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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

House of Commons Debates



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 10 a.m.




Points of Order

Proceedings on Government Motion No. 22—Speaker's Ruling 

[Speaker's Ruling]
    I am now prepared to rule on two points of order raised yesterday by the hon. opposition House leader regarding government Motion No. 22. I would like to thank the hon. opposition House leader for having raised these matters, as well as the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons for his comments.


     On the first matter, the hon. opposition House leader argued that since in her view no debate had taken place on the motion on Friday, May 25, the Journals for that day were inaccurate as they state, and I quote, “Debate arose thereon.” She asked that the Journals be revised accordingly.


    As recognized by the opposition House leader herself, this is a point of order for which I have already ruled on last Friday. At that time, members questioned whether, due to issues with simultaneous interpretation and disorder in the chamber, the motion was properly before the House. I indicated that the motion was, in fact, properly before the House and that interpreters had successfully interpreted the reading of the motion into the record. I also indicated that the wording of the motion was available for examination in the Order Paper in both official languages. I have not changed my view on that question; consequently, the Journals accurately reflect the proceedings of last Friday.


    House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, states the following at page 564, with respect to what is considered debate:
    A Member initiates the process of debate in the Chamber by moving (i.e., proposing) a motion.
    It also adds at page 566:
    If the motion is found to be in order, and has been moved and seconded, the Speaker proposes it to the House. Once the Speaker has read the motion in the words of its mover, it is considered to be before the House....
    After a motion has been proposed to the House, the Speaker recognizes the mover as the first to speak in debate. If the mover chooses not to speak, he or she is nonetheless deemed to have spoken (by nodding, the Member is considered to have said “I move” and this is taken as the equivalent of speech in the debate).


    I also refer members to a ruling by the Acting Speaker on March 19, 1992, which can be found at pages 8479 and 8480 of the Debates, which provides clarification as to whether a mover of a motion should be counted as forming part of the debate on a motion. The Acting Speaker said:
     Since the minister presented the motion, even if he did not speak, according to the Standing Orders his speaking time is deemed to have expired.
    He later said:
     The first speaker was for the government and is deemed to have spoken, even if he did not actually do so. The government presented a motion to table [a] bill. So that was the first speaker....
    These citations confirm that the motion, having been read out by the Chair and the mover having been recognized to speak to it, initiated debate on the item.
    In a ruling by Speaker Fraser on April 3, 1990, that can be found at pages 10155 and 10156 of the Debates, on a point of order that questioned whether debate had properly begun on a bill, which in turn could invalidate a notice to curtail debate on a bill, he confirmed that, despite the mover not having the opportunity to rise to speak to the item, debate had started, and the matter was properly before the House:
     It is true that the hon. member for Gloucester was not on his feet on debate, but I think I would be stretching things a very long way indeed if I should rule today that the House was not seized of the Order of the Day.
    Similarly, it is clear to the Chair that, as I stated on Friday, government Motion No. 22 was properly before the House, and debate on it had commenced.
    I would now like to address the second point of order raised by the hon. opposition House leader immediately following the point of order by the government House leader, whereby she gave notice of closure with respect to proceedings on government Motion No. 22.
    In her arguments, the opposition House leader questioned the validity of the notice on the basis that, in her view, it had yet to be determined that debate on the motion had commenced. Essentially, she contended that until the Speaker had ruled on the first point of order, notice of closure could not be given.
    In his intervention, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons reiterated that page 19702 of Hansard clearly indicated that debate had commenced, and therefore the notice of closure was appropriately given.


     At that point, the chair occupant indicated that:
...until such time as the Speaker has given a ruling on this question of whether the debate has begun on Motion No. 22 or not, we will reserve whether the motion for closure on Motion No. 22 is in fact in order. It is not at the moment. We will wait until such time as a decision on the previous point of order earlier today is rendered, at which point, depending on that outcome, the government House leader may then proceed accordingly.


    As I have just now confirmed that debate had indeed commenced, it follows that the notice of closure, as given by the government House leader yesterday, was indeed valid.
    I thank all members for their attention in this matter.


Main Estimates 2018-19—Speaker's Ruling  

     I am now prepared to rule on the point of order raised on May 25, 2018, by the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona regarding the form of the main estimates 2018-19.
    The hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona was concerned with vote 40 under Treasury Board Secretariat, also referred to as the budget implementation vote. That vote, in the amount of $7.04 billion, gives Treasury Board the authority to supplement other appropriations in support of initiatives announced in the budget of February 27, 2018.
     The hon. member contended that this vote was not in the proper form, in that it failed to provide sufficient information regarding the government’s spending plans. He pointed out that many of the initiatives which vote 40 might fund are not addressed in the various departmental plans, which are considered part III of the estimates. He also felt that it was improper that the breakdown of the proposed spending is referenced in an annex to the budget documents rather than in the estimates themselves.


     The hon. opposition House leader, who supported the point of order raised by the member for Elmwood—Transcona, argued that, when the Standing Orders were amended to delay the tabling of the main estimates, it was with the expectation of receiving more complete and accurate information. She did not feel that was the case with vote 40 and feared that its wording would allow the government to allocate funds without sufficient scrutiny by Parliament.


    When the matter was raised, I expressed concern about whether the timing of the point of order was appropriate. I recognize that questions relating to the estimates are occasionally complex, and that my predecessors have sometimes agreed to hear arguments early to allow sufficient time to properly consider them. While the estimates are still before committee at this time, I am prepared to rule on the point of order now.


    When the government presents estimates to the House, each vote contains an amount of money and a destination, which describes the purpose for which the money will be used. In some cases, the description is quite detailed and in other cases it can be rather general. That said, the estimates are referred to committee specifically to allow members to study them in further detail, which can involve calling witnesses or asking for further information regarding the government’s plans. While committees have no power to change the destination of the spending, as this would violate the crown’s right to initiate spending requests, they do have the power to reduce or even reject the amount of a vote if they are not satisfied with the information provided.


     The authority of the Speaker to intervene as sought by the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona is more limited than he might wish or believe. In fact, when past Speakers have found procedural irregularities with items in the estimates, these have generally been cases where the funds requested depended on an authority that required supporting legislation.
     In the present case, the hon. member is asking the Speaker to rule vote 40 out of order on the basis that it does not contain sufficient information about the proposed spending. This is not so much a procedural issue on which the Speaker can rule, but rather a policy disagreement with the government over the way it has chosen to request these funds.


     The member's objection to vote 40 seems to mainly be that it is a central fund granted to Treasury Board, which has the authority to then allocate monies to various other departments.
    I concede that the use of a budget implementation vote is unusual and I can understand why members may have preferred that these funds be requested in a different manner, under each of the specific departments, for example. That said, I cannot conclude that proceeding in the manner provided for in vote 40 is out of order. There are ample precedents of monies being granted to a central fund. The most well-known of these is vote 5 under Treasury Board for government contingencies.


    Ultimately, the government determines the form its request for funds will take. While the government does have a responsibility to provide Parliament with sufficient information to allow it to make an informed decision, I do not believe it is for the Speaker to determine if the explanation of the particular request is sufficiently detailed or if the destination is the appropriate one. These are matters for members to consider when studying and voting on the estimates.
     The Speaker’s role is limited to determining if the request for funds is in a form that does not require any separate legislative authorization, and if it respects the limits of the supply process. With that in mind, there are no grounds for the Chair to rule vote 40 out of order.
    I thank hon. members for their attention.


[Routine Proceedings]


Auditor General of Canada

     I have the honour to lay upon the table the spring 2018 reports of the Auditor General of Canada.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(g), these documents are deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.


Committees of the House

Environment and Sustainable Development  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 15th report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in relation to Bill C-69, an act to enact the impact assessment act and the Canadian energy regulator act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts. The committee has studied the bill and is pleased to report the bill back to the House with amendments.
    I want to thank the many organizations and individuals who provided information and recommendations for consideration. Many have been incorporated in the amendments adopted.

Assisted Human Reproduction Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, today on the Hill we are joined by Leia Swanberg and a group of intended parents, donors, surrogates, doctors, attorneys, and people involved in the fertility industry across Canada. It is an honour to present before them a bill to amend the Assisted Human Reproduction Act.
    In 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down many provisions of the act, and since then it has become untenable. It is an act that does not allow the federal government to work, and we need to step out of the way and let provinces properly regulate in this area. We also need to make sure to protect the vulnerable.
    The bill I am putting forward would decriminalize payment for donors and surrogates, but it would remain illegal to assist someone to donate or be a surrogate if they are underage, if they lack capacity to consent, or if they are being coerced.
    I look forward to working with members on all sides of this House to advance the bill forward, and to make sure that our laws in Canada related to assisted human reproduction are from 2018 and not from 1988.

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




Banking Services  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to table a petition signed by many residents of Dubreuilville who are concerned about the fact that the only financial institution in their community, the RBC, closed its doors last fall. They are calling on the government to work with financial institutions to implement a federal regulation to guarantee consumers and businesses in rural areas access to a physical financial institution in their community. They are also calling for the introduction of a three-month penalty-free period to move financial business elsewhere when closures occur. They added that many members of their community do not have access to cellphone or broadband Internet services, and those who do cannot count on reliable service. I am proud to table this petition.


Canada Summer Jobs Program  

    Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition from the residents of Sarnia—Lambton regarding the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which identifies, among other things, freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, and freedom of belief as fundamental freedoms that the Government of Canada must defend. The petitioners call on the Prime Minister to defend the freedoms of conscience, thought, and belief and withdraw the attestation requirement for applicants to the Canada summer jobs program.


Rail Transportation  

    Mr. Speaker, with respect to VIA Rail's high-frequency train project, it is safe to say that there is a very broad consensus, and perhaps even unanimity. When he was last in Trois-Rivières, the Minister of Transport asked residents whether they intended to use the high-frequency train. Since then, hundreds of my constituents have written to me and signed this petition calling on the government to make public transportation between large urban centres a priority. This would contribute to the economic development of the region, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and ensure a healthier environment for everyone. Once again, I am pleased to present this second phase of the petition in support of VIA Rail's high-frequency rail project in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor.


    Mr. Speaker, a year ago, my riding, Gatineau, and many parts of western Quebec and eastern Ontario were devastated by spring floods. Hundreds of properties in my riding were seriously damaged. One of my constituents, Silvy Lemay, initiated this petition calling on the government to allow Canadians who wish to rebuild or renovate their homes to do so using their savings and their RRSPs without penalty, as is done under the program for first-time home buyers. I support this petition and wish to formally present it in the House of Commons.


Democratic Reform  

    Mr. Speaker, a while ago I received a petition about unilateral changes to our electoral system, which should not seem immediately apropos after the government backed off its initial plan to make unilateral changes to our electoral system, but in light of Bill C-76, it seems apropos again. I am pleased to table today a petition from people who are concerned about the Liberal Party trying to unilaterally change aspects of our elections to its own advantage. In particular, the petitioners call upon the House of Commons to pass a motion affirming the need for a national referendum on any proposal to change Canada's current method of electing members of Parliament before the proposal is implemented into law.

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]


Federal Sustainable Development Act

Bill C-57—Time Allocation Motion  

    That in relation to Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration of the report stage and one sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said bill; and
    That, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration at report stage and fifteen minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.


    Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period. I invite hon. members who wish to ask questions to rise in their places so the Chair has some idea of the number of members who wish to participate in this question period.
    The hon. member for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa.
    Mr. Speaker, in a previous life, I used to manage a sustainable development fund and process for the Manitoba government. I was very much struck by the concept of sustainable development. However, I am deeply troubled by how the government misunderstands the concept of sustainable development. I will provide a short history lesson.
    The term “sustainable development” was popularized by the Brundtland commission, chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, the then prime minister of Norway. The report came out in 1987, “Our Common Future”. The people who wrote “Our Common Future” stated very clearly that poverty causes environmental degradation. Environmental degradation is caused by a lack of economic development.
    However, the current government, through its various processes, such as the proposed impact assessment act and other processes, is processing natural resource projects to death and eliminating any hope for small rural communities to advance our economic future.
    Why does the minister have a sustainable development bill that the words “wealth creation” are not even a part of, when a lack of wealth creation in Canada would be a major cause of long-term environmental degradation?
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to talk about this bill. Canadians have said they want a sustainable future for Canada. They also understand that the environment and the economy go together.
    In June 2016, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development issued a report with recommendations for legislative amendments to strengthen the act. In October 2016, as the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, I agreed with the recommendations and committed to report back within the year on action taken.
    I am very proud that this bill supports our government's commitment to put sustainable development and the environment at the forefront of government thinking and decision-making. It also supports shared commitments in mandate letters, including delivering real results, pursuing goals with a renewed sense of collaboration, and setting a high bar in transparency.
    As we have always said, we understand that the environment and the economy go together.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to ask the environment minister a question. I know that we are both alumni of the London School of Economics, and this is truly a Jim Hacker-level move that we are seeing.
    The government has been running down pipelines repeatedly. It has been doing everything it can to prevent the private sector from succeeding. It turns out that it was all about the Liberals trying to get a good price on pipelines. They wanted to run them down so they could buy one.
    I have a serious question for the minister. Why have the Liberals refused to support private sector development and have put every barrier in place for private sector development of pipelines? Why will they not allow the energy east pipeline, for example, to be considered on the basis of the same rules that were used in the case of Trans Mountain?
    Madam Speaker, it is great to hear that my hon. colleague is also a graduate of my alma mater. However, we clearly have a diversity of views coming out of that institution.
    We are here to talk about Bill C-57. I can only surmise, based on the comments from the member opposite, that he supports Bill C-57, which I think is great. As I noted, it was supported by a vote of 244 to zero at second reading and was passed at committee.
     We believe it is a very important step that we need in order to make sure that we make decisions about a sustainable future in Canada, focus on results, and increase the accountability of departments and agencies for setting and achieving ambitious sustainable development targets. The bill would modernize the Federal Sustainable Development Act and incorporate into legislation our government's strong focus on results. The bill also promotes close collaboration and coordinated action across government through a whole-of-government approach.
    We are very pleased that we are moving forward on Bill C-57.


    Madam Speaker, I find it ironic that we are having closure of debate and time allocation on sustainable development the same day the government is choosing to purchase a private pipeline, which will be used to subsidize oil production to compete against other industries in Canada.
    Does the minister find it ironic that this is happening on the same day?
    Madam Speaker, I can only surmise that the other party opposite supports Bill C-57.
    Once again, we understand that the environment and the economy go together. We have one party that is not concerned about the environment and one party that is not concerned about the economy. However, we need to do both.
    Bill C-57 is extremely important, to make sure that we look at sustainable development. We know that Canadians want a sustainable future for Canada. This bill would increase the focus on results and increase the number of departments that are reporting. It would also provide a whole-of-government approach and set a higher bar for sustainable development. We believe that this is a very important thing. This is a very good step, and I am very proud to support it.
    Madam Speaker, I am definitely a supporter of sustainable development and the goals of the bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to be more open and transparent in the way projects are going forward.
    However, the people who have audited the projects that the government has conducted have said that, first of all, those principles are not applied across all projects, that there have been no openness and transparency, and that, in fact, the government is not going to meet the targets of its plan.
    If the minister is serious about the bill and this is not just lip service, would she be open and transparent and tell us how much the carbon tax will cost average Canadians? How would her plan affect greenhouse gas emissions?
    Madam Speaker, I was not entirely sure where that question was going because the focus, of course, is on Bill C-57. I assume, once again, that the party opposite supports this important bill.
    The proposed principles that we are looking at were guided by a number of factors. First of all, the very helpful input from the standing committee provided insights, which were clear on specific principles, and also on where improvements could be made. In addition, some of the principles are fundamental to sustainable development and are reflected in most major international initiatives, such as the Rio Declaration and the very important 2030 agenda for sustainable development, which are missing from the current act. We also identified principles whose inclusion, while absent from the current act, would codify several key elements of the intent of the act.
    Overall, we understand that the principles make explicit many of the key principles of the Federal Sustainable Development Act, such as transparency, accountability, and public engagement.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for recognizing the work that the environment and sustainable development committee did on Bill C-57. We did a study and made some recommendations to the government, and I am really pleased to see that this bill captures the essence of those recommendations. I believe it is very strong legislation that responds to much of the testimony that we heard from Canadians.
    I wonder if the minister would have a moment to provide a comment respecting the scope of Bill C-57. Could the minister perhaps give us an idea of how Bill C-57 would provide a whole-of-government approach? As well, I wonder if she could provide a comment on how the bill would apply to federal entities, because that is an important piece of the Federal Sustainable Development Act. If the minister could comment on the whole-of-government approach and federal entities, it would be appreciated.


    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for the question and for the very hard work of the environment and sustainable development committee. There was a unanimous report. I think everyone worked in a cross-partisan way, which is extraordinarily important. I have always said that the environment should not be a partisan issue. We need to protect our planet.
    In terms of the scope, the bill would extend the coverage of the Federal Sustainable Development Act from 26 to more than 90 departments and agencies. It would formalize the role of the Treasury Board in leading efforts to green government operations, enabling the consistent application across government of Canada's policies affecting sustainability.
    It is incredibly important that we have a whole-of-government approach. While I might be the minister of environment and climate change and be responsible for my portfolio, clearly a federal sustainable strategy has to apply across government. I am very pleased that the bill would now cover more federal entities not previously subject to the requirements of the act. It would increase the number of federal organizations from 26 to more than 90. It would allow for the addition of crown corporations to the schedule of the Federal Sustainable Development Act, which would make them subject to the requirements of the act.


    Madam Speaker, I want to come back to the essence of this morning's debate, the time allocation motion.
    Although my colleagues across the way seem to want to focus on the substance of the bill this morning, the essence of today's debate is to determine why the government is choosing to limit debate on a bill for the 34th time.
    The most recent experience with this related to the bill to amend the Canada Elections Act. In the last Parliament, the Prime Minister swore that he would never limit debate on electoral reform legislation. Last week, he did exactly the same thing as the Conservatives. This is the 34th time in the 42nd Parliament that a minister moves a time allocation motion, even though members like the one from Winnipeg North constantly rose to oppose time allocation motions in the last Parliament.
    I would therefore like to know why the minister is defending a time allocation motion today when her party always stood against these motions in the last Parliament and before that.
    Madam Speaker, this bill is the result of unanimous recommendations from the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development. It was supported by a vote of 244 to 0 at second reading. It was approved in committee and every party indicated their support for Bill C-57.
    I think that it is very important that we move forward with this bill because it will make a huge difference. As I said, we need more transparency. We have to focus on results, and more departments must be covered by Bill C-57. I think that it is important to move forward.


    Madam Speaker, one of the things sustainability requires is trust from the people. I want to ask the minister her opinion on this.
    When the community pastures were turned over a couple of years ago, one of them ended up being turned over to Environment Canada in my riding. At that point we had basically set up a pilot project with the members of the local community. We involved them. They were going to have a say. They had a community council that was set up to advise Environment Canada on the issues. There was going to be a commitment, making sure that research money that was spent on this pasture would go through the local community and that the community would have an active role in dealing with the sustainability of the pasture. These are people who have lived there for 100 years. They know the area and know it very well.
    When this government came in, that was all thrown out. The pasture patrons have basically been ignored. The local community has been set aside, and every decision that is being made on that pasture is now being dictated to the community. In fact, we have had Environment Canada officials come down there in the middle of the night, drive around in their Suburbans, take a look at the place, and leave without even talking to local people. Local people knew they were there. They refused to meet with them.
    Therefore, when it comes to sustainability, does the government not realize the need to actually involve local communities, allowing them to have a say and allowing them to participate, or is it going to continue to dictate to people out in the areas who have to live in these environments, who know far more than she and the government bureaucrats know about their conditions?


    Madam Speaker, once again, we are here to talk about Bill C-57, an incredibly important piece of legislation. It responds to recommendations in the second report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. As I said, these were unanimous recommendations. It was great to see all parties come together to support the committee report.
    Part of the recommendations would shift the focus in the Federal Sustainable Development Act from planning and reporting to results. This is extremely important. We want to see results. We need to show that government departments understand the importance of sustainable development.
     As we look at what is going on in the world, we see that countries around the world have come together around the sustainable development goals in the 2030 agenda. It is very important that Canada show leadership, and that is exactly what we are doing through the bill.
     Madam Speaker, I want to pick up on the last comment that the minister made around the sustainable development goals and the 2030 agenda.
    We see that the international community is really moving toward them and reporting on what it is doing to ensure that the sustainable development goals, SDGs, are met and that no one gets left behind. We also are taking real, concrete, measurable steps to ensure that even domestically we are doing our part.
    I am wondering if the minister could speak about Canada's leadership with this piece of legislation and how we are ensuring that we are taking concrete action in our leadership role in the world as everybody globally is trying to move toward achieving the sustainable development goals.
    Madam Speaker, I am delighted to answer the hon. member's question. I appreciate her leadership internationally in championing the sustainable development goals in the 2030 agenda.
    It is about building a better, more inclusive world, making sure that everyone succeeds and prospers. The focus that we have taken with respect to the federal sustainable strategy clearly highlights our commitment to the environmental dimensions of the global sustainable development goals and outlines key international obligations that guide government action, including the Paris Agreement, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
    The Government of Canada is fully committed to supporting the implementation of all of the sustainable development goals of the 2030 agenda. This legislation is an important piece. We are working across government to bring our full approach to the 2030 sustainable development goals. This legislation is a good example of how we can work across government, how we can demonstrate progress, how we can focus on results, how we can, at the end of the day, improve lives and improve sustainability and at the same time grow the economy.
    Madam Speaker, Bill C-57 would amend the way in which designated federal entities develop their own sustainable development strategies.
    The minister's government is now the proud owner of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. It has shelled out over $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money to this economically suspect project.
    What I want to know from the minister is which federal entity is now going to be the proud manager of this project, and how on earth will that entity ever develop a sustainable development strategy when the Kinder Morgan project makes a mockery of our climate change commitments and presents a very real threat to the coastal environment of British Columbia upon which the B.C. economy depends?
    Once again, Madam Speaker, we are here to talk about Bill C-57.
    Let me start by emphasizing that we understand that the environment and the economy go together and that we are committed to our international obligations.
    Under the Federal Sustainable Development Act, we are focusing on our climate actions. We have shown leadership both internationally and at home. We know that we need to move to a low-carbon future, and that is why we have an all-of-government approach to this. The transition will not happen overnight.
    The federal sustainable development strategy will be an important tool as we move forward. It will provide guidance and it will ensure that we have a whole-of-government approach, and that is extraordinarily important.
    The good news is that I work with all ministers. I work with the Minister of Finance. I work with the Minister of Natural Resources. I work with the ministers responsible for working with indigenous peoples. We need to work together, and that is exactly our approach.
    I am pleased that we are championing Bill C-57.


    Madam Speaker, I want to read a newspaper quote that came out within the last month. Right now we are having some really nice fluffy things to talk about on how wonderful everything is, but maybe the minister could explain to me why we have a 1.5 out of 7 rating on this.
    Here is the quote, and maybe the minister will take off her rose-coloured glasses because these are the facts: “Overall, the commissioner found that the Canadian government is not adequately prepared to do its part for this ambitious global agenda. The commissioner noted that the Canadian government, as of the end of the audit period, had no governance structure for SDG implementation; no system to measure, monitor, and report on national progress; and only limited national consultation and engagement.”
    That is the information that I am providing from the commissioner, as of May 2.
    Could the minister share with me how this plan is going to work when it is given an extremely terrible failure rate?
    Madam Speaker, I have never heard anyone accuse me of wearing rose-tinted glasses. In fact, I live in the real world, where one has to make hard decisions about the environment and the economy.
    I am very happy to talk about the federal sustainable development goals and the 2030 agenda. It is critical for the world that we move forward on the 2030 agenda, and that means that every country needs to do its part and that we need to do our hard work at home. We need to look at how we advance the federal sustainable development goals. Bill C-57 plays a huge role in that effort. It is focused on how we implement our commitments to the environmental dimensions of the global sustainable development goals.
     As I said, our government is committed to fully implementing the international sustainable development goals. We are working across government. We will be reporting on this. It is a really important piece. We are committed to making sure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed and prosper in our country.
    Madam Speaker, again, as the government goes ahead with purchasing a private pipeline, we are limiting debate and discussion on Bill C-57 on sustainable development. It makes a mockery of many things. The sheer notion in the speaking points that the Liberals are the only ones who understand that the economy and the environment go together is such a childish approach to such a serious matter. We understand that sustainable development and the economy have always been integrated in terms of what we want to see for progress and for research and development.
    How can the minister come here today and profess that Bill C-57 and the efforts that they are making are not undermined by her own cabinet and herself?
     Madam Speaker, I would hardly say it is a childish approach to acknowledge that in the 21st century, the environment and the economy do go together. That is the reality.
    We are here to talk about Bill C-57. We believe it is extraordinarily important. We are very pleased that this bill is the result of the unanimous recommendation of the Commons environment committee. Once again, I would like to thank the committee for their extremely hard work. This was supported in a vote of 244 to zero at second reading. It was passed at committee, and all parties have indicated their continued support for Bill C-57. I certainly hope the parties opposite will indicate their support today.
     Madam Speaker, it is very regrettable to see time allocation. Time allocation should be used rarely. Under the previous government, it started being used frequently. It was a commitment of this incoming government that it would not be using time allocation in the House.
     I agree that this is a bill that should be passed. I do not think it is so massively urgent that we should shut down debate at this stage. One would hope the House leaders could work together to manage debate so that it takes place in a reasonable time. However, on this day of all days, when the Government of Canada suddenly decides to pony up more money for fossil fuel infrastructure than it has committed for climate action, it is particularly galling.
     Madam Speaker, I am not entirely sure if that is an indication that the member opposite supports Bill C-57.
    Once again, this bill was the result of unanimous recommendations of the Commons environment committee. I believe the member opposite was part of that. It was supported by a vote of 244 to nothing at second reading. It was passed at committee, and all parties have indicated their continued support for Bill C-57. I certainly hope they continue to support it, because it is a very important piece of legislation. It is very important to the international community to see that we are committed to the environment.
    We are committed to sustainable development, to the Paris Agreement, and to our international obligations. Sustainable development is also very important to Canadians at home. They understand that sustainable development is the way forward, that we need to be incorporating it when we make decisions, and that we need to be recognizing that the environment and the economy go together.


    Madam Speaker, I noticed in the last answer that the minister did not even mention the economy as something that she was concerned about. Again, we are here to discuss the concept of sustainable development, which the act is a part of. It is about sustainable development.
    My question is somewhat similar to the question from my friend from Cypress Hills—Grasslands. There is a major issue in Manitoba right now, and that is the building of the outlet out of Lake Manitoba to alleviate flooding that has so devastated communities around Lake Manitoba and across the entire province.
    This project has been in the works for many years. It is critical. We are very lucky that this year is a low-runoff year, so we are going to get away, but why is her department putting endless delays in front of a vital project that is required to save farms, to save homes, to save communities, and to enhance the economy of Manitoba? If this is the minister's example of sustainable development, I do not want a part of it.
    Sustainable development is a development concept. That is what it is. Gro Harlem Brundtland, in Our Common Future, noted that poverty causes environmental degradation. The Sustainable Development Act, and indeed the entire government, should do whatever it can to enhance development. To go back to my question, why the delay in approving the Lake Manitoba outlet?
    Madam Speaker, maybe I was not clear. I actually did say “economy”. I said that the environment and economy go together, kind of like sustainable development goes together.
    I do want to acknowledge that there are forest fires in Manitoba right now—certainly we are thinking of the people in Manitoba—and there have been floods. I also want to give a shout-out to the Premier of Manitoba, who stepped up and recognized that we need to be putting a price on pollution.
    In terms of this bill, because of the comments related to it, I assume that the member supports Bill C-57, which is good. As I said, we had unanimous recommendations from the House of Commons environment committee, so I give a huge shout-out to the members of the committee. That is the way we need to be doing it. Action on the environment and sustainable development should not be a partisan issue. The bill was supported at second reading by a vote of 244 to zero and was passed at committee.
    It is interesting today that I am speaking to this, because last night I hosted former ministers of the environment from the Conservative and Liberal sides. It was great to hear of their priorities in taking action on the environment and climate change. As I said, it is important that we come together in the House of Commons because, really, at the end of the day, we owe it to our kids: I owe it to my three kids; we owe it to our grandchildren and future generations.
    Madam Speaker, it is unfortunate that the government is moving to shut down debate on its new framework for sustainable development on the same day it has offered Kinder Morgan shareholders $4.5 billion in Canadian taxpayer money for a failed project. The risks of that project were known before Kinder Morgan set out on it. It knew it was going to have to secure a social licence. That did not happen and now instead of letting the market do its work, the government is going to take taxpayer money to bail out those shareholders, despite the fact we hear many members of parties in this place singing the praises of private enterprises and the risks enterprises take and everything else.
    Kinder Morgan took the risk and failed, and now the government, instead of allowing the market to do its job, is going to bail out those shareholders. It is kind of surprising to me that the government cares more about Kinder Morgan shareholders who come from all across the world than it does about the hard-earned money of Canadian taxpayers, and is buying into a project that, according to its main proponent, has already failed. How are we expected to trust the government to be the arbiter of sustainable development and support closure on its bill when it is doing these silly things?
    Madam Speaker, I assume once again that the focus of our very important discussion today is Bill C-57. As I said, it was supported unanimously by the House of Commons environment committee in its report. It was supported by a vote of 244 to nothing at second reading. It was passed at committee. All parties have indicated their continued support for it. I appreciate that. It is important that we move forward to implement these changes. We need to focus on results. We need a better whole-of-government approach. We will now have more government departments covered and have included other changes that have come from the committee. This is a very important example of how we can come together to do important things that matter to Canadians. They care about sustainable development; Canadians have been clear about that. I am proud of this bill.


    Madam Speaker, we are at report stage after an amendment was moved by the Conservatives at committee. It was actually accepted in committee and now it comes to report stage and the Conservatives are moving an amendment to get rid of the amendment they brought forward at committee. Could the minister provide her thoughts on that?
    Madam Speaker, I actually cannot. It is very confusing to me and to everyone else. It makes no sense and it is also unclear why we would waste time on an amendment the Conservatives supported and then want to remove at this stage. I cannot explain it. That is it.
    The question is as follows. Shall I dispense?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    [Chair read text of motion to the House]


    Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): In my opinion, the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Call in the members.


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

(Division No. 675)



Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
May (Cambridge)
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Petitpas Taylor
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)

Total: -- 164



Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona)
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Masse (Windsor West)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Van Kesteren
Van Loan

Total: -- 122




Total: -- 2

    I declare the motion carried.
    I wish to inform the House that, because of the proceedings on the time allocation motion, government orders will be extended by 30 minutes.



Report Stage  

[Government Orders]
     The House resumed from May 24 consideration of Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motion in Group No. 1.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak in support of C-57, an act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act.
    I will describe how our government is taking action to ensure that a clean environment and a strong economy go together, including our support for the global 2030 agenda for sustainable development, and our work with provinces, territories, indigenous people, and international partners to address climate change.
     I will go on to discuss how Bill C-57 would support our strong commitment to sustainability and how the proposed changes, including clause 5, would contribute to more effective, inclusive, and accountable sustainable development strategies in the future.
    Bill C-57 is about advancing sustainable development in Canada. This is a top priority for our government. We have always maintained that a clean environment and a strong economy can and must go hand in hand in the modern world. The well-being of Canada's future generations depend on it.
    We face serious challenges, including the continued threat of global climate change. Canadians are already experiencing the effects of a warming planet, from wildfires that rage longer and harsher than ever before to thinning sea ice in the Arctic to rising sea levels that threaten communities from coast to coast to coast.
    Our federal sustainable development strategy demonstrates our commitment to the 2030 agenda, with 13 aspirational goals that are a Canadian reflection of the global sustainable development goals. Its specific medium-term targets, short-term milestones, and actions show how we will implement the 2030 agenda's environmental dimensions over a three-year period.
    The amendments to the act would support future strategies that would continue to align the goals and reporting of the federal sustainable development strategy with the 2030 agenda, ensuring that Canadians could see a comprehensive picture of our sustainable development priorities and complementing national action to advance the 2030 agenda. This includes, crucially, amendments to clause 5, which seek to ensure that the federal government strategy reflects the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives in Canada.
    We are taking effective action to realize our vision of a clean environment, a strong economy, and a better quality of life for all Canadians. Much is being done, but more progress is needed to meet the challenge of sustainable development and to take advantage of its opportunities.
    Bill C-57 would make important improvements to the sustainability approach established by the 2008 Federal Sustainable Development Act, which requires the government to prepare and report on sustainable development strategies. It would make these strategies more effective, inclusive, and accountable, accelerating our progress toward a more sustainable Canada.
    I would like to take this opportunity now to share the specific amendments proposed in Bill C-57.
    First, the bill proposes a new purpose which clarifies that the focus of the act and the federal sustainable development strategy is sustainable development, not only the environment. It would shift the act's focus to driving action in improving Canadians' quality of life, not just planning and reporting. It would specify that the federal sustainable development strategy must respect Canada's domestic and international obligations. Bill C-57 would also add a number of principles to the act and guide our whole-of-government strategy and the strategies of each federal department and agency, for example, the principle of intergenerational equity, which is clearly at the root of the concept of sustainable development.
     Under the current act, all departments or agencies must develop strategies that are consistent with and contribute to the federal sustainable development strategy. Bill C-57 would continue this dynamic as more than 90 federal government organizations would work together and act in a coordinated manner to achieve common goals.
     The bill would also support our government's commitment to an inclusive approach to sustainability by strengthening the advisory council on sustainable development. Under clause 5, the number of aboriginal peoples on the council would be increased from three to six, and the council would have a clear mandate to advise on the issue of sustainable development. It also seeks to reflect the diversity of Canadian society by taking into account demographic considerations, such as age and gender, when appointing representatives to the sustainable development advisory council. This would increase the degree to which the council would reflect the diversity of Canadian society and increase transparency.


    Finally, and most critical, it would strengthen the government's accountability for achieving concrete, meaningful, sustainable development results.
    For the government to be held accountable, we need strong targets, targets that are measurable and include a clear time frame for their achievement. Bill C-57 proposes to ensure that future strategies will continue to clearly set out what the government aims to achieve and when. This will enable Canadians to closely track whether the government has met its commitments.
    Taking into account these improvements, how will Bill C-57 support greater progress toward our vision for sustainable development in Canada? Quite simply, through better sustainable development strategies that focus on results and reflect the priorities of Canadians.
     What does this mean in practice? It means that future strategies will continue to include goals and targets that will take into account that our efforts today will affect the quality of life of Canadians tomorrow. It means that ministers and organizations across the federal government, more than ever before, will contribute to developing sustainable development strategies, and will work together with our partners to put them into action. It also means that future strategies will benefit from a clear shared understanding of the breadth of actions that will contribute to achieving sustainable development, not only protecting the environment but also protecting health, promoting equity, and conserving cultural heritage.
    Future strategies will also continue to benefit from engagement with indigenous peoples, stakeholders, and Canadians. We saw the importance of this in the development of the current federal sustainable development strategy. Comments received through public consultations helped make our plan more aspirational, more measurable, and more inclusive.
    Bill C-57 is important and significant legislation that supports our government's strong commitment to sustainable development. It would improve all aspects of the government's sustainable development approach, from developing and consulting on our sustainable development strategies to implementing them to achieving and reporting on results.
    I would like to once again thank the members of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development for their ideas, their commitment, and their collaboration. As I have described, their work has resulted in significant improvements to Bill C-57. With their contributions, the bill would provide a more effective and inclusive framework for advancing sustainable development in Canada.
    Madam Speaker, with respect to Bill C-57 and the provisions in it that require various federal departments to come up with their sustainable development plans and so forth and the fact that the Liberal government has now purchased the Kinder Morgan pipeline, I tried to get an answer to this from the Minister of Environment earlier. However, I would like to hear if the parliamentary secretary can help me out.
     Under the provisions of Bill C-57, which federal department is now going to be responsible for the Kinder Morgan pipeline and how on earth is it going to provide a reasonable sustainable development strategy when this project's environmental concerns make a mockery of the government's climate change commitments?
    Madam Speaker, regrettably, I disagree with my hon. colleague's characterization of this government's support and investment in the Trans Mountain pipeline. As our government and the Prime Minister have stated on numerous occasions, this pipeline is in the national interest. The reason it is in the national interest is that it will support thousands of jobs in Alberta and British Columbia and knock-on positive employment in many other provinces right across the country.
    With respect to the member's specific question as to how Bill C-57 will promote the coordination of this project, and many other projects which will encourage sustainable development, as I said in my remarks, the bill fosters a whole-of-government approach. It will extend the coverage of the federal sustainable development from 26 to more than 90 departments and agencies so there is a coordinated approach to ensure the economy and the environment go together.


    Madam Speaker, I know I am hearing a lot of conversation that the environment and the economy go hand in hand, that the government is doing this because it cares about the next generation. Therefore, my question is on fiscal accountability. It seems like the party across from us has no problem leaving billions of dollars of deficit to the next generation. Do the Liberals care about that as well? I agree we need to leave our environment to our children, and I would like your comments on that.
    I will not give you my comments. Unfortunately, I just want to remind the member that she is to address the questions to the Chair.
    Madam Speaker, without question, this is a government that believes in creating economic prosperity by growing the middle class. Our record on that is second to none. We have created hundreds of thousands of jobs since taking office. We have seen record unemployment since taking office. We will continue to drive that kind of growth from the middle class out by supporting projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline.
    Regrettably, on the other side of the aisle, what we see are two opposition parties that have been completely polarized by taking a singular approach, either by supporting the economy without giving consideration to the environment or vice versa.
    This is a government that understands the importance of striking that balance. This project is in the national interest. It will drive jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, and it will ensure that we are protecting the environment by taking into consideration sustainability, which is at the core of what Bill C-57 would accomplish.
    Madam Speaker, I fail to see the sustainability part of this project. If we are in fact going to be leaving a planet for future generations, with all the evidence of climate change that exists, I fail to see how this member can make the connection.
    With regard to economic opportunities, there are now more Canadians employed in alternative and renewable energy sectors than there are in oil and gas. We are very much in favour of economic development, but it has to be done in an environmentally sustainable manner.
    Madam Speaker, that was more of a comment than a question, but I take the remark about the need to invest in renewable, green tech jobs as well as right across the sector.
    It is thanks to the government's investments in green tech, in sustainable development, which Bill C-57 would attempt to accomplish, and will accomplish once passed into law, that we are seeing that job growth.
    Let me specifically answer what I think was implied in this remarks. What Bill C-57 would do, among other things, is make decision-making more transparent. It would promote coordinated action across all of government. It would respect Canada's domestic and international obligations, including COP21.
    That is how the government will ensure that the economy and the environment are balanced, will go together, and will be reconciled so that we can grow the economy for the middle class and continue to see our prosperity grow for future generations.


     Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak in support of Bill C-57, an act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act. I want to focus on what federal departments and agencies are doing to build a more sustainable Canada. First, I will talk about how departmental action is supporting the government's vision for sustainable development. I will then talk about the concrete measures that departments and agencies are adopting as part of their own mandates, to ensure that Canada becomes greener and more sustainable. Lastly, I will talk briefly about how departments and agencies are fulfilling the shared commitment to lead by example by lowering the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions.
     I would first like to explain how departments' actions fit into our overall sustainable development plan. In October 2016, we introduced the 2016-19 federal sustainable development strategy, which contains ambitious long-term objectives, medium-term objectives, and short-term objectives to support our vision for sustainability. We want to make Canada one of the greenest countries in the world where quality of life is continuously improving.
     The strategy also includes action plans, major priorities for sustainability, and specific ways in which the government contributes to sustainable development outcomes, from working with partners on climate change, to investing in clean technologies, to protecting Canada's lands and oceans.
    It is the strongest strategy ever. Introducing it in October 2016 was the very first step. Now our focus is on implementing it to achieve real results for Canadians. That means individual departments and agencies must take action to achieve our goals. Under the Federal Sustainable Development Act, 26 departments and agencies must prepare sustainable development strategies that have their own specific objectives and plans and that comply with and contribute to our overarching federal strategy.
     Last October, our government met that requirement, tabling strategies for the 26 departments and agencies named in the act. We also introduced strategies for a number of organizations that are not bound by the act but have an important role to play in sustainable development, such as Infrastructure Canada, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
     Departmental strategies complement the high-level action plans presented in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. They add substance and detail to our plan, setting out the concrete commitments that will help us realize our sustainable development vision.
    Moving from an aspirational, high-level strategy to specific commitments is an important accomplishment, and I want to thank and congratulate all of my colleagues who are working to implement the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. With their diverse mandates, each department and agency has its own unique role to play.
    I want to stress that reducing the government’s own environmental footprint is just one part of our strategy, and most departments are going far beyond greening their operations.
    Sustainable development is also broader than the environment alone, and our departmental strategies reflect this. Environmentally focused organizations like Environment and Climate Change Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada make important contributions to implementing our strategy.


     The same goes for departments with strong social and economic mandates, such as Health Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
    I would now like to talk specifically about a few of the actions these departments are taking to support our government's sustainable development goals. Several departments and federal organizations are contributing to our federal strategy goal of effective action on climate change, one of the most pressing challenges of our time.
    Here are just a few of the actions they are taking. Environment and Climate Change Canada is working to phase out traditional coal-fired electricity units and advancing the use of carbon pricing. Global Affairs Canada is delivering on Canada's pledge to provide $2.65 billion in climate-financing to support developing countries' transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies. Also, Natural Resources Canada is leading Canada's climate change adaptation platform, a national forum that brings together key groups in Canada to collaborate on climate change adaptation priorities.
    Protecting and enhancing Canada's ecosystems is also essential to meeting the goals and targets of the federal sustainable development strategy and realizing our vision of a greener Canada. Eight organizations contribute to our goal of lands and forests that support biodiversity and provide a variety of ecosystem services for generations to come. Six of those organizations contribute to ensuring that coasts and oceans support healthy, resilient, and productive ecosystems, while four ensure clean and healthy lakes and rivers that support economic prosperity and the well-being of Canadians.
     I see that I do not have much time left, but I feel it is very important to emphasize that sustainable development is also about generating clean economic growth, harnessing innovation and investing in clean technology. That means Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has an important role in implementing the federal sustainable development strategy. I want to highlight a priority that all departments and agencies share. When we tabled the 2016-2019 federal sustainable development strategy, we committed to leading by example by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our own operations, to reducing federal emissions by 40% from 2005 levels by 2030 or earlier. We recently announced an ambitious new target to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. All departments and agencies are taking action to increase the energy efficiency of their buildings, modernize their fleets, implement green procurement and sustainable travel practices, and increase their resilience to climate change.
     In conclusion, as I have described, our government moved from intention to action by tabling departmental sustainable development strategies. These strategies demonstrate our government's whole-of-government approach. Bill C-57 will build our whole-of-government approach by applying the Federal Sustainable Development Act to more than 90 federal organizations, ensuring that they contribute to developing the strategy and its progress reports and requiring them to report annually on results. We look forward to reporting back to Canadians and parliamentarians on our sustainable development commitments. We also look forward to continuing to advance sustainability under the federal sustainable development strategy.



    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my colleague from Hull—Aylmer, in whose constituency I happen to live, that the great Winston Churchill said that however beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
    What I hear from the government in terms of the Federal Sustainable Development Act is primarily of civil servants sending emails to each other. The lack of action on the ground dealing with real environmental issues is the tragedy of the current government. Let me give some specific examples.
     I was just in the Maritimes, in particular, in Miramichi in New Brunswick. People and communities are absolutely devastated by the plight of the Atlantic salmon, a fish that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the recreational fishery of many communities. It supports 4,000 jobs. When I was on the fisheries committee, it produced a unanimous report with very detailed recommendations to rehabilitate those stocks. The current government has done absolutely nothing, and the people I have met with regarding the Atlantic salmon were scathing in their criticism of DFO and what it is not doing to conserve this very important fish.
    Water quality in the Great Lakes continues to deteriorate. Under our previous government, we implemented a number of programs under the national conservation plan that the current government has cancelled.
     Wetlands are being lost at a furious rate. The Liberals are doing nothing about that.
     Regarding the Pacific salmon stocks, many stocks are in deep trouble. The chinook fishery has been closed on the west coast. I could go on and on.
     Therefore, all the fine words by my colleague across the way mean nothing to people and communities that are affected by the environmental degradation the current government is completely ignoring. Why are the Liberals ignoring these problems?



    Mr. Speaker, it is quite the opposite. Our government is taking these issues into account. We address them in our federal sustainable development strategy.
    We are moving forward. For example, Environment and Climate Change Canada is working with its partners in order to protect ecosystems like the Great Lakes, which my colleague mentioned. The department is going even further by working with its partners to protect the St. Lawrence River, the St. Lawrence estuary, Lake Winnipeg, and other major watersheds across Canada.
    I believe this illustrates our approach quite well. We have developed a strategy. We are having discussions with our partners. We have allocated resources, including financial resources, to keep our promises. We are now taking action in partnership with key stakeholders, the provinces, and all those interested in promoting a more sustainable and healthier environment in Canada.


    Mr. Speaker, there was mention of the Great Lakes and, of course, the ecosystem surrounding them. Could the presenter speak a bit about the most recent announcement by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change with respect to the Lake Erie action plan, and not only the plan to sustain the Lake Erie ecosystem but also what the minister has presented to ensure that what surrounds the Lake Erie ecosystem, such as the wetlands and other areas that contribute to a better and cleaner future for the Great Lakes, is addressed?
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague from the Niagara Peninsula knows very well the importance of protecting the Great Lakes and the water basins around them. As he mentioned in his question, I know that the member has worked hard on this and certainly talks a lot about it in our caucus. We have seen the action he has taken to ensure that we are protecting not only the Great Lakes but also the entire basin that contributes to them. We know that if we have a healthy watershed surrounding the lakes, then we will have healthier lakes. That is precisely why that is so very important.
     I know that the good work the member is doing in Niagara will continue well beyond his mandate. I certainly know that my hon. colleague will be very proud of the work he has done there and the brighter legacy he is leaving his constituents and the people of Canada who depend, in that growing region of Niagara, upon clean water and a clean watershed. I could speak much longer on that, but let me just once again salute the work of my hon. colleague.
    Mr. Speaker, it is indeed an honour for me to stand and discuss the concept of sustainable development under the Federal Sustainable Development Act..
    What is often lost to people is that sustainable development is actually a development concept. The concept was popularized by the Brundtland commission report, Our Common Future, published in 1986. What spawned that report was the deep frustration about how environmental policy was being done in the world. The assumption was that economic development was always at the expense of the environment, which is clearly not true.
    Also, what the Brundtland commission concluded is that poverty causes environmental degradation. When we have economies that are not firing on all cylinders, when we do not have innovation, and when we do not have free markets or free trade, the end result is environmental degradation.
    In 1992, the Earth Summit happened in Rio. I was there as part of the Canadian delegation. The message from the Earth Summit, loud and clear, was that ending poverty was the best thing the world could do for the environment.
    Again, as a true free market Conservative, it is very clear to me that free markets, free trade, and a thriving innovation sector create the conditions for wealth production and environmental protection. It is no secret that advanced industrial societies have the best environmental quality. Now the Liberals on the other side always talk about the environment and the economy going together, but in an advanced industrial society, the way they see it is backwards.
    In an advanced industrial society, wealth creation is absolutely necessary for environmental conservation. It is wealthy societies that make the investments in environmental protection. We have many northern and remote communities, for example, that live in pristine environments. There is no industrial development. The land is much as it has been for eons and eons, yet those communities have terrible economies and very difficult social problems. The pristine environment around them does not generate the wealth they need to sustain their societies.
    An economist named Kuznets came up with a concept of looking at per capita income in a country and environmental quality, for example. He did a unique analysis of sulphur dioxide. In the early 1900s, sulphur dioxide was being belched out of coal-fired power plants at a furious rate that caused the great smogs. People said they did not care about the environment. The whole point was to industrialize and to use those power plants to power an ever-growing society.
     What happened in the early seventies, however, is that people said that enough was enough, because of acid rain and air pollution. They simply could not put up with that. Society changed dramatically. Technology was developed to put scrubbers in coal-fired power plants. Starting in the 1970s, sulphur dioxide emissions declined dramatically in the United States as it got richer and richer.
    I am not one of those people who talks about balancing the environment and the economy. Quite frankly, there is no balance. A wealthy society creates a better environment. Society gets wealthier and the environment improves. The term “balance” implies it is a zero sum game and that economic development is at the expense of the environment. That is simply not the case. Actually, the greenest government ever in Canada was that of former Brian Mulroney in the eighties. In fact, he was awarded the prize of being the greenest prime minister in Canadian history.
     One thing the Mulroney government did in Canada, an example of a rich society, was to implement pulp and paper effluent regulations requiring every pulp and paper plant in Canada to build a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant. I happen, in a previous life, to have run one of those wastewater treatment plants. Basically, what those plants did was to turn a toxic effluent into effluent that a person could drink.


    Only rich societies do those kinds of things. We put scrubbers on smoke stacks, as I said a minute ago. In rich societies, we also set aside vast tracks of land as parks. I happen to live next to Riding Mountain National Park. It has great timber and soils, all the makings of a piece of land that could be developed for forestry or agriculture, yet we as a rich society have decided that Riding Mountain National Park shall remain in its natural state. That is a good thing, but again, wealthy societies are the ones that do that.
    That is something the Liberal government has completely forgotten. The Liberals are doing their best to kill Canada's natural resource economy, which is 20% of our economy. The way they are killing the natural resource economy is with process after process. The just-announced purchase of the Kinder Morgan pipeline by the Liberal government is testament to the failure of its environmental policies.
     We lost energy east. We lost the Petronas project. We lost northern gateway. In addition to the Kinder Morgan project, these would have produced thousands and thousands of jobs, especially in eastern Canada. I am talking about energy east right now and the absurd situation of Canada importing foreign oil for our eastern refineries when we produce enough raw material to supply those refineries ourselves. Only a Liberal would think that is a good thing. I hate to break it to the government, but process does not improve the environment. Actual work on the ground does.
     The other thing that is implied by the Liberals and the NDP all the time is that somehow industry is either not doing a good job, or always wanting to skirt environmental regulations. Nothing could be further from the truth. All of our industrial projects these days are built with the highest environmental standards from day one. I saw it in person on the ground when I was doing environmental monitoring work in the oil sands. The care taken by energy companies and contractors with environmental protection was something to see. Everyone was trained in spill response. All of the technology was in place. Spill kits were everywhere. All of the proper environmental protocols were followed. In terms of the plants and the mines, all of the pollution control devices were world class.
    As I said earlier, environmental results are critical. Under our government the environment improved significantly. Sulphur dioxide went down, nitrous oxide went down, and the amount of land devoted to parkland increased dramatically. Over 800,000 acres of extremely valuable land was secured under the national area conservation plan.
    Contrast that with what is happening under the current government. I mentioned earlier the plight of the Atlantic salmon. I was in New Brunswick where people are devastated by the near collapse of the Atlantic salmon stocks. Their anger at DFO almost knows no bounds. They are being ignored by the government. The Atlantic salmon was an example of sustainable development, a sustainable fishery that sustained communities with 4,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of income, and yet the government is ignoring the unanimous report of the fisheries committee. As a result, the Atlantic is in deep trouble.
    Again, the Liberals think that process is results. Process does not produce results. Doing environmental conservation and environmental remediation and fish stock enhancement on the ground produces real environmental results. When I hear about the Federal Sustainable Development Act, I know it is about bureaucrats sending emails to themselves.
    I would also note with regard to the Liberals' emphasis on process that in hearings before our environment committee on the impact assessment act, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association said that Canada has a “toxic regulatory environment”. I guess that is why the Liberals are trying to buy their way out of it with the purchase of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
    The government is deliberately destroying Canada's natural resource industries and the communities, both indigenous and non-indigenous, that depend on them. This will have serious consequences for Canada's economy.


    Mr. Speaker, as the world moves toward meeting the sustainable development goals in agenda 2030, Canada needs to be one of the players who take an active leadership role in ensuring that no one gets left behind. As I look at the bill and the work the committee has done, as well as the work our government has done over the last couple of years, I can see that of the 17 goals, our government has put a lot of work, domestically, into ensuring that there is no poverty, into gender equality, and into sustainable action on climate change and life under water, and doing so in partnership with the provinces and territories.
    I know the hon. member is quite versed in this particular area and has a high level of expertise. Has he not seen the government do tremendous work toward sustainable development and ensuring that we meet the sustainable development goals and the objectives of agenda 2030?


    Mr. Speaker, Canada started showing leadership in sustainable development under the provincial government of Gary Filmon and the leadership of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, back in the late 1980s. We did it this way. Prime Minister Mulroney announced at the United Nations that Canada was going to be a leader in sustainable development and that we were going to create the International Institute for Sustainable Development, based in Winnipeg. I was very fortunate to be on the founding board of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. That institute is recognized around the world for its work.
    The member talked about poverty reduction. As someone once said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future.” I think it was Yogi Berra. The government takes great pride in virtue signalling about its concern for our indigenous people. I am going to make a prediction right now that after the term of this government, and this is probably the last term, if one looks at the social and economic indicators in our indigenous communities from the first day the Liberals took office to their very last day in office, not a single indicator will have improved. They can take that prediction to the bank.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to challenge my colleague on that assertion. Goal number one is no poverty. We introduced the Canada child benefit, which supports nine out of 10 families and will lift hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty. We are on target for 2021 to ensure that our indigenous population has no boil water advisories and has access to clean water, which is goal number six of the sustainable development goals. I could go on and talk about a number of different initiatives we have taken within the indigenous file to ensure our obligation and responsibility, to ensure that the rights of indigenous people are protected, and to ensure that they have the quality of life they deserve in this country.
    Therefore, I will challenge the assertion the member just made, because we are well on track to do a lot of the initiatives that the previous government did not even bother with.
    Mr. Speaker, I certainly stand by my assertion that not a single socio-economic indicator in indigenous communities will have improved after the term of the Liberal government. Let us just look at the numbers when the final term of the government is over.
    The member talked about indigenous communities. Let us take Baker Lake, for example. Agnico Eagle built a gold mine at Baker Lake. Does the member know what the unemployment rate at Baker Lake is? It is zero.
    Near Yellowknife, a number of aboriginal communities participate in a diamond mining industry. At committee, I asked the head of the Mining Association of Canada specifically about the socio-economic indicators in those communities. More young people are going to secondary education. There is a spring in their step. They are happy to have jobs.
    Chief Ernie Crey, a strong supporter of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, talked about the excitement his young people were feeling about the potential of getting trained for pipeline jobs, and how devastated they would be if this pipeline does not go through.
    Again, the best route to self-sufficiency is economic development and jobs. We need to get natural resources developed near our indigenous communities so they can all benefit and better their lives.


    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to Bill C-57, the clean growth strategy that the government is bringing forward to the House. I am also pleased to join my colleagues on this side of the House to give support to the bill and I look forward to its passage, after second reading being 244 to zero and after the unanimous decision at committee level.
    Our government is committed to protecting the environment, as well as building a clean growth strategy that benefits the middle class and every part of the Canadian economy. Canadians want an ambitious action plan on climate change, at the same time as economic growth and ensuring a good future for our children and our grandchildren. This is a huge opportunity, and we are extremely excited about this nation's future.
    If we look at countries around the world, including Canada, we see that many have come to the same conclusions as we have here today. In China, it is estimated that by 2040, the cost of generating electricity from new solar cells will be lower than the projected operating costs of existing coal-fired power plants. In 2017, Germany generated 36% of its electricity with clean energy. Last year, our southern neighbours saw solar and wind industries create jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. In fact, they have twice as many solar jobs as coal jobs. Finally, here in our great nation, wind energy in Prince Edward Island reduces its need for energy from outside the province. P.E.I. has no sources of oil, natural gas, or other fuels for traditional forms of electricity.
    As the world's economies are shifting toward cleaner and more sustainable growth, it is essential that Canada remain competitive on the world stage.
    Sustainable development includes supporting people and the nation toward a cleaner economy, which will help position Canada to take advantage of opportunities in the new global economy by diversifying our economy and opening up access to new marks while reducing emissions and generating good jobs for all Canadians.
    Sustainable development includes clean technologies, which are a key component of our government's approach to promoting sustainable economic growth. I want to emphasize the word “sustainable”. It is not just about economic growth, but economic growth that is done right and sustainably.
    Among many things, sustainable development means tackling climate change. Canada was one of almost 200 countries that committed to the Paris Agreement. We agreed to take steps to support the transition to a low-carbon economy and limit the global temperature increase to less than 2° Celsius.
    Together with our provincial and territorial partners, we developed a pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, which includes our approach to pricing carbon pollution and measures to achieve reductions across all sectors of our economy. We see carbon pricing as a key driver for technological innovation and helping Canada to transition to a low-carbon economy, because a carbon price creates a continuous incentive to develop innovative and inexpensive ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    A transition to a lower-carbon future will also require the involvement of the private sector to help increase the supply from alternative sources of energy, meet increasing demands while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, leverage investments in clean energy, improve energy interconnection, and ensure a smooth transition as Canada reduces its reliance on coal.
    Our goal is to make Canada a world leader in green technology and clean innovation. That is where the future lies: the knowledge economy, where Canadians are applying their talents to solve collective challenges that face each and every one of us throughout this great nation.


    Let me remind my hon. colleagues about some important steps this government has taken to encourage and support clean technology in Canada.
    In 2016, more than $1 billion was announced for such things as support for research and development; the deployment of infrastructure for alternative transportation fuels, including charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and natural gas and hydrogen refuelling stations; tax incentives for the generation of clean energy; and, finally, new money for Canada research chairs at Canada's leading universities.
    In 2016, environmental and clean technology activities accounted for 3.1% of Canada's gross domestic product, or $59.3 billion. In terms of employment, an estimated 274,000 jobs were attributed to environmental and clean technology activity in 2016 alone. These jobs represent 1.5% of jobs in the Canadian economy, which is 4.5% higher than in 2007.
    The two largest components of the environmental and clean technology gross domestic product are clean electricity, at 43%, and waste management, at 12%. In 2017, we continued the support for clean technology by announcing almost $1.4 billion in new financing to be made available to help Canada's clean technology firms grow and expand. We also announced our plan to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, which are a barrier to investment in clean energy.
    More recently, we announced historic investments, including the low-carbon economy fund and the investing in Canada plan, which support projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generating clean growth. Building on these commitments, budget 2018 focused on enhancing the role of federal science for the public good by proposing $2.8 billion to renew federal laboratories. These investments contribute, in part, to achieving Canada's pledge to double funding for clean energy deployment from $387 million in fiscal year 2014-15 to $775 million in 2020. In fiscal year 2015-16 alone, we increased clean energy research and development funding by 24% over the previous year.
    I look forward to members of the House supporting this legislation. As I stated, 244 members of the House voted unanimously to move forward to third reading, and there was a unanimous decision to move forward to third reading from the committee. I am more than happy to take questions from the opposition, as well as from the third party.
    Mr. Speaker, as the world moves toward meeting the targets of the sustainable development goals, we have to take leadership. I wonder if my colleague could expand on some of the work we have done to achieve those goals. I will give him some examples.
    Goal 5 is gender equality. For the first time, we saw a budget that had a gender statement and gender-based analysis. Goal 1 and goal 2 are no poverty and zero hunger. We introduced the Canada child benefit, which will lift hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty. Goal 6 is clean water and sanitation. In my previous comments, I mentioned our work in indigenous communities around getting rid of boil water advisories, which we are on track to do in the coming years.
    I am wondering if my hon. colleague could talk a little more about how the government has been working over the last couple of years to ensure that we are leaders in meeting the sustainable development goals.


    Mr. Speaker, the member outlined a lot of what we have done on this file in terms of benefiting Canadians not only today but well into the future.
    However, I want to add green infrastructure, public transit, smart grids, energy-efficient buildings, and electric vehicle infrastructure. The federal government aims to help mainstream innovation in clean technologies, working with our institutions and working with our partners as well as investing in water and wastewater projects in indigenous communities. The list goes on in terms of our partnerships with municipalities.
    Our biggest achievement to date is the fact that we are benefiting and investing in our future and our children. We are ensuring that we are taking responsibility today for a better tomorrow. We are leading by example, not only by giving example to others but also by leading by example from others.
    Let us make no mistake about it: not only are we doing this as a government here in Ottawa, but we are also working in partnership with our partners and municipalities and schools. We are working with children as well as young adults to ensure that they are part of their future, and we are also taking responsibilities and setting examples as a federal government.


    Mr. Speaker, my colleague always speaks very passionately about infrastructure projects. I had the opportunity to work with him on the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, where we had some good discussions.
    He said that he likes working with the municipalities and other levels of government, but I am wondering what he thinks about the government's decision not to work with all of the parties in the House on Bill C-57 and to move a motion to cut members' speaking time on a file where the input and opinions of everyone in the House are very important. It is true that the environment and the economy go hand in hand, but at the same time, we all have the right to speak.
    Does he think that muzzling opposition members with regard to Bill C-57 is what co-operation is all about?


    Mr. Speaker, I appreciated working with the member opposite on many opportunities. I find it interesting that when I first started speaking, there were only four people in the House on the opposite side, two from one party and two from the other—


    Mr. Speaker, members are not supposed to make reference to either the presence or absence of members in the House.


    The hon. member has a point. Does the hon. member for Niagara Centre wish to withdraw that comment?
    Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw it.
    At second reading, 244 members supported this legislation unanimously in this House, and support was unanimous as well at the standing committee. Again, the legislation was unanimously supported in the House. We have had ample debate time. We have had ample support. We have ample participation from members of all parties. Once again, as I mentioned earlier, I look forward to this legislation passing with the unanimous support of the members of the House.


    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-57. This bill is a mixed bag, in that does not go far enough and fails to consider several elements included in MP John Godfrey's original bill from 2007, which was subsequently watered down.
    Once again, the work is only half done, as the bill did not consider the recommendations of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. It did not even consider the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, which wanted to go much further on certain issues, especially creation. Back in 2007, it was Mr. Godfrey's idea to create a real environment commissioner position that would be independent of the Auditor General's office and Environment and Climate Change Canada.
    Now, some kind of office of sustainable development is going to be created within Environment and Climate Change Canada. I doubt that office will be able to give good advice, because it is like making the inspector part of the company he or she is supposed to inspect. I do not quite see how that would work. Once again, we see another so-called solution that does not really get to the root of the problem. The government is not making the bravest and most useful decisions possible.
    I will come back to Bill C-57 in a few minutes because it is basically a bill that refers to the environment, sustainable development, and the United Nations' 17 sustainable development goals, which we are far from meeting. I will come back to that when I speak about the report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, which was tabled recently.
    I will take this opportunity to point out what a mind-boggling day this has been. I do not understand this shocking and unexpected news: the Liberal government has decided to become the owner of a pipeline that will transport an extremely dangerous substance. If there is a spill on the Pacific coast, it will be extremely difficult to clean up because this substance sinks rather than floats like many other substances derived from fossil fuels.
    During the 2015 election campaign, the Liberal Party of Canada said that by voting Liberal we would be voting for real change: Canada would be back on the international scene, the Liberals would champion the fight against climate change, and they would turn the page on the dark days of the Harper and Conservative regime. However, the Liberal Party is going further than Stephen Harper dared to go. The Conservatives never purchased a pipeline. That was not in the Liberal platform and the Liberals did not say one word about it in 2015. Unless I am mistaken, I did not hear the Prime Minister say, during the election campaign, that if we voted for him, he would take $4.5 billion of our money and buy a pipeline.
    Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet: I do not remember that.
    Mr. Alexandre Boulerice: The whip does not remember, and neither do I, Mr. Speaker.
    I do not think that is what he told voters, which is why people are right to feel betrayed today. They are right to be angry, because the government is going to use their money to buy a pipeline that will outgrow its usefulness in 20 or 30 years. Who is going to buy that back from us? The rest of the world will have completed the just energy transition and will have created good jobs in renewable energy. We will be coming to the international market saying that we put $4.5 billion into this pipeline and it would be great if someone could buy it back from us, because we have no use for it.
    Kinder Morgan estimates that the finished pipeline will require about 440 permanent employees to keep it running, with all of the associated risks. On top of this, you have provincial jurisdictions, first nations treaties, social acceptability, and our greenhouse gas reduction targets under the Paris Agreement.
    Kinder Morgan estimates that, once the pipeline is built, it could generate 3,000 direct and indirect jobs. If you divide $4.5 billion by 3,000 jobs, that gives you $1.8 million per job created. I guarantee that if you gave me $1.8 million, I would be able to create more than one job. The $4.5 billion is not even the end of it, since this figure would simply cover the existing equipment. There is still no talk of how much the expansion could cost.


     The aim is to be able to transport three times as many barrels a day. I do not know how we will be able to do that and still respect the Paris Agreement and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. We would have to remove millions of cars from the road to perhaps be able to achieve a balance, because the government has absolutely no plan. On the contrary, it is coming to the rescue of a Texas company that was clearly unable to take the risk associated with the expansion and development of the pipeline. Since it does not want to take that risk, it decided to place it squarely on Canadian taxpayers’ shoulders. This is outrageous and unacceptable.
     Another thing we need to consider is that the government will be paying $4.5 billion of our money to purchase a pipeline that already exists. Kinder Morgan paid $550 million to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline in 2007. Eleven years later, we are buying it for nine times that, and that is not even the final bill.
     I think that when most people in every one of our ridings find out, they will be angry with the Liberal government because the decision makes no sense. The government is spending a considerable amount of money when it should be making the transition to other sources of energy and investing in energies and jobs of the future. Look at what is going on in Germany, Denmark, Spain, and the Netherlands. We in Canada are behind. We are taking a bunch of public funds, Canadians’ money, and investing it in something that has no future and that is the result of extreme short-sightedness.
     The oil will not even be refined in Canada. It will probably be sent to China. It is simply an export pipeline. It does not even create value for the Canadian economy. Billions of dollars are going to be invested in this project.
     The Minister of Finance said that the government was going to find private partners to pay for the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. They may not be interested, especially if they know that the Liberal government is standing there with its chequebook out asking, “How much? No problem. Will that be $5 billion, $6 billion, or $7 billion?” Today we are talking about $4.5 billion, but it will probably end up being more like $12 billion. Is this really the best use we can make of $12 billion?
     We have a responsibility to the world, and we could be a leader in investments in technologies of the future, in such areas as wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, and tidal flows. There are all sorts of things we could do. Instead of that, we have a bill that is neither here nor there, and a decision by the Liberal finance minister that goes completely against all of its goals. I think that Quebeckers and other Canadians must be aware of that. They are the ones who will be paying the price. They will pay the price out of their own pockets, with their own money, and they will also pay the price because the story is not over yet.
     The indigenous peoples affected will go to court and ask for an injunction. The government of British Columbia will not take this lying down, either. It will want to defend its jurisdiction. Not only will the court battle go on forever, but this is a ridiculous expense, and we are missing an opportunity to invest in economies and energies of the future.
     I am convinced that, today, in Kinder Morgan’s offices, they are rolling in the aisles, passing out the champagne, scotch and cigars. They must be having one heck of a party. They have just been given $4.5 billion, and they are taking absolutely no financial risk. They are not the ones who will have to deal with the legal problems or the spills. They are not the ones who will have to clean up the ocean. They have washed their hands of the whole affair.
     It is over. Their work is done. They will be able to give their shareholders gifts and dividends, all paid for by Quebeckers and other Canadians. I think it is absolutely unacceptable. It goes against everything the Liberal government keeps saying about sustainable development.



    Mr. Speaker, Bill C-57 would basically mandate that various federal departments come up with sustainability plans, and it would extend the reach. I have tried to ask the Liberal government on a couple of occasions which particular federal department is now going to be in charge of Kinder Morgan, and how on earth that federal department is going to be able to release a sustainable plan that will bear the scrutiny of scientific consensus.
    Despite the way our planet is going and despite this being 2018, we are investing in expanding a diluted bitumen pipeline and not even getting the value out of the product, as my colleague mentioned in his speech. We are going after bottom-barrel, basement prices. We are not looking toward the future.
    I would like my friend to comment on the Liberals' plan of action and how, with all of the evidence out there, this project flies in the face of sustainability and flies in the face of what Bill C-57 purports to do.


    Mr. Speaker, I would like to sincerely thank my colleague from British Columbia for his question and for having shared his concerns.
     It is a shame to have a hypocritical government when it comes to sustainable development and the environment. We no longer have a minister of the environment and climate change, we have a minister of the environment and pipelines. It is a shame that the government is betraying Canadians’ trust. It does not take the environment seriously, and it is not doing its share by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
     If we do not manage to go carbon neutral by 2030 or 2050 and the average temperature of the planet increases by more than 2%, we are in for monumental and catastrophic consequences. That is when it will cost us billions of dollars, not only because of the loss of ecosystems and species, but because of extreme weather phenomena. There will be more floods and more forest fires. This is an extremely serious matter. It is our greatest responsibility here in the House as representatives of Canadians. Unfortunately, the Liberal government is talking out of both sides of its mouth and moving in the wrong direction.



    Mr. Speaker, one of the principles of this particular piece of legislation is to ensure that not only do we meet the sustainable development goals as a government and as a country but that we do it in very particular ways, ensuring that there is intergenerational equity that polluters pay. We introduced a price on pollution. We have a comprehensive oceans protection plan. We have introduced measures to reduce poverty.
     We are certainly hoping that the hon. member will support this piece of legislation. I personally think the government has done a really good job in meeting some of these goals, and we have more to do. I am pretty sure I know his answer from what the hon. member was saying, but what are his thoughts on that?


    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question. She probably wants to hear me say that the Liberals have made a few good decisions and that they have taken positive actions. When that is true, I try to acknowledge it as best I can, but when it is not enough, it is not enough.
     I invite my colleague to read the Commissioner of the Environment’s reports. In last year’s report, she estimated that Canada will not achieve its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2030, and that it will miss the boat. The United Nations and the OECD agree.
     Obviously, she should also read the Commissioner of the Environment’s report for this year, which contains the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals. Here again, the Commissioner says that the government’s efforts are insufficient to achieve these goals, and that she is extremely concerned.
     Once again, the words are there, but nothing is being done to achieve the desired outcomes.


    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to address my hon. colleagues here in the House today. I would like to speak about the principles of sustainable development and Bill C-57 and how those will help advance the government's commitment to a clean environment and a strong economy.
    Let me start with a bit of history. In 1993, the General Assembly of the United Nations established the World Commission on Environment and Development, which was chaired by then Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland. In 1987, the commission published Our Common Future, known as the Brundtland report. The report put sustainable development on the global agenda. It also coined and defined its meaning, as follows:
     Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
    That is often referred to as the standard definition of “sustainable development”, and indeed, that is how sustainable development is defined in our current Federal Sustainable Development Act.
    The Brundtland report paved the way for an unprecedented 1992 United Nations conference in Rio de Janeiro, better known as the Earth Summit. I want to make a special point of noting that it was the late Maurice Strong, a distinguished Canadian, who led the organization of that event.
    The Earth Summit brought together more countries and heads of state than any previous event. It established enduring and lasting mechanisms for international co-operation, following through on Gro Harlem Brundtland's vision of a sustainable future.
    Among these important agreements were the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, and the development of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Canada was there. We supported the 1992 Rio declaration, and we have championed sustainable development since that time.
    In 1995, following Rio, Canada became one of the first countries in the world to create a commissioner for sustainable development. Since 1997, government departments have been required to produce sustainable development strategies, in compliance with the 1995 amendments to the Auditor General Act.
    In 2008, under the leadership of the Hon. John Godfrey, his private member's bill, Bill C-474, passed and became law as the Federal Sustainable Development Act. The act provides a legal framework for developing and implementing a federal sustainable development strategy every three years. It also requires 26 departments and agencies to prepare their own sustainable development strategies that comply with and contribute to the federal strategy.
    Let us move forward to 2015, which was a watershed year for sustainable development globally. In September, Canada was among 193 countries to adopt the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The 2030 agenda set out a global framework of action for people, the planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership, with the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty and ensuring that no one is left behind. The 17 sustainable development goals and their 169 associated targets built on the previous millennium development goals. They were universally applicable and fully integrated social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Just a few months later, in December of 2015, Canada was among the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which adopted the historic Paris agreement.
    The Federal Sustainable Development Act is part of a legacy that began with the Brundtland report and the Earth Summit and that is still relevant today as we advance the government's commitment to a clean environment and a strong economy. It provides the framework to develop and implement the federal sustainable development strategy, a guide to the Government of Canada's environmental sustainability priorities.
    The most recent strategy for the period from 2016 to 2019 was tabled in the House on October 6, 2016. It sets out 13 long-term aspirational goals. In response to a recommendation of the standing committee, the strategy's goals are Canada's reflection of the United Nations' sustainable development goals, with a focus on the environmental dimensions.


    We are continuing to move forward to improve what we are already doing. Bill C-57, an act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, seeks to strengthen our commitment to sustainable development, further building on the Brundtland Report and Rio as well as on the 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals and the Paris agreement.
    As in the past, principles have been the foundation of all our sustainable development commitments, and today I would like to take a few minutes to tell my colleagues about the principles we are proposing in Bill C-57, principles our government believes will strengthen the Federal Sustainable Development Act. I also want to acknowledge the important work of our colleagues on the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, who, in their June 2016 report on the Federal Sustainable Development Act, highlighted the importance of modernizing our sustainable development principles.
    Bill C-57 proposes to include the principles of intergenerational equity, polluter pays, internalization of costs, openness and transparency, involving indigenous people, collaboration, and results and delivery.
    The principle of intergenerational equity is the essence of sustainable development. It is the recognition that the decisions we make are not just about today and about us but about the future and those who will be here after us.
     The principles of polluter pays and the internalization of costs reflect our understanding that we need to move beyond conventional ways of thinking. To be sustainable, economic growth must take into account the damages imposed on the environment. Polluter pays means that those who generate pollution must bear the cost. Internalization of costs means that goods and services should reflect all costs they generate for society, from their design to consumption to final disposal.
    The principles of openness and transparency are intertwined with the purpose of the Federal Sustainable Development Act to make decision-making related to sustainable development more transparent and subject to accountability to Parliament.
     From the very first day we took office, our government has been committed to a renewed relationship with indigenous people based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. We are working to correct the injustices that have persisted and have contributed to an unacceptable socio-economic gap. That is why we are involving indigenous people. We want to underscore that this commitment is supported by important provisions in the proposed act to increase the number of indigenous representatives on the Sustainable Development Advisory Council to better reflect the breadth of indigenous groups represented and the challenges they face here in Canada.
    The principle of collaboration emphasizes the role parties must play to achieve sustainable development. We need to work together.
    Last, the principle of results and delivery is about making sure that we get there. We need to ensure that we have the right objectives and strategies to meet all the goals, but we also need good indicators to measure progress and make sure that we report on the progress in a way people can understand and be proud of.
    The principles set out in Bill C-57 reaffirm that we are up to the challenge before us. We are ready to seize the opportunities before us and to be bold. Sustainable development means growing a diversified, low-carbon economy while reducing emissions and generating good-quality jobs for Canadians.


    Mr. Speaker, earlier in the discussion, we heard an NDP member mention that in 2007, Kinder Morgan had been purchased for $550 million. Of course, we can see what has happened to that asset in the last few years. Kinder Morgan, as we have just heard, has had kind of a positive view of the project, which will free up money for Kinder Morgan to be able to invest in better and more stable economic jurisdictions around the world. They, of course, will be moving oil.
    I am rather curious about whether the member feels that with the sustainability development programs we are speaking of, there would be encouragement for Kinder Morgan to go in and move oil, for example, for energy east, which would be a great opportunity for the extra money investment it will have because of the money it has now made in British Columbia.
    Mr. Speaker, the Trans Mountain expansion is in Canada's best interest. It was approved by our government. We understand that the economy and the environment go hand in hand. One of the benefits of this project is that it will create thousands of good paying jobs in Canada.
     Our government wants to ensure we make investments and decisions that are in the best interests of Canadians. We want to ensure they are consulted and are the beneficiaries of those good paying jobs. In a lot of jurisdictions, many individuals face a lot of challenges. We want to ensure we take that into account.
    This investment is an investment in Canada's future. It will ensure that Canadians are always at the forefront of our thoughts, and that we have good paying jobs for them.
    Mr. Speaker, we have just heard some interesting interventions.
    Kinder Morgan does not want to make a bad investment for its shareholders and it has now found a willing partner in the Liberal government to prevent that.
    The finance minister has already started his snake oil salesman routine across the globe, looking for investors. Maybe he is going to go on Shark Tank or Dragons' Den and use them as venues to solicit more money.
    How can the minister talk about partnerships and a thorough vetting of the environment, while at the same time not look at the fact that this bill is being circumvented by a shortening of time in the House to debate it and possibly improve it?


    Mr. Speaker, we can look at Bill C-57 and the role Canada has to play in its leadership around sustainable development. Over the last couple of years, we have actively worked toward that.
    As I said in my previous comments, our government introduced the Canada child benefit, which moves hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty and reduces hunger. It meets the first two goals of sustainable development, or tries to achieve some of that.
    With respect to gender equality, our government has taken a whole-of-government approach. We see it in our G7 presidency. We are taking a leadership role not just on what we do domestically. Women and girls are the centre of our feminist international assistance policy.
     This legislation is an ongoing and continuous focus on ensuring Canada is a leader in achieving sustainable development goals both here and around the world.


    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to be speaking today in support of the sustainable development bill before us. I am accompanied by staunch defenders of our ecosystems, including my colleague from Manitoba, who is with us today, and my colleagues from British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
     We want to make sure that we are using our resources in such a way that future generations will be able to do so as well. That is the core of the bill. This morning, my colleague from Saskatchewan reminded us that the concept of sustainable development is a recent development in the history of humanity. We need to go back to 1972. It was after I was born, but I think I was in elementary school at the time. In 1972, the Club of Rome raised the alarm, saying that the planet had limited resources and that we could not continue exploiting them relentlessly and irresponsibly. It predicted that, in the 21st century and, more specifically, around 2100, the continued pursuit of economic growth would result in a sharp drop in the population due to pollution, the loss of soil fertility and a shortage of energy resources. That was more than 46 years ago, at a time when resources were exploited with impunity and when there was no sewage treatment or pollution control.
    Then, in 1987, awareness began to spread under the guidance of Gro Harlem Brundtland, who was prime minister of Norway at the time. She chaired a United Nations world commission on environment and development and published the landmark Brundtland report. That 1987 report, entitled “Our Common Future”, was the first to define the concept of sustainable development.
    Let us take a moment to review that definition, which is at the heart of the matter. It is always important to make sure we agree on definitions. We have had some major debates here because we could not agree or because the government refused to put forward a definition. Here is the definition:
     Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
    It is about striking a balance between generations. One concept at the heart of sustainable development has to do with externalities, the environmental costs that are not measured in a transaction, but that still have consequences.
    Sustainable development is based on three pillars: the environment, the economy, and the social aspect. Certain groups, including, dare I say, the current government, sometimes have a tendency to favour one pillar over the others, which creates an imbalance. This afternoon, I would like to share an example of an approach that would give all three pillars equal priority, thus ensuring sustainable development. I would like to point out that this is what the previous government did, under the leadership of its prime minister.
    Before I start criticizing the work of the current government, I would like to offer an example of sustainable development for those watching the debate. As I was saying, sustainable development is based on three pillars: the environment, the economy, and the social aspect. I want to talk about the economic pillar. If we spend more than we earn, that is not sustainable. That would not be considered sustainable development.
    The current government is shamelessly and irresponsibly spending money and cannot tell us when it will balance the budget. Future generations will have a guillotine hanging over their heads. Many of them are not yet old enough to vote, but as a result of decisions made by those who came before them, these future generations will be stuck with a tax burden when they reach voting age and join the workforce.


    That is irresponsible. One of the main pillars of sustainable development is the economy, but the government is failing miserably on that front. Let me point once again to the Parliamentary Budget Officer's revelation that this government has set itself up for deficit after deficit. We are talking deficits in excess of $17 billion, and the worst of it is that there is no telling when the budget will be balanced again, even without any sign of an impending economic crisis.
    In April 2018, the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported that not only will this year's deficit be $22 billion, but it will also continue to grow every year. That is four times what the Liberal Prime Minister promised. We are also seeing rising interest rates right now, which means that the interest on the national debt will grow to nearly $40 billion by 2022. That is almost two-thirds higher than last year, and it is certainly much more than the Minister of Finance promised. We are stuck in a debt cycle. That is one pillar of sustainable development the government is not holding up.
     The second pillar is the environment. Our government set targets. It created an environmental watchdog, the Commissioner of the Environment. Just a few months ago, the Commissioner of the Environment said that, although the federal government had established a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the measures in place would not be sufficient to achieve that goal.
     The commissioner is raising the alarm. Despite the government’s environmental rhetoric, one of the only increases in spending in the Minister of the Environment’s budget was for communications. Moreover, the government has eliminated effective measures for preventing an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, that is where we find ourselves today. The government is implementing a carbon tax, but no one knows how it will affect greenhouse gas emissions, although, according to the Commissioner of the Environment, it will definitely have an impact on the standard of living.
     That is the third pillar of sustainable development, namely, the social aspect. The Liberals are increasing the tax burden on middle-class families. The Fraser Institute has clearly shown that Canadian families pay more tax.
    In contrast, the previous Conservative government reduced taxes for the middle class. Those years saw one of the largest increases in quality of life for middle-class Canadians. We balanced the budget and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2%. We managed to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions while growing the economy. That was because we invested. Since I am going to run out of time, if people want to know more, they can take a look at the 2013 budget, which describes how, in the previous decade, the Conservative government injected almost $17 billion in targeted actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Among other things, Quebec was given more than $400 million for its green plan, which has had a positive impact. Consider, for example, initiatives to foster the development of green technologies and investments in science and energy technology such as the energy efficiency technologies of CO2 Solutions in the Quebec City area.
     Time is running out, and I have barely had time to scratch the surface of today’s topic. I will conclude with a quote from a former Conservative prime minister who distinguished himself in the area of the environment. Members will recall the Montreal protocol, acid rain control, and the implementation of the first sustainable development strategy. He said that history will not judge us by our words, but on the results of our actions.


    It is possible to lower Canadians' taxes, balance the budget, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That is what our Conservative government did and I hope that the Liberal government, in the interest of future generations, will follow the Conservative government's example with this strategy.


    Mr. Speaker, I have just a quick comment before a question.
    The member across the way made reference to tax cuts for the middle class a couple of times. Then he talked about actions verus verbiage. If we look at it, it was this government that introduced legislation and a budget with a tax cut for Canada's middle class. The Conservatives voted against that tax cut.
    That said, I find it very interesting to have heard very little, if anything, about the amendment we are debating today. It deals with the sustainable development advisory committee. The Conservative members moved that amendment at committee, which all committee members came to an agreement on. It passed in committee. Now it comes to report stage, and the Conservative members are moving an amendment to delete the amendment they made at committee. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
    Could the member tell us why the Conservatives moved the report stage amendment? It makes no sense.


    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    Basically, we want concrete measures. This is somewhat related to what I was saying when I quoted former prime minister Mulroney. This bill will add layers of bureaucracy. Even if one- or two-inch thick reports are produced, that is not going to have a real impact on sustainable development. Unfortunately, that is the current trend with the Liberals.
    I wanted to go back to my colleagues' speech about the supposed tax cuts, which was full of nonsense. The facts show that the Liberal government is increasing the tax burden for all of Canada's middle class. The official opposition will always oppose this.
    Mr. Speaker, I am curious what my colleague has to say about the fact that the federal government just spent $4.5 billion of taxpayer money to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my NDP colleague for the question. She is asking what I think about the fact that the current government is injecting $4 billion into a foreign corporation in an attempt to get a domestic project back on track. Well, I am shocked. It may not be unprecedented but it sure looks a lot like another investment by a previous Liberal government.
    It is shocking to see the government taking Canadian taxpayers for fools. It has gotten to the point where, in order to secure major development projects that create jobs, the Government of Canada has to try to repair the damage with taxpayer money. It created an administrative burden and is incapable of showing positive leadership. Worse yet, no one is sure if this will work. However, the one thing we do know is that we have been put on a slippery slope starting at $4 billion and the work has not even begun.
    Considering how it is running our country, I think this Liberal government is not done running deficits and injecting money into endless funds, which it is managing with the incompetence it has shown since coming to power.


    Mr. Speaker, I loved my colleague's speech. It was very much to the point when it comes to sustainable development. I would like him to elaborate so that we can truly understand that the Liberal government is not a sustainable government.
    Mr. Speaker, the government is basically raising taxes and putting Canadians further in debt. It has lost control of greenhouse gas emissions. This is a colossal failure and an example of what not to do when it comes to sustainable development.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to support Bill C-57, which seeks to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act.
    Before I begin, I would like to thank the members of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development for their excellent work, their positive approach, and their constructive suggestions. The committee's recommendations, which are set out in the report entitled “Federal Sustainability for Future Generations”, contributed to the development of Bill C-57, particularly with regard to the adoption of the sustainable development principles. Those principles were very well received.
    The amendments to the Federal Sustainable Development Act reaffirm the government's ongoing commitment to strengthening Canada's relationship with indigenous people and enforcing their rights.
    Bill C-57 includes a new set of sustainable development principles, one of which is the principle whereby indigenous people must be asked to contribute because of their traditional knowledge and their unique connection with and understanding of Canada's land and water. This principle reflects the important role traditional knowledge plays in supporting sustainable development, as well as the government's commitment to reconciliation based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.
    However, there are certain environmental problems that disproportionately affect indigenous peoples. For example, climate change and resource development alter wildlife migration patterns and ranges. These changes have an impact on indigenous peoples' access to traditional food sources, as well as on their food security and culture.
     Furthermore, persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals can migrate long distances to northern Canada. Scientists have observed high levels of these contaminants in Arctic wildlife, so there is a health risk for indigenous peoples who use these animals as a food source.
    Indigenous peoples' relationship to the land is particularly crucial to the mandate of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, because her department is responsible for preserving, protecting, and improving the quality of the natural environment. At the same time, the government recognizes that indigenous peoples were the original stewards of the air, land, and water. Over many generations, they built up a vast store of knowledge about nature. That is why it is essential to continue to establish and maintain strong, positive relationships with indigenous communities and indigenous governing bodies. In the coming years, the government will continue to make use of all that knowledge, which is going to help shape our collective environmental future.
    The Government of Canada committed to renewing the crown's relationship with indigenous people based on the recognition of their rights. We believe that adapting our work based on the recognition of rights is an important opportunity for us to build a relationship of trust with our indigenous partners; enhance the integrity of policies, research, and analysis; and obtain better environmental outcomes for all Canadians.
    As part of our participation in the negotiation of various treaties and other conventions, we are working with indigenous partners to preserve and protect our wildlife and environmental resources. We are striving to implement transparent and rigorous consultation processes based on respect for the right of indigenous people to determine how land and resources will be used.
    The government recognizes that there is still a lot of work to be done in this regard. We need to assess our contribution to the government's reconciliation agenda, including the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, on an ongoing basis.


    We must also strengthen our commitment to our indigenous partners and look at opportunities for aligning programs, policies, and departmental rules and regulations with indigenous rights and interests. Like every federal department and agency, Environment and Climate Change Canada operates on the Principles respecting the Government of Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples, drafted by the Department of Justice to be used a guideline in shaping the work of the department in its relations with the indigenous peoples, including a rights-based approach.
    At the heart of this change in culture and path to reconciliation is the recognition of the importance of our relationships with indigenous peoples. Consulting indigenous peoples is more than just a legal obligation, it is a way to make more informed decisions. Our government is determined to ensure that indigenous peoples have the opportunity to participate in, engage in, and contribute to this ongoing dialogue.
    For the reasons I just mentioned, Environment and Climate Change Canada consults representative organizations and the governments of the first nations, the Inuit, and the Métis across the country. When the proposed changes were being drafted, indigenous peoples raised a few key themes. They told us that traditional indigenous knowledge is important for sustainable development and that indigenous peoples need to be heavily involved. They also mentioned that the government should implement measures that reflect respect for indigenous rights as a priority and recognize the role of governments in indigenous communities and societies.
    The representative organizations and governments of the first nations, the Inuit, and the Métis also expressed the need to provide support to indigenous communities for activities such as implementing climate change adaptation plans and modernizing infrastructure. They also indicated that we need to set more ambitious objectives when it comes to the quality of drinking water for first nations.
    The federal sustainable development strategy, which we introduced in October 2016, reflects what we heard. For example, we know that Canada's drinking water is among the safest in the world. In fact, 98% of Canadians have access to drinking water. However, access to drinking water remains a challenge in first nations communities living on reserve. The strategy contains a target to eliminate long-term drinking water advisories affecting public systems on reserve.
    The Government of Canada is working with first nations communities to improve on-reserve water infrastructure, address drinking water advisories that are one or more years old, and prevent short-term advisories from becoming long-term ones.
    All Canadians, including all levels of government, indigenous peoples, civil society, and the private sector have a role to play in advancing our sustainable development objectives and ensuring that no one is left behind. In 2016, our government undertook an extensive consultation process to review our international aid policy.
    We also heard from indigenous peoples who want more say on environmental issues. Our bill proposes increasing the number of representatives of aboriginal peoples on the Sustainable Development Advisory Council from three to six, to ensure that the strategy reflects the rights and perspectives of indigenous peoples and the wide range of challenges they face across Canada.
    Bill C-57 reflects what we heard from indigenous peoples. It also reflects the government's commitment to reconciliation based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.



Points of Order

Main Estimates 2018-19  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by thanking you for your acknowledgement as to some of the debate that has happened in this place about timing of points of order on the estimates and for your flexibility in hearing these points.
    I also wanted to assure you that this point of order with respect to Treasury Board vote 40 speaks directly to some of the comments made earlier today about the Speaker having a role in ensuring that votes proposed in the estimates are done under the proper legal authority and that the government has authority for those votes.
     I made an attempt to abbreviate this point as much as possible. As fair warning, it is probably not a short point, but I will deliver it as expeditiously as possible.
    It is a well-established principle that departments may only seek spending authority for programs within their respective legal mandate. Indeed, the government recognized as much in the wording of vote 40, which says:
     Authority granted to the Treasury Board to supplement in support of initiatives announced in the Budget of February 27, 2018, any appropriation for the fiscal year, including to allow for the provision of new grants or for any increase to the amount of a grant that is listed in any of the Estimates for the fiscal year, as long as the expenditures made possible are not otherwise provided for and are within the legal mandates of the departments or other organizations for which they are made.
    The key phrase in this instance is “as long as the expenditures are within the legal mandate of the departments or other organizations for which they are made.” While the wording of the vote seeks to address the problem of Treasury Board potentially allocating funds to other departments for programs outside their legal mandate, it does nothing to address the problem of vote 40 itself not having any basis within the legal mandate of the Treasury Board Secretariat.
    Consider the main powers and responsibilities conferred upon the Treasury Board by the Financial Administration Act that constitutes it, as stated in subsection 7(1):
    The Treasury Board may act for the Queen's Privy Council for Canada on all matters relating to
(a) general administrative policy in the federal public administration;
     Vote 40 clearly does not pertain to this responsibility.
(b) the organization of the federal public administration or any portion thereof...;
     Vote 40 clearly does not pertain to this responsibility.
    Subsection 7(1) continues:
(c) financial management including estimates, expenditures, or financial commitments, accounts, fees, or charges for the provision of services or the use of facilities, rentals, licences, leases, revenues from the disposition of property and procedures by which departments manage, record and account for revenues received or receivable from any source whatever.
    I will return to this item, as I believe it warrants further discussion.
    Then paragraph 7(1)(d), as abbreviated, in saying “the review of annual and longer term expenditure plans and programs of departments”, clearly does not provide any authority for a central vote like vote 40. In fact, it has arguably led to the exclusion of certain items from departmental plans.
    Paragraph 7(1)(d.1) as abbreviated then refers to “the management and development by departments of lands”. That is clearly not related to vote 40.
    Paragraph 7(1)(e) refers to “human resources management in the federal public administration”. Vote 40 clearly does not cover that.
    Paragraph 7(1)(e.1) refers to “the terms and conditions of employment of persons appointed by the Governor in Council”. We are getting far into the weeds here, and I suggest that the other provisions in that act under that subsection will prove equally unrelated to any legal mandate for a vote like vote 40.
    After even a brief review, I hope you will be satisfied, as I am, that all but one of these can quickly be discarded as a potential basis for vote 40 authority. The only one that has any prima facie possibility at all is perhaps paragraph 7(1)(c). This item gives the Treasury Board authority to act for the Queen's Privy Council for Canada on all matters relating to financial management, including estimates, expenditures, etc.
    The Treasury Board's authority with respect to the estimates is exhausted by the preparation and presentation of the estimates. It does not include relieving departments of the effort involved in preparing their own new budget initiatives for approval through the estimates process. In respect of the Treasury Board's authority for expenditures and financial commitment, that also does not include relieving departments of the effort involved in preparing their new budget initiatives for approval through the estimates process.
    It may include outlining the mechanisms for effecting an expenditure or making a financial commitment. It may even include detailing what is required for departments to obtain Treasury Board approval for including an item in the estimates. That is very different from Treasury Board appropriating funds for itself for programs that are not within its own mandate and then dispensing them to other departments later.
     It also bears addressing that the other central votes for Treasury Board—and I believe you made some reference to them earlier—do fall within the legal mandate and do not serve as any kind of precedent for vote 40 being within the legal mandate of the Treasury Board's mandate.
    I would like us to consider all of those votes to show why those votes can be argued to have a legal mandate, whereas the other ones cannot.


    Vote 10, government-wide initiatives, is for the purpose of strategic management initiatives within the federal public administration, a purpose that seems to relate rather clearly to the Treasury Board's responsibility for the organization of the federal public administration or any portion thereof, etc.
    Vote 20 is for public service insurance. You can refer to the wording of the vote, Mr. Speaker. I will dispense with that in order to save time. It is essentially payments for different insurance, pension, and benefit plans. You will find, Mr. Speaker, that this is consistent with its responsibility for human resources management in the federal public administration, including the determination of the terms and conditions of employment of persons employed in it, as well as its responsibilities under subsection 7.1(1) of the Financial Administration Act. I would quote it, but I will simply refer you, Mr. Speaker, to subsection 7.1(1) in the interests of time. The vote also appears to be consistent with powers granted under section 11 of the Financial Administration Act, including paragraphs 11.1(1)(c) and 11.1(1)(j), but again, instead of quoting them, in the interests of time I will leave it to you, Mr. Speaker, to consult those passages for yourself.
    Another central vote under Treasury Board is vote 30, paylist requirements. Again if you refer to the wording of the vote, Mr. Speaker, you will see that this is for requirements related to parental and maternity leave, severance pay, etc. I would put it to you, Mr. Speaker, that the purposes of that central vote are also consistent with the legal mandate of the Treasury Board under the Financial Administration Act.
    Vote 25 and vote 35 are the operating and capital budget carry-forward votes. These votes grant authority to Treasury Board to “supplement any other appropriation for the fiscal year by reason of the...carry forward from the previous...year”. Admittedly, the legal authority for these votes is less clear. In fact, it may be a good idea for the government operations and estimates committee to study how the funds from these votes are ultimately disbursed. Nevertheless, there are a few points worth making about these particular votes.
     First, the money for these votes comes from appropriations already made by Parliament. It is not new money, but money that was already approved for some purpose, albeit a purpose that was not realized in the intended fiscal year.
    Second, it is recognized in the public and private sectors that requiring a department to spend all of its appropriated funds for the year by year end can lead to a use-it-or-lose-it mentality that leads to perverse outcomes. Parliament has seen fit to allow some carry-forward in capital and operating budgets to help mitigate that effect.
     Third, if the money is going to be carried forward, it makes sense to exercise some control over the money. Arguably, a repurposing of this money could be suggested with the department's own estimates and approved by Parliament at the beginning of the year instead of entrusting it to Treasury Board alone, but it has been the practice of Parliaments so far to leave that job to Treasury Board.
     In summary, I am not committed to the view that the current way these votes are handled is the best way, but they nevertheless are substantially different from vote 40 in a few respects: Parliament has accepted them for some time, they help to avoid wasteful spending, and they are constituted by money that has already been approved by Parliament for a given purpose.
    Finally, I would like to address the question of vote 5, the contingency vote, which some would argue does provide a precedent for this vote. I will argue to the contrary.
    The wording of the vote 5 states:
— Authority granted to the Treasury Board to supplement any other appropriation
— Authority granted to the Treasury Board to provide for miscellaneous, urgent or unforeseen expenditures not otherwise provided for — including for the provision of new grants [etc.]
    You can consult the wording of the vote outside the House, Mr. Speaker. I saved this vote for last because it is most like vote 40 in some ways, although there are still important differences that would defeat any attempt to invoke vote 5 as a precedent for Treasury Board vote 40.
    These votes are similar in that there is no obvious authority for either of them and, unlike any of the other central votes, they both empower Treasury Board to provide for new grants without any further authorization from Parliament. To the extent that someone may want, on that basis, to say it is a precedent, it bears mentioning that this contingency fund has been roundly criticized over the years, including by the Auditor General. For example, in 2002, the Auditor General said in respect to the government contingencies vote:
In our view, this language is sufficiently broad that arguably it establishes authority for practically any payment if the funds are paid directly from the Vote without first being transferred to a departmental vote. We question whether this lack of clarity is appropriate given the increasing use of the Vote to temporarily fund grant payments.


    There is more in that report, but I have now referred you to it and given a sampling of what is in it. I encourage you to consult the report in full for more information on the Auditor General's criticism of this kind of vote.
    The concerns expressed about vote 5 echo concerns expressed more recently by the Parliamentary Budget Officer with respect to vote 40, so there is definitely some similarity in those criticisms. In the PBO's report, “The Government's Expenditure Plan and Main Estimates for 2018-19”, he said the following:
    The Government’s approach to funding Budget 2018 initiatives provides parliamentarians with information that only marginally supports their deliberations and places fewer controls around the money it approves.
     With respect to the former, virtually none of the money requested in the new Budget Implementation vote has undergone scrutiny through the standard Treasury Board Submission process, which as indicated by the Government, is to “ensure resources are directed to programs and activities that remain government priorities and achieve value for money.” With respect to the latter, it is unclear that the proposed vote wording would restrict the Government to funding each Budget 2018 measure in the amount set out in the Budget Plan for each Department and Agency, rather than changing the allocations across any initiative mentioned in Budget 2018.
    In other words, to the extent that vote 5 and vote 40 are similar, they are also suspect.
    Nevertheless, there is a substantial and important difference between the two. The difference is that the contingency fund has a number of criteria for disbursement: that the expenditures be miscellaneous, urgent, or unforeseen. In other words, there must be a good reason for government to dispense these pre-approved funds instead of seeking appropriations through the regular supplementary estimates process.
    Notwithstanding the concerns raised by the Auditor General and committees of Parliament that the government has not always done a good job of demonstrating that expenditures out of the fund meet these criteria, it is nevertheless important that those criteria exist. Those criteria provide the rationale for ignoring the usual supply process, something which is not to be done lightly.
    The contingency fund is meant to recognize, albeit imperfectly—and we may be able to improve the process—that certain things come up through the course of the year and that some flexibility is required to deal with unforeseen needs, particularly if the needs are urgent.
    On January 31, 2011, the Treasury Board published guidelines for accessing the contingency vote, which begin, “Guidelines for reviewing departmental requests for access to the Government Contingencies Vote.”
    The guidelines state:
    Treasury Board Vote 5 serves to supplement other appropriations in order to provide the government with sufficient flexibility to meet urgent or unforeseen expenditures....
    I am just giving selections from the guidelines, not the entire passage, as follows:
    This authority to supplement other appropriations is provided until parliamentary approval can be obtained, as long as the expenditures are within the legal mandate of the organization. The allocation from Vote 5 is provided on a temporary basis and is to be reimbursed once parliamentary authority for the expenditure has been obtained through the approval of the Supplementary Estimates.
    These criteria make it very clear that using the contingency fund to circumvent the normal supply process should be done rarely, and only in cases of exceptional need. The funding is temporary, and requires that items funded out of vote 5 appear later in the supplementary estimates—and this is important—not just as information, but also for approval. This differs from what is proposed for vote 40. The government has committed to report on allocations from vote 40 online, and I believe also perhaps in subsequent supplementary estimates, but they will not appear as votes for approval. They would only appear as information.
    While the government contingency fund authorizes upfront spending, it restricts the government's ability to make use of the fund without coming to Parliament for a formal, even if retroactive, approval. This approval requirement is an important difference between vote 5 and vote 40. The fact that a valid and compelling reason must exist as to why the government has to make a payment before the next supply period may have been in a quote that I did not read for the benefit of time, but I would refer my colleagues back to those Treasury Board guidelines.
    It is part and parcel of why this House pre-approves a certain sum of money under vote 5. That sense of urgency is a critical justification for Parliament approving funding for programs that have not yet been developed. One cannot develop programs for needs that are unforeseen, and if there is a demonstrable urgency to respond to an unforeseen circumstance, then the flexibility to develop and fund a program on an urgent basis is needed. It is important to note that this is completely dissimilar to what is being proposed in vote 40.
    Vote 40 is a pre-approval of funding for all of the government's new budget initiatives. The government can hardly claim that the entirety of their new budget initiatives are a collection of miscellany that have no place within the normal supply process, nor can the government claim that the needs it proposes to address with its new budget initiatives are unforeseen. The budget document is a forecasting document that proposes policies to deal with problems we know of.


    That is not to say that the latest budget deals with all of the important problems that we are aware of, but by definition it does not deal with unforeseen problems. If the problems were unforeseen, they would not be in the budget. If they are in the budget, then they were foreseen.
    Moreover, the government cannot claim any sense of exceptional urgency for these items. These items are to be implemented over the course of the fiscal year. The government is not pretending any differently. It has been very open about the fact that most of the programs it is requesting funding for under vote 40 are not ready to go. There are a number of examples from committee that I will not share at the moment. I shared some last Friday. I would refer you to those, and would be happy to provide other examples should you wish, Mr. Speaker.
    The President of the Treasury Board and his officials have been very clear that most of these programs are not ready to go. In fact, to date, only $220 million worth has actually been approved, and there is no sign that departments are expected to develop these programs with a sense of urgency.
    Vote 5 offers an exception to the normal supply process for clearly defined reasons, according to clearly defined criteria. Vote 40 items do not meet these criteria, yet the government is trying to use a similar mechanism to circumvent the normal supply process.
    There is one last precedent that might be invoked. I think it is important to discuss it up front. Here I refer to Treasury Board vote 35 from 2009 in the 40th Parliament. I could read the wording of the vote, but I will dispense with that in the interests of time. I would let you know, though, Mr. Speaker, that vote 35 has at least two properties that make it very different from vote 40 in 2018-19. These two things are related but distinct. In the first place, vote 35 of the 40th Parliament was a time-limited vote. The money had to be spent between April 1, 2009 and June 30, 2009. In other words, it was not meant to become and could not by inertia become a new way of appropriating funds for all of the new budget initiatives in a given year.
    Second, the government had the support of the official opposition Liberals of the day for vote 35. This support was not given for the vote to become a new way of appropriating funds for new budget initiatives. Rather, that support came in the context of consensus among all parties that urgent action was needed to address the fallout of the 2008 economic crisis.
    I would refer you to a few examples from Debates, Mr. Speaker, that show the importance of that criterion. The then president of the Treasury Board, the Hon. Vic Toews, said in debate with respect to vote 35 on March 24, 2009:
     The plan is timely, it is targeted, and it is temporary.... Doing the right thing means responding to an unprecedented economic situation with extraordinary measures.... These are extraordinary times and we cannot wait for the normal supply period in June before giving money to some of the ready-to-go projects.
    The Hon. John McCallum, speaking for the Liberals in the same debate, said:
    The government has asked, through the estimates, to have this special $3 billion fund under the so-called Treasury Board vote 35. These funds would be spendable over the period April to June of this year. Liberals do not have any objection to that in principle because we acknowledge the urgency of getting money out the door.
    A second Liberal MP, Shawn Murphy, said:
    Because of the urgency of the matter, the government wants approval from Parliament to spend the money. Parliament has considered this. It has debated it and it has said it is a reasonable request. We will bypass the ordinary chain of accountability and allow the government to spend the $3 billion. Because of the time in which the Canadian public wants the money spent, there should be no delay.
    Vote 35 was clearly conceived as an extraordinary tool to deal with an economic crisis in an urgent fashion, within a specific and clearly defined period of time. Using a similar mechanism as a routine way of appropriating funds for all new budget initiatives is in no way justified by the precedent of vote 35.
    To conclude, I do not believe that the budget implementation vote is consistent with the legal mandate of the Treasury Board, nor consistent with the practices and procedures of this House with respect to supply. If Parliament's right to meaningfully oversee and authorize public expenditures is to be maintained, mechanisms such as these must not be allowed to take root. Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, I request that you order vote 40 struck from the main estimates.


    I thank the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona for raising his point of order and for his efforts to remain reasonably concise. I will return to the House in due course with a decision.


Federal Sustainable Development Act

    The House resumed consideration of Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motion in Group No. 1.
     Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Pierrefonds—Dollard for his remarks earlier on Bill C-57.
    This morning's announcement casts a pall over this bill to strengthen sustainable development laws. The government announced that it is prepared to spend $4.7 billion to help a Texas company transport Alberta oil west to Asian markets.
     The government, the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Finance are ready to write a cheque for at least $4.5 billion to transport Alberta crude oil west to Asian markets. That oil will make its way to refineries in those markets by oil tanker.
    My question for my colleague is a simple one. How can he justify talking about sustainable development today when his government is doing the opposite?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I am indeed very happy to talk about sustainable development because I believe it is a fundamental part of Canada's economy. We are a nation that develops and sells its resources, and doing so sustainably is, in my opinion, great news for all Canadians. I am very proud of this bill, and I support it 100%.


    Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the member. Earlier today we talked about how Kinder Morgan in 2007 had a $550 million investment. Of course, 10 years later we are looking at multiple times that. They are happy, as their shareholders perhaps would be, if they look at the investment.
    Then we also have to look at the options they have for the money they have made. Perhaps one good place would have been energy east, which would have allowed a pipeline to be built to eastern Canada, but instead maybe they will go to other places around the world where it is easier to build pipelines. Maybe they will be building some to the other coast, so we can import oil from other countries, as we continue to do.
    I am curious whether or not the member is looking at sustainability from the point of view of investments in Canadian oil and gas industries.
    Mr. Speaker, sustainability in all of our natural resources, including oil and gas, is critical.
    As I said in my previous answer, natural resources is an important sector of the Canadian economy. Anything the federal government can do to support that industry and to do it in a durable and sustainable manner, I fully support. The fact that we do it in a more transparent manner is also something to be celebrated.
    The ensemble of all of those things in support of our natural resources is good news for Canadians.


    Mr. Speaker, I just want to get back to where we are right now with this particular piece of legislation.
    We are talking about an amendment brought forward by the Conservative member for Abbotsford. However, the interesting thing is that he was the member of the committee who put forward the motion that he is now trying to remove with this amendment.
    In good faith, while I was on the environment committee, we had the opportunity to discuss his amendment. We then voted on it and and adopted it. Now, with the bill as amended before the House, the member for Abbotsford has put forward an amendment to essentially delete this section of the bill.
    I hate to be overly cynical about this, but what is the member's motive behind this? I am curious about what my colleague might suggest is the reason for even embarking upon this.
    Mr. Speaker, it is a bit of a funny situation when one party puts forward something, the government agrees with it, and then suddenly they have an about face to change it and go against what was put forward.
    The only thing I can think is that it is about politics. That said, let them play politics. The important thing is that this bill is going to bring good, sustainable development to our Canadian resources. That is the important thing. Whatever politics happen, that is okay. The government is moving forward in the right way.


    Resuming debate. The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable has about a minute and a half left before question period. He can continue his speech after question period.
     The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    Mr. Speaker, I will make the most of this opportunity. I was going to talk about something, but I will come back to it right after question period.
    The recent exchange I just witnessed between my Liberal colleagues leads me to speak about another aspect of the issue before us today, namely the hypocrisy on this side that they claim to condemn.
     I want to remind the House of something. Very recently, in his commencement speech before New York University grads at the iconic Yankee Stadium, the Prime Minister of Canada asked 10,000 young men and women to respect people who look or think differently and engage with people with whom they may not agree. What does this government do instead? It imposes a time allocation motion on an issue as important and Bill C-57. He says one thing on the world stage and does the opposite here in Ottawa. After that, the Liberals have the nerve to lecture us, to tell us what to do, what to say, what not to say, because that would be playing partisan politics.
    In closing, before question period, the only partisan politics here are happening on the other side of the House.
    The hon. member will have nine minutes to finish his speech when we resume debate on Bill C-57.


[Statements by Members]


The Environment and Trans Mountain

    Mr. Speaker, from now on, as climate change worsens, we can tell ourselves that we played a small part in that. We will have a $4.5-billion interest in Trans Mountain, which is going to ship the dirtiest oil in the world without our consent.
    Ottawa cannot afford to maintain appropriate health transfers for Quebec patients who need them. Ottawa cannot afford transfers for post-secondary education. Ottawa cannot afford to improve an employment insurance system that negatively impacts the unemployed. However, it can afford to pay for a pipeline that costs billions of dollars. It just takes out its cheque book and, presto.
    What is the next step? Will the government be talking to TransCanada and take over energy east?
    Pipelines that are forced on the people and that harm the environment are not in the national interest. It is about time that the government understands that getting rid of dirty energy is in the national interest.


Order of Canada Recipient

    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to acknowledge the extraordinary work of a remarkable woman in my city, a person who, driven by a profound commitment to social justice, has worked tirelessly on behalf of vulnerable children. On the front lines, Lynn Factor has had a distinguished career in child welfare, serving as a social worker, supervisor, manager, and philanthropist. She has also demonstrated an unflagging commitment to social justice, serving as the chair of the Children's Aid Foundation of Canada and on the board of Covenant House, a shelter for homeless youth, as well as many other service organizations, boards, and foundations.
    Most recently, Lynn and her husband, Sheldon Inwentash, were leaders in establishing the Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre in Toronto, which has brought together a remarkable collaboration of all of the professionals involved in child abuse cases for a seamless interdisciplinary response to child abuse victims in Toronto. It could not have happened without her leadership and support.
     For her extraordinary service and generosity, Lynn has been named to the Order of Canada, an honour for which we offer our most sincere congratulations and heartfelt thanks.


Community Service

    Mr. Speaker, this Thursday I will have the great privilege of welcoming S.U.C.C.E.S.S. to Parliament Hill. Over time, this Vancouver-based organization has evolved from focusing on enriching new Chinese immigrants with the skills and tools they need to make Canada their home to a multi-city, multi-service, and multicultural agency. Its services range from the personal development of youth to the social engagement of seniors. It also provides excellent care in the several seniors homes it has built.
     I invite all parliamentarians to come and check out S.U.C.C.E.S.S. on the Hill this Thursday at 11:45 a.m. in the Banking room to congratulate it for its 45 years of service to British Columbians.
     I thank S.U.C.C.E.S.S.


    Mr. Speaker, Helena Kirk was diagnosed with cancer when she was three. Now 12 years old, and after 841 hours of chemotherapy, she is a cancer survivor who continues to fight. Helena has spearheaded a proposal to improve outcomes for young Canadians with cancer, supported by dozens of organizations and leading pediatric oncologists and researchers. The proposal calls for funding for equitable access to early-phase cancer clinical trials, as some promising trials are not available across our country, and provincial health insurance coverage is often denied for out-of-province treatments. It also calls for a working group to address health system issues, including support for pediatric oncology research.
     I am thankful that our Minister of Health has met with Helena and is taking steps to investigate her proposal.
     I ask all of my colleagues to join me in recognizing Helena's passion and perseverance and to heed her words when she says, “I want Canadian children to have fair access to trials and treatments, no matter where they live in Canada or how much money their families have.”


Eddy Lefrançois

    Mr. Speaker, June is ALS Awareness Month. Eddy Lefrançois, from Dubreuilville, works hard to raise awareness about this illness, and has an extraordinary story to tell. When he was diagnosed in 1992, Eddy was told that he had three to five years to live. Since then, he has never stopped fighting.


    Instead, he pursued a bucket list that most able-bodied people might find daunting. Eddy has travelled overseas, participated in indoor skydiving, and even hunted white-tailed deer. He maintains his own website and is a tireless advocate for others with ALS and for research. Eddy works to bring about greater public awareness and dreams of a day when ALS is treatable, not terminal. Last June, Eddy raised over $43,000 in Sault Ste. Marie's annual ALS walk. This Saturday, Eddy and his team will be participating in the walk again.
     I invite members to join me in thanking everyone taking part in ALS walks, and in congratulating Eddy for his tireless advocacy and indomitable spirit 25 years after being diagnosed.
    With Eddy I say, “Let's roll.”



    Mr. Speaker, last week, I was pleased to make an announcement that will greatly benefit young people in my region.
    Through the “Le réemploi sous toutes ses formes, on en fait notre affaire” project developed by Inter Action Travail, an organization based in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, 16 young people will have the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to better integrate into the labour market.
    For 22 months, these youth will work at La Recyclerie and will help to preserve our environment by giving construction materials and other used objects a second life.
    I am privileged to be part of a government that cares about young people, encourages people to integrate into the labour market, and is aware of rural realities in areas all across Canada, such as Laurentides—Labelle.
    I am extremely proud to have announced a federal partnership of $365,000 under the skills link program to support Inter Action Travail's wonderful project.



    Mr. Speaker, the government must make a stronger effort in bringing Widlene Alexis Earl home to Canada so she can be with her adoptive parents, grandparents, and friends. One of my constituents, residing in my riding of Yellowhead, is the grandmother of Widlene. Her adoptive parents are presently trying to legally bring her to Canada. She is a young lady without a country.
    In my riding also, Niton School's grade 1 class has a new program. It is called “A Hug for the World”. The students are encouraging all Canadians to give each other a hug on May 31.
    Canada can show the world that it is a welcoming country. Let us bring Widlene from the Dominican Republic home to Canada so she can be hugged by those who care. If a small grade 1 class in rural Alberta can lead the way, so can Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, on May 31, be prepared for a hug.


Retirement Congratulations

    Mr. Speaker, one minute is too short to adequately honour Ken Seiling, husband to Kathryn, father of five, grandfather of nine, hockey coach, organist, choir master, teacher, museum director.
    Ken has announced his intention to retire after 42 years of public service, two years as a councillor, seven years as mayor and regional councillor, and 33 years as regional chair in Waterloo region.
     During his time, our population has nearly doubled as Waterloo region has become one of Canada's economic engines. He has spearheaded policies to protect farm land and green spaces; protect groundwater resources; encourage urban intensification; build a regional transportation system, which includes light rail transit; and maintain strong public health services.
    I thank Ken Seiling for his dedication, passion, and enduring stewardship of our region. We could not have asked for a better chair to represent Waterloo Region.


Duhamel Family Restaurant

    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to pay tribute to the Duhamel family from Granby, who have owned Rôtisseries Duhamel since 1958.
    This family business was created 60 years ago, when poultry farmers Bernard and Jacqueline Duhamel decided to open their first delivery service from their home on Dufferin Street.
    In 1992, their sons, Alain and Claude officially took over the business. The next generation is also very involved, since the founders' grandchildren Jérémie, David, Roxane, Cédrik, Andrée-Anne, and Binjamin all joined the management team in 2008.
    I would like to sincerely congratulate the Duhamel family and its 155 employees who make an outstanding contribution to the riding of Shefford's economy. They deserve our full recognition. Well done.


Long Service Awards

     Mr. Speaker, in order for all of us to carry out our work as MPs, it is vital to have the support of our spouses and families, but it does not end there. It takes good staff. Today I want to recognize two of my staff who are being presented with long service awards later today.
     Dianne Ackert started in my constituency office in Owen Sound in August 2007 as my executive assistant, and is my longest-serving employee. Chad Richards, who is from Chesley, started as my legislative assistant in Ottawa in April 2012. Dianne and Chad will receive their 10-year and five-year pins today.
    We are all in the service industry, just like a motel or restaurant, and without staff like Dianne and Chad, our constituents would not get the service they expect and deserve.
    For Diane and Chad, from Darlene and I, their colleagues Pam, Kara, Genielle and Shea, we are thankful for their years of loyal service, and congratulations on a job well done.

Cambridge Youth Council

    Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment to highlight the great work being done by my constituency youth council. For the past eight months, the youth council has been engaging with its community, pursing the issues that matter to it.
    Youth councils shows us that when young Canadians are engaged and given the tools to succeed, they will find ways to contribute to the debates we have every day.
    On June 2, my Cambridge youth council is hosting a comprehensive panel discussion in my community on harassment and mental health. It is working to educate others and create change in our community and make their voices heard on this critical issue.
    I am so grateful to have such an excellent group of young people involved in my riding. I would encourage all of my colleagues to initiate a youth council of their own.
    Listening to youth voices and hearing their ideas are part of our jobs as representatives. I am committed to making them a part of my work as the member of Parliament for Cambridge and North Dumfries.


Insurance Brokers Association of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, today, we welcome over 60 members from the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada. They are visiting Parliament Hill from communities across Canada.
    IBAC is the national voice of over 38,000 property and casualty insurance brokers across the country and a strong advocate for insurance consumers.


    As owners of small businesses in practically every town and village in Canada, insurance brokers create jobs and support the local economy. They are also community leaders who make a difference in the communities where they live and work.


    Brokers are in Ottawa today to discuss various issues, including the Bank Act, as well as the important role of insurance brokers in raising public awareness of natural disasters.


    We have a great appreciation for their expertise and how they protect insurance interests and consumers, as well as for their contribution to Canada's public policy.


    I want to thank them for providing Canadians with good and sound advice for so many years.

Stratford Festival

    Mr. Speaker, last night should have been opening night of the 66th season of the Stratford Festival. Instead of watching the famed Martha Henry take the stage as Prospero in The Tempest, we were evacuated from the theatre and the performance was cancelled due to a bomb threat.
    This cowardly threat of violence may have delayed opening night, but it does not deter the will of this great cultural institution. The show will go on and Canadians will not live in fear or be intimidated by such threats.
    I would like to thank the Stratford police, the Stratford fire department, and festival staff for their quick action and professionalism.
    As we move forward, let the image of last night be that of Martha Henry emerging from the festival theatre defiantly with Prospero's staff still firmly clutched in her hand.
    We will return to the theatre, not with fear but with hope that the theatre and the arts will continue to inspire and show us what dreams may come.

Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto

    Mr. Speaker, in May, we celebrate Asian Heritage Month, a time to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of Canadians of Asian descent.
    This year also marks not only the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, but as well the 30th anniversary of the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto in my riding of Scarborough North.
    Over the past three decades, the CCC has developed into a multicultural hub, hosting a wide range of events, tournaments, and educational programs. It continues to serve as a venue for all Canadians to gather and learn about the diverse cultures, lived experiences, struggles, and successes of Canada's Chinese community.
    Organizations like the CCC help to enrich Canada's diverse social fabric, promoting intercultural learning that leads to a more inclusive society.
    I congratulate CCC's founding chair Dr. Ming-Tat Cheung, chair Dr. Adrian Cheung, governors, advisers, directors, staff, and volunteers on achieving 30 wonderful years. I wish them many more decades of success ahead.
     Xiè xie. Do jeh.


Special Recognition

     Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you for renewing a fine tradition in the House of Commons and giving us the opportunity to recognize those who, year after year, uphold the most noble mission of public service.
    Four of my closest associates are here. They have close to 50 years combined of loyal service to my constituents.
    Chantale Turgeon and I have worked together since early 2003. She played a vital role in the tour through Quebec that resulted in the Sustainable Development Act. She was attuned to the modern Quebec and made it possible for us to believe that the NDP could make a breakthrough in Quebec, and she was a key architect of the orange wave.
    Graham Carpenter has also been at my side since my days as the Quebec environment minister.


    Gra-ham, “jambon gris” pour les intimes, is a tireless worker whose constant outreach to the myriad cultural, ethnic, and linguistic communities of Outremont has allowed the NDP to win the riding four times.



    Mathilde Rogue is an exceptional woman who has been with me since the 2007 election thanks to the Quebec-France study vacation program. She has shown passion, conviction, and tireless dedication, especially in her work with arts groups and non-profits in the riding.
    Miriam Taylor, the little newcomer, has been with us since the 2011 election. Her dedication to families caught in the bureaucracy of the immigration system is inspiring and she has put her heart and soul into helping them.
    Constituents are fortunate to have had them as their champions and I am pleased and proud to profess my friendship and appreciation.



    Mr. Speaker, Conservatives in Canada believe that the number one priority of any government should be the safety of Canadians. The criminal justice system must strengthen these provisions, not weaken them.
    In 2017, the Liberal government introduced Bill C-51. Ostensibly, it was intended to eliminate unnecessary and unconstitutional clauses in the Criminal Code, but buried in it were a number of additional Criminal Code provisions the Liberals decided to remove, including long-standing protections for clergy and places of worship. There was no logical reason why these were included, particularly at a time when incidents of religious intolerance are increasing. The government only backed down and removed these proposals after Canadians spoke up and said this was completely unacceptable.
    However, they are back. Bill C-75 would reduce penalties for a whole range of serious crimes, including membership in a terrorist organization and political corruption, but it also would reduce sentences for obstruction and violence toward clergy.
    Why is it that the Liberal government always puts terrorists and criminals ahead of victims?

Student Summer Employment

    Mr. Speaker, summer is my favourite season because I get to visit 67 Canada summer jobs employers, most of them non-profits and community groups that will hire over 200 youth to expand social media platforms, create neighbourhood reports, administer youth camps, foster the arts scene, plant trees, and help those in need.
    This will include arts groups such as The Royal Canadian Theatre Company and The Flamingo, business groups like the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association, NGOs like the Surrey Urban Mission Society, the Lookout Housing and Health Society, and the Green Timbers Heritage Society.
    It will also help church groups such as the Calvary Worship Centre, Green Timbers Covenant Church, and the Mennonite Central Committee hire counsellors for their summer programs. Students will get valuable work experience at places like Wedler Engineering, Allondale Animal Hospital, the Satya Paul boutique, and Sharons Credit Union.
    Overall, this is a win-win-win situation. Students get jobs, work experience, and skills, employers get support, and our communities prosper and thrive.


[Oral Questions]


Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, this is an extremely sad day for Canadian taxpayers. The Prime Minister is forcing them to fix his failure on Canada's energy sector. It did not have to be this way. Kinder Morgan was never asking for a handout. All it wanted was a clear path to get this project built, which is what the Prime Minister has failed to do. Now taxpayers are on the hook for the Liberals' mess.
    Could the Prime Minister give a guarantee that these costs will exceed no more than $4.5 billion?
    Mr. Speaker, the sheer audacity of the member opposite—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. Members know we have to be careful not to do indirectly what we cannot do directly, so I would avoid using a word that equates to a name at the same time. We cannot use the name of a member, so I would ask the Minister of Finance to try to avoid that.
    Mr. Speaker, I note the audacity of the member opposite in talking about not getting a pipeline to market, which is what he and his party were unable to do. We have stepped forward and said that we are going to take the decision to put a project in the national interest forward so that we can create the economic advantage we are seeking. The economic advantage for Canada is $15 billion of advantage to our economy, and 15,000 jobs. We are moving forward in the national interest, for Canadians.


    Mr. Speaker, before the 2015 election, pipelines in this country were built without taxpayers' money. They were applied for, they were approved, and they were completed without a cent of taxpayers' dollars. The only thing that has changed between then and now is that we have a Liberal government.
    Why is it that every time elements of our energy sector get nationalized is when there is a Trudeau in the Prime Minister's Office?
    You are not making it easy for me. The same point applies. Members should avoid referring to someone who is currently a member by name. I can certainly interpret it that way.
    The hon. Minister of Finance.
    Mr. Speaker, let us evaluate what the member opposite just said. In the decade before 2015, not one pipeline to tidewater was built. We know this is a fact. We know the project is going to ensure that we create an advantage for Canadians, an economic advantage that goes along with our overall plan to ensure that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. This is in our national interest. It is creating jobs in Alberta, British Columbia, and across our country.
    Mr. Speaker, let us talk about where the advantage on this deal is going. The Prime Minister is now cutting a cheque of taxpayers' money, $4.5 billion, which is going to shareholders in a Texas-based company. This is in addition to the hundreds of billions of dollars that have already left Canada's energy sector.
    The Prime Minister claims he wants to attract investment into Canada. How much of the $4.5 billion that is being sent to Kinder Morgan will be spent and invested in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, with no business experience, I understand the member opposite might not understand what we are talking about. We are talking about a $4.5-billion investment in the assets of Kinder Morgan, creating long-term value for our country. We know that is the right thing to do for our country.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. The hon. member for Calgary Signal Hill will please come to order.
    Members will note that it is possible, without breaking the strict rules, to say things that cause disorder. I would ask members to be cautious in what they say, in order to try to avoid creating disorder.
    The hon. Minister of Finance has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, we are making an investment in Canada's future. We know that investing a fair amount of money into the assets of the Trans Mountain pipeline and the expansion will create economic advantage for our country. We are creating 9,000 jobs in British Columbia and jobs across the country that are going to make a real difference for Canadian families. At the same time, we are adding up to $15 billion to our economy annually. We know this is important for our country.


    Mr. Speaker, it is not the Liberals, but rather private companies, that create jobs.
    They left the Trans Mountain project to languish for months, and now they announce that they are buying the pipeline using taxpayers' money. What is even worse is that Kinder Morgan never asked for money and never asked to be purchased. The Prime Minister has failed again.
    My question for the minister is simple. How much is this folly going to cost Canadian taxpayers?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that the Trans Mountain project is very important to the Canadian economy. It is in the national interest. That is why we invested in the project, which will create 15,000 jobs in Alberta and British Columbia. It will also improve our national economy.


    Mr. Speaker, considering how the government and the Minister of Finance are managing public finances, we have good reason to be worried about mounting deficits year after year.
    Now the Liberals have decided to pretend that they know how to build a pipeline using taxpayers' money. It is completely unacceptable. This is just one more failure on the part of this government, the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Finance, now that he is in on it.
    My question, then, is simple. How much is this spending spree going to cost Canadian taxpayers?
    Mr. Speaker, we decided it was very important to invest in the Trans Mountain project. We know that with a $4.5-billion investment, we can protect its value and add value for Canadians. This project is in the national interest, and there is no doubt that our investment will help grow the Canadian economy.
    Mr. Speaker, the government is going to spend $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money to nationalize a pipeline, $4.5 billion of public money to assume all the risk. This from a government that promised to get rid of subsidies for the oil and gas industry.
    Why are the Liberals insisting on investing so much in fossil fuels and so little in renewable energy?


    Mr. Speaker, we want to be very clear. We found a fair price for the assets of Trans Mountain. At the same time, we have ensured that there is no subsidy in this deal.
    We are trying to ensure that we can move forward in an economically prudent way to protect jobs and create economic advantages for our country. We know this is in our best interest. We are going to continue to work to ensure that our natural resources can be brought to international markets.


    Mr. Speaker, what is clear in the minister's response is that we are the ones talking about energy and the environment and they are the ones abandoning the environment for the economy.
    The government is going to invest $4.5 billion in a pipeline. In comparison, in 2016, only $3 billion of public and private money was invested in clean energy. Countries that take the impact of climate change seriously do not build themselves pipelines. Reconciling the environment and energy means investing in clean energy.
    Why are the Liberals bent on investing in fossil fuels?
    Mr. Speaker, we are staying the course and investing in our future. We know that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. It is very important. We have invested in clean energy, but in the meantime we know that it is necessary to invest in this project to protect the benefits that it offers our economy in the future.


    Mr. Speaker, does anyone want to buy a 65-year-old leaky pipeline? No? Wait, it is located next to schools and parks, and literally crosses hundreds of rivers.
    The Liberals do, and they somehow decided that paying $4.5 billion to buy an old pipeline, and not telling us how much it is going to cost to build some illusory new pipeline, is somehow a good “investment”.
    When did the Liberals decide that trampling over the rights of indigenous peoples and putting our coasts further at risk was somehow in the public interest?
    Mr. Speaker, we approved this pipeline federally back in November 2016 after a robust environmental assessment. The B.C. government approved this pipeline. We know that to get investments made in this country we need to have the rule of law. We cannot have a situation where provinces delay, create uncertainty, and make it so that investors do not actually want to invest in our country. We are moving forward to ensure this project moves forward. We know that eventually it can move to the private sector, which is what we will aspire to do following this decision today.
    Mr. Speaker, it would be $3.2 billion to provide safe drinking water for every kid living on reserve in this country; it is $4.5 billion to buy a 65-year-old pipeline. We have to ask ourselves what kind of priorities the Liberals actually have. When a Texas oil company shows up and needs a bailout, the Liberals cannot find a shovel big enough to pitch in. It will not stop first nations in court and it will not stop people in the street. When exactly did the Liberals decide to trump first nations' rights and title, and protecting our coast, all in favour of some Texas oil company they want to help out?


    Mr. Speaker, I can only repeat that we think it is critically important that we ensure that a project that has been federally and provincially approved can move forward. We have decided to purchase these assets because we know this is the way to ensure that this project actually happens and that we deal with the squabbles between provinces. We will move forward, reducing the risk of this project so we can ensure that the economic advantages we are seeking are achieved for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, today the Liberals bought Kinder Morgan out of Canada. It is a loss of nearly $8 billion that will be invested in other countries, and $4.5 billion is just the beginning of the costs to taxpayers. For a year and a half, the Liberals failed to assert federal jurisdiction and to enforce the rule of law. Today, the Liberals are forcing Canadians to pay for their failures. Trans Mountain's opponents will keep fighting to stop it and to kill pipelines in Canada. It is a catastrophic indictment on the Prime Minister. When will he finally admit that today's announcement is really Kinder Morgan divesting from Canada, and Canadians paying for it?
    Mr. Speaker, what today's announcement is about is our decision to step forward and ensure that we can actually get a project in the national interest done in this country. We know that the previous government was just unable to do that. Therefore, we have stepped forward with an approach that would ensure that this happens, by de-risking the project.
     It is in the national interest. We know it will create 15,000 jobs. We know it will create significant advantage for our economy. That is why we are moving forward to make sure that this project happens.
    Mr. Speaker, the reality is that more than $100 billion in energy investment has left and hundreds of thousands of Canadians have lost their jobs under the Liberals. Meanwhile, oil and gas are thriving around the world, especially in the U.S., Canada's biggest competitor. The Prime Minister is destroying future private sector energy opportunities, driving investment out of Canada into other countries, and sacrificing Canada's best interests. Now that the Liberals have chased away yet another private sector energy investor, how can Canadians possibly trust them to rebuild confidence in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is entitled to her opinions, but not to her own facts. The facts are that we have created 600,000 jobs in the last couple of years in this country. Canadians are doing significantly better because of the policies of this government. We know that we now need to move forward on a project that is advantageous for the country, but also for Alberta and British Columbia. In standing up for this project, we are ensuring that we will get a fair price for our resources, and we are doing it in a way that is respecting our approach to ensuring the environment is protected while we get proper prices for our resources.
    Mr. Speaker, not long ago, Kinder Morgan, a private company, was a proud owner of a pipeline with plans to expand. Today, Kinder Morgan is divesting its Canadian assets to the taxpayer for $4.5 billion. The Liberals have screwed up this deal so badly that the only solution is to throw billions of taxpayer dollars at the project, and they still have not told us what it will actually cost to build the expansion. Will the finance minister tell Canadians the total cost of this Liberal failure?
    Mr. Speaker, not that long ago, about two and a half years ago, this country had a government that was unable to get things done. We have shown with our government that when we find obstacles, when we find issues around provincial jurisdiction, the federal government is willing to step forward in the national interest to make things happen. We have decided that a $4.5-billion investment, a fair value for these assets, is the right approach for us to make sure this happens. We will work toward looking for a private sector solution as we de-risk the project.
    Mr. Speaker, two and a half years ago, this country saw pipelines being built without a cent of taxpayer dollars going into a socialized, nationalized energy program. Kinder Morgan was prepared to invest billions into the Canadian economy, and that has gone because the Prime Minister politically destabilized the investment climate in Canada. We have no idea how much it is going to cost to build this pipeline, or how it is going to be built by a man who has not successfully managed to do much of anything. Why should Canadians pay for his failures?


    Order. I would ask the hon. member for Don Valley East and others not to be speaking up when someone else has the floor.
    The hon. Minister of Finance.
    Mr. Speaker, we need to call it fiction when fiction happens. This is what did not happen under the last government: There were no pipelines bringing resources to international markets. The reality is that we accept a lower price for our natural resources in this country—
    Order. Apparently, there is a problem with the interpretation. Is the interpretation now working?
    It is now working. I am going to have to ask the hon. minister to restart.
    Mr. Speaker, I was talking about a fictional story from the opposite side of the House. The Conservatives' fictional story is that they got pipelines done. The reality is that there was not one pipeline to international markets. We know this to be true. The reason for the discount on Canadian resources is lack of access to international markets. That is why the Trans Mountain expansion is so important. It is why we are moving forward to invest in those assets. It is why we are de-risking the project, to make sure it gets done for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals cancelled the northern gateway pipeline. They dithered on the Keystone XL pipeline. They killed the energy east pipeline. They have talked down our world-class energy regulator and have told audiences, both foreign and domestic, that they want to phase out the energy sector and the jobs that go with it. They botched the Trans Mountain project so badly that they have turned a multi-billion dollar private sector investment into a multi-billion dollar bill for Canadian taxpayers. Why should Canadians be forced to pay billions to Kinder Morgan to cover for the Prime Minister's embarrassing incompetence?
    Mr. Speaker, we are buying assets, assets that have value. These assets, of course, will enable us to ensure that we get this pipeline expansion built. We know this is important for Canadians. We know it is important for Canadians from the member's part of the country, because we are going to create jobs. We are also going to create economic wealth for our entire country.
    When we are working in the national interest, we are going to move forward with an approach that absolutely deals with uncertainties so we can get this back into the private sector.
    Mr. Speaker, they are not buying assets. They are nationalizing a private pipeline. Yesterday, there were protesters willing to stop this project. Yesterday, the B.C. government was in court fighting against this pipeline. Yesterday, there were Liberal MPs from B.C. opposed to this project. Today, nothing has changed, except taxpayers are $4.5 billion poorer. Will nationalizing the pipeline actually get Liberal members of Parliament from B.C. to back it?
    Mr. Speaker, let us evaluate where we are today. For months, the members opposite were complaining that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was not happening. Today, we announced we are moving forward to ensure the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
    What do we have? Are they upset that we are going to be able to get our resources to international markets and create value for Canadians, or are they upset about the fact that we are going to be able to create more jobs for Canadians? It is one of the two, or perhaps both, but it does not matter because our resolve is to get this project done, because it is in Canada's best interest.


Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General was clear: the implementation and management of the Phoenix pay system was an incomprehensible failure.
    Those responsible chose to operate within their budgets and deadlines instead of implementing a working system.
    The warnings were everywhere, but officials ignored them. What happened? Workers are still living with the consequences of this disaster.
    When will the government launch a public inquiry to get to the bottom of what really happened?


    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Auditor General for his report, and we accept his recommendations. Today's report is a reminder for Canadians of the realities of 10 years under the Harper Conservatives. After we asked the Auditor General to examine Phoenix, he published two reports, and the government commissioned two reports from a third party, in addition to a study under way in a parliamentary committee. We know exactly how the Harper Conservatives set the system up for failure.


     Mr. Speaker, I am not sure one can get any clearer than the Auditor General. The report calls the Phoenix fiasco “an incomprehensible failure of project management and oversight.” There was no oversight in the decision to implement Phoenix by the Liberals, even though they knew it had significant problems. Executives were more focused on meeting the budget and the timeline than actually delivering a working pay system.
     Following the devastating report, will the government finally compensate all workers and implement a public inquiry to ensure that this never happens again?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Auditor General for his report. We are accepting all of his recommendations.
    This is one of the most studied government projects in the history of the Government of Canada. We called in the Auditor General and had two reports performed, third party reports. We know very clearly what happened. The former government treated this as a cost-cutting measure, instead of the government-wide initiative that it so clearly was. The Conservatives set this project up to fail, and now they are paying the consequences publicly. Shame on all of them.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I remind members, including the hon. member for Calgary Signal Hill, the hon. member for Abbotsford, and the hon. member for Parry Sound—Muskoka, that the time to speak is when they have the floor.
    The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.


Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' track record on energy matters is nothing short of disastrous. Since they took office, the energy sector has lost 125,000 jobs and over $60 billion in investment.
    What is the Liberal government's miracle solution? Take money from taxpayers and buy a Texas company for $4.5 billion. That is the Liberal solution.
    My question for my friend, the Minister of Finance, is very simple. A fat lot of good Bay Street experience does us. Why is he making such bad decisions?
    Mr. Speaker, experience is always an advantage. What we can say is that it is very important to consider our experience under the Harper government. The Conservatives did nothing. That is what we know from experience. At this time, we have decided that it is very important to have the courage to invest in a project that is in the national interest. It is clear that we need to invest now so that, in the future, the private sector can participate in a project that will benefit Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, this is unbelievable. We are talking about $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money going to a company in Texas. Not even J. R. Ewing would have dreamed of this, and yet that is what the Liberal government is doing.
    What is the Liberal government's track record when it comes to investments? Since those folks have been in power, American investment in Canada has dropped by 50%, while Canadian investments in the U.S. have increased by 66%.
    Seriously, how can the Minister of Finance claim to be an authority on investments?
    Mr. Speaker, here are the facts. In 2017, investments in Canada grew by 8%. That is a fact. However, we know that it is very important to have a strong resource sector for the future. That is why we decided to invest in the Trans Mountain project. It is very important for our future and for growing our economy. We are talking about $15 billion every year. That is what Canadians living in British Columbia, Alberta, and across the country stand to gain.



    Mr. Speaker, let us be clear about one thing. This $4.5 billion handout of taxpayers' money will not build one inch of new pipeline. In fact, every penny will go into the pockets of a Texas oil company, which it will then take to build pipelines outside of Canada in competition with our industry.
    How did we go from that company wanting to invest $7 billion in Canada to sending $4 billion of taxpayers' money out of this country?
    Mr. Speaker, we are buying the assets of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline that are currently there, and the opportunity to expand that pipeline. These assets create value. We are buying assets that create value. What we are going to do is to create more value by ensuring that the project gets done. These advantages are going to help our natural resources sector. They are also going to help our broader economy and create jobs across the country.
    We know it is the right thing to do. We will get this project done.
    Mr. Speaker, what he did was spend over $4 billion on a pipeline that Canadians have had for over 60 years. We get absolutely nothing new with this, except a lot of financial risk, and $7 billion that was going to be invested by a private sector company has now vanished into thin air.
    I have a very simple question: How much will it cost taxpayers to actually build the expansion, or is this all just a pipe dream?
    Mr. Speaker, fundamental to what we are doing is actually buying assets that were owned by someone else, so that we can actually make sure this project happens.
    Of course, we want to make sure that we get the appropriate value for Canadians, and so there is commercially sensitive information. As we look towards how we might move this project into the private sector, we need to recognize that it is commercially sensitive.
     Canadians will have a full understanding and transparency with regard to this project, and what it will do is create advantages for our economy and for jobs across the country.

Consumer Protection

    Mr. Speaker, we now have reports of two of Canada's largest banks saying that hackers have breached the private information of up to 90,000 Canadian consumers. This is just months after the data breaches at Uber, Equifax, and Bell Canada, which affected tens of thousands of Canadians and their private information.
    The European Union took action and implemented new data protection last week. What did the Liberal government do? Absolutely nothing. In fact, this government has not even followed through on basic recommendations.
    When will the Liberals take action to protect Canadian consumers with a digital bill of rights and stop letting these companies off the hook?
    Mr. Speaker, the member knows full well that we brought changes to the regulations to update PIPEDA, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. These regulatory changes are very important, because if any private entity, a bank or otherwise, suffers lost or stolen data, they must report it immediately to the individual and to the Privacy Commissioner. Failure to do so will lead to an infraction and a fine of $100,000 per data breach. That is a significant cost per data breach. It is an important signal that we are sending to protect the privacy of Canadians.


Air Transportation

    Mr. Speaker, in the absence of a real air passengers' bill of rights, a U.S. firm told us that Canadian travellers are being gouged to the tune of $65 million a year.
    We are familiar with the strategy. When the Minister of Transport cannot make a decision, he launches consultations.
    Why bother with a consultation when the European charter is leading the way and the minister has already taken a position by rejecting the amendments proposed in the House and in the Senate? Does the minister take travellers for fools?
    Mr. Speaker, every Canadian knows that buying an airline ticket entitles the purchaser to a certain level of treatment. That is why we are very proud of bringing in air passenger rights.
    They were announced in Bill C-49 and we also announced that we were going to consult Canadians. Some 13 million Canadians travel by plane. It is the right thing to do and the Canadian Transportation Agency initiated the process yesterday.



Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians elected our government in part because of our commitment to help strengthen and grow our economy, to help the middle class, and to create well-paying jobs for Canadians.
    Can the Minister of Finance share with this House how today's decision to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline and related assets will help to uphold this commitment?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order, order.
    Mr. Speaker, it is great that we have at least one Alberta member of Parliament who is supporting Albertans.
    What I know is that the member for Edmonton Centre and the other members of the Liberal Party support this project, because we recognize that what we are bringing to Albertans are huge advantages, advantages in terms of their economy—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. The hon. member for Carleton will come to order. There is far too much noise in the House. Members and I are having trouble hearing the questions and the answers, especially the answers. Members will come to order. Order.


    The hon. member for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, like her Liberal Prime Minister, the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie is saying that illegal migrants are welcome, but the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is saying that they are not. Who is telling the truth? What is the government going to do with these illegal migrants?
    Meanwhile, businesses in Sainte-Justine, Sainte-Claire, and Saint-Anselme have been waiting a long time for the arrival of legal immigrants.
    When will the Liberal government stop the wave of illegal immigration at the border?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Harper Conservatives a question.
    Yesterday, the member for Milton said that 600 people had crossed the border illegally. I would like to know where she got that information, because I do not have the same numbers. It is wrong to tell untruths in the House. I would like to know where she got that number.
    Mr. Speaker, it is simple. Illegal migrants are coming from all over the world.
    The Liberals could have cut the budget, and that is what they did, in fact. The Liberals cut the Canada Border Services Agency's budget by $302 million. They reduced the number of border guards. They also cut $30 million from the budget of those responsible for stopping illegal immigration.
    If the Liberals are serious about this, when will they deal with this problem and put a stop to this wave of illegal immigration at the border?
    Mr. Speaker, unlike the Harper Conservatives, who gutted our immigration system, we are investing $173 million to strengthen security at the Canada-U.S. border—
    Order. I have heard the hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier a lot today, even when he does not have the floor. I would like him to stop yelling during the answers.
    The hon. Minister of Transport.
    Mr. Speaker, we are working with the provinces and the United States to plan for potential fluctuations. The task force on irregular migration will hold its 10th meeting tomorrow. While the Conservatives keep fearmongering, we are taking concrete action to manage the situation.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals give us a lot of rhetoric, but the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food refuses to promise that there will not be any new concessions on supply management as part of the NAFTA renegotiations with the Americans.
    I asked this question a number of times in committee yesterday, and every time he abdicated his position and his role as an advocate for milk, egg, and poultry producers.
    I am giving him one more chance to be honest with producers and to be transparent. What part of the market under supply management do the Liberals plan on handing over to the Americans as part of the NAFTA negotiations?



    Mr. Speaker, our government supports and is committed to maintaining supply management. This has been a clear position throughout the NAFTA negotiations. Every member of our government fully supports the Prime Minister and this government's policies.
    This position is the opposite of the Conservative Party's, whose innovation critic, appointed by the Leader of the Opposition, is opposed to supply management. He even detailed the reasons why in a book that the Leader of the Opposition would not allow in public.
    On this side of the House, we all support supply management.


    Mr. Speaker, who did the government hire? Who did the Prime Minister hire to advise him on supply management? Simon Beauchemin, a senior adviser who strongly opposes supply management. He has an unwavering vision: he believes that supply management is a regressive means of protecting our producers. Our leader and the official opposition definitely stand with producers and support supply management.
    Will the Minister of Agriculture rise and assure us that he will not negotiate away one litre of milk, one egg, or one chicken to the Americans?
    Mr. Speaker, to be clear, we will always defend supply management. In fact, with the exception of certain members of the official opposition, including the member for Beauce, everyone in the House believes—
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    Order. I would ask the hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable to listen to the answer.
    Mr. Speaker, our position on this issue is very clear: we have always defended this system and we do so at every opportunity, including during the NAFTA negotiations.



    Mr. Speaker, CP Rail workers can go on strike legally as soon as tonight, and those workers, like all Canadian workers, have the right to free and fair collective bargaining.
    The minister has addressed this issue before in the House, but she has not clearly stated that her government will not use back-to-work legislation to unilaterally end the strike, so I am giving her that opportunity now.
    Will the minister commit to those workers today, on the record, that she will not use back-to-work legislation to end the strike?
    Mr. Speaker, as of today the parties continue to negotiate at the table in order to get a deal. I have spoken with the employer. I have spoken with both labour unions. They continue to have those conversations. We are there. The federal mediation service is with them. We encourage them to continue to work toward a deal.


International Trade

     Mr. Speaker, apparently a close friend and adviser of the Prime Minister once advocated for the elimination of our supply management system. The really bad news is that this adviser is now playing an important role in renegotiating NAFTA on behalf of the Liberal government. That is disturbing—scary, even. I see shades of the Conservative Party.
    The government says it wants to defend our supply management system, but it hires people like that who want to eliminate it. That makes no sense. I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture.
    Will he swear by all he holds dear that he will defend our supply management system in its entirety?
    Mr. Speaker, our position on supply management has been and remains clear. We have always defended supply management, and that includes during NAFTA talks. The system works extremely well for Canadians. Protecting supply management is important for Canadian consumers, our industries, and all of us. We will always defend it.



    Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the government that this week is Victims and Survivors of Crime Week.
    I know that the Liberals have made it clear that victims have not been a priority of theirs in the last two and a half years, and of course the latest example is Bill C-75, which would reduce the penalties for many serious crimes, including the abduction of a child under 14 years of age, forced marriage, participation in terrorist groups and criminal organizations, and many others.
    Is there any hope that the government can change its philosophy before the next election and start putting victims first? Can it do that?


    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand to speak about Bill C-75, which will address delays and efficiencies in the criminal justice system.
    The member opposite spoke about the reclassification provisions in terms of the reforms that were proposed. It is simply untrue that we are changing the sentencing regime. We are hybridizing offences, but providing prosecutors with additional tools.
     I would like to ask my friend across the way what he feels about the provisions in terms of intimate partner violence, where we are supporting those victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in this bill. Does he not support that?
    Mr. Speaker, while the Liberals have failed to appoint a victims' ombudsman after six months, when the prisoners' ombudsman position became vacant, they filled it immediately.
     When it comes to filling a position to protect the rights of criminals, the Liberals could not move fast enough. However, when it comes to filling a position to protect the rights of victims, the Liberals are AWOL. Why do the Liberals always put the rights of criminals ahead of victims?
    Mr. Speaker, certainly we are taking a broad approach to a review of the criminal justice system, a balanced approach that supports victims of crime, that ensures the offenders are held to account, and that promotes public safety.
     We are committed to appointing a new federal ombudsperson for victims of crime. We are presently undertaking a review and identifying a potential candidate. This is a priority for our government. We will move forward at the nearest and closest time with the most appropriate and skilled individual.


     Mr. Speaker, this is national Victims and Survivors of Crime Week. This year's theme is “Transforming the Culture Together”.
    Let me point out that the ombudsperson for victims of crime position has been vacant for over seven months. The government did, however, fill the correctional investigator position on January 2, so maybe it does not think victims need the help.
    Why are the Liberals not giving victims of crime a strong voice by appointing an independent ombudsperson to protect them, as I proposed in my bill?


    Mr. Speaker, as I said, our government is committed to ensuring that the criminal justice system provides for safe communities, ensures and respects victims of crime, and holds offenders to account.
     Our government is committed to a renewed approach, as we have said, in terms of the appointments process, based on openness, transparency, and merit. The process for the appointment of the new federal ombudsman for victims of crime is presently ongoing and remains a high priority for me. The position will be filled as soon as possible at the conclusion of this process.

Tourism Industry

    Mr. Speaker, this week is Tourism Week in Canada. It is a chance to highlight the incredible work and phenomenal success of our tourism industry. From coast to coast to coast, our industry is world class. It has created over 26,000 jobs just since 2015.
     Culinary tourism in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador is some of the best in the country, as we have seen from chef Ross Larkin's recent win on Top Chef Canada.
    Could the Minister of Small Business and Tourism please tell the House what our government is doing to make 2018 the best year for Canadian tourism?
    Mr. Speaker, last year we launched Canada's new tourism vision. Budget 2017 stabilized Destination Canada's budget at $95.5 million per year. We announced $8.6 million to grow Canada's indigenous tourism industry. We are enhancing tourism data collection by providing Statistics Canada $13.5 million over five years.
    The year 2017 was the best ever for the tourism industry, with over 20 million international visitors spending $21 billion across our great country.
     Together with the member for Long Range Mountains, and I hope all members and all Canadians, we will build on this success, because our investments are working.


    Mr. Speaker, this question is for the Minister of Labour. We know that a CP Rail strike may be happening this evening. We know as well that VIA Rail has already cancelled passenger service because of the operational uncertainty. We know as well that commuting services in Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto could be affected.
    In the past, an agreement had been sought and adhered to with respect to the provision of these services by the Teamsters and CP Rail. Could the minister tell me if she actually got her job done and secured these agreements so people can get to work tomorrow?


    Mr. Speaker, we are not going to take any lessons from the former Harper government on labour relations.
     Let me just remind the member opposite what experts had to say about how the previous government handled labour disputes: “highly unusual”, “a double-edged sword for employers”, “wholesale departure from the roles of collective bargaining”, “destabilizing”, “abuse of the provisions in the Canada Labour Code”, and “they did not understand how the system works.”
    We support a fair and balanced process. This is what is right for the Canadian economy, for workers, and for employers.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, to stop oil spills and protect jobs, the BC Chamber of Commerce on Saturday endorsed the same abandoned vessels solutions that I brought to the House.
     Thirty-six thousand businesses joined hundreds of coastal communities that urged the transport minister to include solutions in his fix, like vessel turn in and recycling. Despite years of coastal advocacy, the Liberals' Bill C-64 still does not include coastal solutions to deal with thousands of wrecks off our coast. They have dragged anchor on resuming the debate.
    Why is the government leaving abandoned vessels on our coast for another season?
    Mr. Speaker, we are extremely proud of Bill C-64, which addresses a long-standing issue that has not been taken care of by previous governments; that is the question of abandoned and derelict vessels. We have come up with an excellent bill. In fact, it has been through the committee in which my colleague had the chance to participate.
     We are very proud of this bill and we hope the NDP and the Harper Conservatives will support the bill as we move it through report stage, third reading, and then quickly on to the Senate.



    Mr. Speaker, on March 1, 2018, a tragedy occurred in my riding, Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, when a young woman named Athena Gervais died after drinking a sugary, high-alcohol drink. My question is for the Minister of Health.
    Can she inform the House of the measures Health Canada plans to take to ensure that such a terrible tragedy never happens again?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Marc-Aurèle-Fortin for his question and for his work on this file.
    As he pointed out, even one tragedy is one too many. As soon as I heard about the incident, I immediately issued a proposal for consultation on restricting the amount of alcohol in single-serve, sugary, high-alcohol beverages. The consultation period just ended, and we are looking closely at the recommendations. I want to thank everyone who took part in the consultation as well as the Standing Committee on Health for its hard work on this matter.


Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals allowed Canadians to believe Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower Christopher Wylie, working in the Liberal leader's office in 2009, was terminated because his electoral data manipulation was too invasive. In testimony to the ethics committee today, Mr. Wylie said that was not why his contract ended.
     In a 2016 email to the U.K.'s leave movement in the Brexit referendum, Wylie said that the outcome could be influenced with psychographic micro-targeting and that he was working on a similar project for a major Canadian political party.
    Who is telling the truth?
    Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague knows, the Prime Minister has tasked me and our government to ensure that we defend Canada's next federal election against cyber-threats. It is also important that we ensure we look for new ways to deal with data and digital breaches. That is why in Bill C-76 we have a provision against the malicious use of computers.
     I look forward to working with colleagues in the House to do what is necessary, as these new technologies evolve, to ensure the integrity of our elections.


The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, the government is preparing to buy the Trans Mountain expansion, a project that Kinder Morgan is backing away from due to its high risk. It is a project that poses a constant threat to the environment and is opposed by British Columbians and indigenous nations. Quebec is also not interested in assuming the economic, environmental, and social risks.
    Will the government reimburse Quebeckers for their share of the $4.5 billion it is going to spend to finance its irresponsible action so that Quebeckers can instead invest in renewable energy?


     We know that the investment in the Trans Mountain expansion is very important to the national interest and to the future of our economy. It will help our economy by fostering economic growth. At the same time, we can also create jobs across the country, in British Columbia, Alberta, and in the other provinces. It truly is in the national interest. That is why we are clearly stating that this project is important for our future.


    Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada apparently just bought a pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion, which it bought for $550 million. There are 15 different court cases right now: indigenous rights cases, environmental group cases, and municipal cases. When the Federal Court of Appeal rules, if the court rules that the permits are invalid, what is the government's plan? Will it restart the environmental assessment process and restart consultations?
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is asking the government to speculate hypothetically on what a court may or may not say. We could look retrospectively at what courts have said. Even very recently the Supreme Court has spoken about consultation and actually has sided with the proponent. However, it is not a good idea for us to speculate on what a future court might say on a case that has nothing to do with the ones that have been decided already.
     We do know that through this process, there was unprecedented consultation with indigenous people. Forty-three communities signed on to benefit agreements, 33 in—
    The hon. member for Regina—Lewvan.
    Mr. Speaker, as you may have heard, the government announced today that it would buy the Trans Mountain pipeline. Far be it from the CCF to question nationalization.
     Could the minister confirm that the new federal crown corporation will honour the existing contract to buy 75% of the project's steel from Regina and make every effort to procure the remaining 25% from Canadian mills?
    Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that we have purchased the assets, and it is our intent that this project move forward in a commercial fashion. We will be seeking the approach that makes the most sense, which will include honouring contracts that have already been moved forward.
     What we will seek to do is then move toward consideration of a private sector solution at the appropriate time, creating the value that we want to create for Canadians.

Presence in Gallery

    I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Barton Scotland, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    I have notice of a question of privilege from the hon. member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner.


Firearms Act  

    Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a question of privilege about online publications of the RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, respecting Bill C-71, an act to amend certain acts and regulations in relation to firearms. These documents, found on the RCMP website, were brought to my attention yesterday, which is why I am rising today, the earliest opportunity after I became aware of the documents.
    On another question of privilege concerning advertising, Speaker Milliken ruled, on May 29, 2008, at page 6276 of the Debates:
    In this case, as in others, it is not so much that the event or issue complained of took place at a given time, but rather that the members bringing the matter to the attention of the House did so as soon as practicable after they became aware of the situation.
    Turning back to today's question of privilege, I am rising because these online government publications—
    Order. I am going to ask members to take their conversations outside.
    The hon. member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner has the floor.


    Mr. Speaker, turning back to today's question of privilege, I am rising because these online government publications presume the adoption of Bill C-71 by Parliament. There is no caveat given by the RCMP that the legislation is subject to parliamentary approval, and there is no acknowledgement of the parliamentary process at all, in fact. This, in my view, is nothing but a contempt of Parliament.
    Page 14 of Joseph Maingot's Parliamentary Privilege in Canada, second edition, explains contempt as follows:
     As in the case of a Superior Court, when by some act or word a person disobeys or is openly disrespectful of the authority of the House of Commons or Senate or of their lawful commands, that person is subject to being held in contempt of the House of Commons or Senate as the case may be; therefore it will be seen that the Senate and House of Commons have the power or right to punish actions that, while not appearing to be breaches of any specific privilege, are offences against their authority or dignity.
    Page 81 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, adds:
     The House of Commons enjoys very wide latitude in maintaining its dignity and authority through the exercise of its contempt power. In other words, the House may consider any misconduct to be contempt and may deal with it accordingly.
    Let me read a sampling of the content found in “Special Business Bulletin No. 93”.
     To begin with, we see:
     Because not all CZ firearms will be impacted by changes in their classification, business will need to determine if their firearm( s) will be affected by these changes.
    Bill C-71 also lists a number of specific Swiss Arms (SA) firearm that will also become prohibited.
     If you own CZ/SA firearms, the steps below can help you identify whether your inventory of firearms is affected by Bill C-71. They explain the grandfathering requirements and how to avoid being in illegal possession of a firearm.
    That language is quite clear. It is “will be impacted”, “will...become prohibited”, and “is affected”, not “could be”, “may become”, or “might be affected”.
     Later in the bulletin, we read:
     Business owners will continue to be authorized to transfer any and all impacted CZ or SA firearms in their inventory to properly licenced individuals, until the relevant provisions of Bill C-71 come into force. For an individual owner to be eligible for grandfathering certain requirements must be met by June 30, 2018.
    Now, before one might think that the language about the bill's coming into force possibly concedes the need for parliamentary approval, let me continue reading:
     The proposed changes to classification status for CZ/SA firearms listed in Bill C-71 will come into force on a date to be determined by the Governor in Council. This date is yet to be determined.
    It is my respectful submission that any conditional language one might read or infer in that document is left, in the mind of the reader, to be, therefore, a matter of cabinet discretion, not Parliament's.
     Turning to a second document, entitled “How does Bill C- 71 affect individuals?”, we see additional presumptuous language. A lot of it mirrors what I quoted from “Special Business Bulletin No. 93”.
    Other passages, however, include:
     If your SA firearm was listed in Bill C-71, it will be classified as a prohibited firearm.
    It says, “was listed”, as if Bill C-71 was a document from the past, not a bill currently before a parliamentary committee.
    Later we read:
     To qualify for grandfathering of your currently non-restricted or restricted CZ/SA firearm, the following criteria must be met....
    There follows a list of details for firearms owners to meet, which, just coincidentally, happens to be laid out in clause 3 of Bill C-71, yet there is no indication that these are proposals before Parliament, let alone in need of parliamentary sanction to be enforced.
     A leading ruling on the presumption of parliamentary decision-making concerning legislation is the ruling of Mr. Speaker Fraser, on October 10, 1989, at page 4457 of the Debates, in respect of the implementation of the goods and services tax.


    The impugned advertisements in that case contained similarly unequivocal language, such as “Canada's Federal Sales Tax System will change. Please save this notice”, and, the GST “will replace the existing federal sales tax”.
     In this instance, Mr. Speaker Fraser did not find the prima facie case of contempt. However, he could not have been more clear when he stated, and I quote:
     I want the House to understand very clearly that if your Speaker ever has to consider a situation like this again, the Chair will not be as generous. This is a case which, in my opinion, should never recur. I expect the Department of Finance and other departments to study this ruling carefully and remind everyone within the Public Service that we are a parliamentary democracy, not a so-called executive democracy, nor a so-called administrative democracy....
    A vote on this issue might not support the very important message which your Speaker wishes to convey and which I hope will be well considered in the future by governments, departmental officials and advertisement agencies retained by them. This advertisement may not be a contempt of the House in the narrow confines of a procedural definition, but it is, in my opinion, ill-conceived and it does a great disservice to the great traditions of this place. If we do not preserve these great traditions, our freedoms are at peril and our conventions become a mockery. I insist, and I believe I am supported by the majority of moderate and responsible members on both sides of this House, that this ad is objectionable and should never be repeated.
    Subsequent rulings have distinguished other factual scenarios from the 1989 ruling, and, I submit, are distinguishable from the circumstances I am rising on today.
    On March 13, 1997, at page 8988 of the Debates, Speaker Parent held that a policy-promotion campaign concerning anti-tobacco legislation did not give rise to a prima facie contempt, but the Chair added the following advice, and I quote:
...where the government issues communications to the public containing allusions to measures before the House, it would be advisable to choose words and terms that leave no doubt as to the disposition of these measures.
    That advice was put into practice by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration in its promotional materials respecting Bill C-50, leading to the 2008 ruling by Mr. Speaker Milliken, which I cited in my opening comments, that there was no prima facie contempt.
    More recently, your immediate predecessor ruled, on September 28, 2011, at page 1576 of the Debates, that a procurement solicitation for advisory services for the implications of certain scenarios for the dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly was “part of a planning process that might be expected in contemplating the possibility of the repeal of the Canadian Wheat Board Act.”
    Last year, Mr. Speaker, you ruled on May 29, 2017, at page 11560 of the Debates, that advertisements to hire the leadership of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, then a matter before the House as part of a budget implementation bill, was not a contempt, because some, but not all, of the government's job postings conceded that parliamentary approval was required. In the ruling, the Chair said:
    I was looking for any suggestion that parliamentary approval was being publicized as either unnecessary or irrelevant, or in fact already obtained. Otherwise put, I was looking for any indication of an offence against or disrespect of the authority or dignity of the House and its members.
    As it turns out, I think the most relevant ruling in respect of the facts before us today is that of Mr. Speaker Stockwell, in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, given on January 22, 1997, in respect of a government pamphlet explaining municipal reform legislation, not unlike the purpose of the RCMP' s internet guidance. In finding a prima facie contempt, Mr. Speaker Stockwell held:
...I am very concerned by the Ministry pamphlet, which is worded more definitively than the commercial and the press release. To name but a few examples, the brochure claims that “new city wards will be created”, that “work on building the new city will start in 1997”, and that “[t]he new City of Toronto will reduce the number of municipal politicians.


     How is one to interpret such unqualified claims? In my opinion, they convey the impression that the passage of the requisite legislation was not necessary or was a foregone conclusion, or that the assembly and the Legislature had no pro forma tangential, even inferior role in the legislative and lawmaking process, and in doing so, they appear to diminish the respect that is due to this House. I would not have come to this view had these claims or proposals—and that is all they are—been qualified by a statement that they would only become law if and when the Legislature gave its stamp of approval to them.
    In the RCMP documents, we are not talking about standing up a crown corporation, or hiring a government consultant, or even promoting an anti-smoking campaign, nor are we talking about new tax rules or changes to local government. We are talking about a publication that gives advice on how to avoid becoming a criminal. How much more serious can one get than that? This is not hyperbole.
    One of the passages I referred to earlier said, “They explain the grandfathering requirements and how to avoid being in illegal possession of a firearm.” Another was, “lf your SA firearm was listed in Bill C-71, it will be classified as a prohibited firearm.”
    The unlawful possession of a firearm can lead to a jail sentence of up to five years. That is pretty serious stuff.
    Conservatives have been clear and on the record about their concerns about the RCMP arbitrarily reclassifying firearms. That is why the previous government gave the Governor in Council an oversight role. Basically, what happens is that law-abiding owners who follow all the rules and regulations with respect to their firearms are suddenly, because of one meeting of some bureaucrats, declared criminals for possession of an illegal weapon, when they have owned and used that weapon for sport shooting or hunting for many years. Suddenly, with one blanket move, what dozens or hundreds of thousands of people already possess is somehow deemed illegal.
    We have seen this disrespect for law-abiding Canadians from the RCMP before. The RCMP has acted in contempt of Parliament several times before. There is an institutional history of it, as a matter of fact.
     On February 16, 1965, Mr. Speaker Macnaughton found a prima facie case of privilege concerning the RCMP's arrest of an opposition member of Parliament. On September 4, 1973, Mr. Speaker Lamoureux found a prima facie case of privilege concerning the RCMP interrogation of an opposition member. On March 21, 1978, Mr. Speaker Jerome found a prima facie case of privilege concerning the RCMP's electronic surveillance—spying, in other words—of an opposition MP. On December 6, 1978, Mr. Speaker Jerome found a prima facie case of privilege concerning the RCMP misleading a former minister concerning the information he provided to opposition parliamentarians.
     On December 1, 2004, Mr. Speaker Milliken found a prima facie case of privilege concerning the RCMP blocking MPs' access to Parliament Hill. On April 10, 2008, Mr. Speaker Milliken found a prima facie case of privilege following the false and misleading evidence given to the public accounts committee by the RCMP's then deputy commissioner.
    On March 15, 2012, your immediate predecessor, Mr. Speaker, found a prima facie case of privilege when the RCMP denied MPs access to Centre Block. On September 25, 2014, another prima facie case of privilege was established related to the RCMP's denial of access to Parliament Hill. On May 12, 2015, two incidents of MPs being denied access to Centre Block by the RCMP led to yet another prima facie case of privilege.
    Mr. Speaker, you have also needed to deal with these issues. On April 6 and 11, 2017, you found prima facie cases of privilege flowing out of MPs' access being denied by the Parliamentary Protective Service, an organization that, of course, has a clear legal relationship with the RCMP.
    Even on the Senate side, the RCMP was found to have committed a prima facie case of contempt by Mr. Speaker Kinsella, on May 8, 2013, following its efforts to thwart parliamentary task force members from appearing as witnesses before a committee.


    It goes without saying that it comes as absolutely no surprise that our national police force would snub its nose at Parliament yet again. Even more distressing is that the minister responsible for the RCMP, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, is one of the most experienced members of the House and a former House leader. The minister should be urging respect for Parliament by his officials. The RCMP is not above the law and not above the House of Commons.
    Mr. Speaker, if you agree there is a prima facie case of contempt here, I am prepared to move an appropriate motion.
    I thank the hon. member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner for raising his question of privilege, which I take very seriously. I will be coming back to the House in due course with a ruling.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]


Extension of Sitting Hours

Motion that debate be not further adjourned  

     Mr. Speaker, in relation to the consideration of Government Business No. 22, I move:
    That the debate not be further adjourned.


     Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period. I invite hon. members who wish to ask questions to rise in their places so the Chair has some idea of the number of members who wish to participate in this question period.
    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    Mr. Speaker, I have a very simple question.
    I would like the government House leader to explain the reason for this motion and why it is being moved at this time.
    Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question. We want to work for Canadians. There are a lot of bills to debate and, since we know that the opposition members want to participate in those debates, we are going to extend the sitting hours so that everyone can participate and work harder for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. The NDP is prepared to spend as much time as necessary working in Parliament, and I imagine all the other parties feel the same way. That being said, I would like to ask the government House leader a question.
    The government introduced an electoral reform bill at the last minute and a national security bill two years after it took office, and that is not to mention all the other bills that it put on a shelf saying that it needed to hold consultations. What is more, the government did not even listen to the Canadians it consulted. After taking so long to act and imposing its agenda, why is the government now deciding at the very last minute to impose closure on the motion to extend sitting hours?
    We are prepared to work hard, but let us be clear. When they talk about work-life balance and respect for Parliament, waiting until the last minute and imposing all this on parliamentarians is not helpful and will get us nowhere.
    Can the government House leader justify her actions here today?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to assure all hon. members that I am doing my best to work with them. I have asked many times how many people want to take part in the debate. The opposition members told me on several occasions that they wanted more debates. This is an opportunity for everyone to take part in the debates.
    We know that the bill mentioned by the hon. member is very important. The minister talked about it and we want the committee to do its work. However, we see that the hon. members across the way want to play games in the House and in committee. It is their choice, but we want to work very hard for Canadians. That is our way of doing things.


    Mr. Speaker, this is truly an unparalleled day in Canadian parliamentary history. On a day that the Government of Canada has paid a Texas company $4.5 billion to leave Canada and to stop investing in our resource sector, we also have the government House leader bringing to the House for the 34th or 35th time a time allocation motion on a motion that has not yet been debated. This is truly unparalleled.
    The member was not here in the last Parliament, but I would like to remind her of the wisdom of her deputy, the member for Winnipeg North, who used to call such tactics “assaults on democracy”. There are so many times he said that. In fact, he went further to talk about the use of time allocation on omnibus bills before the House. He said they are “an affront to democracy and the functionality of Parliament.”
    Why do the Liberals fear debate? Why do they fear Canadians knowing what is happening? Why are they using omnibus bills for budget implementation, and for Bill C-75 and Bill C-59? What about the openness and transparency they promised?


    Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to respond to the obviously more experienced member's question. That is what he just said. On Thursday of last week I telegraphed that we would be bringing forward a motion, and what did the opposition members choose to do? They chose to ensure that the government could do no business.
     The member asked about fear of debate. Members on this side do not fear debate; we welcome debate. That is exactly why we brought forward a motion to say, let us debate more, let us extend the hours so that more members can be part of the debate and represent their constituents in this place.
     We committed to Canadians that we would work hard for them. We committed to Canadians that their voices would be heard in this place, and this is just another way to ensure that every member of Parliament who wants to debate the important legislation this government is advancing has an opportunity to do so. I look forward to hearing—
    Questions, the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to draw upon the earlier comments by the House leader. We come to this place to be able to debate legislation and have an opportunity to bring the voices of our constituents here and to do the good work that Canadians have elected us for.
    One of the members talked about family obligations. I do have family obligations as well, and I try to balance these as much as possible while I am here, but we also know that while we are here, there is opportunity for us to engage not only with our own members, but also with members of the opposition who ask good questions, to hear debate and to be able to challenge each other.
    I would like the House leader to further explain to Canadians why this motion in particular is so important.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by commending the member and the level of discourse she brings to this place. I have seen her on numerous occasions represent the voices of her constituents. When it comes to the depth of policy knowledge she brings to this place, it has raised the level of debate. I encourage more members to study the bills that we are putting forward so they can ensure that their constituents' voices are heard here. That is exactly why we would like to extend the hours.
    We know that at this time of the year most governments have extended hours so that members can do more to represent Canadians and advance good bills. This will provide an opportunity for more members to be part of an important debate to ensure that the voices of their constituents are heard right here, because it is the House of the people.


    Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to my colleague, I would like her to elaborate. We have had many opportunities to ask for more debate and have always been turned down. Today, she is asking us to take part in debates, and we will take part in them because on this side of the House, the opposition side, we like to have our say on behalf of our constituents.
    Is this charade the government's way of muzzling us on bills that should have been passed a long time ago?


    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. This is an opportunity to have more hours of debate in order to allow a greater number of hon. members to participate.


    If we want to talk about this place and being cute, let us talk about last week.
    We returned to this House on Tuesday after the constituency week. What did the opposition members do? They started by moving concurrence. What did they do all week long? They moved concurrence rather than debate the legislation before the House.
    The opposition members talk about the importance of knowing what is taking place. This government committed to openness and transparency. I have been telegraphing what the business of the days will be so that members can be part of meaningful debate. What have the opposition members chosen to do? They have chosen to play games. They have chosen to use tactics rather than be here representing the voices of their constituents. They have chosen to put the voice of their party before the voices of Canadians.
    On this side of the House, we will put Canadians first.
    Just as a reminder to all hon. members, and in this case the hon. government House leader, in this 30-minute period for questions, the questions are generally reserved for opposition members. We will have time for the two other members of the government side who are standing. We will get those two in, and probably not much more than that.
    Going to questions now, the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona.
    Mr. Speaker, I will start with a brief remark. I have to say that I do take exception to the implication by the government House leader that there is something wrong with the House's debating and voting concurrence on committee reports. That is in fact why committees report back to the House, so that those reports can be considered. If the House decides it wants to concur in a report by a committee, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Therefore, for her to somehow suggest that there is something untoward going on, that there is something wrong in principle, or that it is a bad thing for members to be concerned about the good work they do in committee that has come before the House to be discussed at large and then voted on by the House is just ridiculous. It would be nice to have a government House leader who actually understood this place well enough to know that there is nothing wrong with moving concurrence in a committee report.
    I will digress from that point and move to my main point. The government moved time allocation on Bill C-76. My colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley proposed to the minister a way forward that would include the right amount of debate and consultation with Canadians. The minister said no and moved time allocation. Therefore, the demand for extra sitting time is odd coming from a government that is refusing to respond to proposals by the opposition on how to effectively study bills.
    Mr. Speaker, we do not talk about committee business in this place. However, now that the member opposite has welcomed the opportunity, I do so as well.
     I believe that my colleagues on this side, including the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, has more than welcomed opportunities. However, rather than debate the important legislation that would allow more Canadians to vote in the next election, what are the opposition members doing? They are currently in committee right now filibustering rather than getting to important government legislation. That legislation is Bill C-76, which brings forward 85% of the recommendations of the Chief Electoral Officer. It is the right thing to do for Canadians after what the previous government did to vandalize the opportunities for Canadians to vote. We are changing that so that many Canadians can vote. The NDP, rather than stand for Canadians, is today standing with the Conservatives to take away the right of Canadians to vote. That is disappointing—
    I would ask all hon. members to keep their interventions to around one minute.
    The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.
    Mr. Speaker, there is certainly a lot of arrogance in the implication that the opposition members are just a problem here.
    I want to point out that the Liberals claim they want debate. We are here today and are talking about a pipeline purchase by the government. However, the government will not give us the information on how much it will pay for it and what it will cost in the future. We have asked questions about the carbon tax. The government will not give us any information on those issues as well. Therefore, on many of these issues, we're left without any information at all, yet the government tells us that it wants us to come here to debate these issues. When is the government going to open up and be a lot more transparent with Canadians and us?
     The Liberals claim they are representing Canadians. However, they are not doing that, but representing themselves. We need more information and more accountability. When is the government going to open up and give us the information we need to do our job here as well?
    Mr. Speaker, whether in or outside this House, I have stated that every member of Parliament, regardless of the side they sit, serves a very important purpose. For months we have seen this place able to function when we work together. We are able to advance legislation. Members are able to represent their constituents, or their parties, as the Conservatives choose to do, and advance and vote on legislation as they choose. What is important is that the voices of Canadians be heard in this place. For a few months now, we have demonstrated that we can work together to ensure that we know how much time is needed for debate, and we can continue advancing legislation through the process, including in the other place.
     What has transpired all of a sudden is that when we returned from the constituency week, the official opposition definitely chose not to continue with that gesture of good will. I continue to keep my door open and hope that we can return to the days when we were all able to work for and represent our constituents.


    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to come to the House and have the opportunity to debate. I enjoyed hearing that we are going to have extended hours, because I think it is extremely important that people from Winnipeg Centre ensure that their representative does have the opportunity to speak.
    I know that sometimes debate does not go long enough, and there are more members than there were. Before, there were only 308 members of Parliament, and now there are 338 in the House of Commons.
     I appreciate the opportunity. I believe the opposition should take this opportunity to debate longer into the future, until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. even. We should run this place 24 hours a day so that every member who wishes to speak has that opportunity.
    I am prepared to stay here, and I hope the opposition is, as well.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his commitment to represent Canadians in this place, and I agree.
    A point that does not get raised often is that there are more members of Parliament in this place. Many members of Parliament have issues of concern, whether to them personally or to their constituents, ridings, or regions, and they want to be part of a meaningful debate. That is the way to advance good legislation for all Canadians. We need to hear the diversity of views.
    When the Prime Minister says that diversity is our strength, he is not talking only about the shells that we occupy; he is talking about the diversity of regions, genders, experiences, and perspectives. We need to hear all of them, and this motion would allow us to debate more, to have more voices heard, and to continue advancing important legislation that will benefit Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, please do not accept those soothing words from the government House leader at face value. When we look at the actions of the Liberal government, it is very clear that it has no intention of allowing free and open debate in the House.
    Members may recall that when the Prime Minister was first elected, he provided mandate letters to all of his ministers. Every one of them received a letter. In it, the Prime Minister said the following:
    I made a personal commitment to bring new leadership and a new tone to Ottawa. We made a commitment to Canadians to pursue our goals with a renewed sense of collaboration.
    The letter went on with all these promises about doing things differently, allowing open debate, and collaborating with colleagues in the House. However, nothing of the like has happened. In fact, it has gotten worse and worse: invoking closure on a regular basis, interfering at committees, and cutting off debate at committees. There were 100 amendments in our own committee that went through without debate because the government House leader instructed the Liberal chair of that committee to cut off debate.
    This is a shameful performance on the part of the Liberal government, which promised to do things differently but is actually much worse than any government we have seen before.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the member for Abbotsford would stand up in this place, because he was at the committee when it was debating Bill C-57, and he chose to advance an amendment that members on this side of the House worked hard to find a way to support. They actually fought for that amendment. Not only did they fight for that amendment, but they supported it. When that legislation returned to the House, the very same member, the member for Abbotsford, who moved the amendment and got support from the Liberal government at committee, chose to come to this place and exactly undo that amendment.
    My parents always told me when I was growing up that one has to look at where it is coming from. When I hear comments from that member, I am reminded of the Harper government and the nonsense the Conservatives played in the House to take away from democracy.
    We will not take lessons from the Conservatives.
    Mr. Speaker, as the government House leader just said, we have to look at where the issue is coming from.
    It was not so long ago that the Liberals formed a majority government in this place and said they would do things differently. They promised Canadians that they would not bring in closure on the Elections Act. However, this is what they are doing. They are doing exactly the opposite of what they said they would do.
    I think every single member in the House deserves the opportunity to have full debate on this, because it matters. Democracy matters to Canadians, and how we do this matters. Following up on one's word and commitment matters. In politics, there is only one thing for all of us that defines who we are, and that is our word.
    When the government continues to do what it does, and the House leader gets up to defend the government breaking its promise to Canadians, I would ask whether this is how she wants to be defined.


    Mr. Speaker, as all of us know, on Thursdays the government House leader is able to put forward the business of the House for the rest of that week and the week after. On Thursday, we telegraphed that we would be bringing forward this motion, and that is part of our commitment to openness and transparency.
    I listened to the words of the member, and I really feel that she should be supporting this motion, because obviously she would like more time to debate. That is what we are trying to say: Let us extend the hours and have more time to debate so that more members can have their voices heard and we can advance more legislation. It sounds like a win-win-win situation.