
    It's a given, anyway.
    I know, he's just putting it on the table. I thought we could deal with it.
    Ms. Duncan.
     Before Mr. Godin goes on to other business, whatever it was that was circulated was circulated when I wasn't here. If it's something that a committee member wants us all to think about, I would appreciate receiving it, whatever was circulated that apparently was or wasn't committee business.
    You have actually seen it several times. It was just a preliminary copy of the letter on protected spaces.
    Actually, I have a point of order on that. I would appreciate Mr. Amos and yourself writing another letter apologizing for excluding my name from that letter.
     Okay. First off, it's not committee business. It was a mistake to distribute it here in committee time. That will not happen again, I hope.
    We'll discuss it outside and—
    Madam Chair, with respect, when something is distributed here at the table while a meeting is going on and the meeting has not been adjourned, it now becomes committee business and is subject to discussion, and a challenge, if warranted. Ms. Duncan is right, if she didn't receive a copy of that letter...although I think Mr. Amos broadly circulated it and—
    Exactly. My comment wasn't to say she shouldn't have it, she has it several times.
    No, but she has a right to receive it—
    Sure.
    —more formally, I think, because it was formally circulated at our meeting, even though it wasn't part of existing committee—
    If Ms. Duncan wasn't here, who was here?
    The Chair: Her representative.
    An hon. member: Wayne Stetski.
    Ms. Linda Duncan: [Inaudible—Editor] in heritage.
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Right, but if you have a substitute on the committee and something is distributed in an informal sense at the committee table, it's up to your substitute to make sure that you get that information. If it is something that is officially part of the correspondence of the committee, then the clerk and/or the chair will distribute that in the official capacity in which it happens.
    Okay, Linda, I'll let—
    I want to speak. I'm not trying to be obstreperous about this; I'm simply curious, okay? Something was circulated to everybody. I don't know what it was, and I'd appreciate receiving it. I'm not saying my rights have been violated; I'm saying that something was circulated and I'm interested in what it was. Now that I discover it was a request to sign onto the letter, I did sign on through my member of the committee, and yet my name was still removed from the letter. So I'm asking the two who submitted that to the government, please write again and say, “We, by mistake, excluded Linda Duncan's name.” That's all.
    Okay. I'd really like to wrap this up because I'd like to move on to the purpose of the meeting, which is clause-by-clause study. We have every right to bring forward a motion, and so we will address that when we come back.
    All right—

  (0855)  

    —we're good, and outside we'll do what we need to discuss with Linda.
    All right, thank you.
    We had finished clause 8, and we are now on clause 9.
    (On clause 9)
    The Chair: I see there has been a motion brought forward.
    An amendment.
    An amendment.
    Mike Bossio.
    Madam Chair and committee, I'd like to amend clause 9 by replacing line 35, on page 7, with the following:
relating to sustainable development, or of both Houses of Parlia-
     I mean “Parliament”, if you finish the word. This would be consistent with what was replaced in proposed section10.1 in clause 8.
    It's for consistency in the report.
    It's for consistency purposes.
    Is there any discussion?
    So this is a new suggestion.
    It is, correct, and I can raise it now as well. After passing that, we had noticed that there were other areas that we should have been consistent with in the document and weren't. I will bring those up as well and beg for the committee to consider unanimously supporting those changes as well, but we'll deal with this change first.
    We haven't voted on this one yet.
    No, we haven't.
    I need clarification. Particularly which section of the bill is he referring to?
    We're on clause 9.
    We're on clause 9.
    Clause 9.
    Page 7.
    If you look at the LIB-3 amendment—
    Yes.
    —in clause 9, we're replacing line 35 on page 7—
    Okay. So if there's no other discussion on it—
    We're just replacing once again “environmental” with “sustainable development”.
    —can we move to approve?
    All those in favour? Anyone against?
    What was that about a drafting question about this?
    We're right in the middle of the vote.
    No, I'm asking a drafting question.
    If it says a committee of the Senate or the House, if the Senate decides to review it, does that mean we can't review it in the House? It says “or” not “and/or”.
     I don't see.... It's either-or.
    Well, your change says, “of the Senate or the House”.
    —“House of Commons”.
    Let's just read it again, from line 35. It says:
The administration of this Act shall, every five years after the day on which this section comes into force, stand referred to any committee of the Senate or the House of Commons that normally considers matters relating to
    —“sustainable development,”—
or of both Houses of Parliament, that may be designated
    So, it's the House of Commons or both Houses of Parliament.
    I'm just asking a legislative drafting question.
    I don't see that being an issue, but if you think it is....
    I'm asking the legislative clerk. I want to make sure we have the opportunity.
    Does it need to be changed? Go ahead. She's asking you a question on drafting.
    It's just one committee in either House of Parliament.
    Okay, can it say “and/or”?
    It's not recommended language in legislation to have “and/or” because it can be confusing. You would say “or” and then “or both”.
    Can we add “or both” to that sentence?
    I want to protect the fact that our committee will have a right to review it if it's referred to a committee in the Senate.
    I think I'm missing the point.
    It's “any committee of the Senate, or the House of Commons, or both”.
    Can we add in the words “or both”?

  (0900)  

    Can we suspend for two minutes?
    Okay, we're going to suspend, if you don't mind.

  (0900)  


  (0900)  

     We're going to resume.
    Thank you for the pause. It gave us a chance for a bit of discussion at this end.
    I'm going to give it back to the legislative clerk to explain.
    The clause we are looking at is pretty standard. We see it in many bills. When there's a review of an act that is called for by a House of Commons or Senate committee, there can only be one report, and if the clause already provides that if we wish both the House and the Senate to take part in this, they can then set up a joint committee.
    In English, at line 35, when it says, “or of both Houses of Parliament,” it relates to a joint committee. If you look at the French, they say “un comité mixte”, so that's what it means. There's no need to have this idea of two different committees, one House committee and one Senate committee, doing the review, because on the other page you see that the report needs to be tabled, and you could have contradictory recommendations emanating from these two reports. I don't think that's the wish here in this bill. This would be fairly uncommon, but the committee is master of its business.

  (0905)  

    Okay.
    There will be one last comment and then we're going to go back.
    I'm even more concerned now. Has this committee ever had a joint review with a Senate committee? Do we anticipate that in five years we will review the sustainable development act with the Senate?
    That's not what he's saying. It leaves the option open.
    What he is saying is, it's one or the other or a joint committee. If the Senate decides to review it, we cannot review it.
    That's not what I got from that.
     Well, that's what he just said. That's what “or” means.
    Normally, what will trigger the review is the government, basically, through the government House leader or the leader of the government in the Senate. There will be a motion for the committee to be designated for the review of the act. That's the way it works.
    I'm just going to give Mr. Gerretsen a chance. I just wanted to say, this is standard language, so I don't want to go back and start changing all the language that's standard in bills.
    Go ahead, Mr. Gerretsen.
    I was just going to say that at any time, any committee can choose to review a piece of legislation if they want to. This wouldn't prevent every committee at the same time from reviewing it, if they chose to do that. This is just establishing the timeline and the requirement.
    I think we already voted on this, Madam Chair, but if we haven't, or if Ms. Duncan wants to put forward a motion to change it, I suggest we do that and we move on because we've been on this for a good 15 minutes, including the break.
     Thank you.
    We can go ahead and vote. He's just clarified my concern, that's all.
    We were in the middle of a vote, and you asked for clarification. I gave you that opportunity.
    (Amendment agreed to)
    (Clause 9 as amended agreed to)
    The Chair: Mr. Bossio mentioned there was something he wanted to do.
    Madam Chair, in making that change to proposed section 10.1, and now this change to clause 9, two other clauses are impacted where, for consistency's sake, we should change from “environment” to “sustainable development”.
    I ask that Bill C-57, in clause 4, be amended by replacing lines 29 and 30 on page 3 with the following:
House that normally considers matters relating to sustainable development.
    Also, there's clause 7 on page 5. I'd like to propose these amendments, if it is the will of the committee, if we can get unanimous consent from the committee.
    I ask that Bill C-57, in clause 7 be amended by replacing line 13 on page 5 with the following:
mally considers matters relating to sustainable development.
    Once again, this is to create consistency throughout the bill.
    I apologize that we didn't catch these sooner, but we do want to try to change everything so it does say “sustainable development” rather than “environment”.
    Thank you very much, Mike.
    Do I have unanimous consent to reconsider?
    I will give unanimous consent. This is a matter that I raised when the Liberals asked for one provision only to be changed from “environment” to “sustainable development”. I had said that's a problem because the language I had used was consistent with the rest of the act. It would have been a good opportunity to change it all.
    I will give unanimous consent on one condition, that the committee agrees to adopt just one part of one of my amendments. That is the amendment in clause 3—
    Linda.
    Let me put it on the record.
    You can't do a conditional unanimous consent. We really appreciate unanimous consent for consistency.
    That's not in order, right?

  (0910)  

    No, it's not in order.
    Neither is this change. That's why you need unanimous consent.
    No, it's—
    Which is why he's asking for it. If you don't want to give it, just say no.
    Listen, what we're trying to do here is have a properly drafted bill. We've been made aware that there are inconsistencies in it. It's not good legislation. We are all good legislators, I hope. We're all learning to be good legislators. Some are already good legislators. It was missed. I think it is important for consistency. I would really appreciate it if the committee gave unanimous consent.
    I would like to speak to this request.
    You were speaking to it, but you were asking for a conditional unanimous consent. We can't really allow that.
    They can refuse it.
    The Liberals are asking for unanimous consent to go back in the bill. I'm asking for their agreement, if I agree with that, that they will also agree to go back in the bill for something I'm requesting.
    To talk about it?
    Why don't we have a vote on it? Then we'll see if we have unanimous consent on the latter point.
    Linda is saying that, for her unanimous consent, she would like consent to consider something that she would like to raise as well. She's tying it, but I'm not going to do that. What I'm going to ask is.... what Linda is asking....
    We'll entertain it.
    I think we're going to entertain. That's what she's asking. If she entertains our unanimous consent, will we entertain hers? I think the answer is....
    I will.
    Let's entertain it. I want to hear what she has to say.
    Okay, so we have unanimous consent to reconsider clauses 4 and 7.
    Do you want to explain?
    We'll vote on this, and then you agree to....
    We have unanimous consent to reconsider.
    I would like to put forward—
    Hang on, do I need to do something else?
    He's going to make sure it's clear so that we'll vote on each one individually, and then they'll be clear. I thought we would need to go through each one. You heard the clauses that Mr. Bossio wants to amend.
    Is there any further discussion necessary, or can we move those amendments to the clauses together?
     May I just ask where this came from?
    It came as a result of noticing that there were other areas of the document that weren't consistent.
    I don't think it really matters.
    [Inaudible—Editor] know where it came from?
    Does it really matter?
    I don't think it's relevant.
    Mr. Fast.
    All three of the amendments in this package amend the bill to reflect what we are actually doing.
    Yes.
    We're moving to a sustainable development approach rather than just an environment-focused approach, which everybody at this committee has supported throughout the whole study of this bill. So it makes eminent sense.
    Thank you.
    Ed for president.
    All those in favour of the two amendments that were brought forward—
    It has to be unanimous.
    It just has to be unanimous; everybody has to vote for it.
    All in favour?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    (Amendments agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings]
    The Chair: Wonderful. Thank you very much.
    Linda.
    Now that we've agreed that we can go back in the bill, I would like to go back to one part of the 13 amendments that I brought forward. The specific amendment that I would like the parties at the table, the individuals at the table, to reconsider is NDP-2. That's on page 3 of the bill.
    Which one are we...?
    It's adding after line 11, on page 3.... If you go to NDP-2 and look at my amendment, you'll see that I had recommended adding:
the principle of environmental justice, which is the principle that environmental impacts should be equitably distributed among all Canadians; and
    The reason I've decided to revisit this is not just because it was recommended by the committee in our review, and recommended by witnesses to our committee, but because it's consistent with what our committee has recommended for revision of CEPA. I would like the committee to rethink this and see if they would agree to that one small part of one of my amendments...to also include that principle of environmental justice.

  (0915)  

    Mr. Fast.
    Madam Chair, this is something we've already discussed. We thoroughly canvassed this particular amendment. It was voted down, and we've moved on. Now, I understood that Ms. Duncan was going to bring forward a new matter. I assumed it related to consistency in the bill, but this is substantive, something we've discussed at a previous meeting.
    That I object to. I had no idea exactly what she was going to bring forward, and I think this is out of order.
     I didn't know either.
    There isn't unanimous consent.
    Mr. Gerretsen, did you want to speak to what Linda has brought forward?
    No, I was just trying to understand....
    There was unanimous consent, I believe, to go back and hear her.
    Okay.
    But it was not unanimous to accept the amendment.
    Is there any discussion around the table that you'd like to have?
    I'd just add that it was my mistake that when I tabled all of NDP-2, I did not explain each one of those provisions in our discussion. I'm simply asking unanimous consent to reconsider that. I have given the argument for including environmental justice.
    First of all, we have to agree that we're willing to reconsider it.
    Do we have consent to reconsider?
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Chair: There's no consent, sorry.
    We are now on clause 10.
    (Clause 10 agreed to)
    (On clause 11)
     Wait just a second.
    Sorry.
    I don't think you want to pass that yet.
    Clause 10 carried.
    The Liberals actually want to change the schedule and you've just voted to accept it as it is.
    Wait a minute. We're not there yet. We're only on clause 10.
    Yes. It says, “The schedule to the Act is replaced by the schedule set out in the schedule to this Act.”
    You've just voted to accept 1, 2, and 3. I think that's the place where the Liberals want to bring their amendment.
    I'm sorry. I was on the wrong page. That's my fault.
    “The schedule to the Act is replaced by the schedule set out in the schedule to this Act.”
    It's just three points and it doesn't include the National Capital Commission.
    We haven't gotten to the schedule yet.
    That's the provision that adopts the schedule.
    The actual schedule is at the end.
    It's just saying that it's replacing it. There's really nothing contentious here that I can see. We've already passed—
    We have to vote on the schedule that's actually going to replace it.
    We voted on it and it was passed. Can we move on to clause 11?
    It seems good to me.
    (Clauses 11 to 13 inclusive agreed to)
     We have an amendment, LIB-4. Would you like to bring that forward?
    I'd like to withdraw the amendment, but I'd like to speak to the reasons that I want to withdraw it and why it was brought forward in the first place, Chair, with your leave.
     You have the floor.
    Thank you.
    In the national capital region, the NCC is an important land manager and an important actor with powers that really have an almost municipal aspect. The requirement that the NCC develop sustainable development strategies is of great importance to the people of the national capital region, including the constituents who I represent in Pontiac.
    There was a letter sent to this committee by an entity that represents citizens' associations from this region, and they expressed concern that there be certainty that the provisions of this reformed Federal Sustainable Development Act be applicable to the NCC. I support the notion that the NCC be subject to the provisions wholeheartedly.
     Through order in council, I know there is a mechanism for federal agencies and crown corporations to be brought under the umbrella of this statute. I wanted to demonstrate my support for the application of the Federal Sustainable Development Act to the NCC. However, pursuant to discussions with colleagues here and with colleagues in the government, it's my understanding that it is quite possible, indeed probable, that within days of the coming into force of this new legislation, a new order in council will be passed, and the NCC will be made subject to this newly reformed law.
    Instead of going through a more cumbersome route of incorporating the NCC as a distinct entity, in light of their importance as an actor and as a manager of environmental public goods in our region, I think it's best that I withdraw the motion and just let that order in council process take place, as is expected.

  (0920)  

     Thank you very much for sharing your reasoning and your thoughts with us. It's withdrawn. Thank you.
    Oh, wait. We have to vote on withdrawing it.
    It wasn't moved. You don't have to withdraw it if he's not going to move it.
    Okay, he didn't put it on the floor, so we're fine. It has not been tabled.
     I'm learning.
    Hon. Ed Fast: Sorry, Madam Chairman.
    The Chair: No. It's all good.
     Shall the schedule carry?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Shall the title carry?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Shall the bill carry?
    As amended.
    Shall the bill as amended carry?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    An hon. member: On division.
    The Chair: Shall I report the bill as amended to the House?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Shall I order a reprint of the bill?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Thank you very much.
    All right. We are done the clause-by-clause. Thank you for all your hard work.
    We are now going to suspend as we move into the next part of the meeting. Thank you.

  (0920)  


  (0930)  

     We're going to start up again. Thank you very much, all of you, for joining us today.
    We took a little longer on clause-by-clause than was anticipated, but that's fine. Can I have your understanding for a minute? I want to do some committee business so that we can have all the time until the end of the committee meeting to ask questions. I have some work that I have to do first. When it comes to the trip, has everybody decided who's going?
    It's easy for me.
    For you, it's straightforward.
     Have the Conservatives sorted out who's going on your trip?
    It won't be you? Okay. You have two of you to go on the trip, and you have that sorted. The Liberal side is sorting that out as well. By the end of this week, it must be resolved.
    Since we're not going to Edmonton, I'm not going.
    Voices: Oh, oh!
    You're not going? Okay.
     The last thing is that the clerk will be distributing right after the meeting the sessions that are in the Globe summit. The intention is that we're not going to all scatter and go to different things. We're going to go potentially in two groups so we can have an analyst with us who will capture what we're hearing and it can come officially into the record of the committee. We'll need to coalesce on what the—
    Can't we discuss that without having it dictated?
    I'm sorry. I didn't....
    Linda, we are distributing the list for discussion, but we are—
    Right. I see no reason for us only going to two. I've been to Globe—
    I didn't say that at all. I didn't say that.
    Let's start again. We have two analysts who would like to record the sessions we're in. There won't be just two sessions; there are a whole lot of sessions. What we need to do is come to an understanding as a committee on which ones we're going to go to. We'll split in half and maybe go to two, with two at the same time. That's what I'm trying to say. There will be many sessions.
    Is it normal to have these discussions in public?
    Yes.
    You had better consult with your clerk.
    Voices: Oh, oh!
    And your colleagues.
    You said one thing and he was signalling something else.
    We can do whatever we want.
    Committee business is—
    Committee business is often in closed session, but I don't think this is contentious. I'm basically asking—
    It is contentious.
    The Chair: I'm asking—
    Voices: Oh, oh!
    I'm hoping it's not contentious. What we're going to do when we come back is have committee business right away to figure out what sessions we're going to go to. What I wanted to do was put it in front of you so that over the holiday break you could consider what sessions you're interested in, and then we would work on that when we come back.
    That's reasonable.
    It was that simple.
    It's a good plan.
    Go ahead, Linda.
    Frankly, I disagree. I don't see any reason why the analyst has to record the sessions we go to. I trust that my colleagues will take notes of interesting information. I mean, it's not like we're amending legislation. We're going to gather information.
     That's going to severely limit us in what we can attend. It may well be that we agree a couple are key. Frankly, what I would like us to do is.... We haven't even had a discussion yet on what is the purpose and focus beyond looking at clean energy.
     That will help us to decide—
    Linda, I'm going to stop—
    Let me finish.
    You know what? We'll have it in closed session. We'll do it later.
    That's a great idea.
    When?
    I'm sorry. I thought it was very simple, but it's not. Obviously, it's contentious. We'll deal with it when we come back. We'll have it in a session dedicated to that task. Then we won't keep our guests waiting. We can have a good discussion.
    In the meantime, maybe people can suggest what they think the focus of that study should be—
    The Chair: Absolutely.
    Ms. Linda Duncan: —at the beginning. It would be very helpful.

  (0935)  

    I'm looking forward to that.
    Please consider that over the holidays and put your thoughts forward. We'll have a discussion when we come back.
    Getting on to the next part of the meeting, we're looking to move to our fourth study. It was to be our third, but we inserted the heritage study in there because it was appropriate. The third study was to look at climate change, and it had a whole suite of things that we could look at. It's a very big subject.
    The clerk and I thought maybe it would be helpful, as we work to put our plan together going forward for this next study, to find out where we are with the pan-Canadian framework. The pan-Canadian framework was a lot of work done with provinces, territories, indigenous groups, and other governments to try to come up with an approach to tackle climate change. Before we really delve into where we're going with this study, I thought it would be a good start to get a sense of where we are, so I invited the departments to come and give us an update. That's why they're in front of us today.
    I welcome all of them, and I'll turn the floor over to them.
    I should have introduced all of you. That would have been a good thing for me to do. My apologies.
    From the Department of the Environment we have Matt Jones, assistant deputy minister in the pan-Canadian framework implementation office. We have John Moffet, acting associate assistant deputy minister in the environmental protection branch. We have Matt Parry, director general of the strategic policy directorate.
    From the Department of Finance we have Sean Keenan, director of the sales tax division.
    From the Department of Natural Resources we will have Frank DesRosiers, who is still on his way. He's assistant deputy minister in the innovation and energy technology sector, and Joyce Henry is director general in the office of energy efficiency, in the energy sector.
    Welcome to all.
    Now we can properly start. Thank you.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Good morning. We're very pleased to be here today. I'm pleased to be here on behalf of Environment and Climate Change Canada and to be discussing the implementation of the pan-Canadian framework. I'm Matt Jones from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
    I understand you're interested in receiving an overview of the status of implementation of the framework. We're happy to provide that. We've provided the committee with a written status report that has been recently released publicly.
    I'll begin with a quick overview of the pan-Canadian framework, and I'll be followed by one of my colleagues from the Ministry of Natural Resources, who will provide an update on clean technology programming.
    Addressing climate change and supporting clean growth is, as you know, a high-priority issue for the Government of Canada and subnational governments across the country. Through the Vancouver declaration, first ministers agreed to meet or exceed Canada's 2030 targets and to increase that level of ambition over time to drive greater emission reductions and develop a pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.
    For the first time, there was agreement across all provincial and territorial governments on an emission reduction target and a commitment to work together to meet that target. First ministers released the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, Canada's plan for implementing its commitments under the Paris Agreement, on December 9, 2016, a year ago last Saturday.
    The pan-Canadian framework, as I believe members are aware, has four main pillars: pricing carbon pollution; complimentary actions to further reduce emissions across the economy, including in agriculture and forestry; measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change and build resilience to those impacts; as well as actions to accelerate innovation and support the uptake of clean technology and create jobs.
    The Government of Canada is also making major investments in clean growth and climate change to support the implementation of the framework. The government is investing $2.2 billion to support clean technology and innovation, and over $21 billion in green infrastructure, including a $2-billion disaster mitigation and adaptation fund. We've also launched the low-carbon economy leadership fund. Eligible sectors include agriculture, forestry, industry, and residential and commercial buildings.
    Turning to carbon pricing, this is a foundational element of the pan-Canadian framework because it provides incentives to reduce emissions while encouraging innovation and sending long-term signals to investors and consumers in order to transform the economy over time. In October 2016 the government published the pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution. This document outlines the government's intention to have carbon pricing in place throughout Canada in 2018.
    Recognizing that Canada's four largest provinces, representing about 80% of our population, already had pricing systems in place, it gives all provinces and territories the flexibility to implement the pricing system of their choice, either a direct price system such as B.C. or Alberta's hybrid mix of carbon tax on fuels plus emissions trading systems for large industry, or cap-and-trade systems such as those adopted in Ontario and Quebec. We refer to this document as the federal pricing benchmark.
    Over the past year we have worked with each province and territory that does not already have a pricing system, to help them understand the requirements and assess options. We have undertaken extensive economic modelling on behalf of many provinces and territories, and in some cases have joined provincial and territorial officials in public consultations and information sessions. With the release of climate strategies by Manitoba and Saskatchewan over the last few weeks, every province has issued statements supporting some form of carbon pricing.
    We have also worked closely with each of the territories to undertake the analysis committed to in the pan-Canadian framework, to assess the possible impacts of carbon pricing, and to help them identify solutions that account for their special circumstances. The government has also committed to implementing a federal pricing system, which will apply in any province or territory that asks for it and in any jurisdiction that does not implement a carbon pricing system that is aligned with the benchmark. We refer to this federal pricing system as the backstop.
    In May of this year we released a document that describes the proposed design of the federal backstop pricing system. It will be quite similar to the system Alberta plans to adopt next year, combining a carbon levy on fuel that will be paid by distributors and importers, with an emissions trading system for large emitters. The latter will be designed to create an incentive for emissions reduction and innovation from exposure to a carbon price, while reducing the total price paid so as to avoid adverse impacts on competitiveness and the risk of carbon leakage.

  (0940)  

    Under the pan-Canadian framework, federal, provincial, and territorial governments committed to continue making meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all regions and sectors of the economy. The approach complements carbon pricing by expanding and linking clean electricity systems across the country; improving energy efficiency of vehicles, buildings, and industry; putting more zero-emission vehicles on the road; using cleaner fuels to power the economy; reducing reliance on diesel in remote communities; and reducing emissions and increasing carbon storage in the agricultural, forestry, and waste sectors. These actions will help cut emissions, and will also help drive clean growth by spurring development of new clean technologies and creating jobs in many sectors.
    In the first year of implementation, significant progress has been made to advance measures across all sectors. Regulations are being designed, drafted, and consulted on. New programs are being established. Many of these processes can take years to complete, but due to focused action and collaboration, this work is being moved forward on accelerated timelines.
    Collaborations across jurisdictions have been very strong, with governments working together to coordinate actions to ensure long-term success. Responsibility for reporting on progress is shared across a number of federal and provincial ministerial tables. For example, ministers of the environment are overseeing progress on key regulatory measures. Transportation ministers have been overseeing work on important measures to help the transition of Canada's transportation systems toward a low-carbon future, in collaboration with energy and innovation ministers. Forestry ministers and ministers of agriculture have also been overseeing mitigation actions in those sectors.
    Turning quickly to adaptation, in the pan-Canadian framework the federal, provincial, and territorial governments identified five priority areas for collaboration to build resilience to a changing climate across the country. These priorities are ensuring that Canadians have information and expertise to consider climate change in their planning and decision-making; building climate resilience through infrastructure; working to protect the health and well-being of Canadians; supporting, particularly the vulnerable regions and indigenous communities to address climate impacts; and reducing the risk to communities from climate-related hazards and disasters.
    This first year of implementation of the pan-Canadian framework provided a solid foundation for this work, including the announcement of significant investments in adaptation and climate resilience. These actions range from measures to improve access to climate science and information that supports adaptation decision-making, to investments in built and natural infrastructure to increase climate resilience in communities, to efforts to help better understand and take action to address climate-related health risks such as extreme heat and infectious diseases.
    For example, to ensure that Canadians have the information and expertise they need to consider climate change impacts and adaptation solutions and decision-making, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments are working in partnership, through the design and launch of the new Canadian centre for climate services. In addition to work under the framework, governments have also been working collaboratively on adaptation. They continue to do so through the various working groups under the adaptation platform, and through a concerted program of work and regular meetings under the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and other fora.
    In the pan-Canadian framework, first ministers directed federal, provincial, and territorial governments to report annually to Canadians and to first ministers on the progress achieved. We are pleased to have published this report on Saturday, December 9, the one-year anniversary of the first ministers meeting that launched the pan-Canadian framework. It summarizes in some detail the progress that has been made on all of the initiatives within the pan-Canadian framework, as well as additional measures pursued by provincial and territorial governments.
    Making progress on climate change will require significant sustained action now and over the long term. Environment and Climate Change Canada has committed to continue to work closely with other government departments, provinces, and territories, indigenous peoples, municipalities, and other sectors of the economy.
    Thank you for your time. I will turn to my colleagues from NRCan for their statements on clean technology and clean growth.

  (0945)  

    Joyce, I understand that Mr. DesRosiers is still coming and you're okay to present for us.
    Thank you very much.
    It's a pleasure to be here on behalf of the Department of Natural Resources. Frank DesRosiers will join us shortly. He apparently is held up in traffic, so I will present the deck. Some of this is in Frank's area more than mine, but I'm happy to at least present. Then we can move forward on questions.
    I believe the deck has been distributed. Its purpose is to do three things: illustrate the role of clean technology in Canada's economy and in support of the pan-Canadian framework; provide an update on the implementation of clean technology measures announced in budget 2017; and discuss the Department of Natural Resources' role in developing national building codes.
    I'll turn to page 3 in the presentation. Natural Resources Canada leads or supports 30 of the over 50 initiatives in the pan-Canadian framework, so we have a fairly significant role to play in its implementation and success. We lead on initiatives that span key areas, including mitigation, which is clean electricity, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and forestry; clean technology and innovation; and adaptation.
    On page 4, the vision here is to support clean technology and innovation that positions Canada to compete as a global leader as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy. Clean technologies can enable the sustainable development of Canada's resource sectors and generate exports, creating new markets for Canadian businesses. We know that the clean technology market is growing rapidly. Currently within Canada, approximately 850 clean technology firms sustain over 55,000 direct jobs. In 2015, estimated revenues were in the range of $13 billion, of which $6.7 billion were from exports.
    Canadians will benefit from our investment in clean technology and innovation in a number of ways. I'll give two examples. One is the building sector, where we're looking to reduce cost to homeowners and building owners. Consumers can also benefit by living in homes that offer greater comfort, durability, air quality, and resale value. Canadians will also have access to more energy-efficient, affordable, lighter, and safer vehicles, and can optimize the efficiency of their vehicle and reduce fuel consumption, in this way saving money.
    I think page 5 speaks for itself. It lays out a number of the investments the government is making in this area. I won't go through that.
    The next few slides give an overview of what we're doing on mitigation. On this slide the focus is clean electricity. Natural Resources Canada has the energy innovation program fund, which is an early-stage research and development fund that funds programs across the energy sector. As one example, funds are provided to the Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia to help them address knowledge and technology gaps related to marine renewables, such as tidal energy. So far, the program has allocated $9.5 million to increase penetration of renewables and $4.1 million for northern clean energy.
    NRCan is also funding commercial-scale demonstration and deployment of clean technology through national programs under the green infrastructure component of the investing in Canada plan. Clean electricity national programs include money to advance smart grid and storage technologies, funds for emerging renewables not yet in Canada, and, as Matt mentioned, funding to reduce reliance on diesel in remote and rural communities. These programs are expected to be formally launched in early 2018, but some steps have already been taken to ensure prompt program delivery, including a preliminary call for proposals.
    Page 7 gives an overview of what we're doing to mitigate in the transportation area. This includes early-stage R and D in targeting advances for lighter materials for more fuel-efficient vehicles and lower-cost batteries for more affordable electric vehicles, and addressing barriers to low-carbon fuels such as biofuels. The vehicle-focused R and D is complemented by $182 million in investments to demonstrate and deploy low-carbon infrastructure, including for electric vehicle charging stations. The Government of Canada is working very closely with provinces and territories and with industry and other key stakeholders on the development of a Canada-wide zero-emission vehicle strategy, which we expect to be finalized in 2018.

  (0950)  

    On page 8 is an overview of the mitigation we're focused on for industry. NRCan programs are focused on driving the transition to an industry sector that utilizes clean electricity and low-carbon fuels in more efficient processes. I'm going to focus on the energy efficiency components of this. Under the pan-Canadian framework's industry strategy, we have a suite of voluntary programs that industry can access, including energy star for industry and ISO 50001 certification, which can enhance energy efficiency in 21 industrial sectors across Canada.
    The industry strategy reflects government's commitments to accelerate the uptake of industrial energy management systems that improve energy efficiency and industrial competitiveness, which can save industry money. Some of these instruments include the energy star for industry program launched in August 2017, which will allow Canadian companies to compare their energy performance with North American competitors, and support for certification under the international ISO 50001 energy management standard.
    Page 9 focuses on the built environment and mitigation measures there. I understand there was an interest from the committee in building codes. I would just note that our context in Canada is quite unique because we have five climate zones, so this affects the way we approach building codes. We try to take a flexible approach, which is one of the principles underlined in the pan-Canadian framework, in terms of putting in place a model building code that provinces and territories can then adopt. We're taking a tiered approach to develop net-zero energy-ready codes for new buildings and homes, with the goal being that provincial and territorial governments would adopt these codes by 2030. We're working very closely with provincial and territorial governments, as well as industry partners, in the code development process. This approach will also provide clear signals to the market, for equipment and material manufacturers, as well as provide time for builders and inspectors to develop the skills and knowledge needed to deliver on these new standards, which would be, obviously, highly stringent.
    We're also investing in tools and training to help the building industry get ready. This is the reason the target date of 2030 was set. It provides time for a gradual transition to net-zero energy-ready code for new buildings, including adoption of new construction practices and greater availability of high-performance equipment, which will lead to decreased costs in putting these buildings in place.
    We're already working with the construction industry through research, development, and demonstration projects to lower the cost of building to higher standards and undertaking energy retrofits in buildings.
    On page 10, we highlight briefly clean growth in the natural resource sectors. We're investing $155 million over four years to support clean technology RD and D, research, development, and demonstration, across the mining, forestry, and energy sectors. This program is the first of its kind to promote and require collaboration with provinces and territories. There is science and technology assistance for clean tech through industry-led projects that can access specialized expertise and equipment at federal laboratories. This is expected to be well received by small and medium-sized enterprises, which characterize our clean technology sector in Canada but often lack the capital required for advanced research and development facilities.
    On November 20 of this year, the clean growth in the natural resource sector program was launched and information has started to flow on this, including through two webinars attended by more than 1,000 participants. The government expects to select projects for this in the summer of 2018.
    Finally, on page 11, we highlight briefly where we're trying to lead and support cost-cutting measures to enhance our clean technology ecosystem. One of these is the work we do with the Privy Council Office to deliver the clean technology stream of the impact Canada initiative, which was announced in budget 2017. It's focused on coming up with innovative policy mechanisms by targeting priority barriers and setting specific outcomes. These outcomes would be identified and defined through co-creation with stakeholders to drive clean technology breakthroughs.

  (0955)  

    I'll touch briefly on our greening government operations. The government has also committed to leading by example by reducing its own emissions in buildings and fleets. Last year, the President of the Treasury Board announced that the government would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, or earlier, using 2005 as the baseline year.
    Natural Resources Canada's office deals with energy efficiency, and through our laboratories has technical expertise which, in conjunction with the National Research Council and Public Services and Procurement Canada, will support our federal partners to reduce their emissions through internal operations. We're looking at 89% for buildings and 11% for fleets.
    I'm going to leave it there. Thank you very much for your time.
    I certainly didn't want to cut you off, but we're running over the time. Thank you very much.
    We'll start with questions.
     Mr. Bossio.
    Thank you all very much for being here and for this introduction to an area of study we want to pursue.
    My own interests are based on the building codes. I have a number of questions.
    On building codes, are we looking at best practices around the world as well as other jurisdictions around energy efficiency technology that's being utilized, energy generation or creation that can be realized in the building code sector?
    Yes, we are. What I can do is describe a little bit of the process that is used for building codes.
    There's a very structured and consensus-based process that exists. The National Research Council is actually the secretariat for that. It supports a number of technical committees that look at all aspects of this. It has a broad expertise from across the building sector. Architects, designers, inspectors, construction specialists, equipment specialists, all come together on a consensus basis to work out the new building codes that can be adopted. Certainly, analyses of best practices in other jurisdictions, cost-benefit analyses, and public consultations are all part of that process.
    From there, the process goes to the Canadian commission on building and fire codes for approval. There are also technical policy committees from the provinces and territories that weigh in on that process as well, so it's quite a broad-based process.

  (1000)  

    When we're looking at building codes, does that encompass residential, retail, and industry?
    It does, yes. The building code has a housing component to it, and it also covers commercial and institutional buildings.
    When we're looking at GHG emissions, do we know the GHG emissions around each one of those sectors? Through new building codes, do we know where we want to get to? I know we talk about net-zero energy ready, but does net-zero energy ready only apply to residential or does it also apply to retail and industrial?
    I'd say two things. Building codes have obviously been advancing for several years now. My understanding is that there's a new code expected to come out this spring. There's also 2011 and 2015. The codes work on a five-year cycle.
    Under the pan-Canadian framework, what's being asked is that the cycle be accelerated and we adopt a much more stringent code, which would be published, and it would be tiered, so it would be advancing over a number of years, which would then be adopted by the provinces and territories by 2030. That's for new buildings, and that would be commercial, institutional, and houses. Then there would also be a retrofit code, which won't be net-zero energy ready for existing buildings. That would also be ready by 2022. For the net-zero energy ready codes, we're supposed to see the first tranche of that by 2020.
    Once again, do we know what the GHG emission levels are right now for those sectors?
    I'm sure we do. I don't have those numbers off the top of my head, I'm afraid.
    Would you have that, Matt?
    The emissions associated with heating and cooling the building stock is around 12% of Canada's emissions. Because the code applies to new buildings, the emission reductions in our greenhouse gas inventory would have to be modelled and projected based on our expectations about the extent of buildings to be built over time, but a significant improvement for new buildings.
     Are we looking at investing in incentives to retrofit? Are we investing in innovation so that we can become a leader in green energy in homes and efficiencies?
    I just want to go back to your last question briefly. Were you asking for how much better buildings would have to be to reach net-zero energy?
    That, yes, and what technologies would need to be utilized in order to achieve that.
    Right, so it's in the range of 60%, I think. I'll verify that number, but currently under energy star, you can already build your home 20% better, and under R-2000, 50% better, so this is another significant step forward on that.
    How much time do I have left?
    You have a minute.
    Okay. Boy, that goes fast.
    As for the investments in innovation that we're making to once again try to make Canada a leader in this sector, what innovations are you looking at around the building codes, around meeting net-zero energy ready, and around the retrofit side of it, too? You talked about reducing the costs for home ownership and businesses.
    I will speak broadly, and then I'll turn it over to Frank, because R and D is really his specialty. In terms of building envelopes, heating and cooling, and windows, these are the key areas for us in this respect, because those can make major advances. Things like heat exchange pumps are big ones for Canada. That's a big area for us because of our climate.
    I read about passive homes in Germany years ago. George Monbiot wrote about this. Are we looking at those specifying codes so that we achieve that kind of building itself and then these systems? Of course, we're not Germany. Our climate is very different, but we're still going to need heating systems. How do we incorporate that into it?
    What I would say is that in my office we've met several times with Passive House Canada. We're very supportive of their work, because they are advancing energy efficiency goals within houses. That's certainly one of the very high stringent standards that can be looked at. There are some challenges around that for Canada, because often the technology that is used is certified in Germany, but not necessarily for the Canadian market. We certainly work with them closely and support what they're trying to do, so they certainly feed into us in terms of information.

  (1005)  

     I'm just going to let everybody know that this card means you have one minute left, and this card means please wrap up whatever you're saying as quickly as possible because we're already out of time. I hate to do this, but it's just to keep us on track.
    It's all good. You gave good answers.
    Mr. Fast.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Thank you to all of our witnesses.
    There are so many questions we have that we'll never get through.
    Anyway, welcome, Mr. DesRosiers. By the way, Ms. Henry has been doing a very good job. I hope you haven't been rendered superfluous.
     The first item is just some housekeeping.
    Back on October 31, 2017, Ms. Amanda Wilson was here. We expressly requested from her a copy of the analysis that was done on the negative economic impacts of a national carbon tax on the forest products sector and more broadly, perhaps, on other sectors. I understand, at least from national media reports, that work has been done within Natural Resources to assess what the impact will be on the forestry sector. She was unable to provide us with that information, but when I asked her if she could provide us with that, she said, “Absolutely.” That was back on October 31, and we have not seen or heard anything.
     Can I get your commitment that Natural Resources will get us that information that was promised at that last meeting?
     I'm the ADM responsible for Amanda Wilson, along with a few others, and I did sign off on the package that was responding to the question from the committee, so it should be, or has been, delivered for the clerk's consideration. If not, we can do a follow-up and make sure that it is in your hands.
    Good. It looks like we haven't received it yet, so it would be good to make sure that we make that connection.
    Since you've already signed off on it, can you assure us it will not be heavily redacted like the report we had from Environment Canada?
    Yes, I'd be happy to provide that.
    This is not, anyway, a direct responsibility or knowledge on our part. It's more the forestry service, but we did reach out to our colleagues in the department, and they were happy to provide the input.
     We look forward to receiving that.
    I'd like to talk about the clean fuel standard that is being proposed, which I don't think anyone has seen yet. It's pending. Industry has referred to the pending clean fuel standard as being the second level of carbon tax that's going to be imposed, because it represents a cost to industry.
    Have you done an analysis on the impact the clean fuel standard will have on our economy?
    I'm responsible for the development of the clean fuel standard, and no, we haven't promulgated the standard yet. I'll briefly tell you what we have done.
    The minister has made a commitment about the overall objectives of the clean fuel standard. It will apply to all fuels—liquid, gaseous, and solid—and it will be designed in a way that ramps up the stringency over time to achieve 30 megatonnes in production annually by 2030, so not immediately, but getting to that point.
    We issued some discussion papers and held a pretty significant set of consultations throughout the course of 2017. We anticipate publishing a framework document very shortly. It will be available for Christmas stockings, I expect, so very soon, in a matter of days. It will lay out the details of what we propose. Then we plan to have technical discussions throughout the first part of 2018 to lead to a draft regulation by the middle of 2018.
    At this point, the economic analysis we've done is at a very rough level because we have not sorted out precisely what the requirements will be, when they will start, what the trajectory will be, nor have we sorted out what all the compliance options will be. That's what we want to consult with the ministry on, what the range of compliance options should be, and how to enable the economy to make this transition to lower carbon intensity fuels in the most economically efficient manner possible.

  (1010)  

    Will the clean fuel standard be implemented before an economic analysis has been done?
    No, absolutely not. The clean fuel standard will take the form of a regulation, so it will be like any other Governor in Council regulation. A draft version of it will be published in the Canada Gazette part I. We plan to do that by the middle of 2018. That will be accompanied by a full economic analysis, followed by further public consultation. Our goal is to have the final regulations published in the Canada Gazette part II by the middle of 2019, and again with the full economic analysis available to the public.
    Will you release the economic analysis to the public?
    Yes, absolutely.
     I understand there was a broader analysis done within your department on the impact that a carbon tax would have, but when it was released to us, it was heavily redacted to the point where it actually had virtually no meaning. It was very difficult to decipher what the impact actually was.
    I'm assuming I can take your assurance that an economic impact analysis will be released to Canadians for review without broad redaction of those documents.
    Yes, we will provide full economic analysis with no redaction.
    I'd like to briefly explain the distinction. The clean fuel standard will be a federal regulation. It will apply uniformly across Canada. The federal government is not imposing a carbon tax across Canada. There will not be—
    It's a backstop.
    The backstop will not apply throughout Canada. The backstop will only apply in jurisdictions that choose not to implement carbon pricing. Until such time as we know what those jurisdictions are, the economic analysis remains.... We've done broad economic analysis about the impacts of carbon pricing, but specifically what the impact to the carbon of the federal backstop will be depends on two things. First, it depends on what jurisdiction it gets applied in, and second, it depends on how that jurisdiction chooses to use the revenue that we've committed to return to them. We have no control over that, and so those two factors remain to be decided.
     Can I just—
    Mr. Fast, I'm so sorry, but we have actually given you a minute and a half extra.
    You've been so kind. Thank you.
    I've been very generous because I think the answer was good for everyone.
    There's so much more.
    Ms. Duncan, please.
    Thank you very much.
    Going down the list of the things the federal government had committed to do under the pan-Canadian framework, one was to deliver a clean fuel standard by 2017. They then adjusted that; the draft would be issued by the end of 2017. So we're to understand that's delayed.
    In both presentations, you listed hundreds of millions of dollars. I'm seeking clarity.
     I'm looking at the budget that we're under right now. For 2016-17, there are zero dollars for any of these initiatives. For 2017-18, it's close to zero dollars. In fact, for adjusting the low-carbon economy fund under the pan-Canadian framework, for both the 2017 budget and the 2018 budget, money is being shifted to it after the next election.
    Can you report on how much money was actually delivered in the first year of the pan-Canadian framework on all of these things that you've listed? Not detail by detail, but what's the total money that has actually been delivered in this first year of the pan-Canadian framework?
    In terms of the funds that were created.... As you noted, there is a list of those, from green infrastructure to the funds supporting clean technology and innovation, and the low-carbon economy fund. It takes time to establish those funds, to set the criteria, to set the terms and conditions, to get Treasury Board approval, and so forth. There is of course rigorous financial management associated with the operation of those funds. We've been going through that process, and proper due diligence and proper financial management, in order to be prepared to roll out those funds.
     In the case of the low-carbon economy fund, we have moved very quickly and will soon be coming to agreement with a number of provinces. Those funds will flow in 2018, but I don't have the—

  (1015)  

    That's fine.
    So none of these dollars have flowed yet.
    I don't have the figures in front of me. In terms of green infrastructure, I don't believe the dollars have flowed. There are infrastructure funds that have been used for national programs—
    I'm not speaking about infrastructure. You haven't really spoken to those.
    I'm talking about accelerating replacement of the coal-fired.... I'm talking about reducing reliance on diesel in indigenous...more energy-efficient transportation, and adaptation and climate change—a little bit was said would be spent there. Then there are about eight additional...where it's zero, zero, zero.
    You were reporting as if, in the first year.... In the report, you give hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars. My question is simple. How much has actually gone out the door in the first year of the pan-Canadian framework?
    Perhaps I'll answer for my colleague.
    On the clean tech side, which I can speak to with some authority, all of the budget 2016 measures have been.... The projects have been selected, and we're in the process of announcing those. There were a number of them announced in the past weeks.
     For budget 2017, we are again in the process of doing the project selection, based on the submissions we are receiving from the recipients. I foresee this playing out in terms of a decision in the first and second quarters of 2018. For announcements, it would probably be in the summer of 2018.
    Okay, I'll go on to my next question. I'm not getting a clear answer there.
    I'm particularly interested in the coal conversion. My province, of course, has done incredible work. They were first off the plate. They brought back the deadline to 2030 instead of 2050. So far we have no federal regulations. I'm wondering if somebody can speak to that. When are the federal regulations going to be released? They were promised by the end of this month.
    Are the plants that are using coal that are being allowed to convert to gas...? There have been concerns raised that you are not going to require the same pollution reductions as you would for a new gas plant.
     I'm wondering if you could speak to both of those.
    I can address those.
    And not just carbon, but particulate—mercury, NOx, sulphur, nitrous oxide, and so forth.
     The federal government already has regulations for coal-fired electricity generation. What we announced was an amendment to those regulations to accelerate the effective phase-out of coal-fired electricity. We published draft regulations, and we plan to publish the final version very early in the new year. Those regulations will have the effect of accelerating the effective phase-out date of coal-fired electricity generation up to 2030 from the previous regulations.
    We're also planning to publish a final version of the natural gas-fired electricity generation regulations. Those regulations will set limits on new builds of natural gas and the modification of coal to natural gas. There will be some variation in the regulations between the standards for new and the standards for modified. There will also be some variation depending on the size of the facility because there are technical limitations in building small facilities to the same efficiency as large facilities. Again, we plan to publish those regulations very early in the new year.
    Mr. Moffet, I wonder if you could—
    I hate to do this, but that was six minutes. It goes really fast.
    Mr. Gerretsen.
    Thank you very much.
    Thank you all for being here.
    I have a number of questions. I apologize if I'm very quick and perhaps cut you off, but I just want to try to get through them.
    In the slide deck in your comments, Ms. Henry—or Frank, if you want to answer now that you're here—you referenced $100 million as going toward advanced smart grid and storage technologies.
    What's an advanced smart grid?
    In plain language, a smart grid is all the utilities that manage all the power systems: the power production on one end and the power usage. Handling that constant shift in terms of production and demand is actually a very complicated thing.

  (1020)  

    Is it production and demand specifically?
    Yes. I think the proper system—
     What are we doing to look at other new ways of running a grid, perhaps a grid that's not based on wires?
    The principal issue that the utilities are facing is having to deal with intermittent power that comes along on the power grid: wind, solar, or other sources of power that come and go, depending on the wind or solar intensity. That creates some major issues when you're getting to a level of penetration that is rising and rising.
    I totally get that, but are we looking at ways to distribute electricity through the grid other than conventional ways of doing that with copper wire, aluminum wire, or whatever?
    We don't invest a whole lot into R and D for transmission grids. Canada is already fairly advanced in this area.
    We're advanced in terms of the fact that we have a grid set up and a network, but if, for example, the grid idea started to shift away from utilizing just copper and aluminum wiring, then we might need to start changing our ways of looking at that as well. Isn't that right?
    I'd say the principal focus is more on smart grid and energy storage right now, and less so on—
    With regard to energy storage....
    Mr. Frank DesRosiers: —the wires and stuff.
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: I'm sorry for cutting you off.
    That's fine.
    With regard to energy storage, I think that's very important, and I'm glad to see that there is investment there.
    That storage is as it relates to the grid itself, right? Are we doing any investing as it relates to storage that is then used in electric vehicles, for example?
    The two are very much linked. We are looking at different storage solutions, whether they happen to be very short term—literally seconds—or hours, or days, or even months because we have seasonal storage solutions. Canada is actually one of the world leaders in this area.
    It connects also to the issue of usage. For instance, when you're looking to have thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of electric vehicles on the grid, it will undoubtedly create pressure on the system, so that's where a lot of our dollars currently are going. The utilities are working closely with us to try to figure out what that would mean across the entire system.
    Does some of the investment that we're doing end up in building technologies that are used in electric vehicles?
    Less so in the vehicles themselves—
    It's more on the grid side.
    We gather the data. For instance, we've been working with FleetCarma, a company based in Ontario, on a project whereby we now have the ability to collect data for individual cars, and we're able to analyze it and see the impact across the entire grid. That's the kind of thing we would be doing.
     Thanks.
    I also see that when it comes to vehicle technology there's $182 million specifically to demonstrate and deploy infrastructure that supports charging and the other types of vehicles that lower emissions. Does that mean electric charging stations everywhere?
    Principally.
    Both in budget 2016 where $62 million was announced and in budget 2017, there were measures to increase the amount of fast-charging infrastructure in developing new technologies to ensure faster charging but also charging solutions for, say, condo units. Not everybody lives in a separate house so we have to develop suitable solutions for that.
    Yes.
    On the building code side of things, I just moved into a brand new condo here in Ottawa that was finished this year. There are no electric charging stations in it. Why doesn't our national building code, which the Ontario building code is drawn from, talk to that specifically if we're going to be investing in this? We have a building built in 2016 and it has no electric charging.
     I'll certainly take that comment back to the National Research Council and to my provincial and territorial counterparts and the experts who feed into that. The building code was updated and released in 2015.
    The electric vehicle market is a very dynamic market right now, a really fast-approaching market. I'm not sure that would have been taken into account when they were doing the 2015 code.
    Hopefully, we'll look at it more.
    Linking the two topics that I brought up, one was storage and one was increasing electric charging stations. The two work against each other. If you figure out the storage problem, you're not going to need a lot of electric charging stations.
    As a matter of fact, and perhaps you can comment on this, I've heard a lot about electric charging stations. The reason a lot of stores won't put them in their parking lots is that they don't anticipate that 10 or 15 years from now people are going to need them. All the charging you'll need to do will be done at home.
    Why are we investing in electric charging stations and supporting the technology when the research shows it's not going to be needed? Is my information wrong?

  (1025)  

    Be very quick.
    I don't know what the future is going to look like 10 years from now, as it is changing very rapidly. Based on our extensive interaction with the industry, with consumer associations, and surveys that we've seen, clearly the issue around range anxiety is a central preoccupation of consumers. They're concerned about the price of those cars, making sure they are affordable and reliable, but also that they are able to do a longer journey to visit family, friends, go to work, or whatever. Having a principal source of power in their home to recharge their cars seems to be the practice, based on the usage across North America and the world, but still having access to those remote charging—
    I don't want to discourage you but I've been driving an electric car for 10 years, so I very much support it. I'm just trying to flesh out some of these things.
    Thank you.
    Thank you so much.
    Mr. Sopuck.
    Thanks.
    I'm going to focus my comments on adaptation, mitigation, and building resilience. One of the things I'm always shocked about when I read these kinds of documents and hear this testimony is the short shrift that's given to natural or ecological infrastructure.
    Mr. Jones, you mentioned it once, which I was pleased to see. In your presentation, Ms. Henry, you talked about green infrastructure and natural infrastructure or what I call ecological infrastructure. Constructed wetlands are not even mentioned. I came across a study that was done in 2012 called “Comparing carbon sequestration in temperate freshwater wetland communities”. In conclusion, researchers suggest that temperate freshwater wetlands may have a significant part to play as carbon sinks in offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.
     Mr. Jones, if I can get a short answer on this, you mentioned once about investing in natural infrastructure. Will this be a significant investment or is this just paying lip service to our natural and ecological infrastructure that we so desperately depend upon?
    It is a very important area in adaptation and resilience. It was an important theme in the work in the lead-up to the pan-Canadian framework. Under the investing in Canada plan, there's a green infrastructure fund that includes eligibility for a natural infrastructure. Again, as the member noted, there are multiple benefits in sequestration, building resilience, and protecting drinking water, as examples. It was raised consistently in the context of the adaptation discussion.
     Mr. Parry, I really appreciate the point you made about the multiple benefits of ecological infrastructure. For example, if we make a building more energy efficient, it's more energy efficient, but wetland conservation, preservation, restoration, that does all the things you talk about. I think that's a very important point to get on the record.
    As we move forward in this direction, I would strongly urge you to give natural or ecological infrastructure far greater weight than it has now. Again, if you look at a map of Canada, the urban areas are where most of the people live, but Canada is mostly a large natural or modified landscape that supports us all.
    I come from Manitoba, where flooding is a very serious issue. Water management is becoming extremely important. I urge all of you to read the new Manitoba climate change and green plan. Manitoba put a significant section in there on the conservation of natural infrastructure, primarily wetlands. Water management is so extremely important to us.
    Ms. Henry, I come from a large rural area. Wood heat is really important. A recent StatsCan report said that 13% of Canadian households heat primarily with wood, as do I on my farm. Why is residential wood heat given such short shrift in Canada's climate plan? Wood heat is carbon neutral.
    Sorry, I don't have a specific answer on that.
    I think the climate change plan was intended to be broad. It covers a number of emission sources.

  (1030)  

    I didn't see wood heat mentioned once in either document.
    No, it's not. I think we were focusing primarily on the largest sources of emissions, mostly from the industrial side and electricity sector. When it comes to buildings, our approach has been to get at it through the building code, which is seen as a broad opportunity to get at all of the sources of emissions associated with the building stock.
    Excuse me but from an adaptation standpoint, wood heat is carbon neutral. With the serious decline in our commercial forest sector, primarily the pulp and paper industry, Canada actually has a surplus of wood right now.
    For example, in the forest company that I worked for—the company closed down 10 years ago—we had an annual allowable cut of 400,000 cubic metres. Those 400,000 cubic metres are not being harvested nowadays. I understand Wisconsin has wood-fired power plants in place right now.
    What would be your view to having a good long look at what wood energy could do for Canada's energy mix?
    Maybe I could jump in.
    It won't completely answer your question. The clean fuel standard will establish requirements to reduce the life-cycle carbon intensity of all fuels, thereby creating incentives for fuel mixing and fuel switching. This may create incentives for increased use of biomass, including wood chips, waste wood products from pulp and paper mills, etc.
    We're in fairly detailed discussions with the pulp and paper sector about what those opportunities are.
    The pulp and paper sector right now, I think, is carbon neutral. The firm that I worked for, our boilers were fired by wood chips as well as the sludge from our wastewater treatment plants. I think that the forest industry is quite a ways ahead.
    My last question relates to wind—
    Mr. Sopuck, I'm so sorry but—
    Oh, I thought it was a yellow card.
    It was, but I was turning it around to the red card. My apologies. You were right on the button when you looked.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Amos.
    Thank you to our witnesses. I appreciate the hard work that's being done across the board in our civil service to put this pan-Canadian approach into action.
    We've heard of the clean fuel regulation. I'd like to hear more about the other regulatory measures that are coming down the pike, that are being consulted upon. Can you get a bit into the details of some of the issues that represent public policy challenges in relation to those regulations?
     Well, the federal complementary regulations are the two electricity regulations that I just referred to, and those are essentially finalized. We plan to publish those in a matter of weeks or, at most, a month or two.
    We plan to publish the methane regulations in late winter. Again, those have largely been finalized and are going through an approval process. We have some regulations regulating HFCs from products. I don't have all the details on those, but again, those are fairly well advanced.
    The two additional major federal regulations that we're working on are the clean fuel standard—and those are, of course, at a fairly early stage of development where we will be issuing a regulatory framework document, a broad description of the approach, in a matter of days—and the federal backstop carbon pricing system. I suspect you know that has two components: one is a levy, and the other is a regulatory regime for large emitters. We've been working on the development of those regulations, and those regulations will apply to all large emitters in any backstop jurisdiction. We plan to publish a regulatory framework document early in the new year, and we'll be looking for input on those regulations through the course of the winter of 2018.
    There's another suite of regulations that are new but that are being updated. Those are all the vehicle and engine regulations. We have work under way on updating the light-duty regulations, paying close attention to what's happening in the United States at the federal level, but also at the state level. That's a really interesting dynamic that we have to pay attention to.
    We also have a commitment to introduce heavy-duty vehicle regulations, so tailpipe emission regulations for heavy-duty vehicles. Those are a little farther into the future. The analytical work is under way, but again, we have to pay close attention to what's happening south of the border.

  (1035)  

    Thank you.
    My next question is for the NRCan officials.
    The constituents of Pontiac relied for many, many years on the forestry industry. Times have changed somewhat, particularly in the western part of my riding. However, there is great hope and expectation that the clean energy funds that have been announced will enable the reinvention, if you will, of the forestry industry.
    I wonder if you can speak to some of the projects that have already been financed by NRCan in the forestry sector and how those relate to clean energy outcomes.
    Mr. Chair and committee members, we share an interest around diversifying revenue sources for the forestry sector, both in terms of geography and products. Bioenergy in particular seems to be one of the most promising areas. We're also looking at tall wood structures and other opportunities like this.
     In the bioenergy space, we've had a number of very successful projects, looking at waste products in particular, whether they're wood chips or bark that is currently left in the forest without any use. We've been working both on the R and D and administration projects to try to troubleshoot those technologies, so that they can be scaled up to full commercial activities.
    I don't have the exhaustive list of projects, whether under IFIT or other projects like the one we're describing, but I would draw the interest of committee members to the clean growth program we just announced three weeks ago. It's a $155-million program that is targeting energy, forestry, and mining. Bioenergy would be very much in this scope.
    In the context of this program, we've had discussions with provinces that share our interest in advancing bioenergy solutions. Quebec, Ontario, B.C., and Alberta have project proposals that are slated to be sent our way by early February, so we'll be able to then analyze those. We hope to be able to leverage each other's resources to advance on those projects. The timing could frankly not be better to advance it, given, as you know, the trade dynamic with the U.S.
     That sounds like there's some good news there for our rural communities and our resource-dependent communities. I'm looking forward to seeing a biomass conversion centre project being advanced from the Pontiac sector of my riding.
    Anyway, thank you for that update.
    Okay, that's great.
     You're next, Monsieur Godin.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Thank you to the witnesses for being here this morning.
    I have heard some very positive things and other things that I am inclined to question. I will give the benefit of the doubt.
    Ms. Henry, Mr. DesRosiers was supposed to give the presentation, but unfortunately the traffic and the snowstorm changed the plans this morning. Regardless, your presentation contains the following statement: “Canada's vision is to balance economic growth with environmental protection”.
    I will use this premise to talk to you about a very specific case in my riding. There is a company that manufactures pipes in the city of Portneuf, in the beautiful riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier. Unfortunately, this company manufactures pipes that contain asbestos. I understand that we have to make changes and adopt clean technologies, but we still have to respect economic development.
    I used Ms. Henry's premise, but my question will probably be for one of the representatives of the Department of the Environment.
    This company has been doing research and development for a year and a half to find an alternative. It is full of good intentions. It has found its product and is ready to make the change. However, it must be understood that the problem in this line of business is certification and the time to obtain it.
    We say we want to promote economic development while improving the environmental impact. That said, a law that will come into force on January 1, 2018, will force this company to cease operation, given that the prototype of its product is not accepted or certified because of acceptance timeline for the building.
    I contacted the Department of the Environment to request a waiver. So, I'm taking the opportunity this morning to illustrate a very particular situation. In fact, this company is not the only one in Canada experiencing this problem. We're talking about asbestos here, but it could be other new technologies that companies would have to comply with, which is perfectly legitimate. Nobody is acting in bad faith, in this case. However, 20 jobs will be lost in Portneuf at a very successful business in my riding.
    My question is for Mr. Jones.
    Could you please tell me how you manage this type of situation? You understand that no one has ill intentions. But we're facing a very particular situation. I think we have to very actively find solutions.

  (1040)  

    Thank you for the question.
    Ah, it's Mr. Moffet who will respond.
    Yes. May I answer in English?
    Yes, absolutely. I'm used to it.
    Okay, thank you.
    I apologize, but it's easier.

[English]

    On the specific example, we are aware of the plant and the potential implications for the plant that will flow from the regulations that we are developing to deal with asbestos. We are in discussions with the plant and I do not think those discussions have concluded, so they remain under way. If you want more detail, I can get it to you. I don't have anymore detail, but I'm aware of the discussions.
    More generally though, the point is that regulations always affect businesses and they can impose costs on businesses. One of the reasons that we take a long time to consult on the development of regulations is to make sure that we understand those implications and that we manage those implications to the extent possible, while recognizing that in some cases, in order to achieve an environmental outcome, certain timelines have to be imposed.
    More generally, the overall design philosophy for environmental regulations at Environment and Climate Change Canada is to impose performance standards. What is the outcome that we're looking for? We'll tell you the outcome and we'll tell you the timeline. We won't tell you how to achieve it. Generally, that's the approach that we take across all of our regulations, including climate change regulations. The specific example you talk about is a very different one, where of course, there is concern about the use and potential entry into the environment of a toxic chemical. Therefore, we need to ensure that substance is not used in a way that it can enter into the environment. We are in discussion with the facility to determine whether there's any way to achieve that goal of zero entry of asbestos into the environment, which can lead to all sorts of health problems, while allowing the enterprise to continue to operate.

[Translation]

    I understand what you're saying very well. I think we're on the same wavelength.
    You have to understand that two players are part of the process: the company, which has made major investments of more than $1 million in research and development, and a department that must apply the legislation. Neither is responsible for the situation. This is attributable to a third party, in this case the administrative process of CSA and all other supervisory and certification bodies. The problem is not between the company and the department, but with this third party. However, the company and its employees are the victims. The situation is somewhat particular.
    So the company is full of good intentions. For our part, we strongly agree that asbestos, which is regulated in Canada, is a particular and unacceptable product in 2017.
    Now, what are we doing to solve all this?

[English]

     Mr. Godin, I'm so sorry. The six minutes went very fast, I know. I have to cut it off. We've gone beyond six minutes.
    We're at the end of our time. I want to thank you very much for sharing with us all the work the government is doing on behalf of the pan-Canadian framework. It was important for us to get an update and to understand where we are. There are obviously a lot more questions, so we may have you back.
    Before I end the committee meeting, I had polled quietly to see if anybody was interested in sitting on Thursday, and I think the answer is a unanimous no.

  (1045)  

    Who said yes?
     Nobody said yes, so the answer is no. We will not be meeting on Thursday.
    Merry Christmas to you.
    When we come back, the first thing we'll do.... We could do it through a subcommittee, but I think we should probably do it as a committee. In our first meeting, we're going to talk about the Globe summit trip, the sessions we want to go to, and how we're going to manage that, because we'll need to get that organized.
    The early bird closes on the 15th; we've just discussed here how we're going to do that. We won't have all the names, obviously, unless all of you get them to us. That would be great if you could, because the 15th is not very far away and we need to get the names in. If we don't have the names, we'll try to put in a hold. Okay?
    That's what we'll do in our first meeting back. The intent is to work out the trip details. Over the time in the riding, think about what those sessions would be. We've given you the list so you can check that out. We'll be ready for that discussion. We also need to know who you might want to see in Calgary and Halifax, the two cities we're going to. There are some organizations and companies that I have already been made aware of that could be very interesting. Please bring your ideas forward. We'll discuss those as well when we come back. Then there will be a discussion on where we go with the committee on climate change.
    Have a wonderful holiday. I'm wishing everyone a restful period with their families.
    Thank you so much for spending today with us.
    The meeting is adjourned.
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