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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 306

CONTENTS

Friday, June 1, 2018




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148 
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NUMBER 306 
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1st SESSION 
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42nd PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Friday, June 1, 2018

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

  (1005)  

[English]

Federal Sustainable Development Act

     She said: 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 will describe how our government is taking action to ensure that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand; our work with provinces, territories, indigenous peoples, and international partners to address climate change; and our support for the global 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals.

[Translation]

     I will go on to discuss how Bill C-57 supports our strong commitment to sustainability and how it will contribute to more effective, inclusive, and accountable sustainable development strategies in the future.

[English]

    Let me emphasize again the importance of discussing how Bill C-57 would support our strong commitment to sustainability as well as how the proposed changes would contribute to more effective, inclusive, and accountable sustainable development strategies in the future.
    First, I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank the members of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. The committee's unanimous second report, “Federal Sustainability for Future Generations”, provided thoughtful recommendations that were the foundation of the bill.
    I would also like to congratulate the members of the committee for their work in considering and amending Bill C-57 and for taking part in fruitful discussions and debate. Their efforts resulted in a number of improvements to the bill, which I will be discussing today.
    Of course, I would like to again recognize the hon. John Godfrey, former member of Parliament for Don Valley West and sponsor of the original private member's bill that became the Federal Sustainable Development Act. His vision and leadership gave rise to the current federal sustainability approach we are seeking to build on and enhance through the bill.
    Bill C-57 is about advancing sustainable development in Canada. I have noted before in the House, and I will continue to emphasize, that advancing sustainable development is a priority for our government. Canadians have said that they want a sustainable future for Canada. We have always maintained that a clean environment and a strong economy can and must go hand in hand in the modern world. We also know that the well-being of Canada's future generations depend on it.
    As part of the global community, we are all facing serious challenges, including the continued threat of global climate change. Here in Canada, we 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, to unprecedented flooding, something we experienced first-hand here in the Ottawa-Gatineau area about this time last year.

[Translation]

    Action is needed, and we are responding together with our partners in Canada and around the world. Our government is committed to supporting the implementation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, the global framework to eliminate poverty, fight inequality, and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. As the Prime Minister said in his recent address to the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly, we are committed to implementing the 2030 agenda’s sustainable development goals at home while we work with our international partners to achieve them around the world.
    The 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. The federal strategy's specific, medium-term targets, short-term milestones, and actions show how we will implement the 2030 agenda for sustainable development’s environmental dimensions.

[English]

    The amendments to the act would support future federal sustainable development strategies that would continue to align their goals and reporting with the 2030 agenda, ensuring that Canadians would have a thorough view of our sustainable development priorities and our accompanying national actions to advance the 2030 agenda.
    Tackling climate change, the most pressing challenge of our time, is an important part of the 2030 agenda and is a priority for our government. Transitioning to a low-carbon economy is critical if we want to ensure a good quality of life for our children and grandchildren. Inaction is not an option.
    Recognizing this, our government ratified the historic Paris Agreement in October 2016 and worked with provinces, territories, and indigenous peoples to develop the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, Canada's comprehensive plan to reduce emissions across all sectors of the economy, accelerate clean growth, and build resilience to climate impacts.
    Implementation of the framework is now well under way, with good progress already achieved on measures such as phasing out coal-fired power generation by 2030, developing regulations to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, and introducing a clean fuel standard.
    This past June, our government launched the $2-billion low-carbon economy fund to support projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are also working with provinces and territories to ensure that carbon pricing applies across Canada, including by developing a federal carbon pricing backstop system.

  (1010)  

[Translation]

     We also continue to work with our international partners to advance global action on climate change. Most recently, at the recent 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Canada became a founding member of the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which includes national and subnational governments, businesses, and non-governmental organizations focused on accelerating clean growth and climate protection through the rapid phase-out of traditional coal power.
    This past November, Canada also became one of the first countries in the world to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. This amendment will phase down hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which are powerful greenhouse gases. In support of our commitment to the Kigali Amendment as well as our made-in-Canada climate plan, we have published regulations to reduce HFC consumption in Canada by 85% by 2036.

[English]

    We are also taking action to protect Canada's lands, coasts, and oceans. We are engaging coastal communities, stakeholders, and all four orders of government as we implement our oceans protection plan. As part of this plan, we introduced legislation in May to formalize the moratorium on crude-oil tanker traffic on British Columbia's north coast. We have also achieved our commitment to protect five per cent of Canada's marine and coastal areas by 2017, and we remain committed to protecting 10% by 2020.
    In August, the federal government, Nunavut, and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association announced the official boundary for a new national marine conservation area in Tallurutiup Imanga, Lancaster Sound, which will be the biggest protected area ever established in Canada.
    We are continuing to conserve and connect Canada's lands, lakes, and rivers. With the Government of Alberta, we are leading a process to meet our target of 17% of terrestrial areas and inland waters conserved by 2030. This includes gathering advice from a broad range of stakeholders through the National Advisory Panel and the Indigenous Circle of Experts.
    It is clear that we are taking effective action to realize our vision of a clean environment, a strong economy, and a better quality of life for Canadians. Much is being done, but more progress is needed to meet the challenge of sustainable development and to take advantage of its opportunities.
    That brings me back to Bill C-57. This bill would make important improvements to the sustainability approach in the 2008 Federal Sustainable Development Act, particularly in the areas that require the government to prepare and report on sustainable development strategies. It would make these strategies more accountable and inclusive, thereby making them more effective. This would help to hasten our progress toward a more sustainable Canada, something I am sure we all support.
    I would now like to take this opportunity 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 would be sustainable development, not strictly related to the environment. It would shift the act's focus from planning and reporting to driving action and improving Canadians' quality of life, and it would specify that the federal sustainable development strategy must respect Canada's domestic and international obligations.

[Translation]

    Bill C-57 also adds principles to the act to guide our whole-of-government strategy, as well as the strategies of individual federal departments and agencies. These include, for example, the principle of intergenerational equity, which is absolutely foundational to the concept of sustainable development. The current act requires individual departments to prepare their own strategies that are in line with their mandates and that comply with and contribute to the federal sustainable development strategy.
     Under Bill C-57, more than 90 federal organizations, up from 26 today, will work in a collaborative and coordinated way toward common objectives.
    The bill would also reinforce our government’s commitment to an inclusive sustainability approach by strengthening the Sustainable Development Advisory Council. It would double representation of indigenous peoples on the council from three members to six, and would provide the council with a clear mandate to advise me on sustainable development.

  (1015)  

[English]

    Finally, and most critically, it would strengthen the government's accountability for achieving concrete and meaningful sustainable development results. 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. One way to do that is to have strong targets, measurable targets, targets that have a clear time frame for their achievement.
    Bill C-57 would ensure that future strategies would continue to have a focus on results and would increase the accountability of departments and agencies in setting and achieving ambitious sustainable development targets. This would enable Canadians to closely track whether the government was meeting its commitments.
    Parliamentarians have an essential role to play in holding the government to account for sustainable development results. Bill C-57 would support and strengthen this role. Building on the requirements of the current act, it would ensure that federal organizations report each year to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, and the equivalent committee of the Senate, on actions taken to meet their commitments and the results achieved.
    Also, recognizing the crucial role of parliamentarians, Bill C-57 would provide for a permanent review of the act by a parliamentary committee. The review would be carried out every five years, further strengthening accountability and supporting continuous improvement of the act and its implementation over time.
    I want to acknowledge that as well as providing the foundation for this bill through its unanimous report, the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development strengthened it by studying the bill and proposing thoughtful amendments. I want to thank all the committee members for their contributions. Good ideas from all sides were considered, debated, and discussed.
    While all the amendments accepted by the committee resulted in important changes to the bill, I would like to highlight a few in particular that would contribute to the government's sustainable development approach. First, the committee accepted an amendment proposed by the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands that added a new principle to Bill C-57. This principle tells us that sustainable development is an evolving concept. It clarifies that achieving sustainable development means protecting our environment, but it also means protecting health, promoting equity, conserving cultural heritage, respecting our domestic and international obligations, and recognizing our responsibility to future generations. Our government will look to this principle to develop strategies that go beyond environmental issues to address sustainable development as a whole and to draw on well-accepted approaches to promoting sustainability, such as applying the precautionary principle.

[Translation]

    Public consultations are already an essential part of the current act. Comments from indigenous peoples, stakeholders, and the public shaped our current federal sustainable development strategy, leading to more measurable and ambitious targets, and a stronger focus on supporting the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
    With the committee’s amendments, all federal organizations would take these comments into account as they prepare their own sustainable development strategies.
    Finally, other amendments, including those proposed by the hon. member for Hastings—Lennox and Addington, would help focus the act on sustainable development as a whole rather than on the environment alone. One, for example, specifies that Treasury Board’s role includes establishing policies and issuing directives related to the sustainable development impacts of government operations and not just environmental impacts.

[English]

    Taking into account these improvements, how would Bill C-57 support greater progress towards our vision for sustainable development in Canada? Quite simply, it would be through better sustainable development strategies that focus on results and reflect the priorities of Canadians and by ensuring that the government set clear and measurable sustainability targets and could be held accountable for achieving them.
    I want to highlight in particular the impact of the new principles proposed in Bill C-57, particularly given the improvements made at committee. Principles are at the core of Bill C-57, defining our values and aspirations for sustainable development strategies. The bill would ensure that government considers principles such as intergenerational equity, collaboration, and results and delivery when preparing strategies. The new principle would provide clarity on the nature and scope of sustainable development, and approaches the government should consider in working toward sustainability goals and targets. Under an amended act, future strategies will clearly demonstrate to Canadians how our commitments and actions reflect these core principles.

  (1020)  

[Translation]

     This means that future strategies will benefit from a clear, shared understanding of the breadth of actions that contribute to achieving sustainable development and to protecting the environment, as well as 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, measurable, and inclusive.
    Bill C-57, including the amendments made at committee, would build on this important component of the government’s sustainability approach. It would better enable indigenous peoples to play a strong role in guiding our sustainable development strategies and actions, including by increasing their representation on the Sustainable Development Advisory Council.

[English]

    It would also enable me to engage more effectively with my council, including meeting with its members in person, something that has never been possible before. By specifying that the council's mandate includes advising me on matters related to sustainable development, it would address a clear gap in the current act.
     All these measures would help ensure that our strategies, both the overarching federal sustainable development strategy and strategies of individual federal organizations, reflect the priorities of indigenous peoples, stakeholders, and Canadians. In particular, it would ensure that the unique perspectives of indigenous peoples are heard and taken into account.
    However, strategies matter only if the government can be held accountable for results. That is why Bill C-57 would strengthen accountability under the Federal Sustainable Development Act. In requiring all federal sustainable development strategy goals to be measurable and include a time frame, the bill would ensure that Canadians are fully aware of what the government has committed to achieve and whether those commitments are being met.
    With a new requirement for federal departments and agencies to report each year on how they are implementing their strategies and the results achieved, parliamentarians and all Canadians will be able to closely track the government's sustainable development progress and hold the government to account.
    In conclusion, Bill C-57 reinforces our government's commitment to put sustainable development and the environment at the forefront of government thinking and decision-making. We believe it is a very important step that we need to take in order to ensure that we make decisions about a sustainable future in Canada, focusing on results and increasing the accountability of departments and agencies for setting and achieving ambitious sustainable development targets.
    The bill supports modernizing the Federal Sustainable Development Act and incorporating 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. In short, this legislation would move us from planning and consulting on sustainable development 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, commitment, and collaboration.

[Translation]

    I encourage all my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the Minister of Environment for her speech. Sadly, her decisions and results fall short of her rhetoric. We already know from the environment commissioner that Canada will not be able to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2020 or 2030.
    Speaking of the environment commissioner, I was interested to read in her April report that Canada is not on track to meet the 17 sustainable development goals that it has promised to implement on two separate occasions since 2015. The Prime Minister also reiterated that promise to the United Nations General Assembly in 2017.
    Five departments responsible for implementing these goals have no national targets and no system for monitoring progress. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Global Affairs Canada, Status of Women Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada all have yet to establish a system.
    How does the minister expect to meet the United Nations goals if her own department has neither a structure for setting targets nor a system for monitoring results?

  (1025)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my counterpart for his question.
    Clearly, we are going to see improvements thanks to Bill C-57, since it is a very results-based bill.
    I want to once again thank the committee for its thoughtful suggestions with regard to the Federal Sustainable Development Act. Canadians want Canada to have a sustainable future. This bill clearly demonstrates that sustainable development and the environment are at the forefront of the government's thinking and future decisions. Thanks to the committee's recommendations, the sustainable development bar for Canada has been raised. We took into account all of the committee's recommendations. I think that will significantly improve the bill and we will see results.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, in her speech, the minister talked about the principle of intergenerational equity. This is news to me. I am interested in understanding what is really meant by that and what kind of actions the government will take to support that principle.
    Madam Speaker, Canadians have clearly said they want a sustainable future for Canada, and when we talk about a sustainable future, we cannot do it without thinking about future generations. Indigenous people often talk about seven generations. I have three children and often think about the future they want. This is exactly what this act would do. This act is intended to make sure that as government makes decisions, we consider the impact on future generations and look at sustainable development as a whole.
    I am very pleased that we are incorporating suggestions from the committee, the unanimous report from the committee, that we focus on results. We also focus on expanding the scope so that we have more government departments included and there is more transparency. We really need to be working together to ensure that future generations, our kids and grandkids, have a sustainable future.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the Minister of Environment and Climate Change for bringing forward for discussion Bill C-57, including the recommendations from the committee.
    I had a conversation this morning with one of my constituents, who was concerned about methane emissions in agriculture and whether these are included in our sustainability goals. I mentioned a sustainable agriculture study that I was part of, which we just completed on the agriculture committee. The minister mentioned CH4 in her presentation on methane in the oil and gas industry. Could she maybe expand on the importance of controlling and reducing methane emissions, to address my constituent's concerns?
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his very hard work. Guelph has been a real leader when it comes to the environment and sustainable development.
    When we approach tackling climate change, we know that we need an approach that brings together farmers, businesses, environmentalists, and all Canadians, and that is certainly the approach we have taken through the Federal Sustainable Development Act and the recommendations from the commissioner for sustainable development. We looked at how we could align the international sustainable development goals in the 2030 agenda with what we are doing here in Canada. We think this is very important. Taking climate action is one of the big priorities under the sustainable development goals internationally, clearly aligned with our priorities here.
    We are working with all Canadians, including farmers, to find innovations and solutions and to figure out how we can reduce our emissions, while, of course, growing our economy and ensuring good jobs for farmers, agriculture workers, and all Canadians. We know we can do this. We understand that the environment and the economy go together.
    Madam Speaker, as I now understand what the minister means by intergenerational equity, it seems to me that the huge deficit spending the Liberal government is putting in place, with $1.5 trillion of debt being left to our children, is not something that is considering sustainability for them. Would the minister agree?

  (1030)  

    Madam Speaker, we are here to focus on Bill C-57, regarding sustainable development, but I will always stand up for our government's broader agenda, which is making key investments that actually are about the future. These investments are in public transportation, for example, historic investments. When it comes to investments in the light rail transit here in Ottawa, this is going to be the largest reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the city's history, and it is also going to be awesome for families. People can get home faster, with less pollution. That is what people want.
    We understand that inaction on climate change is a tax on future generations. I wish the party opposite would understand that. If we do not take action now, we are going to pay. We are paying the consequences now. We have seen historic floods, droughts, forest fires. Prince Edward Island is shrinking by 43 centimetres a year. We need to take action on climate change while growing our economy, and that is exactly what we are doing.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I found the environment and climate change minister's speech to be rather incongruous, particularly when she talked about how the government is going to improve accountability and results.
    As my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie just said, the commissioner of the environment indicated in several reports that Environment and Climate Change Canada does not even have a plan to monitor the achievement of targets. We will not meet the 2020 or the 2030 targets. The United Nations' 17 sustainable development goals include “affordable and clean energy”, which is goal no. 7, and “responsible consumption and production”, which is goal no. 12. We do not even have a proper environmental assessment process here in Canada, and the Liberal government just approved the Kinder Morgan buyout for $4.5 billion.
    How can the government say, as it triples oil production, that this oil will be produced responsibly when there is no environmental assessment?
    How can the government say that this is a responsible decision to make for future generations when we know that their environment will be polluted and that those generations are the ones who will have to pay for the decisions the Liberals are currently making?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
    Today we are debating Bill C-57. I hope that I can count on the NDP's support. I think I can. We do have a plan for climate change. The previous government did nothing for 10 years to address climate change, but we negotiated a plan. It took us a year to negotiate with the provinces and territories, indigenous peoples, and all Canadians. In this plan we looked at how we can combat greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors, including the oil sector. We will continue with our plan and we will make sure that we meet our international targets.

[English]

Privilege

Standing Committee on Finance 

[Privilege]
    Madam Speaker, there are actually three points of order or references I am going to have to respond to today, so I will start with the first one.
    First, I rise in response to a question of privilege raised by the hon. member for Carleton on May 31, 2018, with respect to alleged ministerial interference with regards to Bill C-74. My hon. colleague, in his statement, argued that his and the members of the finance committee's freedom from obstruction and interference had been breached.
    I would argue that the matter before us today does not meet the requirements to be considered a prima facie breach of privilege, but is rather a debate as to the facts. First of all, as you have mentioned on many occasions in recent rulings, matters must be raised at the earliest opportunity. This is not the case here.
    In an article dated May 14, 2018, from The Globe and Mail, the member is reported as saying that he would be asking the Speaker of the House of Commons to rule on the issue when the House of Commons resumes next week. This clearly did not happen, as it was a whole 17 days later that the hon. member raised his question of privilege. Secondly, the actions alleged here are related to the actions of a civil servant. These matters have historically not been qualified as a breach of privilege.
    In a ruling dated May 15, 1985, Speaker Bosley stated:
    I think it has been recognized many times in the House that a complaint about the actions or inactions of government Departments cannot constitute a question of parliamentary privilege.
    At no point is there an indication that members of the committee were forbidden from inviting the group as witnesses or that the minister's office had any role in the selection of witnesses. As such, Parliament has acted independently from the minister's office, and there is no ground to qualify these actions as interference.
    At the core of the current debate lies the concept of parliamentary privilege. Matters of privilege and contempt can be broadly defined as, one, anything improperly interfering with the parliamentary work of a Member of Parliament, or two, an offence against the authority of the House. The situation brought forward by the hon. member for Carleton does not fit any of these categories, as no individual MP has been impeded and there has not been any offence against the authority of the House.
    Failing to see how anyone's rights have been compromised or infringed, I would respectfully submit that this matter does not constitute a prima facie question of privilege.

Firearms Act  

    Madam Speaker, I now go on to a second response, which has been provided to me by the fine work of the support staff. I will respond to this particular question of privilege that has been raised by the hon. member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner on May 29, 2018, with respect to an alleged contempt of Parliament by the RCMP.
    In his argument, the hon. opposition member argued that in multiple online publications of the RCMP, adoption of Bill C-71 is presumed, because it did not use the conditional tense when discussing its possible effects. I would argue that the matter before us today is not a question of privilege, but rather a matter of debate.
    Furthermore I would state that when one reads, as referred to by the hon. member, “Special Business Bulletin No. 93”, one will find the following statement at the beginning:
    Bill C-71 would affect the Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) firearms in your inventory in one of three ways:
they may become prohibited
they may become restricted, or
the classification may stay the same.
     I should note that the same introduction is given to the document entitled “How does Bill C-71 affect individuals?”, which was mentioned in the member's question of privilege. As you see here, Madam Speaker, there is clearly no presumption of anything. Therefore I would argue that the member's question of privilege is not based on any precedent or jurisprudence.
    In his argument, the hon. member cited a long list of so-called relevant precedents with regard to the RCMP interfering with the work of members of Parliament. None of the elements mentioned in his long list apply here, as the question is not whether a member of Parliament has been arrested, interrogated, spied on, or had his access to Parliament blocked. We are not talking about misleading information being given to parliamentarians. Consequently, none of these decisions are pertinent to the matter at hand.
    As such, I believe it impossible to find a ground for contempt. Consequently, I respectfully submit that this is a question of debate and, as such, does not constitute a prima facie question of privilege.

Main Estimates 2018-19  

    The third issue I want to respond to is the point of order raised by the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona on May 29, 2018, with respect to the Treasury Board vote 40.
    My hon. colleague, in his statement, asked the Speaker to strike vote 40 from the main estimates. In his argument, the hon. opposition member argued that in his opinion, the budget implementation vote is not consistent with the legal mandate of the Treasury Board.
    To the point of the vote being consistent with the legal mandate of the Treasury Board, the member's whole argument against vote 40, as well vote 5, is based on a narrow reading, or outright misreading, of subsection 7(1) of the Financial Administration Act. Also, nothing in the Standing Orders of the House of Commons presumes to clarify or constrain the limits of Treasury Board's policy authority.
    Furthermore, I would like to reiterate the statement made by the Speaker in his decision of May 29, 2018. In his decision, the Speaker indicated:
    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.
     With regard to vote 5, which the hon. member addressed in his statement, there has not been any criticism by the Auditor General on this subject since the 2002 report. That is 16 years ago.
    As for the proper way to strike such a vote, I would once again refer to the aforementioned decision by the Speaker. In it, the Speaker emphasized:
    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.
    Also, on whether or not the explanation of the particular request is sufficiently detailed or if the destination is the appropriate one, the Speaker noted:
[these] are matters for members to consider when studying and voting on the estimates.
    As such, I believe it is impossible to qualify vote 40 as inconsistent with the mandate of the Treasury Board. Consequently, I respectfully submit that there are no grounds to strike vote 40 from the main estimates.

  (1040)  

    I appreciate the additional information provided by the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader. We will take it under advisement and come back should that be required.

Federal Sustainable Development Act

[Government Orders]
     The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, be read the third time and passed.
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today in the House to speak to C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act.
    For those who are not familiar with this piece of proposed legislation and what it is trying to do, it would provide a legal framework for developing and implementing a federal sustainable development strategy that would make government's environmental, economic, and social decision-making more accountable to Parliament.
    The bill proposes to expand the Federal Sustainable Development Act by enabling a whole-of-government approach, with mandatory and expanded reporting requirements and new enforcement measures. These amendments partly stem from the unanimous 2016 report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development entitled “Federal Sustainability for Future Generations”. That report recommended a whole-of-government approach to sustainable development projects. As the minister has previously indicated, it was a unanimous report by the committee, with recommendations to try to move us forward on this topic of sustainable development.
     However, it is important when we are trying to move forward on something that we understand what it is. Therefore, I will read the definition of sustainable development:
    Sustainable development is the organizing principle for meeting human development goals while at the same time sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend. The desired result is a state of society where living conditions and resource use continue to meet human needs without undermining the integrity and stability of the natural system. Sustainable development can be classified as development that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations.
    There are a few important things in this definition. I want to highlight the first part that talks about having goals. It is important to have goals when we are trying to achieve sustainable development. The second part that is really important to me is where it says that we should meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations. I will highlight a few areas that could be of concern in this regard.
    If, as I said, we need goals for sustainable development, what are the goals of the Liberal government here?
    We have all heard countless times that the environment and economy go hand in hand. It is obviously a goal of the government to see this become a reality in the country. We also know that the government is keen to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If those are the goals, it is important to look at them.
    First, let us talk about the Auditor General's report, because the Auditor General looked look at what the government is doing and has commented on its progress. Here we are about 65% through this current parliamentary session, but, unfortunately, the Auditor General's report is not very flattering about what is happening with the environment minister. The report talks about the progress that should have been made in reducing greenhouse gases. Members will remember that the Liberal government boasted in the last election that it was the only party that could address Canada's climate change challenges. However, after two years, the Auditor General gave it an F, a failing grade. His report reads:
    We concluded that Environment and Climate Change Canada...the measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions contained in this plan had yet to be implemented.
    Therefore, two-thirds of the way through the government's mandate, these recommendations have yet to be implemented.
    The Auditor General's report went on to say:
    We concluded that Environment and Climate Change Canada...did not make progress toward meeting Canada’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    The report says that no progress has been made. It does not say that there was insufficient progress.
    In the meantime, the one thing the minister and her government did was impose a massive carbon tax on Canadians, resulting in impacts that we will see for generations. Even so, the Auditor General still concluded that Environment and Climate Change Canada had not provided adequate leadership to advance the federal government's adaptation to climate change impacts.

  (1045)  

    The progress made is nothing, and the Liberals have not implemented a plan. Therefore, that is not going very well.
    Let us take a look at how he economy going. During the two-thirds of the mandate in which the Liberals have been in charge, $80 billion of investment have left Canada in the energy sector, 100,000 energy workers have lost their jobs, 400,000 forestry workers have been impacted by the government's inaction on the softwood lumber file, and who knows what the impacts will be from the most recently announced tariffs on steel and aluminium, which are huge industries in Canada.
    In addition, there is the whole Kinder Morgan pipeline fiasco. The government has stepped in and spent $4.5 billion of taxpayer money to buy 65-year-old assets that will not build one inch of new pipeline. Instead of encouraging private investment in the country, which Kinder Morgan planned to do by spending billions of dollars and creating thousands of Canadian jobs, the government has given Kinder Morgan money to take to the U.S. and create jobs there. We are not creating those jobs here in Canada. There is no evidence that the government has addressed any of the conditions required to keep the NDP from protesting against the pipelines, the B.C. government from opposing this, and getting the licence from the indigenous people to move forward on this.
    That is one part of the economy.
     The other part of the economy is the deficit. Starting with a $10 billion deficit, the promise the Liberals ran on in the 2015 election, all of a sudden the deficit in the first year was twice that. The second year was twice that. Now in this third year, it is three times that, with no end in sight. The Liberals will not be returning to a balanced budget within its mandate. Projections are that they will not be returning to balance until 2045. The Liberals have added $1.5 trillion to the deficit. This is ridiculous.
    The principles of sustainable development say that we want to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations. However, future generations will have to pay for the debt that the government has racked up. I did simple math yesterday to try to figure out what that would look like. It looks like every taxpayer in Canada will pay $5,000 right off the top, just for the interest on the debt being accumulated by the government.
    This spending pattern is definitely not sustainable development, and it is not helping the economy. People are losing confidence in the Canadian economy, not the other way around.
    Worse, environmental regulations have been put in place that lengthen the approval process, that create uncertainty in the approval process and drive investments out of Canada. Under the Liberal government, the energy east project was withdrawn by the private investor. The Petronas LNG project went the same route. The government arbitrarily decided that the northern gateway project was not to be built. Investors in other countries looking at Canada are not going to be inspired to think that development is sustainable or even achievable here. The government needs to do something to change that climate.
    As members knows, I am not one to just criticize without making helpful suggestions. I do have some helpful suggestions at which the government should look.
     First, let us talk about the climate change plan. Canada makes up about 2% of the carbon footprint of the world. We could eliminate the whole thing and it really would not make a big difference in addressing climate change. However, we do have some things that we can do.
     If we could help other countries, such as China, India, Europe, and the U.S., reduce their footprints, and those four areas are 60% of the carbon footprint of the world, we would actually do something to help climate change. How could we do that?
    We have technology and resources that we could bring to bear. If we can get the oil to the coasts and sell it to China, India, Korea, and places like that in the world that want to purchase our oil, they could get off coal. That is a huge advance in reducing the carbon footprint in the world. In addition, Canada is very well known for our renewable technology. My riding of Sarnia—Lambton has one of the largest solar farms in North America. We have wind power. We have a whole bio-innovation centre devoted to coming up with new innovations to cleverly create power in the world.

  (1050)  

    There are a couple of ideas. One of them is a vortex machine that could be used in places that have warm sea water, using the warm sea water to create power and energy. This is excellent technology. If members are not familiar with it, they should look up Lambton College and Bio-Innovation Centre in Sarnia—Lambton and take a look at that technology.
    However, there is other technology such as carbon sequestration. Canadians are known around the globe for this. Leveraging that technology would also do a lot to help the world reduce its carbon footprint, which is important. Some things are in our control and others are outside of our control.
    The volcano in Hawaii within a few short days will put out more carbon footprint than almost all of the entire planet. Those types of things we cannot control. Forest fires are the same. The number of forest fires in North America every year totally undoes all the work we try to do in carbon footprint reduction, so we need to have a plan for that.
    The other thing the government needs to consider with respect to climate change is having a plan to address the impacts of climate change. Canada has seen an increase in flooding, for example. We had severe flooding in Calgary, in Winnipeg, in Toronto, and in the Atlantic provinces. We have seen forest fires in B.C. unlike anything we have seen before.
    Disaster relief for these things takes money. There are issues that can be predicted. The permafrost, for example, as it is melting in the north, impacts on the infrastructure like roads and highways. Where is the government's plan to address this and where are the contingencies for these types of things? The government needs to do something on that.
    With respect to the economy and ensuring that the environment and the economy go hand in hand, the Liberals need to look at how they are creating a climate for business investment in Canada. I would suggest they look to our neighbours to the south. They are lowering corporate taxes. They do not have a carbon tax everywhere but California. They are reducing the regulatory burden instead of putting in additional processes that add time, bureaucracy, costs, and uncertainty to the project. They should look at those situations and try to create a competitive environment in Canada.
     Canada can compete. We have great talent and great resources. However, if we do not create a climate where investors want to come here to do business and feel certain they can, then we will lose out.
    We cannot put all of our eggs in one basket, so the government needs to think more broadly about sustainable development than just climate change. We need to pay attention to a number of issues in Canada, but I do not feel they are receiving adequate attention today.
    In the west the pine beetles are eating our forests. That is one of our great natural resources. It drives industry and jobs in Canada as well, not to mention the fact that it absorbs carbon dioxide. We need to address that crisis.
    The algae bloom issue in Lake Erie needs to be addressed. I know plans are in place and people are working with the agriculture industry and others to try to reduce phosphorus loading, but more needs to be done.
    Our agriculture industry is another area. It is very important not just to sustain the industry so all of us can eat, but also so we can grow things that will help us with a carbon sink. The agriculture industry is under attack in Canada. The government is putting regulations on this industry to ban pesticides, without replacement, but it is allowing people to ship food grown with those same pesticides into the country. This is another area where Canada is not competitive.
    With respect to raising livestock, the government is currently introducing something to eliminate the selling of feed with antibiotics premixed in it. That is given to animals that are sick; it is not given wholeheartedly to all animals. It is another example of people in other countries being able to raise their animals in a way that is more competitive and ship those products here.
    I could go on about the water issue in Canada, another one of our great natural resources. I am terribly disappointed in the government's progress on eliminating boil water advisories across the country.

  (1055)  

    
    The hon. member will have four minutes and 50 seconds remaining after question period.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Lois Carson Boyce

    Madam Speaker, on Saturday, April 21, I attended the celebration of life at South Arm United Church for Lois Carson Boyce, who passed away at the age of 99 years young.
    Lois was a proud member of the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, before dedicating her life to the peace movement, the environment, seniors' issues, and the cause of social justice.
    Her volunteer work earned her many awards, including the prestigious Golden Jubilee Medal, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award, and the Ethel Tibbits Award in recognition of her contributions as a Richmond pioneer.
    Lois dedicated her life to Richmond and to making it a better place. She will truly be missed.

  (1100)  

Scleroderma Awareness Month

    Madam Speaker, today is the beginning of June and it is also the beginning of Scleroderma Awareness Month.
    Scleroderma is a progressive and chronic connective tissue disorder that can attack one's internal organs, literally shutting them down one by one, and can also cause weeping ulcers, skin deterioration, and Raynaud's disease, among other symptoms.
    As many in the House already know, I had to watch my mother suffer the awful effects that scleroderma brings and that eventually took her life. It was one of the most heart-wrenching experiences of my life.
    Unfortunately, my mother was just one of many women to be afflicted with scleroderma, as almost 80% of sufferers are women and most are diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 50.
    We still are not sure what causes scleroderma, but what we do know is that the number of diagnoses is on the rise.
    Research on new therapeutic measures has been promising, but much more is needed. We need more funding to drive this research to find a cure and stem the tide of this horrid disease.
    We can and must assure the men and women suffering that the Government of Canada is in their corner.

Entrepreneurship Centres at Algonquin College

    Madam Speaker, I was honoured to cut the ribbon at the opening of Algonquin College's new Discovery, Applied Research, and Entrepreneurship building, or DARE, and its Centre for Indigenous Entrepreneurship district. It will include the college's new library, a learning centre, an indigenous commons, and a cybersecurity centre, making it, as forward-thinking college president Cheryl Jensen would say, “a truly collaboratory space”.

[Translation]

     It will be home to new training and test facilities for high-demand job sectors, a multimedia production facility, expanded applied research and innovation programs, and an area dedicated to indigenous entrepreneurship.

[English]

    The federal government invested $21.9 million through its post-secondary institutions strategic investment fund, continuing our goal to make every Canadian innovation-ready, meaning ready to discover new ideas, spot opportunities, and imagine new possibilities.
    The DARE district is where we can all dare to dream.

Prairies Action Foundation Youth Leadership Award

    Madam Speaker, today I rise to congratulate two groups from northern Saskatchewan who will be receiving the Prairies Action Foundation Youth Leadership Award in Regina next week.
    The Clearwater River youth Project Venture teaches young people the values of culture, teamwork, and communication. Its programming strengthens the connections of youth to each other, the land, their culture, and their community. Congratulations to all involved.
    The second award is to the We Schools group at Hudson Bay Community School in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan. Led by Leann Borowetz, students worked together on a variety of projects, including a fundraising effort for the Hudson Bay Hospital.
    These young people showed us all that together we have the ability to make positive change in our communities regardless of how old we are.
    I very much look forward to meeting both groups next week as they receive their awards.

[Translation]

50th Anniversary of Town of Blainville

    Madam Speaker, building a harmonious, respectful, and tolerant community allows people to forge relationships. Forging relationships is the theme chosen to inspire and bring people together for the 50th anniversary of the founding of Blainville on June 29, 2018. This young town's history actually goes back hundreds of years, since Blainville evolved from of the seigneury belonging to Jean-Baptiste Céloron de Blainville, a courageous soldier who was killed in battle in 1756.
    Blainville may be young in spirit, but it has a long, rich past, and is ranked as one of the top-five places in Canada to raise a family. I have the honour of representing the people of Blainville in Parliament. I am proud to invite all members to celebrate the anniversary of Blainville, a town that embraces and inspires the best values of society.
    Happy 50th anniversary to everyone in Blainville. I know they will enjoy the festivities.

  (1105)  

Victims and Survivors of Crime Week

    Madam Speaker, Victims and Survivors of Crime Week is coming to a close. Sadly, nothing significant was announced by the government this week, or since it has come to power, to advance the rights of these people. The government has a pretty dismal record on this issue, especially since it boasts about being egalitarian and feminist. Unfortunately, the human trafficking and sexual exploitation act is still not in effect.
    Furthermore, there are still judicial vacancies and the position of ombudsman for victims of crime has remained unfilled for seven months. The Liberals refused to protect this position, which is the official voice in Parliament for victims, by voting against my bill to protect the position by making it permanent and independent, equal to the position of correctional investigator. That would have been a decisive step towards balancing the rights of victims and criminals.
     For a theme like “Transforming the Culture Together” to make sense, the Liberal government must first transform its own culture.

Montreal South Shore Ribfest

    Madam Speaker, since this is Tourism Week in Canada, I am proud to invite my colleagues to the first-ever Montreal South Shore Ribfest, a new festival being held this weekend in my riding of Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne.

[English]

    Starting today, barbecue lovers are invited to Greenfield Park to enjoy some of the best ribs in town, along with great music, entertainment, and fun for the whole family as we kick off summer in style.
     I want to thank the organizers for inviting me to judge the competition that will determine which “ribber” will be the winner of this year's Southshore Montreal Ribfest. It is a tough job, but someone has got to do it.

[Translation]

    I am convinced that the Montreal South Shore ribfest will be a great success and will become a must-attend event in the region. I am sure it will be finger-lickin' good. Ribs are so delicious.

[English]

International Trade

    Madam Speaker, Canada has been hit with punitive tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. These American tariffs are unacceptable.
     My riding of Sault Ste. Marie is a steel town and a border town. We have a long history of trade and friendship with our American neighbours across the St. Mary's River. Within a few hours of this announcement yesterday by the U.S. administration, our Prime Minister responded swiftly and forcefully to stand up for our steel and aluminum industries. I could not agree more with the Prime Minister that it is inconceivable that Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States.
     As we have said, we will always stand up for our workers, and we have announced retaliatory measures to this attack on our industry. Canada will impose tariffs against imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the U.S. We are imposing dollar-for-dollar tariffs for every dollar levied against Canadians by the U.S.
    This House should stand together and fight against these unfair tariffs.

Democratic Reform

    Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister has no credibility when it comes to electoral reform.
    During the last election he promised reform. However, as soon as he realized he would not get the result he wanted, he broke his promise. Now he has introduced reforms designed to give the Liberal government an advantage over opposition parties. The Liberals have introduced severe restrictions on political party spending before an election. However, they have conveniently neglected to restrict their ability to shower government largesse across the country at the same time. They are tilting the playing field in their own favour.
    This bill fails to tackle the serious issue of foreign-funded third party groups that undermined Canadian democracy in 2015. One has to wonder if the government is leaving giant loopholes in this bill because it wants third parties to continue undermining Canada's interests, or is it just another case of Liberal incompetence?
     I call on the Prime Minister to stop limiting debate and to work with opposition parties to create the best legislation for Canadians.

Cycling Safety

    Madam Speaker, cycling is good for our communities. It is a healthy, pollution-free, and fun way to get around, but too many people avoid cycling because they are afraid for their safety, and too many cyclists are injured or killed in accidents. We need to do more to make sure cyclists are safe.
    Drivers should slow down, be aware, and give cyclists a minimum of one metre of space when passing them. The Ontario coroner found that the leading cause of death or injury was, in fact, not giving that space. When drivers turn right, they should signal and check their blind spots, as there might be a cyclist to the right of them planning to go straight through an intersection. They should stay off of their phones. The message or text is not worth a life. If they need to take a call, they should park, but not in a bike lane. After they park, they should use the Dutch Reach, using their right hand and turning to look back before opening the door. That way they can see if a bike is there.
    Let us build safe streets. Together, we can make sure that cyclists are safe.

  (1110)  

St. Thomas the Apostle Nursery School

    Madam Speaker, St. Thomas the Apostle Nursery School is a non-denominational, multicultural, community-based school located in Alta Vista, in the heart of my riding of Ottawa South.
    I am honoured to rise in the House today to congratulate it on 50 years of service to thousands and thousands of local families. Its mission is to help children acquire a positive attitude toward school and learning, and it achieves this by providing a warm and nurturing learning environment where children can explore and experiment to develop a feeling of self-worth and independence.
    I thank the staff, volunteers, parents, and board of directors for their dedication over the last half-century. I know all members will want to join me in congratulating the St. Thomas the Apostle Nursery School on this incredible milestone and wish it every success for the next 50 years.

Barrie Volunteer

    Madam Speaker, all he wants to do is help people and make them feel good with his hugs. There is no better way to describe Barrie resident and my friend Jason Nicholas Helmond.
    Jason is an incredible young man who volunteers countless hours and raises, well, pretty crazy amounts of money for charities in Barrie. There is not enough time in one minute to tell Canadians about the numerous causes Jason has been part of, but the cause closest to Jason's heart is the Terry Fox Foundation. Jason loves Terry's spirit and determination, which is why he started Razors of Hope. Over the past three years, Jason, along with his friend Colin MacDonald, has shaved his head and has raised a total of $11,450 for the Terry Fox Foundation
    Whether it is raising money, volunteering, or participating in the MS bike tours, the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics, helping out with Barrie's out of the cold program, or being the peer rep for the local Down's syndrome group for Simcoe County, like Terry, Jason represents the best of what it means to be Canadian.

Ron Hanlon

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the too-soon passing of Ron Hanlon, a champion for the great city of Halifax.
    As CEO of the Halifax Partnership, the city's economic development agency, he was a tireless promoter of our city's potential. His leadership on the creation of the Halifax economic growth plan has positioned our city to become what Haligonians know it can be: one of the world's great 21st century cities.
    Ron was a man of great personal integrity and ambition. He returned to Halifax to spend the remainder of his career in public service to his home town after an impressive business career overseas. Ron notably developed the “Sell Halifax” plan, which has successfully promoted Halifax globally to attract immigrants, investment, and business. It was my pleasure to have worked with Ron on the future of our city and how we could best position Halifax, and indeed all of Nova Scotia, for success.
    I would like to express my deepest condolences to Ron's wife Greta and his entire family. Though no one will miss him more than his family, all of Halifax will miss him too. We are thankful for everything Ron has done.

[Translation]

Relay For Life

    Madam Speaker, communities in Salaberry—Suroît have already begun holding their Relay for Life in support of the Canadian Cancer Society. For 12 hours, people walk, either individually or taking turns in groups, to raise money to fight all types of cancer. The route is dotted with luminaries and activities symbolizing hope and honouring those we have lost.
    The first relay of 2018 took place in Pincourt, where nearly $207,000 was raised. The next relay will be in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield this Saturday, June 2, at the Delpha-Sauvé park. There will be a third relay in Beauharnois on June 8 at the André-Richard arena. The money raised will be used to fund research and prevention initiatives and to improve services for patients and families.
    I want to thank all the organizers, volunteers, and participants in advance, and everyone who has already made a donation. I urge all Canadians to contribute by helping the organization or participating, because these events really make a difference. I would like to close with a very special thought for my sister, Véro, a survivor who has been involved in the cause for the past four years.

[English]

Criminal Code

    Madam Speaker, the safety of Canadians should be the number one priority of the government. A strong criminal justice system must always put the rights of victims and communities before special treatment for violent criminals. Reducing penalties for serious crimes sends the wrong message to victims, law-abiding Canadians, and criminals. The Liberals' proposal to eliminate consecutive sentences for human trafficking is a huge mistake that will have devastating consequences.
    The Liberals earlier committed to keeping full protections in place for religious officials under section 176 of the Criminal Code but are now removing them in Bill C-75. An assault on officiants during a religious service is very serious and must remain an indictable offence.
    We have major concerns about many other elements of the bill, such as lighter sentencing, such as fines, for what are very serious crimes. They include participating in the activity of a terrorist group, infanticide, concealing the body of a child, impaired driving offences causing bodily harm, and advocating genocide.
    It is time for the Liberals to put victims ahead of criminals.

  (1115)  

Brooklin Spring Fair

    Madam Speaker, today I rise with great enthusiasm to answer a question many of my constituents have: where is Brooklin at? Well, let me assure everyone that Brooklin is in the house. For the past 107 years, the Brooklin Spring Fair has been the cannot-miss event for Whitby, Ashburn, Myrtle, and of course, Brooklin.
    I want to thank the members of the Brooklin Agricultural Society, who were busy as bees making sure that the grand opening was perfect last night. From dressing up for the parade to checking out the livestock and farm exhibits at Agri-land to having a thrill on the midway or kicking back and listening to great live music, there is something for everyone in Brooklin.
    However, I do have a bit of sad news. As a three-time pie-eating champion, I want to let everyone know that I will not be participating in the contest this year, and I will be retiring from pie-eating. While I know that this is disappointing, I will ensure that people will not be disappointed with the festivities in Brooklin during this final weekend of Tourism Week.
    I invite everyone to come to the Brooklin Spring Fair, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the parade tomorrow morning.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

International Trade

    Madam Speaker, Canadians woke up this morning to the reality that we are in a trade war with our friend and closest ally, the United States. This trade war is not good for anyone, and the consequences will be severe. The Prime Minister knew that President Trump might do this, and so it could not have come as a shock. Although retaliatory measures are appropriate, they alone will not solve the impasse.
    Just how does the government plan on getting things back on track with our friend and closest ally south of the border?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to start by thanking the countless Canadians who have come out in support of our strong plan to defend Canadian steel and aluminum workers. I would like to particularly thank former Conservative ministers Rona Ambrose and James Moore and former premier Brad Wall.
    This is a matter of national interest. I would like to thank Jason Kenney, who yesterday said, “I strongly support the federal government’s swift announcement of retaliatory measures.”
    Let me say this directly to all Canadian workers, “Team Canada is behind you.”
    Madam Speaker, just weeks ago, the Prime Minister went on what actually looked like a premature victory tour lap of steel mills, prematurely telling workers that he had a deal with Trump, when clearly he did not. He had to have known how risky that was and that it just was not true.
    Today, steel towns across the country are worried. They are concerned. What is the government going to do to mitigate the pain that this trade war with the U.S. will inflict on our steel and aluminum workers?
    Madam Speaker, let me be clear. The tariffs imposed yesterday by the United States on steel and aluminum are completely unacceptable, and in fact, they are illegal.
    I want to assure all Canadians that we are taking strong responsive measures to defend our workers and our industry. We will, today, be challenging these illegal U.S. measures at the WTO and under NAFTA. Again, I want to say directly to our workers that the Government of Canada, and I believe the vast majority of Canadians, are totally with them.
    Madam Speaker, the problem is that there were no plans built into the Liberal budget to deal with an unpredictable U.S. administration. It is like the Liberals naively thought there would be no impact on Canadians because of this unpredictability, and so they did not prepare for it.
    This morning Canadian workers are worried. They are seeing tariffs that will hurt them and the beginning of a trade war. Why are steel and aluminum workers and their families going to have to suffer because the Liberal government failed to prepare for what we are seeing happen right now?

  (1120)  

    Madam Speaker, let me assure this House and all Canadians that from the very beginning, the government has been absolutely prepared for any possible action from the U.S. We have said from the outset that we hope for the best and we prepare for the worst. That is why, yesterday, we were able to publish a very comprehensive set of lists, which Canadians now have the opportunity to consult on. Let me take this opportunity to thank our outstanding public servants in trade, who have been working on this list for many weeks.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, one reaps what one sows. Having sown incompetently, the Liberals are reaping economic disaster. A trade war with our biggest trading partner is not good for our economy. Canadians need a real plan to fix this problem. They do not need retaliation. Our steel and aluminum workers need this government's support now more than ever.
    What is the government's plan for workers in places like Saguenay?
     Madam Speaker, the tariffs imposed yesterday by the United States on steel and aluminum are completely unacceptable and illegal. I want to assure all Canadians that we are taking strong measures to defend our workers. Today, we will be challenging these illegal measures at the WTO and under NAFTA. I want to say to all Canadian workers that the Government of Canada will always stand up for them.
    Madam Speaker, this has been a tough week for Canadian taxpayers. The decision to finance the Trans Mountain project with our money and a trade war with the Americans will end up costing us dearly. The Prime Minister has led Canadians to the edge of an abyss, and now he is asking them to blindly follow him forward.
    When will he do the right thing and come up with a plan for steel and aluminum workers in communities like Saguenay?
     Madam Speaker, I would like to start by thanking the Canadians who have come out in support of our strong plan to defend our workers. In particular, I would like to thank former Conservative ministers Rona Ambrose and James Moore and the former premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall.
    I would also like to thank Jason Kenney, who said yesterday that he strongly supports the federal government's swift announcement of retaliatory measures.
    I want to say to all Canadian workers that our government will stand by you.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, 146,000 Canadian steel and aluminum workers woke up today worried about their futures and their families. They support the government's retaliatory tariffs against Donald Trump, but they know that this alone will not save their jobs. They also do not know why the Liberals are waiting a whole month to hit back, when Mexico and the EU acted right away.
    Standing up to a bully is the right thing to do, but if one is going to punch back, one does not wait 30 days to do it. Why is the government delaying retaliatory action when workers are under attack now?
    Madam Speaker, let me start by thanking the hon. member for her hard work on this file. She and I have been in close contact on this, and it has been a really productive partnership.
    Canada did respond immediately, yesterday. We are imposing dollar-for-dollar tariffs against products from the United States. It is absolutely prudent for us to take a bit of time to consult to ensure that this list is the right one for Canada.
    I would like to thank the Canadian Labour Congress and Canadian workers for their support.
    Madam Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister called Jagmeet Singh to discuss these tariffs. The NDP leader gave his support for retaliatory tariffs but urged the Prime Minister not to forget about the workers affected.
    Too often in a trade war it is the workers who pay the price, so what will the government do to protect workers and their communities, such as Saguenay, Sault Ste. Marie, Regina, Edmonton, Kitimat, Hamilton, and my riding of Essex? Will the government sit down with labour and industry immediately and put together a package that supports workers, protects their jobs, and defends their communities?
    Madam Speaker, our government has been, throughout, and again this week and yesterday, in very close contact with workers and with businesses in the steel and aluminum sectors. That is why we were able to put forward such a strong and immediate response.
    I do want to underscore the very productive collaboration with Canadian unions. I would like to quote what the CLC had to say. “Canada's unions” support Canadian “retaliation against the unjustified and unwarranted American tariffs on steel and aluminum.” I could not have said it better myself.

  (1125)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the Trump administration's decision to impose potentially catastrophic tariffs on our metal industries is completely unfair and ill advised. We completely agree with the government on that.
    Over 8,000 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs are supported by the aluminum industry in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region. Workers there are worried, and they are wondering how they are going to get through this crisis.
    What is the government's plan to protect aluminum workers in the coming days?
    Madam Speaker, I agree with my colleague that the United States' decision to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum is completely unacceptable and illegal.
    In response to the action taken by the United States, we have announced a solid plan to stand up for our industry and its workers. Unions and workers are with us, Canada.
    I would like to quote the Canadian Labour Congress, which said, “Canada's unions support Canadian retaliation”.
    Madam Speaker, 150,000 jobs are affected by the steel and aluminum industries. That is a considerable number of jobs. These workers have already endured months of threats from Donald Trump and they have had enough of being treated like a bargaining chip. Obviously, now is the time to work together to get through this crisis.
    Does the government intend to announce a program to protect affected workers by offering them subsidies, loans, or loan guarantees, for example?
    We want details.
    Madam Speaker, I want to emphasize that these tariffs are completely unacceptable and that we will take strong action to defend our industry and our workers.
    Canada will impose trade restrictions on American imports of up to $16.6 billion. That is a strong Canadian response that is 100% reciprocal to the U.S.'s very poor decision.

[English]

Natural Resources

    Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister flippantly equates energy east, the 15,000 jobs it would have created, and the $55 billion it would have injected into the Canadian economy to old news.
    Atlantic Canadians do not think that creating good-paying jobs that keep families together and close to home is old news. The General Electric employees in Peterborough who lost their jobs when the Liberals killed energy east do not think unemployment is old news.
    Could the Prime Minister explain to Canadians why he is picking winners and losers in the energy sector?
    Madam Speaker, I will once again say that this is an absurd comparison. Suggesting that political interference was somehow the answer lies at the heart of the Conservative Party's failure on pipelines. It is shocking that the Conservatives cannot tell the difference between a project that is facing provincial political interference and a project that a company withdrew based on its own market decision.
    Had it not been withdrawn by the proponent, our government would have used the same process to evaluate the energy east pipeline that saw the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines approved. Thousands of middle-class jobs are being created.
    I will remind members that when somebody else has the floor they should be listening, and if they have questions they can get up to ask them.
    The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.
    Madam Speaker, the Liberals nationalized the Kinder Morgan pipeline project using billions of taxpayer dollars, even though NDP protestors are still blocking access to construction sites and the B.C. government still wants to kill the project. For energy east, the Liberals did not put any taxpayer dollars on the table, just roadblocks that no other project, including Trans Mountain, had to meet. As a result, energy east was killed.
    Why are the Liberals picking winners and losers in our energy sector?
    Madam Speaker, I am proud to say that all the east coast MPs on this side of the House work very hard to ensure that they have all the information and provide that information back to their constituents.
    As I said a moment ago, had the energy east proposal not been withdrawn by the proponent, our government would have used the exact same process that saw both the Trans Mountain expansion and the Line 3 pipeline approved. Both of those projects are creating good middle-class jobs for Canadians and growing the economy while protecting the environment.

  (1130)  

    Madam Speaker, when the Liberals took office, there were four viable private sector pipelines, and now there are none. Crushing regulations, a tanker ban, anti-energy rhetoric, a carbon tax, and an unwillingness to assert the rule of law have chased the private sector out of Canada to other energy-producing places, such as Texas and Kazakhstan.
    With a track record of failure like this, how can the Liberals possibly rebuild investor confidence in the Canadian energy industry?
    Madam Speaker, we will take no lessons from the Conservatives on how to promote energy in this country.
    What we are doing is investing to protect thousands of jobs in Alberta, British Columbia, and across the country. During 10 years, the Conservatives' rigid ideology failed to build pipelines to markets other than the United States, and it failed Canadian workers. When the Prime Minister went to Fort McMurray and met energy sector workers, he told them the government has their back.
    This is an investment in hard-working Canadians. The Conservatives might think it is too risky to bet on Canadians, but we do not.
    Madam Speaker, I would remind the Liberals that when they took office there were four viable private sector pipelines, and now there are none, plus taxpayers are on the hook for $4.5 billion.
    The Liberals are so committed to wasting taxpayers' money that they did this even though Kinder Morgan did not ask for a single cent, and we are still not an inch closer to getting a pipeline built. The private sector has left. It is not interested in investing in our energy sector any longer. The Liberals are the ones who have driven it out.
    How do they think anyone actually believes they are capable of getting a pipeline built?
    Madam Speaker, we are taking a balanced approach to grow the economy and create jobs. The Harper Conservatives just could not get the balance right.
     Let us listen to what people are saying.
    Katie Bays, an analyst with Height Securities in Washington, said, “We think obviously this is very constructive...for Canada and clearly for Canadian producers in particular because it creates a lot of regulatory certainty over the time that the Trans Mountain expansion can get done.”
    Alberta Premier Rachel Notley calls this “a major step forward for all Canadians.”
     Mayor Nenshi said, “While it is a shame that the British Columbia government's antics have led to this, I'm very pleased that the federal government has taken this step to get this vital pipeline built!”
    Madam Speaker, Kinder Morgan wanted to invest $7.4 billion in Canada to build the Trans Mountain expansion. The Liberals had to enforce federal jurisdiction and give certainty. They did not. Instead, the Prime Minister gave Kinder Morgan $4.5 billion to walk away, and he emboldened anti-energy activists to keep fighting the expansion.
    The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association said, “We do not believe that this outcome will instill investor confidence in Canada.” The Prime Minister failed Canadians. When will he start to champion private investment in Canadian energy?
    Madam Speaker, I have an excellent quote as well. The Suncor CEO said, “I don't think...I've [ever] had a higher degree of confidence that these lines are going to be built.”
    The Conservatives continue to focus on ownership, and we will continue to focus on workers. Our approach is nothing new. Even in Conservative circles, the great Progressive Conservatives like Peter Lougheed understood that public investment in our natural resources is important to help the industry grow and support Canadians.
    The Conservatives, however, will continue the ideological ways that failed Canadian energy workers for 10 years.
    Madam Speaker, there are about 825,000 kilometres of pipeline in Canada, with zero tax dollars needed. Under the Conservatives, nearly 8,000 kilometres of pipeline was built, with zero tax dollars needed. The reality is that the Prime Minister killed nearly 8,000 kilometres of pipeline already, with hundreds of billions of private dollars gone. Now he has bought 1,100 kilometres of pipeline that was paid for and built with private dollars 60 years ago, and $4.5 billion in tax dollars will build pipelines in the U.S. without paying for an inch of new pipeline in Canada.
    Does the Prime Minister really believe that forcing taxpayers to cover his failures is a success?
    Madam Speaker, the Conservatives had 10 years to build a new pipeline to ship Canada's resources to new markets. They built zero. The Conservatives had 10 years to consult indigenous and local communities. They ignored them. The Conservatives had 10 years to rally the country around the need for new pipeline capacity to end the discount on landlocked Canadian crude. They did not. The Conservatives had 10 years to address environmental concerns. They failed.
    We will take no lessons from that party on how to champion resource projects.

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, since the Liberals announced they are buying Kinder Morgan's old pipeline, my phone has not stopped ringing. British Columbians are telling me they feel betrayed by the government and dismayed that the Liberal priorities are so stuck in the past. They are angry that the Prime Minister has given a Texas pipeline company a massive bailout by putting all the financial and environmental risks on Canadians. This is about the future of our country and the future of our planet.
    What kind of climate leader buys bitumen pipelines?
    Madam Speaker, we have always said that a strong environment and a clean economy go together. We have a climate plan. We are following through on that climate plan, and the investment in the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline fits within that climate plan. Why? Because the NDP government in Alberta has taken serious action on climate change. It has put a price on pollution, and it is phasing out coal. It has also put the first-ever hard cap on emissions in the oil sands. That is how this fits in our climate plan. Of course, we are doing more. We are making investments in—
    The hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît.

[Translation]

Indigenous Affairs

    Madam Speaker, indigenous children in Canada are living in third-world conditions. There are indigenous communities where children get sick because they do not have access to clean drinking water, but helping those children is not really on the government's list of priorities. It is in the national interest to use Canadians' money to buy a leaky old pipe for $4.5 billion.
    Is that really the national interest?
    Has the KM pipeline become the PM's pipeline?
    Is that the Liberals' vision for society?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition recently said that the Conservatives have done a great job in the past. However, they have ignored Jordan's principle, which was passed by Parliament in 2007, and refused calls for a national inquiry. We are focusing on forging a relationship based on a recognition of rights respecting co-operation and partnership. We will let our record stand.

Natural Resources

    Madam Speaker, the Minister of Finance announced that Canada would be purchasing a pipeline for $4.5 billion. Like many Canadians, I was shocked, because for months we heard from Kinder Morgan that it only wanted the government to stand up for the rule of law and end the delays. The Liberals have failed to win the confidence of Kinder Morgan. Now Canadians are on the hook for billions of dollars to construct Trans Mountain.
     Under the Conservatives, investors had confidence to build northern gateway, energy east, and the Trans Mountain pipelines. When will the Liberals start standing up for energy investment, instead of making taxpayers pay for their failure?
    Madam Speaker, I will once again remind the official opposition that the northern gateway pipeline was thrown out by the courts for insufficient consultation with indigenous peoples and communities.
    The Trans Mountain expansion project is in the national interest. It means thousands of jobs to strengthen and grow the middle class. The Conservatives had 10 years to build pipelines to new export markets, and they could not get it done. They believe we have to make a choice between the environment and the economy. We do not. This is a country where it is possible to do both at the same time, and that is exactly what we are doing.
    Madam Speaker, when the Liberals took office there were four viable private sector pipelines. Now there are none. The private sector has left, taking over $100 billion in investments with it. The Liberals' mismanagement has driven it out, and now taxpayers have become the owners of a 60-year-old pipeline.
    With the announcement, the Prime Minister indicated he wanted construction to begin immediately. I have a simple question: What progress has been made on construction over the course of the last three days?
    Madam Speaker, this is about getting our resources to new markets so that we are not sending 98% of our oil exports only to the U.S.
    Let us talk about the pipelines that have been approved, many of them in Alberta: expanded export capacity for the Alberta Clipper, the Nova Gas pipeline, the Line 3 replacement project, the Trans Mountain expansion, and Keystone XL. I could go on and on. This is about creating thousands of good middle-class jobs for Canadians, while protecting the environment.

  (1140)  

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Madam Speaker, we are a few days away from the opening of the G7 meetings and many questions about public safety remain unanswered.
    Yesterday we learned that special constables have not received any training to contain the anticipated demonstrations and that the customs officers that will be on duty during the summit will be unarmed, which happens only when there is zero risk.
    Can the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness assure us that law enforcement agencies will be adequately deployed during the G7?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, yes, absolutely, there have been meticulous preparations involving, of course, the RCMP and other national police and security agencies, as well as the local and provincial authorities in Quebec. The co-operation and collaboration has been absolutely seamless. The professionals in our police services federally, provincially, and municipally are determined to make sure that this event occurs successfully and safely.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, not all law enforcement in charge of ensuring public safety at the G7 are ready nor do they have the all the equipment that they need to deal with the various potential forms of disturbances. The media has had a lot to say about that.
    Can the Liberals take responsibility, deal with this worrisome situation immediately, reassure those affected by the G7 summit, and tell the public that it will be adequately protected and that the government will compensate taxpayers for any adverse consequences?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the public can have absolute confidence in the police and security agencies of both Canada and Quebec, and the local municipal authorities in the communities affected.
    The preparations have been thorough. The officials have been working on this for months to ensure that the Canadian public will be safe, that the attendees at the summit will be safe, and that this event can be conducted successfully and safely for all concerned.

Indigenous Affairs

    Madam Speaker, the Auditor General has chastised the government for failing to address matters of significance to first nations, in particular those living on reserves. In assessing well-being, he reports that the government failed to consider health, environment, language, and culture, coupled with failed meaningful engagement. These are basic rights accorded under the UNDRIP and the UN sustainable development goals that the government professes to endorse.
     Why then did the Liberals oppose our amendments to Bill C-57 and Bill C-69 intended to extend those very rights and duties?
    Madam Speaker, our government welcomes the recommendation of the Auditor General on addressing outcome gaps on reserve dating back to 2001. Unlike the former government, which ripped up the Kelowna accord and imposed top-down solutions on first nations, we are making significant investments in health, education, housing, water, child and family services, and economic prosperity.
    We are working with first nation partners on a national outcome-based framework and transformation on education on reserves. We will continue to work with first nations to improve.
    Madam Speaker, this is the eighth anniversary of the passing of Shannen Koostachin, an incredible youth leader, who called out the systemic negligence of government toward first nations children. On this sad anniversary, the Auditor General has trashed the government's handling of education, calling it an “incomprehensible failure”.
    I would like to ask the minister about the decision to falsify the graduation rates. A 76% failure rate was covered up to protect the minister's office. Why would the Liberals protect a culture of negligence rather than protect the hopes and dreams of a generation of first nations children?
    Madam Speaker, we recognize that mental health challenges facing indigenous people, particularly youth, are deep-rooted and complex. We recognize that implementation and delivery of our programs and services must be driven by culture and strengths of the community.
     We have invested in 45 community-led mental health wellness teams, serving 326 communities, up from 11 in 2015, and dedicated first nation and Inuit hope and wellness lines.
     We will continue to work with first nations and Inuit partners, in collaboration with provinces and territories, to advance targeted strategies to prevent the tragic loss of life.

  (1145)  

[Translation]

Social Development

    Madam Speaker, the Government of Canada and Quebec recently signed a bilateral agreement on early learning and child care. This is an important step for Canadian families because, for the very first time, the federal government has entered into agreements with each province and territory to provide more affordable child care for Canadian families across the country.
    Could the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tell us more about the impact of this agreement on Canadian families?
    Madam Speaker, I will start by thanking and congratulating the member for Thérèse-De Blainville for his considerable support for affordable and quality day care for families.
    I am pleased to confirm that we recently signed an agreement for child care services with the Government of Quebec, which completes our suite of bilateral agreements with all provinces and territories. This is an historic step that will support our children, reduce poverty, ensure gender equality, and give all children in our great nation a fair and equal opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential.

[English]

Democratic Reform

    Madam Speaker, once again we see the Liberal Prime Minister change the rules halfway through the game. The Liberals' campaign promise to reform our electoral system failed, so they are doing the next best thing to favour their election prospects.
     By refusing to ban ministerial travel and advertising during the entire pre-election period, the Liberals are simply trying to buy themselves the next election.
    Could the Prime Minister stop abusing democracy and put Canadians ahead of the Liberal Party?
    Madam Speaker, while such a charge may make good theatre, it is simply not true.
    Canadians were fed up with tax dollars being wasted blatantly on partisan ads by the previous government. That was why we moved quickly in 2016 to ban partisan government ads and establish third-party oversight. We also banned government advertising in the 90-day period proceeding the fixed date election period as well for any other government program that had yet to be approved by Parliament.
    By focusing on government advertising, on Canadians' needs instead of on partisan objectives like the previous government, we have been able to cut the government's advertising budget by almost one-half.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, why is this government trying to find a way to prevent political parties from using advertising to communicate with Canadians before an election campaign?
    Why is it even considering violating their right to communicate with Canadians? What is the Liberal government afraid of?
    Why are the Liberals trying to muzzle politicians who have ideas and agendas that differ from those of this destructive Liberal government?
    Is it democratic to remove someone's right to speak? Is this the Liberals' new political tactic?
    Madam Speaker, Canadians were sick of seeing their money wasted by the previous government on partisan advertising. This is why, in 2016, we prohibited all government advertising in the 90 days prior to an election.

[English]

     That is 90 days prior to the fixed date election and for any government program that has yet to be approved by Parliament.

[Translation]

    By focusing on the needs of Canadians instead of on partisan interests, we managed to reduce the government's advertising budget—
    The hon. member for Calgary Shepard.

[English]

The Economy

    Madam Speaker, at finance committee this week, every single Liberal MP voted against looking at the punishing new stress test the Liberals introduced on mortgages, without even saying a single word.
    As many as 100,000 Canadians could be blocked from purchasing a home. Up to 150,000 Canadians could lose their jobs because of this economic slowdown.
    Will the finance minister do the right thing, ignore his mute Liberal MPs and commit to a full review of these new mortgage rules?
    Madam Speaker, we know that for the vast majority of middle-class Canadians, their home is their most important investment, the most important one they will make in their lifetime. It is critical to their financial well-being that this investment be protected.
    We have taken steps to address pockets of risk and ensure a healthy dynamic housing market. We are working with provincial and municipal counterparts to gather data, monitor the situation, and to make sure to protect the middle class in Canada.

  (1150)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the Liberal government's new mortgage rules are having an impact across the country and making it virtually impossible for many Canadians to buy or sell a home.
    These changes were meant to cool the overheated markets in Toronto and Vancouver, but instead, the housing market has plunged 20%, and home sales have slid to their lowest level since 2001.
    Will the Minister of Finance admit that his latest rule changes are hurting Canadian families? Will he relax the rules, from his ivory tower in Ottawa?
    Madam Speaker, we know that for many Canadians, buying a property is one of the most significant investments they will ever make.
     We have made commitments and taken concrete steps to protect this investment for middle-class Canadians from coast to coast to coast. We are keeping a close eye on the situation with our provincial and municipal partners to protect the interests of the middle class and to keep the housing market stable, dynamic, and healthy.

[English]

Status of Women

    Madam Speaker, the first pay equity court case launched by labour against Canada Post was 35 years ago. Today CUPW earned a long-awaited victory in favour of pay equity for rural and suburban mail carriers, two-thirds of whom are women.
    It is a disgrace that the Liberal government says that it is committed to pay equity, but we have seen no legislation and not a dime in the budget to back empty Liberal promises.
     We are tired of waiting. When will we see action?
    Madam Speaker, I am proud to be part of a government that knows that work of equal value deserves equal pay.
    I really love the fact that my colleagues agree with me. In fact, in budget 2018, we made the commitment to introduce proactive pay equity legislation. That is exactly what we will be doing.

Indigenous Affairs

    Madam Speaker, when the federal government unveiled its national housing strategy last November, it did not include an indigenous housing strategy, despite the fact that 87% of indigenous peoples in Canada do not live on reserve and face almost 10 times the risk of housing insecurity and homelessness. An indigenous housing strategy cannot be an afterthought.
     Could the minister tell us this. Where is the comprehensive strategy that addresses the housing needs of indigenous peoples?
    Madam Speaker, our government remains committed to co-developing a distinction-based indigenous housing strategy with our first nation, Inuit, and Métis partners. That is why budget 2018 invests $600 million over three years in first nations housing, $500 million over 10 years for Métis housing, and $400 million over 10 years for Inuit housing. This funding is a significant step toward addressing the housing needs in indigenous communities.
     Our government is committed to closing the unacceptable housing gap for indigenous people.

Carbon Pricing

    Madam Speaker, farming can be stressful. Whether it is the weather, transportation issues, or the Liberal government raising their taxes, farmers have a lot to deal with. Therefore, when the agriculture minister stated that most farmers supported a tax on carbon, I know his ridiculous statement received more than a few laughs across my riding.
    What evidence does the minister have for his claim that farmers support his carbon tax, and could he please let them know how much it will cost them?
    Madam Speaker, again I am happy to stand and talk about our approach to climate action. We work with everyone. We work with farmers, we work with business people, we work with environmentalists, we work with provinces and territories, and we work with cities. I am as much the Minister of Environment for farmers as I am for environmentalists.
     As we have always said, pricing pollution is already happening. Eighty per cent of Canadians have a price on pollution through the leadership of the provinces. The past government did nothing for a decade, but we are working with the provinces and territories and we are working with everyone together.
    What is the Conservatives' plan?

  (1155)  

    Madam Speaker, recently the Minister of Agriculture stated that the majority of Canadian farmers supported the Liberal carbon tax. He obviously has not been to the riding of Elgin—Middlesex—London, which is filled with farmers.
     Farmers throughout southwestern Ontario are concerned about their increased input costs. These families are the stewards of our land and are using cutting-edge technology to reduce their own emissions.
    Is the Minister of Agriculture willing to stand and oppose this carbon tax on hard-working Canadian farmers and their families?
    Madam Speaker, we are willing to step up for everyone in Canada because we are all in this together. We all need to take action to tackle climate change. In fact, I was really pleased to hear the Leader of the Opposition say that he would meet our Paris Agreement targets, because that is good. We all know we need to do this. However, we have a plan, and we have been very clear about how our plan will tackle climate change and grow our economy.
    What Canadians really want to know, what my kids want to know, what future generations want to know is what is the plan of the Conservative Party?
    I will remind the member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek that when somebody else has the floor, that person deserves the respect to be heard, just as she had the opportunity to be heard when she asked her question.
    The hon. member for Oshawa.

International Trade

    Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister has known about American tariffs for months. He instead chose to focus on luxury vacations and photo ops, while ignoring the future of Canadian workers.
     Rather than working with Canadian companies to keep them competitive, the Prime Minister is forcing a punitive carbon tax and new payroll taxes on Canadian manufacturers, which American competitors will not have to pay.
    Will the Prime Minister work to keep well-paying jobs in Canada and give Canadian manufacturers a chance to stay competitive by dropping his unfair carbon tax?
    Madam Speaker, as the minister has already stated a number of times in the House, we firmly disagree with the illegal and inappropriate American tariffs, and we are working as a government, with all Canadians behind us, to fight this unnecessary and illegal measure with all means at our disposal.
    With respect to the manufacturing industry, with respect to steel, aluminum, and other industries affected by this tariff, our government has invested massively in innovation. We are working with stakeholders across Canada, through the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, to make sure that we move forward—

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Madam Speaker, Canadians know that our two official languages are a strength for us. This is especially true in my riding, Cloverdale—Langley City.
     I recently attended a meeting to tell members of British Columbia's francophone community about the benefits of the next action plan for official languages.
    Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell the House about the action plan for official languages that she is planning to implement?
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for Cloverdale—Langley City for his question and compliment him for his excellent French.
    After a decade of Conservative indifference and inaction on official languages, we are taking action. We announced an unprecedented investment of close to $2.7 billion in official languages. We also recently announced a 20% funding increase, effective immediately, for all community organizations in the sector, which went through a funding freeze under the Harper government. By taking action on immigration, early childhood services, infrastructure, and education, we are supporting our communities.

[English]

Veterans Affairs

    Madam Speaker, veterans have been asking for the return of the NDI 75 identification card. The NDI 75 is an ID card that many veterans and their families feel recognizes and appreciates the values and sacrifices made by the members of our armed forces and helps in their transition to civilian life.
    Veterans want this card back, so I am asking, on behalf of Canadian veterans, will the minister bring this card, or something like it, back?
    Madam Speaker, we know that former members of the Canadian Armed Forces want a tangible way to identify themselves as veterans. We are exploring options with the Department of National Defence to develop a veterans identification card that will be an official Government of Canada ID card for veterans. More information regarding the project will be available in the coming months, and I am delighted to be wearing red today on Red Friday in support of our Canadian Armed Forces.

National Defence

    Madam Speaker, this week is Victims and Survivors of Crime Week. Our government is committed to strengthening victims' rights within the military justice system. This week we heard from the Auditor General on the previous government's neglect of not only the military, but also the military justice system, which is an important part of military discipline and morale.
    Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence inform the House on how we are committed to ensuring both the efficiency of the military justice system and that the rights of victims are fully respected?

  (1200)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, during this Victims and Survivors of Crime Week, we are reiterating our commitment to strengthening victims' rights in our military justice system. By introducing Bill C-77, we are adding a declaration of victims' rights to the Code of Service Discipline under the National Defence Act.

[English]

    This bill includes a provision to incorporate indigenous consideration, something the previous Conservative government neglected to include.

Taxation

    Madam Speaker, under the Liberal government, we have seen billions of dollars of investment leave Canada due to its failed economic policies. Whether it is increased payroll taxes, a carbon tax, or stifling red tape, Canadian businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to compete.
    Given the trade dispute with the U.S. announced yesterday, will the Liberals commit to exempting Canadian companies competing south of the border from these punitive taxes?
    Madam Speaker, I speak as a member of this government that has created 600,000 jobs, most of them full time, since we took office two and a half years ago. As a government, we will continue to strongly defend and support Canadian workers and producers not only of steel and aluminum, but across Canada in a variety of different industries. We are taking action to support vital innovation to create new business opportunities through supporting innovation and steel-related research, aluminum-related research, and improving environmentally sound energy products.

[Translation]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, to make the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion happen, the government is assuming all the risk and paying for everything. If the bill contravenes any provincial laws, Ottawa pays. If Ottawa does not have the jurisdiction required to force this project down Canadians' throats, Ottawa pays. If the project proponent falls behind, Ottawa pays. If the proponent backs out altogether, Ottawa pays again and buys the pipeline. Basically, private enterprise pockets the profits, and the government piggy bank assumes all the risk.
    Can the minister tell us how much this venture is going to cost Quebeckers?
    Mr. Speaker, we reached an agreement with Kinder Morgan to purchase the existing pipeline as well as the Trans Mountain expansion project. We believe that this project is in Canada's economic interest, from coast to coast to coast. It will create 15,000 jobs in the construction phase and tens of thousands of jobs throughout the project's life cycle, generating both provincial and federal tax revenue. This will benefit Canadians not just in Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta, but from coast to coast to coast.

Agriculture and Agrifood

     Madam Speaker, we all know that bees play a key role in biodiversity, but bee populations are currently being decimated by commonly used insecticides called neonicotinoids. In fact, 233 scientists from around the world are urging countries to ban neonicotinoids. Just yesterday, the government decided to allow the continued use of imidacloprid, the most common neonicotinoid. Now it has decided to launch consultations. Rather than take action, the government is going to hold consultations, but 233 researchers and 34 different countries have already weighed in. Is that not a consultation?
    When will the government listen to scientists instead of chemical companies?
    Madam Speaker, our government takes pesticide safety very seriously. Health Canada is currently conducting a scientific review of these pesticides and has already taken steps to reduce the risk to bees. Health Canada has not identified any human health concerns related to exposure to neonicotinoids.
    Our government will continue to monitor the situation closely and will take all necessary measures to address it.

Official Languages

    Madam Speaker, the Canadian government put the infrastructure bank in Toronto rather than Montreal, against the wishes of Quebec's government and business community.
    It was created six months ago, but the infrastructure bank provides services in English only. Although the bank had an initial budget of $35 billion, none of its staff can speak French, not even a receptionist. That is the price we pay to be part of Canada.
    Will the minister responsible for official languages finally wake up and take action instead of just spreading money around?

  (1205)  

    Madam Speaker, our two official languages are at the very core of our Canadian identity. The Canada Infrastructure Bank must comply with the Official Languages Act.
    I would like to take this opportunity to point out that Pierre Lavallée has been hired as the bank's first CEO. He is highly qualified and bilingual. He has all the skills required to head up this important institution, which will help us build more infrastructure after 10 years of the Harper Conservatives' laissez-faire approach.
    We trust that Mr. Lavallée will put together a skilled, diverse, and bilingual team capable of serving Canadians in both official languages.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

    Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 12 petitions.

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present, in both official languages, two reports of the Canadian group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union respecting its participation at the IPU parliamentary hearing on the occasion of the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, New York, United States, on March 3, 2018, and at the 138th assembly of the IPU and related meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, from March 24 to 28, 2018.

Committees of the House

Canadian Heritage  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in relation to Bill S-218, an act respecting Latin American heritage month,
    The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendments.

Pension Benefits Standards Act

     He said: Madam Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise today to introduce a private member's bill to address some of the unfunded liabilities that pension funds are facing, which run into major problems when there is insolvency.

[Translation]

    This bill seeks to truly improve pensions and to provide hard-working Canadians with certainty and equality.

[English]

    This is for hard-working pensioners who are worried about their future. The bill is not a magic bullet, but it includes three concrete measures that would help address this issue of under-funded defined pension liabilities. First, it would give more options to pension administrators and monitors to maximize the value and returns for pensioners in their retirement years. Second, it would work with the chief actuary to make sure that the issue of reporting pension liabilities and unfunded liabilities would be reported to provinces' provincial securities regulators to allow us all to work on this challenge. Third is fairness. It would set fair limits on key employee retention plans, bonuses, and some of the things that have angered pensioners when they see executives receiving exorbitant payouts while they are getting less in retirement.
    I truly hope this becomes public policy to make a real difference on an issue that concerns Canadians, including those in my area of Durham. GENMO and other organizations have brought this to me. This is a step forward that I hope all parliamentarians can get behind for our seniors, who have worked hard for their retirement pensions.

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

  (1210)  

Petitions

Canada Summer Jobs Program  

    Madam Speaker, I have a petition from the residents of Sarnia—Lambton calling 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. They believe it is a violation of their charter rights and that they should not have to agree specifically with the Liberal government.

Gun Violence  

    Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure today to present a petition that was started by a woman in my community, Joan Howard, who lost her son, Kempton Howard, to gun violence. The petition is in support of providing the proper supports for the loved ones of murdered victims, having programming to divert youth from gangs, and to ensure there are not guns on our streets.

[Translation]

The Environment  

    Madam Speaker, I have a petition signed by roughly 1,000 people, mainly from my riding, calling on the Government of Canada to take a firm position to ensure compliance with the 1996 federal policy on wetland conservation, which aims to improve and preserve the environment so as to prevent increasing natural disasters, by designating the wetlands bordering Lake Saint-François as protected areas.

[English]

Access to Education  

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of constituents in my beautiful riding of Haldimand—Norfolk, who are concerned about the insufficient amount of funding available for global education for girls. This petition calls upon the government to discuss this issue at the upcoming G7 summit in Quebec.

Volunteer Service Medal  

    Madam Speaker, I have three petitions.
     The first is an electronic petition. It is addressed to the House in regard to medals of service. At one time, the Government of Canada issued the Canadian volunteer service medal for those who had served voluntarily in the Canadian Forces. Unfortunately, this award was terminated in March of 1947, and these citizens would like the Government of Canada to recognize, by the creation and issuance of a new Canadian military volunteer service medal, the honourable service of Canadian military forces, reserve forces, cadets, and all of those who have served our country with distinction and honour.

The Environment  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition is in regard to navigable waters. We have heard a great deal today about protecting the environment. Unfortunately, the previous Conservative government stripped environmental protection under the Navigable Waters Protection Act, leaving rivers and lakes vulnerable to development. In my city of London, the Thames River is a heritage river.
     These petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to fulfill its promises in regard to environmental protection; to support my bill, Bill C-355; and to commit to the protection of the Thames River, and, I would hope, many others.

Postal Banking  

    Madam Speaker, I have a petition in support of postal banking. Nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lender creditors. As we have 3,800 Canada Post outlets already in rural and remote areas where there are no banks or credit unions, it is possible that Canada Post, because it has the infrastructure, could make a rapid transition to include postal banking.
    These petitioners would like the Government of Canada to enact my Motion No. 166 and create a committee to study and propose a plan for this important postal banking system under Canada Post.

Abandoned Vessels  

    Madam Speaker, there is a long-standing problem with abandoned vessels that remains unresolved on our coast. As abandoned vessels pose economic, environmental, and navigational risks to my coast of British Columbia especially, but also to the Atlantic coast, I present petitions from coastal people asking the government to make the Coast Guard one-stop shopping, so that people and communities do not get the runaround when they identify an abandoned vessel anymore; establish a vessel turn-in program to deal with the backlog of abandoned vessels; fix vessel registrations and adopt a fee to get the cost off taxpayers; and finally, create good green jobs by supporting local salvage companies.
    Petitioners from Truro, Bible Hill, and River John in Nova Scotia join petitioners from Gabriola Island, Lantzville, Ladysmith, and Nanaimo in B.C. in urging the government to finally act on this long-standing pollution problem on our coast.

  (1215)  

Pharmacare 

    Madam Speaker, it is with pleasure I table today a petition signed by many residents of Winnipeg North calling on the Government of Canada and the Prime Minister to recognize the value of a pharmacare program that would be national in its scope. I am talking about prescription drugs and how we could incorporate pharmacare into the Canada Health Act. It is a petition that I am very happy to table today on behalf of my residents.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Questions Nos. 1637 to 1642, 1647, 1650 to 1655, and 1658.

[Text]

Question No. 1637--
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault:
     With regard to the foreign income verification statement (T1135) forms that the Canada Revenue Agency received for 2010 and subsequent years: (a) how many returns concerned foreign property of less than $250,000, broken down by (i) type of taxpayer, (ii) country where the specified foreign property is held, (iii) year; (b) for the returns in (a), what was the filers’ total income from all specified foreign property, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) type of taxpayer; (c) for the returns in (a), what was the total amount of the filers’ gains or losses on the disposition of all specified foreign property, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) type of taxpayer; (d) of the returns in (a), how many concerned (i) funds held outside Canada, (ii) shares of non-resident corporations, (iii) indebtedness owed by a non-resident, interests in non-resident trusts, (iv) real property outside Canada, (v) other property outside Canada; (e) for the returns in (a), how many returns concerned property held in an account with a Canadian registered securities dealer or a Canadian trust, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) type of taxpayer; (f) how many returns concerned foreign property of more than $250,000, broken down by (i) type of taxpayer, (ii) country where the specified foreign property was held, (iii) year; (g) for the returns in (f), what was the total income from funds held outside Canada, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) type of taxpayer; (h) for the returns in (f), what were the total income and gains or losses on the disposition of shares of non-resident corporations, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) type of taxpayer; (i) for the returns in (h), what were the total income and gains or losses on the disposition of indebtedness owed by a non-resident, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) type of taxpayer; (j) for the returns in (f), what were the total income and gains or losses on the disposition of indebtedness owed by a non-resident, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) type of taxpayer; (k) for the returns in (f), what were the total income received, capital received and gains or losses on the disposition of interests in non-resident trusts, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) type of taxpayer; (l) for the returns in (f), what were the total income and gains or losses on the disposition of real property outside Canada, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) type of taxpayer; (m) for the returns in (f), what were the total income and gains or losses on the disposition of other property outside Canada, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) type of taxpayer; and (n) for the returns in (f), what were the total income and gains or losses on the disposition of property held in an account with a Canadian registered securities dealer or a Canadian trust, broken down by (i) year, (ii) country, (iii) type of taxpayer?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to parts (a) through (n), the CRA is not able to respond as the information is not stored by the CRA in the manner requested. Given the detailed nature of the request, to be able to produce the information in the manner requested would require more time than is provided for under House of Commons Standing Order 39(5)(a).
Question No. 1638--
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault:
     With regard to the information returns relating to controlled and not-controlled foreign affiliates (T1134) received by the Canada Revenue Agency for 2011 and subsequent years, broken down by (i) year, (ii) type of taxpayer, namely, individual, corporation, trust or partnership, (iii) North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code, (iv) country or jurisdiction in which the foreign affiliate carries on a business or other income earning activity, (v) country or jurisdiction of residence of the foreign affiliate: (a) how many returns were received; (b) how many returns concerned a controlled foreign affiliate (CFA), as defined in subsection 95(1) of the Income Tax Act; (c) what was the total book cost of shares of the foreign affiliates’ capital stock owned by the reporting entities as of the end of the reporting entities’ taxation year; (d) what was the total book cost of shares of the foreign affiliates’ capital stock at the end of the reporting entities’ taxation year owned by controlled foreign affiliates of the reporting entities or another person related to the reporting entities; (e) what was the total amount of the debt the foreign affiliates owed to the reporting entities at the end of the reporting entities’ taxation year; (f) what was the total amount of the debt the reporting entities owed to the foreign affiliates at the end of the reporting entities’ taxation year; (g) what was the total amount of assets held by the foreign affiliates; (h) what was the total amount of accounting net income before tax reported by the foreign affiliates; (i) what was the total amount of income or profits tax paid or payable on income reported by the foreign affiliates; (j) how many reporting entities, at any time in the taxation year, received a dividend on a share of the capital stock of a foreign affiliate; (k) what was the total amount of the dividends reported, broken down by surplus account, namely, exempt surplus, taxable surplus, pre-acquisition surplus and hybrid surplus, referred to in (j); (l) how many CFAs had one to five full-time employees or employee equivalents; (m) how many CFAs had more than five full-time employees or employee equivalents; (n) what was the total amount of gross revenue reported by controlled foreign affiliates, broken down by revenue source, namely, (i) interest – from other foreign affiliates of the reporting entities, (ii) interest – other, (iii) dividends – from other foreign affiliates of the reporting entities, (iv) dividends – other, (v) royalties, (vi) rental and leasing activities, (vi) loans or lending activities, (vii) insurance or reinsurance of risks, (viii) factoring of trade accounts receivable, (ix) disposition of investment property; (o) how many CFAs reported foreign accrual property income (FAPI); (p) what was the total gross amount of FAPI reported by CFAs, broken down by (i) FAPI that is income from property under subsection 95(1) of the Act, (ii) FAPI from the sale of property under paragraph 95(2)(a.1) of the Act, (iii) FAPI from the insurance or reinsurance of risks under paragraph 95(2)(a.2) of the Act, (iv) FAPI from indebtedness and lease obligations under paragraph 95(2)(a.3) of the Act, (v) FAPI from indebtedness and lease obligations under paragraph 95(2)(a.4) of the Act, (vi) FAPI from providing services under paragraph 95(2)(b) of the Act, (vii) FAPI from the disposition of capital property, (viii) FAPI under the description of C in the definition of FAPI in subsection 95(1) of the Act; (q) how many CFAs reported disposing of a share in another foreign affiliate that was excluded property or an interest in a partnership that was excluded property; (r) how many CFAs reported disposing of capital property that was not excluded property; (s) how many CFAs reported including income that would otherwise have been included in their income from property in their income from an active business, broken down by source, namely, (i) because of subparagraph 95(2)(a)(i) of the Act, (ii) because of subparagraph 95(2)(a)(ii) of the Act, (iii) because of subparagraph 95(2)(a)(iii) of the Act, (iv) because of subparagraph 95(2)(a)(iv) of the Act, (v) because of subparagraph 95(2)(a)(v) of the Act, (vi) because of subparagraph 95(2)(a)(vi) of the Act, (vii) because of the type of business carried on and the number of persons employed by the foreign affiliate in the business pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b) of the definition of investment business in subsection 95(1) of the Act, (viii) because of paragraph 95(2)(l) of the Act; (t) how many CFAs reported including income that would otherwise have been included in their income from a business other than an active business in their income from an active business, broken down by reason, namely, (i) because of the 90% test in paragraphs 95(2)(a.1) through (a.4) of the Act, (ii) because of subsection 95(2.3) of the Act, (iii) because of subsection 95(2.4) of the Act; and (u) how many foreign affiliates reported that some information requested in the return was not available?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to parts (a) to (u), the CRA is not able to respond as the information is not stored by the CRA in the manner requested. Given the detailed nature of the request, to be able to produce the information in the manner requested would require more time than is provided for under House of Commons Standing Order 39(5)(a).
Question No. 1639--
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault:
     With regard to Health Canada’s comprehensive review of the disinfectant THYMOX EXT (DIN: 02390035): how much did it cost Health Canada to carry out this review?
Mr. Bill Blair (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, based on data extracted from Health Canada’s system, the full cost to review this submission back in 2011 was approximately $5,400.
Question No. 1640--
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault:
    With regard to the side effect reporting forms received by Health Canada since 2010: (a) how many forms have been received; and (b) how many reports were about the drug Fluorouracil (5-FU), broken down by the seriousness of the side effect?
Mr. Bill Blair (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health, Lib.):
     Mr. Speaker, Health Canada’s Canada vigilance program collects and assesses reports of suspected adverse reactions, or ARs, to health products marketed in Canada. Adverse reactions are undesirable responses to health products. Health Canada defines a serious adverse reaction as: “A noxious and unintended response to a drug, which occurs at any dose and requires in-patient hospitalization or prolongation of existing hospitalization, causes congenital malformation, results in persistent or significant disability or incapacity, is life-threatening or results in death. Important medical events that may not be immediately life-threatening or result in death or hospitalization, but may jeopardize the patient or may require intervention to prevent one of the outcomes listed above, may also be considered serious.”
    Adverse reaction reports are submitted by health professionals and consumers either directly to Health Canada or via market authorization holders--i.e., manufacturers. Manufacturers must report all domestic serious AR reports to Health Canada as per regulatory requirements.
    From January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2017, the Canada vigilance program received a total of 345,189 domestic AR reports. This number does not include follow-up reports. This includes 1,605 reports in which the suspect product was Fluorouracil, 5-FU. Of these 1,605 reports, 1,572 were deemed to be serious by the reporter.
    Caveats are as follows: There may be AR reports that have been received from multiple sources representing the same case. For example, a report may be submitted by both a patient and a health care professional but represent the same case. This means that there may be fewer cases than the total of 345,189 AR reports. This also means that there may be fewer cases for Fluorouracil, 5-FU, as the suspect product.
    The number of reports received should not be used as a basis for determining the incidence of a reaction, as neither the total number of reactions occurring nor the number of patients exposed to the health product is known.
    Often it is not possible to determine if an AR reported to Health Canada is a result of using a specific health product. Other factors contributing to the AR could be a person's health conditions or other health products they are using at the same time.
Question No. 1641--
Mr. Peter Julian:
    With regard to financial assistance from Export and Development Canada (EDC): which Canadian businesses, not-for-profit organizations, agencies dedicated to marketing and exports, clusters, and business associations have received funding or loans from EDC, broken down by (i) name of the business or organization, (ii) amount of loan or funding, (iii) type of project?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of International Trade, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Export Development Canada, EDC, undertook an extensive preliminary search in order to determine the amount of information that would fall within the scope of the question and the amount of time that would be required to prepare a comprehensive response. The information requested is not systematically tracked in a centralized database. EDC concluded that producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question would require a manual collection of information that is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information.
    EDC does report individual transaction information on all financing, including guarantees, political risk insurance to lenders, and equity transactions. For transactions signed within the past 15 months, members may refer to the following link: https://www19.edc. ca/edcsecure/disclosure/ DisclosureView. aspx.
Question No. 1642--
Mr. Peter Julian:
     With regard to the Canada 150 Rink on Parliament Hill: (a) what was the initial cost to taxpayers of the Canada 150 Rink; (b) what is the final cost to taxpayers of the Canada 150 Rink after extending its duration to February 25, 2018, including the costs of the Ottawa International Hockey Festival (OIHF); (c) how many games of the OIHF were played on the Canada 150 Rink; (d) what were the attendance numbers for the games in (c); (e) what were the costs of relocating OIHF games to other arenas because of the extreme cold and poor ice conditions; (f) what was the total number of skaters in attendance over the 81 days that the Canada 150 Rink was scheduled to be open; (g) how many days did the rink achieve maximum capacity of skaters during three or more skating sessions; (h) was the Canada 150 Rink closed at any time because of the weather and, if so, how many days were impacted; (i) has Canadian Heritage made a decision on where the board, glass and benches will be donated; (j) what is the criteria used to make the decision in (i); and (k) what financial commitments did the National Hockey League and the Ottawa Senators make to have such prominent placement of their logos on the Canada 150 Rink and the lawn of Parliament Hill?
Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), the final costs will be available upon receipt of financial reports from the Ottawa International Hockey Festival, the OIHF.
    With regard to (c) and (d), due to the excessive cold, no games organized by the OIHF were held.
    (e) With regard to (e), the costs of relocating the games were absorbed by the OIHF. No additional funding was allocated by the Government of Canada.
    With regard to (f), total public skating attendance was 152,089, rink operation hours totalled 1,015, public skating hours totalled 882, and programming hours totalled 133.
    With regard to (g), (h), (j), and (k), no data was compiled.
    With regard to (i), the choice of the community to receive the rink is under the responsibility of the Ottawa International Hockey Festival. The selection process is under way.
Question No. 1647--
Mr. Dean Allison:
     With regard to Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures: does the government consider the 556-page bill to be an omnibus bill and, if not, what is the threshold for omnibus legislation which the bill fails to meet?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)
    Mr. Speaker, under Standing Order 69.1(1), an omnibus bill is a government bill that seeks to repeal, amend, or enact more than one act, and where there is not a common element connecting the various provisions or where unrelated matters are linked. However, Standing Order 69.1(2) holds that Standing Order 69.1(1) does not apply to a bill that has as its main purpose the implementation of a budget and contains only provisions that were announced in the budget presentation or in the documents tabled during the budget presentation. The government considers Bill C-74 to fall within the exception provided by Standing Order 69.1(2).
Question No. 1650--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
     With regard to middle-class Canadians: (a) how many Canadians have joined the middle-class since November 4, 2015; and (b) how many former middle-class Canadians have fallen below the middle-class threshold since November 4, 2015, and are now struggling to rejoin the middle-class?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)
     Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada defines the middle class using a broader set of characteristics than merely income. As such, there is no official statistical measure of “middle class” in Canada, as it is very difficult to identify a specific range of incomes that characterize the middle class. Middle-class Canadians can generally be identified by the values they hold and the lifestyle they aspire to. Middle-class values are values that are common to most Canadians and from all backgrounds-- they believe in working hard to get ahead and hope for a better future for their children. Middle-class families also aspire to a lifestyle that typically includes adequate housing and health care, educational opportunities for their children, a secure retirement, job security, and adequate income for modest spending on leisure pursuits, among other characteristics.
    The income required to attain such a lifestyle can vary greatly based on Canadians’ specific situations, such as whether they face child care expenses or whether they live in large cities where housing tends to be more expensive. In this context, the government has cut taxes for nearly nine million Canadians; introduced the new Canada child benefit, which has resulted in higher benefits for nine out of 10 families; strengthened the Canada workers benefit, formerly the working income tax benefit; and strengthened the Canada pension plan to the benefit of all Canadians.
Question No. 1651--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
    With regard to the carbon tax: (a) how much will the $50 per tonne carbon tax reduce CO2 emissions in each of the next three years; and (b) if the answer to (a) is not a number, is the government’s refusal to divulge the number because the government does not know the number, or because releasing the information would be embarrassing for the government?
Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.)
    Madam Speaker, pricing carbon is widely recognized as an efficient way to reduce emissions at lowest cost to business and consumers and support innovation and clean growth. Carbon pricing sends an important signal to markets and provides incentives to reduce energy use through conservation and efficiency measures. For these reasons, carbon pricing is a central pillar of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, the PCF, signed by first ministers in December 2016.
    Over 80% of Canadians already live in a jurisdiction that has a price on carbon pollution. In order to extend this throughout Canada, in October 2016 the Prime Minister announced the pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution. This gives provinces and territories the flexibility to implement the type of system that makes sense for their circumstances: either an explicit price-based system, such as British Columbia’s carbon tax or Alberta’s carbon levy and performance-based emissions system, or cap and trade, such as in place in Quebec and Ontario. It also sets some common criteria that all systems must meet to ensure they are fair and effective. For explicit price-based systems, the carbon price is a minimum of $10 per tonne of greenhouse gas, GHG, emissions in 2018, increasing $10 per tonne GHGs annually to $50 per tonne in 2022. Additional information on the pan-Canadian approach is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/news/2016/10/canadian-approach-pricing-carbon-pollution.html.
    The federal government also committed to develop and implement a federal carbon pricing backstop system. This will only apply in any province or territory that requests it or that does not have a carbon pricing system in place in 2018 that meets the benchmark. The proposed federal carbon pricing system consists of two elements:a charge on fossil fuels that is generally payable by fuel producers or distributors; and a performance-based system for GHG emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industrial facilities to minimize competitiveness risks while ensuring a carbon price signal and incentive to reduce GHG emissions.
    All direct revenue from the federal carbon pricing system will be returned to the jurisdiction of origin. Additional information on the proposed federal system is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/news/2018/01/government_of_canadareleasesfurtherdetailsonfederalcarbon-pollut.html.
    No decisions have been made about where the federal system will apply. Provinces have until September 1, 2018 to confirm their plans for pricing carbon pollution.
    The Government of Canada released a paper on April 30, 2018, on the estimated results of the federal carbon pollution pricing system. This is available online at https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/climate-action/pricing-carbon-pollution/estimated-impacts-federal-system.html.
    It is based on an illustrative, hypothetical scenario in which the four provinces with carbon pricing systems today, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, representing 80% of Canada’s population, meet the federal standard through 2022, and the other nine provinces and territories implement the federal carbon pricing system.
    It finds that carbon pricing will make a significant contribution towards meeting Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction target. A price on carbon could cut carbon pollution across Canada by 80 to 90 million tonnes in 2022, once all provinces and territories have systems that meet the federal standard. This is equivalent to taking 23 million to 26 million cars off the road for a year or shutting down 20 to 23 coal-fired power plants for a year. Without this contribution, more costly regulatory interventions would be needed to meet our target.
    The Government of Canada’s approach to pricing carbon pollution will ensure that GHG emissions are reduced, and Canadians are well placed to benefit from the opportunities created by the global transition under way.
Question No. 1652--
Mr. Harold Albrecht:
     With regard to the backlog of Access to Information requests in the Privy Council Office (PCO) and Prime Minister’s Office: (a) broken down by month, how many additional staff have been hired by PCO’s Access to Information and Privacy division to deal with the backlog, since January 1, 2016; and (b) has any quantifiable progress been made by PCO in addressing the progress and, if so, what are the details of such progress?
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.)
     Madam Speaker, with regard to the backlog of access to information requests in the Privy Council Office, PCO, and in the Prime Minister’s Office, PMO, and the hiring of additional staff to deal with the increasing number of requests, as of April 16, 2018, there were approximately four additional employees in the access to information and privacy division at PCO than there were on January 1, 2016. Since January 1, 2016, the Privy Council Office has responded to 99.9% of all access to information requests by the legislated deadline.
Question No. 1653--
Mr. Harold Albrecht:
     With regard to the contribution provided by the National Research Council to AggregateIQ Data Services Ltd: (a) what was the amount of the contribution; (b) what specific projects was AggregateIQ supposed to work on with the contribution; (c) what was the date of the contribution; (d) has the government referred the project to the Privacy Commissioner for investigation and, if not, why not; (e) who or what was the intended market or potential client for the product which was supposed to be developed in relation to the contribution; and (f) were either the Liberal Party of Canada or Canada 2020 contacted in any way in relation to the project and, if so, what are the details of any such contact?
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)
     Madam Speaker, with regard to the contribution provided by the National Research Council to AggregateIQ Data Services Ltd, following is a detailed response from the National Research Council Canada, NRC.
    In response to (a), the approved amount of the contribution agreement was $100,000.
    In response to (b), it was supposed to support the creation of a comprehensive and platform independent political campaign online reporting tool.
    In response to (c), the start date was January 1, 2017, and the end date was September 30, 2017.
     In response to (d), the NRC’s industrial research assistance program, NRC-IRAP, has not referred the project to the Privacy Commissioner for investigation.
    All projects are evaluated through a stringent due diligence process conducted independently by officials at the NRC.
    All projects are evaluated through a stringent due diligence process conducted independently by officials at the NRC.
    The NRC also reviews projects to ensure they meet appropriate and relevant research and development ethical guidelines, a requirement that IRAP extends to its clients’ projects and that includes an assessment of the treatment of private and personal information related to that project. If there were concerns about privacy or personal information, the NRC would refer the matter to its research ethics board for review.
    No privacy concerns associated with this project were identified, nor did the NRC officials observe material privacy breaches during the course of the project that would have required notification to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner
    In response to (e), AggregateIQ’s customers include political parties, candidates, independent issue-based organizations, and campaigns.
    In response to (f), the NRC did not have any contacts with the Liberal Party of Canada or Canada 2020 in relation to the project. NRC-IRAP is delivered independently by officials at the National Research Council.
Question No. 1654--
Mr. Dan Albas:
     With regard to victims of the British Columbia wildfires who lost trees when their property was destroyed: (a) are reports that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is forcing homeowners to claim capital gains on the value of the associated lumber accurate; and (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, does the Minister responsible agree with the CRA decision?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)
    Madam Speaker, with respect to the above-noted question, what follows is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency, CRA.
    The CRA’s mission is to administer tax, benefits, and related programs, and to ensure compliance on behalf of governments across Canada.
    In 2017, the province of British Columbia was significantly affected by wildfires and many Canadian individuals and businesses were impacted.
    In response to parts (a) and (b), the determination of how income from the sale of trees on a woodlot would be taxed under the Income Tax Act is a question that would require a review of the facts and circumstances of the particular situation.
    More information on capital gains is available online at Canada.ca. Please refer to T4037, Capital Gains 2017 (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/publications/t4037.html).
    The CRA acknowledges the difficulties faced by Canadians in such circumstances and that natural disasters may cause hardship for taxpayers whose primary concern during such times is their families, homes, and communities.
    The CRA administers legislation that gives the Minister of National Revenue discretion to grant relief from penalty or interest when the following types of situations prevent taxpayers from meeting their tax obligations: extraordinary circumstances; actions of the CRA; inability to pay or financial hardship; other circumstances. For more information about the circumstances that may warrant relief from penalties or interest, see Cancel or waive penalties or interest (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/about-canada-revenue-agency-cra/complaints-disputes/cancel-waive-penalties-interest.html).
Question No. 1655--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
     With regard to the approximately $5.3 million contract awarded to McCarthy Tetrault in relation to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: (a) what is the total value of the contract; (b) what is the start date and end date of the contract; and (c) what is the detailed description of the services or goods being provided to the government in exchange for the $5.3 million?
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.)
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the approximately $5.3 million contract awarded to McCarthy Tetrault in relation to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the response from the Privy Council Office is as follows:
    In response to (a), $5,320,766.50;
    In response to (b), September 15, 2017 to May 15, 2018.
    In response to (c), the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls operates independently from the Government of Canada. This was a contract signed and awarded by the commission of inquiry, COI, National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Under section 11 of the Inquiries Act, the commissioner has the authority to award contracts.
Question No. 1658--
Mr. Martin Shields:
     With regard to the skating rink on Parliament Hill: (a) what is the final cost of the skating rink, broken down by item and type of expense; and (b) if not included in (a), what is the cost of the tear down of the rink and repairing or replacing the lawn, broken down by item and type of expense?
Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)
    Madam Speaker,in response to (a) and (b), the final costs of the skating rink on Parliament Hill, including the teardown, repairing, or replacing of the lawn, will be available upon receipt of financial reports from the Ottawa International Hockey Festival, OIHF.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Madam Speaker, furthermore, if the government's responses to Questions Nos. 1629 to 1636, 1643 to 1646, 1648, 1649, 1656, 1657, and 1659 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 1629---
Ms. Monique Pauzé:
    With regard to federal spending in the riding of Repentigny, for each fiscal year since 2010–2011, inclusively: what are the details of all grants and contributions and all loans to every organization, group, business or municipality, broken down by the (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency that provided the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1630---
Mr. Rhéal Éloi Fortin:
    With regard to federal spending in the riding of Rivière-du-Nord, for each fiscal year since 2010–11, inclusively: what are the details of all grants and contributions and all loans to every organization, group, business or municipality, broken down by the (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency that provided the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1631---
Mr. Simon Marcil :
    With regard to federal spending in the riding of Mirabel, for each fiscal year since 2010–2011, inclusively: what are the details of all grants and contributions and all loans to every organization, group, business or municipality, broken down by the (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency that provided the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1632---
Mr. Luc Thériault:
    With regard to federal spending in the riding of Montcalm, for each fiscal year since 2010–2011, inclusively: what are the details of all grants and contributions and all loans to every organization, group, business or municipality, broken down by the (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency that provided the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1633---
Mr. Michel Boudrias:
    With regard to federal spending in the riding of Terrebonne, for each fiscal year since 2010–2011, inclusively: what are the details of all grants and contributions and all loans to every organization, group, business or municipality, broken down by the (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency that provided the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1634---
Ms. Irene Mathyssen:
     With regard to Canada Post: (a) since January 1, 2009, how many reports or studies were undertaken by Canada Post with regards to postal banking and retail financial services, (i) what were the contents of those reports or studies, (ii) were any reports or studies incomplete, (iii) what were the contents of the final drafts of the incomplete reports or studies, (iv) which individuals or organizations were consulted, (v) which elected officials were allowed to view the contents of any reports or studies; (b) since January 1, 1997, with regard to post office locations, (i) how many post office locations have been closed, including, (ii) the year, (iii) the location address and postal code, (iv) how many moratorium lists were developed with regard to post office closures, (v) what were the post offices included in each list, including an address and postal code, (vi) who was consulted on which post offices were selected for each list, (vii) were lists provided to any federal government task forces, (viii) which lists were provided for each task force, (ix) what is the content of each list; and (c) since January 1, 2009, with regard to mailboxes designed for the public to mail letters, postcards and small packages, (i) how many have been removed, including, (ii) the year, (iii) the location, (iv) what was the criteria used to determine removal?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1635---
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
    With regard to the Urban Indigenous Strategy, formerly known as the Urban Aboriginal Strategy, from 2013 to 2018: which organizations received funding through this strategy, and how much did each receive, broken down by year?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1636---
Mr. Louis Plamondon:
     With regard to federal spending in the riding of Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel, for each fiscal year since 2010–11, inclusively: what are the details of all grants and contributions and all loans to every organization, group, business or municipality, broken down by the (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency that provided the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1644---
Ms. Niki Ashton:
     ) With regard to Aboriginal Head Start on Reserve and Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities: (a) what amount has been allocated for every fiscal year since 1996-97, broken down by (i) program, (ii) fiscal year, (iii) region, (iv) percent change year by year; and (b) what amount has been spent for every fiscal year since 1996-97, broken down by (i) program, (ii) fiscal year, (iii) region, (iv) percent change year by year?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1645---
Mr. Kennedy Stewart:
     With regard to the letter addressed to the Prime Minister dated November 2, 2017, from Canadian artificial intelligence experts, calling for an international ban on the weaponization of artificial intelligence: (a) when will the Prime Minister respond to the letter; (b) since Canada has not yet announced a national policy on these future weapons beyond a single sentence in “Strong, Secure, Engaged”, is the government working on a national policy and, if so, when will Parliament be consulted on this policy; and (c) what is the government doing to ensure Canadian artificial intelligence will not be utilized for the development of autonomous weapons, both domestically and in other countries?
    Return tabled)
Question No. 1646---
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
     With regard to the restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and the associated arrangement by which employees of the now Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) continue to contribute to the Public Service Pension Plan: what would be the annual cost to the government to continue that arrangement, broken down by category?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1648--
Mr. Dean Allison:
     With regard to all surveys conducted by the government with a cost in excess of $10,000, since January 1, 2016: what are the details of all such surveys, including (i) vendor, (ii) date and duration, (iii) questions asked, (iv) answers, findings and results, (v) file number of associated contracts, (vi) goal or rationale of survey?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1649--
Mr. Dean Allison:
     With regard to government employees, broken down by department, agency, and other government entity, and as of April 1, 2018: (a) what was the total number of employees or full-time equivalents; (b) what was the total number of employees at each Treasury Board classification level (AS-07, EX-02, etc.); and (c) what is the associated salary range of each classification level in (b)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1656--
Mr. Bev Shipley:
     With regard to the “Directive on Leave and Special Working Arrangements”: (a) how many leaves without pay were requested on or after November 4, 2015, to permit acceptance of employment in the office of the Prime Minister, a Minister, a Minister of state, a Senator or a Member of the House of Commons, broken down by the department or agency granting the leave; (b) of the requests in (a), how many were (i) accepted, (ii) rejected; (c) what are the names of the public servants who submitted a request in each (b)(i) and (ii); (d) what are the titles and units of the public servants who submitted a request in each (b)(i) and (ii); and (e) which offices did the public servants who submitted a request in each (b)(i) and (ii) join or intend to join, as the case may be?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1657--
Mr. Bev Shipley :
     With regard to exempt staff appointments under section 128 of the Public Service Employment Act: (a) how many persons currently holding an exempt staff appointment are on a leave of absence from substantive positions in the public service, broken down by minister’s office; (b) with respect to the persons referred to in (a), what are their (i) names, (ii) exempt staff position titles, (iii) position titles, organizational unit, and department or agency of the substantive public service position; (c) how many persons currently employed in substantive positions in the public service received an appointment to an exempt staff positions after November 4, 2015, broken down by current department or agency of employment; and (d) with respect to the persons referred to in (c), what are their (i) names, (ii) current position titles, organizational unit, and department or agency, (iii) titles and minister’s office of the exempt staff position?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1659--
Mr. Martin Shields:
     With regard to the trip to South Korea by the Minister of Canadian Heritage in April of 2018 to study “K-pop” music: (a) what was the Minister’s itinerary on the trip; (b) why did the Minister ignore her department’s recommendation not to take the trip; (c) excluding invoices yet to be received, what are the details of all expenditures related to the trip, including (i) vendor, (ii) date, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services; and (d) what specifically did the Minister learn about “K-pop” music on the trip which justified the associated costs?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

    Madam Speaker, finally, I would ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

  (1220)  

[English]

Federal Sustainable Development Act

     The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, be read the third time and passed.
    Resuming debate. The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton has four minutes and 50 seconds left for her speech.
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to resume my speech on C-57, an act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act.
    To give a brief recap, for those who may have missed my beginning remarks, the bill is about putting a framework in place for the government to ensure that all government activities keep sustainable development in mind. In fact, it will be extended to 90 departments of the government, with reporting back to Parliament.
    To make sure everyone understands what sustainable development is, I reviewed the definition. The important parts of sustainable development are having goals and making sure that development “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations”.
    I then went into a review of what the government's goals are. We have heard repeatedly that the environment and the economy go hand in hand and that the government has an agenda to address climate change. We were able to review the Auditor General's comments on how that is going. The Auditor General, unfortunately, did not have very good things to say about progress on climate change under the current government. The Auditor General concluded that Environment and Climate Change Canada's measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions contained in the framework had yet to be implemented. Here we are two-thirds of the way through their mandate, and the Liberals have not even implemented that.
    The Auditor General's report also said that there has been no progress. It concluded that Environment and Climate Change Canada “did not provide adequate leadership to advance the federal government's adaptation to climate change impacts.”
    That is on top of the fact that we cannot get a straight answer from the minister with respect to the greenhouse gas emissions reductions her plan, which we have not seen, and it does not look like the Auditor General has either, will make. Therefore, that is not going very well.
    In terms of the economy, $80 billion has left the energy sector, and about 100,000 energy sector jobs have been sacrificed. We also see the forestry industry impacted by the government's lack of action on softwood lumber. Of course, now we have the steel and aluminum tariffs, the elimination of the private investment of Kinder Morgan, and the cancelling of multiple projects. There is concern, as well, about the economy.
    I then went on to briefly detail the debt the government is racking up with its out-of-control spending. I really think that goes against the principle of sustainable development, which says that we are going to meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations”. This debt is definitely going to be paid for by future generations, and I think the government needs to get that under control.
    That said, I have many helpful suggestions on what the government ought to be doing with respect to climate change in the world. Canada, of course, has less than 2% of the world's carbon footprint. In terms of what we can do, we actually have a lot of technology to reduce our carbon footprint, such as carbon sequestration and some of the other green technology we have. We really should be leveraging these technologies to other countries in the world, such as China, India, Europe, and the United States, which make up about 60% of the carbon footprint.
    I then went on to talk about some things we had better prepare for, because we have seen a lot of flooding, definite changes in the permafrost, and forest fires that are larger than ever. The government needs to have a contingency plan on how it is going to address that.
    Comparing the record of the current government to the previous Conservative government, we reduced emissions, reduced taxes, and grew the economy at the same time. I think we have shown that we can do it successfully. Therefore, I would encourage the government to move along on that.
    On water, which is where I was when we paused, the Great Lakes are being remediated and need some of the $80 million that has been allocated to pay attention to that.
    That said, I am pleased that the committee's report was unanimous. I am pleased that the amendments that were brought were thoughtful, and we will be supporting Bill C-57.
    Madam Speaker, the constituents in Guelph are really excited about the developments in Sarnia. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture has been telling us about Suncor's St. Clair ethanol plant and the opportunities it brings farmers for carbon credits under the Government of Ontario's carbon credit program. The member mentioned Bio-Industrial Park Sarnia. Guelph has a net-zero water treatment plant and is using some of the technologies Sarnia is using.
     I am excited to see the clean-tech opportunities and other opportunities we can share through Bill C-57 in terms of greening our government operations. It might help us achieve the climate change goals we have together. The benefit for our communities, for our province, and for our country is something we can share between Guelph and Sarnia.
    Could the hon. member talk about the great clean-tech developments in Sarnia and how Bill C-57 might enhance the development of these types of solutions?
    Madam Speaker, the member for Guelph is right on the money in terms of the green and clean tech jobs that were created.
    Sarnia—Lambton is a hub for the bioeconomy and renewable technology. It has one of the largest solar farms in North America. It has wind power. The Lambton College research department is devoted to interesting new technology, such as vortex, which takes seawater and creates power. It has a number of sustainable smart houses and technology that can be leveraged.
    Canada is on the leading edge of this in both Guelph and Sarnia. There are things we can do within the country, but even more importantly, the real opportunity for us is to leverage this to the world. Our own footprint is so small that eliminating the whole thing would not fix climate change in any way, but we could do a lot by leveraging this kind of clean tech to the countries I mentioned. If we can get our oil to the coast and get it out to China, India, Korea, and some of the developing nations that are currently building 453 coal plants, that would go a long way, as well, in addressing the issue.

  (1225)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech and her interventions.
    Unfortunately, for the past two and a half years, we have seen the same thing, the same behaviour, over and over again from the Liberal government. Simply put, they say one thing and do another. We saw that with electoral reform. We saw that with the fight against tax havens, when they signed new agreements with new tax havens. We saw that with the promise to end subsidies for oil companies, when the government has just spent at least $4.5 billion for what is probably the largest subsidy given to an oil company in the history of Canada. We also saw that with plenty of other issues.
    On the subject of sustainable development, I would like to know whether my colleague is surprised to see that everyone agrees that this government will not meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets. The Commissioner of the Environment is extremely clear on the fact that this government is not on track to meet the sustainable development goals set by the UN. In fact, Environment Canada has no targets and no follow-up process for achieving those goals.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. Yes, I agree that this government is all talk and no action. As my colleague just said, the problem is that there is no plan in place. I do not think the government will meet its targets.

[English]

    I do not think the Liberals are going to achieve their targets. I do not think they have concrete plans. They certainly are not being open and transparent about what those plans are, the emissions reductions we are going to have, and how they are going to accomplish the commitments they have made to the world, so I am in agreement.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague talked about targets, emissions, and pollution in general in her presentation. When she looks ahead, what does she see happening to our economy, our competitiveness, our business community, our manufacturers, and our chemical industry? What will that look like when the government does not have a plan? How does it make investments? How does it react? How do the Liberals plan for the future when no leadership is being shown by the government?
    In regard to the future of a company here in Canada, without a plan, and not being competitive, why would that company invest in Canada? Why would it stay here?
    Madam Speaker, the member asked a question that strikes right to the heart of the issue. The Liberal government has created an uncertain climate for business. It has a new, long environmental approval process that is subject to the whims of the minister. That will create huge uncertainty. The government has created an uncompetitive business environment by not reacting to the lowering of taxes by the United States and to it not having a carbon tax anywhere but California.
    Once again, the Liberals have created an uncompetitive environment. They have increased the burden on small businesses in Canada. The carbon tax that will come into place at multiple, increasing levels will just continue to increase the pressure.
    Kinder Morgan is the last in a long line of signs to the government that private investment is not feeling secure in Canada. This continued uncertainty means that it will take people a long time before they return and start investing in our country.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on the hypocrisy of increasing oil production while trying to meet our Paris Agreement targets for greenhouse gas reductions.
    Does she think that purchasing a 65-year-old pipeline for $4.5 billion was a good investment, especially considering that the planned expansion project will likely cost another $7 billion and that it is taxpayers who will have to assume the risks?
    Is this not an admission of failure on all fronts on the part of the Liberal government?

  (1230)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, we need to keep in mind that this is a global problem. When we look at the Canadian oil industry, we know that we are the most environmentally savvy and the most sustainable, in terms of development, in the world. If we are going to try to truly help the world, starting in our own country to meet our targets, one of the things we could do is get off Venezuelan and Saudi Arabian oil. There is a huge credit there.
    I have already talked about how replacing oil in other countries will stop them from building these 453 coal plants that are under construction. That is a huge thing relative to the target agreements we have made as Canadians. There is a lot we could do with leveraging.
    Within our own country, there is still a lot we can do. However, we see that the carbon tax the Liberals would be implementing would not really influence behaviour. B.C. has had a carbon tax for years, and it has not seen emissions reductions. The Ontario program has exempted most of the large emitters from the program. This is just cash in the government's pockets, and it would doing nothing for the planet. I think there are solutions we can bring that really would address the problem.
    Madam Speaker, it is always wonderful to hear my colleague speak. However, I wonder if we could just go a little broader. The sustainable development goals are comprehensive and integrated. There are 17 goals and 169 targets. We have looked at our Canada child benefit, which helps reduce poverty; our budget, which looks at gender; our oceans protection plan, which looks at another goal, which is life underwater.
    Would the member not agree that our government is taking some pretty significant steps to ensure that we meet the 17 goals and 169 targets?
    Madam Speaker, I certainly agree that when there are things that are being measured, things will improve. The problem is that the government is not being open and transparent with Canadians about what the plan is, what the targets are, and what it is trying to achieve. How are we expected to know whether it is good or not, when we really see nothing going on? The Auditor General said that in her report.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-57, which amends the Federal Sustainability Act. This is a very important issue, which I will get to in a little bit.
    I want to start by saying that it is unfortunate and disgusting that we are once again under a gag order as we debate issues that are so very important not only to us as a society, but also to the future of our planet. Once again, the government is limiting the amount of time we have for debate. It is preventing parliamentarians from debating and improving this bill, to ensure that we have a strong plan for sustainable development. the Liberals are once again breaking a clear promise they made during the election campaign. They are limiting debate times, imposing a gag order on members of Parliament, and not giving us enough time to have a serious debate. Today is Friday, and this is the fifth time this week alone that the Liberals have moved a time allocation motion. For those who are not familiar with the jargon, a time allocation motion means that the government is imposing a gag order a limiting the amount of time for debate.
    I think that topics like sustainable development, the United Nations goals, and global warming should be taken seriously by the Liberal government. It should give us enough time to have a thorough, honest debate on this bill, so that we can address all of the details.
    It is so important that I am personally convinced, and many of my colleagues here share my opinion, that the environmental issues, the protection of biodiversity, and the fight against climate change are truly the challenge of our generation.
    Our children and grandchildren will judge us on our ability to deal with these challenges, our ability to ensure that we maintain a healthy environment, and our ability to prevent global temperatures from increasing by more than 2%, since that could have catastrophic consequences. I do not say that lightly. It has been scientifically proven that the earth's temperature is rising. It has also been proven that the actions of human societies, including our production and consumption activities, are mainly responsible for global warming. Our actions and our decisions are causing global warming and there are many consequences to that, including what is known as extreme weather. In some places, it is much hotter than it used to be, while in others it is much colder. On average, it is much hotter, and there has been an increase in the number and intensity of so-called natural disasters. That means there have been more floods, droughts, forest fires, and hurricanes, and those hurricanes are stronger and cause more damage. We have already seen this sort of thing in Canada. It has been documented and there are reports on the subject. Extreme weather and natural disasters are costing us more and more.
    We often hear about cost, about putting a price on pollution and the cost of making greener, more environmentally responsible choices. However, I want to make it clear that there is also a cost to doing nothing and sitting on our hands while disasters break out all around us. This is not just a financial or economic issue, it is a human issue.
    I would remind everyone here that former U.S. vice-president Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental advocacy and actions. Why did the Nobel committee decide to award a Nobel Peace Peace to someone who works on environmental and sustainable development issues? There does not seem to be a link, but in fact, there is one. In addition to extreme weather, we are now going to start seeing climate migrants. Mr. Gore was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize because it is a well-known fact that drastically higher temperatures in certain regions, deforestation, and lack of access to water will cause population displacement around the globe and turn millions of people into climate migrants.

  (1235)  

    Environmental migration can lead to conflict, even armed conflict. That is why the folks at the Nobel committee decided to recognize Al Gore on his work a number of years ago and issued a statement saying that preventing global warming might get us just a bit closer to world peace.
    Global warming also has an impact on our ecosystems here. One of our colleagues from northern Canada, the author of Bill C-262, noted that Quebec's far north now has species of birds and insects that it did not have before and that can trigger dangerous changes in the balance of certain ecosystems. Even in Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, where there are not that many ecosystems, we were forced to cut down dozens of trees because of the ash borer, an insect that did not previously exist back home. Climate change has caused the ash borer to migrate north and now it is attacking the trees.
    I was talking to a winemaker in the riding of Berthier—Maskinongé recently. He says climate change could affect wine production in Quebec because of a vine-destroying insect called phylloxera native to France and Europe. Phylloxera cannot survive our winters, but that could change as our winters warm and we get periods of milder weather. It may begin to attack our vines. Periods of milder weather have other significant impacts, too. For example, if there is a major thaw in January, the vines think spring has come and start to bud, then they freeze and die for the rest of the season.
     I wanted to share those details with the House, but I will now turn to a situation happening a long way from home. This morning on Radio-Canada, I had a chance to listen to an interview with documentary filmmaker Matthieu Rytz, who directed a documentary called Anote's Ark. Anote is the leader of a small nation, a unique population living on Kiribati, an atoll in the middle of the Pacific.
    Like many other Pacific atolls, their island is only about a metre above sea level, and sea level is already rising. If we do not meet our Paris Agreement targets and slow down global warming, the glaciers at the North and South poles will melt, causing the sea level to rise everywhere. For the people of Kiribati, it is almost too late already.
    There are other countries where we hope to avert disasters. I am thinking in particular of Bangladesh, which is already below sea level, but which may have more resources to protect its coastline. The Netherlands and Holland already have an entire infrastructure for that, but the people of Kiribati do not. It is most unfortunate.
    The documentary is called Anote's Ark because all these people plan on leaving. They are looking for somewhere else to live. They may move to Fiji, for example. They are already in negotiations to relocate to other countries. It is so tragic. Their entire way of life will disappear. It could also lead to complications and tension.

  (1240)  

    The climate migrants I mentioned earlier are a clear and typical example of the fact that this phenomenon will grow. If they are moved to another country, will a state be created within the host country, or will they simply be assimilated into the existing population? These are serious issues. What can we do to prevent this cultural diversity from disappearing? Biological diversity is important, but so is cultural diversity. We see the type of problems that this will cause.
    Before I go into the specifics of the bill, I want to point out that the Liberal government promised to put an end to oil subsidies. After two and a half years in power, it has done absolutely nothing about this. On the contrary, I believe it has just handed out the largest oil subsidy in Canada's history by writing a $4.5-billion cheque to a U.S. company to purchase a 65-year-old pipeline that is leaking, by the way.
    However, Canada pledged to participate in an accountability process adopted by the G7 and G20 to track each country's progress in reducing and gradually phasing out oil subsidies. We have received an invitation. We have already been invited to pair up with Argentina to examine each other's actions and decisions to see if we are serious and making progress. What is absolutely incomprehensible is quite simply that the Liberal government did not even respond to Argentina's invitation. Argentina is still waiting for Canada to say that it wants to partner up. As they say in Argentina, it takes two to tango, but Canada is refusing to get on the dance floor.
    More specifically, we have a government that, once again, is saying one thing but doing the opposite. The oil subsidies are a blatant example. It is sad. I would like to quote a report from the environment commissioner that clearly states that this government is not going in the right direction and that it will likely fall well short of meeting the weak targets it has set, where it even set any, that is. That is another problem. It is unfortunate that, despite the Liberals' campaign promises, they set exactly the same greenhouse gas reduction targets as the previous government and kept the very same game plan, and yet it seems Canada will not even meet those targets.
    I would like to quote the environment commissioner's report directly. It reads:
    On the basis of current federal [and] provincial...policies and actions, Canada is not expected to meet its 2020 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Meeting Canada’s 2030 target will require substantial effort and actions beyond those currently planned or in place.
     It seems pretty clear to me that we are going to miss the boat. We are going to miss the boat on what is probably the greatest challenge of this Parliament, this government, at a time when it should be leading the way and making tough decisions. It is not only the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development who is saying so. The United Nations and the OECD share the same concerns and have said that Canada will not reach its targets for 2020 or 2030. There is nothing to be proud of or to brag about here. Giving great speeches in Germany, in New York, and at the UN is all well and good, but if the government is not willing to walk the talk, there is no point. It is nothing but hot air, nothing but words, as Dalida would have said.
    As for the Federal Sustainable Development Act specifically and the fact that Canada has officially committed to achieving the United Nations' 17 sustainable development goals, once again, a report released in April by the Commissioner on Environment and Sustainable Development sounded the alarm that we are not on track to achieve them. One of the federal government's major commitments to the UN is likely to remain mere empty rhetoric if Ottawa does not take meaningful action to honour those commitments.

  (1245)  

     At a news conference in April, Julie Gelfand said that it is always worrisome when a government says that it will do something and does not do it. In one of her three annual reports, she noted that Canada is not on track to meet the 17 sustainable development goals it has promised to implement on two separate occasions since 2015. The Prime Minister himself reiterated this promise when he appeared before the UN General Assembly in September 2017.
    However, five departments responsible for implementing these goals by 2030 still have no targets and no system for monitoring progress. This is absolutely ridiculous. Ms. Gelfand also noted that there is no framework for coordinating these efforts at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Global Affairs Canada, Status of Women Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada. It is unreal.
    We are not on track to meet the goals and will not fulfill our international commitments, and the departments are so inept that they cannot establish targets or tracking systems themselves. Furthermore, one of these departments is the Department of the Environment. What a terrible message. What a joke. This is why the government's credibility on the environment leaves a lot to be desired, in spite of all their fine words.
    Bill C-57 makes a few small changes, but it is still not enough. We are missing the boat. I will come back to this if I have any time left, but this bill is basically a copy of Bill C-474, which was introduced by Liberal Party member John Godfrey and passed in 2008. The overall framework of the bill before us is extremely weak. What I am about to say may seem a bit technical, but rather than give the government an incentive to achieve a series of sustainable development targets based on certain principles, Bill C-57 merely sets out a legal framework for developing a strategy.
    That means that, once again, a framework will be created, consultations will be held, and everyone will talk about big ideas for this strategy. In the meantime, however, the concept of setting targets and figuring out how to meet them has fallen by the wayside even though those steps are key if we want to take this seriously and make things happen. Instead, they are building castles in the air, ignoring the targets, and pretending what they are doing will be good enough. We think this is a missed opportunity that could have been used to achieve so much more.
    Initially, the bill introduced and passed in 2008 proposed establishing an independent commissioner position to act as an environmental auditor general, which we currently do not have. There is no one who is entirely independent to oversee, as an auditor general does, what the government is doing on the environment. Regrettably, instead of creating that position, the bill aims simply to create a sustainable development office at Environment and Climate Change Canada, but without any real plan. Thus, the person responsible for monitoring progress on achieving the objectives will be part of the same organization that should already be tracking it anyway. I would not put a fox in charge of the henhouse. This is laughable.
    Basically, we see a few steps in the right direction, but we think it is unfortunate that the Liberals did not act on all the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, despite what the minister said earlier today.

  (1250)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech. I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of it, until he started criticizing us. It was very good and I really appreciated it. I appreciated the fact that he emphasized that we are getting wetter, warmer, wilder weather and his emphasis on climate migrants in particular. We often talk about the conflict and the situation that is created, but we sometimes forget climate migrants, so I appreciate that.
    We know that the cost, between 1983 and 2005, to Canadians was $373 million. It is now over $1 billion between 2005 and 2015. Again, as the member said, it is not just the financial cost, but the cost in terms of human lives. Climate change affects the poorest and most vulnerable, often women and children. That is why we have a feminist international assistance policy that we invested $2 billion in to ensure that we are focusing on that internationally.
    I want to focus on some of the things we did in our 2018 budget. There is $1.3 billion for biodiversity and conservation, addressing target no. 15 of the sustainable development goals. There is also target no. 14, which is addressed by the oceans protection plan, and targets no. 1 and 2 concerning poverty and hunger, which are addressed by the Canada child benefit, and I could go on. I am wondering if my hon. colleague would not agree that we have taken steps toward ensuring that we meet our sustainable development targets.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her comments. I appreciate the work that she does and the public positions she has taken.
    We agree that the federal government must put a price on pollution, on carbon. The majority of provinces already do so. In fact, 75% of Canadians already live in a province that has a carbon tax, or carbon exchange.
    However, we think that the current government could do more, which is why we are criticizing it, especially since we may not meet our 2030 and 2050 targets. There are, indeed, some measures that sometimes take us in the right direction, but the general consensus right now is that these ones fall short.
    I must also point out the flagrant contradiction between the desire to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, with the purchase of a pipeline that transports a highly polluting source of energy that will triple the production of these emissions. We are talking about the equivalent of three million more cars on the road every year. We think this is inconsistent with a plan to reduce greenhouse gases.

  (1255)  

    Madam Speaker, I commend my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie on his speech.
    Sustainable development is not an easy thing to achieve in our oil-driven country. Sustainable development means linking economic growth to environmental considerations.
    I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on the Liberals' vision of sustainable development, which I think the Prime Minister has made clear. He said that to help the environment, the Liberals plan to build more pipelines and further develop the oil sands, generating revenue that they will use to set environmental standards and fight climate change.
    Does my colleague think this reasoning holds water?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Joliette for his comments and question. I also want to thank him for his great work overall.
    He is absolutely correct about the Liberals' reasoning being contradictory. It is as if the government is telling us that we need to turn right to go left. It makes no sense. Being consistent and coherent allows us to do what needs to be done to move in a logical direction.
    Buying Kinder Morgan's project is equivalent to putting about three million more cars on the road. It is going to cost us $4.5 billion to buy a leaky old pipe, and that price does not include the expansion, which Kinder Morgan estimates will cost about $7.4 billion more. This is a project with a $12-billion or $13-billion price tag that all Canadians will have to pay for.
    We cannot help but wonder how many jobs could have been created in the renewable energy sector. Instead of expanding a pipe to carry an energy source that causes massive amounts of pollution, we could have built solar panels or wind turbines, or we could have invested in geothermal energy, tidal power, and other forms of hydroelectricity. There are plenty of things we could be doing, and other countries have shown us the way. Sadly, Canada has not yet followed their lead.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, who always conjures up images to illustrate the contradictions and absurdity of the Liberals' decisions on climate change.
    The Minister of Environment rose today to say that Bill C-57 would establish measurable plans, improved accountability, ambitious targets, and annual progress reports. However, reports prepared by the Commissioner of the Environment clearly indicate that five departments, including the Department of the Environment, have no plan and no system for monitoring progress.
    How can the minister look herself in the mirror and rise in the House to speak about climate change and sustainable development when her own department has no plan and no reporting system? That is an insult to future generations, which will have to live with the consequences of this pollution and the lack of a plan. It has already been said that inaction on climate change costs millions of dollars.
    Could my colleague perhaps explain what we should do, as a G7 country, to elevate the debate on climate change?
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Salaberry—Suroît for her concerns and her extremely relevant question.
    We have a Liberal government that contradicts itself and unfortunately does not do what it says it will. When the time comes to choose between profits and the environment, strangely enough, profits always win out.
    What needs to happen? We need to take immediate action. Experts all agree that an energy transition will not happen within a single term or within two years. It will take a whole generation. Time is of the essence. We are running out of time to stop global warming from becoming irreversible and triggering negative consequences for the entire planet.
    Last week, I attended a summit in Montreal on a fair energy transition organized by unions and environmental groups. Also in attendance were the Conseil du patronat du Québec, business people, and major investment companies, including the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Fondaction, the Mouvement Desjardins, and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
    Everyone around the table was there to discuss measures for engaging in an energy transition. Training the workforce was a dominant topic of discussion. It is one thing to say that we can do something else and use renewable energy, but we also have to train workers and show them that they will have good, clean, environmentally friendly jobs.

  (1300)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, Quebec has been a leader in Canada in terms of the carbon economy and in trading carbon credits with California. The Province of Alberta has set up a different system in which it is capping emissions. The pipeline that we have been discussing falls within those caps, and also within Canada's long-term plan to meet its climate change targets.
     Last night on social media, a constituent of mine was talking about the elimination of subsidies to the oil and gas industry. The nrcan.gc.ca website, under “Clean Energy”, spells out the reduction in subsidies by 2025, as well as the clean energy targets by 2030, when 90% of Canada's energy will be from sustainable energy. That website shows accountability for our government. Has the hon. member had a chance to look at that website?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, yes, I am familiar with that program and that website. However, the Liberal government promised to put an end to oil subsidies during its term. It plans to do that in 2025. We do not know if the Liberals will still be in power by then. Probably not, so that is not much of a commitment.
    If this government were serious, it would respond to Argentina's invitation for mutual accountability.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to split my time with my colleague, the member for Ottawa South.
    I am proud today to speak to Bill C-57, an act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, which is a really important step toward realizing this government's vision that Canada become one of the greenest countries in the world and that the quality of life of Canadians across the country continue to improve.
    In our second report, the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development worked really hard across the aisle, all parties together, to produce a report entitled “Federal Sustainability for Future Generations”. It was made clear in the report that reforms needed to be made to this law, and that is what Bill C-57 is all about.
    As I am going to explain, the amendments in the bill, in particular to the purpose of the act, clearly show that sustainable development and environment are at the forefront of our thinking and our government's decision-making as we move forward.
    First, I would like to acknowledge the considerable efforts of my colleagues on that committee, Liberal, Conservative, and NDP. The efforts were really collegial. It was my first experience working on a committee project and it was a very positive one.
     I would also like to thank the witnesses who came before the committee, many of whom had deep expertise in this area and had committed their lives to the issue of sustainable development, both domestically and internationally. Ultimately what they helped us achieve was a unanimous report that provided insight and recommendations that were instrumental in helping shape the amendments that we now see in Bill C-57.
    I want to acknowledge in particular the contributions of the Honourable John Godfrey, who is now special advisor to the Ontario government on climate change. It was John Godfrey who brought forward the original private member's bill that became the Federal Sustainable Development Act during a minority government and established the foundation for federal sustainable development strategies that are brought together by each department.
    I want to start by saying that this is about shifting toward a government culture that is reflective of the transparency and accountability that Canadians have come to expect of their governments.
    In terms of the strategy that has been developed for 2016-19, there have been improvements every single time a strategy has been brought forward; but with this one in particular, it has become a lot better. It has set the government on a path that it will follow for the next three years with a vision for sustainability, not just across Canada, one that is more ambitious and more aspirational than past strategies, but also with more specific targets. It incorporates more social and economic dimensions and includes a wider range of departments and agencies.
     That is one of the reasons we have had so much more public engagement for the 2016-19 strategy, which we consulted about for several months. There were over 540 comments delivered to the government on it.
    Bill C-57 sets the stage for the future strategies that will be brought forward by different departments and agencies and crown corporations. It is going to focus on advancing not just environmental matters, but also broader sustainable development reporting. It is going to strengthen accountability by requiring that federal organizations report annually to parliamentary committees on their sustainable development progress, which means they are going to be scrutinized publicly. That is a very good thing. It is going to let people know what their government is doing, what departments are doing to implement sustainable development, by building on a whole-of-government approach, department by department, and will enable the measurement of government's performance with specific metrics.
    Bill C-57 contains a number of new provisions that will support accountability and transparency. One of those is the principle of results and delivery, something that departments and agencies will have to take into account as they develop their own strategies, not just what they are aspiring to do, but also what are they actually going to be able to deliver. The targets they are setting will have to be measurable. They will have to be time balanced.

  (1305)  

    We are seeing a tightening of the screws around federal sustainable development strategies, and that is only a good thing.
     When an explicit role is identified in Bill C-57 for Treasury Board in establishing policies and issuing directives in relation to the impact of government operations on sustainable development, that is a positive development. I say this because many of my constituents in the Pontiac will know that every department has its own specific challenges. Every department has its own specific operations and policy issues that they need to address.
     The civil servants in my riding tell me regularly that they would like to have the opportunity to render their own departments' actions more sustainable. They know pathways, but they need the mechanisms to help get them there. They need a tougher, stronger law to make that happen. Bill C-57 would provide that. I am very confident that the hard-working civil servants in the Outaouais, in the national capital region, will be very pleased to see they will also be able to track the performance of their department, their crown corporation, the agency for which they work, as they work toward more sustainable operations.
    I said that different departments and agencies would be added to the ambit of this legislation. Right now 26 departments are participating and are named in the act. That will be increased to include contributions from 90 departments and agencies, including organizations with significant environmental footprints, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Post, etc.
    We are talking about legislation that will bring about a whole-of-government approach to achieving sustainability. That is a significant piece of our puzzle as a country. The federal government represents hundreds of thousands of employees. It represents so many dollars spent in products bought and in real estate. It is important for the entities that constitute the Government of Canada to be driving economic progress toward sustainability.
    I also want to speak about the provisions and the purpose of the act around Canada's domestic and international obligations related to sustainable development. It has been raised in the House that the 2030 agenda from the UN, the sustainable development goals and our Paris agreement, are not included in the Federal Sustainable Development Act.
    International obligations are acknowledged in the revised purpose set out in Bill C-57. This purpose reflects the government's commitment to consider current and future international sustainability obligations in the strategies that are developed. Future federal sustainable development strategies will reflect international obligations.
    I would like to speak to concrete examples of activities that the government has undertaken to demonstrate how we take our international and domestic priorities seriously, in particular the voluntary national review on the 2030 agenda and our report to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.
    Last year I had the privilege of going to New York and delivering Canada's statement before the United Nations at the high-level political conference on sustainable development goals. That was truly a special moment and an honour for me. This year our government will be back there. I expect it will be one of our ministers who delivers Canada's very first voluntary national review, reporting back on our sustainable development goals and our achievements to date, our accomplishments, but also recognizing areas where more work is needed, whether in relation to health, gender, or consultation with indigenous peoples.
    We can always do better, and better is definitely always possible in our country. We know that.
    Bill C-57 would amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act in a very positive way. I am looking forward to discussing it with my colleagues on the other side.

  (1310)  

    Madam Speaker, earlier the member for Whitby mentioned that the government had specific metrics. It would be tracking targets to see how it was doing on sustainable development. Could you elaborate on some of the specifics of what those might be?
    I am sure he will, but through me.
    The hon. member for Pontiac.
    Madam Speaker, the issue of metrics and concrete targets is an important question. It will depend department by department and issue by issue. I would expect emissions targets will be established. I certainly hope departments will evaluate the emissions associated with all their activities. However, there are a range of issues as well, such procurement and toxins. Every department has a different portfolio with respect to a series of environmental factors.
    However, it is not just about the environment. The amendments to the Federal Sustainable Development Act would enable a more comprehensive and holistic understanding of what departments would need to do to render their activities more sustainable. Whether in relation to gender or economic development, a whole suite of things will have to be looked at. It comes down to the department-by-department analysis.

[Translation]

    It being 1:15 p.m., pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 29, it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and to put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the third reading stage of the bill now before the House.
    The question is on the motion. 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:

[English]

    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 29, the division stands deferred until Monday, June 4, at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.

  (1315)  

    Madam Speaker, I suspect if you were to canvass the House, you would find unanimous consent to see the clock at 1:30 p.m. and we could begin private members' hour.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's Order Paper.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Department of Industry Act

    The House resumed from April 19 consideration of the motion that Bill C-396, an act to amend the Department of Industry Act (financial assistance), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to talk about the bill introduced by the member from Beauce concerning federal government accountability and transparency. It is an extremely important issue.
    I have to admit that it must seem a little strange, because yesterday I gave a speech in support of the member for Carleton's private member's bill, and today I am rising to support the private member's bill introduced by my colleague from Beauce. I am wondering what is happening in my political career. Perhaps it is a sign that we can rise above partisanship and support a good bill.
    I do not see how the federal government could oppose the bill in question, considering what it is about. In fact, it would provide a better mechanism to monitor the repayment of loans made to certain companies. It is not very complicated. It is a fairly simple process that would address the concerns of Canadians who want to know how their money is spent and when it will be repaid. When I read the bill, I was surprised that there was no such process in place.
    I get the impression that the other side holds the opposite view, so I look forward to hearing what they have to say. That is why we have debates in the House. I expect people to contradict me. I am a good sport, and I am prepared to look at the facts. However, I think that we, the 338 parliamentarians here, should all agree that the need for accountability and transparency is completely normal. That is what Canadians expect. The responsible thing to do is not to give loans to companies without monitoring them very closely so that those loans do not turn into long-term subsidies.
    There are times when it is right for the government to intervene. It is normal for the government to play a role in stimulating the economy and helping an economic or industrial sector. It is normal for the government to lend a helping hand to a company that is struggling because of a recession, a difficult situation, or a crisis. Obviously, as New Democrats, we agree with that, but we also want the government to act responsibly and transparently and to make all of the information available.
    In keeping with that train of thought, I would like to take this opportunity to talk about economic sectors that sometimes experience crises. Let us talk about the steel and aluminum sectors. Since yesterday, we have been in a trade war with our number one partner, the United States. President Trump has just improperly, illegitimately, and likely illegally, under the rules of NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, imposed huge tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum.
    We are pleased that the government is standing up and retaliating on that. It is not the ideal situation. It would have been better if we could have avoided this situation entirely, because it will harm not only workers and companies on both sides of the border, but also consumers, who may quite literally have to pay the price. What I mean by that is that the price of certain things is going to go up.
    We are very pleased with the government's forceful response. That is what we expected, and we believe it is the right thing to do, but we want this war to end.
    In the meantime, how does the government plan to help workers in those two sectors? Those workers will very likely experience work shortages, lost contracts, and probably temporary or permanent layoffs. Does the government have a plan to help workers in the steel and aluminum sectors deal with this?

  (1320)  

    This is kind of like what we went through in the forestry sector not long ago. We are still in a trade war with the United States over softwood lumber.
    It is at times like these that, as a state, as the instrument of the people, we must have the power to intervene and provide loans, loan guarantees, and subsidies. However, getting back to the bill introduced by the member from Beauce, we also need to be kept in the know so we can be sure we have all the information months and years down the line.
    We need clarity and transparency about where the money goes, how it is spent, and when and how it is supposed to be paid back, because these are loans, not subsidies. This private member's bill will cost taxpayers nothing and will ensure greater transparency.
    The government seems to be saying that this process already exists and that the bill is unnecessary. I am looking forward to my colleague's speech on that.
     I would also really like more clarity and transparency around the inappropriate and unjustified multi-billion-dollar investment in buying the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan. The people of this country need to be in the know about that too.
    This is a public bailout for specific companies. The government has just written a $4.5-billion cheque to an American company from Texas for a 65-year-old pipe. We think that is huge. There was really no transparency from the government on this decision. Thinking back to the 2015 election campaign and the debates with the Liberal candidates on Montreal Island, I do not remember hearing them say anything about writing multi-billion-dollar cheques to private companies that got cold feet. They never said that the sky is the limit and that they would squeeze us dry and pay whatever it takes to move forward.
     Their stubborn attitude goes against all of our greenhouse gas reduction and climate change goals.
    I think this is one of the strongest examples of the government's lack of transparency right now. First of all, this was not in the Liberals' electoral platform, and they gave us no warning. Canadians are feeling betrayed and misled. What is more, judging from the reactions we have seen in the community, people are angry today, and so are we.
    Secondly, we do not know where this will stop, because the $4.5 billion will pay for the existing equipment, the pipeline, and the terminals. It will not create any jobs, because it does not include any construction. It only covers existing equipment.
    Kinder Morgan calculated that it would take about $7.4 billion to proceed with the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, on top of the $4.5 billion. This gives us a total of about $12 billion, assuming nothing goes wrong.
    We have already seen projects where the initial estimates for the construction costs were wildly off the mark.
    How far is the Liberal government prepared to go with this venture? This whole scheme is a disaster on multiple levels, including respect for provincial jurisdictions, compliance with treaties signed with indigenous communities, adherence to our greenhouse gas reduction targets, and shoreline protection.
    In British Columbia, every coastal community is extremely worried because there will be three to four times as many supertankers navigating the beautiful waters of British Columbia. We are talking about roughly 400 tankers a year. Many people are concerned about that especially since we are not talking about traditional oil here. We are talking about bitumen, which sinks to the bottom rather than float on the surface of water. No one knows how to clean it up in the event of a spill.
    I would like the Liberal government to show more transparency on that as well.

  (1325)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am proud to rise today to speak to Bill C-396, an act to amend the Department of Industry Act regarding financial assistance. I was honoured to accept an invitation to speak to this private member's bill proposed by my colleague, the hon. member for Beauce, whom I proudly serve with on the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.
    This bill is an important step toward ensuring accountability when taxpayer resources are used to subsidize private companies, whether through loans or other guarantees. The purpose of this bill is to ensure that companies that receive repayable financial assistance provide that information to the government so that it can be publicly shared with Canadians.
    Currently, when the Canadian government subsidizes through repayable assistance, Canadians have little means of knowing whether those companies have repaid their loans to taxpayers. This lack of accountability means that the government can extend taxpayer resources with little oversight from parliamentarians and Canadians. This lack of transparency is a scandal waiting to happen. I believe this simple legislation can help ensure that resources are being spent in an appropriate manner so that Canadian taxpayers can have the confidence that they will be repaid.
    Canadians' hard-earned tax dollars are being used to offer loans to corporations. Therefore, Canadians have a right to transparency on how those companies will pay the loans back. No bank would loan money to anyone without a reasonable expectation of return and a plan to have those funds repaid, yet all too often what starts off as a government loan very quickly becomes a government grant. If Canadian taxpayers are expected to get in the business of financing private ventures, every taxpayer, like a shareholder in any private company, deserves quarterly reports on how those resources are being spent.
    One case in particular comes to mind when debating this issue: the repayable loan of $375 million over four years paid to Bombardier by the Liberal government. This payment may have been necessary to support a Canadian company, but surely taxpayers are owed accountability in terms of how these funds are being spent and how they will be repaid. When my hon. colleague from the Beauce asked the government for further information on the terms and conditions of this loan payment, he was denied that information. In effect, Canadians were denied the right to judge the government on its use of taxpayer resources.
    Now let us look at what has changed since then. In the last two years, Bombardier's share price has significantly improved, more than doubling, and yet Canadians do not have the information to judge whether the investment in loans by the federal government was worth the cost. In fact, there has been considerable movement on this file, as the C Series jet, which the government spent hundreds of millions to invest in, was bought by European conglomerate Airbus, after struggling to reach sales targets. Jobs and investment have now left Canada, and facilities to construct these taxpayer-subsidized jets are being built in Alabama. Canadians deserve to know how companies that receive taxpayer funds will pay back those funds and how they will be using those funds.
    The case of Bombardier is certainly not isolated. In fact, nearly 200 companies have received $700 million of taxpayer assistance, but other than that headline number, there is little accountability to taxpayers. How many jobs are these projects creating? How much are these investments stimulating our economy? When will those loans be repaid to the taxpayer? These are all good questions, questions that could be better answered should Bill C-396 be passed.
     I want to take a second to recognize that government investment can be very necessary in limited circumstances. I think of the bailout of our auto industry during the last financial crisis, when the previous Conservative government invested in shares that provided value to taxpayers, saved jobs in Ontario and across Canada, and ensured that automotive investment stayed in Canada. Canadians have a right to information regarding these deals because an informed citizenry is essential to a healthy democracy.
    I am proud of the work that my colleague, the hon. member for Beauce, did when he served as the industry minister in 2006 and 2007. He published information regarding these loans: the amount and the conditions for repayment. Due to this, many of the companies actually started repaying their loans due to public pressure.
     I understand that there may be some worries about Canada's competitive advantage should this legislation pass. However, the principle of accountability must trump all other considerations. In fact, I believe that accountability is a foundational principle for all actions undertaken by government. If Canada demonstrates an increased level of openness and transparency, we can set an example for other nations. This accountability will ensure that government undertakes financial assistance activities that meet the appropriate threshold under international law, and that we can be certain that these will be good subsidies. This is an example that Canada should set, and the world should follow.

  (1330)  

    Many times Canadian companies, like Bombardier, are unfairly attacked by foreign competitors that receive subsidies from their respective governments. If Canada passes Bill C-396, we will be showing the world that we have nothing to hide when we provide financial assistance to our companies.
    There are many cases where financial assistance to companies can even achieve legitimate policy ends. I think of the construction of railroads across our great nation that could not have been achieved without significant government support. There is no reason why this financial support cannot provide a net benefit to taxpayers.
     For example, in May 2013, Sandvine Incorporated was given a loan of $9.5 million and later paid back $14 million. Not only were taxpayers given their money back, but the deal helped this company generate jobs and create economic value for Canadians.
    We must always place as a priority, however, that governments are not driven by political consideration or emotion but instead by hard facts. Providing grants or so-called repayable loans to private companies should be absolutely the last resort. Instead, governments should seek to build the foundation that allows private investment to thrive in an environment that emphasizes free markets.
     It is not the job of the government to pick winners and losers. If the Liberals have decided they want to pick winners with taxpayer money, the least they can do is provide transparency on how taxpayers will be repaid. This bill would create that transparency and would provide accountability for companies so they would be compelled to repay their loans, rather than hiding in the darkness of government secrecy.
    I suspect the Liberal government will vote against this bill to provide greater transparency, which is a real shame. The Liberal Party campaigned on doing politics differently. Sadly, as soon as the dust settled after the election, we quickly realized it was business as usual with the same old Liberal Party. The train of pork emanating from the government is simply astounding. At a time of global economic expansion, foreign investment is leaving our country at a record pace and the Liberals are using taxpayer resources to try to stem the tide, unsuccessfully. The problem is that when the economy is growing, it is fairly easy to run deficits, but when the economy inevitably contracts, the taxpayer will be left on the hook for these loans.
    During the last economic crisis, the Conservatives acted in the national interest and injected an unprecedented amount into our economy. We saved our auto industry and ensured our country became the first out of the G7 to come out of the recession. That is a record of which we can be proud.
     Let us remember, however, that this fiscal flexibility was only possible because of decades of Liberal and Conservative fiscal prudence. That fiscal prudence balanced Canada's budget in 2015 and would have ensured that Canada would be well placed to weather future economic storms.
    Unfortunately, the government has used these good economic times to expand spending at a rate that goes beyond sustainability. It is replacing private investment with taxpayer funds, but without the same oversight that investors in private companies can expect.
     Bill C-396 is an important step. When Canadians get transparency and accountability, they can judge the government's actions. When decisions are made in a shrouded manner, it takes an extraordinary amount of effort by taxpayers and parliamentarians to get to the truth. The government counts on this lack of transparency to get away with giving repayable loans that are often or never repaid, loans which Canadians have a right to examine and question.
    I strongly support Bill C-396. As accountability is the foundation of a free and democratic society, so too is the right of Canadians to examine and pass judgment on government assistance to private companies.

  (1335)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech and for admitting that the government could invest in the economy.
    Our government recognizes the importance of innovation as a critical tool for business growth. That is why, like many other industrialized countries around the world, we are offering a financial solution to companies that want to grow, access new markets, and develop technologies that will benefit an innovation-based economy.
    Our innovation and skills plan establishes a long-term economic vision for Canada that is fuelled by innovation, strong growth, talent, and a collective will to ensure that no one is left behind.
    In order to successfully implement the innovation and skills plan, we have to find new ways to reflect how governments support and stimulate economic growth that is inclusive through greater harmonization, better collaboration, and a strategic approach for supporting innovation in every region of Canada.

[English]

    Let me be clear. This is not corporate welfare or subsidies for big business. This is smart investment in Canada's businesses, in Canada's people, and in Canadian ideas from coast to coast to coast. These investments will create thousands of middle-class jobs and, in particular, create the economy that we want to have both now and for our children and grandchildren. The support provided by government is done with a merit-based approach and focused on specific projects with results and goals set out clearly.

[Translation]

    Members should note that this support is provided in an open and transparent manner, and in accordance with proactive disclosure requirements for grants and contributions that enhance the transparency and oversight of public resources.
    Our government's proactive disclosure requirements already meet, and in many cases exceed, the requirements set out in Bill C-396. For example, the member for Beauce said that before, “...taxpayers could go to the department's website and find out which companies had received financial assistance [and] how much they received...”.

[English]

    I am surprised that the member opposite is not aware that this has been the Government of Canada's practice since 2006, and it is still the practice. In fact, under this government, these requirements have been enhanced.

[Translation]

    Since April 1, agencies, crown corporations, and federal departments have been following the new guidelines on the reporting of grants and contributions awards. The new guidelines set clear and explicit requirements for federal agencies with respect to the proactive disclosure of their grants and contributions, and these requirements largely exceed those set out in the bill before us. The guidelines take a whole-of-government approach instead of targeting a single federal department.
    All information on federal government grants and contributions will be posted at www.open.canada.ca. Canadians will have access to a single site where they can better monitor how the government is using public resources.
    The amount of information to disclose increased considerably, with respect to both the previously announced requirements and the requirements set out in Bill C-396. From now on, federal agencies will have to disclose much more information for each disclosure. This includes a more detailed section on the objective of the awards, the expected results, and the recipient. The bill we are debating today does not contain such explicit requirements.
     In addition, if the bill is passed, these publication requirements will be strengthened and modernized by Bill C-58, an act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts, currently before the Senate. Bill C-58 introduces the legislative requirement for the proactive publication of grants and contributions in line with the new guidelines that I just outlined.
    I also want to clarify a few things regarding some of the statements made in previous discussions on Bill C-396. More specifically, I would like to revisit something the member for Beauce said, specifically that Industry Canada publishes individual loan agreements, or repayable contribution agreements, including the specific terms and conditions of repayment. That is one of the requirements that Bill C-396 aims to impose on Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
    I want to make it very clear that ISED, the former Industry Canada, has never published the terms and conditions of individual funding agreements or the agreements themselves. The ISED website contains general documents on the terms and conditions as well as program guides that include information on the repayment of funding contributions. This gives Canadians some idea of the government's objectives and needs when public resources are used to support businesses and it gives businesses an overview of the kinds of measures that might be used to determine their repayment schedule.
    By contrast, Bill C-396 requires the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development to publish information on individual agreements, thereby forcing the government to publish sensitive, confidential commercial information on private Canadian businesses. That information could potentially be used by a domestic or foreign competitor to undermine the competitiveness of Canadian firms in the global innovation economy.

  (1340)  

[English]

    This would be of particular concern to smaller, privately owned businesses that are not already required to publicly report on things like revenues and expenditures in the same way as publicly traded companies. These are matters of privacy and security that we need to contend with as well.
    In essence, Bill C-396 would place undue disclosure requirements on individual Canadian businesses, and compromise their competitive position in the market. I, for one, would like the member opposite to explain why he thinks it is okay to impose undue regulatory burdens on businesses, especially our small and medium-sized businesses. In fact, they are the largest receivers of government investment, which they using to try to scale up and grow their businesses right here in Canada, as opposed to moving elsewhere.
    The newly implemented proactive publication requirements for grants and contributions, as well as Bill C-58, fully support the principles of greater transparency and accountability with respect to the use of public money, without unduly imposing transparency requirements on private businesses and organizations.
    In summary, Bill C-396 would not improve the government's proactive publication practices as intended, and would undermine the government's efforts to collaborate with Canadian businesses that benefit Canada by generating investment, developing new technologies, and enhancing Canadian innovation capacity and expertise.
    Since forming government in 2015, we have taken concrete action to ensure greater openness and transparency, without compromising business confidence. While the member for Beauce presents the bill under the veil of openness and transparency, we all know that its real purpose is ideological. That member is fundamentally opposed to the idea of taxpayer dollars going to Canadian businesses. His position is clear: he does not believe in investing in the people, ideas, and innovations of Canadian businesses. What is not clear is if he speaks on behalf of his party.
    The member for Beauce also questions the relevance and importance of the work carried out by our regional development agencies and their support for small and medium-sized businesses across Canada, support that we have increased as a government. Of course, that is his prerogative, but it is also unclear whether that is the position of his leader and his party, which is especially interesting because he is also the Conservative Party's official critic of ISED and a member of the industry committee. Do they view investing in Canadian businesses as corporate welfare? Certainly we do not.
    For all those reasons, our government cannot support this bill. We are going to keep supporting Canadians and Canadian businesses.

  (1345)  

    Madam Speaker, I must say that the hon. member across the way has an interesting definition of “competitive advantage”. He is saying that when the government gives independent corporations funds, they do not have to disclose a repayment schedule because that might somehow limit their competitive advantage. I would argue that they have a significant competitive advantage, because the taxpayer just gave them a loan and we have no idea whether it is ever going to be repaid.
    Before I go any further in my speech, I want to congratulate friends of mine, Austin and Charis Olij, who had a new baby girl, Brianna. I just want to tell the new little girl that she is already $22,000 in debt, thanks to the national government. However, she is also the proud owner of a pipeline right here in Canada. I congratulate the Olijs on their new little baby girl, and I congratulate the new little girl on being heavily indebted and the owner of a pipeline already.
    Mr. John Brassard: It makes you want to cry.
    Mr. Arnold Viersen: As my hon. colleague from Barrie—Innisfil said, it makes you want to cry. I thought for sure I had to get that in there.
     Madam Speaker, I shake my head again at the comments made earlier about the competitive advantage. What is really interesting is that if we look over the list of all the companies that we have given millions of dollars to over the years, we see that the government has done business with them as well. It is interesting that not only do we give them big subsidies, or “loans” that have never been repaid, but we also do significant business with them as well.
     One of these companies is IBM. Members might be familiar with IBM. It is a very old company. It made its fortune during the lead-up to and during the Second World War. I believe it is the company that is at the centre of the Phoenix fiasco.
    Here we are paying out $33 million to IBM. Has that money ever been repaid? We do not know. Will it ever be repaid? We also do not know. Therefore, I commend the member for Beauce for bringing this particular bill forward, because it has highlighted for me how we have given certain companies in this country a significant competitive advantage.
    We often have a very rigorous competition when we hand out contracts. I understand that this was done in the case of Phoenix. When a company lands a government contract, it becomes quite a player in its particular industry. A company that has a government contract will often go out and market that fact. I see all the time companies saying that they have contracts with the Department of National Defence. They wear it as a badge of honour. However, we have not only given IBM contracts; we have also given IBM $33 million with no repayment schedule that we, as the taxpayers of Canada, can see.
    Another one on this list is $4.5 million for Lockheed Martin Canada. I thought that was fairly interesting. I understand we may have given Lockheed Martin this money for the work that we had done collectively with a number of other countries when we were developing the F-35. This money may have been a gift for the development work that Lockheed Martin needed to do. I do not know for sure. However, what we do know is that the government has ignored the F-35. Here is this big gift of money to Lockheed Martin, and we have no idea whether we are ever going to get it back. We certainly will not be buying F-35s at this moment, so that money seems to have gone off to develop airplanes for the world. I know that many of our allies are using that airplane, but I do not see that we are necessarily getting a great return on investment for that one as well.
    Another one that was interesting to me was Navstar Canada, Inc. If I understand correctly, these are the folks who build heavy-duty trucks. I thought that was interesting.

  (1350)  

    I used to work in the automotive field. I worked on diesel pickups for most of my life before I got here. I am familiar with Navistar. I believe it provided engines for Ford pickup trucks. It is interesting to see that Navistar received a loan at some point in 2005 of $30 million. To its credit, it paid some off. From the sheet I am looking at right now, it looks like it paid off a whole $410. Over the last 10 years or so, it has paid off $410. That is significant. It was one of the interesting numbers, because it actually changed, unlike a lot of the numbers I have gone through. For example, the government gave MDS Aero Support Corporation $6.1 million in 1997, and the books show that it still owes $6,100,000.
    I again commend the member for Beauce for bringing this forward and for bringing it to my attention. Corporate welfare is one of my great frustrations, particularly from the Government of Canada, regardless of political stripe.
    I congratulated my friend Austin earlier. He is a mechanic in northern British Columbia. I do not know exactly what he makes, but as someone who has worked in the field before, I imagine that he pays probably $12,000 in income tax every year, and probably about $7,000 to $10,000 of that is federal income tax.
    We can see how many mechanics it would take to pay those kinds of numbers, when we are dealing with Navistar Canada's $30 million. It would take a lot of mechanics working across the country to pay that $30 million.
    We have heard about trips that have been taken by people here that have cost taxpayers $200,000. When we break that down into the average automotive mechanic's contribution to the federal coffers, it works out to 200 mechanics working all year to pay for the Prime Minister's trip.
    What is even more egregious about this is that in some cases, people who are working in the world of commerce are competing in the marketplace only to have their tax dollars, the money they worked all year for, go directly to their competition. I have a good example of this in my riding. The government gave a grant for last-mile Internet. One particular company got a $2-million grant to bring the Internet. It caused competition with the folks who were already operating in that space and had been there for 30 years. A new company that received a large grant from the government is now competing with the mom-and-pop shops that had been operating there for over 30 years.
    That grates on me incredibly. Folks have worked hard for a very long time to build the basic infrastructure for the Internet in northern Alberta, only to have larger companies come in that have good grant writers and that get government grants and then compete in exactly the same space with exactly the same products.
    In this particular case, a constituent of mine was servicing several hundred farmyards and acreages in northern Alberta, and he was able to provide adequate Internet service for about $69.99. The other company, which received a large grant from the government, came in and for $39.99 was able to provide the same Internet service. It basically put the other guy out of business. He had to do other things.
    This is where government subsidies are a real frustration, particularly where I come from in northern Alberta. We are a free market place. We typically like that. When it comes to the Internet, there is a lot of competition, and that has driven the government down, for sure.
    I thank the member for Beauce again for bringing this legislation forward. I am very disappointed to hear that the government is not going to support the bill, although I am sure we have achieved something just by getting this list out.

  (1355)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I will start by saying that I am somewhat disappointed with my Liberal colleague's position on this bill, given that it has the support of those on the left in the NDP and those on the right in the Conservative Party.
    In Canada, it is a good sign when those on the left and socialists support a bill that limits corporate handouts to businesses. That is good news. This bill ensures that there is greater transparency concerning the amounts and the financial grants or contributions that the government gives to major corporations.
    What is a little disappointing is that these corporations currently receive assistance from the Canadian government. We are told that they receive repayable loans and contributions. However, when we take a look at the numbers, more than 200 companies in Canada received millions of dollars in loans. We might be talking about $300 million or $60 million. In fact, $702 million was paid out to companies, but we do not know if this contributions were repaid. Some of these loans date back to 1997. Why do we not know if they were repaid?
    It is true. My colleague was quite right in saying that when individual loans are repaid, the repayment is indicated on the department's website. However, there are no further details for some loans. I will quote what it says on the government website. There is no information about the repayment of certain loans because this:

[English]

     “Indicates that the company has not provided ISED with an authorization to disclose repayment information.”

[Translation]

    What we take from that is that the companies themselves are the ones who decide whether they want their loan repayment to be made public or not. That should not be the case. That is taxpayers' money, and Canadians have the right to know what is happening with it and whether it was paid back or not. That is what this bill seeks to do. It is a very clear and simple bill.
    Under the bill, when a company like Bombardier or ABM receives financial assistance from the government, the government must, within 90 days, publish on its website the amount of the loan and the insurance provided to the company by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, as well as the type of insurance provided, whether loan or credit insurance. We want to know the missing details, which would tell us about all of the loans made, the loan insurance or credit insurance provided, and the grants awarded, as well as the circumstances of the loan and the terms and conditions of repayment. The government does not want to go along with that.
    Indeed, the government does not want to share that information, claiming that it could be part of a company's trade secrets. I really do not believe that a loan repayment and the repayment conditions are part of a company's trade secrets. The repayment method and schedule are not trade secrets. That should be public, since the money given to those companies comes from all taxpayers.
    This is unfair for small businesses, especially businesses in Beauce and the other regions of Canada, which are forced to pay taxes and, at the end of the day, never receive any of these loans. We want to know whether they are loans or grants. If financial assistance has not been repaid after 20 years, why was it not paid back? What were the repayment terms and conditions? That is what we do not know. That is what the bill calls for. It is a very simple piece of legislation.
    I am very disappointed that the government is not being more transparent and is letting big corporations decide whether taxpayers will get any information about repayment of those loans. That is a real shame.
    The Liberal Party and the government could have been more open with taxpayers and proven that the $702 million handed over to companies over the past few years were not grants, but were indeed repayable loans with repayment conditions. Now Canadians are wondering about the $702 million. The fact that we do not know the repayment arrangements suggests to me that the money was given to those businesses.

  (1400)  

    Since we do not know how the money is supposed to be repaid, that means it was a grant. This is a real letdown.

[English]

     The question is on the motion. 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: In my opinion the nays have it.
    And five or more members having risen:
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Pursuant to an order made on Tuesday, May 29, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, June 6, at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.
     It being 2:03 p.m., the House stands adjourned until next Monday at 11 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).
     (The House adjourned at 2:03 p.m.)
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