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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 315

CONTENTS

Thursday, June 14, 2018




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148
NUMBER 315
1st SESSION
42nd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1000)  

[Translation]

Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

    I have the honour to lay upon the table, pursuant to section 38 of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, the report of the Public Service Integrity Commissioner for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.
    This report is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.

[English]

Parliamentary Budget Officer

    Pursuant to subsection 79.2(2) of the Parliament of Canada Act, it is my duty to present to the House a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer entitled “2017-18 Report on the Activities of the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer”.

[Translation]

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner

    Pursuant to section 28 of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, it is my duty to present to the House the report of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner on an inquiry in relation to the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the treaty entitled “Statute of the International Renewable Energy Agency” signed in Bonn on January 26, 2009.
    An explanatory memorandum is included with the treaty.

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 10 petitions.

  (1005)  

[Translation]

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation Act

[English]

Committees of the House

International Trade 

    Mr. Speaker, the House is very active this morning on trade. We are a trading nation, and it is good to see the minister tabling his report.
    I have the honour to present the 11th report of the Standing Committee on International Trade, “Expanding Trade and Investment with Selected Asia-Pacific Countries: Report on a Fact-Finding Mission to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand”. These are known as the ASEAN countries. We returned from there. It is a huge market, with a fast-growing economy and young people. It is a market we should look at. I am glad that my colleague, the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville, is also here with me to present this report. I would recommend that all members read the report and try to visit these wonderful countries. It is a good way to expand trade and to get along with other countries.

Transport, Infrastructure and Communities  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 25th report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, entitled “Update on Infrastructure”.
    I want to thank and congratulate all members of the transport committee for their great co-operation and the great work they all did.

[Translation]

Procedure and House Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 65th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of committees of the House.
    If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 65th report later today.

[English]

Status of Women  

    Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present, in both official languages, the 12th report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, entitled “Women's Economic Security: Securing the Future of Canada's Economy”. This is a fantastic opportunity to do the study, with over 42 members of Parliament taking part in this. I would like to thank the member for Sarnia—Lambton, our former chair, who did an exceptional job. I would also like to give special thanks to our clerk, Kenza Gamassi, as well as Clare Annett, Dominique Montpetit, and Laura Munn-Rivard from the parliamentary information and research service. This is a very extensive study, and I believe that all parliamentarians and all Canadians will find some exceptional information on everything from pay equity to child care and what we can do for women when it comes to mentorship.
    Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of tabling the party's dissenting report for the study on economic security completed by the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. As Conservatives, we know that there are many ways to be a successful woman and it is up to each woman herself to choose the path to her success, which is why economic choice is the greatest measure of equality and something that every government should strive for. Women deserve the freedom to work where they choose, be that on the farm, in the office, in the classroom, at home, et cetera. It is the woman's choice, and it is not up to the government to dictate this to her.
    Women are strong and capable. They are able to make these decisions for themselves, and they are able to make them in conjunction with their family members. Autonomy must be granted; freedom must be protected; and choice must be respected. This is what women expect from every government, and this one is no exception, despite the fact that the Liberals think they can dictate these things to women in Canada.
    The Prime Minister has said that poverty is sexist. In saying this, he has said that poverty disproportionately impacts women and impacts them in a very negative way. Here is the interesting thing. This is the same government that is imposing a carbon tax, and the carbon tax will impact the well-being of women. Let us consider in particular single mothers who are responsible for driving their children to sports practices, dance classes, school, et cetera. These women will now be paying an additional 11¢ per litre on the gasoline that they put in their vehicles in order to go to the places they need to go in order to be good moms. All of this feeds into their ability to economically support themselves and their families.
    It is the government that is putting the carbon tax in place. Furthermore, we have asked the government how much the carbon tax is going to cost Canadian families. We would love to know how much it is going to cost a single mom who is working hard to raise her family. The government has hidden that information not only from us on this side of the House, but from all Canadians. Liberals are saying that this is good for Canada, but it is going to ruin lives. It is going to make life less affordable. It is going to prevent people from being able to pay their bills and do the things that are necessary for daily life. The government needs to do more to advance the economic security of women, instead of disadvantaging them.
    I agree with the Prime Minister that poverty is sexist, and he is perpetuating it.

  (1010)  

[Translation]

Procedure and House Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 65th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House earlier today, be concurred in.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)

[English]

Petitions

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today to present a petition with numerous names on it. There are currently two bills before Parliament proposing to impede the trafficking of human organs obtained without consent or as a result of financial transactions, Bill C-350 in the House of Commons and Bill S-240 in the Senate. It gives me great pleasure to present this petition on behalf of those who signed it.

Pensions  

    Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present. The first is in support of Bill C-397, which would amend legislation that denies a spouse the pension of military personnel, members of Parliament, judges, employees, public servants, and RCMP if the marriage took place after age 60.
    We know very well that spouses provide care, support, and love even after age 60. The petitioners are calling upon the Government of Canada to support my bill, Bill C-397, which would amend all legislation that denies surviving spouses pensions based on the time of their marriage, because even after 60, we can love.

Postal Banking  

    Mr. Speaker, nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to the predators at payday lenders' institutions. They charge crippling fees that affect the poor, marginalized, rural, and indigenous communities the most. We have 3,800 Canada Post outlets that already exist in rural and remote areas, where there are few or no banks. These outlets are perfectly capable of conducting financial transactions. The petitioners ask the Government of Canada to enact my motion, Motion No. 166, which would create a committee to study and propose a plan for postal banking under Canada Post Corporation.
    I remind the hon. member for London—Fanshawe and others that while presenting petitions we do not present arguments. We present in brief and in a very summary form what the petitioners are seeking.
    The hon. member for Oxford.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure to present this petition. Increasing concerns about international traffic in human organs removed from victims without consent have not yet led to a legal prohibition on Canadians who travel abroad. There are two bills, one before the House and one in the Senate, Bill C-350 and Bill S-240, and the petitioners request that they be passed as soon as possible to prohibit this. The petitioners are from across southwestern Ontario.

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, at a time of unprecedented global awareness about the problem of marine plastics, and horrifying images of choked whales and snared sea-turtles, petitioners from Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Parksville, and Gabriola Island call on Parliament to support the motion of the New Democrat member for Courtenay—Alberni, Motion No. 151. They call for action on marine plastics, supplementing the citizen action to clean up beaches. Citizens are also calling for change, and specifically calling on the government to regulate use of single-use plastics, as well as provide permanent and ongoing funding to deal with marine debris such as ghost nets, which have been killing fish and marine mammals for decades. We commend the petition to the House.

  (1015)  

Disability Tax Credit  

    Mr. Speaker, I have five petitions to table, so I will do this as quickly as I can. The first petition is from 26 constituents of mine regarding the Income Tax Act. They are specifically petitioning the House of Commons, reminding it that up to 40% of persons with disabilities do not apply for disability tax credit. They are calling on the House to support Bill C-399, an act to amend the Income Tax Act, disability tax credit. They want to protect diabetics and patients with rare diseases so they are able to apply for the disability tax credit. They want to ensure that they receive the benefits they deserve and are entitled to.

[Translation]

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on Bill C-350, which was introduced in the House.
    The petitioners expressly call on Parliament to pass Bill C-350 and Senate Bill S-240. These bills propose to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in order to prohibit Canadians from travelling abroad to acquire organs obtained without consent or as a result of financial transactions, as well as to render any permanent resident or foreign national who has engaged in the heinous practice of human organ trafficking inadmissible to Canada.
    This petition has been signed by Canadians across the country.

[English]

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, I have another petition here on religious freedoms in Pakistan. It is signed by 529 petitioners. They are reminding the House of Commons of the situation in Pakistan, specifically affecting religious-minority communities, specifically the Sindhi community. The petitioners are asking the government to pressure the Pakistan government to address this issue through legislation safeguarding minority rights and revoking discriminatory laws, and to make Canadian international aid to Pakistan conditional on Pakistan's adherence to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Canada Summer Jobs Program  

    Mr. Speaker, my next petition is on the Canada summer jobs program attestation. It is signed by 30 constituents of mine reminding the House that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to all Canadians and the government has no right to intervene in the way it has done and force people to believe a certain thing over another. The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to defend the freedoms of conscience, thought, and belief, and withdraw the attestation requirement for applicants to the Canada summer jobs program.

Disability Tax Credit  

    Finally, Mr. Speaker, I present my final petition. Twenty-seven signatories have signed as petitioners from my riding, on Bill C-399. They are asking again for the Government of Canada and all members of the House of Commons to support Bill C-399, an act to amend the Income Tax Act regarding the disability tax credit.

[Translation]

Guaranteed Income Supplement  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by citizens in the riding of Jonquière concerning the guaranteed income supplement.
    As we know, the government recently announced automatic registration for the guaranteed income supplement for all seniors when they turn 64, but we also know that not all seniors will be automatically registered. It is important for low-income seniors who receive old age security to also collect the guaranteed income supplement. That is why I am presenting this petition concerning the guaranteed income supplement on behalf of my constituents in the riding of Jonquière.

[English]

Kinder Morgan Pipeline  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present two petitions.
    One has about 70 signatures from residents exclusively from Salt Spring Island in my riding. They examined the threat posed by the Kinder Morgan expansion. I note this petition was prepared apparently before the decision to buy the pipeline, but the petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to immediately act to prevent the expansion's moving through British Columbia.

  (1020)  

Wild Salmon  

    The second petition, Mr. Speaker, relates to the threat to wild salmon, specifically in British Columbia. The petitioners make reference to the landmark report by Mr. Justice Cohen, the special investigation in 2012 into the catastrophic decline of salmon in British Columbia, particularly the Fraser River sockeye. The petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to act on and immediately implement all 75 recommendations made by Mr. Justice Cohen.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to table a petition in support of my private member's bill, Bill C-350. It seeks to combat the trafficking in organs without patients' consent. This bill was seconded by a member of the government, the member for Etobicoke Centre, and it was originally proposed in the same form by Irwin Cotler, a previous Liberal justice minister, so it is a bipartisan, multipartisan initiative that seeks to combat this terrible scourge of organ trafficking.
    The petitioners also mention Bill S-240, which has already been reported back from committee to the Senate, and I hope we will be able to see that bill here very soon. The petitioners call on the House to pass these bills as soon as possible to work toward the role Canada can play in ending this injustice.

Gatineau Park  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Ottawa Valley chapter, asking the federal government to recognize the boundaries of Gatineau Park in Canadian law and pass legislation to ensure its protection for future generations.

Sex Selection  

    Mr. Speaker, I have in my hands a petition sent to me by numerous constituents in my riding who are calling on the government to condemn the act of sex-selective abortion.

[Translation]

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition regarding Bill C-350, which was introduced by my colleague from Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan and is supported by the members of the House. The purpose of the bill is to tackle human organ trafficking.
    I am happy to see that this bill has the support of the members of the House.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, like some of my other colleagues here today, I have the pleasure of tabling a petition from residents across Canada who are calling on the government to take seriously the fact that there are many people who are going overseas in order to seek out organs that have been acquired illegally without the permission of the individual from whom they are taken.
    There are a number of bills, one in the House of Commons and one in the Senate, that are calling for a stop to this practice and that Canada would condemn it and take action with regard to the individuals who are leaving Canada in order to go abroad to participate in this practice. The individuals who have signed this petition are calling on the House to move very quickly with regard to putting legislation in place to stop this abhorrent practice.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Questions Nos. 1719, 1721, and 1725.

[Text]

Question No. 1719--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
    With regard to the new regulations being imposed by the government on the lobster fishery for the 2018 season, which were announced in April 2018 and include the potential closure of wide swaths of fishing grounds: (a) did the Department of Fisheries and Oceans conduct any studies on the impact of the new regulations on the New Brunswick lobster fishing industry and, if so, what are the details of any such studies, including (i) who conducted the study, (ii) methodology, (iii) findings, (iv) website location where findings are located; and (b) did the Department of Fisheries and Oceans conduct any studies on the impact of the new regulations on the overall New Brunswick economy and, if so, what are the details of any such studies, including, (i) who conducted the study, (ii) methodology, (iii) findings, (iv) website location where findings are located?
Mr. Terry Beech (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, measures were urgently developed over a five-month period due to the unprecedented North Atlantic right whale mortality event that occurred in 2017. They take into account the best available science and input from stakeholders, partners, experts, and indigenous peoples. Closures will reduce fishing effort and could impact communities, but the survival of the species is tied to the long-term economic well-being of Canada’s coastal communities. As a result, in-depth economic analysis of the impact of the new management measures on the New Brunswick lobster fishing industry and overall New Brunswick economy did not occur.
    The fishing area closed on April 28 in the Gulf of St. Lawrence region could affect up to 200 lobster harvesters and covers approximately 196 km2 or 4.9% of the entire lobster fishing ground in lobster fishing area, LFA, 23C. Each fish harvester has 300 traps. By imposing the closure, there is a potential reduction of up to 60,000 vertical lines in the water in an area where North Atlantic right whale concentration was observed in 2017. Since the season opening, unofficial LFA 23 landings are between 350 pounds per day, for LFA 23 D, and up to 1,000 pounds per day, for LFA 23 A, B, and C, which are typical to above average from previous years. Thus far, the impacts of the closure have been limited.
    The targeted fisheries management measures being applied demonstrate Canada’s commitment to protecting this species, which is both mandated under the Canadian Species at Risk Act and critical to meeting the new import provisions under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act. Our government will continue to work co-operatively with U.S. counterparts to ensure Canada is able to meet the new U.S. import provisions and avoid any potential impact to the sector with regards to trade.
    The current state of the right whale population is extremely concerning and the Government of Canada will continue to work with experts, industry, and environmental groups to develop approaches to reduce risks to whales while limiting negative impacts to fishing communities. DFO is committed to working with industry to explore additional management measures and to develop appropriate systems for fishing gear rope and buoys for future years that will further reduce risks to North Atlantic right whales and protect Canada’s vital fisheries sector.
Question No. 1721--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
    With regard to the Canada 150 hockey rink on Parliament Hill: (a) what were the total costs associated with the “Canada 150 Rink” Twitter account; (b) how many full-time equivalents managed the rink Twitter account; and (c) were the costs associated with the rink Twitter account included in the 8.1 million dollars amount associated with the rink's costs?
Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the “Canada 150 Rink” Twitter account is exclusively owned and entirely managed by the Ottawa International Hockey Festival. The Department of Canadian Heritage had no involvement in the creation or maintenance of the account.
Question No. 1725--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
     With regard to costs associated with the Canada Infrastructure Bank to date: (a) what are the total costs of managing the Bank, broken down by (i) leases, (ii) salaries of full-time equivalents and corresponding job classifications, (iii) operating expenses; (b) how many projects have applied for funding through the Bank; (c) of the projects in (b), how many have been approved; and (d) how many projects assigned through the Bank have begun operations, broken down by region?
Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to costs associated with the Canada Infrastructure Bank, CIB, until March 31, 2018, the total costs of managing the bank are broken out as follows: (i) leases: $ 90,461.35; (ii) salaries of full-time equivalents and corresponding job classifications: $160,170.25, for the job classifications of interim chief investment officer, office manager, and administrative assistant; and (iii) operating expenses: $1,824,457.
    With regard to (b) (c) and (d), the CIB continues to engage with stakeholders in the public and private sectors to formulate a pipeline of projects for potential investment. As of March 31, 2018, no project had been approved for investment by the CIB. The CIB’s fiscal year end is March 31 and therefore information for the period of April 1 to April 27, 2018 is not currently available.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Mr. Speaker, if the government's response to Questions Nos. 1717, 1718, 1720, 1722 to 1724, and 1726 to 1728 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 1717--
Mr. Jamie Schmale:
     With regard to materials prepared for ministerial exempt staff from December 1, 2017, to present: for every briefing document prepared, what is the (i) date on the document, (ii) title or subject matter of the document, (iii) department’s internal tracking number, (iv) title of individual for whom the material was prepared, (v) sender?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1718--
Mr. Jamie Schmale:
     With regard to reports of “March madness” expenditures where the government makes purchases before the end of the fiscal year so that departmental funds do not go “unspent”, broken down by department agency or other government entity: (a) what were the total expenditures during February and March of 2018 on (i) materials and supplies (standard object 07), (ii) acquisition of machinery and equipment, including parts and consumable tools (standard object 09); and (b) what are the details of each such expenditure, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date of expenditure, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) delivery date, (vi) file number?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1720--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
     With regard to government advertisements (ads) launched on Facebook since January 1, 2016: (a) how many ads have been launched by month and what were the corresponding campaigns for each (ie. employment insurance, citizenship services, tax credits, grants, etc.); (b) how long was each ad active for online; (c) what were the insights for each ad launched, including (i) how many people were reached by each ad, (ii) what percentage of women and men were reached by each ad, (iii) what were the age group ranges used for each ad, (iv) what were the federal, provincial, or municipal regions targeted by each ad, (v) were specific interests, pages, or likes included in the targeting of the ads, broken down by ad; and (d) who in the department or Minister’s office receives or has access to the data gathered in the insights of these ads?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1722--
Ms. Candice Bergen:
    With regard to individuals who have crossed the border illegally and are currently being housed in accommodations being paid for, funded, or operated by the government: (a) what is the current number of individuals in such accommodations; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by city and province; (c) what is the list of facilities, such as stadiums or hotels where large groups of individuals (more than 100) are being accommodated; (d) for each location in (c), what is the number of individuals housed at each location; and (e) what is the projected total expenditures on such accommodations for the 2018 calendar year?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1723--
Mr. Alupa A. Clarke:
     With regard to each contracts granted by any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity, since October 26, 2016, to The Gandalf Group or any of its partners, what are: (a) the vendors' names; (b) the contracts' reference and file numbers; (c) the dates of the contracts; (d) the descriptions of the services provided; (e) the delivery dates; (f) the original contracts' values; (g) the final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values; and (h) the details of any research, polling, or advice provided to the government as a result of such contracts?
    (Return tabled0
Question No. 1724--
Mr. Alupa A. Clarke:
     With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency: (a) how many individuals have been falsely or accidentally declared deceased by the Agency when they were actually alive, since January 1, 2016; (b) what was the average time between when the CRA declared an individual dead and when the mistake was corrected; and (c) what was the average time it took the CRA to fully pay the lost benefits that it owed individuals who were falsely declared dead by the CRA, from the day that the CRA was first notified of their mistake?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1726--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
     With regard to expenditures related to accommodations, including operational and other expenses at such locations, for individuals who illegally or irregularly crossed the border: (a) what is the total of all expenditures in 2017; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure, including (i) vendor, (ii) date, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) file number?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1727--
Mr. Ron Liepert:
     With regard to renovation, redesign and re-furnishing of Ministers’ or Deputy Ministers’ offices since April 1, 2016: (a) what is the total cost of any spending on renovating, redesigning, and re-furnishing for each ministerial office, broken down by (i) total cost, (ii) moving services, (iii) renovating services, (iv) painting, (v) flooring, (vi) furniture, (vii) appliances, (viii) art installation, (ix) all other expenditures; and (b) what is the total cost of any spending on renovating, redesigning, and re-furnishing for each Deputy Minister’s office, broken down by (i) total cost, (ii) moving services, (iii) renovating services, (iv) painting, (v) flooring, (vi) furniture, (vii) appliances, (viii) art installation, (ix) all other expenditures?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1728--
Ms. Brigitte Sansoucy:
    With regard to the statement by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue during the adjournment proceedings of April 17, 2018, that “In 2015-16, the EI program received more than 365,000 sickness benefit claims, and paid out over $1.5 billion for this type of benefit. On average, recipients claimed 10 weeks of benefits of the maximum entitlement of 15 weeks. This shows that, in the majority of cases, the available coverage is sufficient”: (a) how many people applied to use the benefit for each calendar year between 2004 and 2017; (b) how many people received the benefit for each calendar year between 2004 and 2017; (c) how many people claimed 10 weeks of benefits out of the maximum entitlement of 15 weeks in (i) 2015, (ii) 2016, (iii) 2017; (d) how many people claimed 15 weeks of benefits in (i) 2015, (ii) 2016, (iii) 2017; (e) how many people claimed 14 weeks of benefits in (i) 2015, (ii) 2016, (iii) 2017; (f) how many people claimed 13 weeks of benefits in (i) 2015, (ii) 2016, (iii) 2017; (g) how many people claimed 12 weeks of benefits in (i) 2015, (ii) 2016, (iii) 2017; and (h) how many people claimed 11 weeks of benefits in (i) 2015, (ii) 2016, (iii) 2017?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

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

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Pricing  

    Today, the House will go through the usual procedures to consider and dispose of the supply bill based on the main estimates 2018. In view of recent practices, do hon. members agree that the bill be distributed now?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    That, given the government’s failure to provide a clear explanation of the costs of its carbon tax policy, and given that the people of Ontario have rejected the carbon tax, the House call on the government to table, by June 22, 2018, how much the proposed federal carbon tax of $50 per tonne will cost a median Canadian family.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, though I speak here and now, and in the present, I want to reach back into our ancient history to discuss our ancient rights and liberties as parliamentary people.
     We inherited this place from our British ancestors, who gathered in the fields of Runnymede to force King John to sign the Magna Carta. Among the demands made by what we today would call “citizens” but then were called “subjects” was that the crown could not levy funds for which there had not been provided general consent. In other words, King John and his predecessors had plundered the people in order to fund endless foreign wars and costly ventures, and had done so without the consent of the people actually paying the bills. From that grew a principle that would eventually be called in American terms “no taxation without representation”. In other words, the government cannot tax what legislatures do not approve. That principle remains here today.
    As members know, governments are banned from levying any tax or in fact making any expenditures before it is approved by this here, a gathering of the commoners. It is not enough for the Senate, which historically represented the aristocracy, to make that approval. It does not represent the common people who pay those costs. We do. We are the representatives of the commoners, and that is why we are here in the House of Commons standing, as we are, on this green carpet representing the fields from which the original commoners came and for whose consent we are the ones delegated to provide.
    Before the House of Commons at present is a budget bill that would levy a new tax, a carbon tax. That tax would apply to any good that uses fossil fuels in their production or transport to bring it to consumers. As a result, the tax will raise the cost of almost every consumer good people buy, not only those products that are directly made with fossil fuels but those that are transported or produced by those fuels. Not only will our gas prices, home heating prices, and other fuel costs rise, but our groceries, which come by truck and train, will also become expensive. Consumer goods like furniture and clothing, which also have to be transported to retail outlets, will become more expensive. The government will collect the revenues on those increased costs.
     However, unlike other taxes, the costs were not itemized for everyday Canadians. If we pay income tax, we file and we find out what we pay. If we pay HST, we look at our bill and we see how much tax formed part of our purchase price. Therefore, Canadians can generally, if imprecisely, calculate what each tax is costing them. Carbon taxes are far more insidious. Their costs are embedded inside the products and services that people buy but they are not itemized on any receipt. Therefore, if grocers raise the costs of fresh fruits and vegetables to feed our kids, we might assume that they are to blame, when in fact they are not behind the cost increase; rather, it is the government and its carbon tax that is causing that price inflation.
     The government is proposing to move forward with this tax to embed all of these price increases in the purchases that Canadians make without telling them what it would cost. One defence it might otherwise have made for this secrecy is that it does not know what it would cost. However, that is not true. I have obtained numerous documents, which I have attempted to table in this House, in which the government has calculated the costs. It says that it has tables in which the costs for the average household is calculated, yet it blacks out the numbers, denying Parliament the information it needs in order to vote on this budget bill.

  (1025)  

    I spoke earlier about the principle of no taxation without representation. Well, there can be no representation without information. The government cannot tax what Parliament does not approve, but Parliament cannot approve what it does not know. Therefore, there can be no taxation without information.
     The government has that information but refuses to release it. Why? What is the motivation for keeping all of this secret? I think it is the same motivation that a high-priced retailer has when trying to sell an excessively expensive product. They do not put the price on a product, but ask that a person bring the item up to the front and make a psychological decision to buy it. Only after, when one has one's credit card out, does one find out what it costs.
     My experience is that when I walk through a retail outlet and there is a product that does not have a price tag on it, it is because it is too expensive and I cannot afford it. That may well be why the government is trying to sell the carbon tax without telling people what it will cost them. Even worse, unlike the retailer who at some point prior to the transaction must reveal the cost, in this case, the Liberals do not even propose to reveal the cost after the purchase is made. In other words, people will be paying sums of money to the government without even knowing they are doing it, because those sums are buried in literally millions of products and services that Canadians buy every week and every day.
    We, on this side of this House as Her Majesty’s loyal opposition, cannot countenance this violation of our ancient right to know what the government costs us. That is why I am announcing today that we have put forward over 200 motions to object to the spending bill the government has just tabled before the House. We will keep the government here voting for as long as 30 hours until it releases every single document it has since the last federal election indicating what this tax will cost the average Canadian family.
    I notice that we have a very enthusiastic group of Conservatives here who are prepared to stand and do their duty, to stand and defend taxpayers, to stay here all night if they have to, and stay as long as necessary to defend the people they represent. However, there is no enthusiasm on that side of the House of Commons. I hear nothing but deafening silence, and I see nothing but glum faces. Many of the backbenchers on that side are actually decent and conscientious people, but I am sure members will forgive me for saying that they feel no comfort in watching their privileged front bench cover up the facts from their constituents. I know that they will find it miserable to sit there and vote time after time to protect the secrecy of the front bench as it moves forward with this new, insidious, secretive tax. We know that the Liberals have a majority, but we will use our numbers, such as they are, the strong mandate of the official opposition that we have been given, to make it as difficult as possible for the government to pull off this rip-off.
    If members want any proof that this is anything but a tax grab, look at how the Liberals are taxing the tax. They propose to impose the GST not just on products people buy but on the carbon tax cost of those products. Let us say that a Canadian buys some furniture at a furniture store, just like any other middle-class suburban family would do to furnish their home. Of course, the furniture would be subject to a goods and services tax, but there is also another tax hidden within the cost of that furniture, and that is the cost of the carbon tax that has been borne by those who produced the furniture and then transported the furniture.

  (1030)  

     All of those costs get transferred to the customer. The customer always gets the cost passed down. The government not only proposes that the GST should apply to the furniture but also to the carbon tax cost on that furniture. In other words, it is a tax on a tax.
    The Parliamentary Budget Officer says that in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia alone the federal government will collect a quarter billion dollars in GST on the carbon tax. Imagine what those costs would be right across the country in the form of GST on the carbon tax. Canadians are being forced to pay a tax for the privilege of paying another tax. I asked the government about this and it said this is how the GST works. According to the government, it applies to all the goods and services Canadians buy.
    Is the carbon tax a good or a service? I am not sure it is any good except in being of service to the government's plan to take more money from everyday taxpayers. As my friend to the left of me said, it is a disservice to everybody else.
    We are calling on the government to release all the documents in its possession. I know the government will try to get out of this voting session tonight by coming up with some phony number that it will invent at the eleventh hour in order to let all of its MPs go home. I want to be very specific about this. We want every single document produced by every single department that calculates the cost of the carbon tax to every single Canadian that has been produced since the last election.
    There is no reason why the government cannot do this. We are not looking for commercially sensitive information. What commercial sensitivity could possibly exist in telling people what they are going to have to pay? There is no national security reason the government should not do this, although ironically, the government might go so far as to make an argument for such exemptions. It did use an exemption under an access to information request, that it says in the act that revealing to Canadians the cost of the carbon tax would imperil the government's ability to manage the economy. That was the exemption the government used in the existing Access to Information Act in order to justify withholding information.
    Not only will the carbon tax that the Liberals have designed damage the economy, mere knowledge of its cost could be damaging to the government's ability to administer the economy, according to the government. Let us be realistic here. If the carbon tax is going to damage the economy, keeping its cost secret is not going to mitigate those damages. That excuse does not work.
    The Liberals say the carbon tax is a provincial policy, that it has nothing to do with them, so they cannot possibly release any information on it. Bill C-74 is a federal government bill introduced in the House of Commons to impose a carbon tax at a national level. If it were simply a provincial issue, we would not need federal legislation, so therefore it is a federal issue.
    Then the Liberals say some of these numbers are outdated, that they go back two years. They claim the whole world has changed in two years, so members do not need that crazy old data; they will keep it to themselves. Well, if it is so old, just release it and explain to Canadians why it is not applicable anymore. They should just say the numbers are very high and that they will damage the middle-class Canadian household. They should just tell us that there is no reason to worry because it is old information and it is no longer relevant, that they have new information with which to replace it, and that they will let Canadians look at all those facts and in their wisdom decide who to believe. That objection does not work.

  (1035)  

    I am very curious to hear throughout the day specific justifications from members of the government for keeping these costs secret. Even those who support a carbon tax should be in favour of telling people what it costs. If it is worth what it costs, then why not provide those costs and justify them in making the case? However, the government will not do that. It wants to keep those costs secret because if the costs become known, then one of the claims the government has made will be disproven. It has claimed that the carbon tax is going to be revenue neutral. To be revenue neutral the government would have to tell people what it is collecting and what people are paying in the first place.
    How can we believe the Liberals are going to neutralize a cost if we do not know what that cost is? If they were really going to neutralize the effect on middle- and working-class households of this new tax, they would first need to say, “Here's what it costs and here's what you're getting back in some other tax reduction”. However, they will not do that because this is not revenue neutral. The reason we know that is because I specifically asked officials with Environment Canada and Finance Canada at the committee whether the government would use the proceeds of the tax to lower other taxes, in other words to let people keep more through income tax savings in order to compensate them for what extra they pay in carbon taxes. The officials in both those departments confirmed that the government intends to do no such thing. It will not use the revenues to reduce any other tax. In fact, it will use these revenues in order to spend more money. That is the Liberals' definition of revenue neutral. If Canadians send it, they will spend it. Saying they are going to raise a tax, but not to worry, they will spend every penny, is not revenue neutral. It is a tax grab.
    We know we cannot trust the government on money. Just yesterday, I stood up in the House of Commons and quoted a Fraser Institute study showing that 81% of middle-class Canadians are paying more income tax today than when the Prime Minister took office. The Prime Minister stood up and said, “That's not what the report said at all. Come on”. It turns out he had similar denials on the floor of the House of Commons, and he had so offended the report's authors that they actually took what is perhaps the unprecedented step of asking newspapers to run a guest column where they could correct the Prime Minister and point out that indeed Canadian middle-class taxpayers are paying more because of the policies of the Prime Minister, which is exactly the opposite of what he promised in the last election.
    After I disproved his claim about the report, he stood up and said, “Okay, Liberals have raised taxes, but they've just taken away boutique tax credits from rich people”. By rich people he means anyone who used the public transit tax credit to take the bus. If someone takes the bus they are too rich for the Prime Minister. He takes a limousine; they take the bus. Taxpayers who used the children's fitness tax credit to put their kids in soccer and hockey are too rich, according to the Prime Minister, and they deserve a tax increase. Students who used the textbook tax credit to buy their expensive books in order to learn are too rich according to the Prime Minister, and according to him they deserve a tax increase. All of this is just a bit rich coming from our trust fund millionaire Prime Minister, who has never once raised taxes on himself.
    On this side of the House, we will continue to stand up for working-class taxpayers to give them the chance to earn a better life and keep more of what they earn. We believe in putting people before government, a principle that is 800 years old, a principle that helped inspire the very creation of the parliamentary system in which we operate and debate today, and in which we will stand and vote hour after hour for the rights of taxpayers tonight.

  (1040)  

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member ended his speech with the phrase “putting people” first. This government has put people first. We have put people first by thinking about their health. We have put people first by thinking about the planet on which we live. That is why we are putting a price on pollution.
    In 2015, Canadians paid $39 billion toward pollution. That would cost a family of four $4,300 per year to pay for pollution. We are trying to create a system that not only reduces that and puts a cost on what we do not want, but also ensure we have a healthy environment for our children and our grandchildren.
     Also, we are ensuring that businesses are part of a clean economy, a clean tech economy, which is a $23 trillion industry, and reduces pollution. We are putting people first by looking after their health, by looking after future generations, and having businesses being part of a clean growth economy, which will improve the economic situation for a lot of Canadians, putting them first.

  (1045)  

    Mr. Speaker, the member seems to be arguing that the carbon tax is worth the cost. I do not know how she could have concluded that if we do not know the cost. The government will not even tell us how much greenhouse gas will be reduced by this tax, which is its supposed benefit. Therefore, we are supposed to do a cost-benefit analysis without either knowing the cost or the benefit.
    It is also interesting that she claims to know the potential market of all these new so-called green industries. She has calculated it to be $23 trillion. I do not know how the government can be capable of calculating something of such an enormous magnitude when it apparently cannot calculate for the House the cost of the carbon tax on the average Canadian family. Why should we believe any of the Liberal numbers if the government will not tell us all of the numbers?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to hear my Conservative colleague's view of the government investing $4.5 billion of public money in the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and the possibility that may even come from Canada pension plan funds, or maybe from the infrastructure bank that the finance minister established. How does that that square with the government's action on climate change?
    Mr. Speaker, the great Ronald Reagan once said of Liberals and their view on the economy, “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” That is what we have today: a government that has so weighed down our energy sector with rules, regulations, uncertainty, and taxes, that it is not economical for it to build a pipeline with its own money. Therefore, the government has to build it with other people's money.
    We know governments are not particularly good at this. The government paid more money for this pipeline project than anyone in the marketplace was prepared to pay. In other words, it obviously paid more than the market value. The government paid twice as much as the seller said was the book value of the project, and that is just to buy a pipeline that has existed since 1953. The $4.5 billion purchase price does not build a single centimetre of new pipeline capacity. This is a government bailout quickly transforming into a government boondoggle.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the member for Carleton this. Back in 2008, he campaigned for a price on carbon pollution through a cap and trade system. It was called “Turning the Corner”. The Conservatives soon turned the page on that plan, but it was very important to him back then.
    My first question for the member is this. In the 10 years since, what has changed? Is there not more evidence of climate change? Is he denying climate change? Is he denying that we should take action on climate change? What has changed since 2008 to today?
    My second question for the member for Carleton is this. We know the Conservatives have a plan; they just cover-up that plan. We would like to know their plan to fight climate change. Now they have taken a different approach than the one they had in 2008. They say that they have a plan, but they do not want to tell Canadians. They do not want to go that far.
    Mr. Speaker, what has changed is that the proposal of the previous Conservative government did not raise a single penny of revenue for government. That is the difference between an environmental regulation and a tax. Taxes raise money for government. The real motive of the present plan is to raise money for politicians to spend.
    This is another thing that has changed. The Liberal government loves to spend other people's money. Since the Liberals took office, they have increased government spending at three times the combined rate of inflation and population growth. Their deficit this year is three times what they promised. Where they have said they would balance the budget in 2019, they now say that will not happen until 2045, a quarter of a century from now.
     Those are a bunch of changes.

  (1050)  

    Mr. Speaker, this is having a real effect in my community, and I am extremely concerned. My next door neighbour in Oshawa is a GM retiree, as is my neighbour across the street. The uncertainty of this carbon tax, the fact that the government cannot even let Canadians, job creators, and manufacturers know how much it will cost is really making a chill on the market.
     Just recently, we heard Mr. Trump follow through on his threat for tariffs on American steel. We use American steel in Oshawa to press parts to build cars. If we put that up 25%, it is just more uncertainty and less competitiveness in Oshawa for us to do what we do best.
    Could my colleague comment on why it is so necessary for the government give the cost us of this carbon tax? Even better, it could follow the leadership of the premier designate in Ontario, who said that he would get rid of this carbon tax. At least it could give manufacturers and people with jobs in my community a fighting chance against the American tariffs on Canadian companies and steel companies.
    Mr. Speaker, the member raises a very good point. The government brings in this tax and drives business out of the country. Then those businesses will move to places where there are no environmental standards or protections and will release even more greenhouse gases in those countries, creating jobs for our competitors.
     Climate change is a global issue. It is not enough just to drive business out of Canada, which seems to be the government's plan. If that business establishes itself south of the border, or elsewhere in the world, to continue its productions there because it cannot afford to pay the taxes here, it will still emit greenhouse gases.
     We have to tackle the issue of climate change. Having more of our jobs move outside of this country to places with no environmental standards or less environmental standards than we have is no way to tackle climate change.
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Carleton's last comments are so reminiscent of the 2011 position of the Conservative Party regarding pipelines. Members of this place may have forgotten, but in 2011, under former prime minister Stephen Harper, the Conservative Party opposed pipelines to British Columbia on the grounds that it would be wrong to export bitumen to countries with refineries that operated under environmental standards not as good as Canada's. That was in 2011, and things have changed and memories are short.
    I will defend the government very little on its climate plan. It does not have a plan and had very few promises in the Liberal platform, but one of them was carbon pricing. Therefore, clearly it has public support to bring in carbon pricing. The NDP, the Greens, and the Liberals ran on policies for carbon pricing of different sorts, and that was by far the majority of voters. The Liberals won the majority of seats without the majority of voters. However, on this, the majority of voters are with them to bring in carbon pricing.
    Ontario has gone from Kathleen Wynne to Doug Ford, who has said he will pull out of cap and trade. How do we estimate a national price when we do not know what Ontario will do?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. leader of the Green Party for voting in favour of my private member's bill last week, which would have allowed workers with disabilities to keep more of the wages they would lose to clawbacks and taxes. I know I am not her favourite member of Parliament, so it must not have been easy for her to do that. However, she did it on principle and I thank her for that.
    I have to be honest. I agree with Doug Ford that Kathleen Wynne's cap and trade system was an absolute disaster. Of all of the ways to address climate change, this was probably the worst one. It will end up sending billions of dollars to California and other jurisdictions in trading of carbon credits. It will ultimately create a new class of investment bankers and insiders who will make a fortune. The revenues raised by the government itself will disproportionately go to the wealthy and well connected in the form of handouts to businesses and rebates for those who can afford a $150,000-electric Mercedes. It is another massive wealth transfer from the working class to the super rich.
     Therefore, I agree with him that we should scrap it. We should work on environmental policies that actually protect our ecology without devastating our economy.

  (1055)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak to the motion moved by the hon. member for Carleton. This gives me the opportunity to talk about what our government is doing to support the economy and protect the environment.
    Maintaining a strong economy and fighting climate change are important priorities to us and to Canadians. We share their concerns. With the possible exception of the hon. member for Carleton, Canadians know that there is a cost to pollution. Canadians also know that droughts, floods, and weather have an adverse effect not only on health, but also on the vitality of our economy. A healthy, sustainable economy favours growth and job creation to the benefit of the middle class.
    Unlike the previous government, our government does not intend to stand idly by. We have made major investments in order to protect the quality of Canada's air, water, and natural areas. We want to ensure that future generations can still walk in the woods and swim in our magnificent lakes and rivers.
     Therefore, to date, our government has allocated $5.7 billion over 12 years in support of the implementation of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. This plan was developed with the provinces and territories and in consultation with indigenous peoples. It will ensure a healthy environment for future generations and support a strong, clean economy. It will also foster innovation and create good, well-paying jobs for the middle class.
    Let me remind the House of some of its measures. As a first step in the framework, budget 2016 provided nearly $3 billion over five years to address the effects of climate change and reduce air pollution. In the 2017 budget, the government allocated additional significant investments in green infrastructure and public transit. On top of that, nearly $1.5 billion in new financing was made available to help Canada's clean technology firms grow and expand.
     More recently, budget 2018 proposed one of the most significant investments in nature conservation in Canadian history, to protect our ecosystems and biodiversity. In partnership with the provinces, territories, and indigenous peoples, this plan will help preserve 17% of Canada's interior and inland waters. The pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change supports Canada's vision to reduce greenhouse gases by 30% over 2005 levels by 2030, while allowing us to adapt to and build resilience for climate change, which is very real, as we know; its effects are being felt across the country.
    To achieve this goal, the key element of our action plan is to put a tax on carbon pollution across the country, because this is effective. It will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to do so at a low cost to businesses and consumers. By focusing on development and new choices to enable Canadians to reduce their carbon footprint, we can stimulate innovation. At the end of the day, we will all benefit from increased economic growth and cleaner growth.
    The pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change was developed in collaboration with the provincial and territorial governments, and most provinces support it. A clean environment and a clean economy go hand in hand. That is what we have said and we believe it. Our efforts to tackle climate change are part of our plan to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class. The 2018 budget tabled earlier this year by the Minister of Finance, whom I am fortunate to work with, is doing even more to help Canadians. The new Canada workers benefit will let low-income workers keep more money in their pockets. This will encourage more people to join the labour force and will provide concrete assistance to more than two million Canadians who are working hard to join the middle class.
    The Canada child benefit will also be enhanced. Benefits will be increased annually to keep pace with the cost of living starting in July of this year, which is two years earlier than planned.
    We are able to do it this year because of Canada's sustained economic growth. By providing more money to families who need it most, this benefit provides a new opportunity for Canadian families. We should also not forget our efforts on behalf of small businesses, who, as we know, create most of the jobs in Canada. We reduced the small business tax to 10% effective January 1 and will be reducing it to 9% next January 1. This represents savings of up to $7,500 a year to help Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators.

  (1100)  

[English]

    The negative impacts of climate change are a challenge that governments must grapple with. We do so with the confidence that a strong economy and a clean environment go hand in hand. Canadians expect all governments to take serious action to grow the economy, protect the environment, and address climate change. We are taking action.
    Putting a price on carbon pollution is central to Canada's plan to fight climate change and grow the economy. Carbon pricing is broadly recognized as one of the most effective, transparent, and efficient policy approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    In December 2016, our government, along with most provinces and territories, worked with indigenous partners and adopted the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. The framework includes a pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution, with the aim of having carbon pricing in place in all provinces and territories. The framework provides provinces and territories with the flexibility to implement their own carbon pollution pricing systems. They can choose between an explicit price-based system or a cap and trade system.
    The member for Carleton keeps talking about price hikes. Let me reassure him that the direct cost of the actions in the pan-Canadian framework, including carbon pricing, is projected to be modest, particularly in comparison to the projected benefits. All direct revenues related to carbon pricing will be returned to the jurisdiction of origin. Of course, the precise cost will depend on the design of each provincial or territorial carbon pricing system.
    To ensure that a fair price on carbon pollution is in place across Canada, our government has committed to implementing a federal backstop carbon-pollution pricing system. The backstop system would apply in provinces and territories that request it and in jurisdictions that do not have a pricing system in place that meets the federal standard by the end of this year. In such cases, the cost of carbon pollution in the federal backstop system will be set at $20 per tonne of emissions as of January 1, 2019, and the federal system will return direct revenues from the carbon price to the jurisdiction of origin.
    That said, we cannot measure the cost of carbon pricing without also measuring its benefits. Those benefits are important, such as reducing air and water pollution and their harmful effects on human health and on the environment.
    At the risk of repeating myself, a strong economy and a clean environment go hand in hand. That is why this year's budget proposed further measures to help grow a healthy and sustainable clean economy. For example, budget 2018 includes one of the most significant investments in nature conservation in Canadian history, more than $1.3 billion over five years. This will ensure that future generations can continue to hike in our forests and swim in our lakes and rivers. This will also allow us to enhance the protection of Canada's ecosystems, landscapes, and biodiversity, including species at risk.
     Our government is also investing about $1 billion over five years to establish better rules for the review of major projects, an effort that, all at once, aims to protect our environment, rebuild public trust, and help create new jobs and economic opportunities. This builds on the other significant investments made since we took office. For example, budget 2017 included historic investments in green infrastructure and public transit as well as increased support for the Canadian clean-tech sector. Budget 2017 provided up-and-coming companies with increased funding in the form of business equity, working capital, and project funds.
    The low carbon economy leadership fund, launched in 2017, is investing $1.4 billion in projects that will generate clean growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating jobs for Canadians for years to come. In Ontario, where the member for Carleton is from, almost $420 million will be invested to support Ontario's climate change action plan and help Ontarians contribute to fighting climate change.
    In Alberta, where the member grew up, and I am sure where he has many friends, almost $150 million will be used to support provincial climate objectives. Alberta's projects will focus on helping Albertans, including farmers and ranchers, use less energy and save money. The province will also invest in restoring forests affected by wildfires.

[Translation]

    In Quebec, over $260 million will help expand action under the province's 2013-2020 climate change action plan.

  (1105)  

[English]

    The list goes on, with projects in British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. It is important to note that only provinces and territories that sign on to the pan-Canadian framework for clean growth and climate change are eligible for funding under the low carbon economy leadership fund.
     I just spent a bit of time highlighting the measures announced in 2017 and 2018, but this really started in 2016. That year, our government launched a $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.
    So far, to combat climate change, our 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. After years of inaction under the previous government, I think members would agree that this has been welcome news for Canadians.

[Translation]

     Pricing carbon pollution is the cornerstone of our efforts to combat climate change. We must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and send a clear signal to entrepreneurs, industry, and investors that we are moving to a low-carbon future.
    Carbon pricing offers many economic benefits, such as lower health care costs, less spending to fight climate change, and more innovation, including energy efficiency improvements.
    Such improvements can be very beneficial. For example, in 2013 alone, energy efficiency savings averaged out to $869 per Canadian household.
    In conclusion, a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. The global economy is moving toward cleaner growth. Canada cannot stand on the sidelines.
    Our government is determined to ensure that Canadians will benefit from the opportunities created by a sustainable economy and all it offers, including a healthier environment for future generations.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I know that my colleague, the parliamentary secretary, understands the implications of putting in policies in this country and not mimicking the same policies as our competitors. The challenge we are having right now is that the same people who made Ontario less competitive are now in the PMO, and they are driving this carbon-tax mentality that is going to affect people in my community, not in the future, but very soon, today.
    I know that the Prime Minister said he wanted to transition away from manufacturing. He thinks it is bad. He thinks it is dirty. However, there are things we can do to help our manufacturers, particularly in places like Oshawa, with the auto sector, which is facing a real competitive disadvantage right now because of government policy. There are things the government can do to help. We have learned that the Americans are putting in steel tariffs. We build cars with steel. It is a certain type of steel. Unless the Liberals exempt steel coming from the States, there is going to be a 25% increase in costs.
    I know that he knows it. Maybe we will find out today. Could the Prime Minister please let Canadians and job creators know how much this carbon tax is going to cost? The decisions the Liberals are making today will affect jobs in the future in communities like mine in Oshawa.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague opposite for his question. I enjoy working with him.
    With regard to competitiveness and the impact a price on carbon pollution may have, I would like to remind him, even though I know he already knows, that 80% of Canadians live in a province that already has a price on carbon. Those include the most densely populated provinces, namely, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. Their growth is higher than average and they have maintained that growth over the past few years.
    Pricing carbon has had no impact on competitiveness. On the contrary, we believe it encourages innovation, and that is supported by empirical evidence. Pricing carbon can have a very positive impact as businesses, industries, and consumers adapt and innovate to reduce their energy consumption and use energy more efficiently. That is not something we can ignore. We cannot only cherry-pick the facts that are most convenient. British Columbia put a price on carbon pollution several years ago and it has been experiencing strong economic growth.
    With regard to the steel and aluminum tariffs, I think that we all agree that we need to take a stand against these unacceptable and, in our opinion, illegal tariffs imposed by the American administration. Canada must stand firm in defending its interests and always be calm and reasonable in its dealings with the United States.

  (1110)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is clear that putting a price on carbon will have a positive impact on the fight against climate change. I have no doubt about that. However, for as long as oil companies continue to receive fossil fuel subsidies, it will not be enough to meet the terms of the Paris Agreement we signed onto.
    I know the government said it intends to phase those subsidies out, but it seems to think it has all the time in the world.
    When is the government finally going to end these subsidies?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague and the NDP as a whole for supporting carbon pollution pricing. The vast majority of MPs and Canadians agree that it makes sense and has been shown to be effective in the fight against climate change.
    With regard to the fossil fuel subsidies or tax credits, our government is committed to ending them by 2025. Our first budget already included a phase-out of the accelerated capital cost allowance for certain liquefied natural gas facilities. In 2017, we announced the elimination of certain tax credits for oil and gas exploration expenses. All these measures support our objective of phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, as promised.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as he will note, on the Standing Committee on Finance, members of the opposition moved eight amendments to the BIA specifically on the carbon tax. Every single one was voted down. We were trying to get more transparency in the report to Parliament that would be tabled once a year. We wanted to know the total GHG emissions reductions from the carbon tax. Eight times members of the Liberal caucus voted them down. The member was there, so he would know that this was the case. He talks about transparency and openness, but without that information, Parliament does not have the full picture of what is going on or the impact on middle-class Canadian families.
    Why were the members instructed to vote that way? Why can we not have that information? Why do we find ourselves today debating this issue, still not having the full information on the impact on middle-class families, and this carbon tax cover-up?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, they did not seem concerned with greenhouse gases for 10 years, but now they are requesting all of the information on reducing emissions, so I am pleased to see that, maybe for the first time ever, Conservative members are worried about greenhouse gas emissions.
    If you look at the jurisdictions that do put a price on carbon pollution, you can see that this price does have an impact, that it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Let us wait and see what the provinces will put forward. We will have all of the information once each province develops its plan.
    I am pleased to hear that he cares about reducing greenhouse gases. That desire was sorely lacking for the 10 years during which his party stood still as the world was moving towards a cleaner economy. When you stand still and the rest of the world is moving forward, you end up going backwards.
    Canadians had had enough of a government that did nothing about climate change and that did nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, after making promises in 2008 in its infamous turning the corner plan, on which it never followed through.
    As for the financial impact of putting a price on carbon pollution, it is important to remember that revenue will remain in the jurisdiction in which it was collected. It will be revenue neutral. The provinces will be able to decide what to do with the revenue generated by a price on carbon pollution.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we all know that climate change disproportionately impacts the poorest and most vulnerable, who are often women and children. We know that the weather is getting wetter, warmer, and wilder.
    Not only are we trying to reduce pollution, which has an impact on climate change, but we also, as the member mentioned, introduced the Canada child benefit, and indexed it two years earlier; cut taxes on middle-class families; and introduced various measures to support women through budget 2018.
    The member for Lethbridge earlier today said that poverty is sexist and that the Prime Minister and our government are perpetuating it. I wonder if the member could correct the record on that and tell this House not only how much our government is doing to reduce the impact of pollution on climate change but what it is doing for Canadian families, especially the most vulnerable.

  (1115)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is true that climate change often impacts the most vulnerable among us. By moving away from the boutique tax credits that the Conservatives brought forth as their way of trying to help, which always focused more on the few than the many, the measures we have taken represent a different approach. We want to give more to those who need it the most, such as through the Canada child benefit that the member mentioned.
     Just two days ago, when I met with the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters, I was told how big an impact this has had on the people it serves. We have stopped sending the Canada child benefit to the families of millionaires, in order to focus on those who need it the most. We know that the vast majority of those who receive the maximum amount more often than not are single mothers.
    This has had a terrific impact, just like the investments we are making into the Canada workers benefit, which will help low-income workers. We are also moving away from the boutique tax credits and the approach the previous government took, where, inevitably, at every corner, it would focus on the wealthiest among us. We think prosperity should be inclusive, and that is the approach we have taken.
    When it comes to climate change, the massive investments we are making in public transit, for instance, contribute to quality of life for all Canadians. I can speak for my region, where Quebec City has announced a tramway project so ambitious that it will have an impact on the time it takes for people to get to work, and on the environment with respect to the number of days there is smog in Quebec City. That plan was ambitious because of the federal investments.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to an important topic in the context of the Conservatives' opposition motion.
    I am a bit surprised to have to rise yet again to speak to a question that is very similar to others that have been raised by my Conservative colleagues. Here they are again on the issue of carbon pricing and its cost. It is the famous question that they keep asking over and over again in the House of Commons. It seems that they will never be satisfied with the answers from the government and the interventions by our colleagues in the House.
    Today I will address the issue in a broader context and talk about climate change leadership. It is leadership that was completely lacking from the Conservative side. They were content to bury their heads in the sand. As for the Liberals, they are being completely inconsistent when it comes to fighting climate change, especially in light of their recent decisions. I will come back to that later in my speech.
    Let me begin by saying that I am disappointed that the Conservatives are so obsessed with this issue that they do not see all the other important issues that we could be discussing in the House. They are obsessed with this topic. They are fixated on a document from October 20, 2015, the day after the election of that same year. The document, to which they keep referring, is some sort of memo or email from the Department of Finance in which the figures are redacted. If the Conservatives seriously want to obtain this document then I do not understand why they have not managed to get their hands on it. That document was dated the day after the election and was highly likely prepared during the 2015 election campaign, when the Conservatives were technically still in power. The Conservatives have developed a baffling fixation with this document.
    I am fortunate to sit on the Standing Committee on Finance, where we heard public servants being quizzed about this. They said that the document was prepared during the campaign along with many documents put together in the event that a new government was elected. They worked on several scenarios based on the election platforms of the different parties. It seems that it was common practice in the public service, during and a little after the campaign, to start doing the groundwork for potential changes in government policies and in advance of the swearing in of the prime minister and cabinet. That is what the Conservatives continue to refer to. They are fixated on this document, which is a little surprising given that it was prepared under their watch.
    It is also a little surprising to see them so opposed to the polluter pays principle whereby those who pollute have to pay for the cost of that pollution to our environment and our society. In several other areas, paying for one's pollution is standard practice. Our municipal taxes, for instance, pay for our garbage to be taken to the dump. The same principle applies to recycling, because there is a cost associated with taking recyclable materials to a recycling centre. The polluter pays principle applies in most sectors. We pay for the pollution we create.
    Until just recently, however, this principle has never applied to greenhouse gas pollution. That is what this government is trying to do, as are the provincial governments and many governments around the world that have already taken action in that regard. It is the right thing to do. As in other areas, whoever is responsible for polluting should have to pay for the cost it imposes on our society. The Conservatives do not seem to understand, nor are they willing to try to understand, that this principle should also apply to polluting our atmosphere.

  (1120)  

    If this principle is good enough for the garbage we bury in landfills, why should it not also apply to the pollution we put in the air, which goes out into the atmosphere and surely has a significant impact? I do not think we still need to make a case for the existence of and the science behind climate change. Only a few Conservatives still deny the existence of climate change, or more specifically, the fact that human activity affects climate change. Thankfully, their numbers are dwindling.
    During the recent campaign in Ontario, we heard Conservative candidates denying that humans had anything to do with climate change. Some of them are in complete denial. Fortunately, a few of them have seen the light with regard to the action that we must take and some others support the polluter pays principle. There are also some Conservative thinkers who have realized that this is the right thing to do. Take for example, Mr. Manning, a well-known Conservative, who has come to realize that a carbon tax is one of the most effective ways to combat climate change. I am also thinking of Canada's Ecofiscal Commission, which did a lot of work on this issue. This commission is made up of a number of thinkers from various backgrounds, including some who are a bit more fiscally conservative. They realized that a carbon tax is the best way to fight climate change.
    Based on their studies, they came to the conclusion that, of all the possible tools at their disposal, pricing carbon is the most effective way of meeting our objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Conservatives alone continue to deny the facts and the studies and findings that have been confirmed by countries around the world.
    It is really unfortunate that they are still in denial. Fortunately, leaders around the world have begun implementing polluter pays mechanisms and putting a price on carbon. Take for example British Columbia. It put a price on carbon over 10 years ago. Alberta did the same just recently, and so did Quebec and Ontario. They joined California in implementing a carbon exchange, even though Ontario may end up changing its system. Provinces across Canada have been showing leadership on this issue, and they have had some success.
    I do not necessarily want to repeat the Liberal government’s words, but we are told that 80% of Canadians are currently subject to a carbon pricing system. We see that these jurisdictions are the most economically successful. This flies in the face of the Conservatives’ message and talking points; they say that carbon pricing will spell the end of the economy, that it will catastrophically blow up the Canadian economy, and that as a result, the economy will go into a tailspin. However, Alberta has the highest economic growth, at over 4%, and has also had carbon pricing for a few years now. The economies of British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario are also doing well.
    It is hard to understand why the Conservatives think that there is a cause and effect and that a Canada-wide carbon price will be catastrophic, as well as lead to an economic apocalypse in Canada as soon as it is brought in. This is not supported by any facts, and these are just political talking points for the Conservatives.

  (1125)  

    This brings me to the importance of the fight against climate change. I am pleased to speak to this issue and say to my constituents that it is extremely important to me. This must be our primary concern here in Ottawa.
    In Sherbrooke, hundreds of people constantly write to me on this and other environmental topics. These are very important concerns for us. People are aware of the impact of the climate change that we are seeing across Canada and around the world. They understand that Ottawa must have leaders in the fight against climate change. I am therefore very happy to represent them and to stand up and assure them that this is also very important to me.
    It is often said that we must protect the planet for future generations. I still count myself among them to a certain extent, although I am already 27 years old and quite a bit older than when I was first elected. When they say that climate change will affect the youngest, it is because they will have to live with its long-term impacts. I can understand that, and I am certainly worried about my own future on this planet.
    We must do everything in our power to slow the impact of climate change, because everyone understands that the process is already under way. We are already seeing the effects, unfortunately, but we have a duty to slow down this process and minimize its impact on future generations and my generation. We want to continue to have a planet where we enjoy living. As my colleague said, we can still swim in our lakes and rivers across Canada, but I fear that this will change in the long term. When I am 80 or 90 years old, if we keep going in the direction we are heading in now, I am not even sure that I will be able to enjoy the same quality of air or water.
    That is why I am always happy to share my thoughts on this issue and demand more action from the government. Clearly, doing nothing is not an option, but that still seems to be the Conservatives' preference. They just want to wait, hope, and pray. Some Conservatives pray many times a day, but prayers will not slow the effects of climate change. To do that, we need a real plan.
    We must also remember that the cost of inaction is much higher than the cost of action. That is another thing the Conservatives seem to be forgetting here. Yes, there is a cost to taking action, and when the government takes action, it has to get good value for money. An example of that is carbon and pollution pricing, as I was saying off the top. The cost of inaction is much higher, though. The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, which the Conservatives shut down in 2011, pegged the cost of inaction at $5 billion per year by 2020 and up to $43 billion per year by 2050. Those costs are much higher than the cost of carbon pricing. The Conservatives seem to have lost sight of that in this discussion.
    At the Standing Committee on Finance, the member for Carleton asked the same questions every time, just like he asks the same questions every day in question period. When people talk to him about the cost of inaction, he does not seem to get that such a things exists.

  (1130)  

    It is truly unfortunate that the Conservatives are so blinded by their ideology. They do not understand that these measures are necessary.
    I also want to talk about what various provinces have done, particularly Alberta, which is a real role model in this area. There is the principle of revenue neutrality, which is also part of this government's approach. This means no cost to Canadians. Once again, the Conservatives do not seem to understand. Every time we remind them, either in committee or here in the House, that this will be revenue neutral, they do not seem to understand that every dollar raised by carbon pricing is reinvested directly into the economy. The Conservatives cannot seem to grasp this concept.
    Alberta is an excellent example of revenue neutrality, and less fortunate low-income families even have a surplus at the end of the year. They receive more money than they pay for carbon pricing. These figures are obviously put forward by the Alberta government. I do not have the exact numbers in front of me today, but costs are estimated at around $400 for each low-income family.
    Furthermore, these are the families least affected by the carbon tax because they consume the least. The tax is estimated at $400 per family, but the Government of Alberta gave out direct rebates of about $500. They came out on top at the end of the year. I used the past tense, but I should also use the present. They come out on top at the end of the year. This system is still in place in Alberta. An important part of the discussion should be that the money from the carbon tax is directly invested into the provinces or given directly to citizens through direct transfers.
    This brings me to the Liberals' inconsistent approach to the environment, even though today we are talking about the carbon tax and we support this initiative, as we said earlier. All of the major political parties, except one, promised some kind of carbon tax in the last election. I must commend the Liberals on their initiative. However, I condemn their inconsistent approach to combatting climate change.
    Everyone, including the people of Sherbrooke, saw what happened recently. We were outraged by the government's decision to invest $4.5 billion of our money in a pipeline transporting oil sands to British Columbia, in spite of obvious opposition in several regions of British Columbia, including indigenous reserves.
    The government decided to take money from the people of Sherbrooke, who pay their taxes every year and every day. It decided to take taxpayers' money to invest in a 70-year old pipeline that leaks. Just recently that pipeline leaked 5,000 litres of oil. I want to use the very apt analogy that my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie used yesterday, I believe. He said it is as though the government decided in 1990 to invest in the VHS industry, which was obviously doomed to sputter, if not fail, with the arrival of new technologies.
    In this case, the government is deciding, with a glaring lack of long-term vision, to take taxpayers' money and invest it in the energy of yesterday, specifically in a pipeline and even a pipeline expansion. The government is going to inject an additional $12 billion to $15 billion of public money into the expansion of this pipeline in order to transport even more oil.
    This is completely inconsistent with the current narrative of the Liberals, who signed the Paris Agreement and say they want to fight climate change. They then turn around and take our money to invest it in a pipeline, an extremely bad deal for Canadians. No private investor was prepared to invest money in this project, and the company that owned the pipeline could not find a buyer.

  (1135)  

    How can the government claim that this is good for Canadians when the Prime Minister was the only person willing to kick in? This project certainly conveys no vision for our country's future. I just wanted to make sure I condemned that in my speech today. We are talking about climate change and greenhouse gas reduction measures, but we have a government that is inconsistent, to say the least. It says it wants to fight climate change, but then it turns around and spends an eye-watering $4.5 billion on this pipeline. That is an astronomical sum. What could we do with $4.5 billion? The opportunities that could be created with $4.5 billion would be amazing, especially if invested in an energy transition. However, the government has chosen to spend it on a project that is utterly devoid of any vision for the future and is doomed to fail, given that no private investor was willing to risk a penny on it.
    I would be happy to take questions from my colleagues to elaborate further on the points I addressed today.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciated the intervention from my colleague from Sherbrooke, but for a great deal of his speech he talked about the template that Alberta should be using for its climate change plan.
    I do not know if my colleague has been to Alberta and has seen the impact that the NDP's policies have had on its economy. There are some issues with the member's argument. He supports the NDP climate change plan but a big portion of that plan was to get the social licence to build pipelines. We have not had a pipeline built despite having a punitive carbon tax on everyday Albertans. He also commented on how much he opposes the pipeline. There are some diametrical issues there.
    Alberta has had a carbon tax for decades. It was initially put on the largest emitters. The funds from that carbon tax were not charged to regular Albertans but were charged to the largest emitters who are using those funds to invest in renewable projects like Enbridge's Blackspring wind farm. The carbon footprint of a barrel of oil is down to a third of what it was decades ago because of that carbon tax on the largest emitters. The member said that, now, with the provincial NDP government, those funds from the carbon tax are being reinvested in the economy. Actually, for the last two provincial budgets, the carbon tax was put into general revenue to try to balance the budget.
    The member said that the carbon tax should be reinvested in the economy or given back to Albertans, but the provincial NDP government has now said that the carbon tax is being put into general revenue to try to balance its budget. Is that something he would agree with?

  (1140)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his intervention and for pointing out that Alberta instituted carbon pricing long before the NDP formed government. It was actually implemented by a Conservative government.
    I want to reiterate that I absolutely agree with the idea of revenue neutrality. This would mean that any carbon pricing revenue collected by the government would have to be fully reinvested, either by giving rebates directly to residents of the province or territory or by injecting it into the economy to make an energy transition. That is what I would hope for from any government that opts for a carbon tax. It needs to be part of a long-term strategy leading to a decision to use this revenue to make an energy transition and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, unlike what we have been seeing over the past decades.
    My hope is that, in the future, there will be no need for a carbon tax because we will have moved to a carbon-free economy. Obviously, that is a long-term goal, but I hope that we reinvest so much money from the carbon tax into the energy and the economy of the future, that the carbon tax will become a thing of the past and the revenue it generates will gradually fall as our economy reduces its reliance on fossil fuels as much as possible.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to reflect on the province of Alberta, because there is a lot we can learn from it. I believe it was the first government in North America that determined that it was necessary to put a price on pollution. That was a Progressive Conservative government that made that determination. There have been other Conservative leaders, such as Preston Manning and so forth, who have recognized that.
     As opposed to reading too much into why the Conservatives are trying to promote what I would classify as untruths on the facts related to what is actually taking place today, let us look at the province of Alberta. In Alberta, the NDP government recognized the value of the environment and the economy working together. On the one hand, we see that there is concern about emissions and a price on pollution, and on the other hand, we see the value of a pipeline. The NDP premier has said that we need to be able to move forward on both.
    Would my colleague not agree that Rachel Notley's approach, which is very similar, if not identical, to the approach of this government of having the environment and the economy working hand in hand, allows all Canadians to directly benefit from dealing with the environment and dealing with a price on pollution?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's question. Sometimes I get the impression that the Liberals do not understand that the NDP believes that the economy and the environment go hand in hand. We are saying the same thing, but the Liberals do not want to acknowledge it.
    Just on Tuesday, we debated an opposition motion that clearly set out our vison for the economy of the future, namely, an economy that protects the environment. The two go hand in hand. We cannot have an economy that kills the environment. There would be no more economic activity if the quality of the environment deteriorated to the point where it was difficult to live on this planet. That is why I sometimes have a hard time understanding why the Liberals are accusing us of seeing only one side of the story. The environment is extremely important, but the economy of the future will enable us to protect it. My colleague was right in reminding members that Alberta is a good example of investing in the economy of the future.
    However, what I have a hard time understanding is how the Liberal government decided to invest in a pipeline, because that certainly has nothing to do with the economy of the future. If the Liberals want to say that the economy and the environment go hand in hand, they cannot invest in a pipeline in 2018. I do not think that is a good choice for protecting the environment and growing the economy.

  (1145)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals keep repeating over and over that the economy and the environment go hand in hand. Everyone in the House agrees with that and knows that. What Canadians really want to know is how the Liberals rationalize what is apparent to everyone as a clear contradiction: they cannot triple a pipeline, triple the export of raw bitumen, expand fossil fuel infrastructure, and reduce carbon emissions at the same time. The Liberals say that they can do that. It is like saying that we want to reduce gambling by building more casinos. It just does not make sense to Canadians. It does not make sense as a matter of logic.
    If they are going to expand the pipeline and triple the export of raw bitumen and put that much more carbon in the air, they have to reduce emissions elsewhere to not only meet that but to actually go below that if we are going to reduce our carbon emissions, as we committed to in Paris under the Paris climate accord.
    I am wondering if my hon. colleague has ever seen any math from the Liberals that show where they intend to make other cuts in Canada's carbon emissions such that we can actually meet our commitments and do what we can to avoid that terribly serious 2°C rise in temperature, which will cause catastrophic climate change, not only in the future but now, when we are experiencing floods and forest fires all over the country.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his excellent question.
    That is actually a significant gap in the Liberal strategy. The government signed the Paris Accord, but to date it has said nothing about how it will reach its targets, not to mention that it decided to triple the production or export capacity of a pipeline. I would like to see the numbers to show otherwise, but the government never proved that it took into account the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and that it would offset this increase with reductions in other sectors it had presumably targeted. Unfortunately, there is no transparency on that.
    The government is moving forward blindly, making piecemeal decisions willy-nilly, and it does not seem to have a comprehensive strategy. A broader framework would perhaps allow us to discern that we are increasing these emissions in one sector but decreasing them in another, and that in the end we will reach our greenhouse gas reduction targets.
    My colleague mentioned another discrepancy or inconsistency that is truly incredible. The Liberal government continues to believe that, like any other product, oil and raw products can be exported to other markets, processed there, and then returned to Canada for consumption, and that this is a credible strategy.
    Once again, the government has shown a complete lack of vision by failing to ensure our goods and natural resources are value-added.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to speak to our opposition day motion asking the Liberals to come clean on the carbon tax cover-up and tell Canadians exactly what the carbon tax is going to be costing Canadians.
    I will be splitting my time with my colleague, the hon. member for Prince Albert.
    The carbon tax and the issue we are facing now is part of a much larger narrative we are hearing from the Liberal government. We have heard it for several months, if not a couple of years now. It is the Liberals imposing these ideological policies without doing their due diligence and without having any understanding of the consequences of these decisions for everyday Canadians. They do not seem to do the fiscal analysis. They do not seem to do their homework and understand the consequences of their decisions on certain sectors of the economy.
    I would like to bring forward one example. That example is something that is obviously important to me in my riding of Foothills, and that is the impact of the carbon tax on agriculture. The Minister of Agriculture, a couple of weeks ago, in our agriculture and agri-food committee, as well as in the Senate, claimed that Canadian farmers are very supportive of the Liberal's carbon tax. I have not spoken to one single farmer who has phoned me or sent me an email who supports the Liberal carbon tax. In fact, it is quite the opposite. They are extremely concerned about the impact the Liberal carbon tax will have on their farms. It is a farm-killing carbon tax.
    I would like to quote a couple of prominent people from the industry. The chair of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association said, “I'm not sure who has been briefing [the agriculture minister], but he is dead wrong if he thinks that most farmers support the carbon tax”.
    The president of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association said, “Farmers don't agree on everything, but if there's one issue they stand together on, it's in opposition to a carbon tax.”
    It appears that the agriculture minister is misrepresenting the view of Canadian farmers when it comes to the carbon tax. All we are asking the minister is how much the carbon tax is going to be impacting our Canadian farmers, yet the Liberals will not do that. They will not come clean with those numbers.
    Farmers, ranchers, and ag processors are dependent on any constant they can have in their industry. Unlike any other sector, our farmers and ranchers face so many unknowns, whether commodity prices, weather, or trade agreements, and the Liberals are adding yet another piece of uncertainty to their livelihoods. The carbon tax is just another attack on rural Canadians, specifically on agriculture.
    Let us take a look at some of the things our farmers and ranchers have had to face over the last couple of years with the Liberal government. There is front-of-pack labelling. This is going to be devastating to Canadian agriculture, and the government has absolutely refused to listen to our stakeholders. In fact, it has gone out of its way to ensure that they are not included in the debate on front-of-pack labelling.
    The same can be said of Canada's food guide. The government is once again pushing ideological ideas, telling Canadians, according to another Liberal values test, what is healthy and what they should be eating. They are telling them to stay away from meat protein and dairy products, because those things are unhealthy. There is no common sense to that.
    That is just the beginning. There is the bungling of trade agreements. We are losing a lot of our pulse export opportunities in India, one of our major trading partners. It is a $4-billion industry that is now in jeopardy because the Liberals have bungled our relationship with India.
    Now we see that NAFTA is at a critical stage. We have finally seen the TPP tabled today, but will we ratify it so that we are one of the first six countries to take advantage of those new market opportunities? We have also heard that for our producers, their entrepreneurial spirit is being crushed by no longer being eligible for the small business tax deduction. All these things are making it more and more difficult for our agriculture sector and our farmers and ranchers to be successful, to reach those new markets, and to stay in business. It seems to be on every tool they have to be successful and wake up in the morning and go to work. It takes away their feeling that they are worthwhile and that what they are doing is appreciated by Canadians. That is why they are finding this to be most frustrating.

  (1150)  

    The Conservative are trying to fight for the taxpayer. We want to know what the implication of this will be for our constituents. At the agriculture and agri-food committee, we asked several times for a study on the carbon tax and the impact it would have on agriculture. Every time we asked, we were blocked by the Liberal members.
    Farmers have earned the right to know how a Liberal policy will impact their everyday lives. It will impact their livelihood. Is this something they want to pass on to their sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews? Many of our farmers have been on the land for generations.
    The other thing the Liberal carbon tax does not take into consideration is the environmental stewardship and the work our farmers have been doing for years to try to protect the land, aquifers, and waterways, which are so important to them. They use zero tillage, new methods and innovation to be on the land much less than they were, and are growing higher yields on less land. They have been doing all these things on their own, without having a carbon tax imposed on them. These things should be taken into consideration, but they are not. In fact, it has gone the other way. The government is going to impose yet another obstacle for our agriculture industry to be successful.
    Earlier this morning my colleague talked about taxation without representation. This is yet another example of the Liberals moving ahead with an ideological policy but not having the confidence to take those decisions to Canadians. They do not have the confidence to open it up and put it on the table. The Liberals campaigned in 2015 about being open and transparent and doing things differently. They have had opportunities to come clean on the cost of this. We know from the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the Department of Finance that the carbon tax will be more detrimental to rural Canadians, and even more detrimental to western farmers as opposed to eastern Canadian farmers. We know those numbers. Therefore, why will the Liberals not come clean and just say what it will cost and the impact it will have on the agricultural sector?
    The Liberals keep talking about the importance of agriculture to our economy. They have set this goal of reaching $75 billion in exports by 2025. It is great to have those aspirational goals, but if, at the same time, they are cutting the legs out from under the agricultural sector, taking away every tool farmers have to try and reach that goal, then they are being disingenuous to our Canadian farmers.
    Previously, I talked about taxation without representation. However, another tax that will have a profound impact on our farmers is the escalator tax. The Liberals have put forward an unprecedented escalator tax that will increase the cost of beer, wine, and spirits every year, and it will not have to go through the scrutiny of Parliament. Canadians will not have a voice or an opportunity to speak their minds on a tax increase that will come forward every year. That will impact our agriculture sector. We have barley and rye growers, and producers out there, certainly in the wine industry, who are very excited about the new opportunities with craft distilling and craft beer. They will pay the escalator tax over and over again, and now also for a carbon tax.
    I do not think we are asking the Liberal government anything unwarranted. We asking it to be open, transparent, and honest with Canadians. What is the carbon tax going to cost our Canadian farmers and ranchers? They are up every day, putting in their blood, sweat, and tears to ensure we have the best quality food on our table and doing everything they can to feed the world. However, for every opportunity they have had, the Liberals have made it more and more difficult.
    I will conclude with a question for the Liberal government. What is its farm-killing carbon tax going to cost Canadian farm families?

  (1155)  

    Mr. Speaker, the only aspect of the member's speech that I would concur with is the fact that we have outstanding farmers in Canada. I am very proud of the industry in my home province of Manitoba. The member made reference to zero tillage. There are so many fantastic examples of why Canada has the best farmers in the world. That is about where I fall offside with what my colleague has said.
    The Conservatives are trying to create this great myth. Whether it is true or not, it does not matter. They have a narrative and they want to sell that narrative. It is as if they are the ones who want to give tax breaks to Canadians. When we brought in the tax break for Canada's middle class, the Conservatives voted against it. That is the reality.
    Now they want to talk about the myth of putting a price on pollution as if it is a bad thing. Eighty per cent of Canadians already have a price on pollution in place. However, the Conservatives do not want that fact to confuse their narrative.
    Earlier the member from the Conservative Party said that the Conservatives would insist on getting answers on the costs. Has the member obtained those costs from different provinces? After all, the provinces will be responsible for administering for this.

  (1200)  

    Mr. Speaker, I find it almost humorous that the member talks about Conservatives putting out this myth. The myth is what the carbon tax will cost Canadians. If he does not want to talk about myths, then he should come clean and tell us what this will cost.
     The government knows the numbers. We have the seen the document, but it has been redacted. The government will not come clean. The member is talking about these myths, but the Liberals are the ones who are covering this up. We are trying to find out what the cost is.
     Once again the Liberals are very good at making a mess of policy, but then just throwing it to the provinces to make the decisions for them. The member says that 80% of Canadians already live in a jurisdiction with a carbon tax. That will be very different, very soon, with the change in government in Ontario. It will not be 80% anymore. A year from now, when the NDP is out of Alberta, it will not even be close to 80%.
    We are seeing a trend. Canadians have started to understand the implication of what a carbon tax is. It is just a tax grab by Liberal and NDP governments that does absolutely nothing to address greenhouse gas emissions or climate change, or any of these things. It is a revenue generator for NDP and Liberal governments.
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member made some references to front-of-package labelling. I am fortunate to be the critic for health for the New Democratic Party. We have taken a look at this.
    As my hon. colleague might well know, we have quite a serious child obesity problem in the country. It is, in fact, a diabetes pandemic, as it has been described. Part of the problem has to do with our eating patterns. It has been suggested that if we can give consumers more information on the front of packages, particularly about sugar content, sodium content, and fat content, it would help Canadians better understand what they are eating, helping them live healthier lives.
    Is the member in favour of giving consumers better and more accurate information on the front of packages or is he opposed to that?
    Madam Speaker, I am absolutely in favour of Canadians making well-informed decisions when it comes to their food choices. What I am not in favour of is a Liberal government imposing a values test on the food we choose. When it comes to front-of-pack labelling, I want them to be based on good science. I have letters from literally hundreds of health experts and doctors who say that the direction the government is going with front-of-pack labelling is wrong. It is not based on good science. It is not based on common sense.
    How can it be common sense when the government is going to put a warning label on plain yogurt, saying that it is unhealthy, and not doing the same on a can of diet cola? When we are talking about obesity and diabetes, where is the common sense in this, that a bag of potato chips will not have a warning sign on it, but a glass of 100% fruit juice will have a front-of-pack warning on it? If it is based on good science, then I could support that.

Points of Order

Draft Appropriation Bill—Main Estimates, 2018-19  

[Points of Order]
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Earlier today the draft appropriation bill was circulated. I want to draw the House's attention to schedule 1, vote 40 for the Treasury Board Secretariat. The language used for vote 40 differs substantially from the language used in the estimates document. The estimates describe vote 40 as follows:
     “Budget implementation $7,040,392,000”
    Authority granted to the Treasury Board to supplement, in support of initiatives announced in the Budget of February 27, 2018, any appropriation for the fiscal year, including to allow for the provision of new grants or for any increase to the amount of a grant that is listed in any of the Estimates for the fiscal year, as long as the expenditures made possible are not otherwise provided for and are within the legal mandates of the departments or other organizations for which they are made
     This is the language deemed to have been adopted and reported to the House by the government operations and estimates committee. The schedule description in the draft supply bill would confer different authority on the government, none of it approved or deemed to have been approved by the House. In short, the government is seeking new authority for unknown, unspecified spending of public monies without telling Parliament. It is creating what is commonly known as a slush fund by seeking to make expenditures based on the budget document rather than the estimates document, which carries the constitutionally significant recommendation of the Governor General.
    I refer the Speaker to sections 53 and 54 of the Constitution Act, 1867, Standing Orders 79 and 80, chapter 18 of the third edition of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, and Sessional Paper No. 8520-421-181, which was transmitted to the House on April 16 in the form of a message from Her Excellency the Governor General, signed by her own hand. These are the main estimates.
    Let me draw everyone's attention to page 883 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, which states, “Concurrence in the estimates or in interim supply is an order of the House to bring in an appropriation bill or bills giving effect to the spending authority (amounts and destinations) that the House has approved.” I emphasize, “that the House has approved”. It continues, “Supply bills must be based on the estimates or interim supply as concurred in by the House.” Again I emphasize, “as concurred in by the House”. The same language appears in the first and second editions.
    Table A2.11 originated in the finance minister's budget. It is not contained in the estimates, is not part of the recommendations of the Governor General, has not been considered or concurred in by any committee, has not been concurred in by the House. Nor has any committee reported to the House to advocate that it be included in the supply bill.
     It is not open to the government to create, delete, or alter the authority and purposes of the appropriation bill by inventing new language in this schedule, which alters the decisions of the House as expressed when it has concurred in the estimates contained in Sessional Paper No. 8520-421-181. The government is not entitled to rewrite the estimates in ways that amend the decisions of the House.
    Let me conclude with a word of caution to the House, particularly in light of the present-day political conditions in the Senate.
     Citation 619 of the sixth edition of Beauchesne's states:
     The legal right of the Senate, as a co-ordinate branch of the Legislature, to withhold their assent from any bill whatsoever is unquestionable. They may refuse to pass any bill, including money bills. Therefore the House should be cautious that a Supply Bill contains nothing extraneous so that the Senate will not depart from its normal practice of passing such bills as a matter of course.

  (1205)  

    I will certainly take the information under advisement and will come back to the House.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Prince Albert.

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Pricing  

[Business of Supply]
    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Madam Speaker, I guess we just heard about another cover-up that the government is involved with. I am sure everyone is as shocked as I am. The government just cannot seem to do things out in the open and do things in a transparent manner, or in an informed manner, in order to move forward.
    An hon. member: Sunny ways.
    Mr. Randy Hoback: Yes, Madam Speaker, that is sunny ways, and that is how we see things.
    The economy and the environment have to go hand in hand. Let us change it around. The environment and the economy must go hand in hand. We have heard this over and over again in the House. It is actually true. It is something that former Prime Minister Harper used to say too, the economy and the environment go hand in hand. It has to be balanced. He also would say, though, that as things are done on the environment file, other countries must take on their responsibilities as well. It cannot be done alone or in a vacuum.
    I think that Ontario found that out the hard way when it proceeded down the road that they went on, with green power, solar power, and wind power. It ended up driving every business out of Ontario, or any new investment out of Ontario maybe would be a more accurate phrase.
    I am really looking forward to a new Conservative government here in Ontario that is actually going to bring back some competitiveness into the business sector in Ontario so that Ontario's businesses can compete.
    A carbon tax in Saskatchewan will not happen. It is Saskatchewan's jurisdiction to put on a tax. A member across the aisle just asked a question to the member for Foothills about seeking the advice of the provincial governments for their analysis on the carbon tax, because he has admitted it was their domain. He is right. It is Saskatchewan's domain as to whether or not it decides to put on a carbon tax, and it knows that would be a bad decision.
     That does not mean that Saskatchewan is not being responsible about the environment. It presented a plan to the federal government that would allow them to meet all their environmental requirements, emissions requirements, and be progressive without a carbon tax. One would think the environment minister would say that is great, that she is excited for Saskatchewan, and proud of it. However, what did she do? In the last budget she put $104 million in the budget for carbon costs. Wait a minute. This is supposed to be revenue neutral. Where is the $104 million coming from? There goes revenue neutral.
    That just shows the reality of what the government is doing with the carbon tax. It is a way for it to tax people. It is a way for it to pick winners and losers in the economy as it sees fit. It is a way for the government to put its fingers where they do not belong.
    In Saskatchewan we have been concerned about the environment for years, long before “environmental protection” and “environmental assessment” or “taking care of the environment” were the cool words being expressed by the environment minister here today, this week, or the last couple of years. I can think back to “no till”. Saskatchewan embraced no till. It is actually good for the soil, good for the water, and good for the environment. Farmers grabbed that technology and said, yes, this makes sense. The other thing that happened with no till was that it was economical. It made sense economically for them to do that. That is why it was embraced. This is a classic example of the economy and the environment going hand in hand. If we look at things in the economy that actually improve the environment, no till is a classic example. Direct seed is another classic example.
    We should not kid ourselves. There were lots of challenges starting down that path, and lots of issues with weed management, crop rotations, and soil degradation. All of those things have to be figured out and managed, but the will and the spirit of the farmers of Canada, and in western Canada, can overcome that. Now if we look at the Prairies, and they end up with a summer with four or five inches of rain, they would still get a crop. However, back in the 1970s if they ended up with just four inches of rain, it would be a dust bowl. That is the advantage that Saskatchewan and the farmers in western Canada and Ontario have by taking care of the environment, and also by having a good economic future.
    When we look at the carbon tax, it does not do that. If a farmer in western Canada has a carbon tax, he or she is less competitive than all other farmers in the world. We take the world price. The price for wheat is set in Minneapolis or Chicago, as are the prices for soybeans and canola. Everything is interrelated. When I have a carbon tax I cannot pass that cost on. I am not a manufacturer. I am a farmer. I take the market price based on the global supply and demand, so when I have to pay that cost it comes off my bottom line.

  (1210)  

    What does that mean to me and my operation? That means profits come out of my operation that normally would have gone to reinvesting in my farm to make it even more environmentally friendly and more economical, investing in new technologies and new machinery that would actually reduce my greenhouse gases even more. However, because I am sending it to Ottawa I cannot do that. Does that make sense?
    There are so many things about the carbon tax that Canadians have to get their heads around, which the Liberals have not gotten their heads around.
    We have manufacturing facilities and we have steel plants that are the most green and efficient in the world, yet because of the carbon tax they are shutting down. What will be replacing them? Those products still are required by Canadians and people around the world. The products that will be replacing them are from plants in other jurisdictions that do not have the same environmental regulations, that do not have the same requirements to labour codes and safety. The products are coming from India and China and places like that, which our Canadian companies cannot compete with because they have a carbon tax.
    Have Liberals helped the environment when they shut down Canadian companies so that companies in China can just build more product as they see fit without any concern for the environment? No, they have done the opposite. They have not only put Canadians out of work; they have actually done more harm to the environment. There must be a better scheme to hit the emissions targets than a carbon tax, and that message has been repeated over and over again to that deaf group on the opposite side.
    We have to step back and ask what they are doing this for. Why is this moving forward? Why would they want this? They have all this evidence to show them that the carbon tax does not work. Australia tried it and backed away from it and ended it. France was going to do it, but the French did their analysis and then said they were not going to do it. That is why we are asking the government to do its analysis and make it public because it might look at it and say this is stupid and we had better not do it. I think the reality is that they have looked at the numbers and said this is stupid but we are still going to do it.
    What do we do? How do we help them? There are so many examples in the current government where the Liberals have done things where we tried to help them, but they put on their blinders and were going to do it their way. In the meantime, who pays? Canadians and Canadian jobs pay. At the end of the day, what does this country look like?
     The Liberals inherited a balanced budget. They inherited a strong economy. They inherited a low unemployment rate. They have spent billions and billions of dollars, on what? What has it gone to? Has it gone to more government bureaucracy? I do not see any new bridges. I do not see any new roads. I do not see any new sewers or septic. I hear of a lot more bureaucrats being hired. I hear a lot of giggles and laughter over there. They can spend money like drunken sailors and they do not seem to care. I care, because my kids are going to pay for it. The graduation classes of 2018 are going to have to pay for the mistakes of the current government, and the Liberals do not care because they do not have to pay. It is not their money.
    In closing, I look at this and I am amazed at how many times the government has refused to look at science, has refused to look at the evidence, and has decided to put things in place that go against science. The classic example is the number of bills they have put through this House of Commons where the minister gets the final say, not science and not industry. Decisions should be based on good science, whether it is a pipeline or a new food product. New food products should be based on science and whether they are safe to eat.
    What do they put in? They put that the minister will decide, and by the way, the minister will decide without any consequences or any responsibility to inform how he or she came to that decision. They wonder why people do not want to invest in Canada. It is because it has become such an unpredictable environment to invest in. Why would they?
    When we talk about a carbon tax cover-up, that is exactly what it is because I think they know the numbers and they do not want to tell us. The reason they do not want to tell us is that the numbers are bad and they are trying to look for another reason to hide this carbon tax. The latest spin is that it is the provinces' jurisdiction. Okay, if it is the provinces' jurisdiction, then they should butt out of Saskatchewan's business and mind their own.

  (1215)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to take up this notion that there is some report that this government has generated that it is not sharing with the Canadian people, because I have heard it referred to over and over again as a cover-up.
    They acquired the document that was redacted through the Freedom of Information Act, which is a process entirely governed by public servants, not by the government of the day. The document they are holding up was released literally the day after the last federal election, before the results were even gazetted, before any members of this House of Commons were legally even put in their seats, let alone appointed as ministers. Even the Prime Minister had not been sworn in. The report that they are talking about is one that the previous government commissioned before it left office, and that the previous government played a role in composing and reporting.
     I just wonder why the members opposite do not talk to members of the previous cabinet who may have read the document, held the document, had carriage of the document, understood the document, framed the terms of reference for the document, produced the document, held the document in their hands, and actually had the document before we even got into power. The document they want they had; they just forgot to read it. I am curious as to why they do not read their government documents. Is that really the way the rest of the cabinet functioned over the last 10 years?
    Madam Speaker, there are a couple of points I am going to make. First, if it is not the Liberals' document, why are they hiding it? Why has it been redacted? If it is not their document, they should let people see it. The second point is that if it is not their document, where is their document? Why have you not done the research? Why have you not done the science? Why have you not allowed committees to do the studies to see the impacts? Why did you block it at every committee? The reality is that they know and they do not want us to know.

  (1220)  

    I want to remind members that the debate is not to be going back and forth; rather, it is to be directed through the Speaker. I would also remind the member to address his replies to the Speaker and not the individual members or the government.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.
    Madam Speaker, I try to be as fair-minded as possible in this place. I would not have constructed the carbon tax the way it has been constructed. However, it is incontrovertible that the best evidence from around the world, from established agencies like the International Monetary Fund, the International Energy Agency, and the World Bank, is that all economies need to stop subsidizing fossil fuels, as Stephen Harper promised to do in 2009, and all economies need to put a price on carbon. In this country and this generation, I absolutely understand why the Liberals have structured it so that any province can design its own plan and the money will be returned to that province. Therefore, it is revenue neutral to the federal government. However, it is not clear whether it is going to be revenue neutral in the hands of that province, but that is up to the individual province.
    Does the Conservative Party object to the idea that dumping pollution into the atmosphere should not be free?
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's open-mindedness. The question I would ask her is this. When we have a province like Saskatchewan that has a plan that is going to reduce emissions, will be good for the environment, and will meet all the targets that have been laid in front of us, why would the government not accept it? If that plan does not include a carbon tax, why is that a problem?
     It should not be a problem if we have met all of our requirements and obligations but have done it in a different way. Why should the government be upset if it is done in a different way? It comes back to what the end game is for this carbon tax. The word is “taxation”. That is the end game for the current government. Whether it is directly or indirectly, it will have more revenues from a carbon tax. It is going to take money out of the pockets of people and will not change the activities of the people on the ground. Rural farmers have to drive to town. They have to burn petrol. There is no way around it at this point in time, and there is no way around it in the near future. Why punish those rural farmers by taxing them? That is what Saskatchewan did. It found a better way to do it without punishing those rural farmers.
    Madam Speaker, I want to ask a very quick question of my colleague. The Liberal agriculture minister said that Canadian farmers support the carbon tax. I would like to ask the member what he is hearing from the farmers in his constituency.
    Madam Speaker, laughing is the first part. The second part is, and we can see it on Twitter, “Who were you talking to? Are you delirious?” This is a classic example of the Liberals telling farmers what they should believe instead of listening to farmers and bringing it back to Ottawa. We have seen that from the member for Regina—Wascana over and over again. He goes from Ottawa to Regina and tells the people in Regina what they need to know, instead of taking the concerns from the people of Regina back to Ottawa. It is the classic Liberals. APAS and the Grain Growers of Canada have all come out publicly and said they are against a carbon tax, full stop.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for La Prairie.

[English]

    The impacts of climate change, such as coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, and increases in heat waves, droughts, and flooding are already being felt throughout Canada. In response to the critical need to take urgent national action on this global issue, Canada's first ministers adopted the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change on December 9, 2016. One of the core elements of the framework is to put a price on carbon pollution throughout Canada.
    Pricing carbon is widely recognized as an efficient way to reduce emissions at the lowest cost to business and consumers, and to support innovation and clean growth. The aim of putting a price on carbon pollution is to reduce emissions by sending a price signal to the economy as a whole. Businesses, investors, and consumers change their behaviour when they take carbon pricing into account in their daily decision-making.
    Carbon pricing has worked all over the world, from British Columbia to California to the United Kingdom. In all of those places, emissions have dropped and the economy has continued to grow. Just recently, Environment and Climate Change Canada released a new analysis confirming that carbon pricing will do the same across Canada, significantly reducing emissions while maintaining strong economic growth.
    The new study found that carbon pricing could reduce carbon pollution by up to 90 million tonnes across Canada in 2022, as much as taking 26 million cars off the road for a year or shutting down more than 20 coal plants. The study also found that GDP growth would remain strong with a nationwide price on carbon pollution. Canada's GDP is expected to grow by approximately 2% a year between now and 2022, with or without carbon pricing.

  (1225)  

[Translation]

    Almost 85% of Canadians already live in a province or territory that puts a price on carbon pollution, and all governments have committed to some form of carbon pricing.
    To extend carbon pricing across Canada, in October 2016, the Prime Minister released the federal carbon pricing standard, a benchmark, that gives provinces and territories the flexibility to implement the type of system that is best for them, while setting certain basic criteria that all systems must meet to ensure that they are fair and effective.
    The Government of Canada is also committed to developing and implementing a federal carbon pricing system as a backstop. This backstop will therefore apply to any province or territory that does not have a carbon pricing system that meets the federal standard.
    The greenhouse gas pricing act establishes the legal framework for the federal carbon pricing system, which serves as a backstop. The primary objective of the act is to help reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by ensuring that a price is set on carbon across Canada and that it increases over time.
    As part of its commitment to the Canada-wide approach to carbon pricing, the government will apply the federal pricing system only to the provinces and territories that it lists in schedule 1 of the act because they do not have a system that meets the benchmark. It also states that it will assess the provincial and territorial systems annually to ensure that they continue to meet this benchmark.
    The federal carbon pricing system introduced by the act has two components: a levy on fossil fuels that is generally payable by fuel producers or distributors, also known as “fuel costs”; and a performance-based system for industrial facilities, also known as “production-based pricing”. These components are intended to complement each other and to ensure that there is no double pricing.
    In December, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change wrote to the provincial and territorial governments to provide them with the carbon pricing timelines. Provinces and territories wishing to establish or maintain their own systems must confirm their intentions by September 1, 2018. The Government of Canada will then determine whether the provincial and territorial systems will meet the federal carbon pricing standard.
    In provinces and territories that do not meet the federal standard, the federal carbon pricing system will apply as of January 1, 2019, at an initial price of $20 per tonne of emissions. Provincial and territorial systems will be assessed annually. This timeline provides clarity to everyone involved and will enable consumers, businesses, and investors to make informed decisions.

[English]

    Businesses already know carbon pricing makes good sense. According to a report from the Carbon Disclosure Project, the number of companies with plans to internally price their own carbon pollution increased between 2014 and 2017, from 150 to almost 1,400. The list includes more than 100 of the world's largest companies, with total annual revenues of $7 trillion.
    In Canada, many energy companies, our top five banks, and major consumer goods companies support a price on pollution. They are all part of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition. They know carbon pricing can make Canadian businesses more innovative and competitive, and that it provides certainty to investors.
    A recent study ranked Canada fourth in the world as a clean technology innovator, up from seventh place in 2014. Last year, 11 of Canada's clean-tech companies ranked in the top 100 worldwide.
    Companies such as Winnipeg's Farmers Edge are developing cutting-edge technologies that help farmers waste less energy and increase their profits. Ecobee in Toronto makes smart thermostats that link up with smart phones to help Canadians save money and make their homes more comfortable. Dartmouth's CarbonCure has developed a technology to capture carbon pollution from industry and use it to make stronger concrete.
    This is the kind of innovation and entrepreneurship carbon pricing is designed to support. These kinds of technologies help protect our environment, create new opportunities and middle-class jobs, and help our industries to compete.
    According to the World Bank, jurisdictions representing about half the global economy are putting a price on carbon, and that does not include China's national system announced late last year. As of 2018, 70 jurisdictions around the world at the national and subnational levels are putting a price on carbon.
    The approach to carbon pricing is going to ensure that Canadians are well placed to benefit from the opportunities created by the global transition that is now under way. Carbon pricing is the most effective way to reduce emissions. It creates incentives for businesses and households to innovate and pollute less. Innovation is key to keeping Canada's economy competitive. Carbon pricing brings down emissions while driving investment in energy efficiency and in cleaner, less polluting energy sources.

  (1230)  

    Madam Speaker, I was not able to hear the member's entire speech, but I did hear a good portion of what he was sharing in his comments. It is clear that he is unwilling to use the term carbon tax.
    What I find really disappointing is that the Liberal Party, for many weeks now, in fact months, has refused to tell Canadians how much the carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family. Worse still, it is not willing to share what impact that carbon tax will have on implementing greenhouse gas reductions.
    Why put a carbon tax on something if it is not going to achieve what the Liberals say it is going to achieve, and then not disclose what the actual cost will be?
     Madam Speaker, the government has produced a report, and I mentioned it in my speech.
    Essentially the problem with the opposition is that it views the economy as a single-lever mechanism, almost like a well pump, where cause and effect are clear.
    The economy is made up of millions of decisions made by individual consumers, by businesses, and by governments.
    In the report that is on the website, and I would encourage members to turn on their computer and access the website, there is a quote, as follows:
    Accurately assessing how pricing carbon pollution could affect the economy and emissions depends on the choices governments make about which carbon pricing system they adopt—a direct price, a cap-and-trade system, or a hybrid system. How they choose to use the revenues generated from carbon pricing also has a big impact. Revenue can be used for rebates, tax cuts, incentives for energy efficiency or investments in clean infrastructure and innovation. Furthermore, forecasting future economic conditions involves simplifying very complex systems and making many assumptions, resulting in an inherent amount of uncertainty.
    Madam Speaker, under the previous Conservative government, former prime minister Harper received “Fossil of the Year” awards repeatedly at international climate conferences, yet the Liberal government continues to carry on with the same discredited greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of the Conservative Party.
    While New Democrats agree that putting a price on carbon pollution is important, as it is for all forms of pollution, we are extremely discouraged that the Liberal government continues to subsidize fossil fuel expansion, including purchasing a leaky old pipeline. It is mind-blowing, honestly, to think that is where we are.
    How does the member opposite view carbon pricing in conjunction with a failure to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond what the Harper Conservatives promised?

  (1235)  

    Madam Speaker, the Conservative government did not perform on this issue. I could not agree more with the member. The reason was that even though it talked about targets and put targets in the window, it never took the actions necessary to achieve those targets.
    Our government is taking probably the single biggest measure possible to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. The biggest fossil fuel subsidy that exists is the fact that the cost of pollution is not internalized in businesses and organizations that pollute. A price on carbon is meant to take account of that externality, which is the cost of pollution to our environment and to our society. The biggest subsidy of all is the fact that it does not cost to pollute, to produce greenhouse gas emissions and put them into the environment.
    The government is taking the strongest step possible in this regard. As the member knows, there is really no agreed-upon definition of what constitutes a fossil fuel subsidy, other than the fact that when there is not a price on carbon and when polluting is free, that is the biggest subsidy of all.

[Translation]

     Madam Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to further address the member’s question on a carbon price in agriculture.
    In fact, in many ways agriculture is leading the way in our transition to a low-carbon economy. Feeding a growing world population with sustainable agriculture is one of the defining challenges of our time. How do we achieve this goal? One word: innovation. Sustainability and innovation go hand in hand. The agriculture sector already has a solid track record of innovating and adopting new technologies to improve environmental performance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    In fact, for more than a decade, greenhouse gases from agriculture have remained stable despite growth in production. A century ago, the average farmer produced enough food for about ten people. Today, that farmer can feed well over a hundred.
    There is no doubt that science is our most powerful tool when it comes to environment and climate change issues. Thanks to science, Canadian farmers are producing more food with less land and less water. We can indeed have sustainable agriculture for generations to come, but we need to be willing to invest. The government places a high priority on helping farmers adjust to the effects of climate change. Climate change and environment are at the heart of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's new Canadian agricultural partnership.
    Through this partnership, over the next five years, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments will invest $3 billion in key priorities of the agriculture sector—including the environment. Programs will help farmers capitalize on opportunities for sustainable growth while adapting to climate change. They will help farmers adopt agriculture technologies and tools to reduce GHG emissions.
    Another tremendous success story is the environmental farm plans. The program helps farmers sit down and make an environmental plan for their farm, targeting practical solutions that they can use to help the environment, while boosting their bottom line.
     Supported by federal-provincial-territorial funding, over the past quarter century, more than 70,000 Canadian farmers have developed environmental farm plans. Our scientists, working with universities and industry, are also fully engaged in the fight against climate change.
    Under budget 2017, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is investing $70 million in agricultural science to address emerging priorities, such as climate change and soil and water conservation.
    We are proud to be a government that recognizes science and research as important drivers of clean growth in the agricultural sector.
     We will continue to support science and research, including on innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes our investment of $25 million to support the adoption of clean technology by Canadian agricultural producers.
    The $2-billion low-carbon economy fund helps provinces and territories to reduce GHG emissions, for example through carbon storage in agricultural soils.
    Furthermore, the government is investing $27 million in the agricultural greenhouse gases program to help farmers reduce their carbon footprint. This program is helping farmers reduce greenhouse gases and adjust to climate change in four key areas: management and feeding strategies, capturing carbon through land and tillage practices, agroforestry, and irrigation and drainage for crop production. There are 20 projects at leading universities across Canada, all focused on helping farmers make their farms even greener than they are today.

  (1240)  

     Recent projects include measuring the environmental footprint of blueberry, potato, and forage cropping systems; environmentally-friendly grazing systems for cattle; and new cereal crops that do not have to be planted every year, saving fertilizer and water. There is also the $5.2-million agricultural youth green jobs initiative, which helps place young Canadians in green jobs within the agriculture sector.
    My message today is that Canadian farmers are, and will continue to be, part of the climate change solution. That is why our carbon pricing policy reflects the realities of Canada’s agricultural industry. Our government recognizes that Canadian farmers and farm families are important drivers of the Canadian economy. We understand that Canadian farmers are making important contributions in the fight against climate change, for example by adopting sustainable technologies and practices like precision agriculture or conservation tillage.
    We know that farmers are price takers and cannot easily pass cost increases on to consumers. That is why gasoline and diesel fuel for on-farm use is exempt from carbon pricing under the federal backstop. Alberta and British Columbia have already exempted these fuels from their carbon pricing policies. Furthermore, emissions from crop and livestock production will not be subject to carbon pricing under the federal backstop.
    Over 70% of Canadian farms are located in provinces that already have a carbon pricing system in place. British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta, and Ontario, which account for 80% of Canada's GHG emissions, have already implemented carbon pricing mechanisms.
    The pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change was negotiated with the provinces and territories. This historic national framework recognizes that climate action may differ from one region to the next across the country. That is why the framework gives jurisdictions the flexibility to design approaches to pricing pollution that best suit their conditions and priorities, provided they meet the federal benchmark. The provinces and territories are invited to develop their own pricing schemes. They can therefore keep the direct revenues they raise from carbon pricing to use as they see fit.
     Ontario and Quebec have cap and trade systems in place. Alberta has a hybrid pricing system. In all three provinces, these systems include opportunities for producers to sell their emission reductions for cash payment. Many producers in Alberta were paid because they used no-till farming.
     Stakeholders have asked to be consulted and we are listening. The government will continue to engage industries, provincial and territorial governments, indigenous peoples, environmental groups, and stakeholders on the design of the federal carbon pricing system.
    Canada has the opportunity to be a global leader when it comes to feeding a growing world population sustainably. The government will provide the investments needed to maximize and accelerate the efforts of our farmers, our scientists, and industry. The government is committed to supporting farmers as they continue to be responsible stewards of our land, and will continue to work with farmers to help them capture sustainable growth while adapting to climate change.

  (1245)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for drawing attention to the great agricultural initiatives that are improving our soil quality.
     I have some of the best farmers in all of Canada in my riding, Kitchener—Conestoga. In fact, many are being proactive by planting cover crops to sequester carbon and by reducing tillage and fuel use. They are already doing many of these activities. However, added to that we have this punishing carbon tax, which, in my riding, is going to add up to $6,000 for an average farmer just for fuel.
    My colleague says that two provinces have exempted fuel for farms, but Ontario is not one of them. Therefore, in my riding, a farmer will pay an extra $6,000 just because of this carbon tax, and that does not count the cost of getting his produce to market, whether that is grain or livestock, or getting fuel or fertilizer to his farm.
     This is punishing our farmers, and worse than that, this cost will be added and passed on to middle-class Canadians. Why is the government punishing them in that way?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, Canadians know that there is a cost to pollution. We see it in the droughts, floods, forest fires, and extreme weather events that are occurring. We see it in the effects that pollution has on our health. It is time polluters paid the price.
    Ensuring that there is a price on pollution across the country is a matter of fairness. Putting a price on pollution helps us to fight climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, put money in Canadians' pockets, and above all, create jobs for the middle class.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, as I was listening to the debate here today, a bulletin just came through on my computer about a new, disturbing report that the west Antarctic ice sheet is melting three times faster than it was the last time it was checked.
    When sea ice melts, it does not affect the sea level. It can affect currents, such as the Gulf Stream, but because it is ice floating on water, it does not cause sea level rise. However, ice sheets, such as the Greenland ice sheet and the west Antarctic ice sheet, sit on land. This is global research in which the University of Toronto collaborated, and it states that if we lose either one of those, it would contribute eight metres to sea level rise. That is eight metres of sea level rise from a single event, if we lose the west Antarctic ice sheet or the Greenland ice sheet.
    The hon. member detailed a number of measures we have taken so far. They are not sufficient to meet the Paris target. We are not aiming at the right target. This kind of information requires the kind of full-court press that says the government will do everything it can to preserve every coastal city. I would ask for the member's response to that.

  (1250)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
    Almost every carbon pricing system in the world includes a mechanism for protecting competitiveness and heavy industry. That includes the systems in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, California, the European Union, and China. We are generating clean economic growth in Canada while protecting competitiveness.
    Jurisdictions representing nearly half the global economy are putting a price on carbon, but some companies in Canada compete with other companies that are not subject to a carbon tax. We will continue to protect our environment. As we have been saying from the start, economic development and the environment go hand in hand.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte.
    For a party that campaigned in 2015 on running an open and transparent government and on being “open by default”, it really is sad to see it has broken this promise, along with many other promises it made in the 2015 campaign.
    We had no other choice but to bring this motion forward today. I want to read the motion. It states:
    That, given the government’s failure to provide a clear explanation of the costs of its carbon tax policy, and given that the people of Ontario have rejected the carbon tax, the House call on the government to table, by June 22, 2018, how much the proposed federal carbon tax of $50 per tonne will cost a median Canadian family.
    The government knows how much this tax will cost Canadians. It has documents that outline exactly how much it will cost, and we have those documents as well. The only difference is the documents we received have redacted information. That does not sound like “open by default” to me. What exactly do the Liberals have to hide behind all that black ink? We have a pretty good idea of what they are trying to hide by covering up these numbers.
    The Parliamentary Budget Officer has provided us with some unsavoury data. In his most recent economic and fiscal outlook he found:
     Implementation of [the federal government's] carbon pricing levy...will generate a headwind for the Canadian economy over the medium term as the levy rises from $10 per tonne of CO2 equivalent in 2018 to $50 per tonne in 2022. Based...on analysis conducted by the Ecofiscal Commission, we project that real GDP will be 0.5 per cent lower in 2022 [than it would otherwise be]. This amounts to $10 billion in 2022.
    That is $10 billion out of our economy.
    The Parliamentary Budget Officer speaks of headwinds. All of us who travel to Ottawa know how headwinds impact us. Travelling on the 401, the 407, or the 417, when we are travelling into headwinds we know our gas mileage is going to go down significantly. Likewise, we know the carbon tax will decrease our GDP significantly.
    What this government has been open about since being elected is that it has no desire to control its reckless spending and bring the budget back to balance. Now we know that its plan to force a carbon tax on the provinces to finance its growing national debt will not even help balance the budget. It will do the exact opposite. It is going to cost our Canadian economy an extra $10 billion.
    In addition to the damaging effects the tax will have on our economy, it will raise the cost of everything for my constituents of Kitchener—Conestoga. The Liberals admit that gasoline prices will go up by at least 11¢ a litre and that the cost of heating one's home will increase by over $200. The members of the Liberal Party may not think that is a lot of money, but for middle-class Canadians in my riding every penny counts. The Liberals forget that the decisions to commute to work, drive their kids to soccer or hockey practice, heat their homes, or travel to see loved ones are real choices to be made and that there are real costs involved. My constituents in Kitchener—Conestoga often have to commute into Toronto and other parts of Ontario for work, to visit family, or to watch a Blue Jays game. The Liberal carbon tax is going to force my constituents to choose between those important things and putting food on the table.
    This past winter, in most parts of Canada, it was a pretty cold one. Perhaps members of the Liberal Party prefer to spend winters in Florida, or somewhere warm, but I can assure them, southwestern Ontario is known to dip well below freezing in the winter months, and that is what makes this carbon tax even more outrageous. It will punish Canadians for heating their homes. This is not a frivolous expense. It is an absolute necessity, and when asked about these rising costs, the Prime Minister responded that this is exactly what the government wants. The government should be working to lower taxes for Canadians and making life more affordable, not working to punish Canadians and impose unwanted taxes on the provinces.
     That brings me to my next point. Last week, Ontarians were loud and clear. They are sick and tired of the Liberals' reckless spending, and they do not support a carbon tax. Ontarians have had enough with the failed energy plans of the Ontario Liberals and this Liberal government in Ottawa.
    The provincial governments of Ontario and Saskatchewan have indicated they will be taking the federal government to court to fight against its top-down, heavy-handed, mandatory carbon tax.

  (1255)  

    Alberta will soon join them in opposing this tax that does absolutely nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What has become crystal clear since the Liberals formed government in 2015, is that their approach to federalism has left this country fractured. One only has to look at Alberta and British Columbia with two NDP governments warring with one another, introducing tariffs, and taking each other to court, all as a result of the government's failed leadership.
    Under our Conservative government we saw an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and we did not raise taxes to do it. We focused on target regulations, incremental changes, and encouraging provinces to create their own individual plans. Members opposite would claim that we did not do anything for the environment, but that is simply not the case. As former chair of the environment committee, I know that our government was committed to cleaning up the environment, investing in wetlands, investing in conservation, and encouraging sustainable energy. That is how we see real change. In fact, during our government's mandate, greenhouse gas emissions reduced while the economy grew.
    Canadians and Conservatives understand that we cannot tax our way to a cleaner environment. Take British Columbia as an example. Despite having the highest carbon tax in Canada, emissions have continued to rise in British Columbia. As a result, British Columbians now pay more for gas than anyone else in North America. British Columbia's carbon tax is not helping the environment, it is just costing people more to get to work and to take their kids to hockey or soccer practice.
     Before the next election, our Conservative leader will be unveiling a detailed and comprehensive environmental plan. One thing that one can be sure about our plan, though, is that it will not punish everyday Canadians for commuting to work or for heating their homes.
    Last, I would be remiss if I did not talk about the effect this carbon tax will have on our farmers. I represent some of Canada's best farmers in the rural part of Kitchener—Conestoga. I know that farmers are the best stewards of the land and that no one cares more about the well-being of our environment than they do.
    Dale Leftwich, writing for RealAgriculture, has this to say in regard to farmers' impact on the environment and the effects of a federal liberal carbon tax:
     Scientists are beginning to fully understand how much carbon is being sequestered in soils by farmers. There is evidence that reductions in summer fallow and new farming methods are improving soil health and increasing soil organic matter. In other words, the depletion of the soil which began with the first plowing has been reversed in recent years, and farms are now on a more sustainable footing. If pricing carbon acts as a deterrent to this trend, it will be worse than ineffective, it will be disastrous.
    He went on to say:
     There is a long shadow in Canada of poorly conceived energy policies. These have strained interprovincial relations and limited economic growth. Some see carbon pricing as déjà vu all over again. They suspect that urban dwellers will benefit from increased economic activity and jobs while farmers will be forced to foot the bill. Many farmers are also skeptical about the doom and gloom scenarios so common today. At the same time, because farmland sequesters huge amounts of carbon, farmers want to be considered part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Most do not want a cheque for what they do but would like to be left alone to farm in a sustainable manner, and not be harassed by yet another costly program based on incomplete science. They worry that expensive, ineffective onerous policies will be put in place, not because they are scientifically proven, but because they are popular. And that is an inconvenient truth that should worry us all.
    I could not have said it better. I hope that members opposite will stand up for transparency, stand up for middle-class Canadians, and support this Conservative motion.

  (1300)  

    Madam Speaker, coming from the municipal sector, I recognized quickly that there were methods to the way we charge people in terms of what their impacts are and therefore who pays for it. I will give an example of development charges.
    Development charges are placed on a developer who creates growth-related costs. This then takes the emphasis off the overall population, the taxpayer, and places it on the person who actually creates those growth-related costs. This concept is no different. This is the same by recognizing who is responsible for pollution and pollution-related costs, taking the emphasis off the overall taxpayer and placing it on those who are creating the pollution-related costs.
    Therefore, does the presenter not recognize that while he states they want to invest in environmental initiatives, wetlands, infrastructure, water, waste water, drainage for our farmers, health care, all those are unfortunately the bearer of those pollution-related costs? Does the presenter not agree that the direction we have taken will be a proper direction to then alleviate the pressure on the overall taxpayer regardless of what level of government may exact taxes, to then therefore deal with the problem?
    Madam Speaker, I have the privilege of working with my colleague on the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations and enjoy his input very much. We work very well collaboratively.
    My colleague commented about the developmental costs at a municipal level, which are the costs for something, but there is an effect at the other end, where people end up with a new bridge, a new road, a new sewer system, or a new water system. All we are asking for is exactly what he is referring to. We want to know what the developmental costs will be. What is the cost of this carbon tax to the average Canadian family, but, more importantly, will there actually be an effect? Will it actually help to do what Liberals say it is going to do?
    We asked people at the environment committee and directly asked the question of the minister: What will the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions be as a result of implementing this carbon tax? The answer was silence, no answer. That is not acceptable. We need to know both the cost and effect to know whether we can invest in this process.
    Madam Speaker, there were five or six things that were somewhat misleading, or perhaps the member opposite just does not know about British Columbia, but there are two things I want to point out.
    The member stated that we are instituting this to finance a growing national debt. It is well known that all of the funds collected are being distributed to the provinces, so none of them will go toward the federal debt.
    I want to talk about the B.C. case. B.C. first instituted carbon pricing in 2008, so it has had carbon pricing for 10 years. We know that, per person, carbon emissions went down by 16% in British Columbia in the first six years, while it went up in the rest of Canada by 3% over the same time period. Also during that exact time period, British Columbia had one of the fastest growing economies in the entire country.
    If I can prove to the member opposite that fossil fuel emissions can be decreased with a carbon price while growing the economy, would he support it?
    Madam Speaker, the point of our motion that we have been debating all day and will be for a few more hours is to simply give us the facts. The government knows what the facts are. It is in black and white in the document, but for us it is black. How can we buy something when we do not know what the cost will be, especially when we do not know what the effect will be?
    If my colleague is so convinced that he can simply extrapolate from British Columbia to all of Canada, then let us have the numbers. Let us see what they are.
    Madam Speaker, it is certainly an honour to rise today on the opposition motion. Before I start, I would like to comment on the direct words related to the opposition day motion. This is not the first time that members of the opposition have been asking for information related to the proposed carbon tax and the effect it would have on the economy. In fact, in the industry committee, on October 23, 2016, a year and a half ago, I moved a motion that said:
    That...the [Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology] conduct a pre-budget study on the effects that the recently-announced Liberal Government carbon tax would have on the manufacturing sector; that this study be comprised of no less than four meetings to be held at the Committee's earliest convenience; [and] that departmental officials from Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada be in attendance for at least one meeting....
    Unfortunately, members of the Liberal Party who sat on the committee blocked it and blocked it. After a month of fighting for the motion, eventually it was voted down as something that would never hit the floor of the industry committee.
    Now, we fast-forward a year and a half. There has been request after request. The member for Carleton put forward a request asking for information related to the carbon tax: what effects it would have on the economy, what effects it would have on jobs for people back in our ridings, what effects it would have globally on the Canadian economy, and how it would affect our competitiveness versus that of other countries, specifically those to the south.
    We have seen the effects of these Liberal schemes before. We have seen them in Ontario, where we have manufacturing jobs running across the border at an alarming rate, specifically in southwestern Ontario. We know what the costs of these types of decisions are. What we do not know is the specifics related to the carbon tax that the Liberal government has put forward.
    It is interesting that the Liberals promised they would be transparent. The Prime Minister promised it in his throne speech. It was actually all through the throne speech that opened this Parliament:
    I call on all parliamentarians to work together, with a renewed spirit of innovation, openness and collaboration.
    It is not openness when the Liberals black out the results of a request for information.
    The speech went on to say:
    Canada succeeds in large part because here, diverse perspectives and different opinions are celebrated, not silenced.
    However, that is what the government is doing. It is silencing the report to the opposition MPs and Canadians overall.
    The speech also said:
    In this Parliament, all members will be honoured, respected and heard, wherever they sit. For here, in these chambers, the voices of all Canadians matter.
    Let us not forget, however, that Canadians have been clear and unambiguous in their desire for real change.
    I did not know that real change meant blacking out results that Canadians were asking for.
    Canadians want their government to do different things, and to do things differently.
    I was not here for any of the previous parliaments, but I can guess that when the government was stating this, it probably was not saying that it was going to black out documents going forward so that Canadians do not know the cost of the decisions that the Liberal government and the Liberal MPs are making on their behalf.
    The speech said:
    They want to be able to trust their government.
    How can they trust a government that is holding information from them that is going to affect every piece of their life? The tax is going affect literally everything.
    The speech went on to say:
    And they want leadership that is focused on the things that matter most to them.
    Things like growing the economy; creating jobs; strengthening the middle class, and helping those working hard to join it.
    What we are looking for right now is the answer. What effect is this carbon tax going to have, not just on those in the middle class, not just on those who have jobs today, but on those who are working hard to join it, those who are the poorest in society, who find it the most difficult to be able to fill up their gas tanks?
    I was in B.C. over the last couple of days, and I took a drive. When I went to take the rental car back, I was amazed. The gas was $1.61 at the pumps, absolutely shocking.
    The throne speech said:
    Through careful consideration and respectful conduct, the Government can meet these challenges, and all others brought before it.
    That is just the opening statement on openness and transparency, which the government committed to in its first act in the House, in the throne speech.

  (1305)  

    It went on to say:
    The Government will undertake these and other initiatives while pursuing a fiscal plan that is responsible [it is not], transparent [it is not] and suited to challenging economic times.
    We know that the times are challenging, with all the things going on in terms cross-border disputes. We know that the times are challenging, with all the new taxes that have been brought forward by the government. We know that the times are challenging, when manufacturing jobs are running south. We know that the times are challenging, because we hear it at the door day after day.
    There is an entire section of the throne speech called “Open and Transparent Government”. Are they kidding?
    [T]he Government is committed to open and transparent government.
    I guess I could just end there and we could move on to the questions portion. I could answer every single question with that exact statement, “the Government is committed to open and transparent government”, except when it blacks out documents so that Canadians do not get to know how much the Liberal carbon tax will actually cost them.
    The trust Canadians have in public institutions—including Parliament—has, at times, been compromised. By working with greater openness and transparency, Parliament can restore it.
     Please explain to me, members of the Liberal Party, how are you restoring the confidence in Parliament when you are blacking out the documents related to questions being asked by the people's representatives?

  (1310)  

    I would remind the member to address his comments to the Chair.
    Madam Speaker, when we go further into the throne speech, we see this:
    Decisions will be informed by scientific evidence.
     The interesting thing here is that this is actually in the portion of the speech that talks about a clean environment and a strong economy. It does actually touch on the carbon tax, or carbon pricing, carbon levy, or whatever the Liberal government would like to call it today.
    It says that decisions “will be informed by scientific evidence.” Well, part of that evidence is what the cost is. What are the ramifications and consequences of introducing such a tax?
    We have had the opportunity here, for two and half years, to discuss this carbon tax. It was discussed before it was brought forward and while it was brought forward. It has been discussed probably in every committee that functions as part of the House. Certainly, it will continue to be discussed until we have the answers.
    The interesting thing is that the Auditor General came out with a report last week that talked about the culture of the government. In the report, the Auditor General essentially states that the government is trying to determine whether or not it is successful by the amount of money it spends. That is not a direct fit to the Auditor General's statements, but I think there is an analogy here, in the sense that the government is trying to determine its success related to the carbon tax by how much it is taxing Canadians, not by the results that will come from it.
    If the Liberals were determined to create a carbon tax based on a results-driven program or process, they would be telling us what the effects would be. What would be the effects of $50 per tonne? What effect would that have on curbing carbon use? What effect would it have on middle-class Canadians? What effect would it have on those who are the least fortunate in our society to be able to continue living their lives?
    It is also interesting that the Auditor General essentially states that the culture of government we see today is one that is driven by marketing, one that is driven by Twitter and Facebook, one that is driven by a 30-second bit on a political show or on the news. That is clearly what we have seen. We saw a minister get off a plane and say, $50 over five years, and $10 per year to the provinces. However, what we have not seen, beyond that marketing, is what effect it would have on the Canadian economy and the Canadian people.
    What government members need to do, whether they are cabinet members, backbenchers, or parliamentary secretaries, is force the hand of the environment minister, the Prime Minister, and the finance minister to tell Canadians how this carbon tax would affect them today.
    Madam Speaker, just to be clear, what the member opposite is asking for is a document that the Conservatives produced for themselves about a policy they were thinking about. It was produced and written before we were even sworn in as a government, which means it has nothing to do with the policies we have introduced. The report they crave is not about a policy of this government; it is about a policy of the government they used to be part of.
    I was going to make an access to information request for the Conservatives' climate change plan. However, I realized that not only could I not get it, but they could not even redact it, because it does not exist. That is the problem.
    If the member opposite really wants to know what we are doing about climate change and what the price on carbon is all about, I direct him to https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/climate-action/pricing-carbon-pollution/estimated-impacts-federal-system.html. Everything we have done about our policy is on the web. Everything about your policy exists on a piece of paper that was redacted. As a government, we have released everything.
    Could the member opposite please tell me why he wants a document from his former cabinet members?

  (1315)  

    I want to remind the member to address the questions to the Chair, because it is not about my policy.
    The hon. member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte.
    Madam Speaker, I think the member missed a couple of slashes: /redaction/blackout/we-are-not-going-to-tell-the-people-exactly-what-the-carbon-tax-is-going-to-cost-them.
    I can understand that the member gets very upset when he cannot even get the information from his own government related to the carbon tax that is going to affect his constituents. That is okay. However, I would like to remind the member that your government—
    I know it is a very passionate debate, but maybe if the member looks at me instead of looking at the other members he will get it right.
    Madam Speaker, I think that you waited until the end with the previous member, but I will.
    If the member looks at the throne speech, I think you will see that the government is committed to an open and transparent government. I would ask all members, including the Speaker of the House, to look at that. We need to be able to see the results from the requests that have been put forward by the opposition members.
    Again, I want to remind the member to address all questions and comments to the Chair.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway.
    Madam Speaker, in my riding, Vancouver Kingsway, there is a strong consensus. It is not unanimous, but a clear majority of people are very concerned about the impacts of climate change. Last summer, terrible forest fires, some of the worst since the 1950s, burned so much in British Columbia that there was actually a haze in Vancouver for many days in the summer. We are seeing an early spring runoff now, and there is flooding that is approaching the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, which is a rare event.
     The truth is that if we take climate change seriously, we have to take extraordinary steps now in order to avoid a rise in temperature of 2° centigrade by 2050, and by all accounts we are not on target for that.
    The Liberals talk a good game. However, they signed Kyoto in 1997. That is 20 years ago. Eddie Goldenberg, who was Prime Minister Chrétien's assistant, publicly stated afterwards that they had no intention of ever meeting those targets. Therefore, Canadians can be rightfully suspicious of their claims now, particularly when we hear a lot of talk but the emissions are not going down.
    What does my hon. colleague think it tells Canadians when the Liberals continue to tell them that they want to deal with climate change but there are never any reductions in GHG emissions or carbon emissions when they are in government?
    Madam Speaker, the member is absolutely correct. First, we need to recognize that, in terms of reduction in GHG emissions in Canada, there was a time when that happened. It was under the previous Conservative government, and we are very proud of that record.
     Second, what the current government needs to do is take a step back and determine what it is trying to achieve in hard measurables. Once it has done that, it should come to the House and explain it to us so that we can have measurables in place to determine whether this has been a success or not.
    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time today with the member for Hastings—Lennox and Addington.
    Around the world, the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident. Sea levels are rising, threatening coastal regions with increased erosion. Extreme events, like floods and wild fires, are becoming more and more common and severe, and in the north, where temperatures are rising at three times the global average, the permafrost is thawing and sea ice is melting. As the climate continues to change, these effects will only become more frequent and more severe.
     The government is taking the challenge of climate change very seriously. We have a comprehensive clean growth and climate plan that includes historic investments in public transit, green infrastructure, and clean innovation. It includes phasing out coal, improving energy efficiency, and cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, and it includes a national price on carbon pollution.
    I am quite proud to say that our plan now also includes putting a climate lens on infrastructure funded by the federal government. I would like to pause on that new green filter for just a moment, because it is a recent development and one that I have been working towards since my first days as a member of Parliament.
    In 2016, I introduced private member's Motion No. 45 to this House, calling on the government to take into account the impact infrastructure has on Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. As the MP for Halifax, I represent one of Canada's primary coastal cities, and it is no exaggeration to say that Halifax is on the front lines of climate change when it comes to threats like worsening storms and sea level rise.
    At the same time, our government is making an historic investment in infrastructure, $180 billion over 12 years. That is an investment that is going to transform our communities for the better. We also know, at the same time, that infrastructure has the potential to lock in greenhouse gas emissions for years to come.
    We find ourselves at a pivotal moment in our history. It is a moment that comes with a remarkable opportunity and a responsibility to get it right. That is why, in 2016, I put forward Motion No. 45, requesting that the government put a climate lens on infrastructure that it chooses to fund. It passed, and I am so glad that this climate lens has now been worked into federal policy as a required part of the bilateral funding agreements being signed between the Government of Canada and all provinces and territories. That means that as part of our infrastructure plan, applicants seeking federal funding for new major public infrastructure projects will now have to undertake an assessment of how their projects will impact greenhouse gas emissions and consider the climate change risks in the location, design, operation, and maintenance of those projects. As a city planner and as the MP for Halifax, I view that as a significant win for our city and for the sustainability and resiliency of communities all across Canada.
    I have just outlined some of the measures our government has put in place to protect our environment, but of course, we are here today to talk about putting a price on carbon pollution. Why? We are doing it because pricing carbon pollution works. It is the most effective, least expensive way to achieve our climate goals. It encourages innovation and keeps our economy strong. The simple fact is that without carbon pricing, cutting pollution would be much more expensive.
    Canadians know that pollution is not free. Climate pollution leads to droughts and floods and wild fires and extreme weather, and all of these have major costs. Insurance claims from severe weather in Canada have been going up. They are more than three times higher today than they were in the 1980s and 1990s, a trend that is expected to continue.
    Pollution also harms people's health, which has personal physiological costs and monetary costs for our health care system. Right now, it is the people most affected by these impacts who are paying the price: northerners; coastal communities; the people whose homes are flooded, as we saw in New Brunswick this spring; or those with asthma or other health conditions worsened by pollution. That is not right.
    Carbon pricing, on the other hand, is based on the idea that the polluter should pay. Experts around the world agree. Carbon pricing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce emissions. That is because it is not prescriptive. It allows companies and individuals to make their own decisions on how best to cut their emissions.
    In Canada, more than 80% of us already live in jurisdictions with carbon pricing in place. Recognizing that each province and territory has unique circumstances, the pan-Canadian approach would allow provinces and territories the flexibility to choose a system that makes the most sense for them: an explicit price-based system, like in B.C. or Alberta; or a cap and trade system, like in Ontario and Quebec.
    To ensure that a price on carbon pollution is in place across Canada, the Government of Canada has also committed to developing and implementing a federal carbon-pricing system as a backstop. This system would apply in any province or territory that requested it or that did not have a carbon pricing system in place by 2018 that met the federal standard.

  (1320)  

    We have seen how carbon pricing has worked in British Columbia. Over the past decade, B.C.'s carbon price has reduced emissions by between 5% and 15%. Meanwhile, provincial real GDP grew by more than 17% from 2007 to 2015, and per capita gasoline demand dropped 15% over that period. B.C.'s growing clean technology sector now brings in an estimated $1.7 billion in annual revenue.
    In 2017, B.C., Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, the four provinces with carbon pricing systems in place, were also the top four performers in GDP growth across Canada. Anyone who says that carbon pricing hurts economies is not basing their arguments on science or the evidence but rather on ignorance and fear.
    Consider this. People may have seen recently that the Government of Canada released a report showing that carbon pricing could reduce carbon pollution by up to 90 million tonnes across Canada by 2022. That is like taking 26 million cars off the road for a year or shutting down more than 20 coal plants.
    At the same time, the report also found that GDP growth would remain strong with a nationwide price on carbon pollution. Canada's GDP is expected to grow by approximately two per cent per year between now and 2022, with or without carbon pricing. Regular changes in energy prices have a much bigger impact on the GDP than our carbon pricing plan.
    We do know that carbon pricing will affect the price of fuel and other goods and services. Today the opposition is asking what it will cost families. Here is an example. The Government of Alberta has calculated the cost of its system. The direct cost for a family of four is about $500 per year. However, that is not the whole story, because if that family makes less than $95,000 a year, it will get a rebate of $540. That is right. It will actually come out ahead because of carbon pricing. About 60% of Alberta households receive a full or partial rebate to offset the cost of the carbon levy.
    External studies have come up with a variety of estimates for what carbon pricing might cost. What these studies tend to agree on is that actual costs depend a lot on how provinces and territories design their carbon pricing systems and how they reinvest carbon pricing revenues back into the economy. Some households will face costs, but others will come out ahead financially, depending on the choices in each jurisdiction.
    The Conservative opposition knows that, despite all this misdirection and pointless droning on on this point. It knows that the federal government has asked the provinces and territories to confirm the details of their systems by September, and it knows that wherever the federal system applies, all direct revenues will be returned to the jurisdiction of origin.
    What the Conservatives may not know, and what they do not seem to care about, is just how expensive inaction on climate change could prove to be. Estimates suggest that climate change could cost Canada $5 billion a year by 2020 and as much as $43 billion by 2050.
    With that in mind, I would like to conclude my remarks with some reflection on a quote earlier this month by Steve Williams, the CEO of Canada's largest oil company, Suncor. He was speaking in Calgary, right in the heartland of Canadian climate change denial, and he was talking about the current Conservative political discourse around climate change.
     He said:
    It is a matter of profound disappointment to me that science and economics have taken on some strange political ownership, why the science of the left-wing is different than the science of the right-wing....
    Climate change is science, hard-core science.
    He is right. There is no good reason why all members of this House cannot work together, agree on climate science and agree on the evidence that carbon pricing works and move forward to protect our planet for our kids. This does not have to be a political partisan spectacle. I will continue to work, as will this government, to make sure that one day, before it is too late, we will all see that we have no other choice.

  (1325)  

    Madam Speaker, my colleague indicated that a number of the provinces are working in a situation where there is already carbon pricing. I want to remind him that the number of provinces that are in agreement with the carbon tax policy is rapidly decreasing.
    My colleague said that anyone who says that a carbon tax will negatively impact the economy is working out of ignorance or fear. I want to remind my colleague that the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that the carbon tax would take $10 billion out of the Canadian economy by 2022. Does the member opposite think the Parliamentary Budget Officer is working out of ignorance and fear?
    He also said that the carbon tax is the most cost-effective way to cut emissions. If that is true, all we are asking is this: what is the cost, and what is the reduction in emissions?
    Madam Speaker, I also mentioned in my remarks that climate change will cost the Canadian economy $43 billion a year by 2050. Of course pricing carbon pollution has a cost, but that cost is put back into the economy, growing the economy and funding innovation in the green economy as we go along. The fundamental responsibility this generation has to future generations is the possibility of making the polluter pay for the damage being done to our communities.
    As a planner, this is very much like a development charge. When we assess developers in a community for the cost of the impact on that community of their new development, that is not a cost borne by the taxpayers at large. It is borne by the person who is creating the cost to the community. That development charge is paid to the community for the benefit of all. That is the core intent of what carbon pollution pricing is all about.

  (1330)  

    Madam Speaker, if my hon. colleague is so proud of this carbon tax, why will the government not just release what it is going to cost the average Canadian family? He keeps saying that a cost-benefit analysis has been done on this, that the cost will be x and the benefit will be y, and the y will be more than the cost, or the benefit will be more than the cost. If that is indeed the case, why will the government not release these numbers and make the argument that the cost is going to be high, but the benefits will be even better?
    Madam Speaker, as my hon. colleague heard me say in my remarks, it is not knowable what the cost will be yet, because many jurisdictions have yet to devise a system. There is a deadline in place, in September, when all the jurisdictions in Canada will have to have their pricing schemes in place. Otherwise, that will be backstopped by a federal process, but we cannot know those costs until that deadline arrives.
    I would add, to revert back to my development charge analogy, that as with development charges, for carbon pricing or pollution pricing, there are some things we know the cost of, such as carbon capture and so forth, but there are many things we have a very hard time putting a figure on, like the impact on the health of our children, for example, or on the ecosystems around the world. These are things that are going to emerge as we understand what the jurisdictional programs look like. At that time, we will be able to understand the cost and the benefits much more clearly.
    Madam Speaker, hearing the other side talk about their record on climate change, I wonder how many times one can close a coal plant. The largest reduction in greenhouse gases was a direct result of the provincial government in Ontario closing coal plants. They can only be closed once. They cannot be closed more to get better results. Once it is closed, it is done. One has to move on to another coal plant. By the way, they opposed closing them in Alberta.
    The other major contributor to the climate change reduction under the Conservative government, which they like to take credit for, and I am prepared to blame them for it if they wish, is that they had a recession. In fact, they often say it was a global recession, so do not blame them. They loved the recession so much, could the member explain why he thinks they might have wanted to try making a second recession happen just as they were leaving office?
    Madam Speaker, a very positive and unexpected result of the recession was a reduction in carbon. Of course, that was a wonderful silver lining to an otherwise very dark and grubby-looking cloud.
    We know that the way we are going to grow our economy and protect our environment is by working on them hand in hand, in step together. The efforts we have across the board, through the infrastructure investments, through the green filter, through investing in green technologies, through the oceans protection plan, and now through a national price on carbon pollution, will work in concert through a whole-of-government approach in a way that every single Canadian has a part to play as we protect our environment for our kids and continue to grow this economy. That will be the legacy of this government.
    Madam Speaker, carbon pricing is key to any credible climate plan, because it is a cost-effective way to significantly reduce pollution while driving clean innovation and creating new jobs. A price on carbon creates a powerful incentive to cut pollution. It encourages people and businesses to save money by making cleaner choices, such as better insulating their homes or upgrading to more efficient equipment. Carbon pricing is a foundation of Canada's clean growth and climate action plan.
     Four out of five Canadians live in a jurisdiction that is already pricing pollution today. By ensuring that all parts of Canada price pollution to the same standard, we will help ensure that we drive down our emissions and grow our economy. The clearer, more consistent, strong, and predictable the price signal, the greater its effectiveness in driving the choices that contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy.
    There are three main carbon pricing systems in Canada: cap and trade, a carbon tax or other form of charge on fossil fuels, and a hybrid system. The federal carbon pollution pricing system will use a hybrid approach that consists of two components: a charge on fossil fuels that will generally be paid by fuel producers or distributors, and a performance-based system for industrial facilities. It will be considered to be a regulatory fuel charge, as it will be aimed at changing behaviours. Putting a price on carbon pollution will create an incentive for businesses and consumers to make lower-carbon choices.

  (1335)  

    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I just want to give the member an opportunity to correct the record. He said it is a “carbon tax”. His government has been consistently calling it—
    That is a question for debate and not a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I will take a moment to explain these two components in further detail.
    Part 1 of the act sets out the details on the fuel charge, which would generally be payable by a fuel distributor or a fuel producer who can be expected to pass on that cost to the end-user of the fuel in the form of an increased purchase price, thereby creating a price signal throughout the Canadian economy. The rates of the fuel charge are set out in schedule 2 of the act. This part will be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.
    Part 2 establishes the performance-based system for industrial facilities with high emissions that are also trade exposed. This system is designed to provide a price signal and incent reductions while minimizing competitiveness in carbon leakage risks. Instead of paying the fuel charge in part 1 on fuels that they purchase, industrial facilities will face a compliance cost on only a portion of their emissions, the amount by which they exceed a regulated limit.
    The annual emissions limit for a facility that carries out a regulated activity will be based on an emissions intensity standard for that activity. Standards will generally be in the form of emissions per unit of production. Regulations will set different standards for different activities.
    As an example of how this will work, a standard could be set at one tonne of CO2 emissions per unit of production for a particular regulated activity. A facility that carries out the regulated activity would have an annual limit that is equal to one tonne of carbon emissions multiplied by the number of units that the facility produces in that year. This will create an incentive for facilities to produce as efficiently as possible, in other words, to reduce their emissions per unit of production. This will drive energy efficiency and switching to cleaner fuels.
    If a facility emits less than the limit, it will receive surplus credits that it can bank for future use or sell to other regulated firms. The system thus creates an incentive for continuous improvement.
    Facilities that emit above their limit will need to provide compensation for the portion of their emissions above their annual limit using one of three methods. First, facilities can submit surplus credits that they earned in previous years or acquired from another facility. Second, facilities can submit offset credits from projects that prevent emissions or that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Third, facilities can pay a charge equivalent to the price of the federal standard carbon price. This price is set at $10 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2018 and will rise by $10 annually until it reaches $50 per tonne in 2022.
    Facilities will be required to open accounts in a tracking system to buy, sell, and use credits. The tracking system in part 2 will also register payments of the excess emissions charge. The actual performance standards for each sector will be prescribed in regulations. Officials from the Department of Environment and Climate Change are in the process of engaging with industry and other interested stakeholders on the development of these standards.
    Wherever the federal carbon pricing system applies, the Government of Canada will return all direct revenue made from the carbon price to the jurisdiction of origin.
    Part 1 and part 2 each contain administrative sections, such as provisions on registration, compliance reporting, confidentiality of information, and record-keeping for the proper functioning of the federal system. To ensure timely payment of the carbon price and compliance with the other requirements of the federal system, part 1 and part 2 each contain enforcement provisions, including penalties, offences, and debt collection provisions tailored to the specific component in each part.
    The act requires the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to report annually to Parliament on the administration of the act. This is in addition to the commitment in the pan-Canadian framework for annual reports on the overall implementation of the framework and a joint federal-provincial-territorial review of the overall approach to pricing carbon in Canada by early 2022 to confirm the path forward, with an interim review in 2020.

  (1340)  

    Pricing carbon pollution is one of the key actions that will put Canada on a course to meet our 2030 emissions reduction target, but it is not the only action. Canada's clean growth and climate action plan includes many other measures across the economy that complement carbon pricing to cut emissions. These include phasing out coal-fired power; improving the energy efficiency of buildings, vehicles, and industries; and cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.
    The government is also making significant investments to enable Canadian businesses and workers to participate in the trillion-dollar opportunities offered by the world's transition to a clean growth economy. In June 2017, the $1.4 billion low-carbon economy leadership fund was launched to support provincial and territorial projects for buildings, industry, forestry, and agriculture.
    In December 2017, the first set of projects was announced and many are now under way. On March 14, 2018, the low-carbon economy challenge was launched. The challenge will provide up to $500 million for projects that generate clean growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Provinces, territories, businesses, municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, and indigenous communities can apply. The government is also investing billions of dollars in green infrastructure and public transit. The Canada Infrastructure Bank and Export Development Canada are using innovative financing mechanisms, like green bonds, to support climate investments and help new technologies become mainstream.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for allowing me to rise on the point of order earlier. I did want to give the member an opportunity to correct the record because he did refer to it as a carbon tax and I certainly would not want Gerry to be mad at him for not referring to it as carbon pricing.
    However, the member did speak about direct revenues. Forgive me for being skeptical about having direct revenues go back to the provinces, but it is on the issue of the GST, which is critical. Effectively what the carbon tax plan proposes is that the Liberals continue to charge the GST on the price of the carbon tax, in other words, creating a tax on top of a tax.
    Will the Liberal Party keep this money as a means and a way to spend more money? They are going to be collecting more taxes. Are they going to be spending more?
    Madam Speaker, we try to deflect from the real issues we are trying to deal with here and that is how we meet our 2030 climate change targets. I am not surprised that members opposite would try to focus on measures that would be fearmongering rather than trying to deal with the real issue.
    The question becomes, what are we going to tell our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren? Are we going to say, “We had really good intentions of meeting our goals and we really should have probably paid the cost of the pollution we were creating, but the Americans were not, so why should we? Actually I think we would rather let you guys pay for it in the future”?
    That is not good enough for this side of the House. We have a plan, unlike the Conservatives, to actually deal with the crisis that faces our society and I am proud of the plan that we have put forward.

  (1345)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, something stinks. In 2017, the Prime Minister was awarded the global energy and environment leadership award by the world's largest oil companies. I think that is a clear sign that the government is putting oil extraction ahead of the environment. I would like to know when that will stop.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, on this side of the House we are focused on actually dealing with the long-term goals that we have set as a government and that is that the economy and the environment have to go hand in hand. We cannot say it is all going to be the economy and we cannot say it is all going to be the environment because that is not going to suit the long-term needs of Canadians. If we blow up the economy so that we can deal with our emissions today, then that is not going to serve the interests of Canadians in the long run.
    We have a plan. It is a multi-faceted plan that takes into consideration investments in public transit, innovation, water and sewer. It is trying to minimize our emissions while at the same time making strategic investments that are going to grow our economy to the benefit of all Canadians, and creating great jobs. As has been pointed out many times, this government has created over 600,000 jobs since being elected and has the highest growth in the G7. I think we have the right balance with our plan.
    Madam Speaker, obviously, this national carbon tax is going to be imposed on places like Saskatchewan and Nunavut. In Nunavut, 80% of the diesel that is used to generate heat for housing is paid for by the government. The Premier of Nunavut has said that this plan will not work.
     Saskatchewan has its own plan to make its own climate goals that are dedicated toward the Paris Agreement. Why does the member think he should be telling Saskatchewan how it should be dealing with climate change?
    Madam Speaker, we came out with a pan-Canadian framework that all provinces agreed to. Eighty per cent of Canadians, right now, have a price on carbon that is at a certain level. We feel that all Canadians should have the same price on carbon. We are all polluting, and we should pay for that pollution today and not put that burden on future generations. I think that for any Canadian in this country, the basis of our being is that we believe in fairness. We believe in justice. We believe in paying our fair share for the pollution we are creating today, for the benefit of future generations. You talk about debt going on to future generations. This is a massive debt that you are trying to throw to future generations. That is why I am so surprised the Conservatives are taking the position they are on this issue.
    I am not throwing anything at anybody. I want to remind the member that he is to address any questions and comments to the Chair.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Peace River—Westlock.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to this opposition motion. This motion is about transparency, but it is also about the lack of clarity by the government on this carbon tax.
    I want to talk a bit about how the carbon tax affects my riding of Peace River—Westlock in northern Alberta. Northern Alberta is a pretty cold place. There are about five days a year over 30°C and the rest of the year is much colder than that. There is about a four-month growing season and beyond that, it is winter, still winter, and almost winter. Those are three seasons in northern Alberta.
    When it comes to what the carbon tax costs average Canadian families, my region will be affected more than others because furnaces there run more than anywhere else in the country. In Alberta, natural gas has gone up by one-quarter of the price. It was $3 a gigajoule before and now it is $4 a gigajoule. That translates to hundreds of dollars more every month for heat in northern Alberta, and that is the direct cost to families in heat alone.
    The gentleman who spoke before me talked about how the carbon tax would be a direct cost of $500 per family. That is the direct cost, just on heating bills. In northern Alberta, the carbon tax is much more than $500 per family, but maybe that is the average for all of Canada. That seems fair as a direct cost. We do not know, however, because the government has redacted the entire document that the finance department created for this new initiative for a carbon tax in Canada.
    It is the other things that trickle down that have a detrimental effect not only on individual Canadian families but our entire economy. The thing about the carbon tax is that it will be put on heating and transportation. Then and there, that makes everything more expensive.
     The government runs around and says that it stands up for supply management and the steel industry in Canada, yet it does not seem to realize that a carbon tax will affect all of these communities and industries significantly.
    Before I go any further, I forgot to mention that I would love to share my time with the member for Barrie—Innisfil.
    I was recently in Sault Ste. Marie. The carbon tax there is a significant competitive disadvantage for the steel industry. The natural gas that goes to Sault Ste. Marie to heat the steel comes from western Canada. It is imperative that the steel industry in Sault Ste. Marie is viable because a huge amount of natural gas from western Canada is sold to Sault Ste. Marie to heat the steel that is used in northern Alberta to drill in the oil patch and produce energy for the entire world.
    The cost of the carbon tax is then translated throughout the economy on percentages. Doing business is all about margins and people calculate the margins based on their costs. When the costs increase, margins increase because it is typically a percentage of the cost. When suppliers to particular industries have the increased cost of the carbon tax, they will all increase their rates. We have seen this in Alberta with the trucking companies. When the carbon tax came in, some companies increased their rates by 8%, other companies just added a fuel surcharge, and others added the carbon tax in their basic rates. Shipping to my area is 8% more expensive.
    Garbage collection in the town of Falher went up 8%. The town had to redo its budget because the garbage collection company said that the quote it submitted was no longer good because it had to pay the carbon tax. The Town of Whitecourt said that just heating its publicly owned buildings was going to cost $100,000 more a year, just in heat alone. That is exactly why we need—

  (1350)  

    One moment please, there is a point of order. The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.

Points of Order

Draft Appropriation Bill—Main Estimates, 2018-19  

[Points of Order]
    Madam Speaker, I apologize to my friend across the way, but it is a point of order that I need to get on the record right away.
    I rise to respond to the point of order raised earlier today by my hon. colleague, the member for Edmonton West, in regard to the language of the draft appropriation bill and vote 40. I would like to draw your attention, Madam Speaker, to Standing Order 81(21), which reads as follows:
    The adoption of any motion to concur in any estimate or estimates shall be an Order of the House to bring in a bill or bills based thereon.
    I want to emphasize the words, “bills based thereon”. Similar language is also found in Standing Order 83(4). It states:
    The adoption of any Ways and Means motion shall be an order to bring in a bill or bills based on the provisions of any such motion or to propose an amendment or amendments to a bill then before the House, provided that such amendment or amendments are otherwise admissible.
    I would reiterate, “a bill or bills based on the provisions of any such motion”. This bill is entirely based on the estimates and entirely consistent with our long-standing tradition of financial procedure in this place. Therefore, we believe it to be in proper form. I look forward to your ruling, Madam Speaker.

  (1355)  

    I appreciate the additional information that the parliamentary secretary has provided. We will certainly take it under advisement as we deliberate on the previous information that was received.

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Pricing  

[Business of Supply]
    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Madam Speaker, I understand why the Liberals would want to interrupt my great speech. I was telling them exactly how this carbon tax was affecting my northern Alberta communities.
    This carbon tax will cost Canadians exponentially, as I was explaining earlier, particularly around the trucking costs. Up in northern Alberta, bringing food in is a significant cost, often because the food will sit on the truck for eight or nine hours.
     That says nothing about what the carbon tax will cost our farmers. One of the major inputs to our farmers is both the fuel and the fertilizer. Both of these things will have significant amounts of carbon tax on them. This will make it so our food is more expensive.
     I do not know if members know this, but all our food is grown by farmers across Canada. It is important that our farmers maintain viability. When a carbon tax is put on our farmers, they are placed at a competitive disadvantage with farmers around the world. We are already at somewhat of a competitive disadvantage just given the location in which we live. It is a cold climate and not as many things grow in northern Alberta as in some of the other places in the world. However, we have a thriving agriculture sector, yet the Liberals are imposing a carbon tax on farmers and, at the same time, saying they stand up for farmers.
    One of the huge costs to farming is the fuel, and we see a significant increase in the fuel costs, never mind the heating. When the crops come off the field and are a bit too wet, we have to dry them out, and that uses a lot of natural gas and propane. If we increase the cost of natural gas by a complete quarter, 25%, that is a huge cost that will be borne out by our farmers. They say that the farmers might be able to manage this, that they might be able to remain viable. Sure, they will probably increase the price of their product, but what does is make food across the country more expensive.
    If the Liberals were actually trying to make lives better for the average, everyday Canadian in the middle class, and those working hard to join it, as the Liberals continually trumpet, they would not be imposing a carbon tax. That, in and of itself, proves the point that we need to know what this carbon tax will cost the average, everyday Canadian. The Liberals have blacked that out on the document we have been provided, and are unwilling to tell Canadians what the benefits of the carbon tax are and what it will cost everyday Canadians.
    The hon. member for Peace River—Westlock will have two minutes to complete his comments if he wishes, following question period.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Indigenous Languages

    [Member spoke in SENCOTEN ]
    Mr. Speaker,
     I hope I did not do too much damage to the language of the W_SÁNEC people to say, “honour, thank you”, and thanks to the Algonquin people on whose territory we are now taking place in debate today.
    I want to recognize indigenous languages, particularly the hard work that has been done by SENCOTEN-speaking people from within Saanich—Gulf Islands and surrounding communities.
     The Coast Salish languages are precious. They are an integral part of identity, culture, and of our heritage. In speaking SENCOTEN , I want to particularly recognize that the first SENCOTEN dictionary will be released on August 22. It is a milestone.
    I want to thank the work of the First People's Cultural Council and of all SENCOTEN-speaking people throughout Saanich—Gulf Islands.
    HÍSW_?E

[Translation]

Fleur Bleue Heritage Achievement Award

    Mr. Speaker, every year, the Musée du Haut-Richelieu awards its Prix du mérite patrimonial Fleur bleue.
    I would like to congratulate Georges Coulombe, who won a special tribute award for helping to maintain our cultural heritage by restoring a number of heritage buildings.
    Alain Paquette won the individual achievement award for his historical reference work on our region's businesses.
    The Musée du Fort Saint-Jean has worked hard over the past few years to develop original activities that showcase regional history and our garrison town heritage. It won the organizational achievement award.
    The jury's choice award went to Domaine Trinity, a major restoration project that transformed several heritage buildings.
    I would like to congratulate all these passionate people who have helped preserve and share the history and heritage of the riding of Saint-Jean.

  (1400)  

[English]

National Lacrosse League

    Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday, the Saskatchewan Rush celebrated yet another historic win as they knocked off the Rochester Knighthawks to capture the National Lacrosse League championship for the second time in three years.
     Over 13,600 spectators began chanting 20 minutes before the game, “We want the cup”. Led by head coach Derek Keenan, the Rush took the final game 15-10, with a flurry of four goals in the fourth quarter. The Rush were led by most valuable players, Jeff Shattler and Mark Matthews. Perhaps, though, no one is happier about this victory than super fan Joyce Souka, a.k.a. Grandma Rush.
    The whole the province is behind this team, and we could not be more proud. I congratulate the the NLL champs, the Saskatchewan Rush.

Violence against Health Care Workers

    Mr. Speaker, last month, I met with Sandi Mowat of the Manitoba Nurses Union to discuss the rising tide of violence against health care workers.
    As an emergency room physician for 20 years, I would regularly be exposed to violence, even on two occasions having been assaulted myself. However, 61% of nurses reported abuse, harassment, or assault on the job over a one-year period, leading many to suffer from the effects of PTSD. From 2006 to 2015, there were nearly 17,000 violence-related lost-time claims for health care workers. In 2016, absenteeism for full-time nurses due to illness or injury cost Canada nearly $1 billion.
    It is evident that there is a need for federal engagement on this issue, which is why I introduced a motion in the health committee to study and develop recommendations on actions that the federal government could take to improve violence prevention in health care.
    I would like to thank Sandi for all her work as president of the Manitoba Nurses Union, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee to address this issue.

Canada Revenue Agency

    Mr. Speaker, many people in Elmwood—Transcona are frustrated by their treatment at the hands of the Canada Revenue Agency. My office regularly hears from people who, when trying, in good faith, to get the information they need to file and pay their taxes, have not been able to get through to the CRA. They cannot see a CRA agent in person, they cannot leave a message on the phone, and do not even have the option of waiting on hold. However, if they make a mistake on their tax return, they are shown no leniency.
    While hard-working people in Elmwood—Transcona are getting the runaround from the CRA, CEOs and millionaires are getting off the hook. The government has not closed the CEO stock option loophole. It continues to sign sweetheart tax treaties that allow the rich to avoid paying their fair share. KPMG has not suffered any consequences for its role in orchestrating an elaborate tax-dodging scheme.
     People are tired of seeing the wealthy and well-connected bending the rules to their advantage, while everybody else is told to fall in line.
     It does not have to be this way. A government with the political will to stand up for working people would fix these problems. If the government will not do it, the NDP will.

[Translation]

Madawaska—Restigouche

    Mr. Speaker, with summer fast approaching, communities all across my riding will be hosting festivals, activities, and powwows. There will be something for everyone.

[English]

    However, the strength of my riding resides in its open spaces, and in the beauty of its lakes, forests, and rivers. We live in the heart of the Appalachians, and nature lovers can take advantage of three beautiful mountains.

[Translation]

    Mont Farlagne in Edmunston is a ski destination in winter, but in summer, its trails are the place to be for avid cyclists.
     Sugarloaf Mountain in Atholville won the title of best downhill bike park in eastern Canada. In July, it will host the Adrenaline Bike Festival.
     The last one I want to mention is Mount Carleton, the highest peak in the Maritimes. Located in the vicinity of Saint-Quentin and Kedgwick, it is a Royal Astronomical Society of Canada-designated dark sky preserve.

  (1405)  

[English]

    I invite all my colleagues and all Canadians to come and visit the Madawaska—Restigouche riding, our beautiful corner of Canada.

[Translation]

    I wish everyone a great summer.

[English]

Hockey Night in Barrie

    Mr. Speaker, along with the member for Barrie—Innisfil, I am proud and pleased to announce that Hockey Night in Barrie is happening again this year at the Barrie Molson Centre on August 9.
    Over the past 11 years, Hockey Night in Barrie has raised over $2 million. In the past, the money has gone directly to the RVH in Barrie, and to other great hospitals around the region. The money has been used for cancer care and the Hearts & Minds campaign.
    This year, the money will be used for the prenatal and postnatal intensive care units at the RVH, Easter Seals, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Barrie Colts Community Fund. These charities do tremendous work in our community, and we are very happy to be supporting them.
    Every year, Hockey Night in Barrie gets bigger and better, and this year will be no exception. Over the next few weeks we will be announcing another all-star lineup.
     I would like to thank all the volunteers who make this event such a success. As well, I would like to thank Patrick Brown, who started this 11 years ago and has turned Hockey Night in Barrie into one of the premier charity events in the country.
     We are looking forward to another sold-out game, and we hope to see everyone there.

Armed Forces Day in North Bay

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday my hometown of North Bay, Ontario, hosted the eighth annual Armed Forces Day. It is an opportunity to celebrate the important relationship between the city's military and civilian communities. It is one of the largest celebrations of its kind in Canada, with air demonstrations and ground displays.
    I am proud to say that 22 Wing North Bay is the centre of Canada's North American Aerospace Defense Command operations, better known as NORAD, the important binational organization that monitors and defends North America.

[Translation]

    This year marks the 60th anniversary of NORAD, making this year's event even more significant. It is an opportunity for us to honour our past, protect our present, and secure our future.

[English]

    Canadian and American NORAD personnel, along with civilian personnel, work side by side on this important mission.
    On behalf of our city and our country, I would like to salute the men and women who ensure our safety, and thank them for keeping North America strong and free.

Pride Month

    Mr. Speaker, in 1993, I ran on a promise of LGBTQ2+ equality in law and in fact. As a physician, I had seen how discrimination affected my patients. This Pride month, in the so-called “Year of the Queer”, I reflect on what pride means to this community: the ability to stand, after lifetimes in the closet, as equal citizens, and openly declare, “We are here, we are queer, and we are proud of it.”
     The roots of pride date back to New York's Stonewall protests in June 1969, when drag queens took to the streets after one too many police raids, in an act of pride and defiance.
     Across Canada, cities will host parades to celebrate LGBTQ2+ pride. Vancouver's 40th parade is on August 5. This will be my 26th year of participation. As a wannabe diva, I will dance, costumed, in the parade, in eight-inch heels. I am prepping my costume now. I will be proud to walk with the LGBTQ2+ community.
    Happy Pride Month.

Marijuana

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague, the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, recently tabled Bill C-330. This bill intended to give property owners more say as to whether or not marijuana can be produced on their properties. The Liberals voted against it.
     It is known that marijuana odours negatively affect property values and the quality of life for other residents. My constituents in the town of Pelham are concerned about strong odours from a local marijuana production facility. The smell is overpowering from as far as one kilometre away. The local municipality and Health Canada are debating jurisdiction, and because of this nothing is being done.
     The Liberals are trying to pass a marijuana bill in a hurry, while ignoring all the warning signs and failing to deal with the potential consequences of a rushed legislation. In their rush, they have left landlords and residents with no protection.
     My constituents are asking for clear rules and the ability to enforce these rules with respect to marijuana production, even more so now that recreational marijuana is right around the corner. All Canadians deserve to have a say in their communities.

Kidney Dialysis Treatment

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Kenneth Sharp, a constituent of Port Hope in my riding of Northumberland—Peterborough South, who is considered to be the longest-living kidney dialysis patient in the world. Mr. Sharp has been working for several years to secure government funding for a bioartificial kidney implant whose technology requires no injection drugs.
    This project was initially spearheaded by Mr. Sharp with former Peterborough member of Parliament Peter Adams, and now there is an ongoing effort to secure partnership with the University of California at San Francisco.
    Mr. Sharp is indeed a force to be reckoned with. It is with great pleasure that the member for Peterborough—Kawartha and I honour and commend Mr. Sharp for his efforts in making this cutting-edge dialysis treatment available across North America. We know that the 60,000 Canadians currently receiving dialysis owe a debt of thanks to Mr. Sharp and former MP Adams for their tireless efforts on behalf of those who face the hardship of renal disease.

  (1410)  

National Public Service Week

    Mr. Speaker, Canada has more than 260,000 remarkable public servants who work tirelessly to keep the federal government running, day and night, year-round. Our federal public service is diverse, talented, and passionate. This week, during National Public Service Week, we celebrate their hard work and dedication.
     In the communities of Surrey and Langley, which I have the honour to represent, our public servants deliver front-line services, ensuring that Canadians are provided the highest quality of service.
    Before being elected as a member of Parliament, I served in the federal public service for more than 30 years. I am proud to have served with amazing and talented colleagues who continue to preserve and protect the best of Canada's natural and cultural heritage in Parks Canada locations from coast to coast to coast, for Canadians and international visitors alike.
    During National Public Service Week I would like to salute our federal public servants and thank them for the amazing work they do on behalf of and for Canadians.

Canada Summer Jobs Program

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister put a values test on the Canada summer jobs program, ending funding to groups who care for seniors, refugees, and at-risk youth, while killing jobs for students. This test attacks secular and faith-based non-profits alike.
    Meanwhile, the Liberals approved Canada summer jobs funds for a position to “stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project” and for Leadnow, which runs campaigns to both block the Trans Mountain expansion and defeat Conservatives in elections across Canada.
    People in Lakeland oppose the values test. The Amblers emailed me, and they call on the Liberals to “remove this discriminatory requirement and allow Canadians to continue to exercise their freedom of religion and freedom of expression without facing institutionalized discrimination”.
     As always, the Liberals' actions speak so much louder than their empty words. They are attacking fundamental rights and oil and gas jobs, using tax dollars for their own partisan gain, and dividing and failing Canadians. Their values test shows they do not actually believe in equality, diversity, tolerance, and inclusion at all, and they should remove it.

Blood Donation

    Mr. Speaker, today, June 14, is World Blood Donor Day. I rise today to raise awareness of the existing demand for blood products like platelets, plasma, and red blood cells. Although half of all Canadians are eligible to donate, only 4% do. That means over 100,000 new donors are needed every year to meet the current demand.
    Last year, nearly 406,000 people donated blood at Canadian Blood Services sites. We thank each and every one of them. Donating blood is a genuine act of altruism and represents a truly selfless gift.
     The theme of this year's World Blood Donor Day is, “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life.” It encourages donations as an act of solidarity with others, and it unites communities. In this spirit, I encourage the residents of Brampton North, and also my fellow members of Parliament, to donate blood and give the gift of life.

Estuary Restoration

    Mr. Speaker, the Kus-kus-sum project in my riding is a model of co-operation between residents in the Comox Valley, the K'ómoks people, the City of Courtenay, and the Comox Valley Regional District. They are working in partnership with the private sector and charitable foundations to restore the K'ómoks estuary after decades of industrial contamination at the former Field sawmill site.
    The Project Watershed stewardship society has purchased the site, which has been given the name Kus-kus-sum by the K'ómoks elders. Co-operation in this project continues, even after the sale has been completed. Its ownership will be assumed jointly by the City of Courtenay and the K'ómoks people.
    The restoration of Kus-kus-sum as a vibrant and productive fish habitat is critical for recreation, tourism, and the local economy. This is a big job with big deadlines, and a true example of reconciliation in action. For this project to succeed, all levels of government must pull together in co-operation. Now is the time for the federal government to fund this co-operative project.

  (1415)  

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have implemented major policy changes that have hurt Canadian competitiveness. Unbelievably, we learned the Liberals have made absolutely no room in their budget to support those affected by the trade war on Canadian steel and aluminum.
    Uncertainty kills jobs. The Liberals said they had a plan. They promised they had consulted with Canadian industries. They promised to avoid unintended consequences and job losses, yet we could soon see the latest victims of the Liberal anti-competitive policies.
     Oshawa families are worried. Automakers in Oshawa will be required to pay tariffs on speciality steel imported from the United States in order to build cars to North American standards. These tariffs will hurt everyone. We need to do everything we can to help.
    The good news is some leaders get it. The premier designate of Ontario understands that American plants do not have to pay the Prime Minister's carbon tax, so he is immediately cancelling Ontario's carbon tax.
    Will the Prime Minister follow Mr. Ford's lead and cancel his anti-competitive carbon tax so that manufacturers at least have a fighting chance to keep jobs in Oshawa?

Ramadan

    Mr. Speaker, during the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims in King—Vaughan and across Canada have been fasting from dusk to dawn, devoted to faith, reflection, and the service of the less fortunate. Eid al-Fitr will mark the end of this 30-day spiritual journey. It will be a day that brings together friends, families, and communities in special prayer, gratitude for blessings, and celebratory meals.
    From iftars hosted by the Vaughan Islamic Community Centre, Masjid Vaughan, and the Jaffari Community Centre to the Fast with a Muslim Friend campaign and the iftar dinner on the Hill last night, hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, King Township and Vaughan are witness to the shared Canadian values of generosity and peace that this month of Ramadan demonstrates.
    I wish peace and prosperity to all those celebrating.
    [Member spoke in Arabic]

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Marijuana

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government wants to implement marijuana legalization as quickly as possible, which is really not a good thing. Another one of the Liberals' rubbish ideas is to allow the cultivation of four pot plants in every household in Canada. Fortunately, the Liberal government's mad obsession is going to hit a wall, since two provinces, Quebec and Manitoba, are opposed.
    Can this Liberal government respect jurisdictions and respect the provinces?
    Mr. Speaker, protecting the health and safety of Canadians is a top priority for our government. Home cultivation will continue to displace the illegal market and will also create a legal source of cannabis for people who do not have easy access to it through a provincial or territorial store or an online platform. We are also following the advice of the task force on cannabis legalization and regulation and the approach taken by most of the jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis in the United States.
    Mr. Speaker, what lack of respect. I am not the one who said that. It was the Quebec Liberal minister, Jean-Marc Fournier, who is proudly fighting tooth and nail for provincial governments.
    Quebec and Manitoba do not want marijuana to be grown at home. It is sad to say, but the reality is that the government is doing what it wants and not listening to anyone. The government did not listen to first nations and it is not listening to Quebec and Manitoba.
    Can the Prime Minister at least guarantee one thing, that no pot will be grown at 24 Sussex?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is legalizing cannabis, strictly regulating it, and limiting access to prevent our youth from getting their hands on it. We also want to prevent organized crime from profiting. The current approach to cannabis is not working. It has allowed criminals to profit and, once again, makes it a lot easier for our young people to buy cannabis than cigarettes. That is why our government consulted experts, police chiefs, and many others. We are moving forward with a bill to protect our young people.

[English]

Fisheries and Oceans

    Mr. Speaker, right now, fishermen are assembling a blockade of lobster traps outside the office of the member of Parliament for Acadie—Bathurst. They are doing this because of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans' extreme decision to close the lobster fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Now, the minister knows that a decision like this is going to have a serious financial impact on the families there, especially after his rule change that happened at the end of April.
    Why does it have to come to a blockade to get this minister's attention?

  (1420)  

    Mr. Speaker, I cannot imagine my Conservative colleague would suggest that we not take the most robust measures necessary to protect the North Atlantic right whale, because she will understand, as all Canadians do, that protecting the North Atlantic right whale is vital to ensuring continued access to international markets for over $6 billion of Canadian fish and seafood exports. We understand that this decision is difficult. We understand that fishers and plant workers will be concerned. That is why I have the privilege of meeting representatives tomorrow in New Brunswick, and will continue to work with them to ensure they are protected.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, for weeks, the Liberals have refused to tell Canadians how much their carbon tax is going to cost them. To use the Prime Minister's own words, this is very “insulting” to Canadians. They have been completely straightforward with the fact that they intend to proceed with the carbon tax, but when it comes to telling us exactly how much it is going to cost, they are eerily silent. Voters in Ontario have spoken, and what they said at the ballot box was that they do not want to have a carbon tax.
    The Liberals have a chance today. Will they at least tell us how much it is going to cost families?
    Mr. Speaker, we published a report on April 30 doing exactly that. It talks about pricing pollution. It talks about the 80 million to 90 million tonnes, the equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road, that pricing achieves. We believe provinces are best placed to decide what to do with revenues. We have been clear revenues will stay in the province. Eighty per cent of Canadians live in a province where they have a price on pollution. They have given back money in tax cuts, in rebates. They have invested in clean innovation. They should go ask those provinces what they are doing with their revenues.
    Mr. Speaker, what I am asking this minister is for her to tell us what her department officials told her is the cost to Canadian families for their carbon tax. She knows what the answer is.
    Breaking news, today we understand why Ontarians actually voted for Doug Ford in the election in Ontario. They said that voters feel that costs are out of control, and they view carbon taxes as nothing more than a cash grab. Why will these MPs not at least tell voters in Canada how much of their cash they intend on grabbing?
    Mr. Speaker, I do not know how much clearer I can be. All revenues from pricing go back to the provinces. It is up to provinces to decide what to do.
    Let us talk about the economy. Let us talk about the 600,000 jobs that our government created with Canadians. Let us talk about the lowest unemployment rate in generations. Let us talk about how we can take serious action on climate change and we can grow our economy. The previous government could do neither.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    There is no need for so much noise. Hon. members know they are required to not interrupt in the House when someone else has the floor. The time to speak is when they have the floor. Each side gets its chance to take part in debate. We wait until we have our turn.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques.

[English]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, David Dodge, the former governor of the Bank of Canada, said yesterday that people might die protesting the Trans Mountain expansion project and that we will basically just have to deal with that. I am really surprised I have to say this in the House, but the right to protest peacefully is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and is fundamental to our democracy.
    Will the government condemn David Dodge's comments, or does it agree with him that the pipeline must go through at any cost, including the lives of peaceful protesters?
    Mr. Speaker, our government believes in the right of peaceful protest.

[Translation]

    That is not very reassuring, Mr. Speaker. I would like a more comprehensive answer. I remember in this place, in December 2016, the Minister of Natural Resources said that peaceful pipeline protesters would be met by the Canadian Armed Forces. After hearing such comments from a cabinet member, I am worried to hear a senior official like David Dodge suggesting that peaceful protesters be killed.
    I want the government not only to acknowledge that peaceful civil disobedience is a fundamental democratic tool, but also to denounce David Dodge's comments.

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, we believe in Canadians' right to legal, peaceful protests.
    Mr. Speaker, today, we learned in a study by Équiterre that pipeline management in this country is all over the map.
    In 2017, there was a 41% increase in incidents, spills, leaks, and issues. The so-called automated detection systems do not detect even half of what happens. What happens when companies get caught? Nothing. The notices of violation and orders are systematically ignored, and no one loses their licence.
    When will the government clean up its act and bring oil companies in line?
    Mr. Speaker, all governments are responsible for getting resources to market, but they must also ensure that they follow safety rules and environmental protection regulations.
    The Pipeline Safety Act strengthens Canada's safety system by enshrining the polluter pays principle in federal legislation. Operators will be held accountable and will have to respond to any incidents, regardless of who is at fault.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as Liberals put billions into Kinder Morgan, betraying their promised sunny ways renewable future, pipeline spills and accidents are rising. Equiterre's new report on oil pipeline safety found less than 50% of incidents are reported. The National Energy Board is “not capable” of handling the work on its plate and is not protecting citizens or the environment.
    Why did the government buy a leaky old pipeline, knowing these risks? How will it police itself when the next leak happens?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have just said, it is a duty of government to make sure that we get our resources to market and that is precisely what we are doing.
    At the same time, anyone who is responsible for a pipeline must understand that our principle of polluter pay applies and anyone who is responsible for it must take care of any incidents that do occur.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, when I reported to the House that the Fraser Institute had calculated that 81% of middle-class taxpayers were paying more under the Liberal government, the Prime Minister said, “No, that report did not say any such thing”, prompting the authors of the report to go to the newspapers and say, “Yes, most middle-class families are paying more in income tax.” We cannot trust the government on taxes.
    We ask the government to come clean and tell us how much this carbon tax will cost these same middle-class families.
    Mr. Speaker, I am going to keep on saying the same thing. We published a report on April 30. I am happy to personally give it to the member opposite. What does it say? It says that pricing pollution works. It says that it reduces emissions by 80 million to 90 million tonnes and that we have been clear that revenues will go back into the provinces they come from. Eighty per cent of Canadians live in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, or B.C. where there is a price on pollution. The member can ask those provinces what they do with the revenues, but for example, British Columbia gives the revenues back in tax cuts.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. The hon. member for Abbotsford will come to order please.
    The hon. member for Carleton.
    Mr. Speaker, we are not asking for their April public relations pamphlet. We are asking for the costing that the departments have already done on this. We are calling on the government to release all costing documents that any department has produced or shared internally since the last election day. That is the only way we will know the real cost of this carbon tax.
    Will the minister and the government release all of those documents, unredacted, so that Canadians know what this tax will cost?
    Mr. Speaker, I am going to talk to Canadians. You should go to provinces and ask what provinces are going to do with the revenue. There is a lot of misinformation here, misinformation from the other side. All revenues will stay in the province and the provinces can give back the revenues as tax cuts. What Canadians really want to know is what the Conservative Party's climate plan is.

  (1430)  

    Members know about the rule that members should address the Chair. It is designed to avoid members referring to one another as “you” and so forth, but it is best to keep to that rule in general.
    The hon. member for Carleton.
    Mr. Speaker, as the Liberals are looking forward to getting to some beautiful cottage on some lake, Canadians are suffering under the burden of higher gas prices, prices as high as $1.60 a litre in some provinces, prices that will only rise further when the Liberal government imposes its carbon tax. We want to know the price.
    If the government is going to make Canadians pay the price, we are going to make the government pay the price by keeping them here for 25 hours straight voting on this carbon tax cover-up.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. Members seem to be very excited about that 24-hour prospect.
    The hon. Minister of Environment.
    Mr. Speaker, we do not have to go through a stunt like the Conservatives are going to pull because we have already answered the question.
    Eighty per cent of Canadians live in a province where the province has decided what to do with the revenues. The revenues have gone back in tax cuts or into investment in clean innovation. We have been clear that provinces are best placed to decide what to do with the revenues. Once again, what Canadians want to know is what the Conservatives' climate change plan is.
    Mr. Speaker, we know the Liberals claim they are going to collect all this tax and then give it to provincial politicians. That is not our question. We are asking how much the tax will cost. If it had nothing to do with the federal government, it would not be in the federal budget bill. They have written a bill asking the House for permission to raise taxes on Canadians, but they will not even tell us what that tax will cost. There is no taxation without information. When will they give us the information on the cost of—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
     Mr. Speaker, once again, I refer to the April 30 document that provides the information.
     However, let us talk about what we have done. We have created historic numbers of jobs for Canadians. We have the lowest unemployment rate in generations. We cut taxes on the middle class and raised them on the top 1%. We have given money back to Canadians through the Canada child benefit so that nine out of 10 families are better off and we have raised 300,000 kids out of poverty. That is real action. We are going to continue taking real action on climate change and growing our economy. I wish the other party would join us.
    Mr. Speaker, if we take an intersectional gender lens to the cost of the carbon tax, it is arguable that low-income women, particularly senior women and single mothers, will bear the disproportionate cost of the carbon tax.
    The Prime Minister has said that poverty is sexist. He knows, he has the data on how much it is going to cost these lower-income women. When will he end this carbon tax cover-up?
    Mr. Speaker, we are thrilled to see the Conservatives take an interest in gender equality. This is what real change looks like.
     I would like to remind the hon. member that we gave more funds to families who need the support the most, with the Canada child benefit. They voted against it.
    I would like to remind her that we lowered taxes for the middle class and raised them on the 1%. They voted against it.
    We are introducing pay equity legislation. They have worked every step of the way to stop that process.
    We are supporting women and families with child benefit and child care opportunities. They voted against it.
    Mr. Speaker, real change looks like imposing a tax grab that does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which they know, while imposing a tax that is going to disproportionately harm low-income women. That is real change that no Canadian wants.
    The government is not providing Canadians representation as they are increasing their taxes. They have this data. Why are they hiding it from Canadians?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, through the Canada child benefit plan, nine out of 10 Canadian families are better off under our plan than they were under the Conservatives plan. If my hon. colleagues are truly concerned about the well-being of those working hard to join the middle class, why do they take the opportunity at every step of the way to vote against plans and programs we introduce?
    We have a housing strategy for 10 years, $40 billion, at least 25% of which will support women and their families with low incomes. My hon. colleague can jump on board and support our plan to grow the middle class.

[Translation]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, after the Prime Minister said he was flexible, it is now the Minister of Agriculture who is leaving the door wide open to the possibility of sacrificing our supply management system in NAFTA renegotiations.
    The Liberals keep telling us in the House that they are defending supply management and that they are the party that brought it in. They need to walk the talk.
    My question is simple: will the government fully defend supply management in NAFTA renegotiations, yes or no? The key word here is “fully”.
    Mr. Speaker, our government strongly supports supply management and is committed to maintaining it.
    The Prime Minister, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, our entire Cabinet and the entire caucus, as well as Canada’s trade negotiators, have been very clear and unequivocal on this since NAFTA talks began.
    Our government strongly supports supply management and will continue to defend it and all interests of Canadian farm families.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, more than 13,000 family farms in Canada work under the supply management system. The Prime Minister said the government would be flexible with our system in NAFTA renegotiations, and now the agriculture minister wants to wait to see what's on the table. What is that supposed to mean?
     When are the Liberals going to stop with the non-answers, protect our family farms, and stand up for the supply-managed sectors?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, as we said, we are the party that brought in supply management and we will defend it. It is a model of stability for the world. We are the party that will continue to defend it. We have repeatedly said that our American partners’ proposals on supply management are unacceptable.

[English]

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, The agriculture minister claims Canadian farmers are fully supportive of the Liberal carbon tax. I do not think they are actually consulting with Canadian farmers at all. In fact, the president of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers said, "Farmers don't agree on everything, but if there's one issue they stand together on, it's in opposition to the carbon tax.”
    How can the agriculture minister be misrepresenting farmers? Will he end the carbon tax cover-up? Will he tell us how much the Liberals' farm-killing carbon tax will cost our rural families?
    Mr. Speaker, let us start by noting that we are all in this together, that climate change is real, and that no one knows this more than farmers. When I talk to farmers, they are worried about droughts, they are worried about floods, and they are worried about extreme weather.
    Once again, it is up to provinces to determine what they are going to do. Provinces can decide that they are going to exempt fuels used by farmers. It is up to them to design a system that makes sense in their province. It is up to them to decide what they are going to do with the revenues.
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture's claims that farmers support a carbon tax are ridiculous.
    APAS and Grain Growers of Canada are speaking out against it. The Province of Saskatchewan has even taken the Liberals to court over the tax. Saskatchewan farmers are well aware that the cost of the carbon tax will have an impact on their livelihood.
    The Liberals refuse to tell us how much it will cost. When will the Liberals come clean on this carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have said, farmers and ranchers understand that we need to protect our environment, that we need to take action on climate change.
    As we have said, it is up to provinces, like Saskatchewan, to determine how they are going to implement pricing, and they can give the revenues right back. They can give revenues back to the farmers. They can decide to cut the provincial sales tax. That is their own decision. That