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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 363

CONTENTS

Monday, December 3, 2018




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148
NUMBER 363
1st SESSION
42nd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Monday, December 3, 2018

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 11 a.m.

Prayer



PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

  (1105)  

[English]

The Environment

    The House resumed from October 29 consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be speaking to Motion No. 151, which addresses an important issue for the people in my riding of North Island—Powell River, and that is plastics and the impact they have on the waters that sustain our communities across Canada and across the world.
    I am also very pleased to be speaking to this motion because the member for Courtenay—Alberni also happens to be my neighbour. I am very proud of the work he has done in this place. I am very proud that he brought forward this very important initiative. It is basic to the people we serve in both our ridings.
    Mr. Speaker, I hope you will indulge me. On December 1, it was my grandson's birthday. I would like to take this opportunity to wish him a very happy birthday. As all members in the House know, we do not get to be with our family members nearly as much as we would like, so I just want to make sure he knows that his grandmother is thinking of him at this important time for him.
    When I think about plastics and the impact they are having on all the waterways across the world, I cannot help but think of all our grandchildren and the impacts plastics will have on them in the future if we do not address this in a meaningful way.
    The statistics are distressing. This is something I hope everyone in the House is taking time to learn about and understand. Twenty million tonnes of debris enter the world's oceans every year. On average, in every square kilometre of ocean globally, there are 18,000 pieces of plastic. Eighty per cent of all plastics in the ocean come from land-based sources. Ninety per cent of the plastics found in the ocean are microplastics. Ninety-five per cent of single-use plastics are used only once and discarded. In fact, if we do not take some serious action by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish if this trend continues. That is something I think every Canadian, and I hope every person on the planet, will seriously start to look at and address in a meaningful way.
    We know that every year plastic litter kills more than one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals, and there are so many more realities that face communities across the world.
    The people of North Island—Powell River are working as hard as they can every day to address these issues. I can tell stories about doing my own beach walks with my family, carting tires off the beach and finding very small bits of plastic and trying to find as much space in our pockets to carry all that debris off the beach. However, what is really amazing is the amount of work people in my riding are doing every single year to combat this. I will mention a few. I want to be respectful. I do not know what everyone is doing. I have a huge riding. However, I want to acknowledge those I do know.
    We have dive clubs that do marine cleanups. They dive right into the water and clean out debris. They include Top Island Econauts and the Campbell River Tide Rippers. The OrcaLab and Parks Canada partner every year to do a cleanup around Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve, which is an orca rubbing beach. There are several of them.
    Surfrider Vancouver Island does cleanups in remote locations in our region. The great Canadian shoreline cleanup is an event during which many community organizations and schools get out and clean beaches across the riding.
    The Living Oceans society does many cleanups in its region. In 2017 I spent a week on a remote beach in my riding, Grant Bay, and added to the collection, the big pile on the beach, that Living Oceans Society cleans up every year. It is amazing to see huge pieces of styrofoam, tires and plastic. It is just heartbreaking to see this on the beach, but everyone who comes to those beaches collects it and piles it all up, and then it is removed.
    The Sierra Club has hosted several beach cleanups I have had the privilege of participating in. The Tyee Club does a big cleanup in the Campbell River estuary. Project Watershed does estuary stewardship in the Comox Valley. The community cleanup in Port Hardy collects garbage from everywhere across the community.
     I happened to attend the beach cleanup this past October by the Saratoga and Miracle Beach Residents' Association. I was very impressed by the young people, the students from Miracle Beach Elementary School, who showed up and helped clean up the beach.
    I want to be clear. With a lot of these beach cleanups, not only are people out there cleaning up the beach and picking up every piece of plastic they can find but they are calculating it. I have been out there in the rain with a plastic bag over my piece of paper. We are picking up things, and then we are marking, “cigarette butts”, “small pieces of plastic”, “rope”, “tires”, “cups” and so forth, just so we have a better understanding of the beach and what is happening. It is disheartening sometimes to see how much people just toss out and how much work it takes for people to come behind and clean up.
    I want to also acknowledge that many people clean up the beaches in their own personal time. I heard a story of one woman who, for the past 15 years, has been cleaning up the beach in her area almost every single day. This is important work. It is something the people of North Island—Powell River really believe in, because we live on the ocean. We live close to our waterways, our lakes, our streams and our rivers in our communities, and we know that they produce so much for us. They feed our communities. They also bring a lot of tourism revenue and important work into our area. We just want them to be healthy, because the healthiness of our waterways is the healthiness of our people.
    When I look at the work I have done in those communities with those community organizations, I appreciate the work they continue to do. They take the time to go out. They calculate and give statistics back to us so that we know what is happening on our beaches and what is getting into our water.
     If we look at the text of this motion, it is asking for meaningful action. So many people in my riding and across Canada are saying that they want to see meaningful action. They do not want to hear more sound bites. They want to see things moving forward.
    This motion asks the government to “work with provinces, municipalities and indigenous communities to develop a national strategy to combat plastic pollution in and around aquatic environments”. It is about a collaborative approach and working with all levels of government so that we can provide the support that is needed and make sure that there are resources for these organizations that work so hard.
    I remember one time being on Quadra Island doing a beach cleanup, and there was one of those huge boxes for garbage. It was almost completely full of styrofoam. It was debris from a lot of different industries and different things that are happening in the ocean. When they were in big chunks, that was fabulous. However, when we went through the actual sand on the beach, we were finding small pieces. These small, broken-down pieces getting into the water is something we should all be concerned about. We want to see a reduction.
     This motion also asks for regulations with respect to a reduction in use to make sure that we are doing less harm. We want to make sure that there is a reduction in the consumer and industrial use of single-use plastics, including, but not limited to, things we see on the beach, including plastic bags, bottles, straws, tableware, foam, cigarette filters and beverage containers. I now carry around with me a stainless steel straw so I do not have to use any plastic straws when I go out. I try to be attentive and make sure that I do not use those things that are for a one-time use, because the potential impact on our environment is just too strong.
    The last thing I feel people need to know about this motion is that it asks for community-led projects to clean up plastics and debris on shores, banks, beaches and other aquatic areas. It also asks for education and outreach campaigns on the root causes and negative environmental effects of plastic pollution in and around bodies of water.
    In the communities I represent, the work is being done, but largely by volunteers. I think that is fantastic. I think it shows the commitment of the community. However, we need to educate people more. We need to let them know the potential harm when they toss away a cigarette butt or a plastic lid from a cup or when they do not take the time to put their litter and recycling where it should be.
    I appreciate that the current government has moved forward with the ocean plastics charter with the G7. I think that was a great step forward. However, what I hear again and again in my riding is that people want to see action, not just words. This motion speaks to having a plan, to working collaboratively and to making sure that things happen. Therefore, I hope we take the next step. I hope everyone in this House supports this very meaningful motion and that we start to take action to make sure that our beaches and waterways are as clean as they possible can be in this changing world we live in.

  (1110)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Courtenay—Alberni for his continued interest in combatting plastic pollution in our waterways and oceans.
    Our government shares the hon. member's concerns about the negative impacts of plastic waste and marine litter on the environment, and the Liberals will be supporting the motion.
    As we all know, plastics play an important role in society due to their low cost, unrivalled functionality and durability. However, the negative impacts of plastic waste and pollution in our environment are undeniable. Plastics do not belong in our waters or scattered around our land.
    We subscribe to the view that plastics that leave the economy as waste represent a loss of resources and value. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that between $80 billion and $120 billion worth of plastic packaging alone is lost from the global economy every year.
    Plastic production continues to grow, with about a 620% increase in growth since 1975, outpacing most manufactured materials. If current consumption, production and disposal rates continue, about 12 billion tonnes of plastic will be lost to landfills or the environment by 2050. In Canada, in 2014, approximately 90% of plastic waste was lost with only about 11% recycled. It is estimated that about 8,000 kilograms of our own plastic waste ends up as marine litter every year.
    With a growing economy and population, nationally and globally, we need to think differently about how we design, produce, recover and use plastics. A high point of our G7 presidency was the release of the Ocean Plastics Charter in June 2018. The charter has since been endorsed by 11 governments and 19 businesses and organizations worldwide, all committing to move toward a more resource-efficient and sustainable approach to plastics that will reduce plastic waste and marine litter.
    The charter includes ambitious targets and actions along the entire life cycle of plastics, from sustainable design, production and collection to management, as well as actions to advance education, research, innovation, new technologies and on-the-ground improvements.
    Actions to meet the charter targets need to happen on two fronts: internationally and domestically. Internationally, we continue to advance policy discussions and research in international fora so that our efforts are amplified along with others. For instance, we joined the United Nations Clean Seas campaign and pledged, with numerous others, to take action on marine litter. We participate in the United Nations Global Partnership on Marine Litter. We also contributed to the recently adopted guidance on fishing gear from of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
     Canada also recently joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to tackle lost fishing gear, and we are working on scientific methods to detect plastics in dredged materials from ocean disposal sites.
    We need to innovate and embrace solutions across the entire plastics value chain and change our entire system to one with no waste. I am very pleased to note that Canada will be hosting the World Circular Economy Forum in 2020. This will offer a great opportunity to showcase Canadian progress on plastics while fostering dialogue on moving Canada and the world toward a circular economy for all materials, including plastics. To achieve this, we are working together with a broad range of stakeholders: industry, academia and civil society.
    Through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, we are working with provinces and territories to implement the newly launched CCME strategy on zero plastic waste. The next step is to develop a Canada-wide action plan to eliminate plastic waste, reduce marine litter and use a circular economy lens to address plastics throughout the value chain. The action plan will provide a platform for collaboration among different levels of government, industry and other stakeholders.

  (1115)  

    Industry and Canadians have signalled they are ready to make the necessary changes. This means making plastic design and production more sustainable; improving collection, management systems and infrastructure; adopting a more sustainable lifestyle and creating awareness of environmentally sound alternatives and good practices; continuing to improve on our understanding of the issue and solutions through research and innovation; and finally, taking action to capture and remove the plastic litter that is already covering shorelines and our near-shore waters.
    To propel the full range of Canadian industry to action, we recently launched the Canadian plastics innovation challenge. The challenge will accelerate innovation in our country by providing over $12 million to Canadian innovators, entrepreneurs and businesses to tackle plastic challenges in seven key areas: separation of mixed plastics; food packaging; plastic wastes from construction activities; removal and management of ghost fishing gear and marine debris; improved compost ability of bioplastics; recycling of glass fibre-reinforced plastic; and sustainable fishing and aquaculture gear.
    The federal government is also leading by example. We have committed to divert at least 75% of the plastic waste from government operations by 2030. This will be accomplished through changing our own practices as well as in the procurement of more sustainable plastic products such as those that are reusable, recyclable, repairable or are made with recycled plastic content.
    This adds to other federal efforts, including pollution prevention legislation, such as our phased ban on microbeads in toiletries that came into effect this year; investments in waste and waste-water infrastructure to prevent debris from entering the environment; and raising awareness through public engagement and education.
    With respect to increasing awareness and community action among Canadians, in September we collaborated with five NGOs and launched an ocean plastics education kit for students and teachers to increase awareness of marine plastic litter and empower youth to develop solutions and take action.
    On Earth Day, we launched the Canadian dialogue on plastic waste. We heard from more than 1,900 Canadians about their views on ways to reduce plastic waste and pollution. We posted a summary of what we heard on our website. Participants across the country recognized the need to take prompt action on this issue and that no one solution would do the trick.
    We have supported community projects as well as national conservation initiatives. The Government of Canada is a partner with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup that removes plastic litter and collects citizen science data.
    We are working with the United States and Mexico, through the Commission of Environmental Cooperation, to implement a pilot project in the Salish Sea watershed in British Columbia. The project will engage local decision-makers and the community to identify local plastic waste and litter challenges and implement small scale solutions.
    We also continue to advance science to support action on plastics. We also conduct and support research on the plastics economy in Canada and the impacts of plastic pollution in aquatic environments and fauna.
    This month, we hosted two scientific workshops with international and national experts to help inform our plastics science agenda. We discussed the state of current science on the effects of plastics in the environment, identified knowledge gaps and prioritized areas where we could take concerted action to strengthen our science. Strong science is the foundation of effective decision-making.
    We look forward to continuing action in these areas and working with partners in Canada and abroad to move to a circular plastics economy, one without plastic waste.
    We recognize that achieving a zero plastic waste future that is protective of the environment is multi-faceted. There is no one solution.
    To address the issue of plastic waste and its pollution, actions are required at each stage of the plastic life cycle. All levels of government, from municipalities to national governments, as well as industry, civil society and citizens have a role to play.
    The Government of Canada will continue to support action by these players and through its own efforts in sound science, research and development, funding, regulation and other policy levers to keep plastic waste in the economy and out of the environment.
    This is why today we will support the motion put forward by the member for Courtenay—Alberni.

  (1125)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to debate my colleague from Courtenay—Alberni's Motion No. 151, which proposes a national strategy to combat plastic pollution and was moved in response to the federal government's inaction when, in November 2016, a ship lost 35 containers in the Pacific Ocean that eventually washed up on the shores of British Columbia. That kind of ecological disaster should be a wake-up call for us all.
    Around the world, oceans are drowning in plastic. Globally, a garbage truckload of plastic enters our oceans every minute. This year, 20 million tonnes of plastic waste will end up in our waterways. Ninety-five percent of the time, single-use plastics, such as straws, containers, utensils and grocery bags, are used just once and then tossed in the trash, where they take at least 200 years to decompose in the environment. These objects break down into tiny particles that marine animals, such as the fish we eat, end up consuming. Plastic pollution contaminates our coastlines, destroys our ecosystem and threatens the health of our fellow citizens.
    The NDP is appalled at the federal government's failure to develop a plastic waste management strategy. Compared to many other countries, Canada looks pretty bad. Every year, our waterways spew tonnes of waste that is harmful to marine biodiversity, but the rest of the world understands the importance of addressing this crisis. Canada is lagging behind. Over 40 countries and states around the world, such as California, Australia, France, China, the United Kingdom, Kenya and Rwanda, have already adopted measures to ban or tax plastic packaging and other polluting plastics.
    In Quebec, more than 500 artists, scientists, and community leaders have signed the Pact for the Transition, committing to do what they can as individuals to reduce their environmental footprint. They are calling on governments to match their efforts by also committing to act responsibly. One of the commitments is to reduce plastic consumption by choosing, among other things, products with the least packaging.
    Some cities in Quebec, like Saguenay, in my riding of Jonquière, have already set up systems for recycling plastic bags. In the Saguenay region, many salvage and recycling depots have popped up to deal with plastic waste and other materials. The Saguenay sorting centre collects as much as four tonnes of plastic a week, diverting more than 500 tonnes of waste from the landfill. The City of Saguenay also does an agricultural plastics clean-up, which consists in gathering the plastic film used by the farmers who participate. More than a hundred farmers are registered for the agricultural plastics collection program run by the sorting centre.
     These are the kinds of measures we need to support in order to start a movement that catches on at both the national and local levels. We currently recycle only 11% of our waste. Unless something changes, by 2050 the oceans could have more plastic than fish. We therefore need to do a lot more, and this motion lays out what to do.
    Not only is this necessary, but it also presents an opportunity to innovate and create jobs as part of a green transition. Many volunteers across the country have decided to dedicate their time and effort to improving the environment. Last summer one of my constituents from Saguenay, Keaven Roberge, decided to clean up the banks of the Chicoutimi River, which is located in my riding, Jonquière. I am ashamed to have to tell him that his efforts will not be financially supported and that the federal government does not share his goals. Keaven takes a very realistic approach to this issue, which really sums up the situation. He says that the problem belongs to everyone and to no one at the same time. Everyone supports better waste management practices for the environment, but no one wants to take the lead.

  (1130)  

    Let me give another good example of environmental consciousness in Arvida in my riding. This week, Vanessa Gauthier is opening a new self-service shop called La Réserve, where customers can buy bulk products with zero waste, since they bring their own containers to fill. At the entrance, there will be a self-service scale where customers can weigh their containers so that they pay only for the product they buy.
    La Réserve will be selling a variety of products in bulk, including dry and liquid food products and household and body care products. Ms. Gauthier plans to offer alternative solutions to disposables as well as cloth containers and bags for bulk items. There will also be a section with basic materials for making homemade cleaning products and cosmetics. The goal is to really minimize consumption as much as possible and to use as little plastic as possible.
    The Liberal government's track record is troubling and shows that the government does not care enough about this major issue. Its $1.5-billion oceans protection plan does not include any funding to reduce plastic or debris in our oceans. In fact, the plan makes no mention of the word “plastic” at all. The current public policy for managing plastics is totally inadequate to deal with what our waterways are dumping into our oceans. Eight percent of the world's water flow passes through Canada, which means that any pollution we put into our rivers and waterways pollutes our oceans.
    For a long time, waterways were seen as a practical way of getting rid of waste. Some waterways were used extensively and even excessively because of their ability to assimilate waste. The majority of industrial, municipal, farming and mining waste can be reduced at the source. Our country has the longest coastline in the world. It is our responsibility to take strict and effective measures to reduce plastic pollution in aquatic environments.
    However, last June's ocean plastics charter did not include any binding measures. The Prime Minister may well brag about taking “an important step towards achieving a life cycle economy, in which all plastics would be recycled and repurposed”, but we need to engage and guide everyone. This has to be a general movement. Canadians are not so naive as to believe that a charter that is only three pages long will result in any action by polluting industries to help the environment. Motion No. 151 is exactly what the Prime Minister promised four years ago. This hypocrisy cannot continue. We desperately need political solutions and that is what Motion No. 151 proposes.
    The first measure consists of regulations aimed at reducing consumer and industrial use of single use plastics, such as bags and plastic straws. Our plastics economy follows a linear model. We produce plastic, use it briefly and then throw it away. Approximately 95% of plastic objects are only used once and then are no longer of any use to the economy, taking several years, even centuries, to decompose in the environment. This pollution has already had catastrophic effects on our ecosystem. In fact, 85% of marine birds have already ingested plastic and this number will increase to 99% by 2050.
    The Liberals are forcing taxpayers to pay for things that are harmful to the environment and health rather than funding less costly, alternative solutions.
    People have been waiting too long for the proposed national strategy and partnerships with municipalities. No one here can deny that the situation is alarming. The IPCC forecasts released on October 8 are catastrophic. The Paris Agreement is also not enough. If we do not take any action, the impacts on health and food security, water supply and the economy will only increase.

  (1135)  

    Denying that this is urgent is denying our future generations a safe and prosperous future.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to rise in the House to discuss the motion this morning. As my colleague said, the government will support the motion.

[English]

    Indeed, in the 1950s and 1960s, there was a major chapter of the industrial revolution, one could say, around the petrochemicals industry, as we began developing plastics technology and flooding the market with products made of plastic. In fact, as I think has been mentioned, the production of plastic products has outpaced that of almost every other material since then.
    To quote Erik Solheim, the former head of UN Environment, “Plastic is a miracle material. Thanks to plastics, countless lives have been saved in the health sector, the growth of clean energy from wind turbines and solar panels has been greatly facilitated, and safe food storage has been revolutionized.”
    However, there is a disturbing flip side to this, which has also been mentioned by others in this debate. I will give a few examples of my own. Roughly nine million tonnes of plastic are entering the Great Lakes annually. Plastic packaging accounts for nearly half of all plastic waste globally, much of it thrown away within just a few minutes of first use. America, Japan and the EU are the world's largest producers of plastic packaging waste per capita. Only 9% of the nine billion tonnes of plastic the world has ever produced has been recycled. Finally, if current consumption patterns and waste management practices continue, by 2050 there will be around 12 billion tonnes of plastic litter in landfills and the environment.

[Translation]

    Plastic pollution is an environmental price we are paying for the miracle of petrochemicals. It is a monumental challenge for us all. This is nothing new, though. When it comes to the environment, all the challenges are monumental.
    Still, there is hope. To paraphrase Erik Solheim, former executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, the good news is that a growing number of governments are taking action on plastics pollution and demonstrating that all countries, whether rich or poor, can do their part and become environmental leaders.
    Take Rwanda, for example. Rwanda is obviously not a rich country, but it took the whole world by surprise in 2006 when it banned plastic bags.
    All countries can take meaningful steps to help the environment.

[English]

    Motion No. 151 brings attention to Canada's own commitment to, and progress in, addressing the scourge of plastics pollution. The motion calls on the government to combat plastic pollution in and around aquatic environments, specifically through regulations to reduce the industrial use of microplastics and consumer and industrial use of single-use plastics, including presumably though CEPA's priority substances list. Secondly, the motion calls for annual funding for community-led projects and education and outreach campaigns. Some of these community initiatives have been mentioned during this debate.
    My rising today to speak to this motion is in large part because of my ongoing interest in water policy, an interest that goes back to when I was first elected. I believe that water is our overarching, overriding environmental priority. What I mean is that water encompasses two of the world's biggest headline environmental issues, namely climate change, which brings more frequent and intense flooding and drought; and secondly, chemical pollution, which impacts human as well as environmental health, and spreads with water flow. Taken together, these two issues relate to water quantity and quality, respectively.
    When I think of water, two wise quotes come to mind. The first is “Water is the first principle of everything.” This is attributed to Thales of Miletus. The second is from Rachel Carson, who said, “In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference.”

  (1140)  

    Water policy is multi-faceted, and Motion No. 151 addresses one of the many important aspects of water policy. It is complex not only because it is multi-faceted, but also because it is multi-jurisdictional. The question of controlling plastic pollution points to this jurisdictional complexity, as so many levels of government must be involved, including at the international level, if we are to make meaningful progress on this issue.
    Our government has already taken important steps to address the scourge of plastic pollution in water. At the most recent G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Canada was the force behind the ocean plastics charter. The charter commits Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K. and the EU to broadly take a life-cycle management approach to plastics, including working toward increased recycling and related public education efforts, as well as investing in research to find alternatives to currently used plastics, like organic water bottles, that do not harm the environment. I recently saw an example of a water bottle that completely biodegrades, and maybe that is the future when it comes to bottled water. The charter commits the signatories to investing in research and developing, for example, technologies to remove plastics and microplastics from waste-water and sewage sludge.
    Clearly, plastic pollution is not only about oceans. It is also about fresh water as fresh water carries pollution, including plastics, into the oceans. This realization has led to initiatives like NextWave, a non-governmental coalition founded by companies, including Dell, and an environmental group called Lonely Whale, which employs people living in coastal regions to collect discarded plastic within 30 miles of waterways to prevent it from making its way to the sea. So far, NextWave has focused on two types of plastic commonly found in marine environments, nylon 6 and polypropylene.
    Recently, HP announced it would be joining the NextWave coalition. In fact, since 2016, HP has been working with locals in Haiti to collect a total 550,000 pounds of plastic, which the the company has since used to create ink cartridges.
    Among other things, the ocean plastics charter calls for direct government action to reduce the use of microplastics. I think the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard has mentioned that our government has banned the manufacture, import and sale of most toiletries that contain microbeads. This ban took effect July 1, and all are banned, with the exception of those contained in natural health products and over-the-counter drugs. However, as of July 1, 2019, the ban will include natural health products and non-prescription drugs.
    However, in our multi-jurisdictional nation, progress on many public policy issues requires collaboration among the federal, provincial and territorial governments. That is why two Fridays ago, Canada's federal, provincial and territorial environment ministers agreed to work collectively toward a common goal of zero plastic waste through a Canada-wide strategy on zero plastic waste that aligns with the ocean plastics charter. As stated in the joint communiqué of the ministers, “Protecting our terrestrial and aquatic environment from plastic pollution is imperative for the health of freshwater ecosystems, and is also important as the water and litter flow directly into oceans."
    Finally, let us not forget the need for action at the grassroots level. Other speakers in this debate have mentioned the many initiatives involving citizens who voluntarily group together to clean up the shoreline. At this point, I would like to give a shout-out to members of the Lac-Saint-Louis youth council, and other young people, who came out with me this past September 8 to look for plastic debris along the shores of the St. Lawrence River in the southwest corner of my riding. I am speaking specifically of Harrison Kirshner, Malik Dahel, Melissa Potten and Philippe Guay.
     Fortunately, our municipal governments are doing a good job of keeping the shoreline clean, but, nonetheless, we did find some items of plastic, such as plastic bags, plastic bottles, polystyrene and cigarette filters. If everyone works together, governments, NGOs, industry, and if citizens engage, I believe we will make some important progress tackling this terrible scourge.

  (1145)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to speak to Motion No. 151, put forward by my friend from Courtenay—Alberni. I must say it is good to see an environmental measure that brings together members of the House from all parties. This is something that we can all agree is a problem; there is no debate about that. We also appreciate that the motion brought forward by my colleague proposes that we work through this issue in a constructive way. There are many things I like about the motion: It is nice to see an environmental measure that is not being used to propose a new tax, but instead tackles the problem head on. I appreciate this measure and I will be proud to join the rest of my Conservative colleagues in supporting Motion No. 151. In the context of that debate, I want to make a few observations. It may be one of the only times we agree in this Parliament, but we will see.
    The first observation I will make is that Canadians should be aware of some of the health effects we see associated with certain components of plastics. I was very proud that it was our previous Conservative government that took the step of banning BPA in baby bottles. We were one of the first countries to do so in recognition of some of the emerging scientific research suggesting there were problems associated with BPA exposure. We recognized that people can be exposed to it, perhaps through certain household products and through plastic pollution in the environment.
    On BPA specifically, I was reading a study that came out in 2014. It was a literature review of 91 studies that found BPA to be associated with negative human health outcomes, particularly behavioural issues in children, and also problems in adult reproductive function. I will quote from another study: “BPA alters male reproductive function in humans. These investigations revealed that men occupationally exposed to BPA had high blood/urinary BPA levels, and abnormal semen parameters. BPA-exposed men also showed reduced libido”.
     Some of these health problems we see associated with BPA were stated in another study: “High levels of BPA have recently been correlated with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, polycystic ovarian disease or low sperm count.” This paper also mentions the ability of BPA to make certain cancer cell lines grow. Various studies in prominent medical journals are emerging that suggest there are adverse health outcomes associated with BPA exposure. That is why I was proud of the world-leading steps taken by the previous government around BPA exposure.
    This is something that requires our ongoing engagement with how certain components in plastic products need to be studied further because there may be health impacts associated with them that we need to be aware of and seek to minimize. That is one of the issues that is provoked by discussion of this motion, which again is something that I commend to the consideration of a committee of the House as we go forward.
    Whenever we debate these kinds of measures in the House, it is important to observe that so much of the most effective response we see to environmental challenges comes not from the level of state action, but from individual action. There is a role for the government, absolutely, but it is a matter of the choices that individuals make when they choose to be as responsible as they can be with the products they consume, with the ways they reuse certain things, with seeking materials they can use multiple times, and trying to make sure that things are disposed of responsibly. That dimension of individual responsibility comes to mind when we think about limiting ocean plastics, and the roles that we can all play are certainly important and top of mind. As we talk about the response from government, let us not forget the response that comes from individuals as well.
    Another point I want to make about how we respond to plastic pollution and ocean plastics is that it is worthwhile for us, as we proceed down this road of studying this issue, to reflect on the magnitude of the challenge we face from ocean plastic pollution, reflect on the different sources of that pollution and try to work collaboratively with other countries to target the main sources of that plastic pollution.

  (1150)  

    I read an interesting article by a think tank called the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. It examines the proportions of plastic pollution that we see in the ocean. Yes, all of us should seek to do better in terms of what we dispose of and the way we dispose of it. There are some striking numbers with regard to the floating patch in the Pacific Ocean that is full of plastic garbage. The article says:
     According to a recent study of its contents in the open-source academic journal Scientific Reports...46 per cent of it was discarded fishing nets. A further substantial portion is related fishing industry items such as floats, ropes, baskets, traps and crates. And another 20 per cent is junk washed away from Japan’s shores during the 2011 tsunami....
    The vast bulk of floating plastic waste in the Pacific is the product of commercial fishing – primarily the Asian fishing industry. Another huge chunk arises from the aftermath of a massive natural disaster.
    We look at what steps we can take, but we also look at those substantial contributors to the challenge. Maybe my colleague from Courtenay—Alberni will have thoughts on how we can provide support and engagement around improving some of those fishing practices in other countries that may be substantially contributing to the challenges that we face from plastic pollution. We should not be narrowly focusing on one piece of this.
    One of the things I appreciate about the motion is it does speak to engaging this problem in a holistic way, not just looking at perhaps one specific and potentially small contributor to the problem, but instead thinking about the various components that contribute to plastic pollution. It would seem logical to me that we start from two places. We start with thinking about what we can do. We also look at the biggest contributors to that challenge and whether we can attack those biggest contributors and then work our way back from that. Some of that may involve us looking for opportunities to build partnerships with other countries where we see some of that particular risk exposure.
    Again to recap, we are dealing with Motion No. 151 from my colleague from Courtenay—Alberni that asks us to engage in a more pointed and serious way with the issue of plastic pollution. We know this is a big problem, a growing problem, that 20 million tonnes of debris enter the world's oceans every year and on average there are 18,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square kilometre of ocean globally. Some 80% of all plastic in the ocean comes from land-based sources. We know that when plastic is in the ocean, it breaks down, and it can affect marine life and it can also affect human health.
    I have read some studies from various medical journals looking at some of the impacts associated with plastic exposure. I have spoken about how the previous government was engaged with this issue. It took steps to ban BPA in baby bottles. Perhaps this is an area where we can do more to study the impact of certain components in plastic that may be having a health impact and look to change the sources of those materials that are used and consider the impact on human health from doing so. When we have these different items in the ocean breaking down, it causes significant problems for marine life as well as potentially for human health.
    I have one other factoid I will put out for my colleagues from British Columbia. A study found that returning adult B.C. salmon can ingest up to 90 pieces of plastic each day, so this has a big impact throughout the food chain.
    I appreciate that the House is coming together on this motion and I hope that it will lead to further action from the government to respond to these challenges we face together.

  (1155)  

    Resuming debate.
    Accordingly, I invite the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni for his right of reply. The hon. member has up to five minutes.
    The hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni.
    Mr. Speaker, we have heard, time and time again, that a garbage truck of plastic is entering our oceans and our waterways every minute, globally. In fact, here in Canada, we produce more garbage per person than any other country in the developed world.
    Today, a CBC article on my motion said:
    Scientists with the Vancouver Aquarium say the average Canadian uses up to four times their body weight in throw away plastics every year. Enough of it is ending up in oceans, lakes and rivers that plastic is being found in shellfish and even drinking water.
    Every year, 10,000 metric tons of plastic end up in the Great Lakes alone. Single-use plastics affect us all, and we now have an opportunity to act. These are alarming statistics, and I know that members on all sides of the aisle are hearing from their constituents that we need to act.
     On the weekend the member from Victoria introduced me to 16-year-old Anastasia Castro of Saanich, an amazing young environmental activist, who along with friends has launched "Kids for a plastic free Canada.” She is part of the new generation of environmental stewards who are taking on the serious issue of marine debris and plastics entering our aquifers and our oceans.
    Due to the hard work of incredibly dedicated Canadians like Anastasia, the crisis of marine plastic pollution has reached the national stage. Unfortunately, action on the issue has been slow-moving.
    This is only the second piece of legislation around plastic, the first being from the member for Windsor West and Megan Leslie, the former member for Halifax, who introduced their motion on banning microbeads in 2015.
    When I first rose in this House, following the Hanjin container spill off the coast of my riding on Vancouver Island, we only heard platitudes from the government in response to calls for action to support the hundreds of volunteers who had taken to the beaches to recover tonnes of styrofoam and marine debris. I congratulate the government for its statements of good intentions, and for its pledges and promises along with those of other G7 nations. I want to recognize the limited actions that have been taken in recent months by the government.
     Having said that, we need to go further and faster. When we tried to find support for communities struggling to respond to the crisis on our coastline, senior officials told us that there is a legislative and regulatory void and they were sorry, but no help was forthcoming.
     This motion seeks to fill that void through the seven steps set out by the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre. The proposed regulatory action is aimed at reducing plastic debris discharge from stormwater outfalls, industrial use of microplastics, and consumer and industrial use of single-use plastics. The programmatic proposals include the provision of permanent, dedicated and annual funding for the cleanup of derelict fishing gear; community-led projects to clean up plastics and debris on shores, banks, beaches and other aquatic peripheries; and education and outreach campaigns on the root causes and negative environmental effects of plastic pollution in and around all bodies of water.
     This motion is the product of hard work by dozens of environmental organizations, educational institutions, churches, businesses and corporations. In particular, I want to thank Surfrider Pacific Rim and Clayoquot Clean Up, Communities Protecting our Coast, the Association of Denman Island Marine Stewards, Ocean Legacy, the T. Buck Suzuki Foundation, Vancouver lsland coastal communities, the Union of British Columbia coastal municipalities, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and community champions who monitor and clean our beaches and coastlines without any support from our federal government. I want to thank Margaret Atwood, who supported my motion.
     I want to thank the tens of thousands of everyday Canadians who have signed petitions, knocked on doors and, in other various forms, have supported this motion. I want to thank all members of this House from all political parties who have chosen to stand in support of our precious marine environment, committing to supporting this motion, and especially the government today for finally coming forward to support this motion.
    I have talked to people from across this country, and because of this campaign, we have given people hope, people who were feeling hopeless. By demonstrating our commitment to cleaning our oceans and waterways by voting for this motion, we as parliamentarians are bolstering this renewed optimism.
    I am reminded of Tommy Douglas. I am also reminded of Jack Layton, who famously said, “Don't let them tell you it can't be done.” Coastal people and Canadians have been listening to these words, and we have the opportunity, the love, hope and courage that Jack Layton spoke of and embodied, to tackle this issue, and leave a better Canada for future generations.

  (1200)  

[Translation]

    The question is on the motion.

[English]

    Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Deputy Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Deputy Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Deputy Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:
    The Deputy Speaker: Pursuant to order made Thursday, November 29, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, December 5, immediately after proceedings on the supply bill.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act

Hon. Ahmed Hussen (for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade)  
     moved that Bill C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today mindful that we are on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin people.
    I am honoured to begin the debate at second reading of Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts. This bill clarifies the legislative and regulatory framework for the development of key regions of Canada's north, the Mackenzie Valley and the offshore areas of the Arctic Ocean and the Beaufort Sea. These regions have vast economic potential but they are also environmentally sensitive. Moreover, these regions have sustained indigenous people and communities who have lived in the north since time immemorial. Those communities, their organizations and governments have a right to a say in how the region is developed.
    The bill before us addresses two different acts of Parliament that affect resource development in the north: the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act.
    Let me begin with the amendments to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. I remind the House that in March 2014, the Northwest Territories Devolution Act transferred control of public lands and waters in the Northwest Territories to the territorial government. It is that government that now makes decisions on resource development. It receives 50% of resource revenue within the specific annual limit.
    We know the abysmal track record of the Conservatives when it came to respecting and honouring indigenous rights and supporting the people of the north. That act was the perfect example. In 2014, through Bill C-15, the Northwest Territories Devolution Act, the Harper government completely changed the land and water board structure without adequate consultation and in complete ignorance of indigenous rights. Those changes became very controversial within the region as the current member for Northwest Territories knows well. Through many conversations, consultations and meetings, there were many good points brought forward by people in that area.
    The Harper government removed three regulatory authorities: the Gwich’in Land and Water Board, the Sahtu Land and Water Board and the Wek'èezhìi Land and Water Board. The Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board was to remain as a single consolidated land and water board for the Mackenzie Valley. That was what the Conservative government wanted but it is not what the indigenous governments wanted. The indigenous governments and organizations correctly argued that their authorities in land and water management are guaranteed by their land claims and by their self-government agreements and they should be honoured. The Conservative government could not unilaterally abolish their land and water boards. This was just another sad example of the Harper government's tendency to trample on the rights of indigenous people.
    In February 2015, the Northwest Territories Supreme Court issued an injunction that halted the provisions that included the restructuring of the land and water boards. The injunction preserved the existing regulatory processes until the court could provide further instruction. At the same time, other measures included in section 253(2) were affected, including a regulation-making authority for cost recovery and consultation, administrative monetary penalties, development certificates, regional studies and the terms of board members. The Conservatives appealed the injunction in March 2015. We heard from stakeholders that that situation not only created mistrust on the part of indigenous governments and organizations toward the Canadian government, but it also created uncertainty that discouraged the responsible development of the region's resources.

  (1205)  

    In the fall of 2015, in order to better put us on a path to reconciliation and economic development, the then minister of indigenous and northern affairs met with indigenous governments and organizations in the Northwest Territories to find a way forward. The minister announced that she had directed the department to pause its appeal and start the exploratory discussions.
    Rather than taking this fight and continuing it in the courts, our goal has been to work with indigenous governments and organizations to identify potential solutions. In the summer of 2016, the minister met with indigenous governments and organizations, and in September 2016, she wrote to the relevant parties to officially begin a formal consultation process. The consultations have been thorough and effective. They have included indigenous governments, organizations, the Government of the Northwest Territories and industry. This is the way to move forward on matters affecting resource development in Canada's north.
    The Conservatives' attempt to unilaterally change the regulatory regime set the relationship with the Northwest Territories and indigenous people back by many years. However, with this bill, we are getting back on track and we are working with them to move forward.
    The bill removes the board amalgamation provisions and confirms the continuation of the Sahtu, Gwich'in and Wek'èezhìi land and water boards with the jurisdiction to regulate land and water use in their management regions. These regional boards will also continue to be panels of the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board. The Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board will continue to have jurisdiction for the regulation of land and water, including the insurance of land use permits and water licences in the area of the Mackenzie Valley where land claims have not been settled and for transboundary projects.
    In effect, this bill repeals the provisions of the Conservatives that challenged the rights of indigenous governing bodies under their comprehensive land claim agreements. Other provisions of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act that were included in the Northwest Territories Devolution Act but were halted by the court injunction will also be reintroduced in this bill.
    Specifically, the bill provides for the Governor in Council to make regulations pertaining to cost recovery to indigenous consultation. Development certificates will set out the conditions under which a project can proceed. Administrative monetary penalties can now be established through regulations for violations relating to these certificates. Provisions will allow the establishment of committees for the conduct of regional studies. The bill also provides for the extension of the terms of board members to allow them to complete a proceeding that is under way. This will ensure there is continuity in the process and in the decision-making.
    We are setting out a positive way forward for the development of the Mackenzie Valley. It is a way forward that acknowledges the rights of indigenous governments and organizations and will provide certainty to industry. When we listen to northerners when developing policies that affect them, great things are possible and it leads the way to better prosperity for all people in the north.
    The second part of this bill involves the Canada Petroleum Resources Act which governs the drilling of oil and gas that takes place offshore in the Arctic. Those offshore drilling operations face a number of technical and logical challenges, including a short operating season and sea ice. We do not yet have the technology to resolve these challenges, but I have confidence that there will be technological solutions that will enable offshore drilling to be undertaken safely in the future.

  (1210)  

    To get to these solutions, we must be guided by the knowledge of the nature of the challenges. That knowledge will be shaped by science, including both marine science and climate science. We need evidence for effective decision-making that will help us reach the goal of responsible resource development. This science is still in its early stages. The technology will eventually follow. In the meantime, we must take steps to protect a sensitive and vulnerable environment in the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean.
    In December 2016, the Prime Minister announced a moratorium on new offshore drilling in our Arctic waters. The moratorium will be tested every five years through a science-based review. This review, undertaken in collaboration with our northern partners, will provide evidence that will guide future oil and gas activity.
    The bill before us would complement the 2016 moratorium and protect the interests of licence holders by freezing the terms of their licences for the duration of the prohibition on oil and gas activity. The licences will not expire during the moratorium. This will allow us to preserve the existing rights until the five-year science-based review is completed. At that point, we will have a better understanding of strategic plans and potential decisions in collaboration with our northern partners, indigenous governments and the governments of the north.
    I am pleased to inform the House that the companies that currently hold the existing oil and gas rights and our northern partners have been supportive of responsible development of the Arctic offshore and the strategic path forward. They understand the importance of protecting the unique Arctic environment while pursuing safe, responsible oil and gas activities, activities that create jobs and economic growth in northern indigenous communities. They appreciate the importance of the science-based review in establishing future decisions on Arctic offshore development.
    These amendments are fair to existing rights holders and allow us to go forward with a serious review of the science in order to better understand the potential impacts and benefits of oil and gas extraction in the Beaufort Sea. This is sound, sustainable management and is consistent with what our government is already doing regarding science in the north.
    The bill before us ensures that indigenous governments and organizations will have a strong voice in the development of resources in their territories. Our goal is to put in place a robust regime that will protect Canada's rich natural environment. It will support a resilient resource sector and at the same time respect the rights and interests of indigenous people.
    This bill is part of an ongoing journey toward meaningful reconciliation with indigenous peoples and the protection of our lands and waters. In this way, we are able to foster economic opportunities and growth and protect the environment for future generations.
     I urge all hon. members to join me in supporting this bill and supporting the wishes, hopes and aspirations of those who live in Canada's north.

  (1215)  

    Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech with great interest.
     I am going to focus on part 1 of the bill, which is with respect to the land and water boards. The devolution agreement allowed for them to be collapsed into one. The land agreements with the different communities actually allowed for this to happen. It was not contradicted within it. She might know that this came out of the McCrank report, who looked at what was happening and said that the regulatory process in the Northwest Territories was complex, costly, unpredictable and time-consuming and that certainly, this would allow for a more efficient use of expenditures and to allow administrative practices to be more understandable and consistent.
    It sounds like she supports going back to the old system and it sounds like it has support from the communities up there. However, I think it is important for her to recognize what the implications are going to be. I think the McCrank report stated it very clearly.
    Mr. Speaker, when I came to politics in 2013, what I remember very clearly were the early meetings I had with groups in the Northwest Territories with regard to the bill and the changes the Conservative government was pushing forward.
    At that time, aboriginal governments and many others across the Northwest Territories were pushing back, but the Harper government was not listening. That government was unilaterally making changes with regard to how resource development would occur in the Northwest Territories without accepting the wishes, the understanding or even having further discussions with aboriginal governments at that time. That was the reason they sought the court injunction.
    In making these changes, we have been able to build a relationship and a partnership with aboriginal governments to do what they feel is necessary and what is supported by the industry and by the Government of the Northwest Territories.

  (1220)  

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the parliamentary secretary's comments about the need for consultation and the need for input from first nations and other regional groups in making decisions around natural resource industries in the north.
    Part of this bill is a reaction to a moratorium that was placed on resource extraction offshore in the Arctic and was made without any consultation at all.
    Could the member tell us why the Prime Minister would think this was a good idea when that relationship. which is so important to him. called for consultation? I have heard from leaders across the north and I have talked to the Inuvialuit leader. One of the leaders said that they were hopping mad when this moratorium was put in place.
    Mr. Speaker, it is fair to say that when it comes to the development of oil and gas in the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic, a lot of work has to be done on the technical side and with the logistical challenges that exist in that area, including the short operating season and ice conditions. Recently, when I was in the Inuvialuit region, I had the opportunity to have this discussion with people there as well as many others across the north.
    One thing that northerners can agree on is that we need to have the technology in place to resolve the challenges when it comes to enabling offshore drilling and we need to ensure we can do that safely in the future. The goal of everyone in the north is to ensure we get this right and we do it properly.
    That is why there is a process in place between the federal government and territorial governments so we look at this carefully and move forward together.
    Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, the Liberal government imposed sanctions on Saudi Arabia in response to the Jamal Khashoggi affair.
    Canada gets over $20 billion in oil from Saudi Arabia, yet the government has put a moratorium on northern Canadian oil.
    Could my hon. colleague provide some insight into what would happen if Saudi Arabia were to cut off the $20 billion-worth of oil it gives to Canada when Canada is not in a position, as a result of this moratorium, to be energy secure?
    Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to offshore oil and gas development. It is committed to ensuring there is a pipeline that would allow the export of oil and gas around the world and build that industry within Canada.
    However, we will also ensure that whatever we do, whatever investments we make, whatever developments occur within the oil and gas industry are done in the best interests of not only the people in our country, but also done in the best interests of our environment. We will take the time to ensure that offshore drilling in the Arctic and Beaufort Sea is done safely and properly in the future. That is the responsible thing to do and it is supported by many in the country.
    When it comes to further oil and gas development, we are the one government that has stood up in the country to ensure we get a pipeline built so we can get oil and gas to market and continue to build on that industry for Canadians.

  (1225)  

    Mr. Speaker, I remember when the decision was made many years ago. The leaders from the Northwest Territories were outraged. The Tlicho chiefs were very upset. The grand chief of the day, Eddie Erasmus, said, “We are Canada’s treaty partner. We thought the days of the government in Ottawa thinking it ‘knows best’ about our lands, resources and future were over when we signed the Tlicho Agreement. We won’t go back to the day....”
    Many leaders felt betrayed when the agreement was breached by this decision. They felt their constitutional rights were breached. The agreement was supposed to be protected by the Constitution.
    Could the member explain how something like this could happen when the an agreement is supposed to be protected by the Constitution?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Northwest Territories. Every opportunity he has, in the House and outside, he stands to speak for the people of the north and the people of the Northwest Territories.
    I know he has lived with the unrest around the decision made by the Harper government in 2013-14. Not only was it a unilateral decision that was imposed on the people of the Northwest Territories and aboriginal governments, it was a change of legislation that really gave no respect to the land claims that had been settled with indigenous people in that area.
    We are a government that is looking at reconciliation with indigenous people all across Canada. That means working together. That means overcoming the challenges that were there in the past and moving forward with a new direction. I am happy to say that we respect indigenous governments. We respect the land claim agreements and we will work with them for the best interests of the people in their jurisdictions.
    Mr. Speaker, it is really concerning. We talk about consultations, but when it comes to the oil and gas industry, we saw no consultation on the west coast tanker ban. There was some on the moratorium on offshore oil on the Beaufort Sea. It was less than an hour before it was announced.
    Could the member explain to me exactly when consultation is important and when it is not?
    Mr. Speaker, I do not know if any government in history has ever consulted more in our country than the government of the day. It consulted with all people, not just one group. We consult with indigenous governments, territories and provinces. We consult with industry, investors and ordinary Canadians who have an expertise or opinion in the areas on which we are focused.
    We have not been out there pushing back on aboriginal land claims and rights, like the former government did. It set back aboriginal governments in the Northwest Territories by years. It unilaterally rammed legislation through the House of Commons without proper consultation. As a result, it ended up in the courts, and the Supreme Court ruled on the side of indigenous governments.
     Even then, the Conservatives appealed that decision, because they could not accept that indigenous people and other Canadians outside of their government actually had rights in our country. We have an obligation and responsibility to work together to get a good path forward for all Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.
    Before I get into the details of the bill, it is important to look at the context with respect to what has been happening over the past three years and what is starting to be a real pattern of the Liberal government. The decisions it makes consistently increase red tape and bureaucracy, and are mostly anti-resource development. This bill is no different.
    I would like to talk about a few areas to show the context, which will then show that this follows a pattern that adds to what is becoming an increasing concern in the country, and that is the ability to move our natural resources forward.
    When the Prime Minister took office, there were three private companies willing to invest more than $30 billion to build three nation-building pipelines that would have generated tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic opportunity. The Prime Minister and his cabinet killed two and put the Trans Mountain expansion on life support. Bill C-69 would block all future pipelines.
    In addition, the government has made a number of arbitrary decisions regarding natural resource development, with absolutely no consultation with those impacted. Today, we only need to look at what is happening in Alberta with the hundreds of thousands of job losses. Who has ever heard of a premier having to decrease the production of a needed resource throughout the country and the world because we simply cannot get resources to the market? This is because of the government's failure.
    The northern gateway project was approved by the former government in June 2014. It had a number of conditions on it, just like the current Trans Mountain project does.
    In November 2015, just one month after being elected, the Prime Minister killed the project without hesitation. It was subject to a court challenge. When we did finally hear what came out of that court challenge, to be frank, it was nothing that could not be overcome. We could have dealt with that.
    The court decision told the Prime Minister to engage in consultation in a more appropriate and balanced way. The court really gave what I would call a recipe for perhaps fixing some problems with the process.
    Did he wait for the court decision? No. He went out and killed it flat. With this approved pipeline, he did not wait for a court decision or wait to see how it could move forward. He decided that he did not want that one.
    I think we are all pretty aware of the Trans Mountain pipeline. It has been moving along for many years. We know that many first nations support it and hope to see it go through, as they see enormous opportunities for their communities. Of course, others are against it.
    What happened in this case? When the Liberals came to government, they decided they had to have an additional consultation process. However, did they follow the directions of the court in the northern gateway decision in which the court was very clear about what the government had to do to do consultations properly? Apparently not. When the court decision came down, we learned otherwise. To be frank, it was much to my surprise, because the Liberals talked about how well they were consulting and that they were putting this additional process in place. The court said that the Liberals did not do the job. What they did was send a note-taker and not a decision-maker.
    The fact that the Liberals did not consult properly on the Trans Mountain pipeline is strictly on their laps, as they had very clear guidance from the northern gateway decision and they did not do what they needed to do. They should be ashamed of themselves. Had they done a proper process, they likely would not have had to buy the pipeline, the pipeline would be in construction right now and we would be in a lot better place as a country. With respect to the Trans Mountain pipeline, the blame for where we are on that pipeline lies strictly on the laps of the Liberals.

  (1230)  

    I also want to note, in spite of what people say, that the courts have said the process was okay, so it has nothing to do with environmental legislation by the previous government or with anything the Conservatives had put in place. It was the Liberals' execution of a flawed process.
    Energy east was another one. The former Liberal MP who is now the mayor of Montreal was very opposed to it. I am not sure of all the pieces that went into the Liberals' decision-making, but all of a sudden, the downstream and upstream emissions of energy east had to be measured. As people have rightfully asked, has that happened for the tankers coming down the St. Lawrence from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela? Did that happen with the bailout for Bombardier?
    The Liberals created regulatory barriers. Trans Mountain hung on for a long time before it finally said no go. I think Energy east saw the writing on the wall, knowing that the government was not going to be its friend and create an environment to get the work done. It could see the new rules coming into place, so it walked. What a double standard. Canadians who extract energy in an environmentally sound and environmentally friendly way have had standards applied to their ability to move oil through a pipeline that no other country in the world imposes on companies in terms of upstream and downstream emissions.
    Next on the plate is Bill C-69. A number of former Liberals are very open about their concerns about Bill C-69. Martha Hall Findlay, a very respected former Liberal MP, said in a recent Globe and Mail article that the new environmental legislation, Bill C-69, “is the antithesis of what this regulatory reform effort hopes to achieve.... [I]n its 392 pages, the word 'competitiveness' appears only twice. Neither the word 'economy' nor the phrase 'economic growth' appear at all.” We have new environmental legislation that most people call the no-more-pipeline bill.
    Martha Hall Findlay went on to note that this bill would create enormous uncertainty, more red tape and increased court challenges, and not only in the energy sector but in all other infrastructure in Canada for years to come. I do not know if members are starting to see a pattern: the Liberals have killed pipelines and put in legislation preventing new pipelines from being built. I am not sure why the process with Trans Mountain was not proper; it should have been. Everyone knew what they had to do, but they did not.
    Another piece of legislation that is focused on killing opportunities in this country is the tanker moratorium, Bill C-48. The government loves to talk about how it consults, consults and consults, but it only consults to get the answer it wants. There was a large group of first nations that had a huge opportunity with the Eagle Spirit pipeline that would go through its territory. It had plans, it was moving along, everything was in place, and all a sudden Bill C-48, the tanker moratorium, put its dreams and hopes to rest for a while. The interesting thing is that there was no consultation at all. There was no notice about this tanker ban, so how can there be consultation when the government does not want to do something, but vice-versa when it wants to do something?
    Now I will get into the details of Bill C-88. In 2016, there was an oil and gas moratorium in the Beaufort Sea, and the interesting thing about that announcement was that for most people in Canada, it came out of nowhere. The Prime Minister did not even have the respect to hold conversations with the territorial premiers and the people most impacted. He made the announcement down in Washington, D.C., along with an “Oh, by the way” phone call 20 minutes before announcing this measure that would impact those communities. That is absolutely shameful. The Prime Minister announced a moratorium on all oil and gas development in the Beaufort Sea when he was down in the United States with President Obama at the time.

  (1235)  

    I want to read a few quotes by the community leaders subsequently. The Northwest Territories premier Bob McLeod issued a “red alert...for urgent national debate on the future of the Northwest Territories”. He wrote:
    The promise of the North is fading and the dreams of northerners are dying as we see a re-emergence of colonialism....
    Whether it be ill conceived ways of funding social programs, or new and perplexing restrictions on our economic development, our spirit and energy are being sapped.
    That is a very different from what we just heard from the parliamentary secretary when she talked about the previous government. It is her government. Did she hear those words from the premier? He said, “our spirit and our energy are being sapped”.
    Mr. McLeod further wrote:
    Staying in or trying to join the middle class will become a distant dream for many....
    This means that northerners, through their democratically elected government, need to have the power to determine their own fates and the practice of decisions being made by bureaucrats and governments in Ottawa must come to an end. Decisions about the North should be made in the North. The unilateral decision by the federal government, made without consultation, to impose a moratorium on arctic offshore oil and gas development is but one example of our economic self-determination being thwarted by Ottawa.
    Then Nunavut premier, Peter Taptuna, told the CBC on December 22, 2016:
    We do want to be getting to a state where we can make our own determination of our priorities, and the way to do that is gain meaningful revenue from resource development. And at the same time, when one potential source of revenue is taken off the table, it puts us back at practically Square 1 where Ottawa will make the decisions for us.
    Merven Gruben, the mayor of Tuktoyaktuk, told the indigenous and northern affairs committee on October 22, 2018:
    I was talking to [the Liberal MP for the Northwest Territories]...and he said, “Yes, Merven, we should be doing something. We should be helping you guys.”
     I agree the Liberals should be helping us. They shut down our offshore gasification and put a moratorium right across the whole freaking Arctic without even consulting us. They never said a word to us.
     We're proud people who like to work for a living. We're not used to getting social assistance and that kind of stuff. Now we're getting tourists coming up, but that's small change compared to when you work in oil and gas and you're used to that kind of living. Our people are used to that. We [don't want to be just] selling trinkets and T-shirts.
    To go to the actual bill, what we can see is that in spite of the lofty words by the parliamentary secretary, there has been a real lack of consultation on issues that are very important to northerners.
    Part A would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act to reverse provisions that would have consolidated the Mackenzie Valley land and water boards into one. These provisions, of course, were introduced by the former Conservative government with Bill C-15, the Northwest Territories devolution act. Part B, of course, would amend the the Canada Petroleum Resources Act.
    As I have already noted, this is another anti-energy policy from the Liberal government that is driving investment out of Canada, costing Canadian workers their jobs and increasing poverty rates in the north. Like Bill C-69 before it, Bill C-88 would politicize oil and gas extraction by expanding the powers of cabinet to block economic development, and would add to increasing red tape that proponents must face before even getting shovels in the ground. Further, Bill C-88 reveals a full rejection of the calls by elected territorial leaders for much of the self-autonomy they desire.
    We used to look at the north as being an opportunity to be a key economic driver for decades to come. Other Arctic nations, including China and Russia, are exploring possibilities. This could be something that is very important for our sovereignty.

  (1240)  

    Meanwhile, the Liberals are creating great swaths of protected land. I want to know why that change was originally made to the water and land boards.
    In 2007, Neil McCrank was commissioned to write a report on improving the regulatory and environmental assessment regimes in Canada's north. As outlined in the McCrank report, entitled, “The Road to Improvement”, the current regulatory process in the Northwest Territories is complex, costly, unpredictable and time-consuming. The merging of the three boards into one was a key recommendation. Part of the report stated:
     This approach would address the complexity and the capacity issues inherent to the current model by making more efficient use of expenditures and administrative resources. It would also allow for administrative practices to be understandable and consistent.
    If these recommendations on restructuring and improvements are implemented, the regulatory systems in the North will be able to ensure orderly and responsible development of its resources.
    Regarding the move to consolidate the boards, the report went on to state:
...is not meant to diminish or reduce the influence that Aboriginal people have on resource management in the North. Rather, it is meant as an attempt to allow for this influence in a practical way, while at the same time enabling responsible resource development...
    I want to note that it was Bill C-15, which the Liberals and NDP voted for, that included that component. It was supported on all sides of the House. It was also included as an available option in the three modern land claim agreements. Bill C-15 looked to streamline the regulatory process and to place time limits on reviews and provide consistency. It was never meant to impact impact indigenous communities and their ability to make decisions. It was to streamline the regulatory process, place time limits on reviews and consolidate federal decision-making.
    Certainly, I see this component of the bill as a move backward rather than forward. At this point, it would appear that all of the communities involved want to move in this direction. I believe that is unfortunate. The model I wish they would have worked toward would have been a much more positive one in doing the work they needed to do.
    The final part is the drilling moratorium, which is perhaps the most troublesome. It would allow the federal cabinet to prohibit oil and gas activity in the Northwest Territories or offshore of Nunavut if it were in the national interest. This is a much broader power than currently exists in the act, which only allows Canada to prohibit that activity for safety or environmental reasons, or social problems of a serious nature.
    I note that the licences set to expire during the five-year moratorium would not be affected, which is seen as somewhat positive by the people holding those licences. However, I suppose if we have a moratorium forever, it really does not matter if one's licence is on hold forever, because it would not be helpful in the long run.
    In conclusion, what we have here is perhaps not on the scale of Bill C-69 or some of the other things the government has done, but it just adds to the government's habit, whenever it deals with the natural resource industry, of tending to make it more complicated and of driving businesses away rather than doing what Canada needs, especially right now, which is bringing business to us.

  (1245)  

    Mr. Speaker, I think what the member finds very difficult to believe is that we can actually have a government that can stand up for the environment in a very responsible way, as we have done, and it not be a weakness to economic development, but really be a strength. That is what has happened in Canada over the last few years under this government.
    We are creating a stronger and more sustainable economy. We only have to look at the fact that we have created over 600,000 new jobs in this country. We have been able to acquire the assets of a pipeline because we are determined to get our oil to markets, something the Conservatives could not do. We are continuing to permit mining operations at expanded mines right across the country. We have invested more money in infrastructure, and economic and business development than any government in the past.
    When the member's Conservative government was in power it pushed legislation upon the indigenous people of the Northwest Territories that was unwanted. They took the government to court. We are remedying that today. Will she now support that legislation?

  (1250)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to point out that the Liberals did actually support Bill C-15, which is what they are now backtracking on, so I want to make that important note.
    The Liberals love to say that the economy and the environment go together and they are going a great job on both. Frankly, they are doing a terrible job on both.
    When we look at what is happening in Alberta, at GM, at the softwood lumber industry, where I just heard there are going to be some layoffs in terms of the forestry in my riding, the Liberals are certainly not doing a very good job in terms of the economy. They might have benefited from a solid U.S. economy and a housing boom, but they sure have not benefited from creating long-term jobs that are going to be important for our future.
    Mr. Speaker, as we have heard lately, the Conservatives spend a lot of time blaming the Liberals and vice versa, but I see the bill as an attempt to fix problems from the Conservative government and those problems the Conservative government brought in were part of a pattern. The member talks about trying to make things more streamlined and more efficient. That is exactly what they did with gutting the environmental laws in the previous Parliament that have set back the regulatory system on oil and gas regulation in this country. It has caused a deep division in the country.
    Why did the member's government think it was a good idea and think that the first nations would be happy if their membership on those panels was cut? They had two out of the four on the regional panels and then they only get one out of 10 on the super board. Why did the Conservatives think that was a good idea and why did they think that would support indigenous rights?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to note that the NDP also voted for Bill C-15, so it was a pretty straightforward Northwest Territories devolution bill.
    The NDP members love to say that we did not care about the environment and that our environmental bills created undue challenges. I hear that all the time, but I had never seen an example anywhere of where our attempts to create an environmentally appropriate, responsive regime created any negative impact on the environment, period. The legislation that we put into place had no negative impacts. I challenge anyone to bring an example of something somewhere that created some harm to the environment because it helped to move things along, but there was certainly a lot of noise so people lost trust in what was a good regime.
    Mr. Speaker, in the member's statement, she talked about the self-economy for the north.
    I find it interesting, because the Beaufort Sea was not included in the devolution agreement, neither was the Norman Wells oil field. These are two economic drivers that could certainly contribute to the north. However, they were left out. In fact, this process where the decision was made to change the regulatory system so that we have a super board went directly against what was agreed to in the land claim. It went against the regulatory structure that was in the land claim. There were other things that the Conservatives tried to change, including the fiscal agreements. It was obvious that the Conservatives thought the environmental assessment process slowed down projects, and they wanted to gut it completely.
    Since the time the decision was made, we have seen that the system works fine. It works effectively and efficiently. Would the member agree that if she were to make this decision again, she would admit that she was wrong and that it would be left alone?

  (1255)  

    Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, and I could be corrected on this, both within the devolution agreement and the agreements, the opportunity to allow for the creation of one board was well within the structure of those agreements. I could stand to be corrected on that particular area.
    If they have found some way, using the same structure, to deal with all those issues that were identified in the report that I talked about, which clearly identified a whole host of problems with what was happening with all the different boards, it takes a fairly significant degree of manpower and expertise. Sometimes it is better to be close to home with decisions, and sometimes somewhere in the middle.
    When there is a need to be able to analyze significant projects, make decisions and do the technical work, it cannot always be easy for small boards. I have lived in small communities and I have lived in larger communities. Certainly, the model that was recommended and the reasons it was recommended were very sound, from my perspective.
    Mr. Speaker, again we see an instance of the Prime Minister making an announcement involving a personality abroad, essentially looking like he is trying to impress an international audience without consideration of actually engaging and consulting with, and making that announcement here at home. We saw another example of that just in the last week.
    The member spoke about how disappointed people in the north were when the government announced a moratorium on offshore development. I heard about this during a recent trip to the north with the foreign affairs committee. There was no consultation, whatsoever, on the shutting down of development. We would think that the people who talk so much about the consultation that has to happen before proceeding with development should also recognize that there is some proportionate consultation requirement associated with shutting down development, and yet this was an announcement that was made by the Prime Minister overseas with no consultation.
    Could the member maybe comment further on the lack of respect that represented, and how many northerners do want to see economic development in the north?
    Mr. Speaker, that brings up a really great point. First of all, it is absolute insult to northerners when the Prime Minister is down in the United States making a significant decision, and not only had they not been consulted, but they basically had maybe 20 minutes to get their thoughts together before they had to respond to a shocking decision.
    It speaks to the issue. More importantly, it is very similar to the bill that put in the tanker moratorium, and I believe there is probably going to be a court challenge to that tanker moratorium. If there is a duty to consult for projects to move forward, when the government is making arbitrary decisions about what cannot be done, there should also be an equal duty to consult in that area.
    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise to speak to Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. I would like to start by saying that the overall position of the NDP on this bill is that northerners know best how to manage their own resources. We will be supporting this bill at second reading but feel there are some areas where important improvements could be made.
    This bill is part of a series of measures the Canadian government has made over the past half-century or so to bring more democracy to the north and end the colonial style of government that has been in place since Confederation. It seems, though, that every step forward has some steps backward and this bill perhaps is no exception. This is a bit of an omnibus bill.
    I just want to point out that although the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo mentioned that the NDP and Liberals voted for Bill C-15, that was because it was an omnibus bill on the devolution of power to the Northwest Territories. We were all in favour of the bill and then the former Conservative government tacked on that poison pill which cut down indigenous rights. We supported it, even though we had concerns about that last part of it.
    This is a bit of an omnibus bill. It sets out to do two different things. First, it would repeal parts of Bill C-15, the Northwest Territories Devolution Act, which was passed in the last Parliament and, second, it would bring into force an announced a moratorium on oil and gas exploration and development in offshore waters in the Canadian Arctic. Bill C-15, passed in 2014, was a bit of an omnibus bill. The bulk of that bill dealt with the devolution of powers from the federal government to territorial government. The general public opinion in the north was that this was a great thing. It was reversing the tide of colonialism and giving back more powers to northerners to manage their own affairs.
    However, the second part of Bill C-15 went back on that, eliminating four regional land and water boards and replacing them with a single super board. Those four boards were created out of land claims agreements and negotiations with various first nations in the Mackenzie Valley area and the new super board significantly reduced the input that those first nations would have on resource management decisions.
    Since 1967, much of the political history of the Northwest Territories has been one of de-colonialization through the devolution of powers from the federal government, and there have been four settled land claims in the Northwest Territories since then.
    First, the lnuvialuit agreement covers the northern part of the Mackenzie Delta, the Beaufort Sea region and the Northwest Territories portion of the Arctic Archipelago. The region is outside the areas covered in the regional land and water boards covered in Bill C-88 but does bear on the second part of the offshore oil and gas exploration.
    Second, the Gwich'in agreement covers the southern portion of the Mackenzie Delta and the northern part of the Mackenzie Mountains.
    Third, the Sahtu Dene and Métis agreement covers the region around Great Bear Lake and the adjacent Mackenzie Mountains.
    Fourth, the Salt River Treaty Land Entitlement covers an area near the town of Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. This agreement does not involve the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
    There are two more agreements in place now in the Northwest Territories: the Deline self-government agreement for a community covered by the Sahtu agreement, and the Tlicho land, resources and self-government agreement covering the area north of Great Slave Lake.
    These agreements are modern-day treaties that create and confirm indigenous rights and are protected by section 35 of the Constitution. The Gwich'in, Sahtu and Tlicho agreements contain provision for the creation of a system of co-management boards enacted by the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. On each of these boards, there are four members and a chair. Two of the four members are nominated or appointed by the Gwich'in, Sahtu or Tlicho, so that they have an equal partnership in those decisions.
    In parts of the Northwest Territories where there is no settled land claim, the main board created by the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, is in operation. In the lnuvialuit Settlement Region, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency conducts environmental assessments.

  (1300)  

    On December 3, 2013, the Harper government introduced Bill C-15, which was primarily meant to implement the provisions in the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement. However, as I mentioned, it contained this poison pill in the form of changes to the land and water co-management boards created by the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
    The Harper bill eliminated the regional boards in favour of a single superboard consisting of 10 members and a chair. Bill C-15 also changed the process by which members of the single board were appointed and only provided for a single representative from the Gwich'in, Sahtu and Tlicho. These groups went from having an equal partnership, two of four members, to only having one in 10 members on this superboard. These changes were wildly and widely unpopular in the Northwest Territories and contrary to the wishes of northerners, as reported by a consultation process launched by the Conservatives prior to bringing forward Bill C-15.
    The member previously mentioned the McCrank report. There was a consultation process about that report, but the first nations, when told about these options, said not to do this and that they did not like it. It is not consultation if we just tell first nations what is going to happen. We have to try to make accommodation, and that is exactly what did not happen here. I have some quotes about what first nations and Métis groups thought of this.
     Jake Heron from the Métis Nation said that it's very frustrating when you're at the table and you think you're involved, only to find out that your interests are not being considered seriously.
     Bob Bromley, an MLA in the Northwest Territories said, “The federal government's proposal to collapse the regional land water boards into one big board is disturbing, unnecessary and possibly unconstitutional.” He also said that a single board “does nothing to meet the real problem: failure of implementation.”
     Dennis Bevington, a former MP for the Northwest Territories said, “I don't think that's fair to the people that went into the devolution agreement, people like the Tlicho who agreed to the devolution deal because it had some separation from the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. I think it's inappropriate.”
    Bill C-15 received royal assent on March 25, 2014. Shortly afterward, the Tlicho and Sahtu launched lawsuits asking for declarations of portions of the devolution act to have no force or effect and an interim injunction to stop the Government of Canada from taking steps to implement those provisions of Bill C-15 that affected the regional board structure for the Mackenzie Valley. On February 27, 2015, the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories granted that injunction to the Tlicho. The federal government immediately began appeal proceedings to lift the injunction, but with the defeat of the Harper government, Canada began consultations with Northwest Territories indigenous governments and the Government of the Northwest Territories. The result is Bill C-88 before us today, which would reverse those changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
    Last night, I happened to be sitting next to Grace Blake on the plane flying from Toronto to Ottawa. She is a Gwich'in leader from Tsiigehtchic. She was very happy to hear that Bill C-88 would keep the land and water boards in place. I think her feelings are representative of most residents of the Northwest Territories.
     A representative from the Tlicho, Ryan Fequet, said, “The current land and water boards' composition reflects 50-50 decision-making between first nations and the federal government, and I think the superboard's proposed structure would have changed that, and that's why various parties voiced their concerns.”
    I will now go to the second part of Bill C-88, which deals with the Canada Petroleum Resources Act.
    As other members have mentioned, this began back in late 2016 when the Prime Minister was meeting with President Barack Obama and they both gave what was called the United States-Canada joint Arctic leaders' statement. In that, Barack Obama said that the U.S. is designating “the vast majority of U.S. waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas as indefinitely off limits to offshore oil and gas leasing.”

  (1305)  

    At the same time, it seemed that Canada felt obliged to designate all Arctic Canadian waters as indefinitely off limits to future offshore Arctic oil and gas licensing, to be reviewed every five years through a climate and marine science-based life-cycle assessment. The Prime Minister made this decision without properly consulting any form of government in the north. As was mentioned, he gave everybody a phone call 20 minutes before the fact.
    Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod reacted by issuing a red alert calling for an urgent national debate on the future of the Northwest Territories and saying that the Prime Minister's announcement was the re-emergence of colonialism.
    He added:
    We spent a lot of time negotiating a devolution agreement, and we thought the days were gone when we'd have unilateral decisions made about the North in some faraway place like Ottawa, and that northerners would be making the decisions about issues that affected northerners.
    In response to the Prime Minister's unilateral action, the Premier of Nunavut, Peter Taptuna, stated:
    We do want to be getting to a state where we can make our own determination of our priorities, and the way to do that is gain meaningful revenue from resource development.
    And at the same time, when one potential source of revenue is taken off the table, it puts us back at practically Square 1 where Ottawa will make the decisions for us.
    The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation also raised concerns. Duane Smith, the CEO, stated:
    There was a total lack of consultation prior to the imposition of the moratorium. This and the subsequent changes to key legislation impacting our marine areas are actions inconsistent with the way the Crown is required to engage with its Indigenous counterparts.
     I happened to talk to Mr. Smith about this subject when I was at the Generation Energy Forum meetings in Winnipeg in October 2017, a year later, and he was still hopping mad about this.
    In response to the concerns of northerners, Canada began a consultation process and agreed in October 2018 to begin talks with the territorial governments and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to reach a co-management and revenue-sharing agreement. Meanwhile, the current oil and gas development moratorium remains in place, to be reviewed in 2021.
    Now I would like to speak to how this bill could be improved.
    For one thing, despite the fact that the government supported my colleague's private member's bill on putting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into every appropriate legislation that the government produces, there is no mention of that at all in this bill. Again, I talked to first nations leaders and they are very frustrated with the government over all the talk and no action in that regard.
    The second place that it could be improved, and I will mention this a little later, is through a real commitment for intervenor funding in the review processes that this bill puts forward. There is no mention of that and it is a critical part of any proper consultation.
    Outside this bill there are still so many more important areas that the government could be taking action on, such as with respect to first nations drinking water. Seventy-three per cent of drinking water systems are considered at high or medium risk, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
    With respect to indigenous housing, estimates from the First Nations Financial Management Board pegged the housing infrastructure gap on reserve at between $3 billion and $5 billion. This was the main thing mentioned to me by Grace who was sitting next to me on the plane last night. Her concern is housing, housing, housing.
    With respect to indigenous schooling, whether we look at physical infrastructure, teachers or dropout rates, critical gaps remain. Less than a quarter of indigenous students who started grade 9 went on to finish high school. We really have to step up the game and fix these gaps.
    The government has to stop fighting indigenous people in court. Currently, there are thousands of court cases going on between Canada and indigenous people, including 528 specific land claims and 70 comprehensive land claims.
    The government has to fix the high cost of food in the north by replacing the nutrition north program with one that actually assists northerners in affording nutritious foods.
    It should settle the two outstanding land resource and self-government processes in the Northwest Territories with the Dehcho and the Akaitcho.

  (1310)  

    I want to finish by mentioning a process that really brought northern resource management issues, and specifically management issues in the Mackenzie Valley, to the attention of southerners and radically changed the way northerners took control of their resource decisions. That was the Mackenzie Valley inquiry, or the Berger inquiry, as it is popularly known. It began with pipeline plans in the early 1970s to bring oil and gas from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, across the north, over the Yukon to the Mackenzie Valley, as well as two separate plans for pipelines down the Mackenzie Valley into Alberta. The Liberal government at the time commissioned Justice Thomas Berger to create an inquiry that would look into the situation and figure out what northerners wanted, what the impacts of those projects would be on the north and how the government should best proceed.
    Justice Berger started in 1974. He travelled to every community in the area, 35 communities, in the affected region. Everyone who wanted to testify was heard. Several days were usually spent in each community. For instance, in Old Crow, in the Gwich'in territory in northern Yukon, 81 people out of a population of 250 testified, many in the Gwich'in language. Five other languages made up the testimony from the other communities. Anyone who wanted to speak was heard carefully and respectfully.
    The Berger inquiry also set the standard for intervenor funding. I mentioned that earlier. That money is used to allow concerned citizens to travel and speak at hearings. In 1977, Justice Berger released his findings. He found that the environmental impacts of a pipeline across the Arctic slope of the Yukon would be too great to justify the benefits. Instead, he recommended much of that area be protected from development.
    Therefore, in 1984, Ivvavik National Park was created in the Inuvialuit settlement region. In 1995, Vuntut National Park was created in the Gwich'in area of northern Yukon. I had the pleasure and the privilege of visiting those areas.
    In 1983, I spent the summer doing biological surveys in the Old Crow area and spent 10 days on Herschel Island, just off the coast of the Beaufort Sea. It was a wonderful time on Herschel. Liz Mackenzie and her two daughters were the only permanent residents there. They were Inuvialuit. They kept us well fed with bannock and fresh Arctic char. I rafted down the Firth River in 1995. I saw muskox and caribou. The porcupine caribou herd calves along the Arctic coast of Alaska and migrates through this area. It is because of those protections that the porcupine herd is literally one of the only caribou herds in Canada still doing well these days. Most caribou herds are declining drastically.
    As for the Mackenzie Valley pipeline, Justice Berger pointed out that land claims negotiations were just taking place in the Mackenzie watershed, so he placed a 10-year moratorium on any decision in that region to allow those agreements to be finished. The Berger inquiry is really the gold standard of consultation in Canada. If anyone in the government is interested in what good, proper consultation looks like, this is it. People were heard and accommodations were made.
    If we look at the leaders of today in Northwest Territories, many of those leaders began their career by being inspired by leading their people in the Berger inquiry. In an article Ian Waddell wrote on this, he mentioned a few of those names. There was Nellie Cournoyea, who worked for the committee on the original people's entitlement, the Inuvialuit group. She later became the premier of Northwest Territories. Dave Porter, who used to carry equipment for the CBC crew, became a great aboriginal leader in Yukon. Jim Antoine, then the young chief of the Fort Simpson Dene became the premier of Northwest Territories. Georges Erasmus, who appeared before the inquiry for the Indian Brotherhood of the Northwest Territories, later the Dene Nation, became the head chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and on and on.

  (1315)  

    I will finish by saying that northerners, regardless of descent, overwhelmingly support land, resource and self-government agreements and the co-management processes created by them. Northerners see these processes as de-colonialism. Resource extraction is the only viable form of economic development available to northerners, and while they want strong environmental protections for any resource development, northerners want to be equal partners in making these decisions.
    We support Bill C-88, and we support this process of the devolution of powers to territorial and indigenous governments They must continue to eliminate colonialism within our country.

  (1320)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the member on his comment regarding the sets of negotiations going on in the Northwest Territories. We currently have 10 sets of negotiations going on. Some of them are fairly small. They are community self-governing negotiations. However, at the end of the Conservative government's last term, every set of negotiations was stalled. There were no discussions going on.
     I think we have to consider the view of the aboriginal people when it comes to the breach of what they thought were constitutionally protected agreements on their land claims and self-government agreements and also on devolution. Certainly the trust of aboriginal people was shaken to the core. A lot of people did not want to move forward.
    The member talked about some of the situations that could have been prevented. Could the member expand on what could be done to prevent situations like this from happening again? This certainly set us back a number of steps.
    Mr. Speaker, how can we avoid these situations in the future? I think we can avoid them if we stop trying to cut corners to move projects ahead.
    People think projects are being frustrated by consultations that are taking a long time, but consultations take time. What we have seen time and again, whether it is this situation, the northern gateway situation, or the Trans Mountain situation, is that governments, both Liberal and Conservative, try to cut corners. Where does it end? It ends up in court, because those people who deserve proper consultation, the first nations, for one, stand up and say, “You didn't talk to us properly. You didn't consult with us. You heard our concerns and then just went away.”
    For proper consultation to occur, the concerns have to be heard. They have to be heard early and they have to be heard with respect, and there has to be an attempt to accommodate them. It cannot just be, “Okay, we heard you, and now we're going to do what we planned to do in the first place.”
    What I heard in this case was that the government had made up its mind. It wanted to streamline these boards into one board, yet it did not try to accommodate the first nations' concerns.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague mentioned that northern concerns about meaningful revenues from resource development are important. He also spoke about the lack of consultation. This gives incredible uncertainty to industry, and it basically builds the narrative that the government is out of touch and is not listening to people on the ground and industry.
    In my own riding, I had a similar situation. Resource development and manufacturing had these once-in-a-lifetime investments. As the automotive industry changes from gas-powered cars to electric autonomous cars, it is looking ahead. It is making investments for 40 years, but it needs to make the investments now.
    I want to ask my colleague about the uncertainty from the government and the different policies it is bringing in. The government brought in something to do with a carbon tax. The schedule goes to only 2022, and it would be $50 a tonne, but the United Nations report the Minister of Environment is really big on right now says that it has to be $5,500 per tonne by 2030. That is a $5,450 difference in just eight years. This is what people who are investing have to take into account.
    Would the member comment on whether the government should actually bring in the amount it should be charging for carbon by 2030? What price for carbon does the NDP support by 2030?
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to the carbon tax, the effect of the carbon tax on investments and on the development of these resources is minimal compared with the other headwinds these developments face in terms of the international price for commodities and things like that.
    In terms of streamlining resource development, something I did not get to in my speech was that these young indigenous leaders who were involved in the Berger inquiry are now strong leaders in the Northwest Territories, and many of them support resource development and pipeline proposals. Those proposals are stalled not because of any process or carbon tax but because it is just not economical to develop those resources at this time.

  (1325)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to come back to one of the themes in my colleague's speech.
    There is a kind of urban legend about the sign on the foreman's door at a construction site that says, “There is never enough time to do it right the first time, but there is always enough time to redo it three or four times.”
    The member talked a bit about what goes into having a proper process that results in a good outcome the first time instead of trying to rush and having to go through a process several times before arriving at the final outcome. I wonder if he would expand a bit on those remarks and then maybe talk a bit on a related theme, which is the lack of a vision or a strategy for Canada's energy future overall and what might be included in such a strategy. How would having a sense of where we are going help inform how we conduct particular projects and the processes involved in getting them off the ground?
    Mr. Speaker, in response to the first part of my colleague's question, it is ironic and perhaps a little sad that we had a process in the Northwest Territories. There were concerns about how fast development was occurring and how we could do it more efficiently and in a more streamlined way. The government went against the concerns of first nations there and broke the agreement that was contained in their land claims and created a situation where we now are having to redo all that legislation several years later, putting more uncertainty and delay into the system.
    With regard to looking at a way forward, it would really help if Canada had a national energy strategy that included a way for us to meet, for instance, our Paris climate targets. A lot of Canadians would feel much comfort in resource management decisions and energy extraction decisions if they saw a believable and practical plan forward that met our climate change agreements. What we see now is a great divide in Canada, because we do not have that overarching plan.
    Mr. Speaker, the member for Northwest Territories, who has been a long-time advocate for that community, said it well when he made reference to the number of ongoing discussions. He reflected what the Prime Minister has indicated to Canadians from day one, which is that we need to recognize the importance of the relationship between indigenous peoples and the Government of Canada, and we need to work hand in hand with indigenous leaders and with different communities. The member for Northwest Territories and I have had long talks about the importance of bringing people together.
    Could my colleague provide his thoughts on just how important that is for long-term development?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member that the bill we are discussing is part of a controversy in the north, because the government did not do proper consultation with northern communities. If Barack Obama had said that the U.S. would be shutting down oil and gas drilling in the north and that Canada should do it too, our Prime Minister should have said that it might be a good idea but that he would start some serious consultations with the people who would be affected, not make a unilateral declaration on the spot and phone people up after the fact.
    I see that again with the Trans Mountain decision. We had a failed process under the Conservatives. The Liberals promised to fix it. They did not, and we are stuck here back at square one.

  (1330)  

    Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.
    I am very proud to join my colleagues to speak in full support of Bill C-88 today. The Prime Minister stated that no relationship is more important to our government and Canada than the one with indigenous peoples. I am proud that we made that commitment and that we continue to strive to fulfill it.
    The bill before us today is an important part of this commitment to me and my constituents in the Northwest Territories. The Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act was originally passed in 1998. It provides for the establishment of an integrated system of land and water management for the Mackenzie Valley through a series of co-management boards, at which the Dene, Métis, territorial and federal governments share input and decision-making. Although the MVRMA was passed in 1998, the discussions on this type of land and water management system began in the early 1980s during the negotiations of the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement.
    Regional land claim and self-governing regions in the NWT have boards, also called panels, that review and make recommendations about their lands. Unfortunately, regardless of the system that was in place after years of negotiation, a system that was working well and gave the indigenous people the right to oversee how their lands were used, the previous government decided to cut these boards out of the process. I am glad they were not successful.
    First, the Tlicho government filed an injunction, later joined by the Sahtu Secretariat. The Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories agreed and granted this injunction, so here it sits. These previous amendments were never brought into force and the regional boards continue to operate efficiently and effectively, as intended.
    Our government is dedicated to a renewed relationship with indigenous peoples in the spirit of reconciliation. One of the key elements in achieving true reconciliation is meaningful consultation. That requires real work. We are committed to restoring trust and further strengthening our relationship with indigenous partners in the Northwest Territories by supporting the integrated co-management regime for lands and waters in the Mackenzie Valley.
    We need to ensure that the management of our natural resources is done in a way that respects the inherent and treaty rights of the indigenous people. Through Bill C-88, we can ensure sustainable resource development while also protecting the long-term health and well-being of the environment. This proposed legislation was created in a spirit of reconciliation meant to help renew the relationship between the Crown and indigenous peoples in the Northwest Territories through mutual respect and co-operation.
    Bill C-88 is a direct response to the concerns of the indigenous governments and organizations respecting the legislative and regulatory framework flowing from their constitutionally protected land claims and self-government agreements. While the previous government ignored these concerns, we know that by working together we can reach a better result.
    The amendments proposed by this bill respect the integrity of the land claim agreements the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories entered into in good faith. We have heard loud and clear from our indigenous partners that the dissolution of the Gwich'in, Sahtu and Tlicho land and water boards by the previous Conservative government denied indigenous groups their hard-won rights. We have also heard from them that it directly contravened their land claim agreements, which included the creation and management of these boards. Reconciliation is not an empty word to our government.
    Actions must follow words in order to move forward and work toward real, lasting and positive change in the relationship between Canada and indigenous peoples. The bill before us today proposes to reverse the board restructuring and reintroduce the other regulatory amendments that have also been on hold. Simply put, indigenous people have the right to oversee how their lands are used, and also to share in the wealth.
    Bill C-88 would integrate the perspectives of indigenous people into the future usage of lands and water on their territories by including and incorporating indigenous views and perspectives into the decision-making regarding land and resources.

  (1335)  

    We must work together to improve the quality of life of indigenous peoples in Canada, and key to achieving this goal is indigenous control over indigenous lands. In order to protect the integrity of land claim agreements and treaty rights, the importance of engagement and consultation must be respected.
    The Gwich'in, Sahtu and Tlicho stood up and made it clear that they wanted their voices heard and their rights acknowledged and respected. This bill will ensure that they continue to have a say in what happens to the lands and water they preside over.
    I mentioned earlier that there are other amendments in this bill besides those aimed at fixing the restructuring part that has been on hold the past four or so years, so not all of the previous government's amendments were off base. However, they are all tangled up in their restructuring error.
    This bill reintroduces these amendments. There are regional studies, board term provisions and new regulatory authorities, to name a few. The amendment to the Canadian Petroleum Resources Act would enable the science-based review currently under way in the Beaufort Sea to be completed without interruption, while at the same time preventing the existing oil and gas rights in the Arctic offshore from expiring before the conclusion of the review. After a one-year consultation with existing rights holders, territorial governments and indigenous governments, everyone agreed on the importance of protecting the unique Arctic offshore environment while pursuing responsible oil and gas activity.
    True reconciliation cannot occur until indigenous governments and organizations are fully included in the management of lands and resources in the north. We need to bring the voices of indigenous people into the process in order to have a broader and more complete view of the future of Canada's natural resources. As the Prime Minister has said, “Together, we can build a world where the rights of Indigenous peoples are respected, where their voices are honoured, and where their communities thrive.”
    The bill we are debating today will ensure that the unique perspectives of indigenous governments, leaders and communities will be heard and listened to. I urge all of my colleagues today to recognize the importance of incorporating an indigenous perspective into the future decision-making of our natural resources sector and to support this important legislation.
    Mr. Speaker, I cannot imagine Christmas holidays at the house of my colleague from Northwest Territories. When the moratorium was imposed on offshore drilling, his brother, who is the premier, was absolutely outraged.
    The member talks about the importance of having that conversation. Perhaps he can tell members whether he deems what occurred to be adequate consultation with the people who will be most impacted by that decision?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to point out first of all that the Beaufort Sea was not included in the devolution agreement. It was a real frustration to the Government of the Northwest Territories of the day that this one key component that would generate revenues was not included. The Norman Wells oil field was also not included as part of the devolution process.
    As we moved forward, the moratorium was brought forward. We should recognize that there was really no activity going on in the Beaufort Sea. I went back and looked at how much money was invested during the five years prior to that. In the five years leading up to this decision, $7 million was invested.
    I invite the member to visit some of my coastal communities in the Northwest Territories to talk with some of the Inuvialuit people living there. They are very proud and resilient. They want to have Canadian living standards, like everyone else. They want the economy to thrive. However, they also want to protect their traditional lifestyle. They are very good at hunting and fishing, and supplementing their incomes. They are worried now about climate change. They are worried about oil spills that we do not know how to clean up.
    This is timely. We now have the Government of Northwest Territories. We have the indigenous governments. We have the Inuvialuit doing a scientific review. A lot of work has been done, and we are in a better position to make a decision on this.

  (1340)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his advocacy for the north. He talks about how important it is to have meaningful consultation and to gain meaningful revenues from resource development for the people in the north.
    The challenge we are having across many sectors is with the uncertainty from the policies of the current government. One in particular that keeps coming up is the carbon tax. The member knows that his party has put forth a schedule out to 2022, when we will have a $50 per tonne carbon tax, but nothing after that is specified for up to 2030. The environment minister stood here last week to say that the Liberals were following the advice of the UN report that sees a carbon tax of up to $5,500 per tonne by 2030. The range between $50 a tonne and $5,500 per tonne in an eight-year period is significant. When companies and resource-development companies are making once-in-a-generation investments, they need certainty.
    Could he please tell the House what is the recommended price for carbon, or the carbon tax, by the Liberal Party for 2030?
    Mr. Speaker, as I travel in my riding in the Northwest Territories, I talk to many people, including the the Chamber of Mines, and I meet with the chamber of commerce. I have talked with a lot of the organizations and industries in the Northwest Territories that want to expand. There are several very challenging factors for us in the Northwest Territories.
    One challenge is to have certainty with regard to the lands. We are experiencing several sets of negotiations, some of which have been ongoing for longer than 30 years, and industry would like to see certainty. Industry leaders want to see indigenous governments resolve the land tenure issue. That would provide certainty. The indigenous governments want to stand shoulder to shoulder with other governments to participate in the benefits that industry would bring, but they cannot do that until the land tenure issue has been resolved.
    The second issue that industry has flagged as recently as several months ago is that we need to invest more in infrastructure. If we are going to provide certainty through a settlement of land claims and self-government, we also have to lower the cost of exploration in the Northwest Territories. That means more airports, better airports, bigger airports. We also need proper roads. We only have 12 communities that are serviced by roads right now, and if we are going to attract industries, we are going to have to start providing transportation infrastructure so that they can come at a reasonable cost. Otherwise, it does not make sense for the industries to come when it costs them three or four times more to operate in the Northwest Territories, or anywhere in the north for that matter, than it does in other parts of Canada or the world.
    Those are the issues we have to sort out.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be here today to show my support for Bill C-88, while acknowledging that we are gathering on the unceded traditional territory of the Algonquin people.
    Our government is taking a new approach. We are currently conducting extensive consultations with indigenous governments and organizations as well as other key stakeholders on issues that will affect them. This process has helped create a law from which all Canadians can benefit.
    Bill C-88 amends the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act in direct response to concerns expressed by indigenous groups affected by the previous piece of legislation as well as comments from key stakeholders.
    Our indigenous partners have made their opinions quite clear. The Tlicho government and Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated applied to the courts in 2014 and 2015 respectively to defend their rights in accordance with their individual land claim and self-government agreements.
    The bill we are debating today corrects the problems caused by the Conservatives and responds directly to the concerns expressed by indigenous governments and organizations. As part of the ongoing reconciliation process, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations asked departmental officials to initiate an ongoing dialogue with indigenous organizations and governments in the Northwest Territories to address their concerns.
    On September 23, 2016, the minister sent letters to indigenous groups and stakeholders launching consultations on the draft bill to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act in order to address these issues.
    Bill C-88 is the result of consultations with indigenous organizations and governments in the Mackenzie Valley, transboundary organizations and governments, resource co-management boards and oil and gas industry organizations.
    In addition to indigenous organizations and governments, Canada consulted the Government of the Northwest Territories. Our government also consulted members of the mining and gas and oil industries, including the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines, the Mining Association of Canada, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
    Ongoing consultations over the long term with key stakeholders have provided Canada with invaluable insight into the practical nature of the bill before us today. The comments from our partners provided unique perspectives and useful guidance which, in the end, led to the drafting of this bill. That is why proper consultation is important.
    Canada recognizes that the Conservatives' legislation was drafted without enough consultation. That is why the Government of Canada ensured that the voices of indigenous groups, the government of the Northwest Territories, and industry representatives were heard at every stage of the process—from initial discussions through to drafting and review. Bringing together stakeholders is the key to developing effective policies and practices. The Government of Canada is holding extensive consultations in order to create processes that satisfy the needs of all parties. That ensures that the final product serves everyone in a positive and productive manner and gets rid of any possible uncertainty regarding natural resources.
    In March, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations met with industry groups to better understand their opinion on developing and co-managing resources in the north. Industry plays a major role in creating a stronger and better relationship with governments and indigenous organizations when it comes to protecting, managing and developing Canada's natural resources.
    In order to truly make progress on the path to reconciliation with indigenous peoples, industry must be taken into consideration as a key strategic partner alongside all levels of government. By bringing together all the stakeholders, every concern will be addressed as it is raised.

  (1345)  

    If passed, the amendments this bill makes will contribute to the more efficient, predictable and consistent use and management of land, water and natural resources in the Mackenzie Valley. With the creation of a clearer path for governments and organizations in terms of natural resource management, industry will no longer face the potential uncertainty that hinders its ability to invest in northern Canada.
    This law will enhance economic opportunities and growth while protecting the environment for future generations. It addresses concerns expressed by indigenous organizations and governments and respects the framework flowing from their constitutionally protected land claim and self-government agreements. It recognizes the importance of having indigenous peoples actively participate in the co-management of natural resources and of protecting their right to monitor the future of their territory.
    The environment, the economy and reconciliation go hand in hand. We need to create a more effective system for everyone, and that is exactly what Bill C-88 accomplishes. I encourage my hon. colleagues to support it.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, at the end of his speech, he said the Liberals would be creating a more efficient system. The reason Bill C-15 amalgamated the boards was based out the McCrank report, which had indicated some significant issues in efficiency, capacity and ability to do things. Therefore, basically the Liberals are reversing things.
    The Liberals intend to go back to the original system. What have they done to respond to the issues in the McCrank report outline some serious efficiency problems? On the face of it, what they are doing is moving from what was proposed to be a much more robust system to something more inefficient.

  (1350)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is important to recognize that we need to consult with indigenous peoples. Whether the government passes laws that would be kiboshed by the courts is at issue here. To get on the pathway to reconciliation, it is important for our government to consult with indigenous peoples. As well, yes, we need to consult with industry. This process would ensure that.
    Mr. Speaker, I was really encouraged when the member made some important comments. He said that for this, industry was extremely important and that it needed clarity. His colleague from the Northwest Territories also said that. Therefore, my question for him is the same one I wanted to ask his colleague.
     When companies make these once-in-a-generation investments, whether it is an automotive plant or resource development, they need certainty. The Liberals brought in a new policy, their carbon tax, and have only let Canadians know what the price will be until 2022, which is $50 per tonne. However, the United Nations report, which the environment minister has said she is following, states that it could be up to $5,500 per tonne. The member will know that there is a huge gap between $5,500 a tonne and $50 a tonne. When planning for these huge investments with new regulations, if companies do not have that certainty, they cannot make the investments.
     What will be the Liberals' price on carbon be in 2030 so these companies, which need to invest now in these once-in-a-generation developments, can go forward with confidence knowing what their costs will be?
    Mr. Speaker, I will not be able to tell him what the price on carbon will be by 2020 because I am not sure if we will still be here. However, under Stephen Harper, the price was going to be $60 a tonne in 2018. I am wondering if the Conservatives are finally going to get on board with providing the industry with predictability? We have told it that it will be $10 per tonne in 2018, $20 per tonne in 2019, $30 per tonne in 2020 and $50 per tonne by 2022.
    Does he accept the same position as Stephen Harper, who declared in 2008 that in a decade it would be $60 per tonne? Therefore, today in 2018, it would have been at $60 per tonne.
    Mr. Speaker, this bill will look to fix some of the problems created by the previous government.
    As our government moves to ensure we move forward on the path of true Truth and Reconciliation, I wonder if my hon. colleague has any additional comments on how the bill would ensure recognize the importance of indigenous rights and move toward reconciliation.
    Mr. Speaker, we have seen in the past where governments have passed laws. Fortunately, the courts have kiboshed the decisions, because the laws did not respect our Constitution and indigenous peoples.
    This bill is a good step forward in reconciling with indigenous peoples, providing clarity to the industry and to them. It is a good step forward to reconciliation.
    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise to begin my remarks on Bill C-88.
     I will be sharing my time with my colleague for Yellowhead.
    Bill C-88 speaks to the general context in which we think about oil and gas development in Canada. It speaks to the framework that the government has put in place that allows or does not allow important projects to go forward. I will speak in more general terms about some of those issues during the five minutes I have before question period. After question period, I will continue and speak more specifically about some of the issues that are dealt with directly in Bill C-88.
    I am pleased to represent an oil and gas riding. We have something called the “industrial heartland”. We benefit, in particular, from the downstream refining and upgrading component to the energy sector. However, we have many people from our riding who are involved in the direct extraction of our energy resources as well.
    Sometimes we hear points made in the House that somehow we should choose between the issue of getting pipelines developed or getting value-added processing done in Canada. People in my community, which is a hub of value-added processing, are very supportive of pipeline development as well. It is not an either/or. In fact, we can do both at the same time. Indeed, we need infrastructure to get our resources to market. At the same time, we are very supportive of policy proposals that facilitate greater energy-related manufacturing and otherwise taking place within Canada.
    Under the previous government, we saw four pipelines get built and a number of other projects were in process at the time when there was a change in government. What was the current government's approach when it came to developing vital energy resources? First, it directly killed the northern gateway pipeline project and passed a tanker exclusion bill that sought to make the export of our energy resources from northern B.C. impossible. Even if there were to be a new project proposed that went through all the consultation requirements, that still would be unable to succeed because of Bill C-48.
    The government piled all sorts of new conditions on the energy east pipeline project, which led to a decision not to proceed with it. However, let us be very clear. It was the Liberal government changing the rules in the middle of a process, adding additional conditions, that prevented that from going forward. Of course, we have seen its failure thus far with respect to the Trans Mountain pipeline as well. This is really having a chilling effect on development.
    I look forward to continuing my remarks after question period.

  (1355)  

    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan will have seven minutes remaining in his speech following question period.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Brampton West

    Mr. Speaker, my riding of Brampton West is home to many small businesses. These businesses provide jobs to help people from all walks of life and are the backbone of our economy.
    A few weeks ago, I was proud to welcome the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion to my riding to meet with small business owners and talk about how our government is supporting them.
    We had the opportunity visit Gem's House of Jerk, a Caribbean inspired restaurant with four locations around Brampton serving the community for 27 years. There we met the owner, Lloyd McDowell, better known in the community as Gem, who started the business at the age of just 19. We heard about the business's success and discussed our government's priorities over a plate of delicious jerk chicken.
    With lower taxes for small businesses and investments in middle-class Canadians made by our government, I know Gem's House of Jerk will be around for years to come, serving up thousands of plates of delicious Caribbean delights.

Gerry Benson

    Mr. Speaker, last month, my riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry said goodbye to Gerry Benson, a figure who has contributed much to our community over the years. Gerry was a very successful business person employing over 1,000 individuals, but Gerry was also a very generous man. His passion for giving back to his community was well known.
    His charity golf tournament has raised over half a million dollars that was donated to local charities. Gerry also had a passion for education and making sure that those living in Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry had access to world-class educational opportunities. His legacy will live on through the St. Lawrence College automotive training facility, the university credit transfer agreements he helped to broker, and the creation of the Cornwall Innovation Centre.
    He will be deeply missed by his community but more importantly by his wife Claudette; his children Marty, James, Kelly and Joy; and his six grandchildren.
     I thank Gerry, for everything he has contributed to our community over the years. He will be greatly missed.

  (1400)  

Calgary Centre

    Mr. Speaker, last week, I announced a $21-million investment in 16 Alberta businesses, with 11 in Calgary alone. The money will help them scale up, create jobs, and get their products to market faster both at home and abroad.
    The Calgary companies receiving support are: Aimsio, ATTAbotics, Enersoft, FLYHT Aerospace Solutions, Kent Imaging, Nanalysis, PK Sound, QuirkLogic, Recover Energy Services, Userful Corporation and Veerum. These investments are coming through our western innovation initiative fund, a program that proves our commitment to ensuring that Alberta businesses can achieve even greater success.
    It is just another example of how our federal Liberal government is investing in creating jobs and diversifying our economy.

Urban Native Youth Association

    Mr. Speaker, I am very excited to share in the House the excellent work that Urban Native Youth Association is doing in my riding of Vancouver East.
     Formed in 1988, UNYA serves as one of four Vancouver youth hubs. It is also partnered with over 265 community organizations. It is widely recognized for its excellent programming, strong youth engagement, fiscal responsibility and financial stability. UNYA is forging ahead in its plan to develop native youth centre at the corner of Hastings and Commercial streets.
    The 48,000 square foot space will eventually host 14 of UNYA's 20 programs and house a suite of facilities including a library, computer lab, gym, social enterprise café, spiritual space, arts and cultural rooms, community kitchen and more. Adjacent to the site is the complementary and critical housing component.
    Realizing this dream will require collaboration and support from all levels of government. In particular, federal infrastructure funding is needed. I call on the federal government to commit to investing in this project.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today in my role as the chair of the Parliamentary Friends of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at. The work of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at in Canada has always had a peaceful message of love for all and hatred for none.
    This initiative is part of an ongoing effort undertaken to showcase the peaceful nature and beauty of their faith while continuing to call on global powers to advance an agenda of peace, religious freedom, and the advancement of human rights in Canada and around the world.
    I encourage all members of Parliament to join me tonight at the third speaker series event to learn more. I am very fortunate to have many Ahmadiyya community members in my riding of Humber River—Black Creek and I am blessed to enjoy a wonderful friendship with them all.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, many jurors suffer from mental health issues arising from their jury service, and yet they are prevented from getting the full mental health support they require because of the jury secrecy rule, which prohibits jurors from disclosing their experiences during the jury deliberation process for life, even to a mental health professional. My private member's bill, Bill C-417, would change that. Consistent with the unanimous recommendation of a justice committee, it would carve out a narrow exception to the rule so that jurors could disclose their experiences to a mental health professional, post-trial, in a totally confidential setting. It would protect the integrity of the jury secrecy rule, while allowing jurors to get the help that they need.
    I urge the speedy passage of Bill C-417.

[Translation]

Eco2FEST

    Mr. Speaker, the third edition of Eco2FEST wrapped up on November 23. This year was the first time the event had been held in Verdun. Eco2FEST is a festival that brings together different disciplines and sectors to explore new approaches to the economy and design.

[English]

    Over the course of three weeks, the éco2FEST team brought together people from all over Montreal, with many directly from Verdun, to discuss important topics such as the future of the collaborative economy, public policies, housing and urban agriculture.

  (1405)  

[Translation]

    I had the pleasure of contributing to the program by participating in the round table on the theme of public policy and its role in supporting responsible progress.

[English]

    Following the festival, the team has set up a co-working space, an exchange space and a fab lab makerspace in the heart of Verdun, in the basement of the Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs Church, creating a new public space for citizens of all ages to meet and discover new technologies.
    I invite members to come and visit Verdun.

[Translation]

Laurentian Association for the Hearing Impaired

    Mr. Speaker, today, people around the world are celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
    This year's theme focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. To that end, I would like to pay tribute to the Association des personnes avec problèmes auditifs des Laurentides, or APPAL, which has been working for 30 years to improve the quality of life of hearing-impaired people in the Laurentian region.
    I would like to take this opportunity to salute the volunteers of APPAL. I especially want to thank Marylyn Laurier, the executive director, for her tireless dedication to helping hearing-impaired people in our region.

Immigration

    Mr. Speaker, do you know how much the Prime Minister's ill-advised #WelcomeToCanada tweet has cost Canadian taxpayers? According to the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, it has cost us $1.1 billion.
    That billion dollars should have been used to shorten wait times for companies, like those in Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, hoping to legally bring in the foreign workers they so desperately need. Instead, wait times are exploding for those who follow the rules. Under the Liberals, the wait time has grown from 3 weeks to 24 weeks. That means nearly six months to confirm the obvious: the jobs are there, but there are not enough people to fill them. With unemployment at 2.4% in Chaudière-Appalaches, that is no surprise.
    It is simple. Instead of spending tons of money on illegal migration, when will the Liberals stop penalizing companies by making them wait forever for following the rules?

[English]

World AIDS Day

    Mr. Speaker, on Friday, I met with the Peel HIV-AIDS Network to discuss how we can do more. Together, we recognize World Aids Day on December 1.
     HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is one of the world's most serious public health challenges. Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, more than 70 million people have been affected. Today, there are approximately 36.7 million people living with HIV-AIDS around the world. World AIDS Day is a day of remembrance and rededication. It is a day for remembering those who lost their lives and loved ones. It is a day to be grateful for those who continue to provide care, employment and hope for those with HIV-AIDS.

Hanukkah

    Mr. Speaker, Sunday night was the first night of Hanukkah. This festival of lights commemorates the victory of the Maccabees and the subsequent miracle of rededicating the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and restoring its menorah.

[Translation]

    For eight days, Jews around the world will celebrate by lighting a hanukkiah, feasting and playing games with family and friends.

[English]

    However, despite the joy of this festive season, we still remember those massacred in Pittsburgh last month and take note of the rising rates of anti-Semitism in Canada and across the world. Intolerance today is by no means confined to anti-Semitism.
    I call on all members of this House to work together on a plan of action to combat hate, including online hate. Canadian Jews seeing their leaders taking concrete measures to combat bigotry would be the best Hanukkah present of all.

Lethbridge

    Mr. Speaker, at the G20 summit, the Prime Minister talked about the so-called social impacts that male construction workers have on rural areas. He suggested that hard-working blue-collar men are dangerous and a threat to the well-being of our communities.
     I have a lot of these men in my riding. Therefore, I would like to talk about the impacts they have. They leave tips at our restaurants, at barber shops and with our drivers. They fill up their trucks at gas stations. They buy coffee from local Tim Hortons. They sleep in our hotels. They take care of their families. They pay their taxes. They build the roads, bridges, schools and hospitals that we use each and every day.
    If the Prime Minister wants to talk about men who have a negative impact on rural communities, he should look no further than the person in the mirror. My riding and indeed all of Canada would benefit greatly if he addressed the problem staring back at him.

  (1410)  

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

    Mr. Speaker, today is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This year's theme, “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”, is at the heart of the Government of Canada's commitment to build a Canada without barriers.
    In June, our government introduced Bill C-81, the accessible Canada act, which if passed will address barriers to accessibility in the federal jurisdiction.
    Earlier today, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility announced that Canada has acceded to the optional protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This means that Canadians will have additional recourse if they believe their rights under the convention have been violated.
    These actions speak to our dedication to creating a truly inclusive and accessible Canada. Please join me in celebrating people with disabilities and the significant contributions they make to Canadian society.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, when the Liberals began renegotiating NAFTA in 2017, they promised to defend dairy, poultry and egg farmers, to bring in progressive measures like gender rights, labour rights, an indigenous chapter and stronger environmental protections. We know now that in the final deal Canada lost out on all these fronts.
    NAFTA 2.0 also makes medications even more expensive. The extension of patents on specific drugs means costs for people living with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's and other chronic conditions will increase. Hello, anybody in there? Canadians are calling for a national pharmacare plan. This deal makes it more expensive to implement.
    We in Windsor and Essex County know the hard reality of trade agreements negotiated in haste to advance a corporate agenda. It appears the current government has learned nothing.
    It is time we change how these deals are done. It is time we put people first. It is time multinationals, banks and—
    Order. The hon. member for Prince Albert.

President George Bush

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay my deepest respect to the Bush family on the passing of a great friend to Canada, the 41st president of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush. President Bush had a long and successful record of serving the American people before taking his chair in the oval office.
    His strong leadership would help end Communism in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union would collapse as the winds of freedom and democracy blew across eastern Europe and Ukraine.
     It was President Bush and former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney who spearheaded the North American Free Trade Agreement. In 1992, he called the agreement, “the beginning of a new era”, and a new era it was. It was a partnership and a friendship that benefited all three countries.
    At the completion of his term, Bush left a letter in the oval office for incoming President Bill Clinton. In it there was no hostility, no animosity, no name calling, just encouragement, kindness and well wishes. Bush was always a gentleman who brought honour to the office in which he served.
     On behalf of the Conservative Party, may I offer all Americans our sincerest condolences.

[Translation]

The Francophonie

    Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, a wave of collective action swept over 40 communities in Ontario and nine communities across Canada. The Franco-Ontarian flag even flew over Quebec's National Assembly in a unanimous show of solidarity. Over 14,000 people came out to protest against the Ford government's decision to scrap the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner and the proposed French-language university.
    December 1 is a date that will go down in history. Every generation was represented, including thousands of youth. Everyone came together to speak with one voice.

[English]

    This weekend there was a sentiment of solidarity across Ottawa, Ontario and Canada to defend official languages and respect for minority rights. It was amazing to see so many Franco-Ontarian flags in Ottawa.

[Translation]

    This is not over. The fight goes on. The resistance movement is in full swing. We are here, and here we will stay.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

  (1415)  

[English]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has lived a celebrity lifestyle off of his family fortune and now he is trying to build that celebrity lifestyle off of Canadians' tax dollars. He is sending out tweets to win celebrity friends. Meanwhile, the working people back home who pay the bills are under attack by his “no more pipelines” Bill C-69.
    The NDP government in Alberta, the pipeline association and the TransCanada pipelines company have all called for the government to withdraw this bill. Will the Liberals withdraw the “no more pipelines” Bill C-69?
    Mr. Speaker, we inherited a very flawed process of environmental review from the previous government. That has led to the failure of a number of infrastructure projects, including pipelines, that could not move forward.
    We are focused on fixing the previous government's flawed process by passing Bill C-69 which would allow good projects to move forward and would allow one review for every project. That is what we are focused on. That is what we will continue to deliver.
    Mr. Speaker, at a glitzy international conference last week, the Prime Minister attacked energy workers, saying that male construction workers go to rural communities and cause negative social and gender impact. While he is trying to build his international celebrity abroad, he is killing the livelihoods of working Canadians back at home. His “no more pipelines” Bill C-69 has been condemned by the industry, the Alberta government and numerous aboriginal communities.
     Will the Prime Minister finally scrap his “no more pipelines” Bill C-69?
    Mr. Speaker, it is that kind of divisive politics, pitting one community against the other, pitting indigenous communities against other communities, that has put us in this place to start with.
    Bill C-69 would allow us to have a process in place that would allow good projects to move forward in a timely and efficient manner. We are focused on expanding our non-U.S. global market, and we are focused on building pipelines that allow us to do that. Bill C-69 is the process to get us there.
    Mr. Speaker, that the Liberals would dare talk about divisive rhetoric after the Prime Minister, the limousine Liberal, went down to Argentina at an international conference while our workers are struggling at home, and he insulted them and accused them of creating negative social and gender impacts, is absolutely disgusting and appalling. The first thing the government should do is apologize for that despicable rhetoric. When will the Liberals apologize for insulting working men and women, and scrap the “no more pipelines” bill at the same time?
    Mr. Speaker, let us look at the record of the previous government, how it failed to protect the energy sector and how it failed to expand our non-U.S. global market. When the Conservatives got into office in 2005, 99% of Alberta's oil was exported to the United States. When they left office in 2015, 99% of Alberta's oil was still exported to the United States. That is the failure of the Conservative government.

[Translation]

Ethics

     Mr. Speaker, according to the National Post, the City of Brampton asked the RCMP to investigate a troubling situation.
    Two Liberal members, including the Minister of Innovation, received confidential information about the price the City of Brampton offered the Ontario government in a land deal. What happened? A private sector company purchased the land only to resell it quickly at a huge profit.
    My question for the minister is simple. How is he connected to that company?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the allegations that the member opposite is making are categorically false. If he has the courage of his convictions to make these allegations, I strongly recommend he go outside the House to make those same remarks.

  (1420)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I do not understand why the minister is being so defensive. If he has done nothing wrong, why will he not answer the questions he is being asked? At least one of the company's directors took part in the Prime Minister's disastrous trip to India. The minister even took a photo with one of the company's directors, who is also a former Liberal riding association president. On top of that, many of the company's directors are Liberal Party donors.
    It is a simple question. Did the RCMP contact the minister and, if so, when?
    Mr. Speaker, any insinuation that the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development committed any wrongdoing is false, and if the member would care to repeat that outside the House, he will hear from the minister's lawyer.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, from 2014 to 2016, the United States circumvented the supply management system by exporting diafiltered milk to Canada. Despite the fact that dairy producers were losing over $200 million a year, the Liberals did not lift a finger to help. Producers had to take matters into their own hands and come to an agreement with the major processors, thereby creating a new milk class called class 7. By capitulating to Trump and signing the deal with the United States, the Liberals undid all that work and gave this high-protein American milk unlimited access to the Canadian market.
    Will the Liberals also compensate dairy producers for this sabotage?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, our government defended the supply management system against the U.S. government that indicated it wanted to dismantle it.
    We know that our dairy, poultry and egg farmers provide the highest quality of products for Canadians at a reasonable price and take care of our rural communities. We are committed to fully and fairly supporting our farmers to make sure they continue to expand in this country. We have and will continue to support our dairy farmers.

Automotive Industry

    Mr. Speaker, that is the thing. Diafiltered milk is outside the supply management system.

[Translation]

    The announced closure of the GM plant is devastating for the families of 2,500 workers and their communities, but it is not just workers in Oshawa who are concerned about their families. All auto workers across Canada are worried. The Prime Minister needs to do more than simply express his disappointment. He needs to show leadership and call an emergency summit on the automotive industry by the end of next week with unions, the industry, the provinces and the mayors of the communities whose economies depend on the automotive sector.
    Will he do that?
     Mr. Speaker, our automotive sector remains strong. It is well placed to build the clean, connected cars of today and tomorrow. We will always stand with our automotive sector and our workers. We will continue to work with the automotive sector, and we will continue to defend our workers.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is in Oshawa today with auto workers after GM has turned its back on them.
    The GM plant closure is devastating for the families of 2,500 workers and for thousands more whose livelihoods have depended on that plant for 100 years.
    The Liberals have yet to act. They have no emergency plan. There have been no emergency meetings. What is the Prime Minister waiting for? GM did not build Oshawa; Oshawa built GM, and it is time to fight for good jobs.
    Will the Liberals listen to the NDP and call for an urgent meeting with industry, labour and all of government to find solutions to fight for these jobs?
    Mr. Speaker, of course this is disappointing news for Oshawa. The reason it is so disappointing, as the member opposite has mentioned, is that Oshawa has a long and proud history, over 100 years, when it comes to General Motors.
    That is why we have actually worked with GM and are working with the union as well. I have spoken with the local municipal leadership. I have spoken with my provincial counterpart as well. GM has made a big mistake by turning its back on the workers in Oshawa.
    We will not make that mistake. We will continue to defend the auto workers and we will continue to support this very important sector.

  (1425)  

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, if the Liberals want to see a leader in this House who defends workers, they should call the by-election.
    Just last week, with the stroke of a pen, the Prime Minister made it clear that it is more important to please Donald Trump than to protect Canadians. This is shameful.
     He signed an agreement without removing Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum that threaten thousands of jobs, and a deal that compromises Canadian sovereignty over our dairy industry, giving the U.S. power to interfere in the regulation of our supply management system. This is wrong.
    Why is the Prime Minister so willing to sacrifice so much to Donald Trump?
    Mr. Speaker, New Democrats say one thing in the House, but behind closed doors they admit this is the deal to protect Canadian jobs. The NDP leader celebrated the deal during a recent event in Ottawa, and the NDP member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, who is also the NDP Quebec lieutenant, called the new NAFTA the best deal possible.
    We will continue to fight for good Canadian jobs. That is exactly what we did over the weekend and will continue to do in the future.

Member for Brampton East

    Mr. Speaker, it is getting to the point where we need a criminal investigation flow chart to understand the relationship between a Liberal MP, a Liberal minister, the Prime Minister, a clutch of Liberal financial supporters and three RCMP investigations. Now we have learned that the City of Brampton wants the Mounties to investigate a land deal after confidential information was allegedly passed to the member for Brampton East and the Minister of Economic Development.
    It is time for the Liberals to drop the “We don't comment on RCMP investigations” stalling and tell Canadians the truth.
    Mr. Speaker, as I have said, any insinuation of wrongdoing by the Minister of Innovation is absolutely false, and repeating it outside the chamber will be met with a strong response from the minister's lawyer.
    If the member has courage to say it in this place where he is protected, why does the member not have the courage to say it outside the House?

Prime Minister's Trip to India

    Mr. Speaker, let us get specific. The Prime Minister's Office now says that the PM did not invite any of the business people who joined his ill-fated trip to India. The member for Brampton East, who said he would resign because of a gambling addiction and did not, says he did not invite a director of the Goreway Heaven company involved in the suspect Brampton real estate deal, and the economic development minister claims ignorance of it all.
     Again, will the Liberals at least tell us who invited the Goreway Heaven executives on the Prime Minister's trip to India.
    Mr. Speaker, it is fascinating how quickly we see a change of channels by the member, because knows he can make comments inside the House where he is protected by privilege, but he will not make those comments outside of this place where he is not protected.
    When it comes to the member's question, we know that the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is studying the issue. It would be inappropriate to comment on the issue until the report is tabled.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the member for Brampton East is at the centre of some murky Liberal intrigue. Controversy swirls around close ties to a real estate company and shady transactions, leaving us all in a state of confusion.
    Why did a director of that company just happen to be a part of the Prime Minister's free trip to India? Who invited him to go at taxpayers' expense?
    Mr. Speaker, the member told us he was dealing with a number of problems for which he was receiving treatment from a health professional.
    As Speaker, you were informed that the member was no longer part of the Liberal caucus. We hope he is getting the help he needs. In answer to the question, the member should know that the report has not been tabled in the House and that we cannot comment on the situation until the report is tabled.
    Mr. Speaker, now that the story is out in the open, the Prime Minister's Office denies having invited that particular company director, as does the member for Brampton East. However, all those people most certainly went on the Prime Minister's trip to India.
    Enough ping-ponging. Canadians have the right to know who invited that real estate director to join the Prime Minister's VIP trip to India.

  (1430)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians has studied this issue, and it would be inappropriate to comment until the report is tabled.

Member for Brampton East

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister now admits that he and his office were well aware that the Liberal MP for Brampton East was under police investigation for months, yet the Prime Minister kept him in the Liberal caucus and kept him on the finance committee while it was performing a critical study on proceeds of crime legislation. In fact, the Liberal MP was the subject of two RCMP investigations and another one by the Ontario Provincial Police.
    Why did it take three police investigations before the Prime Minister finally stopped covering for the Liberal MP for Brampton East?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have mentioned, the member told us that he is addressing certain challenges and is receiving treatment from a health professional. The Speaker has been informed that he is no longer a member of the Liberal caucus. We hope that he receives the support he needs.
    I am not sure where the comments by members opposite come from, but it is clear that they do not recognize that when it comes to our security agencies, when it comes to the RCMP, when it comes to police investigations, they occur independently of government. Government does not tell them who to investigate. Obviously it is a different approach from the Conservatives'.
    Mr. Speaker, speaking of national security advisors, Dick Fadden, the former national security advisor to the present Prime Minister, told the media that he had a great deal of difficulty believing that no one in the PMO was aware of these investigations of the Liberal MP for Brampton East.
    The Prime Minister now admits that he knew for months that a sitting Liberal MP was under investigation, and that investigation now involves national security, drug money laundering and international terrorism.
    Why did the Prime Minister cover up for the Liberal MP for so long?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have stated inside the House and as we have stated outside the House, it was less than two weeks ago that we were notified of any concerns. The member came to us to let us know that he was dealing with certain challenges.
    When it comes to the RCMP, it works independently of the government. We do not undermine our security officials. We do not undermine officers of Parliament, like the Conservatives' used to do.
    Mr. Speaker, rather than threatening MPs with lawsuits, maybe the Liberals should try answering some questions in this place.
    While they are tragic, gambling problems do not launch ethics investigations nor do they have one tailed by the RCMP.
    In a confessional video released by the member for Brampton East, more questions were raised than were answered. Troubling behaviour by the MP going back months raised red flags for the RCMP, but apparently not for the Liberals.
    This whole scandal raises disturbing questions about the Prime Minister's own competence. How is it possible that Conservative senators and the entire media gallery knew more about this issue than the Prime Minister's own office did?
    Mr. Speaker, that member, as I have said before, has been in this place for a long time and he should know very well that when it comes to the RCMP, it works independently of the government.
    We respect the work that the RCMP will do. We have no doubt that it will ask the right questions and find the right solutions. We will not speculate as the Conservatives and the NDP have partnered to do on this issue.
    When it comes to the member's issues, we know that they are grave issues. We hope that he receives the support he needs.

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, the member for Brampton East is providing us with more plot twists than binge night on Netflix.
    But it is the drama concerning the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development that concerns me, particularly whether insider information was used in a land deal that went down with Goreway Heaven, a company with deep ties to the Liberal Party who were also on that disastrous India trip.
    It is reported that the City of Brampton has taken the extraordinary step of referring this issue to the RCMP.
    To reassure the House, will the minister tell us whether or not his name has been referred to the RCMP? It is a simple question.
    Mr. Speaker, any innuendoes or allegations made by the member opposite are categorically false.
    The member knows full well that he is making these allegations in the House, where he has parliamentary privilege. If he wants to make these same remarks, I recommend he make them outside the House.

  (1435)  

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, this is where we should be talking about the real issues, but the Liberals are reluctant to do that. They are incapable of doing that.
    Last week, we learned that the Prime Minister's “Welcome to Canada” tweet will cost Canadians $1.1 billion. That is on top of the millions of dollars Quebec will have to pay.
    Next week, the Prime Minister plans to sign, on behalf of Canada, a UN pact on open borders. It is another breach of our sovereignty.
    When will the Prime Minister close the loophole in the safe third country agreement and withdraw Canada from the UN's global compact for migration?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague knows full well that the government is working hard with our security services and its partners, including the Government of Quebec, to resolve the situation with asylum seekers.
    He also knows full well that the number of asylum seekers is going down. He is also well aware that we have responsibilities under international law. Canada intends to meet its obligations, but also ensure that Canadians remain safe.
    Mr. Speaker, let's talk about security. What this government intends to do is erase Canada's borders. The Canada Border Services Agency recently revealed that it only intercepts 3%—I did say 3%—of dangerous goods and at-risk people from entering Canada. This is happening while the Prime Minister sends out tweets that end up costing Canadians $1 billion.
    When will the Prime Minister actually strengthen our borders instead of further erasing them by signing the UN global compact for migration?
    Mr. Speaker, contrary to the Conservatives' rhetoric about asylum seekers, we would like to point out that approximately 40% of those who have crossed the border into Canada are children.
    The Harper Conservatives were penny-wise and pound foolish when they cut $400 million from border security services. They should be ashamed to ask questions about the security of our borders.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, there is a problem with the Liberals giving Canadians false assurances that the UN global compact for migration is non-binding. Non-binding agreements can become customary international law and inform the interpretation of domestic law. This means that Canadian judges can cite this declaration in their decisions.
    After spending $1.1 billion on illegal border crossers, will the Prime Minister reverse his policy of border erasure and refuse to sign the UN global compact for migration?
    Mr. Speaker, I am proud of the fact that the global compact for migration is an example of Canadian leadership abroad. Most of the document is based on best practices from Canada. It is about the orderly management of migration. It is about recognizing Canada's success with integration and settlement. Only a Conservative with a broken immigration record would find a problem with our sharing our best practices with the world. When it comes to making sure that we export the privately sponsored refugee program or our success with economic immigration, we will sign the agreement.
    Mr. Speaker, spending $1.1 billion on people who illegally enter the country from the safe spaces of New York should be a best practice that Canada does not export anywhere.
    The idea that Canada's immigration policy can be informed or controlled by something outside our nation should be of grave concern, and given the Prime Minister's demonstrated inability and unwillingness to secure our borders, will the Prime Minister today reverse his border-erasing policy and withdraw Canada from the UN global compact for migration?
    Mr. Speaker, our record speaks for itself: faster processing of spousal sponsorships, reuniting more families than ever before, making sure that we invite people to become Canadian citizens when they have contributed so much to this country. What is despicable is the record of that party: cutting refugee health care, putting obstacles before people who wish to become Canadian citizens, bragging about Yazidis when it only brought three Yazidis into Canada. We have the record to prove it. Let them have their talking points.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, in Paris, the Liberals committed to greenhouse gas reductions that would hold the temperature increase to 1.5°C. Back home, they have stuck to Stephen Harper's targets. In Marrakesh, they called for respect for the rights of indigenous peoples. Back home, they approved major energy projects impacting those rights. In Bonn, at the 11th hour, they committed to a just transition for fossil fuel sector workers, and yet a year later there is nothing budgeted to support Alberta's initiative.
    This week, at COP24 in Poland, will the government simply make more promises it has no intention of keeping?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, in Paris we made a commitment to fight climate change, and at home we are putting a price on pollution, investing in public transit, helping transition to a clean economy and taking over 50 measures to help fight climate change. When we committed to enhancing first nations' rights, when we came home, we supported a motion to enforce the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. When we make commitments abroad to transition to a clean economy, we are investing to support workers so they can have the jobs not just of today but of tomorrow. Our record is to make commitments on the international stage and then follow through on them at home. To suggest otherwise is misleading.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the truth is that they are going to miss their targets. It is pathetic.
    In 2015, the Prime Minister portrayed himself as a brave knight who would fight the malevolent forces of climate change. Three years later, it is becoming clear that this was nothing but a fairy tale for children.
    However, people want us to play a positive role. People want us to set more ambitious targets. People want a real transition. We need to get back on track, and buying a pipeline with our money is no way for the Prime Minister to show that he is serious.
    Will the Liberals catch up at COP24 or will they let future generations down?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I remind the hon. member that during the last campaign, the NDP committed to some sort of cap and trade system with absolutely no clarity on how it would make a meaningful difference to reduce emissions across Canada.
    We campaigned on a commitment to grow the economy and protect the environment at the same time. We are putting a price on pollution. We are investing in public transit. We are supporting clean industry. We are implementing over 50 measures that are going to have the impact of taking between 23 million and 26 million cars off of Canadian roads.
    I am proud of our record. I am proud to be part of a government that, for the first time in my life, is taking the need to protect our environment seriously.

Science and Technology

    Mr. Speaker, live long and prosper. Space is the final frontier and pushes the limits of what is possible.

[Translation]

    Canada's involvement in science and space exploration benefits us all. Canadian astronauts are true modern-day explorers who inspire young Canadians who are interested in studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
     Could the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development tell us about Canada's participation in the International Space Station?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Montarville for that question.
    I was in Saint-Hubert this morning with the Canadian Space Agency team and I am thrilled to inform my colleagues that our astronaut David Saint-Jacques' mission was a success.

[English]

    David will live and work on the International Space Station until June 2019, where he will conduct science experiments, operate Canadarm2 and new Canadian technologies. David is inspiring the next generation of Canadian explorers and innovators.
    This is a proud moment for Canada and a proud moment for our space program.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, workers in all sectors of our economy are worried and losing hope as more jobs are lost like those recently at General Motors in Oshawa.
    Under the current Prime Minister, we have seen the biggest decline in energy investment in 70 years. Excessive regulations and red tape are making investors run for the border. We have found out this week that there is no end in sight for steel and aluminum tariffs, and the Liberal carbon tax will just make everything more expensive.
    When will the Liberals end their carbon tax scheme to avoid losing more jobs in Ontario?
    Mr. Speaker, talking about General Motors, the member opposite knows how difficult this is for Oshawa. However, the company itself is very supportive of putting a price on pollution. It actually supports the fact that we are moving forward in this area.
    With respect to tariffs, our Prime Minister was very clear with President Trump that we had to remove these tariffs, because they add more cost and more complexity for both American and Canadian companies.
    Overall, the economy is doing well. Five hundred thousand jobs have been created. We will continue to do more to make sure that more opportunities are created for Canadians.

[Translation]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, on Friday, the government signed the new free trade agreement with the United States and Mexico. Although it is a free trade agreement, our government does not seem to think that getting steel and aluminum tariffs lifted is that important. There is no reason for those tariffs or quotas.
    My region produces the greenest aluminum in the world, and 85% of the buyers are in the United States. The planet needs more green aluminum from my magnificent region.
    When will the tariffs be lifted?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, this weekend, the Prime Minister signed the section 232 side letter on autos, which provides Canada with significant protection against U.S. tariffs.
    The new agreement maintains crucial supply chains in the auto sector and improves workers' pay and rights. This agreement is good for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians working in the auto industry and for all Canadian workers.

[English]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, a lack of new pipelines necessary for Canadian oil to reach global markets has created a serious crisis in Alberta. With oil being sold for pennies on the dollar, the no more pipelines bill, Bill C-69, will be the final nail in the coffin for the industry.
    When will the Prime Minister kill his no more pipelines bill?
    Mr. Speaker, we understand the struggles that Alberta communities, workers and industry are facing in relation to the price differential, but that is not something new. The reason for that is because of the previous government's failed process on regulatory review that did not move forward any single pipeline to get our resources to non-U.S. markets. That is what we are trying to change by putting a better regulatory process in place that allows resource development to move forward.
    Order, please. The hon. members for Battle River—Crowfoot and Edmonton West seem to think they can speak without having the floor. I remind them that is not the case.
     Order, the hon. member for Edmonton West will come to order.
    The hon. member for Edmonton Riverbend has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, if only he would understand how disappointed his own city is in him.
     My province is in crisis. The Alberta energy industry is under attack by the Prime Minister. Albertans have been suffering for years under the Prime Minister's anti-energy policies. He killed northern gateway and energy east, banned tankers and has failed miserably on Trans Mountain. His no more pipelines bill, Bill C-69, will be the final nail.
    Will the minister stand up for Albertan jobs and kill this bill?
    Mr. Speaker, while the previous government failed to get the job done, we are taking decisive action and seeing results. We approved the Line 3 replacement project and we are supporting the Keystone XL pipeline. We are helping producers build up the refining capacity in Canada, because we know that means more value for every barrel sold. We announced major tax incentives in the fall economic statement for refineries and upgraders. We are moving forward on the Trans Mountain expansion in the right way, responding to the issues.

[Translation]

Canada Post

    Mr. Speaker, the NDP knew that passing legislation to force Canada Post employees back to work was a bad idea. Canada Post executives are doing whatever they want. They have the government's support and they know that they have the upper hand. They cut employees' hours of accumulated leave and their personal leave using the same tactics they did in 2011, even though those tactics were found to be illegal.
    Are the pseudo-progressive Liberals going to allow Canada Post to erode the working conditions of workers whose hands are now tied?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians across the country count on Canada Post and its employees. The labour dispute seriously affected Canadians, including workers, charities, organizations and business of all sizes.
    That is why our government took action. It passed fair and balanced legislation to restore this service, which is so important to Canadians. That legislation establishes a process where employees return to work while continuing their negotiations with an independent mediator-arbitrator. We look forward to the completion of that process.

[English]

Statistics Canada

    Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada decided to suspend its plan to collect data on Canadians from their bank and credit records. The Liberals are telling Canadians that this was a pilot project when, in fact, this is entrenched in their own census policy. They knew this and were warned this new scheme would backfire. Instead, they appointed a chief census officer to do their dirty work, undermining the data collecting system and compromising policy.
    Now that the minister has failed to restore confidence in Statistics Canada, will he fix the problem? Yes, I will repeat this out of the House.

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, our government understands how important it is to protect data and the privacy of Canadians. That is why the chief statistician, a few weeks ago, was very clear in the House and before the Senate that he would only proceed, when we are dealing with issues around privacy and data protection, in a meaningful way. The member opposite knows this is a pilot project. No data has been collected, and the privacy of Canadians will always be protected.

[Translation]

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, two years ago, the President of the Treasury Board told the RCMP that it was not his role to interfere in procurement contracts. However, he said just the opposite in October when he was trying to block Canada's biggest shipyard, the Davie shipyard, from getting a contract.
    Which is it?
    In the meantime, coast guard and navy ships are rusting away, and shipyard workers are waiting for contracts.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is referring to materials that deal with an outstanding legal proceeding. I note the defendant in that legal proceeding, about a week ago, said this: “We have complete confidence in the court and the court's ability to make decisions as to the relevance of those documents.” On that advice, it is wise to leave this matter for the court to determine.
    Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board has been telling two contradictory stories about his political interference in the naval ship contract. In October, he told the House that he was only doing his job by ensuring the contract was value to taxpayers. However, in January of 2016, he told the RCMP that was actually not his job.
    When will the President of the Treasury Board come clean with Canadians and tell us which story is true.
    Mr. Speaker, when there are legal matters outstanding before the law courts of the country, it is up to the courts to determine the procedure they will follow, the relevance of the evidence, the disclosure of the evidence and, ultimately, the final verdict or judgment in the case.
     As I mentioned a moment ago, even the defendant in this particular proceeding said this: “We have complete confidence in the court and the court's ability to make decisions as to the relevance of those documents.” The House should allow the courts to do their job.
    Mr. Speaker, are the cabinet ministers and the Liberal MPs single-handedly keeping the courts and the RCMP employed?
    It was reported that a public servant leaked information on the naval ship contract to a prominent Ottawa lobby firm, saying, “I got everything — the motherload.” Despite this evidence, the Prime Minister said that Vice-Admiral Norman was the one who should end up before the courts. With each passing day, this cover-up smells worse and worse.
    When will the government come clean and give Canadians the truth about what happened with this contract?
    Mr. Speaker, there is obviously no one who can keep this minister or any other member of the House from the drive-by smear tactic. However, I would note that the defence counsel in the case she is referring to said this some time ago, “we have one of the greatest legal systems in the world.” That is an excellent assessment. Let the courts do their work.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, earlier this year, a bilateral youth mobility agreement was signed between Canada and Portugal, and has been eagerly anticipated by all segments of the community. As a representative of the largest Portuguese community in Canada, I have long been an advocate of this agreement and a champion of the benefits that this program will bring to both Canada and Portugal.
     Could the minister of immigration update the House and Canadians on the implementation of the Canada-Portugal youth mobility agreement?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her strong advocacy on behalf of Portuguese-Canadian community. I was so pleased to successfully negotiate the youth mobility agreement with Portugal, which will facilitate youth from both countries to travel, work and study in our joint countries. I am thrilled to announce that applications for this program open this week.
    Our government believes in expanding the youth mobility program to Portugal, as it will give valuable work experience and perspective to Canadians travelling abroad. Unlike the Conservatives, we believe the world needs more Canada.

  (1455)  

Health

    Mr. Speaker, many Canadians have been impacted by the failure of medical devices like meshes and implants. After a whole year of outcry, the health minister 's weak response is to evaluate whether a registry of who has the device is the right thing to do. Meanwhile, the U.S. FDA has overhauled its approval process for devices to consider post-surgery outcomes.
     When will the health minister do the same?
    Mr. Speaker, we are deeply concerned about the reports of serious issues being faced by Canadians with implanted medical devices. We are assessing the risk, quality and effectiveness of health products before they are used. We are bringing forward an action plan on medical devices that will strengthen the processes used to improve them, improve oversight once they are approved and give Canadians more information and more transparency.
    Unlike the Harper Conservatives who shuttered Canada's bureau of medical devices in 2010, we are rebuilding this and making sure Canadians are kept safe when they use medical devices.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, I joined more than 14,000 Franco-Ontarians who took to the streets to express their anger over Doug Ford's policies.
    This was the biggest protest in Franco-Ontarian history. The movement is still going. It is not losing steam, and I have some news for Doug Ford: knowing how proud Franco-Ontarians are, I do not think they will not run out of steam anytime soon, either.
    With the holidays around the corner, will the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie give Franco-Ontarians a gift and announce how much her government plans to put towards Ontario's French-language university?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague and all the other colleagues in the House who took part in this huge protest. As the member for Ottawa—Vanier and others mentioned earlier, this was the biggest protest in the history of French Ontario. People across the country will remember the rallies of December 1.
    That being said, anytime a government, whether federal, provincial or municipal, wants to amend its language rights legislation, the only thing it can do is strengthen language rights, not weaken them. We will always stand with Franco-Ontarians in defence of their rights.

[English]

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, every day in this country, indigenous children are taken away from their families, their communities and their culture. Across Canada, indigenous children represent just 7.7% of all kids under 14 yet make up 52.2% of kids in care. In Manitoba, this number is as high as 90%. It is appalling.
    Could the Minister of Indigenous Services please update the House on the government's work to keep indigenous families together?
    Mr. Speaker, on Friday, I was pleased to be joined by first nations, Inuit and Métis nation leaders to announce that after comprehensive engagement, we are going forward to introduce co-developed legislation on indigenous child and family services early in the new year. This legislation should mark a turning point to say, “No more”: no more scooping children; no more ripping apart families; no more lost children who do not know their language, their culture and their lineage.
    I hope that when the legislation is introduced, it will have broad support in the House.

[Translation]

Rail Transportation

    Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Transport threw in the towel before the contract for new Via Rail trains was even awarded.
    Today, the Government of Quebec is asking that no decision be made until all the bidders have submitted their best final offer.
    Will the minister at least require Via Rail to allow Bombardier Transport to submit its best offer or will he just send these jobs to California instead of Quebec?
    Mr. Speaker, as I explained last week, Via Rail, which is a federal Crown corporation, is independent and responsible for awarding a contract for replacing the fleet of trains for the Quebec-Windsor corridor. It is Via's decision.
    Under our free trade agreements with the European Union, we cannot demand a certain percentage of Canadian content.

Consumer Protection

    Mr. Speaker, Quebec is the only jurisdiction that adequately protects consumers from banks. Under Bill C-86, the Liberals seem to be protecting the banks by preventing any recourse to Quebec's Office de la protection du consommateur.
    The National Assembly unanimously calls on the federal government to clarify in Bill C-86 that Quebec's legislation will continue to apply to banks.
    Will the 40 federal Liberal MPs protect Quebec consumers or will they choose Bay Street and the big banks?

  (1500)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we understand and respect the jurisdiction of provinces and territories. That is why, when we are dealing with consumer protection, we feel that Canadians deserve the strongest consumer protection.
    We consulted with provinces and territories to ensure that our legislation was complementary and did not override or supersede. This was confirmed to the Bloc members at committee by officials. We will continue to stand for consumer protection and respect the rights of provinces and territories.

[Translation]

    If that were true, Mr. Speaker, the National Assembly and the consumer protection bureau would not be asking Ottawa to back down. The bill creates legal uncertainty. The way the bill is worded, bank customers that have been ripped off would have to take their case all the way to the Supreme Court just to get their money back.
    If the government truly does not want to undermine consumers, then why does it seem like its legislation favours the bank?
    Why is the government refusing to include in its bill that Quebec's legislation still applies?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, to the contrary, again, as confirmed at committee by officials, our legislation was done in consultation with provinces and territories to ensure that the highest level of consumer protection was upheld. Our legislation is complementary and will ensure that those protections in the provinces and territories are upheld.
    We will continue to consult and make sure that consumers, when dealing with banks, are protected.

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, this weekend the Prime Minister said that we need a social analysis on the impact of male construction workers brought in to work in rural areas.
    Meanwhile, the government is about to sign a UN treaty meant to normalize mass migration. The government must preserve our sovereignty by not signing that treaty.
    Can the minister explain why the government is more afraid of the social impact of Canadian male workers than that of migrants from other countries?
    Mr. Speaker, the world is seeing unprecedented levels of men, women and children displaced by war and by persecution.

[English]

    Our government is proud to have taken a leadership position on the global compact. This is the first time the international community has worked together to develop a comprehensive set of principles to better manage this phenomenon. It is disappointing to see the Conservatives and Maxime, the member opposite, engage in peddling Rebel Media conspiracy theories while we work with the international community to protect our robust immigration system.
    I would remind hon. minister to not use the personal names of members in the House.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it I believe you would find consent to the following motion, seconded by the member for Edmonton Strathcona: That the House call on the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change to bring forward the following priorities and commitments at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: (i) a climate action strategy that prioritizes reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, (ii) investments in a transition that leaves no workers behind, (iii) robust rules for implementing the Paris Agreement that will allow Canada to increase the ambition of its greenhouse gas reduction targets in response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, (iv) transparency and accountability mechanisms to address climate change, (v) integrating human health into Canada's climate commitments.
    Some hon. members: No.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[Translation]

National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to section 21(6) of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the first special report of the Committee.
    I would like to thank the members of the committee for their work on this file.

  (1505)  

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

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

[Translation]

Committees of the House

Procedure and House Affairs 

    Mr. Speaker, Pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 79th 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 79th report later today.

[English]

National Defence  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on National Defence in relation to Bill C-77, an act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

International Trade  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on International Trade in relation to Bill C-85, an act to amend the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act and to make related amendments to other acts. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendments.

[Translation]

Procedure and House Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 79th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House earlier this day, 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, I am pleased to table a petition signed by petitioners in Ontario calling on the government to deal with the despicable act of trafficking in human organs. They call on Parliament to pass Bill S-240 to deal with this terrible and heinous act.

Tibet  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present e-petition 1743. This petition has more than the 500 required signatures, and Canadians who have signed it call on the Government of Canada to request that the Chinese government grant Canadian journalists free access to Tibet, that the Chinese government grant tourists free access to Tibet, that Canada open a visa office in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, and that the government of China safeguard respect for religion and traditions in the context of expanding tourism in Tibet.

Vision Care  

    Mr. Speaker, I once again stand to table a petition regarding a national framework for action to promote eye health and vision care. The petitioners are from Newfoundland, mostly from Badger, Grand Falls-Windsor, Bishop's Falls, Triton and Silverdale.
    The petitioners indicate that the emerging crisis in eye health and vision care affects all segments of the Canadian population, with Canada's most vulnerable populations, children, seniors and indigenous peoples, being affected the most. The petitioners are asking the government to put together a national framework for action to promote eye health and vision care working with professionals in this area.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition from people from the Toronto area dealing with the international trafficking in human organs in regard to Bill S-240.

Pensions  

    Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to table on behalf of my constituents.
    One petition calls on the Government of Canada to withdraw Bill C-27, due to the petitioners' belief that it may harm retirement security for seniors.

  (1510)  

Animal Welfare  

    Mr. Speaker, I also have a much larger petition, which calls on the House of Commons to support Bill S-214 and ban the sale or manufacture of animal-tested cosmetics and their ingredients in Canada.

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I present a petition in which constituents from Nanaimo—Ladysmith call on this House to adopt a national strategy to end the terrible problem of marine plastics. They urge this House to support the Motion No. 151 by the member for Courtenay—Alberni's, which will be voted on this Wednesday, to ban single-use plastics, to develop regulations to get at the root of the marine plastics problem, and to fund, in a permanent way, dealing with some of the ongoing problems like ghost fishnets that move across the sea and continue to kill marine mammals and fish. They urge the consideration of their petition.

Firearms  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by Canadians from the ridings of Nepean, Ottawa Centre, and Ottawa West—Nepean. They call on the House of Commons to respect the rights of law-abiding firearms owners and reject the Prime Minister's plan to waste taxpayer money studying a ban on guns that are already banned.

Opioids  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to table an e-petition that was sponsored by John and Jennifer Hedican who lost their son Ryan to fentanyl poisoning. This petition is e-1586 and it was signed by 3,210 people.
     The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to declare the current opioid overdose and fentanyl poisoning crisis a national public health emergency under the Emergencies Act in order to manage and resource it with the aim to reduce and eliminate preventable deaths.
     The petitioners are calling on the government to reform current drug policy to decriminalize personal possession and to create, with urgency and immediacy, a system to provide safe, unadulterated access to substances so that people who use substances experimentally, recreationally or chronically are not at imminent risk of overdose due to a contaminated source. We know that over 4,000 Canadians died in 2017, and over 2,800 in 2016 due to preventable opioid overdose resulting from fentanyl-poisoned sources.
     The petitioners are calling on the government to act on this petition.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, Bill S-240, the subject of this petition, will be up for the second hour of debate next Monday at 11 a.m. The petitioners are asking members to move forward and quickly pass Bill S-240 to ensure that Canada finally joins a growing list of countries that are taking serious action to respond to the scourge of forced organ harvesting and trafficking in human organs.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and present this petition signed by many across the greater Toronto area who are basically calling for parliamentarians to support Bill S-240 and Bill C-350 to impede the trafficking of human organs obtained without consent or as a result of a financial transaction.

Animal Welfare  

    Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today to present a petition from my wonderful constituents in the riding of Long Range Mountains who state that animal testing is unnecessary to prove the safety of cosmetic products, and safety tests would be faster, more accurate and cheaper than to perform tests conducted using animals. The petitioners are calling upon the House of Commons to support Bill S-214 and ban the sale and manufacture of animal-tested cosmetics and any ingredients in Canada moving forward.

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I have multiple pages here signed by constituents who recognize that plastics in our oceans, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water are posing a dire threat to sensitive ecosystems. They want the government to work with the provinces, municipalities and indigenous communities to develop a national strategy to combat plastic pollution so we can reduce the industrial use of microplastics, single-use plastics, and have a strategy for cleaning up derelict fishing gear.
    Furthermore, they call upon the government to support Motion No. 151, to bring in a national strategy to combat plastic pollution, supported by my good friend and colleague, the member for Courtenay—Alberni.

Round Lake  

    Mr. Speaker, I am presenting two petitions today in regard to the water levels at Round Lake in Saskatchewan. The lake is in my riding, but it is used recreationally by people all around the province and in Manitoba, as well as the people who live there. It serves the whole area with beauty and recreational use, plus fishing.
    The petitioners point out that all of the other lakes in the chain have controls that have been agreed to between the government and the first nations along those lakes. In this case, Ochapowace and Piapot first nations have not, over the years, come to an agreement. We need the Minister of Indigenous Services to respond to their concerns, not the Minister of Transport or the Minister of Environment. They are asking for a response from the Minister of Indigenous Services.

  (1515)  

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Questions Nos. 1988, 1994 and 1996.

[Text]

Question No. 1988--
Mr. Bev Shipley:
    With regard to forensic toxicology tests and the National Forensic Laboratory Services (NFLS) section of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police: (a) how many blood tests were conducted by the NFLS from 2015 to date, broken down by year; (b) how many blood tests are projected to be conducted by the NFLS in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2021; (c) what is the projected yearly budgetary increase required for the NFLS as a result of the legalization of cannabis; and (d) what is the projected increase in turnaround time for test results as a result of the legalization of cannabis?
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), the RCMP's National Forensic Laboratory Services, NFLS, receives requests for different types of forensic services from across Canada, excluding Ontario and Quebec, who manage and operate their own public forensic laboratories. NFLS tracks the number of service requests, not "blood tests", it receives for forensic analysis.
    With regard to (c), at this time, the projected yearly budgetary increase required for the NFLS as a result of the legalization of cannabis is not available.
    The government will ensure that the resources are in place to deliver the programs and services that accompany this important transformation.
    With regard to (d), the NFLS currently has established target diary dates for its toxicology services program. Included in the above-mentioned proposal to confirm funding is a plan to build NFLS capacity to meet any increase in demand for services. The NFLS service model already includes a monitoring function that assists in prioritization of urgent service requests.
Question No. 1994--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
    With regard to Bill C-83, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act: what are the projected implementation costs of the legislation, broken down by each policy measure contained in the Bill?
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated before, eliminating the use of administrative segregation within Canada's correctional system and replacing it with structured intervention units, SIUs, will require both the enactment of new legislation, Bill C-83, and the investment of new resources.
    The objective is to ensure that the system can properly separate certain offenders as necessary for safety and security reasons, while still providing them with on-going meaningful human contact and the interventions, programs and social supports that their circumstances require, including access to program officers, indigenous liaison officers, elders, chaplains and others. If the new legislation is enacted, the Government of Canada will invest close to $300 million over six years, and then some $70 million annually thereafter, to implement the new SIU approach.
    For this approach to be successful, the correctional system must also strengthen its mental health programming. This will include the enhanced assessment and early diagnosis of inmates at intake and throughout incarceration at all levels, plus enhanced primary and acute mental health care, support for patient advocacy services and 24-7 health care at designated institutions. If this new legislation is enacted, the Government of Canada will invest more than $150 million over six years, and then more than $70 million annually thereafter, to implement these mental health care improvements.
    More specific financial details will become available through the on-going budgetary process, including the usual estimates presented for approval to the House of Commons.
Question No. 1996--
Mr. John Brassard:
    With regard to the government’s announcement that it will be waiving the record suspension application fee for individuals who have criminal records related to the possession of cannabis: (a) how many individuals have criminal records solely from possession of cannabis convictions; (b) how many individuals have criminal records from possession of cannabis convictions in addition to convictions on other charges; and (c) what is the projected cost to the government of waiving the record suspension application fee for those convicted of cannabis possession?
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth) and to the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), the Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services, CCRTIS, maintains the RCMP national repository of criminal records. The repository is a record database and was not designed to provide statistical analysis. As a result, the content of the repository cannot be aggregated and disaggregated in a way that would accurately depict answers as they relate to these questions.
    With regard to (c), at this time, the implementation costs of the proposal are not available.
    The government will ensure that the resources are in place to deliver the programs and services that accompany this important transformation.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Mr. Speaker, if the government's responses to Questions Nos. 1986, 1987, 1989 to 1993 and 1995 and 1997 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 1986--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
    With regard to the First Nations Child and Family Services Program, broken down by province and territory, and by category of service (operations, prevention, and maintenance): (a) how much funding was budgeted to the program for each fiscal year from 2014-15 to date; (b) how much has been spent on the program for each fiscal year from 2014-15 to date; and (c) what was the total assessed need for federal funding identified by the government through the agency needs-assessment process?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1987--
Mr. Ted Falk:
    With regard to the government’s decision to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline and its related infrastructure from Kinder Morgan: (a) what is the breakdown of the $4.5 billion spent on the purchase, including (i) the sum spent to purchase the real pipeline assets, (ii) the sum spent to purchase the rights and easements of the pipeline assets, (iii) the sum spent to pay salaries, (iv) the sum spent to pay legal fees, (v) descriptions and sums of any other expenditures contributing to the $4.5 billion total; (b) what was the rationale for the final purchase being completed before the Federal Court of Appeal’s ruling was issued; (c) what is the explanation as to why the purchase was not made conditional subject to regulatory approval; (d) what is the summary of measures considered in anticipation of how the Federal Court of Appeal might rule; (e) what was the estimated worth of the pipeline in market terms at the time of purchase; (f) what is the date of the most recent evaluation of the condition of the existing pipeline; (g) what was the valuation of the expansion project at the time of purchase; and (h) what is the the current estimated cost to complete the Trans Mountain expansion?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1989--
Mr. Bev Shipley:
    With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) forcing individuals to pay income tax on overpayments made by Service Canada, despite the requirement for all overpayments to be paid back to the government: (a) does the Minister of National Revenue approve of her department’s policy; (b) what is the total amount of revenue which the CRA incurred as a result of overpayments, since January 1, 2016; (c) what is the total amount of revenue which has been returned to taxpayers as a result of a tax reversal, following the return of overpayments mentionned in (b); (d) why is a tax reversal not automatic when the overpayment as a result of government error is repaid; (e) has the Minister responsible for Service Canada and the Minister of National Revenue met to discuss this matter and, if so, on what dates, and what decisions were made at such meetings; and (f) does the Minister of National Revenue believe that it is fair for taxpayers to be forced to pay income tax as a result of Service Canada errors, even though the income has to be repaid to the government?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1990--
Mr. Bev Shipley:
    With regard to the tweet by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister on October 15, 2018, that “It is federal law that the revenue raised from pollution pricing must be returned to the province in which it was raised” and the fact that the GST is charged on top of a carbon tax: how will the government be returning the increased federal GST revenue resulting from the carbon tax to the provinces?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1991--
Mr. Gabriel Ste-Marie:
    With regard to the cancellation of the agreement signed in 2015 with the Davie Shipyard for the lease of a supply ship to enable the Royal Canadian Navy to fulfill its mission and obligations to its allies: what are the subjects and content of correspondence, including e-mails, between October 15 and December 15, 2015, (i) between the President of the Treasury Board and the owners and representatives of the Irving Shipyard in Halifax, (ii) between the President of the Treasury Board and the ministers of National Defence and Public Services and Procurement, (iii) between the ministers of National Defence and Public Services and Procurement and the owners and representatives of the Irving Shipyard in Halifax, (iv) between the President of the Treasury Board and the Office of the Prime Minister?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1992--
Mr. Kevin Waugh:
    With regard to funding under the government’s Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples program since January 1, 2017: (a) what are the details of all organizations who have applied for funding under the program, including (i) name of organization, (ii) location, (iii) description or programs or services offered, (iv) amount requested; (b) which organizations were approved for funding; (c) how much funding was approved for each organization in (b); (d) which organizations were rejected or denied funding; and (e) what was the reason for each rejection of the organizations in (d)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1993--
Mr. Kevin Waugh:
    With regard to government expenditures on cannabis educational campaigns between January 1, 2018, and October 17, 2018: (a) what is the total amount spent on the campaigns; and (b) what are the details of each campaign, including (i) cost, (ii) title of campaign, (iii) delivery method or mediums used (post card, internet campaigns, etc), (iv) description of campaign, (v) names and contract values of outside vendors used?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1995--
Mr. John Brassard:
    With regard to the legalization of cannabis: what is each department, agency, and Crown corporation’s policy regarding cannabis possession and usage for employees?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1997--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
    With regard to the federal disability tax credit (DTC) that helps persons with disabilities and certain medical conditions defray unavoidable medical expenses: (a) what is the total DTC amount claimed for the fiscal year 2017 in Canada; (b) what is the total number of DTC claimants for the fiscal year 2017 in Canada; (c) what is the total number of DTC applications that were denied for the fiscal year 2017 in Canada; (d) of the DTC applications that were denied, what were the tabulated and categorized reasons for their denial; (e) what is the total number of DTC applications that were rejected for life-sustaining therapy due to not meeting the average 14 hours per week requirement for the fiscal year 2017 in Canada; (f) of the DTC applications that were rejected for life-sustaining therapy due to not meeting the average 14 hours per week requirement, how many of them had at least 10 hours per week for the fiscal year 2017 in Canada; (g) in deciding whether or not to approve an application for life-sustaining therapy, what are the criterion utilized by the Canadian Revenue Agency to make such a determination and how are these criterion logged and recorded; and (h) how many times has the procedures manual that assessors refer to in administration of the DTC been updated and what are these updates for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 calendar years?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

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

Request for Emergency Debate

Opioid Use  

[S. O. 52]
     I have notice of a request for an emergency debate from the member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte.
    Mr. Speaker, this is certainly not an issue that I ever wanted to have to rise on in the House, but it is one that is expanding across our country and is touching so many different walks of life. I rise today asking that we seek leave for the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing an important matter requiring urgent consideration pursuant to Standing Order 52.
    Since 2016, over 8,000 Canadians have died from the opioid crisis. At least 1,000 Canadians have died in the first three months of 2018. Between 2016 and 2017, there was a 40% increase in the number of overdose-related deaths. Roughly 11 Canadians are dying every day from this epidemic.
    It is no longer concentrated in a single province. It has become a national crisis, unlike anything we have ever seen before. The opioid and hard drug crisis is moving from large urban centres and hitting small and medium-sized cities across Canada.
    The city of Barrie, with a population of roughly 150,000, witnessed 36 deaths from opioid overdose in 2017. The city of Barrie and the Simcoe-Muskoka area have an opioid overdose rate over 1.5 times that of the provincial average for Ontario. I would like to note that is actually down from the year before. It is not because the number of deaths in Barrie has been reduced, but because the number of opioid-related deaths is expanding across the province.
    Currently in Canada it can take anywhere from four to eight weeks for a user to get into rehabilitation or recovery services. There is an urgent need to eliminate barriers for drug users to get into rehab. Every day that we do nothing, another 11 Canadians will die without getting the help they need.
     It is with these facts in mind that I am requesting an emergency debate on the opioid and hard drug crisis here in Canada.
    I would like to note that it has been amazing to consult with government and opposition members and to hear all of the stories from across the country of how they and their constituents are being affected. I think as a House we can take a completely non-partisan approach to this and ensure we are putting the needs of those who are hurting most in the country at the forefront.

Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    I thank the hon. member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte for his intervention. However, I do not find that his request meets the strict requirements of the standing order.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan has seven minutes remaining in his speech.
    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to continue a discussion I began before question period about the government's approach to the energy sector. It is a pleasure for me to participate in the debate, but it is no particular pleasure to review the great damage the government is doing to our energy sector. This bill is one of a number of bills which contain provisions that really weaken the situation for those who consider getting involved in resource development, whether it is as a worker, an employee, an investor or one of the many who benefit from spinoff jobs and opportunities associated with the development of our energy sector.
    I would observe that part 2, for example, of this legislation would amend the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. In effect, it would allow the Governor in Council, in other words, the government, to issue orders prohibiting oil and gas activities, freezing the terms of existing licences and preventing them from expiring during a moratorium. This would essentially empower the government to take extreme steps whenever it wants to, whenever it deems it in its evaluation of the way things should go, to put an abrupt stop to natural resource development. Conservatives see this as part of a larger pattern.
    Bill C-69, the government's “no more pipelines” bill, piles on all sorts of conditions and challenges that are clearly designed to achieve the result of not allowing pipelines to proceed in the future. There is Bill C-48 that would create a tanker exclusion zone, which is designed to say that we can never export Canada's energy resources from the northern coast of British Columbia. It is so interesting to observe government members talking out of both sides of their mouths when it comes to oil and gas development, especially some of my Liberal colleagues from Alberta. They talk about feeling the pain and they talk about supporting pipelines on occasion, but then we look at their legislative and voting record.
    There have been multiple opposition day motions which call for the recognition of particular pipelines as being in the national interest. There has been legislation from the government, such as this bill today and others I have mentioned, that are designed to create a very difficult environment for any natural resource project to proceed. The Liberals put forward these bills that make it more and more difficult for investment projects to succeed and at the same time they vote against opposition day motions and proposals which recognize that these projects are indeed in the national interest. In terms of the Liberals' record, in terms of their votes and their actions, we see a real, practical, concrete, tangible opposition to the success of the energy sector, an energy sector which is not just for one region or one part of the country but is one which benefits the whole country.
    I am a member of Parliament from Alberta and represent a resource rich area of the country. Many people in my constituency are part of the energy sector and are frustrated with the approach of the government. I would like to speak briefly about another region of the country, the north of Canada.
    I had the pleasure of joining the foreign affairs committee recently on a trip to the territories. It was interesting to talk to people about the decision of the Prime Minister, while overseas, to unilaterally declare a moratorium on offshore development in a way that flew in the face of what many people in the north were hoping for in terms of opportunities that could come to them through new investment, new jobs and new development in Canada's north, development that would really open up opportunity and ensure greater access to services for people in the north.
    A real opportunity did exist and yet the Prime Minister, while overseas and without consultation, did exactly the sort of thing that is envisioned in this legislation. He made a declaration that prohibits activity in the area of oil and gas development.

  (1520)  

    When we look at the proposed legislation, the government would be taking for itself more tools to be able to step forward at any point to say that it did not a want a project to proceed or did not want to allow development, even if there was an expectation, even if there was planning by indigenous leaders and by municipal, provincial and territorial leaders, or if there were investments made and workers making their plans to seek those opportunities. All of a sudden, the Prime Minister could put a stop to it.
    So much is said by the government about consultation with indigenous people and how it is such a critical relationship for any government. However, while talking that talk, government members do not seem to recognize at all that many indigenous people in Canada want to see the development of our energy resources. They want to have the opportunities that flow from these developments. However, their voices are totally ignored if they are on the side of the discussion that is seeking more development, more opportunity, more employment and more of the kind of development that would allow them to significantly prosper and benefit from the wealth that would come into their communities as a result of oil and gas and other natural resources.
    To put it as clearly and directly as possible, when it comes to our natural resource sectors, the government has an anti-development agenda. It is not an anti-development agenda it is perhaps willing to openly acknowledge or recognize. It covers it up in various ways, including by pumping billions of taxpayers' dollars into a pipeline it still has no plan to see move forward. However, in the concrete legislative initiatives it is putting forward, we see what its agenda is, and we see it walked out in practice.
    A couple of years before the last election, the current Minister of Democratic Institutions put out a tweet talking about landlocking the “tar sands”. Now we do not hear that kind of language from the front bench. The Liberals try to modulate their tone, because they know that most Canadians do not want their anti-development agenda.
    If we look at the history of the people involved in the government, if we look at the statements they have made in the past, if we look at the past statements and involvement of senior staff in the Prime Minister's Office, and as I mentioned, the comments from the Minister of Democratic Institutions, I think we can see what we are observing in the concrete detail of legislation that has come forward, which is, yes, the anti-development agenda of the government. It is disappointing. It is hurting jobs and opportunities in my province and across the country. We need Canadians to wake up to this, respond and stop legislative measures like this.

  (1525)  

    Madam Speaker, we have had a couple of members from the Conservative Party stand in their places and give what I would argue is false information. Of course, they are trying to convince Canadians that this is a government that could do better on certain fronts. There is always room for improvement, but let there be no doubt, and I say this to my Conservative friends who have raised this today, that this government has done more to ensure that Canada's commodities, particularly oil, have an opportunity to go beyond exporting straight from the Alberta border to the United States of America.
    I would remind my friend across the way that 99% of our oil, for example, went to the United States when Harper first became the prime minister, and 10 years later, that 99% was still there. This Liberal government has been successful in being able to ensure that we will expand that into the future.
    Madam Speaker, that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in this House, that somehow the government is trying to move forward to export our oil. That member and his party proposed and voted in favour of Bill C-48, which would explicitly not allow the export of Canada's energy resources through northern British Columbia. If the Liberals wanted to help get our oil to other markets, the least they could have done was not pass a law that was explicitly designed to make it impossible to get our oil to other markets.
    It is very simple. The previous Conservative government was working hard facilitating moving forward the northern gateway project, which would have opened all kinds of new markets and opportunities for those resources. If the member wants to see results in this area, I would tell him to repeal Bill C-48 and stop Bill C-69 as well. However, in particular, when it comes to pipelines and export, it is Bill C-48.
    Let us move forward with projects that began under the previous government that would have gotten us to the results the member claims to want but very clearly does not want, from the substance of what he is voting on and saying in the House.

  (1530)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, today, it is very clear that the Conservative members still do not think that natural resource projects are being carried out fast enough.
    They want all companies to have the power to move projects forward at all costs, regardless of the views of the communities affected by these projects. Today, we are hearing the same thing about matters relating to northern Canada.
    I would like to ask my colleague what the Conservatives' real position is on the energy east project, which is still under review. The Conservatives still think it is a viable project that could rise from the ashes.
    Is my colleague claiming that this project has the necessary community support to go forward if the Conservatives were to put it back on the table?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, with all due respect to my friend, I think he badly mischaracterizes our position. Our position is that consultation with communities is important. That consultation should focus on those who are actually affected, not create a forum for activists who have no expertise and no connection to the community to drag on the process indefinitely.
    We believe that those consultations should be focused, should engage the affected communities and should engage the knowledge of experts. They should be designed to allow a predictable process whereby companies are able to hear a result and are able to make proposals with a predictable understanding of where things are going. Hopefully, projects will be able to succeed under that framework in cases where the necessary work is done.
    The member talks about the need to engage with communities where people may be opposed to these projects. Of course, the same goes the other way. Communities that are supportive of these projects do not want projects unilaterally shut down without consultation.
    Our party would welcome the proposal of a pipeline project that would allow all of Canada to benefit as a market, where resources from Alberta could go to eastern Canada instead of eastern Canada being dependent on resources from Saudi Arabia.
    I would hope that member, whose party has been quite rightly vocal about human rights issues in Saudi Arabia, would understand the connection between buying Saudi oil and the opportunities that would come as an alternative from having eastern Canada benefit from Canadian natural resources.
    Madam Speaker, here we are again with another anti-energy policy from the current Liberal government that is driving energy investment out of Canada, costing Canadian workers their jobs and significantly increasing poverty in certain regions, especially in the north.
    I am speaking to Bill C-88, because I am concerned that the changes it would make would politicize oil and gas extraction by expanding the powers of this Liberal government to block economic development. It would take local control and environmental stewardship away from the aboriginal people of the region and would inhibit local, territorial governments from doing what is best for the people of the area. I am speaking of the Mackenzie Delta.
     I see that my friend across the way is smiling, because he is very proud of the region he has grown up in.
    Bill C-88 is not just another Liberal anti-energy bill, like Bill C-48, Bill C-69 and Bill C-86. These bills could block all future pipelines, giving the government the authority to unilaterally shut down natural resource development. It is now systematically going after the Northwest Territories, as it has done with our western provinces.
    Only a few people get to visit the Mackenzie Delta or travel the pristine waters of the Mackenzie River. Those who do find it breathtaking, due to its vast biological and ecological formations.
    When Sir Alexander Mackenzie travelled the Mackenzie River in 1789, he was astonished by its sparse population and the pristine beauty of the region. As members may know, the river was named after him. That is for a few of my Liberal colleagues across the way, except for the member for the Northwest Territories.
    I count myself fortunate, no, I should say I count myself blessed and lucky, to have been able to travel from the start of the Peace and Athabasca rivers, which are the headwaters of the Mackenzie River, and I have followed it as it flows, leading to the Beaufort Sea in the north. This pristine area, rich in ecological wealth, covers an area of just under two million square kilometres, and its drainage basin encompasses one-fifth of Canada. This is the second-largest river in North America, next to the Mississippi River.
    Oil and gas have been part of this region since 1921. There are also mines of uranium, gold, diamond, lead and zinc in the area. During World War II, a pipeline was built from Norman Wells to Whitehorse, in Yukon. It carried crucial petroleum products needed during World War II and helped Canada and the United States build the Alaska Highway, which significantly helped Canada during the war. It is called the Canol Pipeline, and it still exists today.
    At a very young age, I personally met and was inspired by one of Canada's great leaders. That was Mr. John Diefenbaker, whose statue sits at the rear of this building. He was a leader of great wisdom and vision who led our country to where it is today. I remember he once said, “I see a new Canada—a Canada of the North.” This is what he thought of and envisioned. He spoke of giving the people of northern Canada the right to develop their resources, protect their environment and maintain and develop strong economies in the region. Diefenbaker saw the need for the people of the north to do this, not the Government of Canada.

  (1535)  

    One of Canada's leading novelists of the same era, Hugh MacLennan, a Liberal visionary, noted at the time that by 2061, the Mackenzie Delta would have three million people living along the banks and shores of the river and that people's pockets would be full of money from the wealth of the region. He said there would be at least two universities built in the Mackenzie Delta area.
    That Liberal's prediction was wrong, and the actions of my Liberal friends across the way from me are also wrong.
    There are roughly 10,000 people living along the Mackenzie River Delta, in places like Wrigley, Tulita, Norman Wells, Fort Good Hope, Fort McPherson, Inuvik, Aklavik and Tuktoyaktuk. I have been to those communities and I know the people.
    There are 68 aboriginal groups that also live in this region. I have had the pleasure and honour of gathering and socializing with them to discuss their issues. We used to gather at the Petitot River. I have been there a number of times. To me, they are the real stewards of the land, not organizations like CPAWS, the David Suzuki Foundation or others that have the ear of the environment minister. The aboriginal groups are the real Canadian environmentalists and the real stewards of the land.
    Recently, Merven Gruben, the mayor of Tuktoyaktuk, testified at the committee on indigenous and northern affairs. He said that the Liberal government should be helping northern communities. Instead, it shut down the offshore gasification and put a moratorium right across the whole Arctic without even consulting communities. He also said that people in his town like to work for a living and are not used to getting social assistance. Now, all they are getting are the few tourists coming up the new highway. That makes for small change compared to when they worked in the oil and gas sector.
    They are the people of the Mackenzie River Delta. Our Conservative government gave them the power to manage their resources in a true, healthy and respectful manner that only the people of the region can do. This was done through Bill C-15, which created the Northwest Territories Devolution Act of 2014.
    Our former Conservative government viewed the north as a key driver of economic activity for decades to come, but this Liberal government is arbitrarily creating huge swaths of protected land with little or no consultation with aboriginal communities, while other Arctic nations are exploring possibilities within their respective areas.
    Bill C-88 reveals a full rejection of calls from elected territorial leaders for the increased control of their natural resources. It consists of two parts. Part A would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act of 1998. Part B would amend the Canada Petroleum Resources Act to allow the Governor in Council to issue orders. That scares me.
    What about the provisions that were introduced by the former Conservative government within Bill C-15's Northwest Territories Devolution Act? Bill C-88 would reverse these changes, even though Liberal MPs voted in favour of Bill C-15 when it was debated in Parliament, including the Prime Minister.
    Now the Liberals want to reverse the former government's proposal to consolidate the four land and water boards in the Mackenzie Valley into one. I believe this is so that they can take control. The creation of a single board was a key recommendation that would address “complexity and capacity issues by making more efficient use of expenditures and administrative resources” and would allow for administrative practices to be “understandable and consistent”. When Bill C-15 was debated in the House of Commons in 2013 and 2014, the restructured board was included in the final version of the modern land claim agreements.
    The Liberals would further politicize the regulatory and environmental processes for resource extraction in Canada's north by giving cabinet sweeping powers to stop projects on the basis of “national interest”. This reveals a rejection of calls from northerners for increased control of their national resources.

  (1540)  

    The Liberal government should leave the people of northern Canada with their resources and let them be their own environmentalists and stewards of the land. They know it the best.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the last part of the member's comments where he said we should let northerners decide about the north. I think that is certainly in order. I think that is what he should do also. He should support this bill and let the will of northerners decide.
    People of the north want to see changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and see scientific review. I have had an opportunity to speak to the member many times over the last while and I think we share a lot of goals and aspirations. However, there is a difference between how the Conservatives see the north and the Liberals see the north. The Liberals see the north as a treasure. I think the Conservatives see the north as a treasure chest and want to remove any impediments that get in the way.
    I would ask the member why would he not support this bill in that light.
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member and I have had many discussions. I do not think we are too far off on our feelings of the north. I have a fondness for the people of the north and I do not believe that we should be plundering any part of northern Canada for its wealth. It should be left to the people of the north to look after themselves and be the stewards of the land
    I object to this bill because its overtones are so similar to Bill C-48, Bill C-86 and others. As well, it takes the control away from the people. That is where my concerns come in. It takes the control away from the people and local government officials like the hon. member's brother who is a very well-known and respected person in the Northwest Territories. I feel they are a bit concerned about this bill, as I am.

  (1545)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to respond to a comment my colleague made. At the beginning of his speech, he said—and I imagine he speaks on his party's behalf—that he did not want to politicize the debate on the transport, or even the export in some cases, of natural resources. However, that is exactly what he is doing with a number of files. For example, when it comes to pipelines, he is politicizing the debate on the transport of natural resources.
    Why is he asking the House to stop politicizing these debates when that is exactly what the Conservative Party is doing at every opportunity?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I believe the hon. member is on a different page from me.
     When I talked about politicizing, it was with reference to what the government is doing by changing the regulations to make it more advantageous for the federal government to have the final say over the people of the land, who should have the final say. The government of the land, the provinces, should have the final say and the people of the provinces should have a stronger say than the federal government.
     That is what I am referring to when I talk about politicizing.
    Madam Speaker, I want to pay my respects to the people of Alberta who have suffered so much from the oil crisis, especially the hard-working people who work hard for their families. Those people have been insulted by the Prime Minister himself last weekend.
    I want to hear from the member about this. What does he think about the comments made by the Prime Minister about the hard-working Canadians in the oil sector?
    Madam Speaker, workers in Alberta are frustrated. The government is totally ignoring what is happening in Alberta. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost over the last few years.
    However, it is not only Albertans. We are upset because many of those people who were working in Alberta were from Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, people who have lost their jobs and have had to go back to their provinces, maybe where the economy was not doing as well.
    We are upset because we have a government that is not listening to the members of Parliament from Alberta or the Premier of Alberta who was here last Wednesday. The government is not listening to the people and trying to help our province get through this situation, so that all Canadians across this country, from coast to coast to coast, which includes the north, benefit.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my support for Bill C-88 and explain why I approved it at second reading stage. Before I go on, I want to tell you that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for St. Catharines.
    I would like to use my time to draw the attention of my hon. colleagues to the authorization of regional studies. Although this may be a lesser-known aspect of Bill C-88, regional studies should have a significant and positive impact on the review process at the core of the regulatory regime governing resource development in Canada's north.
    The proposed changes in the bill before us would allow the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade to establish committees to conduct regional studies. These studies could take very diverse forms. They could, for example, be as narrow as a documentary analysis or as broad as in-depth research to create databases on a body of water or a land mass. The relevant text of the proposed bill is purposely broad in order to allow for a variety of scopes and activities.
    One of the reasons why the bill uses non-specific language is that science and scientific knowledge are expanding and becoming increasingly sophisticated. Today, it is impossible to accurately predict what kind of regional study will be most beneficial ten or twenty years from now. That said, regional studies can generate valuable environmental and socio-economic information on the potential impacts of a proposed project. This would definitely be information that the Northwest Territories' regulatory boards would find useful.
    Although the proposed bill does not specify the form, scope, or subject of the studies, it clearly sets out what these studies and committees are not. Regional studies are not a substitute for the regulatory boards, for example, or any of the roles these boards play in the regulatory regime.
    The bill also states that a committee has no other role than what is set out in its terms of reference. Asking a committee to undertake a study essentially means hiring an expert or consultant to prepare a report. Under this bill, regional studies would be subject to the general principles of the integrated co-management regulatory regime authorized by the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
    The value of including regional studies in environmental impact assessments has long been recognized. Under subsection 16(1), proponents had to consider the cumulative environmental effects of their projects, while section 16(2) emphasized the role and value of regional studies, outside the scope of the act, in considering cumulative effects. Parliament repealed the act in 2012, replacing it with a new version that explicitly authorizes the minister of the environment to establish committees to conduct regional studies. Regional studies also feature prominently in a 2009 publication issued by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.
     The publication, which is entitled “Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment in Canada: Principles and Guidelines”, lists the benefits of regional studies. These include analyzing, identifying and managing cumulative environmental effects at a more appropriate, regional scale.
    According to this publication, regional studies can also contribute to the discussion of alternative sustainable future scenarios and key environmental goals and objectives for a region.

  (1550)  

    Studies save time and resources by avoiding environmental effects early on, rather than mitigating cumulative effects much further down the line. Regional studies establish regional environmental targets, limits and thresholds against which to monitor and evaluate subsequent development and management actions. In this way, studies support effective project-based performance assessment. Lastly, the publication suggests that regional studies can provide an early indication of public interest in regional environmental issues.
    It is clear that the value of regional studies to environmental impact assessments is increasingly being recognized. Many regulatory regimes in Canada use them as a way to collect environmental data and analyze environmental effects. Besides the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, provisions authorizing regional studies also appear in section 5 of Saskatchewan's Environmental Assessment Act and section 112 of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act.
    Many other jurisdictions in Canada incorporate regional studies into impact assessments, even though those studies are not explicitly mentioned in the legislative measure in question. The simple truth is that regional studies are becoming increasingly popular because they are useful. They can provide accurate, up-to-date, relevant data. They are versatile and can be adapted to specific, practical circumstances. For example, a regional study may analyze potential impacts from the perspective of an ecosystem or region as a whole, rather than solely from the perspective of a particular project. Regional studies can provide necessary baseline data from which to analyze the impact of future development projects. These studies can also help to determine environmental thresholds. Ultimately, the reliable data and analyses generated by regional studies help board members make well-informed decisions.
    By authorizing regional studies, Bill C-88 will make this valuable tool available to regulatory boards in the Northwest Territories. The studies can be used to support project reviews and potentially speed up environmental assessments and environmental impact reviews.
    Our government is committed to maintaining strong legislation that protects Canada's rich natural environment, respects the rights and interests of indigenous peoples and supports Canada's resilient natural resources sector. Bill C-88 makes a number of significant improvements to the system.
    In addition to authorizing the use of regional studies, the bill restores the regional land and water boards and creates a law enforcement system comprising inspections and revised penalties. Other changes will allow the boards to request extensions of their members' terms and enact regulations governing how governments and proponents consult indigenous peoples during the process to issue licences and permits and the environmental impact assessment process under the law. All these improvements will strengthen northerners' ability to maximize the benefits of resource projects while minimizing their negative impact.
    In closing, the bill before us deserves the support of the House. I encourage my hon. colleagues to join me in supporting Bill C-88 at second reading.

  (1555)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to quickly remind people what the former grand chief of the Tlicho government said at the hearing. He stated:
    It took 13 years of negotiations, negotiations with Canada and the GNWT, to arrive at the compromise that could have true co-management in the Wek'eezhii region, what we call the heart of the territory...
    The board works and it works well, but Bill C-15 wants to take all that away. It wants to destroy what took so long to build. It wants to do so with no rational reason whatsoever. Bill C-15 seeks to destroy the Wek'eezhii Land and Water Board. It wants to terminate it and replace it with a super-board with jurisdiction over the whole Mackenzie Valley.
    I think everyone would agree that our board systems work well. They are effective and efficient. We are not sure why we would try to fix something that is not broken.
    Would the member agree that we should leave the system that is in place, retract what the Conservatives put in the bill, and let the boards operate with the northerners in charge?

  (1600)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague from Northwest Territories for his question. We are both members of the Standing Committee on Finance and I am well aware of his strong commitment to the needs of the people in his riding, which is huge.
    The short answer to his question is that I totally agree with him. If people do not want to take my views on the subject, they can simply refer to the decision of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories, which, in 2014, overturned the measures in the 2002 Conservative bill. For that reason and the ones raised by my hon. colleague, I totally agree with him.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, could my friend provide his thoughts on the commitment the Prime Minister made, virtually from day one, to ensure that we have a government in Ottawa that understands the true value of reconciliation and how very important it is that we work with indigenous leaders and community members, and even to go beyond that?
    When we look at this legislation, it may not be absolutely perfect, but it sure does advance the cause. A good part of that owes to the fine efforts of the ministries and those who have come to the table to ensure that we have good, solid legislation today.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Parliamentary Secretary for sharing his point of view on the subject.
    He is absolutely right. Our government was elected on a clear promise to rebuild the relationship between Ottawa and indigenous peoples. This bill is another concrete example of how we are walking the talk. We also really need to trust indigenous peoples. After all, they were the ones who were here stewarding this vast and welcoming land.
    We have an opportunity to amend our laws and procedures to give more power to indigenous communities, and I am very proud to be part of a government that endorses this view.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, today, as we begin second reading debate on Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts, I will use my time to focus on the proposed amendments to the Canada Petroleum Resources Act.
    The north is seeing the effects of climate change in a more significant and faster way than the rest of Canada. In fact, climate change in the north is occurring at twice the global rate. Scientists now predict that the north will be ice-free by 2040, rather than the previous prediction of 2100.
    Climate change is having a profound impact on Canada's Arctic, as well as northern and indigenous peoples and communities. While some of the impacts of climate change, such as melting sea ice, are creating economic opportunities, they are also creating new health and safety risks for northerners and negatively affecting core traditional northern lifestyles, such as hunting and fishing. These changes are reframing Canada's approach to future development of Arctic offshore oil and gas in three ways.
    First, climate change is changing the ecology and distribution of marine species, which requires us to have a better understanding of what the risks are.
    Second, climate change is altering the northern environment, with more unpredictability in weather and ice and ocean behaviour, and we need a better understanding of all the factors influencing risks for workers and wildlife.
    Third, we have to be sure that activities will be pursued responsibly. We want to strike the appropriate balance between economic opportunities and environmental protection. Development must be done in a way that respects and strengthens reconciliation with indigenous peoples in the north.
    I am aware of the importance of oil and gas activities to economic prosperity and social well-being in Canada. We recognize the important potential these activities have to strengthen Canada's northern economy. However, acting in haste would be irresponsible and could cause permanent damage to our oceans and communities.
    In 2016, the Prime Minister affirmed that commercial activities in the Arctic would occur only if the highest safety and environmental standards were met and if these were consistent with our climate and environmental goals. These are important principles. As a government, by strengthening and modernizing our regulatory regime, we can ensure that these principles underpin resource development in the north.
    The bill's proposed amendments to the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to the Mackenzie Valley Resources Management Act are part of this modernization.
    This is not the first time we have come to this chamber with legislation to help northerners. In the late fall of 2017, we brought forward Bill C-17, an act to amend the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act. During third reading debate, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs said that we needed a robust process in place to protect our rich natural environment, respect the rights and interests of indigenous peoples and support a strong Canadian natural resources sector.
    The bill before the House today aims to do the same thing, namely, to protect the environment, respect indigenous rights, and support the natural resources economy. The bill would also provide the foundation for partnership and future collaboration. We know we can do all of these things, if we take the right approach.
    I will now speak more specifically to the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and what the proposed amendments in the bill would do to it. In short, the amendments would allow us to carefully assess the prospects of Arctic offshore resource development in the context of a changing environment. They would enable the government to freeze existing licences held by companies wanting to explore for oil and gas in the Beaufort Sea. This change complements the halt to the issuance of new licenses announced in 2016. This would allow for a thorough evaluation of the current science around climate change and effects on oceans so that we can best determine the next steps for Arctic offshore oil and gas.
    The Government of Canada will undertake this review with our northern partners, including Arctic indigenous groups and territorial governments. This means that any decisions will be steered by those most affected.
    This approach supports seven-generation thinking. This indigenous principle means that actions should only be taken when we have thought through the consequences for people seven generations into the future. This is critical in the context of climate change and the kind of planet we are going to leave to our grandchildren.

  (1605)  

    On that note, I want to take a moment and reaffirm our government's commitment to the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. This means our government will support and collaborate with indigenous and northern communities and territorial governments as they take action on climate change.
    Budget 2016 and budget 2017 provided over $220 million for new programs under the pan-Canadian framework. To date, these investments have supported hundreds of projects in the north and indigenous communities for marine life monitoring studies, coastal erosion and glacial melt impact assessments and initiatives for communities to explore wind and solar power alternatives to offset the use of diesel fuel. The funding is also being used to help indigenous people participate in policy discussions on climate change.
    The bill is consistent with these critical efforts to understand, mitigate and adapt to climate change. It is a question of deepening our understanding of the Arctic ecosystem and of the people who call the Arctic home.
    Sheila Watt-Cloutier, former international chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, has pointed out the importance of seeing the human aspect of effects of climate change in the north. In her book, aptly named The Right to Be Cold, she writes that she has been struck by the tight focus on wildlife instead of human life in the Arctic. She goes on to describe watching a montage about climate change in the Arctic produced by non-northerners. She relates that the photographs were impersonal, showing images of droughts, melting glaciers, coastal erosion and polar bears. She said that there was not a human face in sight.
     The point is that when dealing with the Arctic, we are dealing with societies as well as ecosystems. Taking a step back, the proposed amendments in the bill enable us to look at the big picture, including our interconnectedness and vulnerability as humans in a rapidly changing world.
     That is why I support Bill C-88 as it relates to the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and encourage all members to do the same.

  (1610)  

    Madam Speaker, one of the things that is really concerning about the bill is the fact that it would lock in place a lot of the drilling infrastructure in the North Sea. I believe the member is from southern Ontario. I wonder if he would have been excited about the bill if great swaths of farmland or, if he is from the Niagara region, vineyards had suddenly been deemed to be a national park and therefore no more human activity could happen in that area. If he had received a phone call about it 20 minutes before that announcement, would he still be excited about the bill?
    Madam Speaker, in the Niagara region, we are very proud of something called the greenbelt. It protects the environment. It protects green spaces against development. It protects farmland. It is shocking that the hon. member poses this question, because the people in Niagara respect and want that. People come to visit and live in Niagara because of the nature and the beauty the region provides. To not do the same in the north is unconscionable.
     This bill is going forward so the people in the north can determine how best to develop the land and how best to protect it.
    Madam Speaker, that is really interesting. The whole point is that 20 minutes before the announcement was made that there would be a drilling moratorium in the North Sea, a phone call was made to the premier of the Northwest Territories. The people of the Northwest Territories and Yukon had no chance to even have a say or give their input on this drilling moratorium. The people of Niagara had the ability to say that they would like to have a greenbelt in their region.
     Would the member not grant the people of the Northwest Territories and Yukon the same privileges as those provided to the people of southern Ontario?
    Madam Speaker, the point of the bill is to put control of resources and protection of the environment in the hands of those most impacted by it. The bill would undo what the previous government did, which is unconscionable and shameful. This is part of reconciliation. It is an important step forward and we fully support it.
    Madam Speaker, we recently heard of the oil spill on the east coast and that the weather prohibited the clean-up. I am not sure how they will clean up that spill.
     Could the member tell me what he would imagine would be a clean-up process for an oil spill in the Northwest Territories in the Beaufort Sea. There are no navigable aids, no response team and really no mechanism to clean up right now. How long would it take or would we even respond?
    Madam Speaker, I take the point of the hon. member for the Northwest Territories that it is sparsely populated. Reacting to a spill would be difficult. It would take a significant amount of time, if it were even possible based on the weather conditions. That is why this is not right for an Ottawa-based approach to put on the people of the Northwest Territories. This is for people who are most impacted by that to make the decision.
    The hon. members on the other side scoff at that for some reason that is unknown. However, this is the best way forward, to put it in the hands of indigenous peoples and territorial leaders.

  (1615)  

    Madam Speaker, the drilling moratorium announcement was part of the joint Arctic leaders' statement that the Prime Minister made in 2016. The ironic part about it was that none of the territorial leaders was at this joint Arctic leaders' statement.
    Would the member opposite agree me that if he indeed cares about northern voices being part of the decision-making process that at least the premiers of the territories should have been at this joint announcement?
    Madam Speaker, I look behind me and I see the hon. member for the Northwest Territories who is a strong leader in his community. He supports this and that is good for me.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to begin this debate by quoting the premier of the Northwest Territories when the Prime Minister, in 2016, as part of a Joint Arctic leaders' statement, declared that the Beaufort Sea would be a national park essentially and that there would be no more drilling. This meant that any infrastructure there would now be landlocked and any infrastructure that had been invested in would now be stopped and be held up from being developed.
     The premier of the Northwest Territories said that they would end up “living in a park.” That is precisely what the Prime Minister and his principal secretary Gerald Butts would like to see, that all of Canada become a national park, with no economy happening whatsoever.
    I will be sharing my time with the member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake.
    Bill C-88 lays out the legal framework for the drilling moratorium. It is part of an ongoing trend we see from the government. Canadians are welcome to live in Canada provided they do not do anything to touch the environment. Again, in the Northwest Territories, this is a record. However, we are seeing a trend.
     The Prime Minister has pounded his fists on the table, saying that he will get the Trans Mountain pipeline built. However, when it comes to every other energy project in the country, he has done everything in his power to undermine it. It all started with Bill C-48, the tanker moratorium on the west coast. This effectively killed the northern gateway pipeline. It is part of a larger trend.
     In Bill C-68, we see the reversal of the changes we made to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, making it easier for municipalities to develop their regions by putting culverts in and pipelines across streams. Those kinds of things were important changes we had made to make life easier for the people who live beyond Ottawa and Toronto, yet we see the government of today definitely reversing that.
    There is also Bill C-69, what we are calling the no more pipelines bill that overhauls the regulatory process for pipelines.
    We had a great regulatory framework to build pipelines. Under the Conservative government, we built four pipelines, approved northern gateway and other pipelines. What is really frustrating is that the Liberals went around saying that the public had no confidence in the process, which was completely false. It had been tested significantly by the court. Now that they are in power, they feel the need to overhaul it entirely so it will have to be tested by the court again.
     We see that again with Bill C-69, putting the livelihoods of many workers in the oil patch at risk. It is putting the livelihoods of many people who live north of the 55th parallel at risk. We would like to see the government change its ways regarding this.
     Bill C-88 is part of a strategy to keep oil in the ground. Therefore, we would definitely like to see it pull this bill back and Bill C-69 in particular.
    Over the weekend, there was much to be said about the back-to-work legislation the House imposed on the Canada Post workers. Just yesterday I saw a carton on Facebook about two oil field workers. One of the workers said, “I wish Ottawa would legislate us back to work.” This bill would legislate them out of work.
    The Beaufort Sea has vast oil reserves that have been explored. There are millions of dollars in infrastructure sitting up there, which has been basically been abandoned because of the drilling moratorium.

  (1620)  

    We need to ensure that Canada can work and be prosperous again. We have to ensure that our natural resources, whether oil in the Beaufort Sea, diamond mines in the Northwest Territories, or gold mines in the Yukon, can be developed and can bring prosperity for all of Canada.
    One of the major things we know about in northern Canada is the carbon tax and how that will affect northerners in particular. We hear the Liberals talking all the time about Canada being a carbon intensive economy. If we looked outside this morning, we would see that it was snowing, and we typically have snow for six to nine months out of the year, depending on where one lives in Canada. That means the temperature is below freezing for that length of time in the year, so we need to warm things up. We need to make sure our houses stay warm. I enjoy a warm shower every morning. Those things require energy. Not only does Canada require energy, but the world requires energy as well. What better place to get our energy than right here in Canada? However, when we bring in a drilling moratorium in the Beaufort Sea or introduce a carbon tax or table Bill C-69, we limit the development of our natural resources and we then import the energy we need from other jurisdictions that do not have the environmental regulatory framework we have. We do not allow our economy to flourish so it can bring prosperity to some parts of the country that could really use it.
    It is important that we develop our resources, including resources in the Beaufort Sea. We know that a large amount of money has been invested in developing that part of the world, and to just bar its development, through government regulation into the future, seems shortsighted and pandering on the world stage to forces outside of Canada.
    The announcement in 2016 shows to some degree that the joint Arctic leaders' statement did not take into account the Canadian perspective whatsoever. It was pandering to an international audience. The Prime Minister only had the decency to phone the premier 20 minutes before he made the announcement. That left the territories scrambling. When I was up in the Northwest Territories, one of the things they often said was to let them keep their own royalty revenues. Allowing them to keep the royalty revenues now, when they are unable to develop anything, will not help the situation whatsoever.
    With that, I ask the Liberals to reconsider the bill, to reconsider the drilling moratorium in the Beaufort Sea, to reconsider Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, and ensure that we can get development of our natural resources back on the table, bringing prosperity to all Canadians and all Albertans.
    Madam Speaker, I heard the member talk about the need to bring our natural resources forward so they can be properly sold, and I heard other Conservatives talk the same line tonight. However, when we talk about oil specifically, when Stephen Harper came to power in 2006, 99% of our oil was exported to the United States. When he left in 2015, 99% of our oil was still exported to the United States. There was no attempt, or at least no successful attempt, to diversify that marketplace and to get our oil anywhere other than where it was already going, the United States. In fact, the four pipelines the previous government did touch in one way or another in getting approvals and some kind of work done on them only contributed to our continued export of our oil to the U.S.
    Therefore, if the Conservatives are so interested in making sure we are selling our natural resources to other markets for the betterment of our economy, could he please explain why they were unable to do anything on that front for a solid 10 years?

  (1625)  

    Madam Speaker, I am glad the member opposite recognizes the fact that we had four major pipeline projects built. The thing that he failed to mention was the fact that northern gateway was approved and ready to be built until the Liberals brought in the tanker moratorium with Bill C-48. That would have definitely brought our oil to foreign markets.
    Another thing he failed to mention was energy east, for which the government moved the goal posts and demanded an upstream and downstream calculation of the CO2 emissions the pipeline project would have produced. That deemed the project uneconomical. The company basically said that if the government continued to put up hurdles or hoops for it to jump through, it would take its ball and go home, particularly when other jurisdictions around the world were reducing red tape and making it more exciting to do business there.
    I am glad the member recognizes the four pipelines we built. I am upset that he forgot to mention energy east and the northern gateway.
    Madam Speaker, I want to remind the member that the issue before the House today is the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act, which are very important to my riding. The member chose to speak mostly about Bill C-69.
    I also want to point out that oil exploration in the Beaufort Sea peaked in 2008. World markets declined, and in the previous five years leading up to that decision, only $7 million was spent on the Beaufort Sea, amounting to a little over $1 million a year to keep the licences and permits going. No work was created. After one year of consultation with existing rights holders, territorial government and indigenous governments, everyone now agrees how important it is to protect the unique offshore environment and that we need to pursue oil and gas development in a safe way.
    I totally agree with the member that the north should be keeping the royalties, but should we not also be deciding what is best for ourselves in the north?
    Madam Speaker, that is exactly what the entire thrust of my speech was. Bill C-88 imposes a drilling moratorium in the Beaufort Sea from Ottawa. That is precisely what the member seems not to want, yet he is standing and saying that is not the case.
    He talks about royalties, but if there is no drilling going on, there will be no royalties. I ask the member for the Northwest Territories to stand and defend the interests of the people of the Northwest Territories. The resources being developed would bring improvement to the quality of life in the Northwest Territories, if we can get some of our resources to market.

[Translation]

    Order. It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Trois-Rivières, Rail Transportation; the hon. member for Saskatoon West, Public Transportation; and the hon. member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay, Infrastructure.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, Bill C-88 would have a negative effect on Canadians in northern communities, who are already struggling to survive. When will enough be enough? Northerners are struggling to access basic resources like affordable groceries, water, high-speed Internet, safe roads and health care. Why is the Liberal government making life even harder for northern Canadians by restricting some of the largest sectors in the north, Canadian energy and, indirectly, the mining industry?
    I regret to inform the House that Bill C-88 would repeal and reverse the land and water board restructuring changes the Conservatives passed in the Northwest Territories Devolution Act. It would also further polarize and politicize the regulatory and environmental process for resource extraction in Canada's north by giving the Liberal cabinet ultimate power to stop projects as it suits its political agenda. Northerners deserve increased autonomy over their natural resources sector. The Liberal government needs to stop meddling in the affairs of the north for its own gain.
    Bill C-88 is an unnecessary and paternalistic blockade of oil and gas development in the Arctic and other northern regions. I must say that Bill C-88 fails on all fronts. It fails to respect workers in the oil and gas sector, fails to protect investments in the development of remote areas, fails to protect Canadian aboriginal communities on the path to reconciliation and, most disturbingly, fails to give northern communities the autonomy they deserve.
    Bill C-88 would be particularly hard on the oil and gas sector. The government's failure to get key energy projects completed and to invest in the north is threatening expansion of the oil and gas sector, putting tens of thousands of good-paying, high-quality jobs at risk. While big American oil companies are getting discounts of over $100 million a day on Canadian oil, Canadian oil still needs to reach international markets.
    Bill C-88 is yet another anti-energy policy, making getting and keeping jobs in one of Canada's largest economic industries nearly impossible. Canada's Conservatives will continue to fight for Canada's resource sector and the hard-working Canadians whose livelihoods depend on energy. They can count on us to stand up against a government determined to phase out their jobs.
    On another note, Bill C-88 fails to take into consideration economic development in remote indigenous and non-indigenous communities in the north. The north is a key driver of economic activity in Canada. There is no doubt that Canada's north should be treated with the respect it deserves. Conservatives know that economic prosperity in the north does not mean ruining landscapes or harming the environment. Economic investment in the north means finding jobs for Canadians in some of the most remote areas of our country, it means economic prosperity for our economy as a whole and, most importantly, economic investment in the north means food on the table for thousands of Canadian families currently struggling to get by.
    The Liberal government is hiking taxes on over 90% of middle-class families in the north. Despite the government's lavish spending, Canadian northerners are no further ahead. We need to promote effective investments in important areas in the north, such as health care, housing and quality drinking water. It is also important to spend money that translates into tangible results for northern Canadians.
    Bill C-88 is nothing more than a ploy to win votes in urban centres rather than actually reduce poverty in the northern regions of Canada. We need to put Canadians first, not politicians and their concealed agendas. We need a government that will take the right steps to create sustainable economic opportunities for northerners in Canada. It is time that we started investing properly in the north so we can reap the rewards of economic prosperity for decades to come.
    Bill C-88 also fails to adequately support the economic needs of indigenous peoples in Canada. It would significantly impact Canada's northern indigenous populations. Representing a rural riding with a large indigenous population, I know that the rights and sovereignty of Canada's indigenous people must be respected. We must work collaboratively with the indigenous populations in the north to put forward policies that make real and measurable improvements in the lives of Canada's indigenous people.

  (1630)  

    The Liberals failed to take the necessary steps to create sustainable economic opportunities for indigenous people in remote communities. By cancelling key energy projects, delaying offshore oil and gas projects in the Arctic for five years and imposing out-of-control taxes on rural populations, the future for Canada's northern indigenous populations is not looking bright.
    Conservatives support advancing the process of reconciliation but also realize there is no lasting reconciliation between the Canadian government and indigenous populations without economic reconciliation. We must empower indigenous communities through job opportunities, industry and economic growth, rather than take valuable opportunities away.
     Last but not least, northerners deserve a greater say in their own regional affairs. Canadians do not want Big Brother. The government needs to establish a plan to both respect northern sovereignty and promote economic prosperity in the north. The Liberal government's plan to impose restrictions on the northern economy will have serious long-term effects on the people living in remote communities.
     We need to give autonomy back to people living in the north. Political elites in Ottawa should not get the final say on what energy projects get approved and which energy projects get denied. We need to consult workers and other stakeholders in the north before deciding to scrap potentially valuable energy projects. If we take away northerners' voices on these issues, the communities that can least afford these dangerous polices will be the ones most impacted.
    Looking to the future, we need a government that will respect the autonomy of the north, provide economic opportunities for Canada's indigenous populations, invest in northern economic prosperity and protect Canada's oil and gas workers.
     Conservatives do not support Bill C-88 and the Liberal government's anti-energy policies. Together, we should change this legislation to better support Canadian industry in the north, and protect the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of workers in northern Canada.
    The Northwest Territories has vast underdeveloped oil and gas reserves. It is estimated that the Northwest Territories potentially hold as much as 37% of Canada's marketable light crude oil resources and 35% of its marketable natural gas resources. Like Bill C-69, Bill C-88 will have Ottawa pick the winners and losers. Even if northern industries jump through all the hoops and meet all the criteria, Ottawa can simply say, “No, game over.”
    We should have Canadian oil in every refinery in Canada, and jobs for Canadians, not for Saudi Arabia, and support made, produced and manufactured in Canada.
     The Liberal government record is shameful. It killed northern gateway by putting a tanker ban on the west coast. Then it created a moratorium on offshore oil and gas development in the Beaufort Sea, an announcement made in December 2016 without even consulting northerners.
    The government killed energy east by changing the environmental assessment process almost monthly and then added upstream and downstream emissions, which is not applied to any other industry in the world. The list goes on.

  (1635)  

    Madam Speaker, the member took a bit of time to talk about making sure that indigenous governments and the rights of the local people in the Northwest Territories were respected in the process, but I asked a question previously about the Conservative government's inability to deliver on any kind of natural resource or, in particular, oil delivery and mobility.
    The problem is that while at the same time the Harper government was touting this economic superpower idea of all the oil and everything we could do with it during the 10 years the Harper government was around, the Conservatives also spent a considerable amount of time attacking indigenous people, trampling on their rights in fact, attacking the environment and climate initiatives and organizations that were out there to do that. Effectively that put a target on the back of the oil industry.
    I want to know how the member can stand here today and talk about protecting the rights of locals, in particular in these communities, while at the same time Stephen Harper and his government exactly undermined them for 10 years.
    Madam Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories and indigenous peoples should be responsible for their own development. We do not need Ottawa there to determine whether a project goes ahead or not. As I said earlier, industry can jump through all the hoops, back and forth, doing everything the government wants, but at the end of the day, the government can say yes or no, based on a whim.
    I would like to rephrase your question by asking this: What can we do to give the rights back to the indigenous peoples and the Northwest Territories?

  (1640)  

    I do want to remind the member that it was not my question, and I would ask him to address questions and comments to the Chair in such a way that they are not going directly to a member.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Sherbrooke.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am trying to follow the Conservatives' logic on natural resources development, especially in terms of natural resources transportation.
    Earlier, I asked a question about how this debate is being politicized. A Conservative member said it is vital for communities, the provinces and the territories to have the final say. In his speech, the member said that the government must make sure local communities and the government of the land in question have decision-making power with respect to oil and natural resource transportation projects.
    Logically, then, do the Conservatives agree that, when a province and its government oppose a natural resource transportation project, as Quebec's National Assembly opposed energy east, the Conservative Party would honour that consensus and agree that the project cannot go ahead without the approval of the whole province?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, there are things that are in the national interest, and we have to ensure we have consultation and ensure everyone is at the table when making a decision. However, when it comes to a national interest, like energy east, that means jobs for Canadians. Right now we are buying the majority of our oil from Saudi Arabia for the east coast here. We have practically zero Canadian oil.
    When it comes to Canadians, every decision should be based on what is best for Canada, what is best for the community and for the indigenous community. We all have a voice, but when we make a decision it should be after consultations with everybody involved. Our approach is to use science and make sure that whatever we do is better for all Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise and address the many issues that come before the House, and this bill is yet another good example of legislation that has been well done.
    At the end of the day, members will see there is wide support for the legislation in the communities that are most impacted. More than that, I would suggest that Canadians as a whole have confidence in this government's ability to manage our resources in a fair fashion that sees the national interest served, that the environment is addressed and ensures that consultations take place, whether they are with indigenous people, provincial or territorial governments or organizations. We take this responsibility very seriously. In fact, we have seen ministers of the Crown make a great deal of effort in reaching out to the many different communities and to stakeholders. Ultimately, it allows us to put together the type of legislation that we have.
    If there is one single aspect of this legislation that we need to make note of, it would likely be how Bill C-88 would fix a problem that was created by Stephen Harper a number of years ago when the government at the time brought in Bill C-15. Members from both sides of the House have referred to Bill C-15.
     I had the opportunity to address the bill a number of years ago when I was on the opposition benches. If memory serves me correctly, I was somewhat critical of the inability of Stephen Harper's government to work with the different stakeholders, and I would put a special emphasis on indigenous people. I remember talking with my colleague from the north, the member for Yukon, about this particular issue when the Conservatives were making some of these changes. I remember how passionate he was as a northerner, and also as an elected official in recognizing the harm that was being caused.
    Fast forward to today, and as I listened to my colleague from the Northwest Territories speak to the legislation, I have a better understanding of how he and his family have been long-time advocates for the issues in the Northwest Territories, which could be broadened to include northern Canada. One cannot help but be inspired by the level of dedication and strong sense of commitment to ensure that what we are doing is moving us forward in the right direction. This is why I thought it was important to listen to the member for Northwest Territories, as he has a great deal of knowledge on such an important issue.
    The Prime Minister talked a great deal, even before the last national election, about the issue of indigenous people, and ensuring that they are enabled to provide the strong and healthy leadership we know they are very capable of and to ensure that they are sitting at the table. The Prime Minister often talks about the importance of that relationship.
    I have listened to the questions and comments coming from the Conservatives. However, I can see within the questions and comments from my colleague and friend from the Northwest Territories his caring attitude in regard to what was done and what it is that this legislation is attempting to undo.

  (1645)  

    Let me be a bit more specific. Bill C-15 says that we have these land and water management boards that were responsible for different geographical areas. Through Bill C-15, the Conservatives wanted to get rid of those boards in favour of one super board.
    If that had been an honest reflection of what was being pushed for by the affected communities, I suspect there would have been more sympathy toward at least that very aspect of Bill C-15. There was a great deal of resistance to the bill. There are communities today that feel fairly positive about the way Bill C-88 would reverse that aspect of Bill C-15.
    I wanted to highlight that for the simple reason that at the end of the day we want there to be a sense of fairness among the different decision-makers. By recognizing the important role that not one so-called super board would play but that those local, decentralized boards would play is a positive step forward.
    It might take some time to work over some of the issues as a result of the actions taken by the Stephen Harper Conservatives at the time but we have to recognize that Bill C-88 is a move forward in the right direction.
     I had the opportunity to do a bit of research thanks to Google maps just to get a sense of the Mackenzie Valley. It is a huge area. The basin that feeds into the Mackenzie River is probably larger than the land mass of most countries around the world. We are talking about a significant amount of land and waterways. I understand it begins in Fort Providence, where my colleague from Northwest Territories calls home nowadays, which is really the southern beginning of the valley.
    Even though I have never had the pleasure to visit that area, I have seen, as I am sure all members have seen, documentaries and films, through which I got a fairly good sense of everything that the Northwest Territories has to offer. From what I have seen, that mass of land and water is most impressive.
    The Prime Minister decided that we needed that moratorium. It is interesting to note that the Conservative member who spoke before me asked about the national interest. I would suggest that the moratorium was in the national interest. Not only was it in the interest of the Northwest Territories but it was in the national interest.
    Canadians genuinely are concerned about their environment. They are concerned about how we draw resources out of the environment and transport them.
    Canadians understand and appreciate that the people who really know the area the best are the people who call that area home. They really have the experience and the knowledge to ensure that the types of decisions being made take our environment into consideration.

  (1650)  

    Dealing with things of this nature has to factor in indigenous people and other stakeholders. I am quite pleased with the way the government has said that we want to make sure that the types of consultations that were required were going to be done, and that is why it has taken as long as it has to come before the House. There is so much to lose if we do not do this right. I look to those leaders in the Northwest Territories to provide strong leadership on this front.
    I do not question how important it is to protect our environment, but I also know how important it is that we continue to develop our communities, economically in particular, and how that economic growth benefits people who live in the northwest or live in northern Canada but also benefits everyone in Canada.
     I will go back to that concept of the national interest. There are many Canadians who travel to the north periodically, whether for tourism or other reasons. Tourism in the area, my colleagues from the north will tell us, has fantastic potential for growth and that is one of the reasons we want to protect our harbour and the environment. I suspect that there is a growing demand for workers from down south to be able to be able to fulfill some of that potential for growth into the future. In fact, I was talking to my friend from Yukon. He was telling me how the Filipino community is starting to grow up north.
    A big part of economic development is to ensure that the government has the financial resources to provide the types of programs that we have heard about today, whether it is health care, education, training programs or protection of our environment. All of these take money and one of the ways we can accrue the financial resources to provide those types of services to Canadians is through the development of our natural resources.
    Let there be no doubt that there is a great deal of development potential in Canada's north. If we work with others and look for the leadership of those who are living in the communities, we can actually manage that development in such a way that everyone wins. This is something that as a government we have demonstrated that we are committed to doing. I could give tangible examples.
    Conservative after Conservative have stood up today in their place and been critical of this government's inability to get a pipeline to the Pacific Ocean for markets out in that area, looking at China and beyond. However, what the Conservatives do not tell us is that this government, in managing both the environment and the economy and working collaboratively with the stakeholders, in particular indigenous people and provincial governments, was able to accomplish something that Stephen Harper could not accomplish in 10 years.

  (1655)  

    For the first time in many years, we now have the potential to see a pipeline that will deliver our commodity to other regions of the world, outside the United States. Some of my Conservative colleagues are snickering at that comment, but that is the reality. Even today, the Minister of Natural Resources made reference to the fact that when Stephen Harper became prime minister, over 99% of our oil commodity was being sold into the United States. After being the prime minister for 10 years, the Conservatives had failed Canadians, failed Albertans and they did not materialize, as this government did materialize, in a very real and tangible way.
    The Conservatives are critical and ask about the national interest. I would suggest that is a very good example of why we bought the pipeline. I am very proud that we have a government that is committed to ensuring that we manage our natural resources and the many different commodities that we have.
    The government is not prepared to forsake the environment, to forsake the importance of having individuals living in those communities engaged, and that is what I like about Bill C-88. It reinforces the importance of that, and it does it primarily through getting rid of the one aspect of Bill C-15 that was so poorly received by the communities directly affected. That is one of the reasons why I suspect that this legislation will get support from all political entities within the chamber, with one possible exception. I should not say the possible exception, I understand the Conservatives will be opposing the legislation.
    However, I do believe there is better understanding coming from the other parties in the House. I believe that if the Conservatives would start listening a little more to what Canadians have to say about a series of important public issues, they, too, might be more inclined to recognize the merits of Bill C-88 and get behind the legislation itself.
    I want to highlight a couple of other issues that I think are important to recognize. There is a cost recovery component to the legislation, where the bill includes a regulation making authority for cost recovery. This would allow cost recovery from proponents on major development proposals undergoing environmental impact assessments, as well as ensuring a water licensing process undertaken by a land and water board. The issue of cost recovery has been talked about a great deal over the years, and I thought it had received fairly wide support from all sides of the House.
    There are administrative monetary penalties within the legislation. The bill proposes a scheme for administrative monetary penalties through regulations, including the power to designate the offences under the act that may be considered violations. The determination of the penalty amounts for each violation, the maximum amount for these penalties would be $25,000 for individuals and $100,000 for organizations.
    I want to also recognize that the legislation provides some certainty for industries, which is also very important, given the moratorium that was put in place. However, let us recognize that the moratorium was a good thing for Canada. It was a very good thing.

  (1700)  

    At the end of the day, this is a government that takes our environment seriously, unlike the Conservatives. This is a government that understands the importance of the development of our natural resources, and it is a government that recognizes the importance of working with people.
    Madam Speaker, I applaud the sense of humour of my colleague from Winnipeg North when he talked about the pipeline being a good deal, when we saw $4.5 billion of Canadian taxpayers' money going to Houston instead of being invested here in Canada. I very much respect him, but I am very surprised that he said that.
    More seriously, why are we talking about the petroleum industry? I am wondering what my hon. colleague's thoughts are after the statement made by the Prime Minister about oilmen working hard in the oil industry. Those people are being insulted by the Prime Minister. What are his thoughts on that?
    Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister is someone who truly cares about what is taking place in the province of Alberta. This Prime Minister, with all seriousness, has done more for the advancement of the economy in Alberta than Stephen Harper did. All one needs to do is look at the western diversification fund. We can talk about capital infrastructure through many programs initiated by this government in the province of Alberta and about establishing a process that will see oil ultimately reach markets other than just the United States. Harper talked, but this is a Prime Minister who has actually delivered for the province of Alberta and all people.

  (1705)  

    Madam Speaker, I will give the Prime Minister credit. He has united everyone in Alberta against him. That is what he has done. That is all he has done.
    I want to get back to the issue at hand. The member talked about the previous government's Bill C-15. He must have thought it was okay, because he voted in favour of it. The Liberal Party voted in favour of Bill C-15, and now he is pretending that it was an egregious piece of legislation that had to be withdrawn.
    The member also talked about the moratorium on offshore oil and gas as being great for Canada. Maybe he should talk to Premier Bob McLeod, who felt that it was so egregious, he issued a red alert on the colonial attack on the territories' oil and gas future. He said, “The promise of the North is fading and the dreams of northerners are dying as we see a re-emergence of colonialism.”
     When the Prime Minister announced the offshore moratorium, he did it from Washington, D.C., and did not even have the courtesy to inform Bob McLeod until an hour before he made that announcement with Barack Obama, as Barack Obama was on his way out of office as a lame duck president.
    Conservatives will take no lessons from the Liberal Party, which treats northerners as though Ottawa knows best. That is what the member just said. He confirmed again that the offshore moratorium, which was an insult to northerners, was actually a great thing for Canada. Why does he not stand up and apologize to the people of the north?
    Madam Speaker, we are going to have to agree to disagree. There is legislation before us that would rectify a serious flaw in Bill C-15. If the member reflected on what I said in Hansard about Bill C-15, I am sure he would find that I was somewhat critical of the government for not working with the communities to bring forward legislation that reflected what I believed, at the time, would have been a much better approach than the Stephen Harper attitude toward consultations. The legislation before us today has taken the time it has because the government has been working with the people of the Northwest Territories, other stakeholders, indigenous groups and many other individuals.
    With regard to the moratorium, I suspect that we would find fairly good support from all regions of the country, including the Northwest Territories, on the value of ensuring that we have a process that protects our environment. That was the primary purpose of the moratorium. Unlike the Conservatives, we believe that the environment is worth fighting for.
    Madam Speaker, I heard the Conservatives mention a number of things in the last couple of hours regarding the north. They talked about oil and gas infrastructure in the Beaufort Sea. I should point out that there is no oil and gas infrastructure in Beaufort Sea.
    I heard them talk about sharing the resource royalties from the oil and gas, but there is none. They also talked about the concern that we shut down activity in the Beaufort. There is and has been no activity for a long while.
    I would like to ask the member if he would agree that we should instead shift our focus to investing in navigational aids, spill response, and necessary infrastructure, such as ports, and then should conduct a thorough, scientific review. We would probably have the support of northern communities behind us, knowing that we have a good plan.
    Madam Speaker, this is why I am such a big fan of my friend and colleague from the Northwest Territories. What we hear from the Conservative benches is a lot of criticism based on Conservative Stephen Harper's spin documents. Those documents say that there is in fact oil and gas, and that is why they continue to read it.
    Contrast that to the member who actually lives in the community. He talks about the future in terms of how important the ports are. Maybe we should be looking at ways we can invest in ports. There are many other aspects of potential development in our north that could, in fact, lead to all sorts of wonderful opportunities. It is not all about oil and gas. That is how the Conservatives see it.
    There are many other opportunities. Earlier in my comments, I highlighted tourism, the idea of ports and anything related to aviation, which would allow individuals to experience the great white outdoors and the beautiful summertime. That takes investing in infrastructure. That is something I believe is just as important as we continue to have that dialogue with individuals who call the north home. That is where the leadership for the development of the Northwest Territories is going to come from.

  (1710)  

    Madam Speaker, I am going to go to part A of the bill. I am not sure if the member is aware, but the report done by McCrank says, “the current regulatory processes in the Northwest Territories are complex, costly, unpredictable and time consuming.”
    To amalgamate while respecting indigenous rights, he said,
    The approach would address the complexity and capacity issues inherent to the current model by making more efficient use of expenditure and administrative resources. It would also allow for administrative practices to be understandable and consistent.
    I guess he thinks it is great to go back to the system of war. Is he saying that McCrank was wrong? What has your government done to actually make sure it has dealt with all those problems that were identified?
    I want to ask the member to ensure that she addresses the questions to the Chair and not directly to the government.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, Neil McCrank was wrong. That, I guess, is the essence of the answer to my colleague's question.
    Stephen Harper at the time believed that he could have one board to replace the others. He was prepared to do that at all costs. He was not listening to what people within the community actually had to say. Rather, he seemed to be focused on one or two possible Conservatives and at the end of the day did not take into consideration the importance of the community nor the importance of the environment.
    Ultimately, that is the reason we are having to make the change. It is something that is overdue, and I am glad the minister was able to bring forth the legislation. I would ask my friends across the way to reconsider their position, as this is good legislation that would make a positive difference up north.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Chilliwack—Hope.
    As always, I am honoured to represent the constituents of Saskatoon—Grasswood today in the House as we speak to Bill C-88.
    As members may or may not know, I am a member of the indigenous and northern affairs committee, and on October 15 of this year, we undertook a study on northern infrastructure projects and strategies. At the meetings we have heard from federal government officials as well as from territorial and local government officials. We have also heard from indigenous groups and a variety of stakeholder groups. We have learned many interesting things, but the one common theme in all the testimony we have heard for months is that there is a real need for infrastructure in the north. People in the north do not need more rules. People in the north do not need more regulations, and people in the north do not need moratoriums. What they do need is infrastructure.
    The members opposite will argue, and we have heard this all day, that Bill C-88 is a remake of a piece of Conservative legislation that received royal assent in 2014 and then faced a court challenge. Bill C-88 still incorporates many of the changes the Conservative legislation made with respect to new environmental enforcement powers and requiring project proponents to cover the cost of the review process. However, it did not carry the weight of a carbon tax, which the current government wants to bring to northern Canada.
    The concern from industry, obviously, about the added carbon tax cost and all the new federal environmental red tape, combined with the lack of infrastructure, is that it already costs a lot more to develop a project in the north compared to any temperate location. With the new Liberal regulatory costs, the high business taxes, the carbon tax that is coming in and charging for the cost of the review process, we might as well take out an ad in Bloomberg News saying, “Canada's north is definitely closed for business.”
     This is not an overreaction. Let me share some of the testimony from Brendan Marshall, vice-president of economic and northern affairs for the Mining Association of Canada. He said:
    Currently, domestic legislative and regulatory processes with implications for project permitting and costs persist, while recent supply chain failures have damaged Canada's reputation as a reliable trade partner. Further, recent tax reform in the U.S. has significantly enhanced that jurisdiction's investment competitiveness over Canada's.
    We certainly have echoed that for the past number of months. The tax changes made in the United States are eating corporate Canada. Mr. Marshall continued:
    The impact of this uncertainty has been felt by Canada's mining industry, where investment has dropped more than 50%, or $68 billion, since 2014, amid a strong price rebound for many commodities over the last three years.
     I will read a few more quotes from evidence at our committee meetings in the last month or two. The hon. Wally Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment and Minister of Infrastructure for the Government of the Northwest Territories, said in our meeting:
    The Northwest Territories is home to many of the minerals that will fuel the global green economy, including cobalt, gold, lithium...and rare earth elements. Alongside our mineral resources, our territory has significant energy power potential. As we continue our shift to low-carbon alternatives, our hydro development has the potential to meet market needs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions....
    Despite our enormous economic potential and strong indigenous partners, the Northwest Territories is still hindered, in that we still require much of the basic infrastructure that already exists in southern jurisdictions. This includes roads to which many of our communities do not have access. In partnership with Canada, we need to continue to build territorial and community infrastructure to support healthy and prosperous communities and to lower the cost of living [that we are seeing today in northern Canada].

  (1715)  

    However, Bill C-88 would not provide any of that. Merven Gruben, the mayor of the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, said:
    It's kind of déjà vu. In 2012, I was invited to come here and speak to a panel as well. I think it was just about the same people, or the same panel. We did such a good presentation in the fall of 2012, that in February 2013 our friend Mr. Flaherty—rest in peace—announced in the budget that we were going to get $199 million for our highway. That was the beginning of our Tuk-Inuvik highway. I don't know why we call it Tuk-Inuvik highway. I like to call it the highway to Tuk. It's just the finishing off of the Dempster Highway, the Diefenbaker highway. That's what it should be, the road to resources.
    Anyway, we got this highway built, and unbelievably, this year we had 5,000 people come to Tuk—5,000 tourists. On a good year, we maybe get about 2,500....It's just a total game-changer.
    Mr. Gruben went on to say:
    We're proud people who like to work for a living. We're not used to getting social assistance and that kind of stuff. Now we're getting tourists coming up, but that's small change compared to when you work in oil and gas and you're used to that kind of living. Our people are used to that. We're not used to selling trinkets and T-shirts and that kind of stuff....We're sitting on trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. It's right under our feet, yet we're shipping diesel and gasoline from far away.
    This just does not make any sense at all.
    As I mentioned earlier, one of the more troubling aspects of the bill is, specifically, the proposed amendments to the CPRA, which will authorize the Governor in Council to issue an order when, in the national interest, prohibiting existing exploration licence and significant discovery licence holders from carrying out any oil and gas activities.
    What company would invest its shareholders' money to develop an oil or gas deposit when there is a possibility that the government could come in at any time and shut it down? What exactly do we mean by the “national interest”? There is no explanation. Perhaps an example or two of what the Liberals mean by that would certainly clarify it.
    The mandate letter of the sponsor of the bill reads in part:
    As Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, your goal will be to implement national commitments and priorities that depend on strong relationships with other orders of government, creating good middle class jobs, growing the economy, and advocating for and achieving improved trade between provinces and territories. You will also work to address the needs and priorities of Northerners.
    Bill C-88 certainly stifles the creation of good, middle-class jobs. It would not grow the economy at all. It certainly would not address the needs and priorities of northern Canadians. It is going to be very difficult for the residents of the north to attract resource development companies when they do not have the needed infrastructure, and the onerous tax burdens and regulatory hoops they have to jump through.
    We have talked in committee about infrastructure in northern aboriginal communities. We have talked about transportation, energy and telecommunications. On transportation alone, due to the lack of efficient transportation systems, costly workarounds must be developed.
    The government must know that it really cannot have it both ways. It cannot attract investment in Canada, in particular in the north, where its penchant for taxes and onerous rules and regulations live on. We have seen this time and again in the country. Now northern Canada is feeling the wrath of the Liberals.

  (1720)  

    Madam Speaker, I think a couple of the member's colleagues said that they supported indigenous self-government, controlling one's own destiny.
    The Sahtu and the Tlicho have self-governing modern treaties. I wonder if the member supports that.
    While he is thinking of the answer, to show their support, all the MPs in the House are invited by Chief Roberta Joseph from Dawson City to the AFN reception, second floor of the Westin Hotel, to protect the Porcupine caribou herd, starting in half an hour. If they cannot make that, I will invite everyone in the House, and in fact in the country, to come to Yukon Day tomorrow, at 5:30 p.m., at 228 Valour Building.

  (1725)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for the invitation. Unfortunately, tonight we have some votes in the House of Commons, so we cannot make the reception, but we will be there tomorrow on behalf of the Conservative Party.
    It is interesting, because when we look at Bill C-88, it consists of two parts. Part 1 would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, which was initially passed under the Chrétien Liberals back in 1998, 20 years ago. Of course it was amended by our former Conservative government within Bill C-15, for which the Liberals, who were third party back in 2014, voted.
    Madam Speaker, frequently the Liberals in their speeches have talked about the importance of consultation and engagement and working together in partnership.
    I wonder how my colleague would describe the Prime Minister, while he was in Washington, making a grand statement about a moratorium on oil and gas in the Beaufort, giving a 20 minute notice to territorial governments and having no conversation at all. It was a decision that impacted across the north and without one word of consultation.
    Could the member comment on the way the Liberals have said glowingly how much importance they put on consultation and working in partnership?
    Madam Speaker, that day will go down as one of the worst days in Canadian Parliament history, the Prime Minister announcing a moratorium in northern Canada, with the announcement being made with an outgoing president of the United States of America, Barack Obama.
    How would the members feel if they were northerners, getting a phone call 20 minutes before the announcement was to be made that there would be a moratorium on oil and gas where they live? They can sell a t-shirt for $7.99 and a few trinkets, but these northerners want jobs and they want to be a part of the middle class in the country. That was just a stab in the back when the Prime Minister made the announcement, not in this country but with the president of the United States.
    Madam Speaker, there is an injunction about that particular clause that is being changed by the courts, that the Sahtu and the Tlicho brought before the government to get changed. They want the boards changed back to the way it was negotiated in their land claims.
    Does the member have a comment on whether that clause is a good idea?
    Madam Speaker, back in 2014, the Conservative government tried to reduce government. In the country we have seen a lot of obstruction in oil and gas. This was the issue back then. We had so many water boards and so many other boards up there, that we tried to condense it down to one that could deal with the situation. It probably hurt a few people's feelings.
     However, at the end of the day, look at what we see in Alberta, the announcement yesterday by the Premier of Alberta, reducing oil capacity in that province. We watched the Liberal government buy a pipeline for $4.5 billion that we did not need to buy. The company in charge took the money, and it is now doing very good business in the state of Texas.
    Madam Speaker, it is always good to speak in the House and on an issue about which I am passionate, northern Canada.
    Bill C-15, which we have heard referenced a number of times, was legislation of which I was very proud to have been a part. I was part of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. We spent a lot of quality time in the Northwest Territories talking to people about making government work better for the people of the Northwest Territories. That is what Bill C-15 did. It devolved powers from Ottawa to the territories, something for which the Northwest Territories had been fighting and asking for decades. That is what our government delivered.
    This bill, Bill C-88, basically formalizes in law one of the most egregious slaps in the face I think I have ever witnessed as an elected representative.
     The Prime Minister went to Washington, D.C., to see his friend Barack Obama off. He had already termed out. He was in the lame duck portion of his presidency. The Prime Minister decided that it would be a good going away present to put a moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the Beaufort Sea in the Northwest Territories and he did it without consulting.
     The current government likes to talk about consulting with indigenous people. However, when the rubber hits the road, it could not care less what the indigenous people of the country think unless it goes along with its preconceived notion of what it wants to do as a government. We saw that with the moratorium. We saw it as well with the northern gateway pipeline, where the Aboriginal Equity Partners, a group of 31 indigenous communities, had a $2 billion opportunity staring them in the face. The Prime Minister and the Liberal government shut that down with the stroke of a pen. Again, they did it from Ottawa.
    When it comes to the Liberals, Ottawa always knows best and when it comes to indigenous peoples and the Liberals, Ottawa always knows best. We saw that with the moratorium and the northern gateway pipeline. They feel they have no obligation to consult when it comes to the economic opportunities they rip away from indigenous communities. They ripped away opportunities from the Aboriginal Equity Partners. They again ripped away opportunities from northerners with this moratorium.
    The member for Northwest Territories said that there was no oil and gas development happening there. Is that any surprise? Why would any company invest its hard-earned dollars in a jurisdiction when a government, with 20 minutes notice, can shut the whole thing down? In the case of the northern gateway pipeline, there was three-quarters of a billion dollars of private company investment and the government shut it down with the stroke of a pen, ripping away $2 billion of economic opportunity from a group of aboriginal communities in a region of the country that has very little other economic opportunity.
    What was the reaction from the northerners when this was done? The Northwest Territories premier, Bob McLeod, said very clearly, “The promise of the North is fading and the dreams of northerners are dying as we see a re-emergence of colonialism.” He was talking about the approach of the Prime Minister and the government, with its colonial approach, shutting down development because it would play well with Barack Obama, the green lobb