|| That, in the opinion of the House, being a global climate change leader and building a clean energy economy means: (a) investing in clean, renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal as well as investing in energy efficient technologies that create good quality, long-lasting jobs for today's workers and future generations; (b) putting workers and skills training at the heart of the transition to a clean energy economy so workers don't have to choose between a good job and a healthy environment for themselves and their families; and (c) not spending billions of public dollars on increasingly obsolete fossil fuel infrastructure and subsidies that increase greenhouse gas emissions and pollution and put Canadians' health and Canada's environment, coastlines, waterways, and wildlife, as well as Canada's marine and tourism jobs at risk.
He said: Mr. Speaker, let me begin by saying that I will be sharing my time with my hon. colleague from . I look forward to hearing her remarks.
I join all my colleagues in the NDP caucus in being extremely proud of dedicating our time today to a fundamental debate and to a crucial societal choice that will have an effect on future generations for years to come. This debate cannot be taken lightly. I cannot stress enough what a big responsibility we have. I really want to emphasize the word “responsibility”. We have a responsibility to the world and to humankind with respect to our actions on environmental protections, global warming, and climate change in general.
Like many progressives and environmentalists, I believe that future generations will judge us on what we did or did not do to combat climate change, in order to prevent natural disasters, the emergence of climate migrants, and the destruction of a large part of our ecosystems and environment. It is our responsibility, and this the most important thing we can bequeath to our children and grandchildren.
For this reason, our debate must be sensible, reasonable, and calm, and we must all recognize the scope of the actions and decisions we may or may not take today and consider whether we are doing enough.
Our country engaged in a vital process to control our greenhouse gas emissions and prevent global warming. An increase of more than two degrees above the 1990 mean temperature would lead to extremely detrimental—and irreversible—situations for many countries, and quite likely for the entire planet.
That is why this motion moved by the NDP is asking all parliamentarians in the House to take action and send a message that we have to start engaging in this green shift now and creating jobs for today and for the future. We have to start right now and make appropriate and massive investments in training workers to ensure that they will have a good job in the future, perhaps not in the same energy sector as before, but in another energy sector or maybe in another industry. We must ensure they can continue to earn good wages, pay their rent, buy their groceries, and send their children to university. This is a comprehensive motion because it mentions the environment and also good jobs and the investments required.
I come back to the investments because there have been a few recently. Unfortunately, they are way off track from what the rest of the planet is doing to begin a green shift consistent with the objectives set at various summits held around the world, the last one being in Paris. Unfortunately, every independent observer sees that the Liberal government is clearly veering away from the targets set in the Paris Agreement. We will be unable to do our part to control or limit greenhouse gas emissions. It is our responsibility. I want to stress that.
I do not understand how the Liberal government can say one thing and do another, when there is so much at stake both for the Pacific peoples, whose entire countries, islands, could be swallowed up by the sea, and for us, who could see climate extremes that would cost us billions of dollars due to droughts, forest fires, and floods. These phenomena are on the rise and will become increasingly frequent if we do nothing. It will be very costly.
When it comes to the process, I come back to the Liberal government buying the old Trans Mountain pipeline that belonged to Kinder Morgan not so long ago. On the issue of process alone, there was no public debate to determine whether Canadians agreed, or not, with investing $4.5 billion to buy a 65-year old pipeline that is already leaking.
That is without counting the $7.4 billion that Kinder Morgan expected it would cost to triple its capacity to produce and transport raw bitumen, which is extremely hazardous to the environment and hard to recover in the event of a spill in a river or the ocean. There was no public debate, no commitments or promises from the Liberal government, or even any debate in the House. We, the 338 parliamentarians, were not consulted in any way, shape, or form about the merits of this investment.
I talked a little bit about our responsibility to our environment, our planet, and our ecosystems. I just want to come back to the business case of buying out oil sector infrastructure when just last weekend, a very interesting study was published by the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research, which is affiliated with the University of Cambridge in England. According to the study's findings, we are living in a carbon bubble right now, similar to the housing bubble of the past few years or the tech bubble in the stock market. We are in a carbon bubble right now because a decline in global demand for oil is inevitable. It is coming. From that point on, the value of oil-related infrastructure will crumble completely. The University of Cambridge study predicts that this carbon bubble will probably burst between 2030 and 2050. The resulting loss of investment would amount to trillions of dollars, a figure that is unfathomable to me and, I suspect, to most of us.
Is it reasonable to make an investment of at least $12 billion in public funds knowing that our purchase will be completely worthless in 10, 15, or 20 years? That pales in comparison to the more productive, job-creating investments that could be made in renewable energy, in a just transition for workers, and in skills training that would make our country a world leader. We are currently lagging behind. When we look at the global energy markets and the production of renewable energy, Canada is lagging behind the other OECD countries, and that gap is getting bigger and bigger. This investment, which goes against everything the Liberal Party said it would do during the election campaign, will widen that gap even further and increase our greenhouse gas emissions. Making this investment is tantamount to putting 3 million more cars on the road, and it will be practically worthless one generation from now.
When the world demand for oil plummets—and it will, because countries all over the world, including Germany, Spain, and Denmark, are making increased investments in renewable energy—there will be other options. There will be other more environmentally responsible options. When the demand drops and the demand for oil on the global market is very low, people will obviously go looking for the cheapest oil available. That is Saudi Arabia's oil or Venezuela's, not ours. Canadian oil is likely some of the priciest oil in the world. This investment does not many any sense. It does not hep to protect the environment. It does not help to protect British Columbia's Pacific coast. It does not constitute good use of public funds, and it is not a responsible vision for the future. It does not ensure that we are among the countries that can produce renewable energy and create good jobs in that field.
Mr. Speaker, it is my honour and privilege to rise to speak to the motion brought forward by our party.
Why are we hearing increased calls for a just transition in energy, and what is the trigger? As my colleague clearly stated, this transition is being driven by a rapid-paced shift in energy investments away from non-renewable power to renewable power sources. IRENA, which I am happy to hear Canada has finally joined again after three years, reports that 60% of all new power generation capacity deployed worldwide has been in renewable power. That is the direction.
While investments have slightly fallen off recently, $263 billion U.S. was invested in renewable energy capacity in 2016, and the capacity continues to build. In fact, we need less investment because the costs are declining, and policy shifts toward cleaner energy are actually driving that. IRENA reports that the greatest investor in renewable power has been the east Asia-Pacific, with China as the main driver, as well as Japan, South Korea, and Israel.
Canada has also committed to deep carbon cuts, along with other nations, to address climate change and to reduce harmful pollution from burning fossil fuels. Along with its G20 partners, it promised to end perverse subsidies to fossil fuels. However, it is clearly failing to deliver, with the recent billions invested in a pipeline.
Some provinces have already committed to a substantial percentage of renewable energy generation, for example Alberta to 30% and Saskatchewan to 50% by 2030, which will mean a lot of deployment of renewable energy.
American think tanks are determining that a clean energy portfolio combining energy efficiency, reduced demand, storage, and renewables is the lowest-cost option to retire thermal electric, and is even better, cost-wise, than natural gas.
Globally, the renewable energy sector employed 8.1 million workers in 2015 alone, with an additional 1.3 million workers employed in large hydro power. The CLC has reported that, as early as 2013, 37% more Canadians were working in the renewable sector than in 2009, which amounts to over 2,000 jobs. Germany has just committed to a more fast-paced phase-out of its coal power and greater reliance on renewables, in parallel with a just transition strategy for its workers. Across the EU, renewable energy is on track to be 50% of the energy supply by 2030. As I suggested, this is the growing workforce of the world.
This is what sustainability looks like. How do we get there? Why is federal action for a just transition for workers necessary? Without foresight and action now, there is a real potential for stranded workers and stranded communities. A just transition will not happen by itself. Many are already being laid off with the downturn in world oil prices and divestment by major players. Workers, their families, and their communities are stressed. It is critical to commit to a transparent, inclusive planning process that includes measures to prevent fear, opposition, and intercommunity and generational conflict. People need to see a future that allows both security and genuine opportunity. With deeper investments in renewable power sources and energy efficiency measures, we need parallel investments in training and retraining.
As Samantha Smith of the Just Transition Centre said in a report to the OECD:
|| A just transition ensures environmental sustainability as well as decent work, social inclusion and poverty eradication. Indeed, this is what the Paris Agreement requires: National plans on climate change that include just transition measures with a centrality of decent work and quality jobs.
The ILO director general said:
|| Environmental sustainability is not a job killer, as it is sometimes claimed. On the contrary, if properly managed, it can lead to more and better jobs, poverty reduction and social inclusion.
As early as 2012, the International Energy Agency, in its “World Energy Outlook”, said:
|| Energy efficiency is widely recognised as a key option in the hands of policy makers but current efforts fall well short of tapping its full economic potential.... [T]ackling the barriers to energy efficiency investment can unleash this potential and realise huge gains for energy security, economic growth and the environment.
I might add, for job creation. Globally, the renewable energy sector employs millions of workers.
Who has been calling for action by the federal government on just transition? At the last two COP gatherings of world leaders on climate, the featured topic for workers and the public was a call for investment in a just transition for workers and communities.
At the eleventh hour, at the last COP in Berlin, Canada's was pressured to commit to action. The minister finally, in the third year of the government's mandate, created an advisory committee. The last three budgets have made zero reference to a just transition, and zero dollars have been committed specifically to targeted skills training for the new energy economy.
I will quote the Canadian Labour Congress. It said:
|| Climate change is real, and its impact on working people and their children will be immense. No amount of wishful thinking will make this challenge disappear, and we have limited time to adapt to changes and prevent further damage....Business-as-usual policies and relying on market incentives will simply not spur this transition with the speed and scale required to avoid catastrophic climate change. And they will certainly not deliver fairness for workers and their communities.
Who are these workers and what are their demands? They are oilfield and gas workers. They are coalfield workers. They work in coal-fired power plants. They are seeking job security in this evolving clean energy economy.
I will share just a couple of those stories, which have been compiled by Energy & Earth.
D. Lee, a unionized trades worker, said:
|| My work history involves field level oil extraction jobs on drilling rigs and other field services for those drilling rigs. I have become an electrician so that I can participate in the world's energy revolution.
Liam Hildebrand, a boilermaker, said:
|| I have been a boilermaker for over a decade and have proudly built a number of renewable energy projects with no retraining required. Give us the blueprints and steel and we will help Canada address climate change with our industrial trade skills!
These workers are demanding federal action, but they are not just sitting back, waiting for governments to act. Iron & Earth oil and gas workers partnered with members of the Louis Bull Tribe of Maskwacis in Alberta to train workers to install rooftop panels. Their goal is to up-skill over 1,000 oil, gas, and coal workers, as well as indigenous community members as solar specialists.
We have seen similar successes in T'Sou-ke Nation and other indigenous communities. Iron & Earth, in collaboration with Energy Futures Lab, Pembina Institute, CanGEA, and others have issued a Workers' Climate Plan: Blueprint for Sustainable Jobs and Economy, and have issued a detailed plan, calling on the federal government to revise the pan-Canadian climate strategy to address the needs of workers and to act on the unions' calls for a green economy and skills survey. ECO Canada has existed for decades and is funded at the federal level. It has been doing market analyses on environmental jobs. It would be perfect to lead this work.
In addition, they want research skills gaps filled. They want focused, short-term training programs. They want a workplace training fund. They want an energy manufacturing market analyses. They want support for incubator programs tailored to collaboration between contractors, developers, and unions seeking renewable solutions, like the Energy Futures Lab based in Calgary.
There are concerns that other nations will fill the void if Canada does not step up to the plate and finance this retraining. All of Canada's unions have shown the initiative and willingness to work for it.
Could the federal government at least finally release its regulations to speed up the shutdown of coal-fired power sector? Could the government please now release funds to fuel this workers' fund to transition them to the clean energy economy?
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for for his motion. In many ways, I thought he did a great job in his opening comments and in his motion of summarizing our government's record to date, as well as our vision for Canada's future in this clean growth century.
Among other things, his motion acknowledges our commitment to making Canada a global climate change leader, and rightly so. After all, we did not just sign the Paris accord on climate change; we helped to shape it.
Then we took a leadership role in the creation of Mission Innovation, a new global partnership that is accelerating clean energy solutions like never before.
We sat down with the provinces and territories. We engaged with indigenous peoples. We consulted with Canadians on how best to reach our climate change targets. The result was the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, which lays out a path to the clean growth, low carbon economy, a blueprint for reducing emissions, spurring innovation, adapting to climate change, and creating good, sustainable jobs across the country, the very things the hon. member opposite prescribes in his motion. However, we have not stopped there.
We continue to make generational investments in clean technology and innovation as well as foundational science and research. We are making similar unprecedented investments in the green infrastructure that supports clean growth. At the same time, we are putting a price on carbon and accelerating the phase out of coal. All of this leads me to think the hon. member opposite wrote his motion by taking a page out of our policy book. That will become even clearer as this debate proceeds.
Over the course of today, a number of my colleagues will speak to specific elements of the motion, including our comprehensive efforts to combat climate change, such as our record investments develop clean and renewable sources of energy, our focus on promoting energy efficiency, and our plan to protect Canada's oceans and coastal communities.
I would like to begin as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources by setting the scene, explaining how the many moving parts fit together, and how Canada's abundant natural resources, including our vast supply of energy, are a key piece of the clean tech puzzle.
The world is in the midst of something that has only happened a few times in history, a fundamental shift in the types of energy that power our societies. The page of that transition may vary from country to country, but it is under way and it is irreversible.
Climate change is forcing all of us to think differently about how we power our factories, heat our homes, and fuel our vehicles, and about the importance of using both traditional and renewable energy more efficiently.
This is not just another issue. We are not talking about tinkering with a particular government policy or deciding whether to build a road somewhere. We are talking about the future of our planet. We are talking about creating an entirely new direction for our economy, redefining how we see our connectiveness to other nations, and about the importance of global action.
That is why our government is taking action. This year alone we have invested in smart electricity grids, electric and alternative fuel for charging stations, more energy efficient homes, and help for northern communities to move off diesel. Each of these takes us a step closer to the future we want, a country driven by clean technology and defined by innovation.
We are also reimagining carbon by turning otherwise harmful carbon dioxide emissions into valuable products, such as building materials, alternative fuels, and consumer goods.
Just last week we heard exciting news reports about a company on the west coast that had found a way to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and turn it into a low carbon fuel for vehicles at an economical price of less than U.S. $100 per tonne. That is where Canadians are taking us with their ingenuity and their imagination. This is the kind of innovation that will transform our economy and create great green jobs for years to come.
Then there is energy efficiency, an area that is too often overlooked. According to the International Energy Agency, improving energy efficiency could get us almost halfway to our Paris commitments. Just think of that: halfway. Thus is why we have proposed new building codes that will require our homes and offices to do more with less and transform the use of energy in the country for generations.
Canadians are helping to lead the way with innovative and novel ways to reduce our energy consumption. Our government is investing in those opportunities but there is still plenty of work to be done, which is why we continue to invest in our traditional sources of energy, and why we continue to develop our vast oil and gas reserves as a bridge to tomorrow's low-carbon economy.
There are two reasons for that. First, as the IEA also tells us, global demand for energy will increase by 30% by 2040. That is like adding another China in terms of energy demand. Even under the most optimistic scenarios for renewable energy, and even with our best efforts at enhancing energy efficiency, much of that increased demand identified by the IEA will have to be met by fossil fuels. The fact is the world will continue to rely on oil and gas for some time, meaning that our conventional energy is not “increasingly obsolete”, as the hon. member opposite would have us believe.
The second reason for developing our oil and gas resources is so Canada can leverage the revenues it generates to invest in our low-carbon future. I will have more to say on that in a moment, but first I would like us to return to the motion before us.
I presume the hon. member opposite's reference to fossil fuel infrastructure is a thinly veiled reference to our government's decision last month to secure the Trans Mountain pipeline and its expansion. Even on that score, I would argue that the hon. member is playing catch-up to our government. Let me explain.
As all members of this House know, our government approved the Trans Mountain expansion and Line 3 replacement pipelines based on the best science, the widest possible consultations, and Canada's national interest. Those decisions were made as part of a sensible policy that includes diversifying our energy markets, improving environmental safety, and creating thousands of good middle-class jobs, including in indigenous communities.
However, what the member opposite may have forgotten is that we made two other key decisions at the same time. First, we rejected the northern gateway project because the Great Bear Rainforest is no place for an oil pipeline. Second, we placed a moratorium on tanker traffic along the northern B.C. coastline, including around the Dixon Entrance, the Hecate Strait, and the Queen Charlotte Sound.
All of those decisions reflected balance, and our belief that economic prosperity and environmental protection can, and indeed must, go hand in hand, and that there must be a balance. The Trans Mountain expansion pipeline is part of that balance. It is part of the plan that I described earlier using this time of transition to Canada's advantage by building the infrastructure we need to get our resources to global markets and then using the revenues they generate to invest in cleaner forms of energy. By moving more of our energy to tidewater, our producers will have greater access to global markets and world prices, which according to analysts at Scotiabank and others, could add about $15 billion annually to the value of our oil exports.
In addition, the construction and operation of the pipeline is expected to generate as much as $4.5 billion in new federal and provincial government revenues. Those are new tax dollars to pay for our hospitals and schools, to build new roads and bridges, to fund our cherished social programs, and yes, to invest in clean technology and renewable energy.
The TMX pipeline will operate within Alberta's own 100-megatonne cap on greenhouse gas emissions, making the project consistent with Canada's climate plan. For all those reasons it was essential that our government take the necessary steps to protect the project from the political uncertainty caused by the Government of British Columbia. However, as the has said, our plan is not to be the long-term owner of the TMX pipeline. We know that the TMX pipeline has real economic value and we fully expect that investors will want to be part of the project's future. In fact, we are already seeing that. A number of investors, including indigenous groups, have expressed interest in taking an ownership position.
This is all part of a well-begun journey to our clean energy future, a journey that started as soon as we formed government and set about restoring public confidence in the way major resource projects, such as the TMX pipeline, are reviewed.
One of the first ways we did that was by adopting an interim approach for major projects already in the queue. These principles include assessing direct and upstream greenhouse gas emissions associated with the project, expanding public consultations and indigenous engagement, and recognizing the importance of indigenous knowledge, all the while ensuring that no project proponent would have to return to the starting line.
This new approach led to a number of significant breakthroughs. For example, we led the single deepest indigenous engagement ever for a Canadian resource project in Canada, and we responded to what we heard from those consultations by co-developing an indigenous advisory and monitoring committee to oversee the lifespan of the TMX pipeline, as well as an economic pathways partnership to enable indigenous workers to reap the benefits of the projects. Both are Canadian firsts. Our government also appointed a special ministerial panel to hear from Canadians whose views may not have been considered when the National Energy Board concluded its review of the TMX project.
In the end, we approved the project and accepted the NEB's 157 binding conditions as part of our larger plan for clean growth. It is a plan that combats climate change, protects our oceans, invests in clean technology and energy, restores investor and public confidence, and advances indigenous reconciliation.
We introduced legislation, Bill , as a permanent fix to the way environmental assessments and regulatory reviews are carried out in Canada. We have also launched a historic process to recognize and implement inherent indigenous rights, a new approach that will renew Canada's relationship with indigenous peoples, rebuild indigenous nations, and set a real path to indigenous self-determination based on mutual respect and partnership. We have tabled budget after budget that promotes clean growth, improves opportunities for indigenous communities, and supports fundamental science. Our budget this year builds on its predecessors by encouraging businesses to invest in clean energy and use more energy-efficient equipment. It also invests in cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, such as energy grids and information networks.
Budget 2018 recognizes that Canada will not get ahead if half of its population is held back, that investing in women is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.
Our government has matched its words with actions, investing to build exactly the kind of future that the hon. member opposite envisions, one where science, curiosity, and innovation spur economic growth. All of these things I have talked about today are part of a solid plan, a balanced practical plan, one with many elements but a single goal: making Canada a leader in the global transition to a low-carbon future by creating the prosperity we all want while protecting the planet we all cherish.
I know the hon. member opposite shares those same goals. His motion speaks to our vision, and I hope he will continue to support our efforts.
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to stand and speak to the NDP's opposition motion.
Canada's Conservatives believe that to mitigate climate change we need to support investments in renewable and clean energy technologies. Canada's Conservatives believe that to become a global leader in clean tech and to ensure that future jobs will be located right here in Canada, we need to make the right choices in those investments. Canada's Conservatives believe that spending billions of taxpayer dollars to buy out the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and sending that investment south into the United States is not one of those right choices.
Canada has a world-leading regulatory regime and an internationally renowned track record of environmentally and socially responsible oil and gas development, and we should be proud of that. We should not forfeit Canada's position as a natural resource superpower to grow the clean-tech sector. We should leverage it. The challenge for clean technology is to effect that transition by producing more energy while reducing CO2 emissions. This issue affects the entire global community, including consumers of energy. While government plays a role in spurring investment, we must not overlook the role that the private sector, and the energy sector specifically, play in driving innovation and clean technology advancements.
Andy Brown, the chief executive responsible for Shell Global's upstream business, had this to say on the energy transition and the role the sector has in achieving climate change goals:
|| A successful energy transition will require vision, urgency and realism: vision for a long-term approach to policy setting, business planning, and investment; urgency and realism about the scale and costs of orderly transformations, both for energy suppliers and consumers. Society has to be ambitious to achieve climate-change and development goals. Decisions must tackle the breadth and complexity of the challenge. Conversely, rapid, poorly considered, [poorly driven] changes could result in unexpected consequences and fail to achieve their intended goals.
|| Brown concludes, 'The energy industry must unlock the potential we have for new technology through collaboration and innovation....
Last week, Ontarians in my riding and across the province sent a strong message to Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government that they had had enough of unrealistic and poorly considered environmental policy. It has been nearly a decade since Ontario's Liberals passed the Green Energy Act. A key component of that plan, the FIT and microFIT program, saw billions of dollars in green energy contracts awarded to solar and wind companies. The provincial Liberals never provided details of public promises about how much that plan would cost Ontarians, like how their federal cousins will not tell Canadians how much their federal carbon tax scheme will cost Canadian families.
Experts advise the government that technologies such as solar power needed to be developed gradually to prevent renewable energy contracts from overwhelming the province's electricity system and sending hydro bills skyrocketing. Ignoring the experts, the province went ahead with unrealistic and poorly considered policies that it knew were going to be costly, ineffective, and inefficient, policies which cost Ontarians billions of dollars and ultimately cost the provincial Liberals official party status.
This is a lesson the current government would be wise to heed. As the shut down pipeline after pipeline and has ignored the growing uncertainty over the Trans Mountain expansion for over a year and a half, Canadian taxpayers, backed into a corner by the government, found themselves owning a pipeline Kinder Morgan did not need to sell. All that was needed was regulatory certainty for a pipeline project that had already met every possible criterion for approval and certainty that the government that had made those approvals would see them through. The ramifications of poorly considered policies like the nationalization of Trans Mountain, the oil tanker ban, the derailing of energy east and northern gateway, and the job-killing carbon tax are all too clear as investment flees south of the border to the United States and other international jurisdictions.
Royal Bank's president and CEO, Dave McKay, told the Canadian Press that a significant investment exodus to the U.S. is already under way, especially in the energy and clean technology sectors.
That is right, we know the investment climate in Canada is in distress when even investors in renewable energy, where subsidies abound and competing oil and gas face carbon taxes and regulatory excess, are leaving because they favour lower U.S. corporate taxes more.
In early April, NextEra Energy said that the sale of its wind and solar generation assets in Ontario for $582 million was specifically motivated by U.S. tax reform. Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer, stated, “we expect the sale of the Canadian portfolio to enable us to recycle capital back into U.S. assets, which benefit from a longer federal income tax shield and a lower effective corporate tax rate”.
The latest data from Statistics Canada shows foreign direct investment in the country dropped to $31.4 billion last year compared with $49.4 billion the year before. The rapidly declining investment climate has important and far-reaching consequences. If we want to ensure Canada becomes a global leader in clean tech and want to ensure future jobs will be located right here in Canada, industry investment will be critical.
In 2016, oil and gas business expenditures on research and design were nearly $1.5 million of the $2 billion that was invested in clean-tech R and D in the energy sector. Nearly 10% of all money spent on R and D in Canada was in the energy sector. Enbridge and TransCanada, the country's largest pipeline companies, both invest heavily in renewable energy.
CGA, ATCO, Enbridge, Énergir, FortisBC, Pacific Northern Gas, SaskEnergy, and Union Gas pool capital investment in the natural gas innovation fund to support clean-tech start-ups, which innovate in the natural gas value supply chain.
As the potential for renewable energy grows and the cost of the technology falls, experts anticipate a growing number of traditional oil and gas companies to invest in the renewable sector. Morgan Bazilian, former lead energy specialist at the World Bank, told an audience of Calgary oil executives in May that the industry has already seen some of the sector's largest companies such as Shell, Total, BP, and others, make billion-dollar investments in renewables. However, to get industry investment in clean tech, there must be industry in Canada to begin with.
Murphy Oil Corporation said it would repatriate Canadian retained earnings and that it sees the substantially lower tax rate in the U.S. as a big advantage for capital investments.
Dan Tsubouchi, chief market strategist at Stream Asset Financial Management LP in Calgary said, in an interview with the Financial Post, that oil and gas companies with assets in Canada waited for the Canadian government to respond to U.S. tax reforms in the federal budget but when “it offered nothing on tax competitiveness”, the next step was to look at redeploying their capital.
In its 2018 report entitled, “Competitive Climate Policy: Supporting Investment and Innovation”, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers makes the case succinctly:
|| The Canadian oil and natural gas sector is supportive of climate policies that are effective and efficient, and take into account cumulative impacts including taxation, market access, and regulatory review processes. With the right policies in place, the Canadian industry can be competitive, can attract investment and can reduce GHG emissions.
|| However, current climate and other policies are inefficient and duplicative, and are combining to create unintended consequences such as driving investment away from Canada into other countries that have less robust emissions-reduction policies. This emerging policy environment promotes carbon leakage and therefore does not lead to global emissions reduction.
Once again, unexpected consequences of poorly considered policies, which led to the demise of the Ontario Liberal Party, is leading to the demise of the energy sector in Canada, and with it, the unintended consequence of carbon leakage.
For those not aware, carbon leakage is the shift of greenhouse gas emissions from one part of the world to another, usually because of governments implementing uncompetitive policies. An example of carbon leakage can be seen in Canada as the Liberal government's tax policies increase cost to industry, and as a result, industry shifts its investments elsewhere. The implications of carbon leakage are both economic and emission related.
Economically, we are seeing reduced investment in Canada and the loss of good-paying jobs for Canadian families. Globally, as investment and jobs shift, we will see an increase in emissions, because that production is going to be moved to countries that do not have anywhere near Canada's world-leading regulatory regime. However, there is still time to reverse the course of declining investment in Canadian industry, time to stop carbon leakage, and time to support the growing but fragile clean-tech industry right here in Canada.
Canada's clean-tech energy industry now ranks fourth-highest globally and first in the G20. Canadian clean-tech businesses is already booming, accounting for 3.1% of our GDP, or $59.3 billion. According to the 2016 report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, “De-Risking the Adoption of Clean Technology in Canada's Natural Resources Sector”. There were 800 companies that employed 55,300 direct jobs, with $17 billion in revenue. Clean-tech firms paid 48% more than the Canadian average wage.
Eleven of the top 100 clean-tech companies are in Canada. Global clean-tech market value, by trade, is $1 trillion. Canada's share is 1.4%, or the 26th-largest in the world.
Canada has some great clean-tech stories to share, such as Montreal-based GHGSat, which can track global greenhouse gases from any industrial site in the world using a high-resolution satellite. This technology, more accurate and affordable than its alternatives, enables oil and gas companies to better understand, control, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
There is Manitoba-based HD-Petroleum, which has created small-scale waste-oil micro-refinery units that transform used oil into diesel fuel. The cost of implementing this technology is relatively inexpensive, and the recycling process substantially reduces GHG emissions when compared with more traditional oil-disposal methods.
There is lmaginea, which uses its clean hydrocarbon ecosystem to deliver energy produced with the use of zero freshwater and with no toxic emissions or air pollution; DarkVision, which developed a new ultrasound technology that allows companies to create 3D images of the inside of oil wells, enabling them to make more informed and cost-effective production decisions; and Unsist, a company that uses artificial intelligence to help oil and gas companies make better production and operational choices.
These are just a few of the success stories right here in Canada's clean-tech sector. However, as I have said, it is a fragile sector that needs more than subsidies to thrive.
If we are serious about mitigating climate change, if we are serious about becoming a global leader in clean tech and ensuring that future jobs will be in Canada, we need sound fiscal policies and a competitive tax regime in Canada. We need to support the industry, which in turn will support the growth of Canada's clean-tech sector. Industry leaders have told us that they will do this, because it makes sense, it is good for business, and it is good for the environment in which their families and the families of their employees live, work, and play.
Making policy decisions regarding the energy sector is difficult, because on the one hand, we must consider our environmental health and on the other, our wealth as a nation. Clean tech is not meant to make that decision easier. Clean tech is meant to remove the need to make this decision in the first place.
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member of Parliament for South Okanagan—West Kootenay.
I graduated from Trent University in 1989, where I studied the Mackenzie Valley pipeline inquiry as well as renewable energy. For years I studied pipeline politics in environmental and resource studies. I really believed we were in a new time of understanding, that we understood that forcing projects on communities that did not want them and not recognizing indigenous rights and title was not good. I believed that time was behind us.
The year 1989 was also a politically powerful year. The Berlin Wall fell. It was the year of the velvet revolution and Tiananmen Square, a democracy uprising with a brutal police response. It was also the year of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, which hit the headlines in a phenomenal way. It was a time of great political imperative for change and activism, and a time of real hope.
However, I have spent my entire professional life since then fighting bad energy megaprojects: nuclear plants in Ontario, the GSX pipeline through the southern Salish Sea, and the Duke Point power plant off Mudge Island. It took our community four and a half years to fight off that pipeline and power plant.
I hear again and again from my home island of Gabriola, and also from constituents whom I am proud to represent in my riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith, that people are hungry to implement a sustainable, renewable, locally based, worker-focused economy. They want to stop fighting off projects they do not want.
I honestly thought that getting elected to this Parliament and beating Stephen Harper and the Conservatives was what we needed to do to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline. I am frankly astonished that we are still here two and a half years later, still debating last century's energy project that was approved for all of the wrong reasons.
It is deeply disappointing to people on B.C.'s coast to have the Liberal government, with all its goodwill, its sunny ways, and its innovation promises, invest $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money into an obsolete, 60-plus-year-old, leaky pipeline, let alone committing taxpayers and perhaps even Canada pension plan money to the expansion of the pipeline. It will increase sevenfold the number of bitumen-carrying oil tankers going through the ridings we represent.
I am astonished that we are here still discussing that, but I am delighted that our leader Jagmeet Singh and our party have brought this motion forward and taken over today's agenda to talk about our hope for a renewable and sustainable, worker-focused economy, and all the benefits that can come from that.
We have examples in my riding of great success stories, despite all the impediments that have been put up by the B.C. Liberal Party over the last 16 years and the federal Conservatives for 10 years. Despite these impediments, I am really proud of the local innovation.
Nanaimo's Harmac Pacific mill has a generation capacity of 55 megawatts of power, which it produces from biofuels and waste wood in its facility. The Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre captures methane, which would be a fairly calamitous greenhouse gas exaggerator, and converts it to electricity that powers 300 homes.
Nanaimo is home to Canadian Electric Vehicles Ltd., which for 25 years has been making industrial vehicles, including electric Zambonis and electric BobCats. That has been happening for some time in my riding.
People are now moving into a fantastic affordable housing facility that has just been built. It is a beautiful facility. It was built by the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre on Bowen Road. It has a passive energy design, which was started in Saskatchewan. Our federal government failed to keep the passive energy program going, and it moved to Europe, where it has expanded and become more innovative. The Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre affordable housing project uses 80% less energy than traditional home construction, so the residents have fewer expenses. Their cost of living is more affordable, but the homes are also clean, with wonderful air quality. We are really proud of the centre.
This is a Canada-wide phenomenon. Canada's green building sector has $128 billion in gross annual income, and the green building sector employs more direct full-time workers than forestry, mining, and oil and gas combined. That is not a story we tell every day, and we need to tell it again and again. This is where the jobs are now, and if we have the right priorities and support the right trend and direction, we can do even better with that.
The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance has an annual summit. A few years ago, I talked to energy entrepreneurs at that conference in Nanaimo. They said the provincial and federal governments put more barriers in front of their business than anywhere they have seen or experienced in the world. We have local entrepreneurs trying to manufacture and sell on Vancouver Island and across Canada, but they are having to move their manufacturing as well as their sales focus internationally, because they cannot do business at home. That is so discouraging. It is one of many things Canada should be able to do well but has not.
Another great example we are so proud of in Nanaimo is Vancouver Island University. It is right now building a geothermal project. It is inserting down into old coal mining shafts in our riding. Nanaimo was originally built on coal, so that coal history will now move to geothermal, where they are going to be able to pull from the natural heat of the ground to heat the whole university complex and new residences. It's going to be a real showcase, and it is going to be a way to show young people the possibilities in innovation and the jobs they can generate.
I have also met people out in the community, in Ladysmith in particular, where we have a lot of people who have been migrant workers within our own country, living on Vancouver Island and flying to Alberta for work. It is very dangerous and hard work. It is hard for them to be away from their families. Often, people come home with addictions or injuries.
I now bump into people who have returned, whether they learned vertical drilling in the oil and gas sector and are now bringing that back to our region to utilize that same technology and expertise for geothermal power, or whether they are simply doing residential solar installations. I hear these young men in particular tell their friends to come home, that it is safer, the work is steady, and they can sleep in their own bed and keep their family together. That is the work our government should be doing to encourage such a transition.
While I have the floor, I need to do a bit of myth busting on the Kinder Morgan investment. I keep hearing, including just now from the parliamentary secretary, that we need to find the Asian markets. Crude exports from Vancouver to China topped out in 2011. They were at that time only 28% of outbound shipments. By 2014, they had dropped to 6%. By 2016, they were essentially zero. Right now, we do not have Asian markets hungry for our unrefined bitumen. It is simply not borne out by the facts.
We also hear about the imperative for jobs. In fact, the experts say that every time Canada ships 400,000 barrels of unrefined bitumen abroad, it is exporting approximately 19,000 refining and upgrading jobs every year to other countries.
The $15 billion that we are apparently losing by not accessing foreign markets has been rebutted again and again. Robyn Allan has done this powerfully. The keeps saying it is a $15-billion differential. In fact, the original source was Scotiabank. It says $7 billion, and it is a deep investor in Kinder Morgan. Therefore, we must be extremely careful about agreeing with any of the 's promises about economic output.
It is to the deep dismay of British Columbians that this investment would risk the $2.2-billion fishery and aquaculture sector. It risks tens of thousands of jobs that exist right now in British Columbia, whether they be in film, tourism, or fishing, and billions of dollars in economic activity that results from a clean coast.
I ask the government to please let us truly innovate with green jobs in the next century's work and energy, not the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Mr. Speaker, I am happy to speak to the NDP motion today on what it means to be a global climate change leader and what it means to build a clean energy economy. The three points the motion puts forward to answer this question are investing in clean, renewable energy sources; putting workers at the heart of the transition; and putting an end to significant subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.
I do not want to spent too much time on the background of this motion; suffice it to say that it is all about our response to the threat of climate change. Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that climate change is happening, and it is caused by human actions. We have to act quickly and decisively around the world to minimize its effects.
We have similar debates here in the House every time the Conservatives use their opposition days to speak against the price on carbon. When I speak in those debates, the Conservatives often ask me why forest fires and floods are still happening in British Columbia after a decade of carbon pricing in that province. It is obvious that it does not work so directly. We have to act globally, and we have to act boldly. Here in Canada, we have to do our part so that we can continue to encourage countries around the world to do the same.
In Canada, we are the most wasteful nation on earth on a per capita basis when it comes to energy, water, and other environmental indicators. We can do better and we must do better. If we do not act decisively now, we will be passing on to our children a civilization suffering from rising sea levels, droughts, storms, wildfires, and other highly disruptive pressures. These are already causing mass migrations and civil unrest, and that will only intensify in future decades.
Fortunately, it is not all doom and gloom. There is a bright side to this challenge: a clear opportunity for Canada that we must seize today if we are not to be left behind. The clean tech sector is a multi-billion dollar opportunity for Canada. We have some of the most innovative companies in the world, and we must nurture them through government procurement, mentorship programs, and direct investments. This is where we should be directing our subsidy programs. We can think of what a $4.5-billion investment in putting solar panels on roofs across Canada could accomplish in terms of our carbon footprint, and that investment would create good, high-paying jobs.
I recently met an electrician in my riding who had decided to leave the oil patch in Alberta and work in his hometown. He decided that the future was in clean energy, not in oil, so he started a business in solar panel installation. He was doing quite well because of the increasing popularity of domestic solar installations. However, he pointed out that Canada lags far behind the United States in this field because there are few, if any, incentives for homeowners and business owners across the country to make the switch. It is expensive to put 20 solar panels on the roof. He pleaded with me to make the case in Ottawa for significant incentives to get the industry really going across the country. He pointed out that there are hundreds of electricians and other tradespeople like him in the oil patch who would love to come home to work, if the jobs are there, and they could be there if we went all in on these renewable technologies.
Many people do not realize how cheap these renewable technologies have become. Solar and wind power now compete on an even level with other energy sources, and in many situations they are the cheapest power sources available. Saudi Arabia, the country with the cheapest oil in the world, has shifted all new energy production to solar. The countries that adopt these technologies early will be the big economic winners in the future world of energy.
A couple of years ago, I attended the clean energy ministerial meetings in San Francisco, and the German minister there gave an impassioned speech about the shift to clean energy. He said that it was expensive for Germany to make that transition, as the Germans adopted those new technologies when they were expensive, but their investments in renewable energy companies have put them at the head of the world in that regard, and they are now reaping the economic benefits many times over as they sell their products and their expertise around the world.
China is doing the same. The Conservatives often throw up their hands and say that Canada should give up on climate action because China is producing more pollution than we are. Meanwhile, China is going all in on renewable energy, shifting away from coal. It is clearly one of the world leaders in solar technologies, and the Chinese have openly boasted about ruling the world of electric vehicles in the near future. Canada could and should be doing all it can to get in on this global market for clean tech and renewable energy. I know the government has made some tentative moves in that regard, but we need significant investment. Again, we can just think of what a $4.5-billion investment in electric vehicle infrastructure would do across Canada.
I once heard an energy expert say that the best new fuel, the fuel that would save the world, is efficiency. Efficiency is the best new fuel. As I said earlier, Canada is one of the most wasteful countries in the world on a per capita basis. We could achieve most of our climate targets and create thousands of jobs in the process through energy efficiency.
I am going to mention the ecoENERGY retrofit program here again. This program ran, on and off, from 2007 to 2012. It was first envisioned by a previous Liberal government, but it was run by the Conservative government throughout that time, so I will give credit to both parties for such a good idea. This program gave significant incentives to homeowners across the country to undertake renovations and improvements to their homes to make them more energy-efficient. It was hugely successful.
Over the life of the program, the federal government gave $934 million in grants to 640,000 households. That is almost a billion dollars, a real investment. What did Canada get in return? The participants in the program spent four billion dollars on top of the rebate, so the investment leveraged almost five times that amount. On average, participants saved 20% on utility bills after their renovations, which is a reduction of three tonnes of carbon emissions per household per year. It is a reduction of $340 million in utility bills for those who took part, and the program created thousands of good jobs.
When I talk to people from the Canadian Home Builders' Association in my riding or here in Ottawa and ask them what we can do to help their industry, they say to bring back the ecoENERGY retrofit program. I did table a private member's bill to do just that, hoping the Liberal government would take up the program, but instead it passed it off to the provinces in the pan-Canadian framework, and very few have taken it on. A huge opportunity has slipped through our fingers. We need to revive it as part of a bold new clean energy vision for our country.
This is a pivotal time for clean energy. Ceres and Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimate that there will be $12 trillion U.S. in renewable energy spending up for grabs over the next 25 years. The countries that come out ahead will be those that first develop the technologies, the thinking, and the experience, and use them to compete and grow in the global market for clean energy solutions.
I am going to Argentina this afternoon with the to the G20 energy meeting. The focus of this year's meeting is energy transitions. I am very interested to hear what experts and leaders from around the world will have to say about clean energy transition, and I am very interested to hear what they think of Canada's present trajectory in that future and what it could be.
The transition is coming, whether we like it or not. It is coming like a freight train. Let us seize the day and be part of it. Let us make sure our workers have good skilled jobs across the country. The jobs in renewable energy infrastructure for welders, electricians, carpenters, and metal workers are all the same jobs that we now have in the oil patch. These are good, family-supporting jobs. We need to make sure those jobs are created so that our economy can grow through this transition.
The future of the Canadian energy sector could be bright, but we have to act now and make sure we are not left behind.
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for .
I am very pleased to stand in the House today to discuss the motion of my colleague, the hon. member for .
I appreciate the call for Canada to be a global climate change leader. I agree, and Canada is. However, this motion fails in a number of areas, including its failure to recognize the actions the government has taken in ensuring that the environment and the economy go together as we build a clean energy economy. Our government has been steadfast in its belief that a strong economy and a clean environment go hand in hand. The NDP motion completely ignores the historic investments that the government has made through successive federal budgets that specifically address Canada's environment, coastlines, waterways, and wildlife, as well as the introduction of government legislation such as Bill , Bill , Bill , and Bill , which would further strengthen our ability to protect the environment and grow the economy in sustainable ways.
Today, I will highlight the global market for clean technologies and the enormous opportunity Canadians are already taking advantage of that is estimated to be in the trillions of dollars, with demand only increasing, and at an incredibly rapid pace.
This is an area I personally know very well, having spent the past almost 20 years as a chief executive officer and senior executive in the clean technology and renewable sector. The clean technology industry presents significant opportunities for Canadian businesses from all sectors of the economy. That is why investing in clean technology is a key component of our government's approach to promoting sustainable growth and to addressing key environmental challenges.
Our government also recognizes that clean technology is a source of good, well-paying jobs for Canadians. Therefore, when it comes to clean technology, Canada has the opportunity to be a true global leader, creating good, well-paying jobs for Canadians, while helping to meet our climate change and other important environmental goals.
Clean technologies are central to Canada’s low-carbon, globally competitive economy that provides high-quality jobs and opportunities for our middle class and those working hard to join it.
Clean technologies are by definition innovative technologies. Our government understands that innovation is a key driver of economic success. That is why we developed an innovation skills plan that will assist in making Canada a world-leading centre for innovation.
Today, clean technology already employs over 170,000 Canadians, and we sell about $26 billion annually in goods and services. Of that $26 billion, about $8 billion is exported.
Clearly, there is a strong appetite for Canadian innovation, but we have only just scratched the surface and there is so much more room to grow. That is why our government set aside more than $2.3 billion for clean technology in budget 2017. For the record, that is Canada's largest-ever public investment in this field. Prior to making this historic investment, we worked closely with industry to develop a comprehensive strategy that will successfully accelerate the development of the sector.
This $2.3 billion will support clean technology research, development, demonstration, and adoption and the scaling up of our businesses.
We know that access to financing fuels the growth of companies and provides the capital needed to hire new staff, develop products, and support sales at home and abroad, which is why we have set aside $1.4 billion in new financing for clean-tech providers. This is in addition to the $21.9 billion investment in green infrastructure, which will create jobs and position Canada for the low-carbon economy of the future.
We have also allocated $400 million to recapitalize Sustainable Development Technology Canada. This fund is helping our Canadian businesses develop world-class expertise in clean technology engineering, design, marketing, and management. To date, the fund has invested $989 million in 381 Canadian companies, supporting projects across the entire country. The funding has helped these companies develop and demonstrate new clean technologies that promote sustainable development, including those that address environmental issues, such as climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil.
There is also the Business Development Bank of Canada with its $700 million commitment to help clean technology producers scale up and expand globally. Since mid-January, I am pleased to say that four investments worth $40 million have been made. Through our participation in mission innovation, the Government of Canada will work with the international community to double federal investment in clean energy research and development over five years.
These are very significant and substantive investments, and we will drive for strong results. The government will carefully monitor the results of its investments both in terms of economic growth and jobs, as well as the environment.
Through a new clean-tech growth hub within Innovation Canada, the government will streamline client services, improve federal program coordination, enable tracking and reporting of clean technology results across government, and connect stakeholders to international markets. The clean growth hub is the government's focal point for all federal government supporting clean technology. Since launching in mid-January, the hub has served over 450 companies. This one-stop shop is a major innovative win for government that industry is already recognizing as a key step forward.
The 2017 Global Cleantech Innovation Index, which investigates where entrepreneurial companies are most likely to emerge over the next 10 years, ranked Canada fourth, up from seventh in 2014. Further, in January of this year, the Cleantech Group released a Global Cleantech 100 list. The list recognizes the clean-tech companies that are most likely to have significant market impact over the next five to 10 years.
Under the Harper government, Canada's share of the global clean-tech market shrunk by half. In partnership with the clean-tech industry, we have successfully turned this around. This year, a record 13 Canadian clean technology firms comprised the top 100. All the winning companies are clients of the Canadian trade commissioner service, and seven of the 13 companies are Export Development Canada customers.
We know that is only a small sampling of the innovative clean technology companies that are doing amazing work every day across the country to create economic growth, and solve our most pressing environmental challenges.
For example, in Montreal, GHGSat has developed the technology to monitor industrial greenhouse gas emissions using satellite technology. They launched their first satellite in 2016. In my own province of British Columbia, Carbon Engineering is developing a process to turn carbon dioxide in the air into a clean fuel. I could go on and on, speaking about all of the fantastic and innovative clean technology companies working across the country in so many industries and sectors of the Canadian economy.
In order to ensure their continued success, we will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders and jurisdictions across Canada to meet our climate change commitments and bring innovative and competitive clean technologies to market.
We have developed strong international linkages that promote Canadian technology as solutions to global challenges and attract private sector investment. This government is focused on scaling our great Canadian clean technology success stories, and in the process, helping to solve the world's most pressing environmental challenges.
As we move forward, the Government of Canada will continue to be a strong partner for clean technology producers. Our government is incredibly proud and impressed by the innovative work being done by the entrepreneurial women and men working in this sphere and we will continue to support them and their work, and with their success, generate future wealth for Canadians, while safeguarding the environment for future generations.
Madam Speaker, since taking office, our government has been clear that the economy and the environment can and must go hand in hand. It is a view that neither the federal NDP or the Conservative Party understand. We know this well from the Conservative Party's inaction on meaningful climate change policy as well as its inability to build a single metre of pipeline that would get our resources to new markets. I should clarify that I am talking about the federal NDP, not the Alberta NDP.
The federal NDP continues to fail to recognize that resource development has been, and will continue to be, part of our economy for the foreseeable future. The federal NDP fails to understand resource development can and does go together with our plan to meet the Paris targets and to implement the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.
This is not an abstract exercise we are discussing. Our government is moving forward on the most comprehensive environmental policy our country has seen, while supporting nation-building resource projects that will benefit all of Canada.
Federal, provincial, and territorial governments have adopted and are working to implement the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. This framework includes more than 50 initiatives that together put us on the path to meet or exceed our greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. We are making investments in industries of the future by supporting innovation, clean technology, and sustainable infrastructure.
Under the infrastructure plan I oversee, we are investing more than $26 billion in green infrastructure over the next decade. On top of that, we are investing $29 billion in the public transportation system to make our communities more green and sustainable. Out of the $26 billion of green infrastructure, $8 billion is to support renewable energy. This level of investment in green infrastructure and in climate change mitigation and adaptation is unparalleled in our country's history.
Taken together with our investments in innovation and clean technology, we are positioning ourselves to be a world leader in the clean technology sector. Alongside these investments, we have been steadfast in our support for the resource sector, which continues to be such an important part of our country's prosperity.
When we took office, we recognized the previous government's approach to resource development was not working. Public trust was eroded, the constitutional obligations to consult indigenous peoples were ignored, and a meaningful and comprehensive plan for environmental protection remained absent.
Our government is demonstrating that resource development and environmental protection can work together to improve investor confidence, strengthen our economy, and create good middle-class jobs while protecting the environment. As an Albertan, this is deeply important and personal to me. I know many workers who were affected by the downturn in the price of oil. I have many friends and family whose livelihoods depend on our resource sector. As well, in my trips to Fort McMurray and other cities around the province, I see first-hand the importance of not just getting our resources to market, but getting them to new markets so we are not reliant on our neighbours to the south to buy our oil.
The decisive action we have taken will ensure that the TMX pipeline gets built. I want to be clear that this decision was made under an exceptional set of circumstances.
The project was moving forward as planned, and we had made the interventions necessary to ensure this remained the case. It was the obstructionist actions of Premier Horgan in British Columbia that led to the need for the federal government to take the measures we took. Projects like TMX create thousands of jobs, not just in Alberta but across the country.
It is in the interest of Canada to find more efficient and safer ways to transport our natural resources to market. It is in the interest of Canada to receive a fair price for those resources than is possible when we essentially have only one customer. It is in the interest of Canada to partner with indigenous communities, respect and recognize their rights, and ensure traditional knowledge is integrated into our decisions. It is in the interest of Canada to develop our resources in a way that does not compromise the environment.
Since coming to office, our government has been guided by a simple but profound belief: that the economy and the environment must go hand in hand. We also know that good projects such as TMX will not get built unless they carry the confidence of Canadians. That is why our government introduced the $1.5 billion oceans protection plan. This plan to safeguard the health and safety of coastal communities and the sensitive marine areas is the most significant investment Canada has ever made in protecting our oceans. It is also why Canadians can feel confident that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will not jeopardize B.C.'s beautiful coastline.
Our government is demonstrating in real and tangible ways that growing the economy and protecting the environment can go hand in hand. We are supporting Canadian workers at every step to ensure that major resource projects move forward, while making the investment to ensure our workforce is well positioned for the technologies of the future.
In short, we made a promise to Canadians and we are delivering on it.
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to talk about the environment and the economy of the future as part of the debate on our motion today. I will be sharing my time with the excellent member for , who does a great job as the agriculture critic. He mentioned the potential risks and absurdity of the Liberal purchase of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline at a cost of $4.3 billion of taxpayers' and Drummond residents' money.
For the past few days, the people of Drummond have been outraged that their money is being used to buy a private company for purposes that are not clear and to invest in the energy of the past rather than that of the future. In today's opposition motion, my colleague from is proposing that we invest in the future. He believes that a global environmental leaders do not invest in a pipeline, they invest in renewable energy such as sun, wind, clean hydroelectricity or smaller projects.
Studies show that investing $1 million in renewable energy and energy efficiency will create 10 times more jobs than investing in fossil fuels. If we want to build a strong and competitive economy and a forward-looking society, we should not be investing $4.3 billion of taxpayer money in an outdated resource. We must invest in the future. The Liberal government failed miserably on this one. It is very serious.
Our motion states that we should transition towards energies and the economy of the future. Countries and societies around the world are investing more and more in renewable energy. In Canada, the Liberal government is unfortunately lagging behind on such investments. This motion calls on the government to urgently change course. When the NDP comes to power in 2019, that is what we will do. We will change course to ensure that the money this government misspent will be invested in the economy of the future.
I want to take this opportunity to talk about two young women I met on the weekend at one of my town hall meetings. Rébecca Joyal and Méganne Joyal are two sisters who are very involved in their school community. They started by getting involved in their school's UNESCO program, and then joined Amnesty International. They are working to get composting at their school. They are just 17 years old and they are already working to improve their environment.
Rébecca was recently elected environment minister in the Quebec youth parliament. As you can see, these young women truly want to get involved. They told me that we need to combat climate change and that this was the biggest challenge of the future, but it is also the biggest challenge of today.
Those who think that climate change is a myth are clearly forgetting all of the extreme and severe weather events the world has experienced in recent years.
Extreme weather events are not only on the rise, but they are also getting worse. In Drummondville, we used to see torrential rains maybe once every 100 years. Now, we get them every three or four years. That has serious implications for our infrastructure. Basements get flooded, for example.
Just a few years ago, I had to help out at a community centre when its basement was flooded because of torrential rain. I received all sorts of email. People came to tell me that their basement had been flooded and asked me to do something about it. Something must be done. The Liberal government is dragging its feet in the fight against climate change and is not investing all its time and money in the right places.
Just recently, in spring 2018, there were devastating floods in New Brunswick and British Columbia, not to mention forest fires in Manitoba. We know that climate change is affecting us and has serious consequences.
We have to turn things around, but we have to do so in an intelligent manner that supports our economy and our workers who work in outdated industries. We cannot leave them behind. We have to support them in this transition.
Canadian municipalities are very vulnerable to the risks associated with climate change, especially when it comes to extreme weather. Floods are the most costly natural disaster in terms of damage to property and urban infrastructure. Some might say this is a new phenomenon, but it is not. This has been going on for a long time and the government knows it.
In fact, there was once a national round table on the environment and the economy, which was tasked with linking the environment with the economy. Is that not odd? We often hear the Liberals or the Conservatives say that this hurts the economy and so on, but that is not true. The national round table on the environment and the economy explained that if we fail to invest in the fight against climate change, there will be serious consequences that will be far more costly in the future. We are talking cost increases in the billions of dollars.
Unfortunately, the government is currently handing out $1.3 billion a year in fossil fuel subsidies. The Liberal government said that it would do away with those subsidies, but it has not yet done so. However, we will eliminate them in 2019. The government is always behind on that. We would take the $4.3 billion that the Liberals invested in a pipeline and invest it in the economy of the future and energy efficiency.
I did not talk about energy efficiency, but there are a lot of businesses in Drummond that do excellent work in that area. Venmar, Annexair, and Aéronergie, just to name a few, are energy efficiency experts that create local jobs. They also drive the local economy and help people save money by lowering their home heating costs. These businesses also help fight climate change.
What plan do the Liberals' have for energy efficiency and helping Canadian families? They do not have one. That is why we need to adopt today's motion. The Liberals need to understand that. If not, that is fine. The NDP will take office in 2019 and we will do what needs to be done.
Madam Speaker, it is really a great honour to stand here and take part in this debate on behalf of the constituents of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, because the subject we are debating today is a big part of the reason I got into politics in the first place.
I see, and I think a lot of members in this House agree with me, climate change as the defining issue of the 21st century, not only in terms of the impacts we will feel as a country and as a world but in terms of what humankind's response to it will be. How we meet that challenge is going to determine, effectively, how life on this planet is going to go forward. Are we going to live in a sustainable manner? Are we going to live within our resources? Are we going to have a very altered landscape, where we have to drastically reduce how we live our day-to-day lives?
I believe the actions we take today, in the next few years, and in the next decades are going to be very telling for the generations that follow us.
I also stand here as a father of three children. I have twins who are almost six years old and a young eight-month-old. I constantly think about the world they are going to inherit. I realize that I, as a member of Parliament, occupy a very privileged position in Canadian society, because I have a voice in this chamber. I have the ability to speak out on behalf of almost 100,000 Canadians who live in my riding. That is a very privileged position.
I am constantly reminded of the great responsibility that comes with that and of the time I have in this House trying to contribute in some way to getting this country on a path towards a more sustainable future.
I think we can all agree that no other species on earth has had as much impact on this planet as humans have. We have effectively grown to straddle the globe. No part is untouched by our influence. Indeed, we are now in a unique position, for the first time in this planet's history, of actually having a determining role in its future. That has never happened in earth's history.
With that kind of power comes great responsibility. I look at the analogy of the frog sitting in a pot of water that is slowly heated to boiling. The frog is not quite aware. I feel that is somewhat similar to what we as humans are going through. We may not see, from moment to moment, the actual effects of climate change, but we have to look at this as a pattern over years and decades, and we will start to see the changes add up.
It is incumbent upon us to take the power we have in this House and the power the government has to influence policy to act and put us on a course of action. It will cost us if we do not.
I just want to read a quote referring to what economist Sir Nicholas Stern has said:
|| Failing to curb the impact of climate change could damage the global economy on the scale of the Great Depression or the world wars by spawning environmental devastation that could cost 5 to 20 percent of the world's annual gross domestic product....
We have a Liberal government that likes to say that the economy and the environment go hand in hand. I just read that quote that clearly explains what is at stake if we do not act on our environment. I feel that the economy is the junior partner in this. There are economic opportunities that lie before us if we take the correct course of action. However, if we do not, it is the economy that will suffer the greatest impact, because it very much relies on us having a clean environment and being able to survive in it.
That takes me to the next part, the elephant in the room, the reason we are here today. I heard some Liberal MPs questioning why we felt the need to bring this motion forward today. It is two words: Kinder Morgan.
Despite all the Liberals' promises and platitudes on the environment, no one in 2015 saw in their election platform a promise and a commitment to purchase a 60-year-old pipeline with a checkered history. That is $4.5 billion, and that is only the beginning. That will purchase the existing assets and does not take into account the billions more dollars that may have to be spent to expand it.
Canadians still have legitimate questions about where this money is actually going to come from, what crown corporation is going to take it over, and whether our pension plan funds are going to be part of it. It makes a mockery of our climate change commitments, if we have a government that is committed to meeting the Paris targets.
The initial National Energy Board review did not consider either the upstream or downstream greenhouse gas emissions from Trans Mountain, which is odd for a pipeline that is projected to add at least 13 to 15 megatonnes per year from increased oil sands production. If we look at the downstream emissions from the pipeline, if we were to expand it, it would be an estimated 71.1 megatonnes per year.
If we look at where we are trying to get in terms of keeping global temperatures stable, we can do some analytical modelling on how much carbon dioxide we can emit into the atmosphere to meet that and give every country in the world a carbon budget.
In a day and age when it is widely acknowledged that climate change is real and is happening and that we are the source of it, expanding a pipeline and expanding oil sands production flies in the face of our commitments. We cannot, in this case, walk and chew gum at the same time. It does not work. However, I acknowledge that we are going to continue using oil today, tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future, but what I would like to see is a transition plan so we can try to plateau and start minimizing our use.
The oil sands workers of Alberta have made a very valuable contribution to the Canadian economy, and they will continue to do so in the years ahead. However, we need to have that conversation with the workers of Alberta. I refute the misguided claims of the Liberal Party that we are not acknowledging the workers. We very much are. The member for , a proud Albertan, has been standing in this House repeatedly talking about the workers of Alberta, the electricians, welders, and people who have important transferable skills and can bring them to bear in other lines of work, if only we had a national government that was putting us on the correct course of action.
If we look at Canada's national emissions, fully 50% come from oil and gas and transportation. Those are two obvious targets we need to address if we are going to have any meaningful action on climate change.
When we look at the labour force, the Canadian Labour Congress, Unifor, and organizations like Blue Green Canada are all saying what the NDP is saying in the House. We have people who have the skills, but we need to have a national strategy. It becomes even more imperative, because there are literally trillions of dollars up for grabs if we position ourselves at this moment. If we look at the trend in the world in the 21st century and the fact that all of this money is there, we need to set ourselves on the right course of action. It does not mean investing in an old pipeline. It does not mean investing in a new one. It does mean looking after the current workers in the energy sector, retraining them, and positioning ourselves.
We can look at all the renewable energy sources and the possibilities of tidal power, geothermal, solar, and wind. Any one of these by itself cannot meet our needs. We have to look at a decentralized energy grid, where they are all working together. We can look at the advent of electric cars. They are going to be cheaper to buy, cheaper to maintain, and cheaper to operate. Market forces will have an effect, and people will start moving en masse.
I will conclude by repeating what we are debating today with our motion. We want this country to be a global climate change leader. We want to build a clean energy economy. That means that we have to make those investments. We have to put workers and skills training at the heart of this transition. It means, fundamentally, that we do not spend billions of dollars on a pipeline and its expansion. That money could have been better used elsewhere. I know that many Canadians today were expecting a lot different from the Liberal government, and I was as well.
Madam Speaker, before I begin, I should mention that I will be sharing my time with the member for .
Today, I want to talk about Canada's natural heritage, why it is important, and what our government is doing to protect it. Living in such a vast and beautiful country, I think Canadians have an intuitive connection to nature. Protecting nature and the environment is a principle embedded in our very DNA as Canadians. With summer just around the corner, Canadians are once again getting ready to enjoy the splendours of our country and our landscape.
Whenever we witness the beauty of the landscapes across this great land and spend time in nature, we reflect on how we must constantly do more to protect our environment and leave behind a worthy legacy for future generations.
Canadians know that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand and that their quality of life now and their future prosperity depend on our commitments to protecting our natural heritage and preserving the environment for future generations. That is why the government is investing heavily to protect Canada's air quality, water quality, and natural spaces for our children and grandchildren and to grow a world-class clean economy.
To combat climate change, the government has already allocated $5.7 billion over 12 years in support of the implementation of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. The plan, developed with the provinces and territories, and in consultation with indigenous peoples, will build a healthy environment for future generations while supporting a strong, clean economy, fostering innovation and creating good, well-paying jobs for the middle class.
The framework supports Canada's target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, while addressing the need to adapt and build resilience to climate change. It builds on provincial and territorial measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and identifies ways that governments, businesses, and civil society can seize the many economic opportunities afforded by the global clean growth economy.
As a first step in the framework, budget 2016 provided almost $2.9 billion over five years to address the effects of climate change and reduce air pollution. In November 2016, the government also launched the $1.5-billion national oceans protection plan to improve marine safety and responsible shipping, protect Canada's marine environment, and unlock new opportunities for indigenous and coastal communities.
In the 2017 budget, the government created a fund for its historic investments in green infrastructure and public transit and put forward new measures in support of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. Those measures include stimulating growth in the Canadian clean tech sector by providing the financing that innovative enterprises need to grow; supporting the research, development, demonstration, and adoption of clean technologies; and enhancing collaboration and establishing new ways of measuring success.
This new financing fuels the growth of companies. It provides the capital needed to hire new staff, develop products, and support sales both at home and internationally.
Budget 2017 made more financial support in the form of equity finance, working capital, and project finance available to promising clean technology firms.
Nearly $1.4 billion in new financing will be made available through the Business Development Bank of Canada, the BDC, and Export Development Canada to help Canadian clean tech companies grow and expand.
More recently, budget 2018 has proposed further investments to help grow a healthy and sustainable clean economy. To ensure that our children and grandchildren can continue to hike in our majestic forests and swim in our beautiful lakes, rivers, and streams, Canada has committed to conserving at least 17% of its land and inland waters by 2020, through networks of protected areas and other conservation measures. Both protected and conserved areas will ensure healthier habitats for species at risk and improve biodiversity.
To that end, budget 2018 announced historic investments of more than $1.3 billion over five years, one of the most significant investments in nature conservation in Canadian history. This investment will contribute $500 million from the federal government to create a new $1-billion nature fund, in partnership with corporate, not-for-profit, provincial, territorial, and other partners.
Through this collaboration, the nature fund will make it possible to secure private land, support provincial and territorial species protection efforts, and help build the capacity of indigenous peoples to conserve land and species for our benefit and the benefit of future generations. The government is also investing about $1 billion over five years to establish better rules for the review of major projects that will protect our environment, fish, and waterways, rebuild public trust, and help create new jobs and economic opportunities. This is an example of delivering on a promise to protect the environment, restore public trust in federal environmental assessment and regulatory processes, and provide predictability for businesses.
Budget 2018 proposed even further investments to help grow a healthy and sustainable clean economy. We are advancing efforts to better protect, preserve, and recover endangered marine life in Canada, with an investment of $167.4 million over five years. This includes funding for research to help us better understand the factors affecting the health of endangered whale species, as well as actions we can take now to help address threats arising from human activity.
These investments are good for the environment and good for the economy. Whales are vital to healthy marine ecosystems and an important part of eco tourism in Canada's Pacific and Atlantic coastal regions and, of course, in the St. Lawrence estuary.
To keep people and communities safe, we also need to improve the networks that collect data and monitor changes in weather, climate, air, water, and ice.
Budget 2018 proposes to improve Canada's weather and water services with $120 million over five years to help protect people and communities from the devastating impact of extreme weather events. These events, such as the wildfires and flooding we have unfortunately seen recently, can have a negative impact on our people, our economy, and our communities.
Another proposed measure our government is proud of is a plan to extend the existing accelerated deduction for clean energy generation and energy efficient equipment to property acquired before 2025. This proposal represents a five-year extension, as the existing accelerated deduction is scheduled to expire in 2020. The deferral of tax associated with this measure is expected to provide businesses with a benefit of approximately $123 million over five years. This renewed support will increase the after-tax income of about 900 businesses and can help us achieve the shared goal of encouraging investment in clean energy generation and promoting the use of energy efficient equipment.
Contrary to what the opposition party might like to believe, our government is making significant investments, like the ones I just mentioned, in order to ensure a healthy and sustainable low-carbon economy, an economy that generates growth and creates jobs for the benefit of all Canadians while preserving our natural heritage for future generations.
This is about ensuring a better future for generations to come, and to do that, our government has always been keenly aware that we must protect the environment and grow the economy at the same time and in a responsible manner.
0Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for for his important and timely motion today, and for his ongoing commitment to protecting the environment and moving Canada toward a clean energy future. It is a commitment that this government also shares.
It is not surprising, then, that as I consider the motion, I feel myself being inclined to agree with large parts of it. I agree that being a global climate leader and creating a clean energy economy means investing in clean renewable energy sources. I agree we must put workers at the heart of that and they should not have to choose between a good job and a healthy environment.
This is exactly what our government has been saying and doing since coming into office. In fact, we began from a very clear premise, that this would be the century of clean growth and that Canada must be among its leaders. We said from the outset that the environment and the economy must go hand in hand. This is not an empty slogan. It recognizes the fundamental truth that we can no longer talk about a thriving economy without regard for the environment.
Just as clearly, protecting the environment through new sources of energy, clean technology, and innovation is what will drive the economy for decades to come. The two are symbiotic, each strengthening and reinforcing the other, not working at odds.
That is why our government has planted its flag firmly in the clean growth economy by ratifying the Paris accord; putting a price on carbon; making generational investments in clean technology and green infrastructure, including a national network of recharging and refuelling stations; accelerating the phase out of coal; creating a clean fuel standard; regulating methane emissions; making unprecedented investments in foundational science; opening up, for the first time, Canada's offshore to marine renewables, such as wave and offshore wind; developing a $1.5 billion oceans protection plan; and together with our provincial and territorial colleagues, developing a national plan for combatting climate change and investing in clean growth. All told, our government is investing $8 billion in clean energy projects and renewable technologies.
We are doing all of this, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the smart thing to do. We know incredible opportunities lie ahead for those nations that develop the technologies and drive innovation for a more sustainable future.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects that more than $5 trillion will be invested in new renewable energy capacity by 2030. The Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, a good Canadian, calls clean growth a $30 trillion economic opportunity. This is where Canada's economic future lies. This is what the global future demands.
Our government is determined to seize those opportunities by investing today in areas of invention and imagination.
We also know that because climate change is a global issue, global action is required. That is why we were proud to join Mission Innovation as one of its founding members. As the hon. members know, Mission Innovation is a global initiative, comprising 22 nations and the European Union, aimed at accelerating the clean energy revolution. Canada has committed to doubling its funding for clean energy research and development, from $387 million to $775 million by 2020.
One of the most interesting aspects of Mission Innovation is the involvement of the private sector. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition, led by Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and other leading entrepreneurs, is investing in early stage companies to promote cleaner energy, improve the environment, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By engaging the dynamism and enlisting the energy of the private sector, Mission Innovation will bring breakthrough technologies to scale, revolutionize our energy systems, create highly skilled, good-paying jobs, and drive change into every corner of our economy.
This is what Canadians expect of their government. They want us to focus on clean energy and clean technologies. We know that because we asked them through the largest conversation about our energy in our nation's history.
Led by the , Generation Energy invited Canadians to imagine their energy future, how they expected the world to look when their kids and grandkids had grown, and what we would do now to get us there. Canadians responded in an unprecedented way, with numbers that are eye opening: more than 380,000 participants, 31,000 hits on social media, 63 engagement sessions in every part of the country, and more than 650 people at a two-day Generation forum in Winnipeg last fall. That forum brought together, often for the first time, energy producers and suppliers, international experts, Indigenous leaders, environmental organizations, consumers, and all levels of government.
What emerged was an inspiring vision of how Canadians saw their energy future. They told us they wanted a thriving, low-carbon economy.
They want us to be a leader in clean technology. They want an affordable and reliable energy system, one that provides equal opportunities to Canadians without harming our environment. They want indigenous peoples to be at the heart of decision-making and benefit from these wonderful opportunities.
Canadians are looking for smart cities, with integrated energy systems, increased energy efficiency, and low-carbon transportation. They want rural and remote communities to have better options than diesel for generating electricity and heating their homes.
In fact, IceGrid, an organization out of my riding in St. John's East, recently participated in and won an Infrastructure Canada event in Toronto with its proposal for renewable energy-backed projects in isolated communities. I am really interested to see how that project moves forward.
From Generation Energy, it is also clear that Canadians understand that while a lower-carbon economy is the goal, and we are not there, we need to prepare for the future, but we need to live in the present by providing energy on which people can count, energy that can turn on the lights when they flick the switch. That means continuing to support our oil and gas resources even as we develop alternatives, including solar, wind, and tidal.
It is here that I part company with the motion before us. It fails to recognize the connection between providing the world with the oil and gas it needs and using the revenues from those resources to invest in clean energy and clean technology going forward. In order to get to the low-carbon future, we need to invest and in order to invest we need resources and revenues, revenues that can come from our traditional energy resources.
Therefore, while the government shares the goals of the hon. member, we differ on the way forward. We will continue to invest in clean technology, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green infrastructure, the growth areas of today and tomorrow, and we will leverage Canada's conventional energy sources, improve their environmental performance, and reduce their environmental footprint as we continue to invest in more clean energy. This is the responsible path forward. It is the path we are following. It is the path that will lead us to a clean energy future, which I know the hon. member seeks.
It is important to realize that today's global economy uses almost 100 million barrels of oil a day, and that oil needs to come from parts of the world where the environmental standards are high, where the carbon footprint of the overall development of the oil and gas is low, like Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore, which is one of the lowest carbon dioxide producers per barrel in the world. It is important to recognize that in addition to the carbon damage that might be caused by oil and gas, there are also human rights and other impacts that oil and gas development has on our global economy.
Canada is a leader in this. We ensure we have growth that works for everyone. It helps fund the hospitals, schools, and social programs that Canadians enjoy. The high standard of living that we enjoy is funded in large part from our traditional resources. Canada's market share in the decline should be maintained.
As the minister likes to say, we want the last barrel of oil that comes out of the ground and sold into the world economy to be a Canadian barrel that is the lowest cost to our environment and lowest social cost to our planet. I know this is an area of concern. Not all sides of the House will agree on this.
It is an interesting motion in that the three areas really highlight differences between the three parties.
The first part of the motion talks about investing in “clean, renewable energy”. I think we will see that members of the House, from the speeches and the debate, largely agree on this point. When we talk about “putting workers and skills training at the heart of the heart of the transition to a clean energy economy”, that is an area where I think we can also have some agreement.
However, when we talk about whether we will to defend, protect, and promote our existing important resources all across the country, certainly in the oil and gas sector, that is clearly where we will be at a division.
When we talk about the fossil fuel infrastructure that we need to meet those needs, there is a way to read part (c) of the motion where members might actually feel that they could support the TMX.
The TMX is a way to ensure we have less environmental impact by sending our oil through pipelines instead of by rail or by truck, which currently happens. We will ensure that the highest levels and standards of protections are available on new pipeline capacity, whereas previous pipeline capacity may very well be obsolete and certainly could be improved. Therefore, we will go to a better future.
Madam Speaker, first of all, I would just like to thank the members for and for , who do so much work within our party around environmental issues.
I will be sharing my time with the member for .
For the people I represent, I just want to be very clear that this is the motion we are discussing today:
|| That, in the opinion of the House, being a global climate change leader and building a clean energy economy means: (a) investing in clean, renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal as well as investing in energy efficient technologies that create good quality, long-lasting jobs for today’s workers and future generations; (b) putting workers and skills training at the heart of the transition to a clean energy economy so workers don’t have to choose between a good job and a healthy environment for themselves and their families; and (c) not spending billions of public dollars on increasingly obsolete fossil fuel infrastructure and subsidies that increase greenhouse gas emissions and pollution and put Canadians’ health and Canada’s environment, coastlines, waterways, and wildlife, as well as Canada’s marine and tourism jobs at risk.
That is what we are talking about today. It has been disheartening to hear some of the comments in the House. Some people do not believe that climate change is happening. They do not believe it is something that we can impact. I completely disagree. I hear, “Canada has low emissions compared to other countries.” We cannot negate responsibility if we say we are not as bad as someone else. These are the realities our country and our world are facing.
Today we are standing in the House and we are asking Canada to be a climate leader. This is an opportunity for us to lead the way, to invest in technology and industry that other people will use, another way for Canada to build its economy. In fact, we know that Ceres and Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates there will be $12 trillion U.S. in renewable energy spending up for grabs for the next 25 years. The countries that come out ahead will be those that develop the technologies, the thinking, and the experience first, and use it to compete and grow in a global market for clean energy solutions.
That is a plan for Canada that I can get really excited about. What we have now is the reality that we have a government that has bought a 65-year-old pipeline that will bring less than 3,000 jobs. These are going to be direct short-term jobs that are created from the building of this pipeline and will only last during its construction, with less than 100 jobs remaining in place once it is constructed.
The commitment from the government, another broken promise, was the ending of fossil fuel subsidies. This would have been a step in putting renewable alternatives on a level playing field with the oil and gas sector. The Auditor General's spring report of 2017 concluded that the government has no intention of stopping the subsidies to fossil fuels.
On June 1, 2017, the Columbia Institute's Centre for Civic Governance released a report card, which found the Liberal government had not kept 50% of its climate change promises. The report card found that Canada had not established scientific GHG targets aligned with the Paris Agreement, was not guaranteeing new infrastructure funding that would not lock Canadians into a high-carbon pathway, was delaying the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, was not giving priority to community and indigenous-owned renewable energy projects, and was not developing a national thermal energy strategy.
This is very concerning for the people in my riding. In my riding of North Island—Powell River, we see a lot of people coming forward wanting to see a changing economy and wanting to see us moving towards an environmentally friendly economy. They want to be part of a strategy. They know where we are today. They know that oil and gas is an important part of our country, but it is something we need to look at, have more of a balanced approach, and move towards a more meaningful change in the future.
When I think of some of the specific challenges that have happened in my riding, I think of the Dzawada'enuxw First Nation in Kingcome Inlet. Over a year ago, unfortunately, a fish farm left diesel running all night. There was a huge diesel spill in their territory. They talked to me about going to that area and seeing, on top of the fish farm, some pads to absorb the diesel, but nothing else happening as the diesel was flowing in their waterways.
They asked to be a part of that. They wanted to have some training and some support to actually start implementing some of the things they needed to see happening. They waited hours for action. They are waiting now for more consultation and discussion. These are some of the important things that are happening.
Just recently, on Read Island and in Campbell River, we had forest fires in May. That is in my riding. That is something we do not usually see.
However, there are a lot of positive things happening. Recently, I participated in a “Forestry Proud” community event in Port McNeill. This event was showcasing the changing face of forestry, and talking about the history of forestry within our riding. We also took a look at green technology and how they are looking at new ways to harvest trees without such a large impact, while protecting some of those well-paying jobs that we have in our riding.
I think of the work that North Island College is doing. Right now it is working with several marine renewable energy companies in an effort to utilize the tidal currents we have in Campbell River, which are some of the best in all of the world, as well as looking at the wave energy available to south Vancouver Island. North Island College is working really hard and wanting to see investments so it can look at these initiatives that will support smaller communities and have a more impactful way around the environment.
I think of Jack Springer from Campbell River Whale Watching, who is working with Green Tourism Canada on an environmental certificate program in tourism and hospitality. Jack said it well. He said, “We've chosen to first clean up our own act.” Right now he has contributed about $5,000 to the Greenways Land Trust to maintain trails and the surrounding ecosystem. Greenways does so much good work in our area, and I am so proud of the investment it is seeing there.
I also think of another small business, Small Planet Energy, which is working across and outside the riding to help businesses and homeowners do more things for alternative energy so that they can be part of the change that so many Canadians want to see. What we have seen with that business is great growth, because so many people are interested in investing. They want to see that leadership and want to be part of it to see a more green economy, to make sure they are investing in things that will not harm the Earth for the future of their children.
Here we are today in the House asking the government to follow the leadership of so many members of communities across the country who are looking for a greener economy. They are investing in it themselves and want to see that reflected by their government.
I come from communities that have seen a lot of ups and downs. My riding has a strong resource-based economy in fisheries, forestry, and mining. One of the challenges is how boom and bust that is. We know that our small communities have paid a lot of taxes, and when those boom and bust cycles come we are often forgotten.
When I look at tackling climate change, it can actually allow us to make smart investments, to develop local communities, to look at small communities and see how we can support them. We can see the increase in energy efficiency. We can tackle pollution and promote Canadian entrepreneurship and skills building in the trillion-dollar global clean energy economy.
It is really important that we see the government take these steps. We are still waiting for that. We are still seeing significant investment in oil and gas sector subsidies. Where are the subsidies for those small businesses, like the one I talked about earlier, that are actively taking every step they can to educate people, to work with people, to find the most affordable way for people to look at alternative energy and become part of that cycle.
We are asking for leadership right now so that we can see actions that improve both our economy and the environmental outcomes for all of our country. We must put workers at the heart of this strategy. It is so important that we remember we do not have to set up that false choice of choosing between a good job and a healthy environment for workers, for their families, and for their communities.
I appreciate some of the hard work that is happening. I think of Iron & Earth. It is a worker-led non-profit. They are energy workers who are working to build renewable energy projects. They are strategizing around what a just transition would look like, and they are working very hard to provide that information. This is about knowing what the skill sets are and the opportunities are and making those things match so that we can have people move forward.
It is time for Canada to take a leadership approach on this. I hope the government will support the motion. It certainly does not sound like it will, but it is time that Canada step forward, start working together to be a leader across the world, and make sure we take this golden moment, this wonderful opportunity, to provide leadership in Canada and around the world. It is time for us to make a change, and I certainly hope that we see it soon.
Madam Speaker, I am happy to rise today to speak in support of the NDP opposition day motion in the names of the member for and the member for .
This is a motion that sets out a clear path for Canada to walk the walk of a climate leader. For more than a decade, I have been advocating for a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. I have consistently opposed further investment in fossil fuels, especially in investments that would result in an increase in tanker traffic on B.C.'s coast.
My opposition to increased tanker traffic, as many people know, dates back to when I was first elected to Esquimalt's council in 2008. I went to my first emergency preparedness meeting as a councillor and found that we had no plan and no resources for an oil spill on our beaches. I moved a motion in council then to oppose an increase in tanker traffic, and that motion was unanimously adopted by my council and later by the Union of B.C. Municipalities, because municipalities understood that a lack of a plan to even deal with the current tanker traffic meant that we could not afford the risk of a seven-times increase in tanker traffic that would come with the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
This increase in tanker traffic presents a threat to the environment on our pristine coasts and our already stressed ecosystems. However, it presents a particular threat to the 76 southern resident killer whales. Even the National Energy Board admitted that these orcas will probably be extinct if the Kinder Morgan project goes ahead, although the National Energy Board said it was not in its jurisdiction, of course, to look at that question.
Also, an increase in tanker traffic threatens the existing economy in my riding where fishing, both recreational and sport fishing, and tourism are the backbone of the private sector. No one comes to Vancouver Island to see oil spills. They come to enjoy the pristine beaches, the coastline, to fish, and to see the iconic southern resident killer whales.
A 700% increase in tanker traffic means a 700% increase in the likelihood of a spill. Therefore, even if the current risks are fairly low, we know that a spill will eventually take place. Even Kinder Morgan admitted that in its submission to the National Energy Board.
When the government says that we have world-class measures in place, it is important to talk about what it means by world-class measures to deal with spills. As a newly elected MP in 2011, I talked to the chief operating officer of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation, which is the oil and pipeline-owned non-profit responsible for spills. Of course, there is a little irony there when oil and pipeline companies own the company responsible for cleaning up the spills, but I digress. I asked what the standards are for a successful cleanup of a spill. He said that it is a 10% to 15% cleanup of the actual oil spilled and a response time of six to six and a half hours from my riding. I asked if that was because that is what science says is necessary or was it because that 15% cleanup and that six-hour response time is what would best limit the impacts in my riding. He said that, no, it was the best they could do and so that is the standard. This was the standard for cleaning up crude oil spills, not bitumen, which sinks, not floats.
As for the Liberals' vaunted $1.5-billion oceans protection plan, well, let us do the math. With $1.5 billion over 10 years, we are down to $150 million per year divided by three oceans. Let us say that the north gets cheated, as usual, and only gets $30 million of that. That then leaves about $60 million for each coast. Really, $60 million a year for each coast to improve our oil spill response capacity when we are going to have a seven-times increase in tanker traffic. Of course, the oceans protection plan really is not a plan. It is more a wish list, most of which consists of additional consultation and replacement of badly outdated equipment that is already needed on the coast.
Before the other side starts accusing me of hypocrisy or callousness to existing oil workers, or being a big spender for taking these actions, let me say three things before my hon. friends get started.
First, personal actions are necessary from all of us to meet the challenges of climate change. I do make best efforts personally, as those of us who are privileged can do. I have been driving an electric car for more than five years, and we have a heat pump and energy-efficient appliances in our home. I also buy carbon offsets for my flying as an MP. Individual action, however necessary, will never be sufficient to meet the challenges of climate change, and most Canadians lack the resources to make the changes in their lifestyle. Even if they were able to make those changes, they would not be enough without collective action.
Second, I have never suggested than an immediate shutdown of the oil sands is the solution, but I have called for a moratorium on the expansion of the oil sands, because we have to stop rushing headlong in the wrong direction.
Third, the question here of jobs is not one of making people unemployed. It is of making sure that they have high-quality, family-supporting, sustainable jobs in the long term.
Renewable technologies already exist. These technologies are proven and economic. In fact, as of this year there are more jobs in Canada already in the existing renewable energy industry than in the entire oil and gas industry.
Investment in renewable energy creates jobs in every community, not just in remote camps. These are skilled jobs, long-term jobs, not sunset jobs.
If we look at how much these jobs cost, it is very clear. Oil and gas investments per $1 million produce about one full-time job. Renewables do far better. Solar projects, just to take one example, generate more than six jobs for every $1 million invested. If we are going to make a straight economic argument as to where to invest for family-supporting, high-skilled jobs in the future, it is in renewable energy, not in oil and gas.
In some of the sectors of renewable energy the very skills that have been used in oil and gas are transferable. The best example of that is geothermal, mostly used for space heating and totally underutilized in Canada. This is the best example, because geothermal projects need civil and geological engineers. They need drillers, pipefitters, and welders. These are exactly the skills directly transferable from the oil and gas industry. What we need is support from government to get started on the transition for those workers.
Finally, I am often challenged to explain how we are actually going to pay for this necessary transition. Let us be clear. We must pay to act quickly or we will face catastrophic consequences and costs in trying to cope with climate change and perhaps even risk our future on this planet.
How do we pay? We could start by ending the federal subsidy on fossil fuels, estimated at nearly $3.3 billion per year. This is something that both the Liberals and the NDP promised in the last election, just a little difference in the timing. It would be immediately for us and by 2025 for the Liberals.
It is also interesting to note that a recent report from the Auditor General found that despite that promise, he could find no plan to phase out these subsidies, let alone any evidence that the government had started to do so.
There is $3.3 billion per year that we are putting into the old technology and into the climate-threatening technology in oil and gas.
In addition to that, I would argue, as I always have, that we should back away from wrong-headed decisions like buying out Kinder Morgan. Buying the old pipeline for $4.5 billion and then spending another $7 to 10 billion on its replacement is squandering up to $15 billion when we combine that with the subsidies that we could eliminate. This would give us an investment fund for renewable energy of over $10 billion in the first year, with another $3.3 billion available annually with the end of those subsidies. That is a lot of money to put into a solid renewable energy future and into jobs in every community across this country.
Now the government is telling us that the investment in Kinder Morgan is only temporary and the pipeline will be sold once it has been “de-risked”. However there was no private sector buyer for this pipeline when this guarantee by the government against delays was already in place, so it is hard to figure out who that future buyer would be, unless the Liberals plan on taking a big loss on behalf of the public. It is not clear yet from the government how it intends to pay for this big investment, both for buying Kinder Morgan and for building the new pipeline. There was obviously no provision in the last budget to do this, so where is the government going to find that money? It is very hard to figure that out.
It is very easy for some to try to blame the Horgan government for delay, easy perhaps rhetorically, but harder to make that case in reality. No permits applied for in British Columbia have been denied and going to court to protect provincial jurisdiction makes sense, because the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in the northern gateway case that the province had to do its own environmental assessment of that pipeline. How could that be the case if there is no provincial jurisdiction?
We face some stark choices ahead. We can continue down the path of investing in fossil fuels and we can continue to have increasingly harsh impacts of climate change that threaten all our jobs and all our families, or we can choose a path to a low-carbon economy, one that creates good, family-supporting jobs, sustainable jobs in all provinces and all communities, and one that avoids the looming catastrophe of climate change that will come with missing our Paris targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and that will come with the inevitable temperature increase beyond 2°.
I call for us to take that more progressive path.
Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for , which will obviously happen after question period.
It is not every day that we have the privilege of having our policy so nicely summarized and advocated in a motion by an hon. member of the opposition. I would like to thank the hon. member for his motion and also for his membership on the environment and sustainable development committee. He is a new member. We very much enjoy his contributions on the committee.
We are already taking action. We are making investments that are empowering Canadians with the skills and technologies to transform their lives and their economy toward a greener, cleaner, and more prosperous future that benefits all.
We are supporting the transition to a cleaner economy by putting a price on carbon pollution and by putting an end to the counterproductive and obsolete fossil fuel subsidies. That is what I would like to talk about specifically in my speech today. This activity is already well under way.
In June of 2016, our government, along with the United States and Mexico, committed to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 and called on other members of the G20 to do the same. We are working in a leadership capacity to make this goal a reality for Canada and our partners.
In recent years, Canada has made significant progress introducing measures to phase out a number of tax preferences that support the production of fossil fuels through the extraction of oil and gas and coal. This included the phase-out of the accelerated capital cost allowance for tangible assets in oil sands projects. That was in budget 2007, and its implementation was completed in 2015.
It included lowering the deduction rates for intangible capital expenses in oil sands projects to align with the rates for conventional oil and gas. That was in budget 2011, and its implementation was completed by 2016.
It included the phase-out of the Atlantic investment tax credit for investments in the oil and gas and mining sectors. That was in budget 2012 and was implemented and completed last year, in 2017.
It includes the phase-out of the accelerated capital cost allowance for tangible assets in mines, including coal mines. That was in budget 2013, and its implementation is to be completed by 2021.
It includes the lowering of the deduction rate for pre-production intangible mine development expenses, including for coal mines, to align with the rates for the oil and gas sector. That was in budget 2013, and implementation is to be completed in 2018.
It includes our government's action to allow the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance for liquefied natural gas at LNG facilities to expire, as scheduled, at the end of 2024.
It includes our budget 2017 decision to rationalize the tax treatment of expenses for successful oil and gas exploratory drilling. Its implementation is to be completed by 2021.
It includes our budget 2017 action to phase out the tax preferences that allow small oil and gas companies to reclassify certain development expenses as more favourably treated exploration expenses. That implementation is to be completed by 2020.
It is important to bear in mind that these actions are being taken gradually to avoid disruptive changes for the fossil fuel industry while supporting Canada's broader environmental objectives. At the same time, our government is currently evaluating non-tax measures to identify any that might be considered inefficient fossil fuel subsidies in the context of meeting our G20 commitments. While there is no commonly held definition, there has been a general understanding that fossil fuel subsidies can go beyond direct tax provisions to encompass things such as price controls, cash subsidies, and tax preferences.
Environment and Climate Change Canada officials are leading an interdepartmental review of federal non-tax measures. Our government will be acting on all findings in moving toward meeting our G20 commitment to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.
Like Canadians, we know that pollution is not free. Its costs are incurred through droughts, floods, smog, wildfires, and the effects it has on water, food, and the air we breathe. The price we pay is in our health and our future. The financial costs are also very real. Climate change alone is expected to cost our economy $5 billion by 2020.