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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 289

CONTENTS

Tuesday, May 1, 2018




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148 
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NUMBER 289 
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1st SESSION 
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42nd PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[Translation]

Parliamentary Budget Officer

    Pursuant to subsection 79.2(2) of the Parliament of Canada Act, it is my duty to present to the House a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer entitled “The Government’s Expenditure Plan and Main Estimates 2018-19”.

[English]

Committees of the House

Health 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 16th report of the Standing Committee on Health, entitled “A Study on the Status of Antimicrobial Resistance in Canada and Related Recommendations”.
    The sense of urgency with respect to this issue was a really big surprise to me. We heard from professionals in the health care industry about the ineffectiveness of antibiotics and the seriousness of this issue, and that unless something is done it will harm a lot of the great work that has been done in research in the health industry.
     I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 17th report of the Standing Committee on Health in relation to Bill S-228, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (prohibiting food and beverage marketing directed at children).
    The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.
    This was an interesting study. Members of all parties shared their expertise on this issue, and we feel we have improved the bill somewhat.

[Translation]

Elections Act

    She said: Mr. Speaker, it is my great honour to introduce a new bill today. Bill C-401 will lower the voting age in Canada and create a system in which young people can vote once they turn 16.

[English]

    The objective of this legislation is to increase voter turnout among young people in Canada. Across a number of western democracies, voter turnout is the weakest in the demographic where voting matters the most, the people on whose lives the decisions will have the most impact. Young people in Canada, ages 18 to 24, vote the least. Research has shown that if they start voting at a younger age they will continue voting longer. If someone has not started voting before the age of 25, that individual will not start voting at 30. The evidence is clear.
    The goal of this amendment to the Canada Elections Act is to give young people the right to vote at the age of 16, knowing that in the context of still being in high school, still being at home, and being in their own community, they are more likely to vote.
    I hope the House will look on this bill favourably. Some small adjustments will need to be made based on Bill C-76, which was tabled in the House yesterday.

     (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Petitions

Palliative Care  

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present two petitions today.
    The first petition relates to a national palliative care strategy. It highlights that 70% of Canadians who need end-of-life palliative care do not have access to it. The petition also points out that it was this Parliament's decision, passed unanimously, to create a national palliative care strategy in support of Bill C-277.
    The petitioners call on every member in Parliament to support palliative care and respect the international definition of palliative care by the World Health Organization that palliative care neither postpones nor hastens death.

Physician-Assisted Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition relates to conscience protection. It highlights that coercion, intimidation, or other forms of pressure intended to force physicians or health institutions to become parties to assisted suicide or euthanasia are a violation of the fundamental freedom of conscience.
    The petitioners call on Parliament to enshrine in the Criminal Code of Canada the protection of conscience for physicians, health care professionals, and institutions from coercion and/or intimidation.

Banking Services  

    Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions. The first is from a group of Canadians in support of postal banking. We know that nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders, because these predators are preying upon people with crippling lending rates that affect the poor, marginalized, rural, and indigenous communities the most.
    We have 3,800 Canada Post outlets already in rural areas where there are few or no banks. Canada Post has the infrastructure to make a rapid transition that would include postal banking. Therefore, the petitioners are asking the Government of Canada to enact my motion, Motion No. 166, and create a committee to study and propose a plan for postal banking under the Canada Post Corporation.

  (1010)  

Volunteer Service Medal  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from a group of Canadians who are very sad that the Canadian volunteer medal has ceased to exist. They are petitioning the government to create and issue a new Canadian military volunteer service medal to be designated the Canadian military volunteer service medal for volunteer service by Canadians in the regular forces, the reserves, the cadet corps, and support staff who have completed 365 days of uninterrupted honourable duty for Canada.

Algoma Passenger Train  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise once again to table petitions regarding the Algoma passenger train, which was really the only safe, affordable, all-season access into the Algoma wilderness rail corridor for over 100 years. The loss of this train has resulted in substantial hardships for residents, businesses, communities, and passengers. Alternate ways of access are not reliable, safe, and year-round, or are non-existent. There are only a few industrial roads, which are not very well maintained, for people to access some of their properties. The passenger train was not only the best thing that was helping these individuals, but it was also an environmentally responsible way to travel.
     The petitioners ask that the Algoma passenger train be put back into service in order to ensure the mission of Transport Canada, which is to serve the public interest through promotion of a safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally responsible transportation system in Canada.

Infant Loss  

    Mr. Speaker, I am tabling a petition today calling upon all members of the House to support Motion No. 110 in order to show better support and compassion for parents who have suffered the loss of a pregnancy or an infant child. These are petitioners from Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and all across Canada. They were quite disappointed to hear the government indicate, during debate on the motion, that it felt there was not enough time to study an issue as important as this one. They believe the government should be standing shoulder to shoulder with these families and showing support and compassion for them, not telling them it does not have time to deal with their issues.

[Translation]

Guaranteed Income Supplement  

     Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition from residents of Jonquière regarding automatic enrolment for the guaranteed income supplement. The federal government recently announced a new process to automatically enrol seniors for the guaranteed income supplement, but automatic enrolment will not apply to all eligible individuals when they turn 64. We know this program is important for low-income seniors who receive old age security. The extra income enables them to remain in their homes, receive additional care, and access a number of services. I am honoured to present this petition about automatic enrolment for the guaranteed income supplement.

[English]

Immigration  

    Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by constituents from Dufferin—Caledon. They call upon Parliament to encourage the Canadian government to work with the Government of Israel to facilitate the completion of sponsorship applications of asylum seekers from Africa so they can immigrate to Canada as soon as possible.

[Translation]

Income Inequality  

     Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise again today to table another petition that relates to the one I tabled yesterday. The petitioners wish to draw the attention of the House to the gap between the rich and poor, which is growing faster in Canada than in most developed countries. The richest 100 Canadians have the same wealth as the 10 million poorest Canadians combined. The petition therefore calls on the government to implement a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour, ensure that large corporations pay their fair share of taxes, and put an end to unfair trade agreements that result in the loss of jobs and lower wages.

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to table a petition on the subject of human rights, specifically with regard to human rights in China.

[English]

    The petitioners ask the government and the Parliament of Canada to take note of the persecution of practitioners of the non-violent practice of Falun Dafa and Falun Gong. These practitioners are subjected to political persecution, jail, and unacceptable conditions. The petitioners ask for Canada to pressure the People's Republic of China to respect human rights.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all questions be allowed to stand.
    The Speaker: Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

  (1015)  

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Production of Documents on Carbon pricing  

    That, given the Liberal government made a specific campaign promise to Canadians that "government data and information should be open by default, in formats that are modern and easy to use", the House hereby order that all documents be produced in their original and uncensored form indicating how much the federal carbon tax proposed in Budget 2018 will cost Canadian families in order to put an end to the carbon tax cover-up.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Barrie—Innisfil.
    As members know, the saga of the carbon tax cover-up has been ongoing now for several years, but today there are new developments. Just moments ago in the finance committee, we were studying Bill C-74, the government's budget implementation act, 200 pages of which are dedicated to the creation of a national carbon tax. Before the committee were officials from the environment and finance departments. I asked specifically whether or not either of those departments had modelled how much that tax would cost the average Canadian family. The assistant deputy minister of finance confirmed that in fact the government has modelled that information. In other words, the government knows the price tag but it is covering it up, and that, in essence, is the carbon tax cover-up.
    Now that I have given today's news, I will lay out the chronology of events.
    In late 2015, the Liberal government was elected. It had promised to institute a new carbon tax. Soon after that, I filed what is called an access to information request asking the government what such a tax would cost families in varying income groups. What would it cost middle-class people? What would it cost people below the poverty line?
    The government came back with a big pile of documents, which the member for Barrie—Innisfil will be mentioning in his speech. One of these documents indicates, “This memo focuses on the potential impact of a carbon price on households' consumption expenditures across the income distribution.” The key findings are blacked out.
    I will translate this government-speak into plain English. The memo focused on the potential impact of a carbon price on households' consumption. This means that the memo calculates what the tax will cost people when they buy things. It mentions “across the income distribution”, which means that the table which is blacked out tells us what people would pay based on the incomes they earn.
    We know that the share of a family's budget is largely determined by how much the family makes. For example, Statistics Canada has shown that poor families spend about a third more on the goods that the carbon tax will apply to than do rich households, because if one is extremely wealthy, then heat, electricity, groceries, while they still cost the same or even a little more than they do for a low-income household, they are a smaller share of the family's budget. This is why it is important to know how much people in various income levels will pay with this new tax.
    We know that taxes of this nature are regressive, because they take a larger share of household income from people who have less money. Those with the least disproportionately pay the most. As a result, such taxes can have the effect of actually widening the gap between rich and poor. The government has claimed that it wants to reduce that gap, but it is imposing a tax which is known to do precisely the opposite.
    Then we come to the use of the revenues. What is the government going to use the money for when it collects it?
     In Ontario, the Wynne government has given the blueprint. For example, Ontario has used the money to provide $15,000 in rebates to millionaires who buy electric Mercedes and Teslas. This is an example of a tax applied to working-class and low-income people which is then fed to the wealthiest 1% who can afford to drive the most elite vehicles. In that same province, the government has used the revenues to subsidize companies that would otherwise be money losing. They have, for example, increased hydroelectricity rates by paying these companies that offer so-called solar and wind power onto the grid at 90¢ per kilowatt hour when that kilowatt hour is worth about 2.5¢.

  (1020)  

    The effect of that is to drive up the electricity costs of everyday Ontarians, while bolstering the profits of well-connected Bay Street insiders, who successfully conclude those inflated contracts with the Government of Ontario. In Ontario the inflation of electricity prices is going to constitute a cost of about $170 billion over 25 years, according to the province's auditor general, which will make it the biggest wealth transfer from the working poor to the super rich in Canadian history. That is a form of redistribution that is common among regimes that impose schemes like the one the government has embedded in its budget implementation legislation, all of which reminds us that we should as Canadian parliamentarians know how much this tax will cost every household.
    The government says that it cannot reveal that information for two reasons. First, it says that, for example, the table that I referred to earlier, is not relevant because it is a couple of years old and so much has changed.
    While the fundamental structure of the Canadian economy has changed, the amount and share that people spend on heating their homes, driving their cars, and feeding their families has not fundamentally changed in two years. That being said, if the government thinks it is so irrelevant, why not just release it? Why not just show the numbers to Canadians and then convince them that those numbers are completely irrelevant? Does the government not trust Canadians to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information? If it is obviously just a bunch of old numbers that have collected cobwebs over many months and years, then surely Canadians will just disregard it.
    However, if the information in this table is based on a model of taxation that is in the current budget, then Canadians might, by contrast, say, “Wait a second. This is relevant. It is going to cost me a lot of money.” Then they may judge the government negatively for those costs. Maybe that is the real reason the government does not want to release the numbers.
    The second reason the government is giving is it claims that this tax will be revenue neutral, that Canadians will get back the money somehow. It is the old trickle-down economics of socialist governments that it will take the money away from the working class and give it to the politicians. It will trickle down to the bureaucracy, and then it will trickle further down to the companies and interest groups that get the grants funded by those taxes, and eventually a few drops will trickle back down to the people who earned the money in the first place. This is the trickle-down government that we always see when parties of the far left take office.
    If this is true, let us pretend for a moment that the government is telling the truth and that it plans to give all the money right back to the people who paid the tax in the first place. How can it prove that is the case if it will not tell us how much those same people will pay? We cannot judge whether the cost has been neutralized for an average family unless we know what that cost is, but the government will not tell us, which suggests that the government has a trick up its sleeve, that it wants this to be a money raiser, a cash grab, an issue of cold, hard cash for politicians to spend.
    Canadians have seen this before in every province where this scheme has been implemented. In every single one, the governments have won and the taxpayers have lost. The politicians have had more money to spend and the individual households have had less money left in their pockets. That is the reality we have seen so far.
    As Conservatives, we are the voice of the taxpayer, and we will fight every day to ensure that the government is not allowed to bring in another sneaky tax grab targeted at the middle class, and those working hard to join it. Rather, we will fight for transparency to end the carbon tax cover-up, and to leave money in the pockets of the people who earned it.

  (1025)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his conviction. The level of hypocrisy in his speech, though, is one which I have not seen in quite some time. He talks about the fact that he is here to protect the taxpayers and he is looking out to make sure that they do not have to pay more.
    Where was he when Toronto was paying billions of dollars to take care of the record flooding that it experienced? Where was he when Alberta had the record flooding that inundated Calgary and cost the taxpayers billions and billions of dollars? Where was he when in Quebec last year there were hundreds of millions of dollars in damages due to record flooding?
    Where is his plan to protect the taxpayers from the effects of climate change?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I am sure that the member for Carleton is able to answer the questions and does not need a whole pile of other people to help him with that.
    The hon. member for Carleton.
    Madam Speaker, I notice the member warns that if we do not pay his carbon tax, the Canadian people will be besieged by floods and plagues that will descend upon them. He offered precisely no evidence that the carbon tax as it is designed would prevent any of that. Rather, the same people who have suffered because of those natural disasters that nature has bestowed upon them would further suffer with the higher taxes the government would pile on to those same families.
    I think he mentioned having family in High River. I certainly have great sympathy for the people who suffered there. I encourage him to go to High River and try to sell this carbon tax to the people there who have suffered because his government has blocked the development of the oil and gas sector and failed to support pipeline development across the country.
    The parliamentary secretary heard me indicate to the opposition that when someone has the floor, that should be respected, and I am sure he appreciates that as well.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague, with whom I often have heated debates. I want to ask him a question about the cost of inaction on climate change. Many people talk about the cost for individuals and families in Canada, but that is just part of the reality. The other part is that doing nothing to address climate change will lead to more natural disasters, extreme weather, flooding, forest fires, droughts, and lower agricultural production. All the studies done have shown the negative impact on our economy if we continue in the same direction and do nothing about climate change.
    Why do the Conservatives not care about the cost of inaction on climate change?
    Madam Speaker, I have never understood how increasing the size of government would fix the problems that my hon. colleague has raised. If the purpose of this tax was to combat climate change, every associated cost would not be added to the government's budget. However, that is exactly what the government is trying to do. It is trying to raise more revenue, but will not give it back in tax cuts. In fact, the government has done nothing to reduce other taxes. If the government adds this to its revenue, then we know that its true motivation is in fact to build up its coffers and not combat climate change.

  (1030)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Carleton for sharing his time with me. The speech would be easy if I just said what he said, but I want to take a slightly different approach. Again, I will remind the House why we are here today. We are talking about a motion that deals with the carbon tax cover-up. The motion itself reads:
    That, given the Liberal government made a specific campaign promise to Canadians that “government data and information should be open by default, in formats that are modern and easy to use”, the House hereby order that all documents be produced in their original and uncensored form indicating how much the federal carbon tax proposed in Budget 2018 will cost Canadian families in order to put an end to the carbon tax cover-up.
    The hon. member for Carleton already spoke about the fact that almost immediately after the last election he filed an access to information request to finance department officials asking, quite simply, how much the carbon tax was going to cost Canadian families, and how much emissions would be reduced.
    They were great questions. The answer he received back was blacked out. We are talking about a government and a Prime Minister who promised in the last election that they were going to be more open and transparent than any other government in the history of the world.
    Even to this day, Liberals stand up in this House and refuse to answer questions that have been asked at least 60 or 70 times: How much is the carbon tax going to cost Canadian families, and how much will it reduce emissions? This transparent and open government not only provides a document that is completely blacked out, but its members stand in this House and refuse to answer.
    Instead, they put out buzzwords like “the environment and the economy go hand in hand” and “I have three children, and it is going to cost them in the future.” Those are not the answers Canadians are looking for. If the government truly wants Canadians to buy into its carbon reduction plan, at a minimum it should be telling Canadians how much it costs.
    Now, there are some numbers that are known. For example, it is going to cause the price of gasoline to go up by 11¢ a litre. We know it is going to cost more to heat our homes, in excess of $200. However, there are additional costs associated with this, and the government is refusing to tell Canadians what they are. I was watching finance department officials this morning being questioned again by the hon. member for Carleton. They know the answer but refuse to give it. They were like deer in the headlights this morning, and it was quite a spectacle to see.
    I am not blaming the bureaucrats. They are spewing out government talking points and policy, but at a minimum we should know how much it is going to cost. As the hon. member for Carleton said, this will disproportionately affect lower-income Canadians. We know that typically when taxes happen in the manner in which the government is proposing, they disproportionately affect lower-income Canadians. We want to know, for them, for middle-class Canadians, how much this is going to cost. This is why we are spending a whole day in Parliament doing that.
    Now, we know it is not going to cost the Prime Minister, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, or the Minister of Finance anything, because they make significant salaries, have cars driven for them, fly around all over the world on airplanes, and get their meals paid for. The government and senior officials in government are not going to be paying anything for a carbon tax, but again it is middle-class and lower-middle-class Canadians who are disproportionately going to be affected by this. All we are asking for is to know how much it is going to cost them.
    The significance of this for middle- to lower-class Canadians is the impact it is going to have on their earning potential and their wage gains, for example in the case of union members. Last week, I was with members of the Canadian Police Association, and I talked to them specifically about the carbon tax. I mentioned it to the International Association of Fire Fighters. Fiscal government policy is directly having an impact on lower- and middle-class Canadians, because it is going to end up costing them more. Any wage gains they make at the bargaining table will be taken right back by the government with respect to carbon tax increases.

  (1035)  

    Add to that the cost of everyday goods, including those at the grocery store. Most people understand that the cost of things is already going up disproportionately. When we start adding taxes to the delivery of those goods and services, it is lower- and middle-class Canadians who are going to be paying more.
    It will not be the Prime Minister, it will not be the Minister of Environment, nor will it be the Minister of Finance. They are going to do okay by raising carbon taxes. In fact, I would suggest they are going to do more than okay, because they are going to be able to raise funds to deal with their insatiable appetite to spend money and give money to their pet globalist projects around the world.
    It should come as no surprise that we are in this position. Again, when I stand up in this House, I often reference the situation in Ontario and the fact that electricity rates are significantly high because of the failed green energy policy, the fact that consumers are again disproportionately affected by that, and the fact that lower- and middle-income Canadians are having to pay more because of that failed green energy policy in Ontario.
     The common denominator in all of this goes back to the man who lurks in the shadows of the PMO, who comes up with these bright ideas that somehow impact negatively not just Ontarians but all Canadians, and that is Gerald Butts. He is the architect of the failed Green Energy Act and the man who is pushing this carbon tax agenda within the PMO. It will be Canadians who pay the price.
    I know what I speak of, because I am a resident of Ontario, and we continue to pay the price. The people I represent in Barrie—Innisfil pay the price. They will continue to pay the price, because of carbon taxes and the impact they are going to have on them.
    The government has not even modelled the price tag on this. The Liberals know what the answer to the question is, and that is why we are simply asking those questions. We want to know. Canadians want to know. If Canadians are going to buy into a government policy that increases the amount of tax they are going to pay, they deserve to know what the cost of that is going to be. Furthermore, they deserve to know what the reduction in those emissions is going to be. It is a fair question to ask.
    This is why, again, we are spending all day talking about this. We want the answer. Canadians deserve to know the answer to the question. On the impact on the economy, we already heard last week that the Parliamentary Budget Officer has said it is going to affect our GDP to the tune of $10 billion. In fact, there have been some suggestions that the actual cost is going to be $35 billion by 2022. Those are staggering amounts.
    We are dealing with competitiveness issues with the United States, which is seemingly going in a different direction with taxes and regulations, yet here is Canada, implementing and imposing a job-killing carbon tax on businesses that are looking to succeed.
    The government talks about attracting talent, but if there are no businesses here to attract that talent to, how can we reasonably expect to be competitive in a global marketplace? We have already seen, by last count, close to $84 billion of capital flee this country because of an assault by the government on our natural resource sector.
    By adding a carbon tax to that, and by adding a carbon tax for middle-class and lower-income Canadians, who again are going to be disproportionately negatively affected by this, the Liberals will do damage to our economy, and they will also make it much more expensive for Canadians to live.
    All we are asking for is the information. The government knows the information. The finance department knows the information. Canadians need to know and understand what it is going to cost them and what they are getting into by the Liberal government's proposed carbon tax. It is time for the government to stop covering it up.

  (1040)  

    Madam Speaker, I know the member represents a riding north of the city in which I represent a riding, and I know that all-day GO Transit train service to Barrie has been one of the big achievements in the last few years of the Wynne government in Ontario. In fact, that government has rebuilt the GO Transit system to the point where we do not have daily cancellations and breakdowns on the train system. The largest investment in rail in the world is taking place right now in the GTA. It has delivered all-day service to the community that the member represents, which unlocks all sorts of economic opportunities in his community and also gives people an alternative to driving.
    The investment in GO Transit is partially financed out of this shifting of perspective, where we tax pollution and then reinvest into options where we give people methods of transportation around the GTA that cut greenhouse gas emissions. We are also moving toward electrification. I know the member supports that project, so I am just curious about how he would pay for it if he were not going to pay for it with taxes.
    The document the member wants uncovered was produced by the Conservatives. Why did he not just read it and release it when he was in government?
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for his acknowledgement that the previous Conservative government invested $8 million into the redevelopment and re-establishment of the part-time GO service back to Barrie. I want to thank the member for acknowledging that the previous Conservative government and the previous member of Parliament did that.
    I also want to talk about the fact that he mentioned taxes, because this is an issue most Canadians would like to understand. They would like to know what the impact of the Liberal-proposed carbon tax is going to be, but they do not know what the impact is going to be in terms of investments and emissions because the Liberals are redacting the information. They are blacking it out.
    If the hon. member and the current government believe that this carbon tax is going to be as great as they say it is going to be for Canadians, then they should share that information with Canadians. They should not be non-transparent about it, which is exactly what they are doing.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, economic analyses show that the different carbon tax measures in Canada are having a positive impact on the environment without hurting the economy. In Quebec, the people I represent have always valued the opinions of Gérald Fillion, a Radio-Canada economist who came to the following conclusion:
    In principle, carbon pricing should generate extra revenue for the government, create changes in consumer behaviour, and encourage smart investments to promote sustainable development. Carbon pricing is a long-term commitment, and its short-term repercussions should not stop us from thinking about future generations.
    My constituents in Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot are very concerned about climate change; why then scare them about one of the proposed solutions, carbon pricing?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, let us first make one thing clear: It is not carbon pricing, it is carbon taxing. That is one of the buzzwords members of the left like to use when they talk about this issue.
     If they want to talk about examples, we can certainly look at B.C. It brought in a carbon tax in 2008, which started at $10 a tonne and rose gradually to $30 by 2012. There was a small, temporary reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for a few years, but emissions in B.C. have been steadily increasing. The reason they are increasing is that we live in Canada. We need to heat our homes. We live in a cold, barren wasteland. We need to drive our cars to different places.
     If the government is going to penalize people for their everyday activities, not to mention the cost of goods that is going to increase because it will end up being passed down to the consumer by producers and shippers, then I do not see the sense in this, unless the government explains to Canadians how much it is in fact going to cost them. They have to get Canadians to buy into it. They cannot just arbitrarily impose a carbon tax and not tell them what it is going to cost. Maybe Canadians will buy into it. My guess is they will not, because once the information is known and released by this non-transparent government, then reality will start setting in and Canadians will see the actual cost to them, their families, and future generations in this country.

  (1045)  

    Madam Speaker, I rise here today to once again reaffirm our clear commitment to tackling climate change.
    Canadians understand that climate change is real. They know the governments at home and around the world must urgently address this challenge. That is what Canadians elected us to do, and we have a serious, practical, and cost-effective plan to tackle climate change. It is important that we take action to ensure our children and grandchildren live in a world where our environment is clean and our economy is strong.

[Translation]

     Canadians understand that climate change is real. They know that the governments at home and around the world must urgently address this challenge. It is the right choice to make for our children and grandchildren. That is what Canadians elected us to do, and we have a serious, practical plan.

[English]

    Today we are seeing the impacts of climate change across the country, and Canadian families are already affected. Let me provide a few examples.
    One of the hardest calls I have ever had to make was to a rancher in Alberta's interior. Her family ranch was destroyed by intense wildfires that spread through B.C. and Alberta. Today, as a result of climate change, these wildfires are raging longer and are harsher than ever before.

[Translation]

    Last year, I was in Gatineau, Quebec, helping to fill sandbags. As I was talking to the families who were protecting their homes from the rising flood waters, some homes were saved and many more were destroyed. We are seeing devastation like this across Canada and around the world.

[English]

    Then there is the heartbreaking story from last summer when I was visiting the high Arctic. I spoke to an Inuit boy from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, who told me about the impacts of climate change that he was seeing in his homeland. He told me about his feet getting stuck in thawing permafrost like quicksand when he was hunting. He told me about the disappearance of the caribou, their country food. He also told me of experienced hunters—fathers, uncles, brothers, providers—dying after falling through the sea ice that they could no longer tell the thickness of. Today Canada's high Arctic is warming at three times the rate of the rest of Canada. Climate change is real, and it is having a real impact on Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
    Pollution is not free. It is a tax on future generations. From 1983 to 2004, insurance claims in Canada from severe weather events were almost $400 million a year. In the past decade, that amount has tripled to $1.2 billion a year.
    By taking smart, sensible, and practical action, we can avert the worst impacts of climate change and grasp the enormous economic opportunities around the world worth trillions of dollars. By acting today, we can protect our environment and strengthen a clean growth economy.
    The previous government was never serious about climate change. The Harper government announced targets with no intention of meeting them. Today we have the Leader of the Opposition saying that he is against the price on pollution. However, he is once again committed to meeting the Paris Agreement targets. We cannot magically meet our Paris Agreement targets without using the market. Canadians expect us to act, and that is what we have been doing since we formed government.

[Translation]

     Putting a price on pollution is central to any credible plan to combat climate change. That is exactly why we are working in partnership with the provinces and territories to price carbon.

[English]

    Central to any credible climate plan is a price on pollution. That is exactly why we are working in partnership with the provinces and territories to price carbon. Canadians know that polluting is not free. We need to price what we do not want, which is pollution, and invest in the things that we do want, like lower taxes, health care, and clean technology solutions that create good jobs here in Canada. Carbon pricing is flexible, is cost-effective, and lets the markets do what they do best: drive creativity and reward solutions. We could even call it a “conservative” idea.

  (1050)  

    As a recent Globe and Mail editorial put it:
     Putting a price on carbon is an effective way of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and fighting climate change. There is ample, persuasive evidence of this.
    The research backs this up. Just yesterday, Environment and Climate Change Canada published a study that found that by 2022, a nationwide price on carbon pollution that meets the federal standards would eliminate 80 million to 90 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions. That is the equivalent of taking between 23 million and 26 million cars off the road for a year, or the equivalent of closing 20 coal-fired plants. Without a doubt, pricing carbon pollution is making a major contribution to helping Canada meet its climate targets under the Paris Agreement.
    Pricing pollution is not only effective; it also strengthens our economy. Take British Columbia. It put a price on carbon pollution more than a decade ago, and since 2007, it has reduced emissions by between 5% and 15%, while provincial real GDP grew by more than 17% from 2007 to 2015.
    Today over 80% of Canadians live in a province that already has a price on pollution—in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia—and last year these provinces led the country in economic growth.
    Carbon pricing is the approach that economists overwhelmingly recommend. In fact, it is the policy that over 30 governments and 150 leading businesses have come together to support through the international Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition. This group includes Canada's major banks, alongside Canadian companies in the consumer goods, energy, and resource development sectors. Steve Williams, the CEO of Suncor, Canada's largest oil producer, put it this way: “We think climate change is happening. We think a broad-based carbon price is the right answer.”
    Around the world, governments are realizing the efficiency and effectiveness of pricing carbon pollution. Today some 40 countries, including Canada, are pricing carbon pollution, and more governments are planning to implement similar systems soon.
    According to the World Bank, a price on pollution covers nearly half of the world's economy today. China recently launched the world's largest carbon pricing system, and last year Ontario, Quebec, and California signed an agreement to create the world's second-largest carbon market. A carbon price works best when people and businesses find ways not to pay it by investing in clean solutions to save money. This is not about raising money; it is about sending the right signals to spur clean innovation.
    We have been clear that any revenue will remain in the province and territory it comes from. Provided they meet the federal standard, our approach gives provinces and territories the flexibility to design their own systems and to decide how best to use the revenues from pricing pollution to support families and businesses and to strengthen a clean growth economy. Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec are reinvesting the revenues in their own provinces through measures such as targeted rebates or tax cuts to households and businesses, investments in public transit, clean technology solutions, and home retrofit programs that help families and businesses save money.
    These investments are already making a big difference for Canadians. They are creating good jobs, supporting cleaner growth, and driving investments in cities and communities. Importantly, governments can and should design their own carbon pricing systems to avoid putting extra financial pressure on low-income and middle-class households. For example, provinces can choose to provide money-back rebates, to cut taxes, or to fund discounts on technologies that help people save money on energy bills. Governments in Canada are already making those kinds of choices.
    British Columbia's carbon price system has a tax credit for low-income groups. It helps many offset the cost of that province's carbon price through direct payments to low-earning families. By cutting personal or corporate taxes, B.C. also returns revenues from its carbon tax to households and small businesses.
    I am very proud that our government is taking the steps to price pollution across the country. The evidence from at home and around the world is extraordinarily strong. It shows that pricing pollution creates good middle-class jobs and gives families and businesses an incentive to make choices that will help them save energy and money. Canadians expect a healthy environment and a growing economy, and that is exactly what we are doing right.

  (1055)  

[Translation]

    In Alberta, about 60% of households receive full or partial rebates to compensate for the cost of the carbon tax. Families whose income in less than $95,000 a year receive a full rebate. Putting a price on pollution can protect families from the net costs. It helps reduce pollution and sets Canada up for success in the global transition to cleaner growth. The environment and the economy go together. Canadians expect a healthy environment and a growing economy, and that is exactly what we are doing right.

[English]

    For too long in Canada and elsewhere, cynics have worked hard to stall action on climate change. Some have failed to see the enormous opportunity before us, while others simply refuse to acknowledge that climate change is real. However, the time for inaction is over, and that is why Canada is leading during the clean growth century.
    Part of our plan is pricing carbon pollution, but it involves so much more. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England and a great Canadian, put it best when he said, “The point is that the more we invest with foresight, the less we will regret in hindsight.” According to the World Bank, the Paris Agreement will help us open up nearly $23 trillion in new opportunities for climate-smart investments in Canada and emerging markets around the world between now and 2030.
    With that in mind, let me lay out other parts of our climate plan, which together will not only reduce carbon pollution but will also renew our infrastructure, strengthen our transportation networks, and, through smart and strategic investments, spur clean innovation and opportunity in Canada's towns and cities.
    We are investing $21.9 billion in green infrastructure to build energy-efficient homes and offices and help families save on their energy bills. We are investing $20.1 billion to support urban public transit to help reduce commute times in our cities, to increase the use of clean transportation, and allow Canadians to spend more time with their families and less time in traffic.

[Translation]

    We are going to phase out coal-fired electricity by 2030. This will help prevent 260 premature deaths, 40,000 fewer asthma episodes, and 190,000 fewer days of breathing difficulty and reduced activity, providing health benefits of $1.2 billion during the regulated period. With the help of an expert task force, we will make sure the transition is a fair one for Canadian workers and communities that depend on coal.
    We are implementing a clean fuel standard to encourage Canadians to use cleaner fuels, and we are improving energy efficiency through stricter building codes and standards.

[English]

    Finally, Canada is making historic investments in our rapidly growing clean-tech and clean energy sectors. With a $2.2 billion investment, we are fostering clean-tech research and development, production, and export, and we are accelerating the growth of this industry to capture an increasing share of the global market.
    These investments will create well-paying middle-class jobs across our country, and we already see Canadian companies leading the way. In Burnaby, B.C., Ballard Power Systems is creating fuel cells that are used in zero emission vehicles around the world. While I was in China on a trade mission, I saw city buses that were using Ballard's innovative technology.
    In Edmonton, Alberta, I visited a manufacturing facility, Landmark Homes, that makes net-zero homes that look like any other suburban home. This company employs over 300 people. It uses energy-efficient materials and puts solar panel roofs on its houses. I met a family that lives in one of these homes, and instead of paying hydro bills, they earn revenue from selling electricity.
    Alberta is also home to the Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, which, through collaboration and the sharing of technologies among companies, is creating cleaner air, bigger efficiencies, and better-protected lands.
    In Foam Lake, Saskatchewan, Milligan BioFuels is turning damaged canola seeds into biodiesel, a cleaner fuel that can power the cars, trucks, and buses in our towns and cities.

  (1100)  

[Translation]

    In Winnipeg, Manitoba, I toured a factory last year that makes electric buses. These incredible buses run smoothly, noiselessly, and emission-free. The company, New Flyer, is creating good middle-class jobs. In Toronto, the award-winning company ecobee makes smart thermostats that can easily be controlled from a smart phone. They help consumers save money and reduce their emissions while making their homes more comfortable. GHGSat, a company in Montreal, uses satellites to monitor industrial greenhouse gas emissions around the world. In 2016, it launched its first satellite into low earth orbit. Lastly, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CarbonCure has hit on a solution that will benefit everyone by developing a technology for capturing industrial carbon dioxide and using it to produce stronger concrete.
    In short, Canadian companies are stimulating innovation and creating jobs in a clean-growth economy. In doing so, they are showing the whole world what Canadian innovation looks like.

[English]

    Today Canada's clean-tech sector ranks first among the G20 countries, according to the 2017 “Global Cleantech Innovation Index”. This year, 13 of Canada's clean-tech companies were ranked within the top 100 in the world, and Canadian companies are blowing away the competition for the Carbon XPRIZE, an award for companies that find innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions. This year, four Canadian companies reached the final round for the $20-million award.
    However, for Canada to continue innovating and creating good, middle-class jobs in the clean-growth century, we must signal to the market that we are open for investment, and that is why our government has pursued pragmatic, flexible, and smart climate policies. Canadians expect us to uphold our commitment to the Paris Agreement, our commitment to growing our economy and strengthening the middle class, and our commitment to future generations.
    With that, let me end with a quick story. Two years ago, I was in Morocco discussing climate change with leaders from around the world. While there, I witnessed a telling conversation. It was between an Inuit elder and the leader of a Pacific small island state, both places where the impacts of climate change are drastically altering the landscape and people's way of life.
    We know that Canada's High Arctic is warming at three times the rate of the rest of the country, and many small island states are facing rising sea levels that are destroying the infrastructure, and ultimately, their homelands. As the leader of the island state was describing the devastation of storm surges and rising ocean waters on his land, and the Inuit elder was describing the effects of warming weather and melting sea ice on his land, the Inuit elder realized something. He said, “So my homeland is melting, and it's causing yours to go under water.” It was a powerful moment, and it underscored our need to work together with the entire world to tackle climate change.

[Translation]

    Our government is going to continue to act for the benefit of our environment and our economy. We are going to put a price on carbon pollution to reduce emissions, create jobs, and stimulate clean growth.

[English]

    Our government will continue acting in the interest of our environment and our economy. We will price carbon pollution to reduce emissions, create jobs, and spur clean growth. We will continue investing in the future, making our buildings more energy efficient, our transportation cleaner, and our industry more innovative and competitive. Ultimately, why will we do this? It is because we owe it to our kids and our grandkids.
    Madam Speaker, we know that the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that the cost of the carbon tax on the Canadian economy would be $10 billion. We know that the Liberals are hiding the cost of the carbon tax from Canadians because they know that it will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet their targets. It is just a cash grab. However, we know, based on the finance minister's testimony at committee yesterday, that not only are the Liberals covering up the full cost of the carbon tax, they are covering up the fact that it is a sexist carbon tax.
    Given the gender pay gap and the disproportionate burden of child care expenses women bear, not that the minister would know, because I do not think she has had to fill up her car here, as she has a driver, this tax will have a disproportionate negative effect on women, as any woman who filled up her van's gas tank before she drove her kids to school today, at $1.70 a litre in B.C., would know.
     I have a very simple question for the minister. Why is the Prime Minister gender budgeting his way to making life harder for Canadian women with this sexist carbon tax?

  (1105)  

    Madam Speaker, I was very happy to drive my children to their activities yesterday.
    Canadians understand that climate change is real and that we need to take smart, practical action to tackle climate change, as much as for women as for men. We know that women face the disproportionate impact of climate change. We see that across the world, where women are often the ones on the front lines of devastating incidents.
    We will always stand up for women. We understand that we need to always look at the impact of any policy we put in place. That is why, when it comes to carbon pricing, provinces have the ability to take the revenue and return it in a way they see fit. They can do that as tax cuts. They can do that as investments in public transportation. We know that women are more likely to be single moms, and they are taking public transportation. Women can make investments in clean innovation. We want to see women entrepreneurs succeed in the clean-growth century.
    As a mom, I know that we need to take action on climate change. What is the party opposite's plan to tackle climate change?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank the environment minister for her speech. I appreciated much of what she said. I would also like to commend the federal government on its decision to finally put a price on carbon. It is the right thing to do. A number of provinces have already implemented this sort of initiative. British Columbia has been putting a price on carbon for about 10 years now, and Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia will soon do so as well. Obviously, as an environmentalist and conservationist, I applaud this initiative, even though I think that it could go even further.
    However, every rose has its thorn, and in this case the bad news is that, although the Liberals have interesting and worthwhile things to say, they do not always follow through in their actions and decisions. There are often inconsistencies, so here are my two questions.
    First, how does my colleague think that we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions if we increase oil and gas production?
    Second, if the federal government wants to transition away from fossil fuel energy, why is it still granting over $1 billion in subsidies to oil companies?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question, and I appreciate his support for carbon pricing.
    I know that the NDP recognizes that we need to tackle climate change, but our government understands that we need to do so while growing a clean economy. We are in a transition phase.
    It is ironic that the federal New Democrats do not support the Alberta NDP. Alberta's premier is working very hard. His government is the one that imposed a carbon tax and is eliminating carbon in that province. He also raised the price on oil sands emissions. These people are working very hard.
    We must ensure that we are working for everyone. I am the environment minister for Albertans and all Canadians. We are going to work hard to address climate change and build a clean-growth economy.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I cannot help but feel that today's motion is an opportunity for the opposition to justify inaction on the climate file altogether.
    In her remarks, the minister correctly identified that pollution is not free. That is because the atmosphere belongs to all of us, and when polluters degrade the atmosphere I breathe, they ought to pay for it. I have no problem with that whatsoever.
    It is not just that there is a cost to pollution. There is massive opportunity in addressing the threat climate change poses. In my riding, Trinity Inspection Services is creating local jobs, and it has helped Nova Scotia reduce its emissions levels by over 30% since 2005.
    Could the minister please comment on the massive economic opportunity we can capitalize on by addressing climate change?

  (1110)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for making the very good point that in ridings across the country, we are seeing amazing businesses that are innovating and creating clean solutions, and that is exactly why we want to put a price on pollution. It will create incentives for people to choose those solutions, to choose solutions that will save them money, ensure that we tackle climate change, and grow the economy.
    We can look at the economic opportunity, which Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, and a great Canadian, has said is $23 trillion. I want to make sure that Canadian companies are taking advantage of that opportunity.
    We are already punching above our weight, and this is happening in every single province in the country. We are seeing amazing innovation. It is from small businesses to big businesses, from the energy sector to the clean-tech sector. I am extraordinarily proud of the ingenuity of Canada's engineers, of Canada's business people, of Canada's innovators.
    We are going to tackle climate change, and we are also going to grow a clean economy that will create good jobs.
    Madam Speaker, in the fall of 2016, we were having a debate in the House on the government's pan-Canadian framework on climate change. I said at the time that I commended the government for putting a price on carbon, but the government's plan has some serious flaws. I think one of the flaws is that it is not transparent enough. The government is not being transparent about the cost to families. It is also not being transparent about modelling the numbers to 2030.
    Fifty dollars a tonne does not get us to our Paris Agreement targets. By 2030 we are supposed to be at around 500 megatonnes of emissions in this country. Most economists say that we need to be at around $130 a tonne. That is $65 billion out of the Canadian economy every year, which is about 3% of GDP. That is why it is so important that the government be transparent about this issue. It needs to ensure revenue neutrality to the taxpayer, not to the federal government, on the price of carbon. It also needs to acknowledge that carbon pricing is regressive in nature, and it needs to provide relief for low-income Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for actually believing that we need to put a price on what we do not want, which is pollution.
    We have taken a different approach. We have said that we want to price pollution but also take other measures, because that is a smart, practical, low-cost way to tackle pollution.
    In terms of transparency, the Leader of the Opposition has said that he has a plan to meet our Paris Agreement targets, but he is not going to announce what the plan is. I would ask opposition members if they can tell us quite squarely what the Conservatives plan on doing, because as Canadians know, for a decade they did nothing.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech. There are still many doubts about the Government of Canada's ability to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets. The formal commitments made by the Government of Canada when it signed international documents in Paris have not changed; the Conservatives made the same ones. My question is this: will there be a report on what we have achieved in terms of greenhouse gas reductions and does the Minister of Environment and Climate Change plan on meeting these targets by the time the agreements come to term?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague. I hope he is still a member of the parliamentary swim team. I have not had the chance to go swimming for a long time, but I plan to return to it.
    We obviously have a plan and I am very proud of it. It is going to help us achieve the Paris accord targets while growing a clean economy. Carbon pricing is part of the plan, but so are our historic investments in public transit and in clean innovations, and our investments that will protect Canadians from the impact of climate change that they are already experiencing.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to start by saying that I will be sharing my time with my wonderful colleague from Salaberry—Suroît.
    I am very pleased to rise in the House today to talk about climate change and all the issues related to this incredible challenge we are facing. As legislators, as parliamentarians, we need to realize that this is probably the biggest challenge of our generation and that, in the coming decades, our children and grandchildren will judge us as a society and as an international community based on our success or failure in terms of how we tackle this important issue, namely the risks associated with global warming.
    That is why we need to take this issue very seriously, perhaps more seriously than we have taken other issues, because the repercussions will be huge on every level. I would remind members that there is a reason that former U.S. vice-president Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change.
    We are in the midst of a migrant crisis, a refugee crisis. There were more refugees around the world last year than at any other time in history. There were more than during the Second World War. Now people face the risk of becoming climate refugees, people who have to leave their part of the world or their country because it will become uninhabitable, tensions will rise, and conflict will erupt around natural resources, access to water, and so on.
    I mention this so that everyone can understand the scope of the situation that today's opposition motion gives us the opportunity to discuss in the House. I would now like to explain why, at the end of my speech as the NDP environment critic, I will present an amendment to the motion moved by our friends in the Conservative Party that will improve it and make it more balanced.
    The Conservative motion calls for transparency. We support transparency. We need information in order to make sound decisions. The public needs to be kept informed. Having information on the impact of carbon pricing is a good idea, in principle. Upon reading the motion for the first time, one might think, “Why not?”, this makes sense and we could learn from the experience of others. For example, Quebec, California and other U.S. states have been using a carbon exchange, which is one way of pricing carbon and encouraging companies to change their ways and adopt more environmentally friendly ways of manufacturing products that cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. There are other areas where pricing is possible. British Columbia has had coal pricing for a decade now. Let us look into what that means for the people of British Columbia, for the families and businesses and the opportunity they have to innovate and improve how they do things. We could also debate this with other provinces such as Alberta and Ontario, which have their own way of pricing carbon.
    The Conservative motion ignores the other side of the coin. The motion talks about the potential impact on families and individuals. Yes, but if we do nothing, if we do not take leadership on this, if we take no action on global warming and its effects, about which there is unassailable international scientific consensus, there is a potential impact there as well. Global warming, which is already under way and could be catastrophic if the temperature rises more than 2°C per year above 1990 reference levels, will result in more natural disasters and climate extremes. I am talking about natural disasters that will have an even greater impact than what we have seen so far to the detriment of countless economic sectors.
    If we want to be logical, balanced, and transparent in this debate, we also need to find out the cost of not taking action, the consequences of the extreme temperatures we may be facing. It has already begun in Quebec and across Canada. We already have studies and numbers.

  (1115)  

    The average number of natural disasters in Canada has doubled over the past 30 years. It is not that there were no natural disasters before, but they were fewer in number, less serious, and had less of an impact on people's lives, our environment, and our economy.
    Climate change and the rising number of natural disasters are not unrelated. Quite the opposite, and there is a cost associated with that. Since we are talking about insurance, from 1983 to 2004, insured losses from natural disasters cost an average of $373 million a year in Canada. However, in the next decade, from 2005 to 2015, the average annual losses more than tripled. They were three times as high. They cost an average of $1.2 billion per year. We can already see that climate change is having an impact and that there is a cost associated with it.
    The federal government's disaster financial assistance arrangements program helps the provinces and territories recover from natural disasters. In 1970, it paid out an average of $54 million. From 1995 to 2004, the program gave out $291 million per year. From 2005 to 2015, it paid out $410 million per year. In the past six years, this fund provided more financial assistance than it has in its 39 years of operation. The increase in the cost of this federal insurance over the past 20 years is a result of the increase in the number and intensity of large-scale natural disasters. Our Conservative friends like to talk about the impact on our wallets and pockets. There has already been an impact because it is costing the government a lot of money in insurance alone, and that is not even to mention individuals.
    There is also an impact on our economic ability to make the transition and maintain acceptable economic growth. The two go hand in hand. Climate change can result in many economic losses. I talked about natural disasters and extreme weather events, but we also have to consider the impact on public health spending, losses in agricultural productivity, financial coverage of risk, or insurance, premature wear and tear on infrastructure, and energy costs. All these impacts could slow our economic growth if we do nothing. We must be fully aware of them.
    The impacts of climate change are quite varied and include infrastructure that must be rebuilt, health problems, and destroyed crops. It can be difficult to evaluate their cost, but several studies have been conducted. I will name a few because it is important that this be part of the debate if we want to have a sound, balanced, and well-informed discussion. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, estimates that a 2°C increase in global warming could reduce global GDP by 2% per year. That is significant.
    Some of the more direct costs in Quebec are associated with flood damage. Take, for example, the flooding this year and last year. Shoreline erosion resulting from decreased winter ice cover and infrastructure damaged by repeated freeze-thaw cycles are two more examples. I have the pleasure of living in Montreal, and I can say that the potholes are very real. When temperatures vary significantly during the winter, the snow melts and water seeps into the asphalt, which then cracks when the water freezes again. This happens several times a year.
    I want to read a quote regarding the impact on the global economy. “Taking action now will not only solve the problems of protecting the planet, but it will be a tremendous boost for economies.” Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, said this in 2014. I could also quote the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding the potential impact on the American economy.
    To have a balanced motion that looks at the overall impact of a carbon tax or climate change, I move, seconded by the member for Salaberry—Suroît, an amendment to the motion:
     That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “indicating” and substituting the following: “to Canadian families how much the price on carbon proposed in Budget 2018 will cost them, and how much the growing effects of climate change will cost them if there is no carbon tax, in order to provide greater transparency to Canadians.”

  (1120)  

     It is my duty to inform hon. members that an amendment to an opposition motion may be moved only with the consent of the sponsor of the motion. If the sponsor is not present, the House leader, the deputy House leader, the whip, or the deputy whip of the sponsor's party may give or refuse consent on the sponsor's behalf.

  (1125)  

[English]

    Since the sponsor is not present in the chamber, I ask the acting opposition whip, the hon. member for Foothills, if he consents to this amendment being moved.
    No, Madam Speaker.

[Translation]

     Therefore, pursuant to Standing Order 85, the amendment cannot be moved at this time.
     The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to hear my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie speak. I truly enjoy having him here in the House. He can rest assured that we are going to do everything in our power to make sure he is not here a year and half from now. Of course, I hope he will not take that personally.
    Now for his question about the impact of greenhouse gases. We all agree that we need to eliminate greenhouse gases as much as possible. That is why our government set a target that has been recognized not only by the current government, but by President Obama and the entire planet as well. The Paris agreement target is exactly the same as the target set by our government.
    Everyone also agrees that the Parliamentary Budget Officer found that the Liberal carbon tax will knock $10 billion off the economy. Furthermore, everyone agrees that the Department of Natural Resources found that under the Conservative government, greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 2.2% and the GDP rose.
    Why does the NDP want to know what the impact will be if we do nothing, since greenhouse gas emissions dropped under our government?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his comments, which are not always flattering, but are always relevant.
    I am sorry that the Conservative Party rejected our motion, and in doing so, shut down an entire part of the debate. The Conservatives talk about transparency, but their refusal to talk about anything that is not in line with their stance only undermines transparency. They want to cover up an unavoidable part of reality.
    Here in Canada, the national round table on the environment and the economy estimated in 2011 that the cost of climate change would be high and could rise from around $5 billion per year in 2020 to somewhere between $21 billion and $43 billion by 2050, depending on the scenario. Pricing carbon has an economic impact, but clearly, so does doing nothing.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, to see how successful having a price on pollution is, one only needs to look at a province like British Columbia where there already is a form of pricing on carbon and the economy is doing exceptionally well. Now is the time for us to ensure that throughout Canada there is a standard policy that has that price on pollution. Among the benefits of greening the economy by getting more innovation brought in at all different levels will be the creation of good middle-class jobs.
     I wonder if my colleague across the way could provide his thoughts on the potential significant job growth in a green economy and that as other countries are moving toward that, Canada should be too.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his question. I really appreciate the fact that he recognized how well the economy is doing in an NDP-led province. That kind of thing is always good to hear.
    I fully agree with what he said about potential. In 2014, the World Bank calculated the impact of low-carbon economy policies in several parts of the world and concluded that such policies could be worth between $1.8 trillion and $2.6 trillion worldwide per year in 2030 because of new jobs, agricultural productivity, and lower public health costs.
    Transitioning to a low-carbon economy is a good thing, and I think this initiative is a good step forward. I wish the Liberals were more consistent, but we can talk about that some other time. The NDP sees this as a step in the right direction.
    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to share my time with my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, who always gives passionate, well-informed speeches that are based on facts and science. When we debate a subject, he always takes to time to do the research to enlighten us.
    What is rather unfortunate about the motion before us today is that the Conservatives are focusing on one aspect of access to information and transparency, whereas there is another aspect, which is putting a price on carbon, which is very beneficial. It benefits not just the economy and the environment, but human health and the health of the planet. We keep saying that climate change and the environment is the number one issue for our generation and for all human beings on the planet. It seems that we are not doing enough in that regard. Still, the government boasts about taking action and putting Canada back on the map with the Paris Agreement.
    However, there is a stack of international and national reports that point to the Liberals' inaction. In a 2017 report, for example, the OECD states, among other things, that there was no plan for public transit and the electrification of transportation and that we do not have a general environmental assessment process. “In 2012, following revision of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the number of projects subject to environmental assessment (EA) at the federal level decreased significantly.” The Liberals promised to review environmental assessments, which still has not been done. The report also mentions a lack of innovation.
     Despite a generally strong innovation culture, Canada files far fewer environmental patents per capita than leading OECD countries. Its share of the global clean technology market has fallen since 2005. A relatively large share (8%) of public investment in research and development (R&D) targets the energy sector. Within this percentage, a large share supports the environmental performance of fossil fuel extraction and processing.
    The Liberals continue to give funding and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $1.6 billion a year. This makes no sense at all, if the goal is to reduce our ecological footprint and leave a healthy planet for our children and future generations. This is not the direction the government should be taking.
    The government had set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020. Since we will not be able to achieve that, the government extended the target deadline to 2030. Even with that change, the OECD report predicts that we will not meet those objectives. In addition to the OECD report, the environment commissioner's reports also reiterate that we will not meet those targets. On top of that, the Liberals have not developed a government-wide plan. Of the 19 federal departments studied, 14 have no plan for adapting to climate change, and this includes Environment Canada. I find that a little ironic. The government also has no strategy for developing ways to assess the improvements that will be made in each department. It does not have a comprehensive plan for federal departments to work together. Instead, they are working in silos. Why is there no overarching vision? This is 2018, and we keep saying that climate change is of the utmost importance. It makes no sense.
    The people of Salaberry—Suroît are worried about these kinds of things. We had a town hall meeting in January on the importance of making the green shift. In my region, Soulanges already has three pipelines running through its territory. People are very worried.

  (1130)  

    In a recent media release, people from Montreal and other areas called on the government to require oil companies to have an emergency plan in order to protect our drinking water intakes. Not one of the 27 drinking water intakes along the Ottawa River all the way to the greater Montreal area is equipped with an oil content monitor. It would take at least an hour and a half for the company to arrive on location. In the meantime, a tremendous amount of oil would end up in our drinking water and it would take less than 12 hours for it to reach peoples' taps in Montreal. Clearly, some measures have been entirely overlooked.
    As far as climate change is concerned, we have talked about the cost of inaction. The national round table on the environment and the economy, which was put in place by the Conservatives at the time, issued a report in 2011 stating that the impact of doing nothing could cost the country up to $5 billion a year by 2020 and between $21 billion and $43 billion by 2050 depending on the scenario. That number could even reach $91 billion if absolutely nothing is done. This is a disaster. Last year, rising waters caused flooding in several regions, including mine, Vaudreuil-Soulanges, and the Upper St. Lawrence. That flooding cost and continues to cost thousands of dollars to countless families who are unable to sell or renovate their homes. It is tough.
    Furthermore, communities all around the world could face hurricanes and flooding. Climate change could wipe entire islands off the face of the earth. This is an extremely serious issue, and unless something is done, humans and animals will pay the price. Fortunately, citizen initiatives are helping us understand that the economy and the environment go hand in hand. This is something the government keeps saying over and over, but without following through. For example, in Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Comité 21, an organization founded by Lorraine Simard, brings together businesses, municipalities, community groups, and the media to promote sustainable development practices. For instance, it is working on the circular economy, where certain companies use waste materials generated by other companies. This transforms waste into a useful material for others at a lower cost, reducing waste at the source.
    There are also other initiatives, such as the “zero waste” movement, which is popular among young people. A local woman named Cindy Trottier created a “zero waste” logo for companies across Quebec that reuse containers in order to avoid plastic containers and other items that end up in the trash. We have only to think of laundry detergent bottles and food packaging. For example, mesh bags get reused. These are citizen initiatives that are helping us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
    In 2014, for the first time in Parliament's history, the NDP hosted a forum on clean energy and industry that drew 150 environmental and economic experts, along with industry representatives and public policy-makers. What the forum found was that Canada had no public policy that would ensure fair competition among industries.

  (1135)  

    Many businesses have already followed suit and are finding innovative ways of lowering their greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time growing and creating jobs. However, Canada does not encourage them. Céline Bak, from the Canadian Clean Technology Coalition, said that 20% of workers in the renewable energy sector were under the age of 30. Job growth in this sector is at 6%, and growth is skyrocketing in the global marketplace. In 2014, 800,000 companies offered clean solutions, and Canadian SMEs were investing in research and development.
    Measures are already being taken, but the government is simply not doing enough. It lacks transparency in the information it makes available. The Conservatives should expand their scope to include all of these aspects. Putting a price on carbon is good for public health, for the environment, and for the economy.

  (1140)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I applaud the member for her speech, and I would agree with her that the biggest challenge facing our future is climate change and its effects, not only on our population today but on our population moving forward.
    Our government is moving forward on a price on carbon and investing in universities, investing in transportation, and investing in a national housing strategy, all with components of climate resiliency in them, yet the member states that we are not doing enough.
    To do more, we have to have a strong economy and a strong environment. I look at the Kinder Morgan pipeline and how that will bring in approximately $15 billion a year in added revenue. We can use that to continue to invest and do more. In a sense, to do more, we have to have a strong economy and examples like that. We need to have development to ensure that we can actually have reductions in climate change and more government involvement.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I find it rather shameful that the Liberals are talking out of both sides of their mouths. They are saying how important it is to ensure that the economy goes hand in hand with the environment, and yet all of the reports published over the past year on Canada's efforts to combat climate change say the same thing, that the government is not making enough of an effort and that the departments lack the strategic approach to assess the progress that is being made and the measures that have been put in place to combat or adapt to climate change. Fourteen departments still do not have a climate change action plan.
    The Kinder Morgan pipeline, which the government has approved, will triple the number of barrels of oil produced. Indigenous peoples were not all consulted, and they are threatening to sue the government because of that and because its decision is in breach of the treaties and agreements concerning reconciliation between peoples, for instance.
    We cannot reduce our carbon footprint if we continue to depend on fossil fuels. Because of the Liberals, the government is still handing out $1.6 billion a year in fossil fuel subsidies. That does not make any sense. They cannot head in that direction and still claim that we are going to meet our targets for greenhouse gas emissions—
    Order. The hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche.
    Madam Speaker, I have a question for my colleague. First of all, I can assure her that I am every bit as anxious as she is to have our environmental footprints reduced to a minimum, if not to zero, which would be ideal in my country.
    I would like to hear her comments or thoughts on what we heard last week from auto industry giants like GM and Ford, not to get too specific. They said they were going to stop building the most fuel-efficient cars and only make SUV-type vehicles. What does my colleague think about consumer demand regarding fuel consumption?

  (1145)  

    Madam Speaker, it is the government that should provide incentives to trigger a green shift in the transportation system. Does the federal government have a charging station system? No. Does it have a system for encouraging electric public transit? No.
    With regard to energy efficiency in construction, building standards are one of the main factors contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, because it is impossible to keep it all inside. I am not the one saying this, it is Normand Mousseau and the scientists who have been studying this issue for years. They are advising the government, but the government has no plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from home heating and public transit. It lacks the necessary staff. This is a major problem that is part of a global solution that has not yet been proposed by the government.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.
    As the member of Parliament for the riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, located in the heart of the beautiful upper Ottawa Valley, it gives me great pleasure to rise in this place to support the motion from my colleague, also from the Ottawa Valley, the hon. member for Carleton.
    There is an old parliamentary saying in Canada that a government is only as good as the opposition. The member for Carleton is doing an outstanding job on behalf of all Canadians. The sad legacy of the member for Toronto Centre of deficit budgets on the backs of our children and their children, and now massive carbon taxes on the backs of their parents and grandparents, is a legacy he should be ashamed of.
     It is a method. Carbon pricing will not lower pollution emissions. Carbon taxes will increase government revenues. A tax is a tax is a tax.
    There are many things we can do to improve the environment. A made-in-Canada environmental policy, by Canadians and for Canadians, would be an honest start for the government.
     Carbon taxes are wrong for the Canadian experience. We live in a cold country, which by its very nature is energy intensive. Carbon taxes are not revenue neutral. No money will be returned to taxpayers. Carbon taxes are not going to save the planet. Adopting carbon taxes in Canada raises global carbon emissions by offshoring economic activity from relatively environmentally friendly places like Canada to places with lax environmental laws, like China.
    Data from the World Bank reveals that China and other developing countries produce far more carbon per dollar of economic output, at purchasing power parity, than do western nations, and China shows no signs of decreasing its emissions anytime soon. China is currently building hundreds of new coal-fired plants, which will ensure its CO2 emissions continue to rise for decades to come. Taken together, these facts mean that every factory pushed out of Canada because of a carbon tax will actually increase global emissions dramatically, and this will continue to be the case for decades to come.
    Study after study confirms this fact. For example:
     Developed countries can claim to have reduced their collective emissions by almost 2% between 1990 and 2008. But once the carbon cost of imports have been added to each country and exports subtracted - the true change has been an increase of 7%. If Russia and Ukraine - which cut their CO2 emissions rapidly in the 1990s due to economic collapse - are excluded, the rise is 12%.
    In 2003, it was calculated that the world would need to add about a nuclear power plant's worth of clean energy capacity every day between 2000 and 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change, which is 1,100 megawatts of clean power capacity every 24 hours. At the moment, 15 years on, and in the midst of what we keep hearing described as a green energy revolution, we are adding about 151 megawatts, or barely 10%.
    The development of small modular reactors, SMRs, is a big opportunity for Canada and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, or CNL, located in the Ottawa Valley, and it is a big win for the environment. A small modular reactor is one that produces anywhere from a few hundred watts to a maximum of about 300 megawatts. A conventional reactor produces about 800 megawatts.
    “Modular” refers to the construction style and “reactor” refers to the energy source. Recently, CNL hosted the premiere screening of The New Fire, which was filmed across four continents over the course of 22 months. The New Fire follows a group of young engineers and entrepreneurs who are developing advanced nuclear technology while working to overcome long-standing societal perceptions about nuclear energy and the role it will play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    One of the challenges facing residents living in northern Canada is the high cost of living, which includes the high cost of energy. The high cost of energy in many remote communities reflects the short shipping season and the use of diesel fuel to operate generators. Not only is that expensive, but it is bad for the environment. As a greenhouse-gas-free source of energy, an SMR is an ideal solution to solve both problems.
     Energy policies take a very long time and great effort. It takes just as long to undo mistakes, as Ontario residents are now discovering with the Hydro One wind turbine scandal.

  (1150)  

    By supporting SMR research and development, Canada has he opportunity to get it right the first time. Despite what the Prime Minister and the member for Ottawa Centre tell Canadians, carbon taxes basically amount to useless virtue-signalling. Canadians have come to the conclusion that carbon taxes are nothing more than a green hustle. Carbon taxes are just that: taxes.
    Since the member for Toronto and the member for Ottawa are so evasive when it comes to the massive Liberal carbon tax scheme, I am obliged to share with Canadians some of the things we do know about the massive carbon tax scheme. The carbon sales tax will be hidden from Canadians. It is buried in the price of what Canadians purchase, in an effort to shift the blame for rising prices to things like the weather. The Liberals voted to keep the carbon sales tax hidden rather than allowing the carbon sales tax, or CST, to appear on a separate line on Canadians' energy bills.
    The next thing Canadians should know about the carbon sales tax is that one pays HST on the CST. Since the carbon tax is hidden in the price of everyday purchases and services, we will be paying a tax on a tax on a tax. The GST, the HST, and now the CST all have one thing in common, apart from being a tax: they are all consumption taxes.
    As the member of Parliament for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, I am proud to have listened to my constituents' pleas to cut taxes and I voted to cut the GST. More than any other of the many tax cuts brought in when our Conservative government was expertly managing our economy, the tax cut that benefited the poor was our cutting the GST. It is a fact that when the Liberal Party brings in a tax increase using a consumption tax like the carbon tax, the poor in Canada pay more as a percentage of their income, while the member for Toronto's rich Bay Street buddies pay less in carbon taxes as a percentage of their income.
    The CST, the GST, the HST: a tax is a tax is a tax.
    Our Conservative government of the day was bitterly opposed by the Liberal Party when we cut the GST, and the Liberal Party has been looking for a way to increase consumption taxes in Canada ever since. The wealthiest of Canadians have been steadily increasing their share of the national wealth—think Toronto's single-family housing prices—and now control much more than ever before.
    As people like Mike Crawley, past president of the Liberal Party, became vastly richer on the backs of Ontario electricity consumers using a carbon tax scheme, the wealth of middle-class and lower-class Canadians barely increased in real terms, and the poverty rate remained static. After all, was this not what former Liberal cabinet minister David Dingwall was referring to when he clearly stated on behalf of his party, in a moment of unusual candour for a Liberal, that he was “entitled to his entitlements”?
    This is no accident. The fortunate few prosper by influencing public policy to their advantage. That is why working-class people pay most whenever a new tax, like the carbon tax, is dreamt up by the technocrats in Ottawa. Working folks are told to content themselves with the vague hope that a subsidy or a handout will lessen the sting of the latest tax increase. It never turns out that way.
    The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that he wants to phase out Canada's energy sector. Carbon taxes are the stick to beat the energy industry. The Prime Minister is denying government funding to groups that do not share his personal values, but the Liberal Party is prepared to provide government funding to extremists, who have been misled about the value of the Trans Mountain expansion and the thousands of jobs it will create. How does the government justify this blatant political favouritism? It is by claiming free speech.
    Shutting down the pipeline supports the carbon tax agenda. I really do not know if Liberal MPs understand the irony in that statement. The government has no problem cutting funding to groups that feed the poor, provide summer camp to underprivileged kids, and help refugees integrate into Canada. If they refuse to compromise their values and sign some demeaning loyalty attestation, these citizens are attacked.
    However, the Prime Minister funded a group that even said that the sole purpose of the job was to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which in the mind of the member for Ottawa is the reason she needs carbon taxes, which is to shut down pipelines.

  (1155)  

    Madam Speaker, the previous speech opened with a discussion about China not having a price on carbon, but of course, at the end of 2017, it announced one. It has a cap and trade system that has already been piloted in seven jurisdictions in China, which represent 25% of China's GDP, and it has been shown to work now. The initial price was lower, but as it figures out what it needs to do to meet its targets, I am sure it will see the light and have to raise the price.
    In any event, with the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke having started off her speech with an incorrect statement, I am wondering whether the rest of her speech should be fact checked and whether it changes her view knowing that China has a price on carbon.
    Madam Speaker, I had been talking about free speech toward the end. I am pleased that the member opposite was listening to my speech instead of rolling his eyeballs, as he frequently does.
     However, since we are talking about China, let us get back to the issue of free speech. Only the Prime Minister could stifle free speech for those who disagree with him and justify funding anti-pipeline protesters in the name of free speech. That is precisely what is happening now. The Liberal Party in Canada demonstrates both causes and effects of this persistent trend.
    Carbon taxes will make a select very few rich. The predatory classes, people like the member for Toronto Centre, enrich themselves at a cost to literally everyone else.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech, but she has left me a little confused about a fundamental issue in this debate.
    My colleague seems to have intentionally chosen not to use the term “climate change”. Instead, she used the term “weather” to describe what is happening.
    My question is simple. Does my colleague believe in climate change?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the climate has been changing since the creation of our planet. To use that to justify a new tax is beyond understanding. The unfair carbon tax grab will increase by 500%. Canadians living on the west coast had a taste of how much carbon taxes will take out of their pockets when the price of gas rose to $1.62 per litre. How long will it be before Canadians are paying European prices for gas, $4 a litre or more? This radical, extremist policy of the government must stop. Carbon taxes will not reduce global carbon emissions. They only make matters worse.
    What should we do? It is time to stop and put things in perspective. We should begin with the assertion that carbon dioxide is not a harmful chemical in the traditional sense of the word. It is actually essential for all life on earth, for plants to live. The obsession with carbon emissions is allowing many real polluters to fly under the radar.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to start with an observation. My colleague started by saying that a government is only as good as the opposition. Suddenly I am quite concerned about the quality of our government.
    This past weekend, the Leader of the Opposition made a statement that he could meet the Paris targets, but he did not put forward any plan to do so. He said he could do it without any sort of carbon pricing mechanism. Do the Conservatives not have one? Do they not believe they need one, or is it a secret plan?

  (1200)  

    Madam Speaker, I can understand why the Liberals want to deflect the question and start asking us questions, because there is no reason for them to be hiding the carbon tax other than that they do not want Canadians to know what is really going on.
    However, why not take real action against pollution, like stopping the dumping of untreated sewage into the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa River? These are real environmental problems that are not getting attention, because carbon dioxide is so ardently being demonized.
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to debate a motion from our caucus dealing specifically with the carbon tax cover-up. The government has introduced a national carbon tax, which it is trying to impose on Canadians, even in cases where the provinces object. It is trying to impose that national carbon tax, and it knows how much it will cost Canadians, but it will not tell us. Its approach to so-called transparency today is to release documents with all the relevant information blacked out, so we needed a motion today from the opposition demanding that the government actually tell Canadians how much this policy will cost. Canadians have a right to know how much they will be on the hook for with the misguided carbon-tax policy of the government.
    I am going to focus most of my remarks today on deconstructing some of the very bad arguments we hear from the government. For example, yesterday in question period, the parliamentary secretary defended the carbon tax by telling us that he has two children. Well, I have three children. The fact that one needs to reference the number of children one has as the basis, somehow, for caring about the future suggests a certain inadequacy in the parliamentary secretary's argument. There are many people who have children who recognize that the carbon tax is a bad policy. That is perhaps the most obvious example of the government's farcical approach to trying to defend its policy.
    Every time we ask the government about the carbon tax policy, it tells us that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. That is sort of like asking for the answer to the ultimate question of life and being told “42”. We have asked what this means. What is the justification for the policy? The environment and the economy, after all, are not physical beings. They do not actually have hands, and therefore, they cannot be, in a strictly physical sense, at least, hand in hand. As such, one must infer that the government is trying to be metaphoric in its justification of this policy when it speaks of the environment and the economy going hand in hand. However, for a metaphor to have meaning, it must have a meaning. Possibly the Liberals mean, when they say this, that one can simultaneously seek economic and environmental improvement. This is uncontroversially true. One can seek to improve the environment and the economy at the same time. Also, by the way, a policy can be simultaneously bad for the economy and bad for the environment. In that sense, we do see the government's policy putting the environment and the economy hand in hand, and walking in the wrong direction. Saying that improvement in one area is not mutually exclusive of improvements in another does not actually offer anything substantive in defence of the Liberals' chosen instrument.
    References to children and bad metaphors aside, let us ask what the government's basis is for imposing this carbon tax on Canadians. The Liberals tell us, and I think we have already heard it today, that the carbon tax is the only way for us to meet our Paris targets. This is, of course, objectively false. Many countries that are part of the Paris accord intend to meet their targets without a carbon tax, and indeed, Canada reduced emissions before, under a Conservative government, under a Harper Conservative government, without a carbon tax.
    The Liberals today are eager to reference Stephen Harper as much as possible. Two can play at that game. Over the period of the Harper government, emissions went down overall. Thanks to Stephen Harper's leadership, emissions went down, or went up by less, in every single province during those 10 years. Thanks to Harper's policies, the environment improved more than our global partners', while the economy was growing faster than our global partners'. Those are the facts, for the record, and members can check them. If people are still playing this drinking game at home, Harper, Harper, Harper.
    Leaving that aside, the Paris accord involves nationally determined targets anyway. One further point to make about a carbon tax is that a carbon tax is a policy instrument specifically designed as incompatible with the realization of predictable targets. That is its nature, and a really elementary point about so-called carbon pricing systems, which members across the way know, or should know. The goal of any system of so-called carbon pricing is to commodify carbon emissions as a thing that must be paid for instead of as a thing that can be done for free.

  (1205)  

    In the real world, the price of carbon emissions is not just a product of that tax. The price of emitting a tonne of carbon is the tax, plus input costs, minus the economic benefit. If the cost exceeds zero or exceeds the alternatives, it will not be worth the emissions, but if the cost is below, then it will be worth the emissions. As such, raising the price through a tax increase increases the likelihood that the emissions will not be economically worthwhile. However, the specific quantity of emissions is not predictable on the basis of that instrument, because the specific price of those emissions will still be determined, ultimately, by market forces, by considerations of the inputs as well as the value of the output. Therefore, the introduction of a carbon tax, by its very nature, provides absolutely no certainty that we would meet the government's Paris targets, or any targets, because that is just not the nature of the instrument. It is to impose an additional cost burden on the emissions, but it is not tied, and cannot be tied, to the specific realization of targets, except in a speculative, predictive sort of way.
    There are other instruments that are, perhaps potentially, more predictive. For example, a cap and trade system fixes the quantity of emissions that are allowable without imposing a direct tax, although, of course, it leads to increased costs. It is another way of imposing those additional costs on the consumer. However, with a cap and trade system, the nature of the instrument fixes the quantity. Imposing an additional tax through a carbon tax shifts the economic calculations businesses make, but it provides no certainty on the impact on emissions. The government's argument that this is designed, by its nature, to allow us to realize the Paris targets is just wrong on its face in terms of the structure of the policy instrument.
    The other point to make is that carbon taxes are generally imposed on relatively inelastic goods, such as home heating fuel. One cannot exactly turn the heating fuel off to avoid the carbon tax if it is -30°C outside. That is what economists would call an inelastic good, and generally speaking, our consumption of it is relatively inflexible. Members are pointing out through helpful heckles that, of course, there are things we can do to impact our energy use over the long term. Those things, frankly, are economically advantageous, regardless of whether there is a carbon tax. The real goal of the government should be to give people the capacity, perhaps through tax cuts, to make those kinds of investments in installations. There is no argument that by increasing taxes, people will do something that would have been economically advantageous for them anyway to reduce their heating costs, which is why, vis-à-vis the carbon tax, we are talking about consumption that is relatively inelastic.
    Any time a tax is imposed on a relatively inelastic good, there is a high level of cost and economic hardship, yet we are likely to see a relatively lower actual reduction in the use of the thing that has a tax imposed on it. That is another reason this is a bad argument for a bad policy.
    Another argument we hear from the government is that we have to something; the opposition wants to do nothing, and the government wants to do something. The government saying that it should do something and talking about the cost of doing nothing avoids the argument about which policy instrument one should actually use.
     I think all of us in the House believe that action must be taken. Conservatives champion a different set of policy prescriptions that do not involve imposing massive new taxes on Canadians. However, if we are going to talk about the cost of doing nothing, perhaps we should also talk about the cost of doing the wrong thing. In the name of achieving one objective by choosing a policy instrument that is totally inadequate and totally ineffective and that raises revenue for the government but does not aim effectively at the end one is trying to achieve, one is not any further ahead. Doing the wrong thing in the name of doing something to solve a real problem does not get us any further toward solving the actual problem.
    Winston Churchill once said that it is not enough to say that we have done our best: we must know what to do and then do our best. The point we need to debate in the House, which the government continuously avoids, is not whether we need a response to the challenge of climate change but whether this particular policy instrument is the right one. Not only are the Liberals imposing taxes on Canadians, and are not willing to tell us how much that tax will cost Canadians, but they have no credible, rational justification for what they are doing. They are simply eager to impose taxes, new taxes, more taxes, all kinds of taxes, on Canadians every step of the way, even though they have no sense of how this will align with the objectives they have set out.

  (1210)  

    The government should stop its new tax grab on Canadians. If nothing else, the Liberals should at least tell us how much it will cost. They should end the carbon tax cover-up. They should share the information so that Canadians can debate what is going on. Therefore, this motion needs to pass.
    Mr. Speaker, I am almost speechless that the member opposite has missed the past decade in the province of British Columbia, where our experience with a carbon tax provided the lowest personal tax rate in the country, and the economy grew. It was either first or second in the country. Awareness of climate change grew. Fossil fuel consumption fell. The clean-tech sector grew.
    I would like to know if the member has a clue about what climate change is costing Canadians, and how he could argue with British Columbia's outstanding record in that regard.
    Mr. Speaker, in terms of the parliamentary secretary's question, let us be clear that over the last 10 years, despite having the highest carbon tax in Canada, emissions have continued to rise in British Columbia. British Columbians pay among the highest costs for gas anywhere in North America. There are real, substantial costs associated with this measure. The member is shaking her head. These are objective facts and numbers. The facts are there. Emissions have gone up, while the goal of what the Liberals are talking about is for emissions to go down.
     I think we see in that question a rerun of some of the bad arguments that I have already responded to, this idea that we have to do something; ergo, we must elect this particular policy instrument, even though there is nothing in the policy instrument that is specifically designed to give us clarity around what targets would be realized.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I find my colleague's comments to be completely mind-boggling.
    My colleague said that there is a cost to inaction, but it also costs money to do things right. When the Conservatives were in office, they did practically nothing for the environment or to fight climate change. There are even some Conservative MPs who refuse to admit that global warming is real and that we must take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Thousands of scientists who are part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, are saying that we need to reduce our carbon footprint in order to reduce our ecological impact. They support carbon pricing.
    As Gérald Fillion, a Radio-Canada journalist who specializes in economic affairs, said, and I quote:
    In principle, carbon pricing should generate extra revenue for the government, create changes in consumer behaviour, and encourage smart investments to promote sustainable development. Carbon pricing is a long-term commitment, and its short-term repercussions should not stop us from thinking about future generations.
    We must therefore look beyond today or tomorrow and instead focus on the future, so that we are able to leave future generations a planet that is healthy from an economic, environmental, and public health perspective. We need to make investments, but these will result in economic spinoffs. Some companies have understood that and are already developing green innovations. They are able to create jobs and make a profit.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, on the action that was taken by the previous government, let me be very clear that emissions went down under Stephen Harper. It was the first government under which emissions went down. Emissions went down or went up by less in every single province. That cannot be attributed to the actions of just one province. Emissions either went down or went up by less in every province across the country during the Harper period as compared to the previous Liberal period. That is very clear in the record.
    We do not hear a desire at all from other members to discuss the policy instrument in question. We agree that a response to climate change is necessary and that one was taken under the previous government. However, they immediately jump from saying that we should take action on climate change to saying that we should impose new taxes on Canadians. The record and history show that it was Conservative governments that actually reduced emissions. They had a sector-by-sector regulatory approach that was effective, and was continually in the process of being expanded to ensure that we had binding sector-by-sector targets. That allows us to actually realize our targets, unlike a carbon tax, which has no relationship to specific targets.
    The member from the NDP said something quite revealing, which I think we should highlight. She quoted an economist who said that this would free up revenues for government. Yes, I agree that a carbon tax would give government more money to spend on things it wants to spend on. There is a philosophical difference there in what is desirable. We believe that by giving money back to people, giving them more autonomy and control over their own lives, they will very often make good and environmentally responsible decisions. Therefore, we should look for policies that leverage that to its greatest possible extent. However, if the goal is to free up more revenue for government, then a carbon tax is what she would want. Our goal is to give more money back to Canadians and actually take action on the environment.

  (1215)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I will share my time with the hon. member for Louis-Hébert.

[English]

    Hopefully, the information that I am going to lay out in my remarks will address many of the issues and questions which the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan raised. There might be some that I will not get to, but maybe in questions and comments I will have a chance.
    Canadians know that pollution is not free. We see the cost in droughts, floods, and extreme weather, but also in the effects on our health. Canadians expect action on climate change because it is the right thing to do for our kids, our grandkids, and as global citizens. Taking strong action to address climate change is critical and urgent. We are keeping our promise to Canadians. We are putting in place better rules to protect our environment and build a stronger economy.
     Pricing pollution is widely held as an efficient way to reduce emissions at the lowest cost to businesses and consumers and to support innovation and clean growth. Carbon pricing sends an important signal to markets and provides incentives to reduce energy use through conservation and efficiency measures. That is why carbon pricing is being adopted by countries around the world and is a central pillar of our national plan on clean growth and climate change.
    Over 80% of Canadians already live in a jurisdiction that has a price on carbon pollution: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. Last year, those four provinces led the country in economic growth.
    In October 2016, the Prime Minister announced a pan-Canadian carbon pricing standard that gives the provinces the flexibility to implement the type of system that makes sense for their circumstances. We have been clear and unequivocal that we will return all direct revenue from the federal carbon price to the jurisdiction from whence it came. That revenue can be used in different ways including, for example, to provide assistance to households and businesses, and to invest in programs and technology that reduce emissions.
    New analysis from Environment and Climate Change Canada confirms that a price on pollution across Canada would significantly reduce carbon pollution while maintaining a strong and growing economy. The study found that carbon pricing could reduce carbon pollution by up to 90 million tonnes across Canada by 2022. That is the same as taking 26 million cars off the road a year or shutting down more than 20 coal plants.
    Carbon pricing will make a substantial contribution to Canada's 2030 target, but it is not the only thing we are doing to cut emissions. Canada's climate plan includes many other measures that work together with carbon pricing to reduce emissions. Pricing carbon pollution is one of the key actions being taken to put Canada on a course to meet its 2030 targets in combination with a complementary clean growth measure under Canada's clean growth climate action plan.
    In addition to pricing carbon, the federal government is making other significant investments to help Canadian businesses and workers participate in the $1 trillion in opportunities offered by the world's transition to a clean growth economy. In June 2017, we launched a low-carbon economic leadership fund to leverage investments in provinces and territories in projects that will support clean growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, industries, forestry, and agriculture. We launched a low-carbon economy challenge in March that will provide more than $500 million for projects that will generate clean growth and reduce carbon pollution. Provinces, territories, businesses, municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, and indigenous communities can apply. I cannot wait to see the types of brilliant ideas that Canadians will bring forward, including those from the Happy City St. John's project which received over 1,000 recommendations in the first 10 days of its #SmartCityYYT initiative.
    The Government of Canada is also investing billions in green infrastructure and public transit and, through the Canada Infrastructure Bank, in green bonds from Export Development Canada which are using innovative financing mechanisms to support climate investments and help new technologies become mainstream. Business owners already know that pricing carbon makes sense. According to a report from the carbon disclosure project, the number of companies with internal plans to price their own carbon pollution shot up between 2014 and 2017 from 150 to almost 1,400. The list includes more than 100 of the world's largest companies with total annual revenues of $7 trillion. It just makes sense.
    Canada's five major banks, along with many companies in the consumer goods, energy, and resource development sectors, also support putting a price on pollution as members of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, which includes 32 national and subnational governments, 150 businesses, and 67 strategic partners globally working to support and accelerate carbon pricing around the world.

  (1220)  

    A recent study ranked Canada first in the G20 and fourth in the world as a clean technology innovator, up from seventh place in 2014. Last year, 11 of Canada's clean-tech companies ranked in the top 100 worldwide.
    Companies such as Winnipeg's Farmers Edge are developing cutting-edge technologies that help farmers waste less energy and increase their profits. St. John's start-up, Mysa, makes a sleek, smart thermostat that links up smart phones to help Canadians save money and make their homes more comfortable. Power HV, a new company incubated at the Genesis Centre, supported by ACOA and Memorial University in my hometown, has created a more efficient, smart bushing that could save 20 tonnes of carbon equivalency per year, if used in electrical transmission. Other innovators are working nationwide to seize this opportunity to protect our environment, create new businesses, create new middle-class jobs, and help our industries compete globally.
    According to the World Bank, jurisdictions representing about half the global economy are putting a price on carbon. That does not include China's national system, announced late last year, and which I mentioned earlier in the debate. Our approach is going to ensure that Canadians are well placed to benefit from the opportunities created by the global transition that is currently under way.
     Carbon pricing is the most effective way to reduce emissions. It creates incentives for businesses and households to innovate and pollute less. Carbon pricing brings down emissions while driving investment in energy efficiency and in cleaner, less polluting energy sources up.
    Our approach is that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. That is what we are doing every day to help protect our kids, our grandkids, and to help Canadians prosper. The party opposite does not share that vision. That party spent a decade ragging the puck on climate action, and notwithstanding what the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan said, taking credit for a recession or for Ontario's coal reduction is not really emblematic of what that party did on climate change. Canadians deserve better. Our government is using the best tools in our tool box, and that includes a carbon price. Canadians deserve a serious, smart and thoughtful plan to protect the economy and protect the environment, and that is exactly what we are doing.
    If I have a couple more moments, I would like to reflect on some of the other issues that were raised.
    The previous speaker mentioned not being precisely sure about exactly what the results of a price on carbon are going to be. It is an iterative approach. People understand, and I am sure the member opposite agrees, that the supply and demand law of economics is a law. It is not deviated from and it has an effect.
    When we set out the initial price on carbon, it had a tracking toward 2022. We are unsure exactly what the price on carbon would be for future years, but by examining what happens in the marketplace, by measuring the effects on business, on consumers, on changes in attitudes, and on seeing the additional economic growth that comes from investing in new technologies that reduce our emissions, we can see exactly what the appropriate price trajectory should be to ensure that we make our 2030 commitments.
    Just because we do not know ab initio exactly what the right path will be, it is through investing and taking the time to measure the outcomes in an evidenced-based way that we can see precisely how, where, and when the prices should go to get our reductions down to our 2030 targets. I believe the members opposite understand that, but I do appreciate the comments they raise. They are interesting and they are thought provoking. It points to the fact that we need to do more.
    We need to be open and transparent with Canadians throughout the process of carbon pricing, throughout the process of measuring the outcomes of businesses, the conduct of consumers, and seeing which provinces perform better based on the nuanced approach that they take in their own individual circumstance to price carbon. We are likely to see that some provinces fare better and others worse, and that best practices can form. We can see whether or not industries need a bit more support to remain internationally competitive and maybe consumers need to do more or vice versa.
     However, this is what an iterative approach means. This is what an evidence-based approach means. I believe the members opposite understand that.

  (1225)  

    Mr. Speaker, we find ourselves in a bizarre situation in which the government claims to have priced out the appropriate cost of the carbon tax and knows how much revenue it will generate, but it does not want to show us what the impact would be on Canadians.
    The finance committee is taken up with the budget implementation bill. It is an omnibus budget bill in which 200 pages deal with how the carbon tax would work. We were told it would be very simple, but 200 pages of legislation is anything but simple. An inordinate number of exemptions and exceptions are contained within it.
    All we are asking for in the House today is to simply get all of the information. The member for Carleton has produced a redacted document from the Government of Canada. We heard this morning at committee from officials of the Department of Finance, who said they have done modelling on the impact on Canadians and Canadian families. This information exists.
    I thought this was all about evidence-based policy-making. It is an unfair conversation when the government has all of the information but will not share it with members of the opposition so we can make a judgment call on whether this is the right way to proceed and whether the details of the bill are correct.
    Why does the member support a government that refuses to reveal the full amount of information that the Department of Finance has?
    Mr. Speaker, earlier in my comments I mentioned that it is really up to the provinces and their home jurisdictions to determine what they are going to do with the revenue they generate from their price on carbon. When the federal government implements the plan, it is going to return the money to the provinces. The provinces may very well determine that they are going to pay that money back to their constituents. They may determine that they are going to use that money for other initiatives, or they may determine that they are going to invest it in other clean energy jobs that grow the economy.
    From the perspective of the federal framework at this stage, it is impossible to know precisely what the net end-to-end economic cost or benefit is going to be. We do not know precisely what the provinces are going to do with that money, and we need to take the benefits into account.
    As I mentioned at the end of my remarks, over time, through an iterative approach, we will get an opportunity to see how this is playing out. We will see the quantum of reduction in emissions we get per dollar of tax, or per dollar of price on carbon, and then how consumers are behaving. Best practices will develop from that.
     Logically, I would expect that provinces that determine to pay back that money will see a double benefit. Not only will people be paying the tax if they use too much carbon and create too much pollution; they will, on the back end, actually receive money back and realize a better net benefit. There is a double whammy there. They will get a double benefit if the money is returned to their pockets through some other type of tax reduction initiative.
    Mr. Speaker, I wish I shared the enthusiasm of the member for St. John's East that the current government has a climate plan. It does not have a plan. However, nothing makes me more sympathetic to the Liberals' attempts to deal with climate change, which is a current crisis, than hearing the Conservatives take strips off them for the few things they are doing.
    I heard the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan claim that emissions went down under the Harper years. That is true, but I do not think former prime minister Stephen Harper wants to take credit for the global economic collapse, which was the only reason emissions went down at all. They began to go right back up as soon as the economy recovered. There was no sector-by-sector regulatory approach. It was a series of press releases.
    The current Liberal government cannot claim credit for targets that meet the Paris Agreement when we have not updated our target in light of the science. The Paris Agreement was negotiated six months after Stephen Harper set the current target to 2030, which is unchanged under this government.
    Will my colleague join me in encouraging the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Prime Minister to update Canada's carbon target so that it is consistent with the Paris Agreement we signed?

  (1230)  

    Mr. Speaker, the first thing I would note is that in addition to the recession, initiatives were also taken by individual provinces, such as Ontario with the reduction of coal.
    With respect to the issue at hand regarding setting the targets in order to meet our goals, most Canadians would agree that we need to commit to what we agreed to in the Paris climate agreement, and that the current initiative we are proposing on pricing carbon does not, as designed, go the entire way. It needs to be buttressed with other available efforts we are making to reduce emissions through innovation, greening of government, and the other laundry list of initiatives that I mentioned during my comments.
    If the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands feels that is not enough and we need to do more, the science over time, between now and 2030, will bear that out.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to discuss this important element of Bill C-74 today. Our government has made it very clear that it believes the economy and the environment go hand in hand. Bill C-74 is proof of that.
    We now have abundant and consistent evidence that our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting pollution by fairly taxing carbon is helping grow our economy and Canada's middle class. Our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions will also reduce pollution in the air we breathe.
    Protecting the environment is everyone's responsibility, and our government is stepping up. With Bill C-74, the government will reduce emissions by enacting the greenhouse gas pollution pricing act. Pricing carbon pollution is the most effective way to reduce emissions. Pricing gives Canadian businesses and households an incentive to innovate more and make day-to-day choices that pollute less. Our government made that promise when it came to power over two years ago. We need to invest in growth while respecting the environment we share and helping to protect it.

[English]

    The government's plan is to grow the economy in a way that strengthens the middle class and helps all Canadians succeed. What have we achieved in this regard?
    From the time we took office, over 600,000 jobs have been created, most of them full-time. The youth unemployment rate is near its lowest on record. Since 2016, Canada has led the G7 in economic growth, and the federal debt-to-GDP ratio, which is our debt relative to our economy, is not only on a downward track but is projected to be near its lowest level in nearly 40 years.
    We have energized the economy by investing in our communities and in our people. Small businesses are a key driver of our economy, accounting for more than 70% of all private sector jobs. That is why our government is supporting and investing in small businesses and helping hard-working business owners grow their businesses. Growth means more jobs, healthier families, and more vibrant communities.

[Translation]

    We lowered the small business tax rate to 10% as of January 1, 2018, because we understand how much small businesses contribute to Canada's economy. As of January 1, 2019, the rate will be lowered to 9%. Canadian business owners and innovators will now save up to $7,500 a year in federal corporate taxes to help them do what they do best: create jobs.
    By 2019, the combined federal, provincial, and territorial corporate tax rate for small businesses will be 12.2%. This is the lowest rate in the G7 and the third-lowest rate among OECD countries. Canadians deserve to be confident that their hard work will result in better opportunities, that they will have equal opportunities to grow professionally, and that they will be successful. We want Canadian business owners and Canadians as a whole to be confident in these things, and a lower small business tax rate will only support this goal.
    I am talking about economic measures because I believe that it is possible to work on the economy and the environment at the same time, as the government has shown. I remind members of the Canada workers benefit, which is an improved version of the working income tax benefit. With this benefit, low-income workers will have more money in their pockets and people will get more support to find work. For example, a low-income worker who earns $15,000 could receive up to $500 more in 2019 than the amount he or she would have received in 2018 with the old benefit. Our government also wants to encourage more people to join the workforce. The workers benefit provides real support for more than 2 million Canadians who are working hard to join the middle class. The improved benefits in 2019 will bring about 70,000 Canadians out of poverty.
    The investments we have made in Canadians, in our communities, in our economy, and in our environment are making Canada stronger and creating meaningful opportunities for all Canadians, and that is our objective. That should be our focus every day here in Ottawa. We have created prime economic conditions to help our businesses grow, do well in Canada, and be competitive in foreign markets.

  (1235)  

[English]

    We have done this by providing support through such organizations as the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, the Business Development Bank of Canada, Export Development Canada, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
     The Business Development Bank of Canada serves 49,000 Canadian entrepreneurs and has committed $29 billion to small and medium-sized businesses. We are redoubling our efforts on the international front to make it clear to our international partners that Canada is the best place in the world to invest.
    Why? It is because we have a workforce that is diverse, highly skilled, innovative, well educated, and hard-working. We have a wealth of natural resources. We have a modern, efficient infrastructure, because we have invested in that infrastructure and will continue to do so. We have a sound financial system, recognized across the world as a beacon of stability and efficiency because it is built on a foundation of sound regulation. Finally, of course, in budget 2018 it has been quite clear from the get-go that we in Canada believe in gender equality. We believe it strengthens the economy. When we say all working Canadians deserve the opportunity to earn a good living, we include Canada's talented, hard-working women.
    All of us fortunate enough to live in this wonderful country could easily add to that list, but the essential message I want to convey is that Canada's fiscal house is in order, and that means we are resilient to shocks and uncertainty.

[Translation]

    We want Canadians to feel confident about the future and to be better prepared for what the future holds. Yes, the government is doing that in part by making investments and taking action to protect Canada's water, air, and natural areas for our children, our grandchildren, and future generations while also creating a clean world-class economy, as I just mentioned.
    Everyone knows that climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, although to judge from some of the speeches from the opposition side today, it sounds like some people still need to be convinced.
    In Canada and abroad, the impacts of climate change can be seen in coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, and increases in heat waves, droughts, and flooding. Our shared quality of life and our present and future prosperity are deeply connected to the environment in which we live.
    I would like to underline that our approach to putting a price on carbon pollution has been collaborative from the start. The government worked with its provincial, territorial, and indigenous partners to adopt the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change in December 2016. The framework provides provinces and territories with the flexibility to choose between two systems: an explicit price-based system or a cap-and-trade system. Carbon pollution pricing is in place in four provinces, namely Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta, covering more than 80% of Canada's population. These provinces are also leading Canada in job creation and growth. All other provinces have committed to adopting some form of carbon pollution pricing. Under Bill C-74, the direct revenue from the carbon charges on pollution under the federal system would go back to the province or territory of origin.
    In closing, I would like to reiterate that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand and benefit all Canadians now and for future generations.

  (1240)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his detailed and well-informed speech. I can assure him that the NDP is going to applaud the federal government's initiative to finally put a price on carbon. Ontario and Quebec have had carbon pricing for a long time. British Columbia implemented it 10 years ago, and its economy has been doing very well, thank you.
    However, the Liberal government is often inconsistent, saying one thing and then doing the opposite. If it is serious about fighting climate change and really wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, I would like the member to explain why his government continues to subsidize oil companies with $1.6 billion of Canadian taxpayers' money.
    Mr. Speaker, I believe that we, on this side of the House, are keenly aware that we must implement a set of measures if we are to significantly slow the progress of climate change and ensure that Canada is a more responsible player with regard to the environment than it has been in the past 10 years.
    The previous Conservative government had a hard time even admitting that climate change exists. To judge from the opposition speeches I heard today, that still seems to be the case for some opposition members, even though we have seen the impact of climate change over the past 10, 15, and 20 years. I noticed, for example, that insurance claims in Canada in the past decade increased from $400 million to $1 billion.
    Our estimates indicate that pricing carbon pollution will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 million to 90 million tonnes by 2022. That is the equivalent of about 23 million to 26 million cars. That is one part of the plan. The other part is about investing in green infrastructure, supporting green innovation and companies with emissions reduction plans, and supporting public transit, among other things. We have seen it in Montreal, where he is from, and in Quebec City, where I am from. It is my hope that, with help from the federal government, Quebec City will build a streetcar that lives up to the people's expectations.
    Thanks to the federal government's desire and drive to invest, to take its environmental responsibility seriously, and to take action on climate change, we are seeing positive outcomes like this that will ultimately help us meet Canada's environmental targets.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we are here today debating this important issue of a carbon tax, and the question is what it will cost the average Canadian family. The confusion is why the government is hiding that information.
    I am going to ask the hon. member one question right from the front line about gasoline. I am from the greater Vancouver area, and gasoline is approaching two dollars a litre. We have heard that the Liberals will have that gas tax go up even higher if necessary, to two or three dollars a litre, or whatever it takes to make sure Canadians stop driving their cars. How high will they make that tax? How high do the gas prices have to go before they are happy?
    Mr. Speaker, there is a bit of incomprehension on the other side in terms of what the goal is when we put a price on carbon pollution. The goal is that is that it permeates through society so people and businesses make greener and more innovative choices.
    In terms of what it would cost, it was clear in committee from the officials from Environment Canada that it really depends on what the provinces choose to do. He mentioned British Columbia. In British Columbia, there has been a price on carbon for the last decade, and we have seen an economic performance that is absolutely staggering. The GDP grew by 17% from 2007 to 2015, and gasoline demand dropped by 15% over the same period. That is something he should applaud. British Columbia has been a leader in that field and has shown the way in many respects for the rest of the country.
    The comments I heard from the other side even less than an hour ago about whether climate change is real are beyond me. No wonder they do not understand the rationale behind putting a price on carbon pollution or how good it will be for Canadians of today and for future generations, who will be able to have a clean environment in which to evolve.

  (1245)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to share my time with the hard-working member for Langley—Aldergrove today.
    When I was asked yesterday to speak to the latest Liberal cover-up, I said, “Sure, but which one?” Was it the cover-up on the outlook and program expenses in the budget? In the budget, in spite all the added funding that the Liberals are throwing out there for DND and indigenous infrastructure and the added money for the student summer jobs so that they could finance anti-oil protesters, real spending over the five years, as outlined in the budget, has actually dropped.
    We asked the finance department, but it had no answer; it was covering up. PBO asked the government how it was going to accomplish that; Liberals refused to answer. I thought maybe the cover-up they wanted me to speak on was the Liberal Phoenix fiasco cover-up, when the Liberals refused to release the fact that IBM, which they blamed consistently over the last couple of years for their mess-up, had told them explicitly not to start the Phoenix program because it was not ready.
    I wondered if the cover-up could be about the UBS rogue trader cover-up. The government has told an investigator it will take 800 years to get all the information released under the Access to Information Act. Perhaps this is Panama papers 2.0 they are trying to cover up.
    Could it be the infrastructure cover-up, the billions and billions of infrastructure money that the PBO cannot seem to find? The Liberals had announced $14 billion in 2016, but the PBO could only find about seven billion dollars in the last budget. We asked, but the government refuses to answer. Perhaps it cannot answer.
    Could it be the combat ship cost cover-up they wanted me to talk about? The Parliamentary Budget Officer, when trying to cost out the ships—which he figures to be about $60 billion, although some experts are now saying $100 billion—had to go to the United States to get costing on the Arleigh Burke class of destroyer in the U.S. and bring that information back to Canada to extrapolate costs for ours because the government refused to release the information on the costing. In fact, the government has refused to release the details of the request for proposal to the Parliamentary Budget Officer. We do not know how much even the main contractor is going to be paid on a cost plus basis. Will it be cost plus 10%, cost plus 18%? We do not know, because the government is covering up.
    One thing we do know is that the main contractor will be allowed to sole-source to itself on the shipbuilding. It could take a $100-million contract, sole-source it one of its subsidiaries, add the unknown markup to it, and ding the taxpayers.
    We asked the government how it is going to police this issue. It says it does not have an answer. I am not sure if the government does not have an answer or if it just will not give an answer.
    What about the defence spending cover-up? The Liberals have talked about a 315% increase in defence spending over the years. We have not seen that kind of increase in spending since the Korean War. Defence experts say it is impossible, given the government's current procurement processing capacity, so we know they will not be able to get to that. Perhaps they can protect us from North Korean missiles with more announcements and speeches.
    It turns out that my staff wanted me to talk about the carbon tax cover-up. I wish they had mentioned it from the beginning, because it could have saved a few minutes. I have asked my team to be more specific in the future.
    We have asked the government time and again for information on its carbon tax initiative, and every time we do, we are hit with lukewarm talking points that give us nothing substantial beyond the holding lines. We know the government has done the costing, because we had the report. What we do not have is all the hidden information behind the report.
    If the Liberals are so proud of their record on this issue, why do they not release the redacted information? A failure to disclose information tells me that they are hiding something. If they are not hiding anything, they should just simply disclose the information they have. They say they want a higher standard of debate in this place, but they give us nothing to work with, nothing to debate, because they are too afraid of the consequences of their actions.
    The carbon taxes are of massive public interest. They affect everyone. We have a responsibility as elected officials to debate and discuss the effects of the federal legislation, and this plan will have large ramifications across the board. It raises the price of home heating, electricity, groceries, and gas, but the Liberals refuse to tell Canadians how much this tax hike will cost and what it will achieve. We know it is going to add about 11¢ per litre to the price of gas, something I am sure that people in B.C. would love to hear right now, but that is not all.
    About 51% of Canadians heat their homes with natural gas, and experts claim that the carbon tax will add about $260 per year. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation figures it is going to cost every family about $2,500 per year. Trevor Tombe, at the University of Calgary, estimates a bit lower, but it is still about $1,100.

  (1250)  

    I know people on that side of the House probably think it is not that much money, but $1,100 to $2,500 per family is a lot of money. Average family income before tax is $80,000 a year, so it is a 3% tax grab on pre-tax dollars just for the carbon tax. It could be rent payments, sports for the kids, university tuition. These are all things that Canadian families can kiss goodbye thanks to this costly plan, but the government refuses to come clean on it.
    The environment minister told us that a price on carbon could have to go as high as $100 per tonne in 2020 and $300 per tonne in 2050 to meet the government's 2030 targets, but that is not just individual costs; the carbon tax will have a huge impact on Alberta's oil and gas sector as well. Last week, I had a round table with various groups from the energy sector, including academia, labour groups, business groups, and provincial partners, and it was clear that the biggest barrier to growth and economic prosperity in Alberta is investment fleeing from our energy sector and from the carbon tax. The carbon tax makes everything we produce more uncompetitive. It punishes places of worship and the not-for-profits. The Edmonton Food Bank, for example, is getting hit with thousands of dollars of added costs, and a not-for-profit cannot just pass these costs on to customers.
    We met with the local cement industry. It is losing out on government contracts because it cannot compete with Chinese bidders because of the added price of a carbon tax. Let us just think about it. Taxpayers' money is going to a foreign competitor that has a horrible environmental record because we have handicapped our cleaner and local industries.
    This is what Dr. Andrew Leach talks about when he refers to the carbon leakage. In the end, we are not reducing overall carbon emissions worldwide; we're just moving it to other jurisdictions, mostly with worse environmental standards. The energy sector needs job-creating policy and proposals, not more regulation and higher taxes to operate. Nothing drives away business investment quite like a commitment against business investment, such as we have seen with the government giving taxpayers' money to fund anti-oil protesters.
    We have repeatedly asked how much the Liberal carbon tax will cost families, but the Prime Minister and the Minister of Environment have flat out refused to answer. If the government will not tell us the cost of its carbon tax, how can it expect Canadians to trust it at all? It is time to table the fully unredacted report. It is time to tell the House, and Canadians as well, what the carbon tax is going to cost Canadians.
    The Parliamentary Budget Officer expects a full $10-billion hit to the economy because of the carbon tax. We have seen the GST on the carbon tax. It is a tax on the tax. It is costing Albertans, people in Ontario, and British Columbians a third of a billion dollars. My colleague from Langley—Aldergrove put through a private member's bill to stop this tax on a tax, but the Liberal government simply says it is not a tax but a levy, and it will continue to charge what it calls a revenue-neutral tax, which we know is a sham.
    Again, I ask the government to table the full unredacted report. It is time to come clean. It is time to end the Liberal carbon tax cover-up.
    Mr. Speaker, it is hard to know where to even start with the remarks made by the member for Edmonton West. He is a member of a party that has done nothing but try to block action on climate change for two decades. No matter what was proposed by a Liberal government, or even Liberals in opposition, members of his party had reasons that it would not work. There is no right way to proceed, according to the Conservative Party.
    What I want to point out is that putting a price on carbon pollution, taking action on climate change, is a huge piece of a smart economic policy, because of all of the opportunities around the clean energy economy.
    The Cement Association of Canada basically congratulated the Province of Ontario for its climate plan, saying it is important that it is a leader in the transition to the low-carbon economy. The cement association is calling on government to do more.
    I would like to ask the member for Edmonton West this question: how can Canada actually participate in the global clean energy investments of $333 billion last year if we are a climate laggard and do absolutely nothing to reduce our emissions here in Canada?

  (1255)  

    Mr. Speaker, the debate we are having today is about the Liberal carbon tax cover-up. We know how much the cost is going to be to Canadian families. Finance has it. The Liberals submitted the report and said they have it but they would block everything. That is what this debate is about: why they will not release how much it is going to cost Canadian families. If they are so confident that this is the cat's pyjamas of fixing climate change, why would they not simply release the information? That is what we are asking the government to do: end the cover-up and release the information.
    Mr. Speaker, I will do something I do not often do, which is to quote the former treasury secretary of the United States, Mr. Robert Rubin, from The Washington Post:
    The real question should be: What is the cost of inaction? In my view—and in the view of a growing group of business people, economists, and other financial and market experts—the cost of inaction over the long term is far greater than the cost of action.
    I ask my colleague why he would oppose business people, bankers, and economists. There is a huge consensus out there that the cost of inaction is way greater and that we have to at least do something.
    Mr. Speaker, again, the question in this debate is what it is going to cost Canadian families. We on this side of the House, in the Conservative Party, are concerned for Canadian taxpayers. We are concerned because they should be able to pay for groceries, taxes, and rent, and not have to put one aside so they can pay the carbon tax. The question is how much the carbon tax is going to cost Canadian families. The government knows what it is, and we would like that answer.
    Mr. Speaker, I will follow up on the last question from my hon. colleague from Vancouver Quadra. The carbon tax approach to reducing greenhouse gases is accepted by experts globally, including The Economist and the International Monetary Fund. It is very establishment-accepted by economists that it is a precursor to basically correct a market failure by making it cost something to dump pollution in our shared atmosphere. At the same time, we need to take steps to eliminate subsidies.
    However, these are just foundational steps. They are insufficient to actually address the threat we are facing with the climate crisis.
    Has my hon. colleague studied the estimates that the Canadian economy could be experiencing losses of billions or tens of billions of dollars a year by failing to take action?
    Mr. Speaker, the member talks about costs to the economy. We know what the cost to the economy of the carbon tax will be. The PBO says it is going to be a $10-billion cost to the economy and to Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, it is a real honour to speak on this important issue. I want to thank the member for Edmonton West for his incredible passion for the environment. I appreciate his good work in representing his community well.
    The question before us today is how much the carbon tax will cost the average Canadian. That is an important question. When people go shopping and see something they like, the first thing that comes to mind is whether they need it. Although it may look nice, they would ask themselves if they need it and how much it costs. We were looking to downsize, because as we age we do not need as big a house as we do not have the kids. Therefore, we wanted to downsize to a much more energy-efficient home. We found something that had a master bedroom on the main floor. I liked it. It looked good, and it would work for us. It would make livability greater and easier as it was much smaller. However, how much does it cost? That is the first thing Canadians ask. That is the normal process. Whether it is clothing or food, we would look at something and ask ourselves whether we need it and how much it costs.
    When we go to a restaurant, the first thing we look at is the menu. Can members imagine if none of the items on the menu had prices? What does that tell us? It tells us that we might want to leave because we have no idea what it is going to cost. That is not fair. If there are no prices on the menu, that is a great hint that it is going to cost a lot of money. Whatever the example, Canadians deserve to know what it will cost and whether it will work.
    We have heard great speeches. The Liberals have practised their talking points, for years, actually. I am looking back to the previous report from the environment commissioner, where she said that there was a great gap between what the Liberals say and what they actually do, and that good intentions are not enough. She also said, “When it comes to protecting the environment, bold announcements are made and then often forgotten as soon as the confetti hits the ground.... The federal government seems to have trouble crossing the finish line.” Nothing has changed. There are great announcements, great platitudes, and great talking points.
    I can speak first-hand with respect to this. Canadians from the riding of Langley—Aldergrove, which I am honoured to represent, love protecting the environment. They want clean streams and clean air, not only for themselves but for their children and grandchildren. It is a community in the suburbs of Vancouver that puts a high importance on clean environment. Every year since I became a member of Parliament we nominate people who are recognized as environmental heroes in three different categories: business, youth, and individual. Every year we recognize them, and a brass plaque is put at the bottom of a tree at the national historic sites, such as the fort in Fort Langley. The environment is very important. However, these people have to drive because public transit is very limited. In Canada, public transit does not meet all our needs, so Canadians have to drive their vehicles.
    The plan with respect to the carbon tax is to tax people to the level where they will stop driving their cars. If we make it so onerous, they will have to change those habits of using carbon, such as using gasoline in their cars or heating their homes. The Liberals want the temperature in homes to be lowered to the point that we start putting on sweaters. This is what we are talking about. If the price of carbon goes high enough, it will affect people's behaviour.
    What is the price of gasoline in Vancouver right now? It is $1.629 a litre, and that is for regular. That is the highest in North America. Now, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment said that people in Langley should be applauding this. He said that just 10 minutes ago.

  (1300)  

    In the former Parliament, I was the parliamentary secretary for the minister of the environment, and we did a good job. I was in Copenhagen preparing for one of the COP meetings, and we set the targets as a government. We said that to reduce carbon emissions globally, everybody has to participate and not just Canada.
     We set a good example. We set targets, and those same targets are the targets that the current government has adopted. The Liberals are using the former Conservative government targets. The targets are good and they are achievable, but how are the Liberals going to do it? They are going to do it by raising taxes for all Canadians to the point where they start to groan—not applaud, but groan. It is absolutely wrong.
    Therefore, Canadians want to know what it is going to cost, and whether it will work. That is the other question. Will raising the carbon tax on everything have the desired effect? Will it reduce global emissions and greenhouse gas emissions coming out of Canada?
    We have heard a lot of promises from the Liberal government. One of the promises about this new carbon tax is that the provinces will have to put it in, as is mandated, and if they do not, it will be forced on them. Also, it will be federally revenue-neutral. Is that true? Well, we looked, and sure enough, in last year's budget there was a massive increase in GST benefits. Where is that coming from? It is GST on the carbon tax. It is a tax on a tax. Canadians were not applauding. They were groaning and saying that it is not fair to charge tax on a tax. The GST is a tax on goods and services. Is the carbon tax a good? No, it is not. Is it a service? No. Is it an onerous burden? Yes. Is that what we are supposed to be charging tax on? No.
    The Prime Minister said that it would be revenue-neutral. Of course, Conservatives want to make sure that the government is keeping its promises, so we helped it. I was honoured to introduce Bill C-342, which is a very simple bill. The bill said that it is not fair to charge tax on a tax. Of course, Canadians expected every member of this Parliament to support a common sense bill. It is a bill that would have helped the Liberal government keep its promises. Did it keep its promises? No. It was a sad day.
    Therefore, we turn to the experts, if the government is not going to tell us how much this tax is going to cost: “just trust us”; “we know what we're doing”; “budgets do balance themselves”; “we'll just keep taxing until emissions come down”. However, emissions will come down if people cannot drive their cars. Emissions will come down if factories close, if jobs are lost, and if investment dollars leave Canada and go to another country where they are more competitive. Tomatoes will not be grown in greenhouses in Canada, because it will be cheaper to import them from Mexico. Pipelines will be stopped, so we will not have a way to move our natural resources. The government is funding protesters.
    The trajectory we are on may reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but after the dust settles, it will be a disaster created by the Liberals. Lost jobs and people out of work are not what Canadians want.
    The Liberals talk about social licence, but the only way the government will have social licence to proceed with this is if it is honest and open.

  (1305)  

    Mr. Speaker, I listened to yet another Conservative speech. The Conservatives talk about their environmental achievement of reducing greenhouse gas emissions during their term in office. However, there were two things that did that. One was Ontario getting out of coal and reducing the coal particulate in the air, which was hugely beneficial and has had massive savings for the health care budget in Ontario.
    However, the real thing that caused the greenhouse gas emissions to go lower during the Harper years was the global recession. In fact, Stephen Harper liked recessions so much that he tried to start a second one just as he was leaving office, which, coincidentally, he would have made deeper if the opposition had not gotten together and forced him into a massive investment in infrastructure to try to stimulate the economy, something the Conservatives continually oppose.
    I know the member opposite was a proud member of the Harper government. If recessions are his strategy, he must also admit that the document is a Harper document. It was written, researched, and commissioned before this government took office. It was released through the civil service the day after the election, before this government was sworn in. Therefore, it is the Conservatives' document. Did they not read it? Do they not remember what is in it? Why do they not ask one of their cabinet colleagues what is in it? Why have they forgotten even their own work? On the other hand, I might want to forget their work.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for acknowledging that the targets the Liberal government is using are actually aggressive, achievable targets set by the previous Conservative government.
    I am proud of what we did on efficiencies. It was a tough time during the 2008 global recession. Our government was recognized internationally as the strongest economy in the world, and it was because of fiscal management. We made sure that every dollar was spent carefully and invested for the future of Canadians, and also with a clean environment.
    Emissions were reduced because of efficiencies. Appliances are using less energy. Vehicles are using less energy. That started with the 2011 model. We became government in 2006, and we were elected as government again in 2011. During those nine years in government, there was the home improvement, energy improvement tax benefit. Whether it had to do with homes, vehicles, or industries, everything became more efficient.
    We brought down our greenhouse gas emissions without a carbon tax. How much will the carbon tax cost Canadian families?

  (1310)  

    Mr. Speaker, many folks maybe would not appreciate this, seeing the member's policies and my very different set of ideas for the country, but he and I enjoy each other's company.
    We agree with the principle that the Liberals ran on, which was “open by default”, that information should be available and understandable, in terms of government policies. We think that was a laudable promise the Liberals made when they were running for office. The idea of having this information about a government policy be open is a laudable one.
    Earlier today we tried to modify the Conservatives' motion to suggest that the government should also be open on the cost of inaction. We have known for many years, going all the way back to the Nicholas Stern report of 2006, when the member's party formed government, that the costs of inaction on climate change to our economy and to the communities we represent were far in excess of anything anyone was proposing around the world.
     In fact, there is the benefit side that often gets overlooked when carbon is priced, especially if that pricing is able to be diverted into the solutions, making life more affordable for Canadians, whether it is home heating, as the member talked about, transportation for families, or the cost of producing energy generally.
    If it is reasonable to ask the government what the cost of carbon pricing across the country is for individual families, is it not also reasonable to ask the government to come forward with the cost of inaction on those same families? Those costs are real. They affect the natural resource sector, which the member is well familiar with, the fishing sector, and people's daily lives. Things become more expensive because of inaction on the part of successive governments to properly address climate change.
    Mr. Speaker, I was the parliamentary secretary to the environment and the member was the critic holding the government to account. He did a good job. We do disagree on some things, but we do agree on affordability.
    What the government is doing with massive tax increases, and I believe the reason it is not answering the question of what it will cost the average Canadian family is it just wants to wait until Canadians start to groan. Life is becoming unaffordable because of the Liberals' tactics and tax increases.
    It is not right. Canadians are groaning, and they are asking for relief. An increasing carbon tax will only hurt more Canadians and make things more unaffordable. I hope I can get the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley to agree that not answering questions on the carbon tax is why we need to have honesty from the government.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Winnipeg North.
    I rise today to contribute to the case for a price on pollution, to give households and businesses a powerful incentive to save money by making greener choices, to provide clear direction and incentives for the further development of Canada's clean-tech sector, to strengthen our ever-improving international reputation, and as a key aspect of our clean growth and climate plan.
    Pricing carbon pollution works. This is a key result of the new analysis that our government published earlier this week. The study found that by 2022, a nationwide price on carbon pollution that meets the federal standard would eliminate 80 million to 90 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This is a major contribution to meeting Canada's climate target under the Paris Agreement. It is the equivalent of taking between 23 million and 26 million cars off the road for a year. To put it in context, our government's decision to phase out coal-fired electricity, a very important step to protect the health of Canadians as well as to address climate change, is estimated to cut carbon pollution by 16 million tonnes in 2030. Our analysis finds that pricing carbon pollution will deliver five times the reductions of phasing out coal.
    Our carbon pricing study also found that growth would remain strong with a nationwide price on carbon pollution. Canada's GDP is expected to grow by about 2% a year between now and 2022 without carbon pricing.
     Pricing pollution is a win for the environment and for the economy. It is the approach that economists overwhelmingly recommend. It is the policy that over 30 governments and 150 businesses have come together to support through the international Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, a group that includes Canada's five major banks alongside Canadian companies in the consumer goods, energy, and resource development sectors, and yet members of the party opposite said that they plan to reach our Paris Agreement targets without putting a price on carbon. This makes absolutely no sense, and it most certainly does not reflect a sound risk management approach or a vision for Canada's innovation economy.
    Acting on climate change is a shared responsibility. Our government has developed Canada's clean growth and climate action plan in partnership with provinces, territories, and indigenous peoples. Provinces have been leaders in pricing pollution when the federal government under former prime minister Harper was afraid to act. I am particularly proud, of course, of British Columbia's leadership in this regard, and I recall a decade of absolutely no support whatsoever, in fact, regression, on the part of the federal government at that time.
    Our pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon intends to ensure a level playing field on carbon pricing across the country. The approach will expand the application of carbon already in place in Canada's four largest provinces to the rest of Canada. Right now, four out of five Canadians live in jurisdictions that are already pricing carbon. Those four provinces, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia, are also the provinces that led the country in economic growth last year.
    Under Canada's clean growth and climate action plan, revenues from pricing pollution will always be returned to the province or territory they come from. If a province or territory adopts its own carbon pricing system that meets the federal standard, that jurisdiction will decide how to use the revenues. In B.C. today, for instance, carbon pricing revenues fund tax cuts for small businesses and households. In Alberta, the revenues support rebates to families, action to phase out coal, and investment in energy efficiency. In Ontario, revenues from carbon pricing support clean energy, like solar panels. In Quebec, carbon pricing funds climate action, like investments in public transit. Carbon pricing is recognized as a cost-effective way to reduce emissions and stimulate clean growth.
    The costs of inaction on climate change are significant. I recall when I was mayor of West Vancouver sitting in a seminar with Lloyd's of London representatives well over a decade ago, where the underwriters and insurance industry leaders globally expressed their growing concern regarding the cost of extreme and unpredictable storm events, patterns of human settlement, and which housing developments would be even worth underwriting. That was ages ago.
    Some estimates suggest that climate change will cost Canada's economy $5 billion a year by 2020. We know from examples from around the world that putting a price on carbon pollution helps to drive innovation and create good, middle-class jobs. According to the World Bank, jurisdictions representing about half the global economy are putting a price on carbon, not even including China's national system, which was recently announced.

  (1315)  

    While it has been interesting to listen to the opposition as it looks in its rear-view mirror, pricing carbon pollution is the new normal. It spurs clean innovation, helping Canada to compete and prosper in the $23-trillion economic opportunity that clean growth represents around the world. Governments can and should design their carbon pricing systems to avoid putting extra financial pressure on low-income and middle-class households. For example, provinces can choose to provide money-back rebates, cut taxes, or fund discounts on energy saving programs and technology. That has certainly been borne out in British Columbia.
    Governments in Canada are already making those choices. In Alberta, approximately 60% of households receive full or partial rebates to offset the cost of the carbon levy. Families that earn less than $95,000 a year receive a full rebate to offset the costs associated with the carbon levy.
    Our government knows that pricing carbon pollution strengthens the economy and promotes a cleaner environment. This is the work that we are doing each and every day for our children and grandchildren to help Canadians prosper. The party opposite does not share that vision. Under Stephen Harper, the party opposite spent a decade failing to act to cut carbon pollution. Canadians deserve better. Canadians deserve a serious, smart, and thoughtful plan to protect the environment and grow the economy.
    Putting a price on carbon pollution is an important aspect of our plan to transition and to grow a low-carbon economy.

  (1320)  

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I think it was, the member for Nunavut asked a very pointed question about the extraordinary negative effect of the carbon tax on Nunavut and Arctic communities. I happen to represent a very large rural riding the size of Nova Scotia, where there is no public transit, communities are dispersed, and people are dispersed. My constituency is actually one of the lowest-income constituencies in the country. The effect of the carbon tax, and with the GST tacked on top of the tax, will be abnormally large for northern and rural communities.
    I noticed in my colleague's speech that she did not mention those communities once. They are considered an afterthought by the government. Why is the government being so callous toward rural and northern communities, and also to people on low incomes who often, especially as we can see in Ontario with its ridiculous energy policies, have a choice every day to heat or eat?
    Mr. Speaker, of all the parts of Canada that are most likely to be most severely affected by climate change, it is the north. Of course, that is front and centre in our thinking, and we are taking multiple actions along with putting a price on carbon pollution. We are accelerating the phase-out of traditional coal power. We are making historic investments in cleaner infrastructures, including what works best for the north. We are putting a price on carbon pollution to grow the economy in cleaner ways. Of course, quality of life in the north and for Inuit peoples matters.
    I am also interested in the member's view of how the opposition is representing the CEOs, for instance, of Imperial Oil, Irving Oil, or Shell, all of whom are advocating for a price on carbon pollution. They are the very ones who are going to be spawning innovation in the energy sector.
    Mr. Speaker, I actually had some hope because I have noticed a number of Conservative commentators, and some Conservative politicians, over the last number of years conceding to the idea and admitting that climate change is real, and that to put a price on carbon pollution is a realistic, and maybe even a good initiative.
    I think this version of the Conservative Party may be regressing back to the norm, which happens, yet over the weekend it suggested that it can meet the Paris climate target with a plan that has not yet been articulated but it will be, one day. Meanwhile, the Liberal government is completely off its Paris commitments. I will be more than curious, as Canadians will be as well.
    The member's government did promise to be open by default with information about government policies. This is a pretty big government policy. A pan-Canadian carbon price is a big deal. The Liberals certainly make a big deal out of it and it is an important thing that they have decided to enact. Talking about what the carbon price will mean is a way for Canadians to digest it, because when talking in megatonnes and parts per million, it is a difficult thing for people to grasp.
    I wonder if the government would move in a direction to counter the argument that it is all negative when pricing carbon, and talk about what the cost of inaction is to the Canadian economy. What is the cost of making things worse to the Canadian economy, to coastal communities like the member's and mine? If we do not act on this, and if we continue to build pipelines, for example, what is the cost to the B.C. economy when it comes to tourism and the fisheries? If we do not act on climate change, what is the cost to our families and the families we represent?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that pollution is not free. We see the costs in droughts, floods, extreme weather events, and the impacts on our health. From 1983 to 2004, insurance claims in Canada from severe weather events totalled almost $400 million a year. In the past decade, that amount has tripled to more than $1 billion a year. Climate change is expected to cost Canada's economy $5 billion a year by 2020 and as much as $43 billion a year by 2050.
    We are clearly in this together. We are clearly all feeling the effects of climate change. I am looking forward to seeing clear support for a price on carbon pollution.

  (1325)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today and address the important issue of a price on pollution.
    In listening to many of the Conservatives who stood in their place to contribute to the discussion, one would quickly conclude that they continue to disregard what Canadians are thinking on this important issue.
    The idea that technology can make our planet a better place to work and that the government has a role in investing in greener technology or in providing incentives, working with stakeholders, particularly provincial governments, to have a positive impact on both the economy and the environment is something that seems to somewhat escape the Conservatives.
    I want to highlight one industry in particular, that being farming, and what a lot of us could learn from our farmers. Thanks to our hard-working farmers, today Canada's agriculture and food system is a powerful driver of our economy. It generates $111.9 billion of our GDP, over $64 billion of our exports, and one in eight jobs. Our farmers have done all that while leading the way in responsible environmental stewardship.
    The sector has a solid track record in innovation and the adoption of new technologies that have reduced GHG emissions. From drones to GPS systems, farmers are using precision farming to make sure that they are making the most efficient use of chemicals and fertilizers. Innovation in land management, feeding, breeding, and genetics are helping our farmers feed the world while lessening the sector's environmental footprint.
    Increased adoption by Canadian producers of conservation tillage and reduced summer fallow have increased the amount of carbon stored in soil. Leaving plant material on the ground reduces soil erosion, retains moisture, builds organic matter, and captures carbon in the soil. No-till was pioneered by scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Today almost 50 million acres of Canadian farmland is no-till.
    Last year, in parts of the Prairies, there was less rain than during the famous dust bowl of the 1930s, yet farmers in the area did not have a complete crop failure. Overall, the grain harvest in western Canada was the third highest on record, and that is thanks to technologies like soil conservation and world-class plant genetics.
    The sector has also reduced livestock emissions through improved feeding, breeding, and dedicated research. Thanks to these advancements over the past three decades, greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of beef have declined by 15%. As a result, Canadian beef has among the lowest carbon footprint in the world. A glass of milk today has one-third the carbon footprint it did in the 1950s. It is all about using technology to work smarter, and it makes sense for both the environment and the farmer's bottom line.
    Look at what this government has been able to accomplish in the last two and a half years, whether it is in negotiations with international leaders or here on the national scene.
    Shortly after the last federal election, the Prime Minister went to Paris, where an agreement was achieved. Working with indigenous people, provinces, and territories, we were able to bring home what took place in Paris, where governments all around the world reached an agreement. We were able to arrive at a consensus here in Canada that putting a price on carbon was the way to go. Not only the federal government here in Canada but governments around the world have recognized the value of this.
    Let us talk about lost opportunities. We can talk about the Conservative approach to the environment and the need to advance a cleaner, healthier environment into the future. That is a lost opportunity.

  (1330)  

    The current leader, who is often confused with a Harper look-alike with a smile, said that he has a plan. The Conservative Party has a plan, but it does not want to share that plan. It says that we should wait until the election comes rolling around, and then it will share that plan. That plan is no plan, the same plan Stephen Harper had. There is no difference. People will find it challenging to find a difference between the current Conservative Party and the Harper government Canadians voted against. They wanted a change.
    Yesterday, when the former prime minister's name came up, opposition members from the Conservative Party were cheering, as if they missed the guy. Most Canadians do not miss Stephen Harper. They recognize that it was important to have that change, yet the Conservative Party still believes that change is not necessary and that it is okay to have no plan when it comes to the environment. All the Conservatives do is criticize and say that a price on pollution is a bad thing and that Canadians do not support it, even though 80% of Canadians are already familiar with paying a price on carbon in one form or another.
    When the Conservatives are confronted with facts, they deny them. It is not like a price on carbon is absolutely new to Canadians. It has been in the province of British Columbia for around 10 years. If we look at what is happening in British Columbia, it is not suffering as a result of having a price on pollution. Its economy is doing exceptionally well. It is either first or second, depending on the years we look at. Some may say that the overall emissions have gone up, but the overall population of British Columbia has gone up, as it has been and continues to be a major attraction for people.
    The point is that it has a price on carbon, and it is not the only jurisdiction that does. Eight of the 10 provinces already have some form of price on pollution in place. It seems to me that the only ones who are adamantly against it are members of the Conservative Party of Canada. That is why I highlight the fact that they continue to be out of touch with what Canadians are thinking. They are still living in the past. They need to wake up and understand that the economy and the environment can go hand in hand in prospering our country, enhancing our middle class, and creating green jobs in the future that have the potential to expand our economy. By having a healthier economy, we will have a healthier middle class. We do not have to fear a greener economy.
    I remember having a tour of a facility in Winnipeg North a number of years ago that was taking some of the ingredients from used shingle tiles from roofs and putting them into asphalt. At one time, we would take the shingles from roofs and pay a landfill $40 or $50 to dump them there. Now they are being recycled. In many ways, companies pay now to receive shingles.
     The technology is there. We have many scientists and engineers in Canada who are eager to take on this whole idea. We finally have a government that has recognized it and has provided resources and support to ensure that we continue to advance.

  (1335)  

    Much like our farming industry, there is good reason for us to be optimistic that a price on pollution, in the long term, will generate jobs and opportunities, and we will have a healthier economy and a healthier environment.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for highlighting farmers. I represent a riding that is urban-rural. Some of the best farmers in Canada are in the riding of Kitchener—Conestoga. I thank him for highlighting the conservation elements our farmers are taking part in, such as no-till farming, which is reducing fuel costs, reducing compaction, and increasing yields. We all know that.
    I contacted a farmer in my riding and asked him what the potential impact would be of 12¢ a litre on diesel fuel. He uses 50,000 litres per year in his tractors. This farmer would be paying $6,000 just for the extra tax on carbon. That is not counting the increased cost of getting feed to his farm or the increased cost of fertilizer. Those things are going to be added to that $6,000.
    Does my colleague actually want to phase out the agriculture industry, the same way the Liberals are trying to phase out the energy sector? What would the carbon tax actually cost the average Canadian family? If he cannot answer what it would cost a farmer, what would it cost the average Canadian family?
    Mr. Speaker, the member is wrong in his overall assessment. What he does not factor in is that the provinces, through the generation of revenues on the price on carbon, will have the opportunity to redistribute the money that is collected. I suspect that the Government of Saskatchewan, much like the Government of Alberta and hopefully my home province of Manitoba, will continue to value the fine work farmers are doing and the many initiatives they are taking on themselves to advance a healthier economy and a healthier environment. They can do that through giving program incentives or direct cash to farmers, if they want. There are all sorts of mechanisms.
    I was a provincial politician for many years, and I can say that there is no shortage of ideas on how we can assist farmers, whether directly or indirectly, and provide incentives for them to continue the fine work they have done to produce some of the very best crops in the world, along with beef, pork, chicken, and just name it. Our farmers are the best and will continue to be so.
    Mr. Speaker, I have seen first-hand the impact of climate change. I was evacuated from my home in Calgary in 2013 during the floods. We have seen reports recently pegging the cost of climate change to Canada in the range of $43 billion by the year 2050. I would ask the hon. member if he thinks that the policies being put forward today are going to help mitigate that cost and also create additional economic opportunities for businesses to put middle-class Canadians to work.
    Mr. Speaker, the member is 100% right. It will assist us in having not only a healthier environment but a healthier economy. Over the next two to four years, we will continue to see more green jobs being developed. Those are valuable jobs.
    This government has been very aggressive. If we think of the budget announcements we have made consistently while working with Canadians, not only are we promoting and encouraging a greener economy but we are generating thousands of jobs. I believe it is well over 600,000 jobs. Former prime minister Stephen Harper never came close to the job numbers we have been able to generate. Even though Stephen Harper could not get a pipeline built to tidewater, we now have one that is in process.
    Managing the economy while protecting our environment is a top priority. It generates the type of economic activity that all Canadians want. It also provides protection of our environment, which, again, all Canadians want. We can have both. It just takes a little more work, and this government is prepared to work.

  (1340)  

    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    It was with great hilarity that I listened to my Manitoba colleague's speech. One thing that I noticed was that not a single number came out of his mouth. It was all straight opinion.
    Numbers are important. If there is no talk about numbers, there is no talk about environmental policy. If there are no numbers, there are no facts. Numbers are, in essence, science. The government professes to support science, but let us notice how it obfuscates, skates around issues, and presents no proof of what it says. It simply does not care about science.
    I would like to quote a sage from 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates of Kos, who said, “There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.” All I heard from the member opposite was nothing but opinions.
    Let us look at the numbers regarding the carbon tax, which is the signature policy of the government in terms of the cost to the economy. One would think that the government would use metrics, but knowing the government's proclivity for obfuscation, there are two possibilities: either the government knows the real number in terms of the cost to the economy but will not tell, or it is blindly charging ahead with no idea of the effect on the environment or the economy.
    Interestingly, my colleague from Manitoba talked about B.C. and all that kind of stuff. I am going to segue into a letter from a citizen from Seattle. He was talking about the activists in B.C. He said, “Thanks to [those activists] who seem to have once again to have blocked an oil pipeline to the coast. Those of us living south of the border will continue to enjoy importing your oil at substantial discounts while exporting our oil from Gulf ports at world market prices. Your gift to us, around $100 million per day Canadian, is greatly appreciated. We marvel at your generosity while doubting your sanity. All of this will have zero impact on the global climate, of course.”
    Again, the effects of what the government is doing in terms of blocking Canada's oil exports and in terms of its climate pricing are truly daunting.
    A few weeks ago, I challenged the environment minister in committee to provide a number in terms of how much reduction there would be in greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the carbon tax. I demanded answers. She was just going around and around. Throughout her answer, I asked, “What is the number? What is the number?” Naturally, she gave us nothing. In fact, the exchange was so hilarious that it was featured on This Hour has 22 Minutes. The whole segment was on how the government provides no answers to any specific questions.
    Let us come up with a few answers for the effect on the economy of a $50-a-tonne carbon tax, which is what the government wants. A $50-a-tonne carbon tax will increase fuel prices by 11.6¢ per litre. Canadians can go to the natural resources website and see that Canada consumes about 105 billion litres per year of domestic fuel, so when we do the math, we see that Canadians will pay about an extra $12 billion per year for domestic fuel. That means the average family, just for that alone, will pay between $1,000 and $2,000 per year extra.
    The Parliamentary Budget Officer has a very interesting article, headed “PBO says carbon tax will knock $10 billion off GDP by 2022”.
    It said:
     The government's carbon pricing plan will cause the GDP to drop, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer's (PBO) latest report, costing Canadians $10 billion they would otherwise have gained by 2022.
    The article went on to say:
     The report warns that the levy will “generate a headwind” for the economy as the price on carbon is boosted from $10 per tonne of CO2 in 2018 to $50 per tonne in 2022.
    It adds, “...in economic terms, headwinds aren't a good thing.”

  (1345)  

    In terms of the effect on rural and northern communities and poor people, the member for Nunavut—and I spent a fair bit of time in Nunavut myself in a previous life—spoke at length. He asked the parliamentary secretary about some kind of price relief for the Nunavummiut. Anyone who has been to any community in Nunavut—indeed, in much of the Northwest Territories as well—will know diesel fuel powers those communities. Also, snowmobiles are very expensive and use a lot of fuel. They are vital for the hunting, trapping, and fishing that people in those regions engage in. The answer the parliamentary secretary gave was basically that they would look at it and think of something.
    My own riding of Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa is the size of Nova Scotia. It is a very dispersed riding, with lots of small and remote communities and lots of wide open spaces. There is no public transportation, so people have to drive, regardless of their income. My constituency is one of the lower-income constituencies in Canada. Not only are our people forced to use their vehicles—keep in mind we love our pickup trucks—but so are farmers. The member opposite went on about agriculture. We agree how terrific our farmers are, as the member for Kitchener—Conestoga pointed out so eloquently. Community farmers are price-takers and not price-makers. They will not be able to recover those carbon tax costs. I go back to the point that rural people have no option but to drive.
    Going back to the cost of carbon tax, there was a report done by Chris Ragan, the chair of Canada's Ecofiscal Commission. He pointed out that Canada currently emits 700 million tonnes of emissions annually. A price of $50 per tonne placed on these emissions comes to $35 billion, and in an interview he said that this is not the most efficient model for growing the economy. He went on to say, “The best way, if you really care about economic growth, is you use the revenue from a carbon price to reduce the most growth retarding tax we have, which is a corporate income tax.”
    Thirty-five billion dollars per year is the upper estimate, so it would be between $10 billion and $30 billion per year.
    Again, a report from the Conference Board of Canada states that carbon pricing alone can't meet Canada's GHG reduction targets.
    The government's record on the environment is absolutely appalling. It is long on rhetoric but woefully short of results. It is appalling hypocrisy. Montreal and Quebec were allowed to discharge millions of litres of sewage. What did we hear from the other side? We heard crickets. Victoria is currently dumping raw sewage. The wetlands fund and the recreational fisheries conservation partnership program were cancelled.
    We ask ourselves what the outcome of the carbon tax will be. It should be a truism in environmental policy that when one does an environmental project, there is an environmental outcome. If a scrubber is put on a smokestack, SO2 is reduced. What is the outcome of the carbon tax?
    When Conservatives do environmental policy, we insist on real and measurable results for environmental programs and policies. For example, when Brian Mulroney was prime minister, he negotiated the acid rain treaty. Those were very tough, tense negotiations with the Americans, but there was a clear and definite result for our environment. Our government would put in place new parks, remediate contaminated sites, restore wetland funds, and on and on, producing real results.
     Given the flaws in the government's carbon tax plan and the cascading of the GST on top of the carbon tax, which will result in significant cost to Canadian families and the economy, I am very pleased to support the motion by my colleague.

  (1350)  

    Mr. Speaker, as the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa and his colleagues know very well, the costs and benefits to families will be determined by the provincial program to apply the price on pollution and to determine how that gets reinvested into their communities. They know very well that there is not such a thing as a simple cost for families, because it depends. It could be a benefit for families, and I hope that in his community his province will structure it so that rural and remote communities benefit, just as was done in British Columbia.
    We know this is a false question and a false choice. We know that the answer is in the hands of the provinces in terms of how they apply this measure. Then one must ask what they are really trying to do. Is this another step in trying to undermine any action to actually have real, measurable results on climate?
    The member asked for numbers. I will give him some numbers: 3,000 new Amazon jobs in Vancouver right now; over 100,000 clean-tech jobs in British Columbia, because of putting a price on carbon; $333 billion in global clean energy investment. Why would the members want to undermine and frustrate the ability of Canadians to take part in the growing clean-tech sector by always trying to block anything that would constitute action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
    Mr. Speaker, under our government, the clean-tech sector thrived. If one looked at environmental indicators by number, almost all of them improved under our watch, because we wanted real results. In 2006, GHG emissions were 740 tonnes and in 2015 it was 722. That was a real result.
    I noticed that the member opposite said it “could be” a benefit, so obviously for many citizens it will simply not be a benefit, especially those who live in rural areas. I have also been provided with anecdotal evidence—and I do not really like anecdotes, but numbers—that the number of people from B.C. buying gas in the United States is growing by leaps and bounds.
     For the member to take credit for Amazon moving to Vancouver because of a carbon tax is absolutely ridiculous.
    Mr. Speaker, I really enjoyed the talk by our colleague, who listed how important it is to know the impacts of the carbon tax. My question is on behalf of seniors. In British Columbia the cost of living is very high, and on top of that, the carbon tax actually increases everything. It will be a hardship for everything.
    Could the hon. member comment on the impact to seniors? Ironically, the government actually took away the credit for taking mass transit. What is the government doing right now?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for commenting about seniors. Being one myself, it is very close to my heart. The Liberal federal government wants to take us to where Ontario is: high energy prices, high costs, devastating impacts on low-income people. We read stories in Ontario of seniors who look at their hydro bill and say to themselves, “Do I heat or do I eat?” That is the stark issue they are facing.
    I represent a fairly low-income constituency. My constituents are tough as nails. They live on low incomes and are self-sufficient and very proud, but they will suffer under the burden of a carbon tax at a time when costs are high everywhere else. When they get in their pickup trucks and drive, it is going to cost even more. The effects on seniors will be more devastating than on anyone else.

[Translation]

    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable. The hon. member will have three and a half minutes now, and another six and a half minutes after question period.
    Mr. Speaker, it is my turn to rise to talk about the motion brought forward by the member for Carleton. It is worth reading the text again, since I have the impression that the government members have not fully grasped its meaning, based on their speeches. The motion reads:
     That, given the Liberal government made a specific campaign promise to Canadians that “government data and information should be open by default, in formats that are modern and easy to use”, the House hereby order that all documents be produced in their original and uncensored form indicating how much the federal carbon tax proposed in Budget 2018 will cost Canadian families in order to put an end to the carbon tax cover-up.
    This is a very simple motion. We are calling on the government to release the documents that will show us, once and for all, how much the carbon tax will cost the average family. I listened closely this morning to the Minister of the Environment's 20-minute speech. Not surprisingly, her speech promoted the carbon tax and her vision to lower greenhouse gases. One could even argue that she was promoting herself, since she she seems to have taken all the credit for this carbon tax from the beginning.
    However, she was asked a simple question about how much the carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family. Not once in her entire speech did the Minister of the Environment refer to this motion or to what the carbon tax will cost Canadian families. That is unacceptable. She even had the nerve to say that, historically, cynics have stalled action on climate change. The cynics, however, are on the other side of the House. This government was elected on false promises of openness and transparency.
    Today, we have a government that refuses to tell Canadians the truth about how much the carbon tax will cost Canadian families. We submitted a simple access to information request to find out what impact carbon pricing will have on household final consumption expenditures by income distribution. The answer we received was a memorandum supposedly providing this information, but the results were hidden under a black square. We were therefore not given a response. The Minister of the Environment has the gall to talk about cynicism. The political cynicism in Canada and the House originates with the government. I will elaborate immediately after question period. No one will want to miss it.

  (1355)  

    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable will have six and a half minutes after question period to finish his speech.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[Translation]

International Workers' Day

    Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Groupe parlementaire québécois, I wish those who are the backbone of Quebec a happy International Workers' Day.
    We have so much work ahead of us at the federal level to preserve the quality of life of our families. Think of all those affected by the Phoenix fiasco. This is serious. The Canadian government cannot even pay its employees properly. It is totally ridiculous. Think of employment insurance to which far too many workers contribute only to be denied benefits when they need it. Think of the new mothers who get absolutely no support if they lose their jobs when they return from parental leave. Think of all those who have just filed their tax returns. All those people make sacrifices while Ottawa allows the rich to hide their money in tax havens.
    We want to assure all these people that we stand behind them and that together we will get more done for Quebec.

[English]

Spring Flooding

    Mr. Speaker, the village of Cache Creek is facing one of the worst floods in 90 years in the northern part of my riding. Over this last week, water levels rose due to a rapidly melting snowpack, and this is only the beginning of the season. As the community prepares for devastating floods for the third time in four years, I am reminded of the resilience of this community. In 2017, the same area faced devastating floods in the spring, followed by a harsh fire season in the summer.
    My thoughts are with the families affected by the flooding in Cache Creek and elsewhere in Canada. As Canadians across the country prepare for flooding this spring, I want to remind everyone to thank the first responders in our communities, who help to keep us safe and prepared against the elements.

  (1400)  

[Translation]

Québec-Val-Bélair Rotary Club

    Mr. Speaker, Sunday, the Québec-Val-Bélair Rotary Club held its Colours and Flavours of the World brunch. It was a resounding success with over 400 guests attending the two sittings.
    The Québec-Val-Bélair Rotary Club was founded in 1996 and does wonderful work to support young people in the community of Val-Bélair. Every Friday, they meet at the Normandin restaurant for breakfast.
    The club has been holding its Colours and Flavours of the World brunch since 2004. This initiative, which was spearheaded by Louis-Marie Lavoie, gives people the opportunity to try food from other cultures. This year, the theme was the Maghreb region, which includes Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The club had the excellent idea of inviting Boufeldja Benabdalla, co-founder of the Centre culturel islamique de Québec. This was a positive expression of unity and solidarity in the wake of the mosque attack.
    Congratulations to club president Marius Gaudreault and to all Val-Bélair Rotarians on another success for young people in Val-Bélair.

Pauline Miron Gaudreau

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to an exemplary person, a person who has always been willing to help others and put people first, a person who has been involved in a wide variety of organizations for over 60 years. I am very pleased to have Pauline Miron Gaudreau in my riding.
    Over the years, she has been involved in helping the less fortunate in every area of western Montérégie, particularly through the Association Marie-Reine, where she contributed at the regional, provincial, and even national level to make life better for people in need.
    Pauline Gaudreau was also there for my mother when she was suffering in the terminal stages of cancer. She was a great comfort to her. Some people just naturally want to help people and have good hearts. They are model Canadians whom we can never thank enough.
    Thank you to Pauline and to all of the volunteers and social workers who give back to their communities every day.

Annual Awards Gala in the Eastern Townships

    Mr. Speaker, the 32nd Reconnaissance Estrie gala was held in Sherbrooke on Friday, April 20. This annual event, which is organized by the Sherbrooke chamber of commerce, honours many local businesses for their outstanding work. These business owners play a vital role in the development of our local economy and in the promotion of our region, as highlighted by the theme of this year's gala, which was “openness to the world”.
    I want to extend my warmest congratulations to the winners: Kezber, in the service business category; Groupe Précigrafik, in the manufacturing category; Conceptromec, in the large business category; Tchaga Kombucha, in the new business category; Boomerang, in the small business category; the Coopérative de l'Université de Sherbrooke, in the retail category; Sercovie, in the non-profit category; and FilSpec, in the openness to the world category.
    I also wish to congratulate Dany Sévigny, a businessman known for his many community initiatives who earned the 2018 Eastern Townships Resident of the Year award.
    Congratulations are also in order for all the finalists, for their fantastic work and success over the past year. Everyone did a great job.

[English]

National Day of Mourning

    Mr. Speaker, every year on April 28 we pay our respects and remember the thousands of workers who have been killed or injured, or have suffered illness as a result of work-related incidents.

[Translation]

    I had the privilege of attending the National Day of Mourning event in my riding of Sudbury. Many individuals have been injured or even killed in workplace accidents, especially in the mining sector.

[English]

    The National Day of Mourning was started in my riding in Sudbury in 1984.

[Translation]

    That is why I urge my colleagues to work not only with each other, but with employers, workers, and our health and safety partners, to prevent worker injuries and deaths before they happen.

[English]

    It is crucial to be proactive on occupational health and safety because, while we mourn the dead on April 28 every year, we must remember to fight for the living.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

    Mr. Speaker, after a particularly long winter season this year, the beautiful spring weather is finally arriving, and I and many others cannot wait to get out on our motorcycles and ride. There are close to one million motorcyclists in Canada from every walk of life. For some it is a family affair, for some it is a hobby, and for many it is an opportunity to get away from everyday life and just enjoy the open road.
     There are those who use it as an opportunity to give back. In the riding of Flamborough—Glanbrook, which I represent, and across the greater city of Hamilton, there are many great charity rides and organizations that do just that. The North Wall Riders Association is just one of those groups. It does great work supporting and advocating for our veterans, those who put their lives on the line to defend our country and our freedom.
    May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and motorcyclists, passengers, motorists, friends, and family members can go to motorcycling.ca and take the motorcycle safety pledge. As the long-awaited warm weather finally arrives and motorcyclists hit the road, I ask all motorists to keep an eye out for motorcycles. I wish all motorcyclists a happy and safe riding season, and to keep the rubber side down.

  (1405)  

Smart Cities Challenge

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my pride in the City of Saint John and its partners for their groundbreaking application now submitted to the federal Smart Cities Challenge.
    As members may know, Saint John was the only CMA in Canada to lose population in the 2016 census. Our smart cities team has developed a plan to use data and smart cities technology to boost immigration to our city. This will be accomplished through an advanced platform designed to be scalable to our sister cities, Moncton and Fredericton.
    Population loss is a pressing and substantial challenge for Saint John—Rothesay. Giving community leaders like those who worked on this application the opportunity to implement innovative and transformational projects like this is one big step in the right direction for Saint John. I hope the jury will consider the national significance of this project when making its deliberations. I am proud to be part of a government that has given our city this tremendous opportunity.

Ojibwe Language Preservation

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize the remarkable student-led initiative in the city of Thunder Bay, which is helping preserve the Ojibwe language, Anishinaabemowin, and increase its accessibility to the new generation of speakers.
    The Preserve Our Language Project was started in 2016 by three indigenous students at Bishop E.Q. Jennings School. Rayne, Gene, and Tarcisius, with the help of principal Mike Filipetti and native language teacher Joan Esquega, designed the first Ojibwe keyboard for Macintosh computers. Two years later, these students continue to innovate by working with Google to create the first Ojibwe keyboard extension for Google and Chrome users.
    This project is an example of the resilience of indigenous youth across Canada and offers an inspiring model for indigenous nations across the world who are working to preserve their languages. To these young, innovative, inspiring students, I say, “meegwetch”.

Kaden Young

    Mr. Speaker, members will know of the tragedy that struck the community of Grand Valley on February 21 of this year, when three-year-old Kaden Young was swept from his mother's arms into the swollen Grand River and taken from us.
    What members may not know is that hundreds of volunteers worked tirelessly over the intervening weeks until, sadly, Kaden's body was found on April 21. Some of the volunteers who helped in the search for Kaden did so for weeks, every day, in the hopes of finding the young boy. Many came from across all of Ontario, some even donating their vacation time.
    Grand Valley and the surrounding community were hit hard by this tragedy, but residents rallied to aid in the search. Such is the strength of their community spirit and determination to help the young family that they put aside their evenings and weekends to help. These volunteers came to the aid of Kaden's mother and father in helping to search for their son, and on behalf of all members of this House, I would like to thank them for their tireless efforts.
    May Kaden rest in peace.

Toronto Vigil

    Mr. Speaker, on Sunday evening, I gathered with tens of thousands of Torontonians to remember the victims of the April 23 van attack. Ten candles burned on stage during our vigil, one for each life cut short and for the families and friends left to mourn.
    Toronto is not the first city to be hit by a tragedy like this, but this felt close to home, too close, just steps away from Don Valley West, claiming lives of people who have contributed to our community. It has shaken the people of my riding to their core.
    Renuka Amarasingha is fondly remembered by students and staff at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute, where she worked. Sohe Chung and Anne Marie D’Amico graduated from Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School just metres from my riding's boundary line.
    The violence on Yonge Street, our main street where we shop, work, eat, and play, has touched all of us. However, Toronto is strong, inclusive, and caring. A legacy of the victims from last Monday will include a city united, and a city moving forward together with respect for all.

  (1410)  

[Translation]

BeauSoleil Oysters

    Mr. Speaker, today I want to talk about the French Kiss. Not the kind of French kiss that first springs to mind on hearing those words, but a highly prized gift of the sea distributed worldwide by Neguac's Maison BeauSoleil: oysters.
    Like the greatest French wineries, Maison BeauSoleil's meticulous farming practices coax forth the most refined and sought-after flavours in its products. The company is proud to offer a high-end product all year round. Maison BeauSoleil employs over 200 people and is leading the way in positioning the oyster farming industry as an economic powerhouse in New Brunswick. Its generously sized oysters are high in amino acids, zinc, and vitamin B12. They are as tender as their flavour is delicate. Irresistible both raw and prepared, BeauSoleil oysters give new meaning to the words “French kiss”.

[English]

Iran

    Mr. Speaker, this week is Iran Accountability Week. On behalf of the Conservative Party, I want to remind Canadians why we need to hold Iran to account.
    In the last year alone, thousands of Iran's own citizens have been detained simply for asking for the basic human and democratic rights that we take for granted here in Canada. One of those people illegally detained was Canadian Professor Seyed-Emami who died in Iran's notorious Evin prison. Fifteen years ago, Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi died after being tortured in that prison. On the security front, Iran is helping or funding terror groups in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, making peace and serious talks in the Middle East almost impossible.
    Unfortunately, the Prime Minister has been virtually silent in support of the democratic protest in Iran. During this week, instead of selling large products to that country and warming relationships, I ask the Prime Minister to ask the Iranian regime for basic human rights for its citizens.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

    Mr. Speaker, today marks the beginning of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
     As a motorcycle rider, Winnipeggers may see me riding my Triumph Bonneville down Portage Avenue or taking part in the upcoming Telus Ride For Dad in support of prostate cancer research.
    Riding a motorcycle is an exciting experience, and I am proud to be part of a strong community of motorcycle enthusiasts in Winnipeg. However, as an emergency room physician, I am all too familiar with the tragic consequences of motorcycle accidents, and in every case, a fatal accident could have been easily prevented.
    Safety is everyone's responsibility. I would say to fellow riders that when they make a plan, they should share their plan. They should ensure that family and friends know where they are going. They should ride with a buddy who can provide assistance in case of a breakdown. They should always ride sober and watch their speed. Motorists are asked to be alert and to check their blind spots for smaller and hard-to-see vehicles.
    By following these simple safety tips, the next life being saved could be theirs or mine.

Neighbourhood House Week

    Mr. Speaker, Neighbourhood House Week 2018 celebrates the multi-faceted contributions of these outstanding organizations to our communities and our country. The rich history of the neighbourhood house movement in metro Vancouver dates from 1894, when the precursor of the Alexandra Neighbourhood House, a children's orphanage, opened on Pine Street.
    Today, we have 14 neighbourhood houses that serve more than 100,000 people every year. These treasures provide a broad array of services that bring every part of our community together. They feed the homeless, teach our youth, and nurture our citizens. From social, cultural, and recreational programs to helping individuals, families, and new Canadians develop and connect, neighbourhood houses are welcoming homes for everyone.
    In Vancouver Kingsway, we are blessed with three outstanding neighbourhood houses: Cedar Cottage, Collingwood, and Little Mountain, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary tomorrow with a community feast. On behalf of the Parliament of Canada, we thank them and all neighbourhood houses for their contributions to our nation.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, during the last election, the Prime Minister promised to raise the bar on openness and transparency. Since then, his trail has become littered with broken promises and obfuscation.
    More recently, right here in this House, we have been asking how much the Liberal carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family. We have received no answers. All we get is quotes from millionaires and billionaires, while working families cannot even afford to drive their cars with gas now being at $1.61 per litre in my home province of B.C.
    Not surprisingly, B.C.'s carbon tax has not reduced greenhouse gas emissions. It is not even revenue neutral anymore.
     The Liberals cannot name one province where a carbon tax has reduced emissions. The truth is we cannot tax our way to a cleaner environment. The carbon tax is nothing but a blatant tax grab from an incompetent Liberal government.
    What Canada needs now is Conservative leadership.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

Asian Heritage Month

    Mr. Speaker, my riding, Scarborough—Agincourt, is one of the most diverse in Canada.

[English]

    There are people who have come from across the world, but in particular from Asia, people from the Tamil community, the Philippines, India, Korea, Pakistan, Vietnam, many different parts of China, and more. This diversity is a source of strength. As a Canadian of Asian descent, I am proud to see how many of these communities have made an impact on Canadian society over the course of our country's history.
    Every May during Asian Heritage Month, we celebrate their ongoing contributions to our communities. I encourage all Canadians to take the time to explore the many cultural festivals that will be happening this month, and to try different cuisines. If people are looking to embark on some culinary exploration, they should come to Scarborough—Agincourt. Believe me, we have everything.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister was asked a simple question, whether Canadians can expect to pay higher fuel prices with the carbon tax. His response was a bit jarring. He said, yes, and that is what Canadians expect because that is leadership.
    What the Prime Minister views as leadership is literally terrifying to widows and single moms across this country. At the very least, they deserve to know one thing: how much will the carbon tax cost them?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are yet again demonstrating not just their tenuous relationship with the truth, but also with the understanding that we have to take good, clean action on carbon. After 10 long years of the Harper Conservatives doing absolutely nothing on the environment, the same Conservatives show that they just do not get it.
    We are putting a price on carbon pollution because it will reduce emissions and drive growth in the right direction at the same time. While Harper Conservatives believe that by making the economy and the environment work together and that somehow Canada is broken, we will continue to invest in clean technology.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's lead ministers simply do not understand that they are very much out of touch with the reality of what's happening and the gravity of the issue that we are speaking of. I remember the days, and a lot of us do, of being able to put just five bucks in the gas tank in order to get to my work at the Dairy Queen, and there are people like that today in my riding who experience that.
     This is a serious matter that is going to affect the affordability of life for many Canadians. His government knows how much it costs. Why will he not tell them?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been putting in place practical, low-cost measures to tackle climate change and drive clean growth, including pricing pollution. It is clear that the Conservatives have no intention of taking climate change seriously and have no plan to promote clean growth in Canada. This is exactly the kind of inaction we saw in 10 years under Stephen Harper, who still very much apparently controls the backbench of the Conservative Party, and these Conservatives are no different.

  (1420)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that he wants to increase the carbon tax. He wants to put it on goods because he believes that Canadians need to be told to make better choices. Basically, he is running on the “no pain, no gain” platform. The reality is that we do not know how much the pain will be, or is this just a real issue of the fact that it is all pain and no gain?
    Mr. Speaker, I suggest the hon. member actually talk to some of her colleagues from British Columbia where they have had a price on carbon pollution for years and have among the strongest economic growth in the country. Eighty-five per cent of Canadians now live in jurisdictions where they have put a price on carbon pollution, and Canadians understand that growing the economy at the same time as we protect the environment is the only way forward.
    The Harper Conservatives still demonstrate that they do not get it. They are stuck in what they were doing for 10 years. Canadians had enough.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, here is what the Conservatives have been doing for 10 years. A document published by the Department of Natural Resources reports that greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 2.2% and GDP increased by 16.9%.
    That is the Conservatives' record. We reduced greenhouse gas emissions—
    Order. I had trouble hearing the member not just because of the noise, but also because the microphone over here was on, when it should have been off.
    The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to repeat what I said because it is the truth and it comes from Natural Resources Canada. The Conservatives' record from 2005 to 2015 is the following: a 2.2% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 16.9% increase in GDP.
    That is the Conservative record. We lowered greenhouse gas emissions and grew the economy. We did that without the Liberal carbon tax.
    Why does the Prime Minister want to impose a tax on Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, if these Conservatives want to run another campaign based on how well they did during the Harper years, I urge them to do so. Canadians rejected the approach of the Harper government, which presided over the worst record of economic growth since the Great Depression, was unable to create energy jobs in new markets, and failed to provide Canadians with the future they needed. Canadians made a choice: they rejected Harper and his Conservatives.
    Mr. Speaker, I think the Prime Minister has made a choice to brush truth and facts aside. The facts are that our government lowered GHG emissions and boosted the economy. The facts are that the Prime Minister, as a cabinet minister, has in his possession a document that shows how much more his Liberal carbon policy is going to cost Canadian families.
    Could the Prime Minister come clean with Canadians, be straight with Canadians, and table this infamous document so that Canadians know exactly how much the Liberal carbon tax is going to cost them?
    Mr. Speaker, to set the record straight, economic growth during the Harper years was lower than at any other time since the Great Depression, lower than under any other Canadian prime minister. In the past two and a half years, we have invested more money in the middle class, invested in infrastructure, and demonstrated that leadership on the environment and the economy go hand in hand. As a result, we ensured that Canada had the strongest record of growth in the G7 for the past year, and we are in the process of creating 600,000 new jobs.
    That is our record, and that is what Canadians chose.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, October 27, 2016, is a problematic date for the Prime Minister. That is the day that indigenous groups were told that no decision had been made on the Kinder Morgan project. A few minutes later, six organizations heard the assistant deputy minister, Erin O'Gorman, instruct her staff to provide cabinet all legal grounds to say yes to this project. None of her representatives denied that these comments were made. The only people who deny it are the Prime Minister and the Minister of Natural Resources.
    Will they release all the documents related to the approval of this project?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Federal Court of Appeal clearly stated that the Harper government did not consult the first nations enough on this energy project. Our government held the most comprehensive consultations with rights holders in the history of this country and we set up a review committee whose role was defined jointly with first nations communities. Some 43 indigenous communities signed agreements on the benefits and, for the first time in Canadian history, many indigenous peoples took part in the process. They benefited from it. As we share—

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, fact: On October 27, 2016, indigenous groups were told that no decision had been made on the Kinder Morgan project. Fact: Minutes later, in a meeting of six organizations, a top government official instructed her staff to give the cabinet a legally sound basis for saying yes to the project. None of those present denied that this was said. In fact, one participant actually confirmed, “I was rather shocked at being given that kind of direction. It's not something that I would have expected from a Liberal government.”
    Will the Prime Minister release all of the information on the approval of the Kinder Morgan project?
    Mr. Speaker, what we actually did was improve the process by adding additional steps and additional consultations to the flawed process put in place by the Harper government.
    We know that moving forward on resources requires that we demonstrate leadership on the environment and a plan to grow the economy sustainably. That is exactly what we did. We strengthened the approval process. We did extra consultations. We are moving forward with the project in the national interest.

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, we learned today that the government is trying to negotiate an invisible wall for asylum seekers. In public, the Prime Minister says that he welcomes refugees, but behind closed doors, he is trying to send them back to the United States. The ministers responsible refuse to answer questions.
    Will the government be clear and confirm whether it is trying to renegotiate the safe third country agreement?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been in talks with our American partners for months on a number of border-related issues, and this is what Canadians expect. However, the safe third country agreement between Canada and the United States allows for proper management of asylum claims. This agreement is based on a principle recognized by the United Nations Refugee Agency that refugees must claim asylum in the first safe country they reach.
    That said, it is unfortunate that the NDP is using the Conservatives' fear tactics to sway Canadians. We are going to remain compassionate and ensure that everyone who should stay in Canada is able to do so.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, when the cameras are rolling, the Prime Minister wants people to regard him as a global humanitarian, but behind closed doors his government is quietly working to shut down Canada's border to asylum seekers who are forced to risk life and limb to get to safety. This has been happening since September of last year.
     The double-talk does not stop there. It was just last week that his Minister of Immigration said that having one continuous official border crossing all 9,000 kilometres is “not a real solution”. Liberals and Conservatives, what is the difference?
    Mr. Speaker, in Canada, we are incredibly fortunate that Canadians look at immigrants and refugees, across party lines, as a potential benefit to Canada, as nation builders, not just as immigrants or refugees. We know that being compassionate and welcoming is one of the great strengths of Canada. We also know that applying the rules and the laws around our immigration system is essential for fairness, but it is also essential to ensure continued support for immigrants and refugees. That is exactly what we are doing. We are going to remain compassionate while ensuring that our laws are enforced.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, my question is for the finance minister. Today in the finance committee, government officials admitted that they have modelled the cost of the carbon tax to Canadian families. When I asked if they would share those calculations with the committee and with the people who will have to pay those taxes, the official said he cannot do that at this time. What the government wants is for Canadians to write a blank cheque, wherein the amounts will be written after that cheque is in the hands of the government.
    Why will the finance minister not end his carbon tax cover-up and tell us what this tax would cost Canadians?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, I think that the member opposite did not read the report that was released yesterday. There is clear evidence that putting a price on pollution works, and that also we could do that while growing a clean economy. We make decisions based on evidence.
    However, I have a question for the member opposite. What would his party do to tackle climate change? Do Conservatives even believe it is real, because they have no plan?
    Mr. Speaker, it is disappointing that the finance minister is still in hiding and cannot answer questions about his own budget, but we will find out if there is anyone over there who can answer this question.
    Today, gas prices in Vancouver have reached a record $1.60. Consumers are suffering. Families are paying more, and it is going to get a lot worse under this proposed Liberal carbon tax. The government knows how much this tax would cost families. Why will the Liberals not tell Canadians how much it will cost the average family?
    Mr. Speaker, I wish the member opposite would not mislead people from British Columbia. If he understood economics, he would understand why the price is higher for gas in B.C. It has to do with a supply and demand issue. It has to do with exchange rates.
    We understand that polluting is not free. There is a real cost on Canadians. I wish he could tell all of the kids who are watching question period right now what he would do to ensure a more sustainable future for them.
    Well, Mr. Speaker, it might be a lot more sustainable if they would let us, as Canadians, build a pipeline to bring our own petroleum to market.
    However, going back to the matter at hand, there is no question that this carbon tax will raise the price of gasoline. The minister's own document says that it will go up by at least 11¢, and that is if we believe his numbers. Liberals also know how much this tax will cost the average Canadian family, but nobody will answer over there. Why will they not end this cover-up and tell us how much this tax will cost?
    Mr. Speaker, I would be happy after question period to hand over our analysis that shows that carbon pricing works and it can be done while growing the economy.
    Eighty percent of Canadians live in a province—Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec—where there is a price on pollution. Guess what? Their economies were the fastest growing in the country.
    Once again, I ask the member opposite, “What are you going to do?” Under 10 years of the Harper government, you did nothing—
    Order. I would remind the hon. Minister of Environment to direct her comments to the Chair. When we say “you” in here, we are talking about the Speaker.
    Mr. Speaker, the environment minister cannot answer the question about how much this tax will cost Canadians. The finance minister will not answer the question about how much this will cost Canadians. The Prime Minister was unable to answer the question.
    I am trying to figure out which of these ministers has the answer. Why do we not just ask them all? How much, how much, how much, how much will the carbon tax cost Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I have a question. What is your climate plan? What is your climate plan? What is your climate plan? What is your climate plan?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order, order.
    Mr. Speaker, she should know, because she actually followed the Conservative targets on climate change.
    We saw greenhouse gases go down at the same time as taxes went down under the previous Conservative government. We saved people money while protecting the economy.
    Will the government finally answer the question? How much will a Canadian family have to pay for this new Liberal carbon tax?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, I wish that the party opposite would understand the cost of climate change right now.
    One of the hardest calls I ever had to make was to a rancher in Alberta, whose whole ranch burned down because of forest fires. There are people who are suffering from floods across the country. The Arctic is literally thawing, and they think it is a joke.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I had no trouble hearing the question, but we also need to hear the answer.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Speaker: I would ask the members not to speak until it is their turn to speak.
    The hon. Minister of Environment has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, there is a real cost of climate change right now, and Canadians across the country are feeling it. We have people who are feeling the impacts of forest fires, floods, and droughts. The Arctic is literally melting, but they think it is a joke.
    We are taking serious action on climate change. We have a plan and we have a target, and we are going to meet it.
    Mr. Speaker, actually, the Liberals just released a document yesterday saying that they will not meet their plan. They said they will not meet their target. They will come about 90 million tonnes short of meeting their target, and that is with their carbon tax.
    The minister said she spoke to a rancher in Alberta. Did she tell that rancher how much this carbon tax would cost him and his family?
    Mr. Speaker, I do not know how I can make it more clear. Maybe the member opposite could go call the insurance companies. Insurance companies tell me every day about the huge payouts they are having to pay because of the cost of climate change.
    Let me also talk about the opportunity, the $23 trillion opportunity of clean growth, as Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, has called it.
    The Conservative Party does not understand that we need to protect our environment and grow our economy. We are going to do both. They will do neither.

[Translation]

Foreign Affairs

     Mr. Speaker, according to a media report, the Department of Justice fought hard to have a Canadian, Hassan Diab, extradited, even though the case would not stand up in court because of insufficient or unreliable evidence. This speaks volumes about the government's commitment to human rights, especially given that he is a Canadian citizen.
    What has the government been doing since Mr. Diab returned to Canada to ensure that this nightmare never happens again?
     Mr. Speaker, we advocated at every level for Mr. Diab's return to Canada. It was a very important issue to us, one that I took very personally, and we are very happy that he is back home in Canada. We are aware of the reports of the involvement of government officials in his extradition. This happened under the previous government, and I think it is important to take that into account.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the biggest engagement the government had was using a low burden of proof to extradite Mr. Diab to France, a burden of proof that was so insufficient that it did not hold up in a French court.
    A 2006 Supreme Court ruling said that courts have to stop rubber-stamping extradition requests and start weighing the evidence presented by foreign countries. Can the minister explain how the Department of Justice is supposed to deal with this issue when it is investigating itself? When will it fix this broken extradition system that people are paying for with their livelihood?
    Mr. Speaker, I am really glad to have that question. We advocated at every level for Mr. Diab's return to Canada. It is an issue that I took very personally. I am very glad he is back home in Canada with his family.
    I have read the reports of the involvement of government officials in his extradition. This happened under the previous government. This is indeed a matter that is important to look into.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, this year thousands of people will cross into Canada illegally. The Prime Minister created this mess with his tweet, and he is providing special treatment to those who skip the line and enter Canada illegally. What message does this send to the thousands of immigrants who have followed the rules?
    Mr. Speaker, what the party opposite does not seem to understand is that we can protect the security and safety of Canadians while meeting our international obligations for refugee protection. We have a proud record of doing both. The party opposite wants to set one group of immigrants against another. That is the politics of division and fear that Canadians rejected in 2015.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have heard from constituents who are frustrated by wait times to sponsor their families. There is a strict limit on the number of family members who can come to Canada, yet there seems to be no limit to the number of illegal border crossers who are allowed in. Can the Prime Minister please explain how it is fair to keep families apart while rewarding those who break the law?
    Mr. Speaker, the party opposite is trying to muddy the waters. Its members know very clearly that refugees are processed in a different stream, by the Immigration and Refugee Board, and other immigrants are processed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
    Let us talk about processing times. Under the Conservatives, the processing time for spouses was more than 26 months. Spouses, children, and families were kept apart for a very long time. We have brought that down to 12 months or less.
    Let us talk about the live-in caregiver program. Families were kept apart for five to seven years. We have reduced that to 12 months or less.
    We have a great—
    The hon. member for Edmonton Manning.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are mismanaging our immigration system. Just in the past year, over 20,000 asylum seekers have illegally crossed the border into Canada. The Prime Minister's policy is encouraging illegal immigrants to jump the queue while those who follow the rules have to wait longer. Can the Prime Minister explain to me how that is fair?
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman needs to understand the rules. In fact, when people cross the border inconsistently with the rules, they are arrested and questioned. They are identified, both biographically and biometrically, and their identity is checked against every Canadian and U.S. database for any immigration, criminal, or security flags. Then they are required, in fact, to prove the necessity for protection in Canada. If they cannot prove that, their admissibility is denied, and they are removed from the country.
    Mr. Speaker, a Canadian, Roxanna, has been trying to privately sponsor a refugee from Djibouti, and the wait time is up to seven years long, yet there are people walking across the border illegally who immediately get to stay in Canada. Canadians and those who wish to come to Canada legally are frustrated. Why is the Prime Minister rewarding those who break the law and punishing those who play by the rules?
    Mr. Speaker, our system of immigration puts priority on the safety and security of Canadians while continuing to meet our international obligations.
    Let us talk about the Conservatives' record. They had an abysmal record when it came to refugees, privately sponsored or government-sponsored. They cut refugee health care. They pit one group of immigrants against another. That is the politics of fear and division that Canadians resoundingly rejected in 2015. With rhetoric like that, the Conservatives will spend another decade in opposition.

[Translation]

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, we all know the story. It is Monday morning and a student realizes that he did not do his homework for that day. He jumps on the school bus, grabs a piece of paper, and tries to hammer something out at the last minute. This usually does not result in the best work. That is exactly what is going on with the Liberals and their electoral reform. They introduced a bill in November 2016. They then fell asleep at the switch and just woke up at the last minute.
    After breaking their main election promise, why are the Liberals introducing legislation now that will probably not be in effect in time for the next election?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, Bill C-76 would strengthen Canada's electoral system and increase the participation of Canadians in our electoral process. Yesterday, I spoke to the acting Chief Electoral Officer about the legislation. The potential to increase the transparency of our electoral process, and to make elections more accessible and the electoral process more secure, is important. That is why it is important that we pass the bill through Parliament and the Senate, and make sure it is in place for the next election. I have every confidence that it will be.
    Mr. Speaker, it was so important to the Liberals that they sat on the bill for a year and a half. They just introduced a 250-page omnibus voting bill, which is kind of ironic. Coincidentally, yesterday was also Elections Canada's deadline to pass legislation so it can run our elections fairly.
    After hitting the snooze button for more than a year and a half, the Liberals are now reaching for the panic button. One would think that after betraying his promise that 2015 would be the last election under first past the post, the Prime Minister would have at least gotten his homework in on time.
    The voting system does not belong to the Liberals; it belongs to all Canadians. My question is simple. Will the Liberals commit to cross-country hearings so that all Canadians can have their voices heard?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the New Democrats for what they said yesterday, that they actually agree with some of the provisions in Bill C-76. In fact, they agreed broadly with the principle that Bill C-76 could actually strengthen our democratic process.
    Eighty-five per cent of the recommendations of Elections Canada are in fact proposals in Bill C-76,, so we have every confidence that Elections Canada can make this work before the next election.

[Translation]

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, last November, this government announced Canada's first-ever national housing strategy, a 10-year, $40-billion plan to give more Canadians a place to call home.

[English]

    Yesterday, the minister responsible for housing joined his Ontario counterpart to sign the first bilateral housing agreement under the national housing strategy. Could the minister tell the House how this agreement would provide housing relief for all Ontario residents?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the member for Vaughan—Woodbridge for his tremendous work in support of the housing needs of his constituents.

[Translation]

    Yesterday's agreement provides for new investments of $4 billion to support the housing needs of Ontario families.

[English]

    Yesterday's new partnership is going to build and repair more homes. It is going to protect 130,000 Ontario families from the risk of losing their community home, and help deliver the new Canada housing benefit.
    We are back in supporting the housing needs of Canadians, and we are here to stay.

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, this morning, Quebec City newspaper Le Soleil published a letter from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, in which he complains that the solutions proposed by the Conservatives to stop illegal migrants from entering the country would not solve anything. At the same time, we learned that the Liberals are negotiating changes to the safe third country agreement with the Americans.
    Can the minister tell us what sort of arrangements he is negotiating?
    Mr. Speaker, as we have said numerous times, we believe in a refugee system and we are a welcoming country, as long as people follow the rules. That is why we are working closely with the provinces, particularly Quebec and Ontario, and we are in constant communication with our American neighbours. There are many issues related to this situation that affect them. Yes, we are talking to them and we will continue to communicate with them so that we can manage this situation.
    Mr. Speaker, I would have liked to get an answer from the Minister of Immigration. I  think he is big enough to handle himself.
    Is the minister saying that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is lying when it says it is in talks with the Government of Canada?
    Is the minister prepared to continue on that track just to play politics because he refuses to admit that the solution proposed by the Conservatives is the best one?
    How can we trust this government?
    Who is telling the truth?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to chair the task force currently working on this matter. I am just as qualified to answer the question. I certainly did not appreciate the comments my colleague made at the beginning of his question.
    We are working on this file. We are working with Quebec, Ontario, the other provinces, and the United States, of course, to manage this situation, and we will continue to do so.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, today the American Department of Homeland Security told Canadian media that it is considering Canadian proposals to amend the safe third country agreement. After a full year of Conservatives demanding closing the loophole that incents people to illegally enter Canada while hundreds of thousands of others wait years to legally enter the country, we found out from the Americans that, in spite of the minister stating otherwise on the record, there are “proposals” on the table. What are those proposals?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, as stated a number of times, we continuously work with our American counterparts on all issues related to our common border, including discussions related to the safe third country agreement. What I have also stated on the record, numerous times, is that there are no formal negotiations with respect to the safe third country agreement. What I find very rich is the party opposite talking about the border and immigration processing, when its record on both of those issues is abysmal.
    Mr. Speaker, let me tell the member what that is code for. Our #WelcomeToCanada Prime Minister does not want to walk his tweet back and alienate NDP voters, so he is happy to negotiate in secret with the Americans, hoping he can blame their delay for his lack of political will. In the meantime, tens of thousands of people have been streaming, and continue to stream, illegally across our borders. How will the Americans, or anyone, take the Prime Minister seriously when he is pandering for votes instead of managing our borders?
    Mr. Speaker, unlike the party opposite, we view immigration as something that matters to each and every individual who comes to Canada. That is why we improved processing times. That is why we welcomed over 51,000 Syrian refugees. That is why, under our leadership, we have been able to provide a home to 1,300 survivors of Daesh atrocities. What was the record on the Conservatives' watch? They brought a grand total of three Yazidi refugees to Canada. What was their record in terms of treatment of refugees? They cut refugee health care to the most vulnerable: pregnant women, victims of torture. That is their record.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, first nations leaders are discussing federal legislation and whether the government is committed to the free, prior, and informed consent of first nations people. The government has said that its most important relationship is with indigenous peoples, but when it comes to implementing indigenous languages and protecting first nations' land and water, little has been done. When can first nations expect progress, and how has the government implemented the principles of free, prior, and informed consent into its agenda?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her ongoing advocacy on all issues related to indigenous people in this country. The Government of Canada does believe that the relationship with indigenous people is the most important one. As stated in the mandate letter of every minister, this new relationship must be based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership, and that is being fed into the new legal framework for rights recognition, as well as into the very important legislation being brought forward by the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
    Mr. Speaker, the work of reconciliation is far from done, but today is a good day, a historic day, as the Parliament of Canada reaches out directly to Pope Francis to ask him to work with us and to issue a formal apology for the Catholic Church's role in establishing, running, and covering up the crimes of the residential schools.
    What formal steps will the Prime Minister take to express the will of Parliament to Pope Francis and to call on the Catholic bishops to pay the proper compensation for the crimes? It is about moral leadership.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member also for his ongoing advocacy, particularly with respect to this issue. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action provide a road map for the journey of reconciliation, and our government, as he knows, is committed to working with partners, all partners, to ensure that all calls to action are implemented.
    Call to action 58 calls on the Pope to issue an apology to residential school survivors, their families, and communities. I have written to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to request a meeting to move this important step forward and hope that they will meet directly with survivors. I look forward to—
    The hon. member for Cariboo—Prince George.

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, we are hearing news that surf clam workers in Grand Bank are already having their hours cut. The minister says he has a plan. The minister says he stands with the people of Grand Bank. Will he stand with them in the unemployment line when they are struggling to find jobs? Will he stand with them when they are struggling to feed their families, or pay their mortgages, or send their kids to summer camp?
    If the minister is truly committed to standing with the people of Grand Bank, will he reverse his corrupt surf clam decision, recuse himself, and restart the process?
    I would ask members to be careful in terms of the kind of wording they use in the House. We do not call each other corrupt on either side around here.
    Mr. Speaker, as I have explained in this House a number of times, our government made a decision to include a new entrant in this important fishery. We thought it was also important to have significant indigenous benefits from this decision. We are proud that a partnership was formed between a company with experience in offshore fisheries and indigenous communities from five provinces, four Atlantic Canadian provinces and Quebec. We also understand the importance of the facility in Grand Bank, and we think the member should be careful not to raise fears unreasonably in that community, as he has done from the beginning.

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, today we learned that his Liberal friends who have all this experience now admit that they will not be fishing the surf clam this season, and maybe not even next season. Why? Because they do not have a boat. They gave the lucrative quota to his Liberal buddies, knowing full well that their application did not meet critical bid criteria. If the Liberal MPs from the Rock will not say it, looking after his Liberal buddies is shameful.
    Given this new information, will the minister finally do the right thing and reverse this questionable decision?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have had a chance to explain in this House before, the previous Conservative government, in fact, had a plan in 2014 and 2015 to bring a new entrant into this fishery. If they were going to include a new entrant in this fishery, it is obvious that at that time their concern for the people of Grand Bank had somehow been forgotten, because that decision would have had exactly the same consequences they are now exaggerating for the people of Grand Bank. What they forgot to do in that process was include indigenous communities, and we are proud to have done so. That is why we are proud of this decision.

Rail Transportation

    Mr. Speaker, delays in passing legislative changes to improve the rail transportation system are entirely of the Liberals' own making. They wasted over a year between receiving the Emerson report and introducing Bill C-49. Now the Liberals are rejecting the simple amendments that would improve the legislation for grain shippers.
    Mr. Speaker, this may well be the strangest question you will hear today, but when will the government stop messing around and pass its own bill?
    Mr. Speaker, I certainly hope that with the co-operation of the Harper Conservatives, we are going to be able to do it as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they do not know whether they are coming or going. Last November they actually voted against Bill C-49. For 10 long years they had a chance to demonstrate initiative by modernizing freight rail legislation. Did they do it? No, they were totally absent.

[Translation]

Science

    Mr. Speaker, the National Research Council plays a vital role in research and innovation by developing exciting innovations that help create and develop jobs and improve the health system for all Canadians.

[English]

    From their work developing canola, an industry that employs over 250,000 Canadians, to their efforts to develop green technologies, the NRC researchers are essential to growing the Canadian economy.

[Translation]

    Could the minister tell us how our government is supporting the NRC in the important work it is doing for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to supporting research and innovation. I want to thank the member for Ottawa—Vanier for her staunch defence of research in Canada.

[English]

    The NRC plays an essential role in developing new technologies that improve the lives of Canadians. Budget 2018 invested $540 million in the NRC to promote discovery research and to increase research collaboration with academic and industrial partners.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, Liberals have called the Iranian government elected, but the people of Iran and of the region know that this regime is the leading sponsor of global terror, murder, and violence. While this regime continues to deny responsibility for the murder of Canadians, the Liberal government is helping Iranian officials shop for aircraft, with high-level meetings here in Ottawa. Selling aircraft may be good for the shareholders of Bombardier, but how does it help the many victims?
    When will the government take off the rose-coloured glasses and end its failed appeasement policy?
    Mr. Speaker, as long as Maryam Mombeini is not able to leave Iran, the focus of any discussions with Iran will be on getting her home to Canada. I have raised Mrs. Mombeini's situation directly with Iran's ambassador to the UN. I will continue, and our government will continue, to demand answers from the government of Iran on the circumstances surrounding the detention and death of her late husband, Professor Seyed-Emami.
    Human rights are important to us around the world, very much including in Iran.

  (1500)  

Government Spending

    Mr. Speaker, last week, in light of concerns about the new central vote in the main estimates, I asked the President of the Treasury Board for a take-note debate on that matter. Today the Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed that the vote is riddled with problems that pose serious challenges to parliamentary oversight of government spending.
    In light of those concerns, in light of the fact that it is wrong for the government to make unilateral changes to the foundations of Parliament, instead of making it look like the government has something to hide, will the minister today commit to having a take-note debate in the House on that matter?
    Mr. Speaker, our government respects the work of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. In fact, I spoke with him earlier today, and I discussed with him the fact that this is the first time ever that when MPs are voting on the main estimates, they will know, initiative by initiative, where the budget money is going. This is a huge step forward in terms of parliamentary oversight.
     We have been very clear that the government is bound by the amounts listed in the allocation for each budget initiative, for instance in Table A2.11. To increase any of these initiatives would require further approval by Parliament through the supplementary estimates process.
    We will continue to raise the bar on openness--
    The hon. member for Steveston—Richmond East.

Tourism

    Mr. Speaker, 2017 was the best year ever for tourism in Canada. Close to 21 million tourists visited our country from all over the world, including more than 680,000 visitors from China, which was also a new record.
    Can the Minister of Small Business and Tourism update the House on what our government is doing to welcome more Chinese tourists and what this means for our economy?
    Mr. Speaker, 2018 is the Canada-China Year of Tourism, and it began with opening ceremonies right here in Canada. As part of our tourism vision, we are committed to doubling the number of Chinese visitors to Canada by 2021. Chinese tourists tend to spend more than the average visitor, so it is a great opportunity for our tourism operators, most of which are small businesses.
    This year we will invest $11 million to reach interested Chinese travellers and to support our tourism operators as they welcome more Chinese visitors to cities across Canada. Thanks in part to this investment and members like the member for Steveston—Richmond East, we expect these numbers to continue growing.

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, upholding the integrity of our elections is paramount to our democracy. Canadians are required to show ID to obtain a library card or to rent a car, but the Liberals do not seem to think that ID should be required to vote. The Liberals want to use voter information cards as a proof of address, when in the last election, nearly one million erroneous cards were mailed out.
    Why is the government going to require people to show photo ID to buy marijuana but not in order to vote?
    Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives, in their so-called Fair Elections Act, took away vouching and took away voter identification cards, they were warned by hundreds of experts that it would suppress the vote and reduce participation in the Canadian election. They went ahead anyway.
    In the 2015 election, according to Statistics Canada, over 170,000 Canadians were unable to vote. That is why Elections Canada recommended the restoration of both voter identification cards and vouching. That is what we are doing. Unlike the Conservatives, we think democracy is stronger when more Canadians participate in it.

[Translation]

Pensions

    Mr. Speaker, on October 17, I introduced Bill C-372 to protect retired workers' pension funds and group insurance plans. The NDP tabled a similar bill. The Liberal Party convention voted in favour of similar measures. Even the Leader of the Opposition voted for a bill similar to mine in 2010. Let us put an end to injustice.
    Since today is May 1, will the government pledge to protect our workers' pension funds before the next election? Yes or no?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear when it comes to pensions and strengthening pensions that this is a priority. That is why in the budget we clearly outlined a plan to make sure that we have a process in place to secure pensions. This has been a priority for our government. We also strengthened and enhanced the CPP.
    We will continue to work with members opposite to strengthen our pension system.

  (1505)  

Presence in Gallery

     I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the 2018 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering prize winner, Dr. Lewis Kay.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    The Speaker: In the gallery as well is the 2018 John C. Polanyi Prize winner, Dr. Michael Organ.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    The Speaker: Also with us are the winners of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering, Synergy Awards for Innovation, Steacie Memorial Fellowships, and Gilles Brassard Doctoral Prize for Interdisciplinary Research.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

Royal Assent

[Royal Assent]

[English]

    I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:
Rideau Hall

Ottawa
May 1, 2018
Mr. Speaker:
    I have the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bill listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 1st day of May, 2018, at 10:55 a.m.
     Yours sincerely,
Assunta Di Lorenzo

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Business of Supply]

  (1510)  

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Papal Apology on Residential Schools  

    The House resumed from April 26 consideration of the motion.
    It being 3:10 p.m., pursuant to order made on Thursday, April 26, 2018, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion relating to the business of supply.
    Call in the members.
    And the bells having rung:
    The Speaker: The question is as follows. Shall I dispense?
    Some hon. members: Agreed
    Some hon. members: No.
    [Chair read text of the motion to the House]

  (1515)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 658)

YEAS

Members

Albas
Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Amos
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arnold
Arseneault
Aubin
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Baylis
Beaulieu
Beech
Bennett
Benson
Bergen
Berthold
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Boissonnault
Bossio
Boucher
Boudrias
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Brosseau
Brown
Caesar-Chavannes
Calkins
Cannings
Caron
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Champagne
Chen
Chong
Choquette
Clement
Cormier
Cullen
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeCourcey
Deltell
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diotte
Donnelly
Dreeshen
Dubé
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Dusseault
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Eglinski
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Fast
Fillmore
Finley
Finnigan
Fisher
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Freeland
Fuhr
Garneau
Garrison
Généreux
Gill
Gladu
Goldsmith-Jones
Goodale
Gourde
Graham
Grewal
Hajdu
Hardcastle
Harder
Hardie
Hehr
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Jeneroux
Johns
Jolibois
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Kang
Kelly
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kwan
Lake
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Laverdière
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Leslie
Levitt
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
Lukiwski
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Malcolmson
Maloney
Marcil
Masse (Windsor West)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Moore
Morneau
Morrissey
Motz
Mulcair
Murray
Nantel
Nassif
Nater
Ng
Nicholson
Nuttall
Obhrai
O'Connell
Oliphant
Oliver
O'Regan
Paradis
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Plamondon
Poilievre
Poissant
Quach
Qualtrough
Raitt
Ramsey
Rempel
Richards
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Saganash
Sahota
Saini
Sajjan
Sangha
Sansoucy
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shields
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Sorbara
Spengemann
Stanton
Ste-Marie
Stetski
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Tabbara
Tan
Tassi
Thériault
Tootoo
Trudeau
Trudel
Van Loan
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Whalen
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Yip
Young
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 269

NAYS

Members

Albrecht
Falk (Provencher)
Gallant
Genuis
Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
Reid
Shipley
Tilson
Trost

Total: -- 10

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

  (1520)  

[Translation]

Opposition Motion—Production of Documents on Carbon Princing  

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Order. I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded division, government orders will be extended by nine minutes.
    When the House last considered the motion, the hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable had six and a half minutes to finish his speech. Resuming debate, the hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    Mr. Speaker, to pick up where I left off when we switched to members' statements, we were discussing the motion moved by my colleague, the member for Carleton, that the House order that all documents be produced in their original and uncensored form indicating how much the federal carbon tax proposed in budget 2018 will cost Canadian families in order to put an end to the carbon tax cover-up. I was just talking about a memo we obtained through an access to information request. The memo was about the impact of carbon pricing on households' consumption expenditures across the income distribution. It is a quick read. It starts off by saying, “The key findings” of the analysis of the potential impact of carbon pricing “are as follows:”.
    Unfortunately, I cannot show it here because our rules do not allow that, but it is easy to describe because it is a big black square. Everything is hidden and covered up so that Canadians and their representatives here in the House have no way of knowing how the carbon tax will affect average Canadian families. That is unacceptable.
     During question period, we asked 11 questions. The hon. member for Carleton was quite well-spoken and tried to get an answer from each of the ministers opposite. We did not get an answer from the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change completely avoided all questions about this, as she did during her speech this morning. We did not get an answer and so the member asked each minister opposite to answer us. Sadly, the answer never came.
    What are the Liberals afraid of? Why are they afraid to inform Canadians of the real cost of the carbon tax? The numbers are probably scary. The numbers are probably so large that any of the measures they introduced, supposedly to help the middle class, will be completely eclipsed by the cost of the carbon tax for every Canadian family.
    Even the Prime Minister refuses to answer these questions. Yesterday, he was asked a very specific question in British Columbia. I quote, “Will Canadians expect to pay higher fuel prices with the carbon taxes?” I think that question is very clear. I repeat, “Will Canadians expect to pay higher fuel prices with the carbon taxes?” Here is the Prime Minister's response. “I think one of the things we've seen across the country is that the incentives that come from better behaviour, better choices, making choices to be cleaner and greener is exactly what we want.” What? I will repeat, because I think it needs to be clear. In response to the question, “Will Canadians expect to pay higher fuel prices with the carbon taxes?”, the Prime Minister said, “I think one of the things we've seen across the country is that the incentives that come from better behaviour, better choices, making choices to be cleaner and greener is exactly what we want.” I understood none of that. I did not understand what the Prime Minister was trying to say, but what I do understand is that the Prime Minister refused to answer a simple question from a journalist, “Will Canadians expect to pay higher fuel prices with the carbon taxes?”
    In her speech this morning, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change talked about cynicism, people who are cynical about the effects of climate change, the effects of carbon on climate change. The real cynicism is here in the House. The Liberal government bears most of the blame for that. Canadians are cynical about politics because of answers like the one the Prime Minister gave and because of answers that the ministers failed to give today in question period. It is because of statements or speeches like the one given today by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, who in 20 minutes did not respond in the least to the motion we moved today on the carbon tax and how much it will cost the average Canadian family.
    It is very cynical to see that from a government that claims to be open and transparent. On the Liberal Party website it says, “Together, we can restore a sense of trust in our democracy. Greater openness and transparency are fundamental to accomplishing this.” Unfortunately, what we have seen since 2015 is a government that is increasingly secretive when it needs to be.

  (1525)  

    When we ask for answers and numbers, the government gives us nothing. Access to information requests turn up nothing but black squares. When we ask questions about the carbon tax in the House, they avoid the subject and do not answer our questions at all. The government is incapable of telling Canadians the truth, and that is what worries me. Canadians have the right to know how much this carbon tax will cost them, especially since there is some doubt about the effects of the tax.
    In the agricultural sector, farmers have worked very hard in recent years to reduce their carbon footprint. Unfortunately, they will be the first to feel the sting of the carbon tax, and nobody knows how much it will cost them. How are they supposed to plan for the tax?
    What we are asking for is very simple: transparent data. Canadians have the right to know how much the Liberal carbon tax will cost them so they can plan for it. The government claims to be helping the middle class, but if that is what it is really doing, it should start by being clear, open, and transparent and by giving Canadians the numbers. The numbers exist, as we discovered this morning in committee; the analyses say so. We want to see what is behind those big black squares. The Liberals must share that information with Canadians.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague on the other side of the House if he has had a chance to have a look at the report that was released this week by Environment and Climate Change Canada on the estimated results of the federal carbon pollution pricing system. There is a tremendous amount of information in there that is answering some of the questions. Clearly, it is not a black box. There are answers in this document.
    I want to point out one of the key findings, which is that pricing carbon reduces pollution, at the lowest cost to businesses and consumers. This is one of the findings of this report. It also has a World Bank analysis, the 2017 “State and trends of carbon pricing” report, which says that 67 jurisdictions, representing about half of the global economy, are putting a price on carbon. I hope that the member on the other side recognizes there is a problem. I would like to hear his solutions rather than the rhetoric about what is happening on this side of the House.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, look at how the Liberals refuse to answer a simple question. It is so ironic. Why can we not get an answer to a simple question? How much will the carbon tax cost Canadians? We will look at the numbers, see whether the tax is good, and see what we can do with it.
    Without all the facts, how can Canadians decide whether this is a good tax?
    I, for one, am sure that it is not a good tax, since the Liberals are refusing to give us the numbers.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to say to the member that obviously transparency is a good thing. My worry is that we have a lot of sound and fury coming from the Conservatives to cover up the fact that they do not have a plan to tackle climate change. The cost to Canadians of not dealing with climate change, whether through a cap and trade system or a carbon tax, will be far higher than anything we have looked at so far. We have seen the impact of forest fires. We have seen the impact of climate change in rising sea levels in places like Richmond.
    I would like to know what it is that the Conservatives are going to do. If they actually convince the Liberals to give up a carbon tax, what is it that they are talking about that would meet the challenges of climate change?

  (1530)  

    Mr. Speaker, we used regulations, and carbon emissions were reduced by 2% during our Conservative government. It is that simple. If my colleague wants to know what we are doing, he just has to vote for us in 2019 and he will see.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague and I share one thing in common. We both represent great rural–urban ridings. My colleague has the second-best maple syrup production in Canada. The riding of Kitchener—Conestoga boasts the world's largest one-day maple syrup festival, so my colleague and I have a lot in common.
    However, my colleague mentioned the farmers and how they are unable to calculate what this cost would be to them. I checked with one of the farmers in my riding, and he said that based on 50,000 litres of fuel that he uses per year, at 12¢ a litre, that is $6,000 he is going to have to pay in additional costs. Now we know that cost is going to be passed on to consumers. The government claims to stand up for the middle class, but this cost is going to add to the cost of their groceries and everything else.
    I wonder if my colleague could muse as to why he thinks the Liberal government would be obstinate in not declaring what this will cost the average Canadian family.

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, I will have to publicly disagree with one of my Conservative colleagues here in the House for the very first time. The Festival de l'érable de Plessisville is the largest and greatest maple syrup festival in Canada and the world. There is a reason that my riding is called Mégantic—L'Érable.
    If the member aspires to this same level of excellence, all he has to do is ask to change the name of his riding. There is just one Mégantic—L'Érable. It is my riding, and it hosts the best maple syrup festival in Canada. Unfortunately, I believe my time is up.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Cloverdale—Langley City.
     Addressing climate change and supporting clean growth is a top priority for the Government of Canada, for the provinces and territories, and indeed for all Canadians. The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident. Sea levels are rising, threatening coastal regions with increased erosion. Extreme flood events and wildfires are becoming more common and severe. In the north, where temperatures are rising at three times the global average, the permafrost is thawing and the sea ice is melting.
    The Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015 was a historic achievement and a clear signal from the international community that we need to act on climate change. Nearly 200 countries committed to taking strong action to reduce emissions. Canada can be proud of the role it has played on the international stage to advance the Paris Agreement.
    Canada's commitment under the Paris Agreement is to reduce our emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. This is an ambitious but achievable target, and we have already started to take action.
    Together with provinces and territories, and with input from indigenous peoples and other stakeholders, we developed the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, and it was adopted by first ministers in December 2016. This is our collective plan to reduce emissions while growing the economy and taking steps to adapt to climate change, unlike the party on the other side.
    For the last decade, members of the party opposite refused to act on climate change, and some outright denied it was even real. In fact, some of them are taking credit for a reduction in emissions when our economy had the biggest slump since the last economic downturn. If that is their plan, I do not want any part of it.
     In failing to implement a credible plan, they put our environment and our economy in jeopardy, as I have already mentioned. They continue to ignore the science and the reality unfolding in their very own communities. Doing nothing is not an option, and it misses the very significant economic opportunities for Canada.
    Our climate plan is built around four pillars: pricing carbon pollution; complementary actions to reduce emissions; adaptation and climate resilience; and clean technology, innovation, and jobs.
    Carbon pricing is a foundational element of our climate plan. Canadians know that pollution is not free. Climate pollution leads to droughts, floods, wildfires, and extreme weather, and it affects our health. All of these are already costing Canadians more than $1 billion a year in insurance costs alone.
    Carbon pricing is based on the idea that the polluter should pay. When pollution has a price, polluting less saves money. Experts around the world agree that carbon pricing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce emissions while driving clean innovation and creating new jobs. That is because it is not prescriptive. It allows companies and individuals to make their own decisions on how best to cut emissions.
    Carbon pricing also encourages innovation. When it costs more to pollute, fuel switching, energy efficiency, and clean technologies become more desirable and valuable. Putting a price on carbon tells investors in Canada and around the world that we are on a path toward a low-carbon economy, and that Canada is a good place to develop and deploy new clean technologies.
     The Government of Canada is taking a flexible approach when it comes to carbon pricing. We recognize that Canada's four largest provinces, representing over 80% of our population, have already implemented a price on carbon pollution. By the way, those provinces had the best economic growth last year.
    The pan-Canadian approach we outlined in October 2016 laid out the government's intention to have carbon pricing in place throughout Canada, with broad coverage across the economy and increasing its stringency over time. This approach gives provinces and territories the flexibility to choose the pricing system that makes sense for their circumstances.
    It could be a direct price system, such as B.C.'s carbon tax and Alberta's carbon levy, and a performance-based system for industrial facilities, or it could be a cap and trade system, such as those adopted in Ontario and Quebec. We continue to work with the remaining provinces and territories as they assess their options. Many are choosing to implement their own systems.

  (1535)  

    The government also committed to implementing a federal pricing system, which will apply in any province or territory that requests it, as well as in any province or territory that does not implement a system aligned with the federal benchmark.
    The federal system has two components: combining a charge on fossil fuels, generally paid by fuel producers and distributors, with a performance-based system enabling emission trading for large industry. The performance-based system is designed to maintain the competitiveness of Canadian businesses and reduce the risk of carbon leakage, where emissions are displaced to other countries with weaker carbon policies. The system does this while preserving the incentive to reduce emissions and innovate. Performance standards will be set for big industrial operations. If they perform better than the standard, they get a credit they can sell; if they perform worse, they pay for their pollution. The standard creates an incentive to clean up their operations.
    Our approach to carbon pricing recognizes the important work that provinces and territories have already done. It recognizes that different parts of the country may face different challenges and have different needs, but that at the end of the day, we all have to do our part.
    Carbon pricing is important and foundational, but it is only one of the numerous actions we are taking to reduce emissions and drive clean growth. We are phasing out coal-fired power, cutting methane emissions from oil and gas operations, making buildings more energy efficient, and taking steps to put more zero-emission vehicles on the road.
    The Government of Canada is making major investments in clean growth and climate change. We are investing over $2.2 billion to support clean technology and innovation, and over $21 billion in green infrastructure, including $2 billion for a disaster mitigation and adaptation fund. We have launched the $500-million low-carbon economy challenge, which will fund projects across Canada that reduce emissions and drive clean growth.
    We are also working to make sure Canada is prepared for climate change. We are already seeing climate impacts, and they will only continue to increase in the future. That is why we are investing in infrastructure to protect against floods and other disasters, and we are helping to make sure communities across Canada have the information they need to make decisions with climate change in mind.
    After the party opposite spent a decade dragging its feet on the climate file, Canadians deserve a serious, smart, and thoughtful plan to protect the environment and grow the economy. They deserve a plan that spurs innovation and creates well-paying middle-class jobs, and that is exactly what we are delivering.
    Canadians know that now is the time to act. We are the first generation to feel the impacts of climate change and the last generation that has the opportunity to stop it. That is why the government has a concrete plan and is not wasting any time putting it into action.

  (1540)  

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague is the chair of the environment committee. She has worked hard to learn the ropes as a new MP, and has done a really good job of that. She has been able to work with the committee and come up with some consensus reports.
    I noticed her speech was all about climate change, when in fact the matter we are discussing in the House is transparency, openness, and secrecy. It is, of course, secrecy that has characterized the Liberal government ever since its election. Members may recall that, during the election campaign, the Prime Minister said he was going to usher in a new era of openness and transparency.
    Canadians watching today on television have a right to know how much the Liberal carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family. We should remember that the government has said the carbon tax is foundational to its climate change plan, so Canadians have a right to know what that tax means for them and how much it will cost.
    The member is close to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Can she now tell us here in the House how much extra the average Canadian family will have to pay as a result of this carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I appreciate very much the wisdom and experience my colleague shared with me as we work together on the committee. It has been a wonderful experience, and I thank him for that.
    There is nothing secret on this side of the House about what we are trying to do, regardless of the comments on the other side of the House. I believe the member knows very well that the implementation of this is dependent on our partners, the provinces and territories. It is really a matter of the different forms in which they are going to apply the price on pollution. Are they going to go with cap and trade, and what are they going to do with the revenues and benefits they will get back from that?
    We cannot give a direct or specific answer because it is more complicated than one answer. It depends on our partners, how they implement it, and how they will give the money back within their own provinces and territories.
    Mr. Speaker, it is important to hear what my friend has to say on this, coming from her experience as chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.
    One of the things that is a big concern to people in my community is the impact of climate change on our country and on every aspect of our lives, including the impact on agriculture and the impact of flooding in our communities.
    Could the member speak to us about the cost of not taking action on climate change? That would be very helpful.
    Mr. Speaker, the cost of climate change is becoming really obvious to the average Canadian.
    I just gave an example in my speech. It is increasing over time, but it is now at $1 billion a year in increased insurance costs that we, as Canadians, are going to have to find the money for. That is just one small aspect of the cost.
    We are seeing the costs in our agriculture, and that will result in higher costs of buying food at the store. Farmers are struggling to try to deal with droughts and the changing climate, which means it will be later when they get product in the ground, and it is harder to harvest. We are starting to lose some seriously productive land to climate change.
    With regard to floods, the same thing is happening. There are the costs of insurance, as I already mentioned, as well as the devastation that flooding causes to communities and the impact of redeveloping those communities.
    We are just beginning to see the real impacts. There is no final number on that. We are gathering that information now, but it is definitely a significant and serious detriment to the economic well-being and the health of Canadians. We have to do something about it now. We cannot wait.

  (1545)  

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that pollution is not free. We see the cost of droughts, floods, wildfires, and extreme weather. We see the effects of pollution on our health. Canadians expect polluters to pay because it is the right thing to do for our kids and our grandkids.
    Putting a price on pollution is one of the most efficient tools we have to drive clean growth and cut carbon pollution. That is why carbon pricing is being adopted by countries around the world, and is a critical part of Canada's clean growth and climate plan. According to the World Bank, 67 jurisdictions around the world are putting a price on carbon, representing about half of the global economy. Pricing makes pollution more expensive, which encourages people and businesses to pollute less. On the other hand, it makes clean solutions cheaper, and puts more money back in the pockets of people, where they can better insulate their homes, ride the bus more often, or get a more fuel-efficient car the next time they buy one.
    Four out of five Canadians already live in a jurisdiction that has a price on carbon pollution. Those provinces led the country in economic growth last year. We have evidence right here in Canada that carbon pricing works to cut emissions while maintaining economic growth. The province that I live in, my home province now, is British Columbia, and it has had a carbon tax for about a decade. Research has shown that it has helped cut fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while keeping the economy growing. Alberta has had carbon pricing in place for many years. It has among the highest employment growth rates in Canada.
    The goal of putting a price on carbon pollution is to reduce emissions by sending a price signal to the economy as a whole. Recent projections by Environment and Climate Change Canada found that the national GDP is estimated to grow by about 2% a year between now and 2020, with or without carbon pricing. Businesses, investors, and consumers change their behaviour when they take carbon pricing into account in their daily decision-making. The clearer, more consistent, strong, and predictable the price signal, the greater its effectiveness in driving the choices that contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy. Carbon pricing spurs innovation, and innovation is key to keeping Canada's economy competitive.
    Canadian businesses already know carbon pricing makes good sense and will help ensure they remain competitive in the emerging low-carbon economy. Canada's five major banks, along with many companies in the consumer goods, energy and resource development sectors, also support putting a price on pollution, as members of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, which includes 32 national and subnational governments, 150 businesses, and 67 strategic partners globally working to support and accelerate carbon pricing around the world. Industry leaders know that cutting emissions makes good business sense. Businesses that become more efficient and use less energy also cut their emissions and save money on fuel. That makes sense for the economy and for the bottom line.
     In a letter to first ministers, 60 business, labour, and environment leaders signed a statement in support of carbon pricing. This consensus includes Suncor, Cenovus, Rio Tinto, Tembec, Loblaws, Desjardins, General Electric, The Co-operators, and the Nature Conservancy. As some of Canada's largest employers have pointed out, putting a price on carbon is good for business. They have said we can meet our Paris climate commitments, grow our exports of clean technologies, energy, resources, and other products, and position Canada to prosper in a changing world.
    Today, Canada's clean tech sector ranks first out of the G20 countries, according to the 2017 Global Cleantech Innovation Index. This year, 13 of Canada's clean tech companies were ranked within the top 100 in the world. That is an amazing result. Canadian companies are blowing away the competition for the Carbon XPrize, an award for companies that find innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions. This year, four Canadian companies reached the final round for the $20-million award. Canada's clean tech success stories include: CarbonCure, a business that retrofits concrete plants with a technology that recycles carbon dioxide to make stronger, greener concrete; Solar Vision Inc., a Quebec-based business providing solar lighting technology; Enerkem, a business that turns Edmonton's non-recyclable waste into commonly used fuels and chemicals; and Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., a Gatineau-based biotech firm that is expanding low-carbon options for the biofuel industry. For example, it is turning carinata, a mustard-like seed, into jet fuel.

  (1550)  

    Clean growth represents a massive economic opportunity around the world. Carbon pricing will help Canadian companies create jobs and compete successfully in the global shift to a cleaner economy, an opportunity the World Bank estimates will be worth $23 trillion globally between now and 2030.
    Although pricing pollution is the foundation of our climate action plan, we have built on that foundation. We are working every day to implement Canada's clean growth and climate action plan, which includes over $21 billion in green infrastructure investment that will help build energy-efficient homes and offices and help families save on their energy bills and over $20 billion to support public transit to help reduce commute times in our cities, increase the use of clean transportation, and allow people to spend more time with their families and less time in traffic.
    We are phasing out coal from our electricity system by 2030. This is the equivalent of taking 1.3 million cars off the road, significantly reducing our carbon emissions. This phase-out will prevent 260 premature deaths, 40,000 asthma episodes, and 190,000 days of breathing difficulty and reduced activity, resulting in health benefits of $1.2 billion over the lifetime of the regulations. With the help of an expert panel, we are making sure that the transition is a fair one for coal workers and communities.
    We are strengthening building codes and standards for energy efficiency and we are implementing a clean fuel standard to clean up the fuels Canadians use.
    This is a comprehensive, smart, and practical plan, the kind of plan one adopts when one is serious about clean growth and climate action. That is the work we are doing every day for our kids and grandkids and to help Canadians prosper today.
     The party opposite does not share that vision. Under Stephen Harper, the party wasted a decade failing to act on climate change. Over the weekend, we learned that the Conservatives' approach to our Paris targets is built on waving a magic wand and hoping the pollution goes away. Canadians simply deserve better. They deserve a serious, smart, and thoughtful plan to protect the environment and grow the economy, and that is exactly what we are delivering.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague and neighbour in the riding of Cloverdale—Langley City. We work quite well. I am in the township of Langley and he represents the city of Langley, and we work quite well together and agree on a lot of things, but on this one we do not.
    I am sure the member is hearing, as I am, about the price of gas at the pumps in Langley. Right now it is $1.62 a litre. That is outrageously high. It is the highest in Canada. The Liberal plan is for it to go to $2 a litre, $3 a litre, $5 a litre, whatever it takes to change the driving habits of Canadians.
    How high will gas prices go in Langley before his Liberal Party is satisfied that people in Langley have been forced to reduce the amount of driving? Right now they have not reduced the amount they are driving, so how high does he want the gas prices to go to force people to drive less?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to represent the community of Langley, and we do share a portion of the township of Langley. I hear from drivers about the price of gas. I would like to point out that in the Lower Mainland, the structure of our gas pricing includes a transit levy. We see that things like the price of gas do provide direct incentives for people to change behaviours. When people buy a litre of gas, that is also supporting transit improvement.
    I can proudly say our government has committed over a billion dollars to the South of Fraser transit improvement. It is through these kinds of investments, the things that I talked about, that we will be able to help citizens in the Langley area to transition and get out of their vehicles and use transit as we build those cleaner and more efficient ways of moving people around our neighbourhood. It also means people are out of their vehicles and not sitting in traffic, but spending time in our community and enjoying the beautiful—

  (1555)  

    Order. Questions and comments, the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.
    Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my hon. colleague, and my ears pricked up when he talked about the Paris accord and how the Conservatives had no plan. The Conservatives were in denial, but the Liberals seem to me to be focused on hot air. They adopted Stephen Harper's targets.
    All the reports that are being issued show that the Liberals do not have a plan to meet the Paris targets because they think that if they say nice things greenhouse gas emissions will diminish and the world will become a better place. I have been here 15 years and I have heard Liberals say lots of nice things about environment, but I have never seen a coherent action plan and I have yet to see it now. If we are going to deal with the climate crisis, we could start by at least admitting that the government has not made serious commitments on the ground of the kind we have seen in Alberta with the Notley government, which is trying to deal with this head-on. The current government has spent more time putting up photo ops than in providing any coherent plan to meet the Paris targets.
    Mr. Speaker, I would say that we actually have an amazing plan. The pan-Canadian framework was a great way to move the conversation forward on climate change in Canada. We were able to meet with the provinces and territories to negotiate reductions. We were able to deal with Alberta and bring Alberta into the pan-Canadian framework, which gives really good targets on limits for emissions. Discussions are continuing within provinces and territories about other ways that they can contribute by looking at things like methane reduction limits, from which we will all benefit, so I tend to disagree with the statement that was made. I offer that our government does have a lot of substance and a great vision for the country to deal with a very real and pressing issue, which is that of climate change in Canada and across the world.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola.
    I appreciate the opportunity to speak on today's motion to produce the documents on carbon tax and to touch on a few sleights of hand and inaccuracies from the Liberal government in its claims of being transparent on the federal carbon tax.
    First, the Liberals announced their planned carbon tax on Canadians on October 3, 2016, but for reasons unknown to me, my constituents and I still have not been told how much it will cost or how much it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    Second, upon announcing the planned carbon tax on Canadians, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change promised Canadians that all revenue collected would be given back to the province. We all know this is not true.
    Third, they convinced Canadians that if they were elected, they would support and champion initiatives for the middle class and those working hard to join it. Instead, they increased taxes on small businesses and want to impose a job-killing carbon tax that will damage all of Canada.
    I stand here today to implore the government to end its carbon tax cover-up and finally tell Canadians how much more families will have to pay when it comes into effect.
    Here are a few examples of concerns I heard from some of my constituents.
    Joe from Carlyle commented, “I am a farmer in the Carlyle area and I have some concerns. We both know about the carbon tax issue, and obviously it is a major concern. We know it will affect us, but how badly? That is the question. I am afraid for my family's future.”
    Jeff from Estevan wrote, “On July 1st, 2012, Australia implemented a carbon tax. Two years later, in 2014, they repealed it. A statement on the Australian government's own website says 'Abolishing the carbon tax will lower costs for Australian businesses and ease cost of living pressures for households' so what can we expect from a carbon tax in Canada? Higher business costs and increased costs of living for households. This is not something I want to see implemented from any level of government. All in all it is an incredibly bad idea and I definitely do not support it.”
    Jake, from Weyburn, wrote to the Prime Minister, to me, and to all Canadians to say this:
    Adding a carbon tax to my farm's cost of production will make it less profitable, and ultimately less competitive with my neighbours to the south and across the oceans. I can only take what price is offered to me; I cannot pass along a carbon tax to my customers.
    He continued:
    So, let's exempt farmers, right? Make it revenue-neutral? While that may seem a simple solution, how will you go about that? I still have to purchase fertilizer, crop protection products, fuel, machinery, and so on. If those industries are paying a carbon tax, you can bet they will pass along that cost.
    In conclusion, he stated:
    If a carbon tax drives up my farm's costs without creating an incentive for me to reduce emissions, why have one at all? It does not achieve the required goal of reducing emissions, and hurts my family in the process. I thought your government was going to help the middle class?
    These are just a sprinkling of correspondence, and they make excellent points about how the families of Souris—Moose Mountain would be affected. The trickle-down effect they talk about would affect all business operating costs, as well as families, by increasing the cost of heat, electricity, and food, yet the government will not tell them what the cost is.
    We know the government has the figures because access to information requests have been filed. The finance department memo produced says that there is an analysis of the potential impact of a carbon price based on household consumption data across different income levels. However, the actual data from the analysis is blacked out.
    The government says the analysis can be withheld for two reasons: because it is advice to the government or because it is information that can possibly harm the Canadian economy. If it is the latter, then we can only imagine the cost is going to be even worse than we expected. How can my communities and the people within them plan for their future?
    Canadians want the whole truth, not these half-truths they have been given, like the Liberals' promise that a carbon tax would be revenue neutral. In May of last year, Environment and Climate Change Canada posted this on their website:
    Whichever system is implemented—federal or provincial—revenues will remain in the provinces. Revenues from carbon pricing can be used to lower taxes, like in British Columbia, or support low- and middle-income families, like in Alberta.
    It sounds great, but too bad it is utterly misleading. The minister has stood many times in this House to say that all the money that would be collected from the carbon tax would be given back to the provinces. We know for a fact that not all the money would be given back.

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    Let me expand on that. I recently submitted an Order Paper question and asked the following:
     With regard to the carbon tax and the statement by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on CTV News on January 15, 2018, that “All the revenues go back to the provinces”: what is the projected amount which will be returned to each province as a result of the additional GST revenue collected from the carbon tax?
    I know members are itching to know the answer to that:
     The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a broad-based tax on consumption in Canada that is calculated on the final amount charged for a good or service. The general rule that was adopted at the inception of the GST is that this final amount includes other taxes, levies, and charges that apply to the good or service and that may be embedded in the final price. This amount includes customs duties, federal and provincial product-specific taxes (e.g., on fuel, alcohol and tobacco products), as well as other environmental levies, including carbon pricing.
    Here is the kicker:
     The Pan-Canadian Framework includes the commitment that revenues from pricing carbon pollution will remain with the province or territory of origin. These revenues do not include those in respect of the GST charged on products that may have embedded carbon pricing costs in them.
    Not only is the government going to tax on a tax, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change failed Canadians when she misled them to believe a carbon tax would be revenue neutral. This GST, on regular gasoline alone priced at $1 a litre, which it is not, will amount to over $2.4 billion per year for the Liberals to squander.
    The Government of Saskatchewan has taken a firm stand against a carbon tax, arguing that, in addition to being somewhat ineffective in tackling global carbon emissions, a carbon tax will do substantial damage to the province's natural resource-dependent economy.
    The Government of Saskatchewan has come up with a plan that suits Saskatchewan, and I agree. Other mechanisms, such as carbon capture and sequestration, are far more effective to reduce carbon emissions.
    We have an incredible example of it in my hometown of Estevan. The work done by SaskPower and the Boundary Dam power station, with regard to their efforts in carbon capture and sequestration, CCS, has been a huge success. CCS functions to prevent large amounts of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere by large industrial and power plants.
     Sadly, the Liberals have not yet indicated if this innovative and green technology will even be exempt from the carbon tax. Given that the Liberals plan to phase out coal-fired electricity, CCS needs to be considered as a green solution to the emissions by coal-fired power plants.
    Here is a novel idea: Invest in this program and enhance CCS. After all, it captures 85,375 tonnes of CO2 every month, the equivalent of 21,300 vehicles off the road per month. Over two million tonnes of CO2 have been stored since 2015. This is technology the world wants and needs. Taiwan, Japan, and the United States are interested. Why not promote CCS in India, instead of clothing? To use the minister's words, “Get with the program.”
    I wish I were putting my energy into building upon their successes, rather than standing here and arguing against a tax when we do not even have tangible results or data to study.
     Instead of imposing a carbon tax on provinces and territories, the Liberals should focus on improving Canada's competitive advantage to support Canadian businesses. The Liberals' uncertainty is causing businesses to stand on the sidelines and wait, discouraging investment and hurting the economy.
    It gets worse. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer's latest report, the government's carbon pricing plan will cause the GDP to drop, costing Canadians $10 billion they would otherwise have gained by 2022.
    What my constituents want is simple. They want to be the masters of their own destiny. They want to feel confident that at the end of a hard day's work, at jobs where they contribute, that they are not coming home to a house they cannot afford to heat, an empty fridge, or a car they cannot drive because gas is unaffordable. In order to determine their future, what they need and what they want is to know the facts.
    The Liberals love to study things. Well, this study has been done. The information is there. They should free the study.

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    Conservatives are the party of lower taxes, so I will always advocate that on behalf of my constituents. That is how we will help the middle class and those working hard to join it. The Liberals need to end the carbon tax cover-up and finally tell Canadians how much more families will have to pay.
    Mr. Speaker, the member will be surprised by who first proposed that there be a price on carbon.
    Jon Harding of Imperial Oil said, that any climate policy should ensure the cost is applied evenly across the economy, maximize market mechanisms and minimize complexity and administrative costs. Preston Manning of the Manning Foundation supports the idea of full-cost accounting. He said, “It's eventually got to come. It's just fairly basic concept that, with any production of energy, you've got to figure out what are the environmental impacts and then the cost of avoiding or mitigating them and then integrating that into the price of the product.” Jack Mintz, who the Conservative Party loves to quote, heads the University of Calgary's school of public policy. He said, “a carbon tax would allow Ottawa to cut subsidies to all forms of energy”, which the Harper government promised, “and allow the market to function.”
    Which government, and it was not British Columbia, first imposed the carbon tax in March 2007?