Notices of Meeting include information about the subject matter to be examined by the committee and date, time and place of the meeting, as well as a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear. The Evidence is the edited and revised transcript of what is said before a committee. The Minutes of Proceedings are the official record of the business conducted by the committee at a sitting.
Welcome back, colleagues. It's great to see you all. I hope you had a great break in your ridings.
This is meeting number 36 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. It doesn't seem like we've spent that much time, because it's always lovely to be with all of you.
I'm going to start with a few reminders. Today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format. The proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website. Just so you are aware, the webcast will always show the person speaking, rather than the entirety of the committee.
Of course, no screenshots are permitted.
Please be mindful of the Board of International Economy's guidelines for mask use and health protocols.
Colleagues, we know why we're here today: It's for clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-234, and as the name indicates, this is an examination of all the clauses in the order in which they appear in the bill.
I will call each clause successively, and each clause is subject to debate and a vote. If there are amendments to the clause in question, I will recognize the member proposing it, who may explain it. The amendment will then be open for debate.
When no further members wish to intervene, the amendment will be voted on. Amendments will be considered in the order in which they appear in the package. Each member will have received that package over the past week. If there are amendments that are consequential to each other, they will be voted on together.
Amendments have been given a number in the top right corner to indicate which party submitted them. There is no need for a seconder to move an amendment. Once you have moved an amendment, you will need unanimous consent to withdraw it.
Once every clause has been voted on, the committee will vote on the title and the bill itself, and an order to reprint the bill may be required if amendments are adopted, so that the House has a proper copy for use at report stage.
Finally, the committee will have to order the chair to report the bill back to the House. That report contains only the text of any adopted amendments as well as an indication of any deleted clauses.
I think that covers it.
I have a few more reminders just for your benefit. We're going to be asking for witness lists for the food price study by November 16 at noon. In speaking to folks during the last meeting prior to the break, we asked you to get prepared on that, so that should come as no surprise. If you're not able to have them right in on the 16th, this committee does generally work pretty well by consensus, but don't expect to have your witnesses up for the first couple of meetings if you don't have witnesses we can work with.
On the global food insecurity deadline—I've just seen this—we're going to be asking for recommendations by November 21 at noon so that the analysts can start to bring together that report accordingly.
Is there anything else, Madam Clerk, that I may have missed? Okay, we're fine.
We'll turn now to the actual amendments. We'll get started on the package.
(On clause 1)
The Chair: I have first LIB-1, and that's from Mr. Turnbull. I'll turn it over to you, Mr. Turnbull, to introduce your proposed amendment.
It's great to be here considering this bill again.
The amendment that I've proposed here in LIB-1 is to remove lines 4 to 10. That is to basically remove property that enables barn heating as an eligible piece of farming machinery from this bill.
Grain drying is one of the arguments that's been made over and over again. We've heard that in terms of technology and renewable energy, there aren't commercially viable solutions for grain drying. I think what we did here was...that there are tools for heating and cooling of barns and/or greenhouses. I think that's part of the rationale of why this should be removed.
We also know that one thing farmers can do is insulate their barns. It is a possibility for reducing their carbon footprint. It would also, in some senses, decrease their costs. Barns across Alberta, for example, have little or no insulation and depend almost solely on body heat from livestock. I think we heard this in some of the testimony.
It is possible to retrofit barns and greenhouses. It is possible to use solar and geothermal air source heat pumps. It is possible, currently, to insulate.
The other part of this that I think I should point out to members is that the current scope in the wording would be too broad. You can't really separate natural gas or propane usage from any of the other buildings on a farm. It's very difficult to do that when they're piped in with one pipe. The buildings' consumption would be very hard to figure out in relation to the other buildings on a farm. Certainly, I don't think what's being intended here is to give the homes and/or other buildings on a farm that are not for livestock an exemption.
Those are some of the arguments and rationales that I'm providing today. There certainly are commercially viable alternatives for the heating and cooling of barns and greenhouses.
Thank you, Mr. Turnbull, for introducing that amendment, which I support. I think you've given the reason that it's good.
We know that our farmers are with us on trying to reduce their carbon footprint and doing everything they can. We also know that the price on pollution was put in place to give a price signal to make sure that the cost of the pollution is incorporated when people are making decisions about how best to move forward. Obviously, insulating barns becomes a good investment choice when the cost of pollution is reflected in the cost of heating those barns. I think it does give the right incentive there.
I agree that grain drying is different. We've heard from farmers that there aren't alternatives, but we have heard that there are alternatives on the heating side.
I wanted to support Mr. Turnbull's amendment, but also amend it to include lines 16 to 19 as well. If lines 4 to 9 are deleted, then lines 16 to 19 should also be deleted, because they're referring to the same issue.
Quickly, I would just say that I'm not sure what testimony Mr. Turnbull was listening to when he says that barns aren't insulated and that heat pumps and biomass are commercially and economically viable at this time.
I would just move that we come to a vote on the proposed amendment from Ms. Taylor Roy. I think the testimony was pretty clear on this.
Certainly my ruling as chair, Mr. Barlow, is that if someone wants to debate and continue to do this, they're welcome to.
I will look to my colleagues both on the screen and in this room to see if there's any further debate on both the subamendment that was proposed by Ms. Taylor Roy and the original amendment from Mr. Turnbull.
Is there any further debate or discussion?
Shall we call for a vote on the subamendment?
(Subamendment negatived: nays 6; yeas 5 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: We'll proceed to a vote on the original amendment by Mr. Turnbull.
(Amendment negatived: nays 6; yeas 5 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: That amendment is defeated as well. We now have amendment NDP-1.
Mr. MacGregor, I'll leave the floor to you to discuss your proposed amendment.
I hope that the wording of this amendment is a middle ground. I don't quite agree with the approach that was taken with the previous amendment, but I do take the point that the current wording of Bill C-234 is too broad. In fact, when I was speaking with legislative drafters, they did confirm that as Bill C-234 is currently written, it could mean any building on a property.
Since the subject nature of this bill deals with agriculture and agriculture-related buildings, I thought it prudent to narrow the scope of the wording to specify that this is going to a structure that is specifically used “for raising or housing livestock or for the growing of crops”.
We did hear a fair amount of testimony from various organizations involved in livestock, but we also received a helpful brief from the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada. In a previous life, I worked on the construction of a large commercial greenhouse. Many of them still use gas-fired boilers, and we do want to see them transition, but these are systems worth millions of dollars, and it's not something that can happen overnight. I think that if we change this to narrow the scope and if Mr. Barlow is going to have a sunset clause proposed afterwards, we are narrowing the scope, but we're also narrowing the time that this measure would be in effect.
There's not much more to say. I'll leave it at that, Mr. Chair.
We heard a lot of testimony in our study that stressed the importance of applying the temporary exemption to buildings as well. The idea is to ensure a balance, as Mr. MacGregor mentioned.
We have to make sure that the application of the act isn't too broad, but we still need to apply this exemption to buildings while the technologies are being developed and then made available. It was mentioned earlier that heating technologies would be available sooner than drying technologies. However, it will take time before we have access to the electrical power that's needed in the countryside, for example. So I will support this very reasonable proposal.
This amendment comes forward from the testimony we heard from many of the presenters who gave their time and talked not only about the impact the carbon tax is having on their operations but also the confidence they have that technology eventually will allow for a change in how they are heating their barns and drying their grain.
In conversation with our colleagues, we felt the sunset clause was certainly something that we could support. It would be an incentive for when the time comes when new technology is commercially as well as economically and regionally available. We know our farmers are always going to embrace innovation and new technology that makes their work more economically and environmentally sustainable, which are two important pillars. We are proposing to amend the PMB to have a 10-year sunset clause as part of the bill.
Thanks, Mr. Chair. Thanks to Mr. Barlow for the explanation.
I'm wondering if we can get an opinion from the legislative clerk on the interpretation of this amendment. When we read CPC-1 and CPC-2 combined, it seemed like they might be having the opposite of the intended impact that Mr. Barlow articulated, and I wanted to make sure that the legislative clerk was confident that the intent of Mr. Barlow's amendment was actually reflected in the effect it would have.
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you for the question. It's usually not my place to talk about the content of the bill but more about procedural matters, but in this case Mr. Barlow's intent is to have a sunset clause on his first amendment, coming on in the second amendment, so the two amendments go together.
The first amendment would have the effect of reversing back in 10 years or when the sunset clause comes into force in 10 years. That's what the intent is of the two amendments combined together, and they have to be voted on together.
Sorry, Ryan; I should have maybe gone to the next amendment and included that.
That next amendment is the order in council as part of that sunset clause. At 10 years, when that sunset clause comes up, it goes through an order in council to be debated within the House at that time, or it can be repealed, and just that part of the PMB would be taken out of the pollution pricing act because new technology is available. That's why they are intertwined. You have the sunset clause, but there's also that second amendment, which is the order in council that would allow that to be repealed if the government of the day decides that the technology is there and that there is then no longer a need.
What I was worried about was that the way it's worded might actually have the opposite effect. In other words, it wouldn't come into effect until 10 years from now, rather than what I think you're intending, which is for the sunset clause to be for a 10-year period and that the amendment that you are proposing essentially would allow for that exemption for 10 years. It looked to me.... Maybe I read it wrong, but I just wanted to be clear from the legislative clerk about the interpretation of subclause 2(4) in CPC-2.
In good faith here, I'm asking the question in order to make sure that you're not going to have an unintended consequence based on your amendment. It's hard for me to vote on something unless I'm clear as to the legislative clerk's interpretation.
This legislation, the PMB, will be in place for 10 years and be reviewed at the end of that 10 years. If the technology is available, that order in council allows the government of the day to either repeal that measure or extend it if the technology is not there.
I'd like some clarification from the legislative clerk.
The way the document was prepared and the way it was presented to us, I thought that CPC‑1 was independent of CPC‑2. I thought I heard you say that we should vote on both amendments as a whole. Since that's not how the document was put together, that causes some difficulties. Had I known, I would have prepared a series of subamendments to CPC‑1, since that's the one that's causing me problems.
It seems to me that we're removing several things. We're taking out dryers, among other things, which broadens the scope of the act. The definition of farm machinery is being repealed. It refers to buildings in general, rather than sticking to the NDP proposal we just passed. We're amending the fifth paragraph to add any prescribed fuel, rather than doing what we've always talked about, which is adding propane and natural gas to the exemptions.
I might be repeating a lot, but this is just for the clerk to consider.
My understanding is that CPC-1 is basically reverting the text of this bill back to what is in the parent statute, what is currently written. I'm seeing a head nod there.
The sunset clause will come into effect in 10 years if no action is taken by the House or the Senate. Parliament has an ability.... The Governor in Council can propose it, but there's a role for Parliament, which I like to see here. I'll leave it at that, because you now have similar questions from all of us.
Mr. Legislative Clerk, I think the question that I'm hearing from the folks is how that interconnected play works and why they have to be voted on together. It seems as though Monsieur Perron, particularly, had ideas that they were separate.
Mr. Perron, Mr. MacGregor just explained it exactly as I would have, so I'll repeat it.
Let's take CPC‑1, which would add subsection (1.1) to the bill in order to repeal paragraph (b.1) of the definition of “eligible farming machinery” in section 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.
If this amendment were adopted as written, it would mean that paragraph (b.1) of section 3 of the act would immediately cease to exist. However, CPC‑2 proposes that subsection (1.1) come into force on the 10th anniversary of the coming into force of the bill, which means that this provision wouldn't come into force immediately, but rather in 10 years, at which time it would revert to the state of the legislation today unless Parliament intervenes in the interim to renew or amend this provision.
This also applies to the other parts of the bill that are affected.
What I understand is that by adopting subsection (1.1) proposed in CPC‑1, the scope of the bill would be expanded exponentially. That's kind of a shame because that's not what we talked about during the study. Instead, we talked about making reasonable compromises with agricultural producers, who need their production costs not to be increased in the short term because it wouldn't do any good if there is no alternative.
We've always talked about keeping a price on pollution. Maybe I'm being emotional, but I'm pretty upset about it.
I want to assure my colleague there's no intent. This amendment is in good faith and comes from what we heard from our witnesses at testimony. We are in no way trying to expand the breadth of Mr. Lobb's PMB.
I know it looked complicated when we were working with the legislative team to craft this amendment. This is 100% meant to just be adding the sunset clause to the PMB. We heard about this in testimony. Certainly in conversations and in listening to the questions from my colleagues during the testimony, we heard this would be much more palatable with a sunset clause involved.
I know my colleagues had some questions around the part about this being debated in the House, but no amendments. The reason we did that was that we basically wanted to do something that was already done and follow a precedent that was set. We basically modelled this after Bill C-30, the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act. We wanted to make sure this wasn't something new, that we were implementing something we know fits the legislative framework.
I want to assure my colleague that in no way are we looking at this as an expansion in any way. Certainly we're trying to do this in good faith. If there are some concerns, the government can address that in the regulations, but to Mr. Perron, in no way was that the intention of what we were trying to do. If that is how he's interpreting it, I don't want to say we're interpreting this incorrectly—legalese is what it is, I guess—but that is certainly not the intention.
I was a bit confused by the comment about this amendment broadening the bill. If CPC-1 passes, along with CPC-2, we're essentially going back to the way the act is currently written. I don't see how that's going to be broadening it.
I know it's a confusing way. It took me a few times to read through it. It's more complex than what I had proposed for Bill C-206 in the previous Parliament, but I'm confident—and I think the legislative clerk has nodded a few times—that if these two are passed, we're essentially going to revert to how the statute is currently written.
Can the legislative clerk confirm one last time that if amendments CPC‑1 and CPC‑2 are adopted and Bill C‑234 is passed, it will mean that in 10 years, we'll revert to the exact wording we're amending today through Bill C‑234, without expanding its scope?
The only other question, just for clarity, is that amendment LIB-2, Mr. Turnbull's proposal, does talk about what I think you would refer to, Mr. Turnbull, as a sunset clause of eight years.
My role is to be independent here, but I would ask the clerk if that is something we have to discuss now. If we were to move on amendments CPC-1 and CPC-2, that would have a consequential impact on Mr. Turnbull's proposed LIB-2 amendment. Is that correct?
Colleagues, for your benefit, obviously because that has consequence, I'll leave the floor open on amendments CPC-1, CPC-2 and LIB-2, because obviously there is an interconnected web there. Any discussion can happen accordingly.
Can the clerk clarify as well whether the particular amendments that we are considering, CPC-1 and CPC-2, would have the effect of expanding the eligible fuels beyond just propane? It seems to me that it may broaden that slightly.
I think Mr. Perron raised this point, and I know that Mr. Barlow modelled this after an existing statute. I think it is proposed subclause 2(3) that says that the motion for the adoption of the resolution may be debated but may not be amended. Maybe I'll test the room as to whether we want to allow amendments to happen. Do we want to handcuff future parliamentarians in this regard?
It's along the lines of what Mr. Perron and Mr. Barlow have already discussed. I'm just opening that up for colleagues' consideration.
I want to raise the same point as Mr. MacGregor, which we discussed earlier. According to subsection (3) of CPC‑2, “[a] motion for the adoption of the resolution may be debated in both Houses of Parliament but may not be amended”. That poses a problem for me.
Mr. Legislative Clerk, correct me if I'm wrong. If it's possible to move a subamendment, I move to delete “may not be amended” because I have a great deal of difficulty with tying the hands of the members who will be here in 10 years. I don't like my hands being tied or being muzzled today, so I don't want to do it to someone 10 years from now.
I'm going to do it in English, and I will redo it in French afterwards.
CPC-1 and CPC-2 go together. Proposing an amendment to CPC-2 at this time is not possible. CPC-2 is open for discussion, but it's not open to be voted on. The problem is if you want to separate CPC-1 and CPC-2, then you may risk running into trouble.
The trouble is you may adopt CPC-1, which removes basically the effects of what's in the bill. Then you go to CPC-2, and the effect would be to postpone that for 10 years. If you don't adopt it because subamendments were made and at the end of the day parliamentarians don't like the end result and don't adopt CPC-2, then you end up with an empty bill.
It's a situation that's a bit awkward, but it's a situation that indeed exists. I just wanted to point out the risk of separating the two of them.
If the will of the committee is to separate the two amendments, then yes, it would be possible to amend CPC-2 later on when it is called. Otherwise, it would not be possible, because they go together.
It's the will of the committee that matters here. It may be that the will of the committee is to proceed with CPC-1 and do whatever they do with CPC-1 and go to CPC-2 after that. It's the will of the committee that matters.
Well, I'll just state what my concern is with CPC-2, and then I don't know if I'm comfortable voting for CPC-1 knowing that we have to vote for CPC-2 without knowing whether CPC-2 will be amended or not.
In any event, my concern with CPC-2 is twofold. One, it allows for an extension of the sunset clause per se from the 10th anniversary into something postponing that to a later date, but it doesn't allow for that to be brought forward if, for example, technology is developed and something is available.
The second thing is that to me the 10 years, the 10th anniversary, is problematic. I think that in LIB-2 there is the suggestion of the eighth anniversary. Given that, we could perhaps debate.
I'm still a little unclear. I guess we could vote for CPC-1, but then if CPC-2 isn't amended sufficiently, I'm not sure what happens to the bill.
I take the clerk's warnings about messing up CPC-2 because of how tied it is to CPC-1. My question is, if the committee does decide to split the two—and I'm only talking about very minor surgery—in CPC-2, in the third subsection, and if we were to remove the words “but may not be amended”, that to me doesn't seem like it would have any consequential effect on CPC-1.
I would just ask, Chair, if we could have the clerk's direction on that, because that's not interfering with the substance of CPC-2. It's a very minor change. I just don't want to handcuff future parliamentarians on what they may or may not want to do.
Mr. MacGregor, just so I'm sure, what you're asking of the legislative clerk—and while I give him time to contemplate what you've said—is whether or not it is possible to move an amendment of that provision because it doesn't have consequence in a material way to CPC-1.
I was going to add a layer of complexity to the discussion, but I won't.
Unanimous consent can solve a number of problems. That's one of them that I could maybe suggest. If you ask for unanimous consent to do it that way. You may get it, or not, and then I'll add my layer of complexity after the answer to the question.
I can help with that conversation. If you don't mind, I'll explain what the legislative clerk has explained to me.
The other procedural challenge of how best we move forward here is that if CPC-1 is adopted and approved, we then go to LIB-2. According to the legislative clerk, we would then study the amendment from Mr. Turnbull. If for some reason that were to pass, it would then move that CPC-2 would be invalid.
Yes, that was the second layer of complexity. Indeed, if CPC-1 is adopted, we would move to LIB-2 because it's in the order of the bill, and if Mr. Turnbull were to move LIB-2—without the first part of it, because that's been dealt with already—we would deal with the sunset clause that would be eight years. If the sunset clause is approved by the committee, then the sunset clause is literally closed for debate, so to speak. You would have an eight-year sunset clause for only one part of the bill—the proposed subsection 1(2.1).
I'm trying to understand whether the amendment that Mr. MacGregor put forward can be made. The amendments I was talking about similarly do not affect CPC-1. They're in the same vein of just altering some of the provisions in CPC-2. I'm confused as to why one amendment could be made but others couldn't be made.
I don't understand why I'm being told that CPC‑1 and CPC‑2 must be voted on at the same time, and then 10 minutes later I'm being told that once CPC‑1 is adopted, we can vote on LIB‑2, which would invalidate CPC‑2, which we would have already voted on. I realize I'm not a lawyer, but something is wrong with that. Can someone explain to me what this is all about?
On the other hand, I've come up with a quick solution. You talked about unanimous consent, and I would suggest that we get unanimous consent from the committee to remove those five little words from CPC‑2. If everyone is in agreement, we could then vote on the clauses one after the other, get it all done and be finished in 10 minutes.
To follow up from Mr. Perron, the way I'm reading it, we have two options. Because the amendment has already been tabled—as the Conservatives have tabled that amendment—we can't just say we'll strike those five words and move on.
I will go to that in a moment, if there is no other debate.
Mr. Perron, my understanding, as the clerk explained, is that the provisions of the two amendments, CPC-1 and CPC-2, are interconnected. Therefore, you run the risk that if CPC-1 is adopted but CPC-2 is not adopted down the line, then there could be real consequences.
The way in which we are studying these provisions is that the Liberal provision, if adopted, would then have consequences such that CPC-2 couldn't be adopted.
That's the procedural element here. We know what your concern is, which is in the provision of the five words in CPC-2.
Colleagues, I'll ask for any conversation on whether or not unanimous consent can be achieved.
In CPC-2, under proposed new subsection 2(3)—I'm speaking to Mr. MacGregor's proposed subamendment, which is removing the five words “but may not be amended”—does that solve for the fact that this CPC-2 opens up the possibility, as Ms. Taylor Roy mentioned, of this sunset clause essentially being extended?
I don't think it does. It just says that it “may not be amended”—i.e., the changes that are being made now could then be amended, right?
In essence what I'm trying to clarify is whether Mr. MacGregor's proposed subamendment, by removing those five words, negates the possibility of 10 years later this being extended once again. It doesn't deal with that consideration, as far as I can tell.
In that respect, I don't know why I would give it my consent. I have a deep concern with this being extended and extended and extended. A 10-year sunset clause should be a 10-year sunset clause. I don't feel comfortable with introducing things that can be extended over and over again for decades to come.
In response to Mr. Turnbull's comment, the part that concerned me was in CPC-2, the first paragraph, where it says that it comes into force “on the day that is the 10th anniversary of the day on which this Act comes into force, unless, before that day, their coming into force is postponed by a resolution—whose text is established under subsection (2)—passed by both Houses”. It's basically saying that this can be extended again.
I find it very hard to believe that in 10 years we're not going to have a clean-tech alternative. That's what concerns me about that particular paragraph.
Mr. Turnbull and Ms. Taylor Roy, that is the whole idea of the sunset clause and the order in council. If there is the technology, this exemption ends and the price on pollution, the carbon tax, goes onto natural gas and propane. However, if the technology is not available, the government of the day, whoever that may be.... That will be debated in the House. Amendments will now be allowed, thanks to the good eyes of our colleagues. The government of the day can make changes to this legislation that could massage it into whatever the government of the day wants it to be.
That's really the whole idea of this legislation. It's to provide that exemption to correct an oversight in the previous price on pollution legislation. For the next 10 years, that will be reviewed by the government of the day and either repealed to go back to what it is right now or amended or extended.
That is kind of the idea. That's 10 years from now—I certainly hope I'm not still here—and the government of the day will have that choice.
Oh, I'll be leaving in government; don't get me wrong.
Voices: Oh, oh!
Mr. John Barlow: Again, we're not trying to be tricky with this in any way, shape or form. This is all in good faith, based on what we heard in our testimony and certainly from other colleagues. If we don't have unanimous consent, let's move on and get this moving. We'll split it up, if we need to, and vote on them separately.
Just very quickly, the way this is structured, it's actually giving Parliament more of a role in this process. You have to note also that it has to pass both Houses of Parliament. There is also the Senate.
By removing those five words, the government of the day can put forth a resolution. By deleting those five words, I think a member of the opposition could say, “Well, I'm going to actually propose an amendment to how that resolution is worded, because I don't like the way it's going.” I think we're actually giving more of a role to members of the opposition here. The fact that both Houses have to pass the same resolution—that's tough at the best of times.
I have just a quick point in response to Mr. Barlow's earlier comments.
For me, in listening to all the testimony.... We heard that for grain drying, there is technology; it's just not commercially adopted at this point. I have done research myself and have found many examples of grain-drying technology that's out there and that we just haven't adopted in Canada yet.
Again, a sunset clause for this is important to me personally. I would prefer it to be a shorter time frame, to be honest. The one that's proposed here is 10 years, but once you start talking about the potential for extending it, that's when all of the alarm bells go off in my mind. I just don't see it.
To Mr. MacGregor's point, I totally get that Parliament in the future, many years from now, can have their say. That's fine. I just think we seem to be opening this up to continual extension and deferral.
Thank you, Mr. Barlow, for explaining your position on this. I think we agree that within 10 years there should be clean tech that could address this. If we all agree on that, why not just leave it in force on the tenth anniversary of the day when it comes into force? We know new legislation could be introduced 10 years from now if need be, if there were no clean tech, which would be a surprise to us all. There could be new legislation introduced. What I don't like is that we're setting it up to put in doubt that something is going to be there, and we're saying that this is going to go longer.
I don't think it's necessary. Your explanation is that it would be used only if there were no clean tech, but we all seem to agree, given the testimony, that there will be clean tech, and we know there's a solution if there isn't, which is that new legislation will just be introduced. I'd rather do this with great faith in our clean-tech industry and our agriculture industry that we're going to solve this problem.
Just to add to that, I actually think it will be done before 10 years, in particular for barn heating, and for grain drying too, so I have an issue with that. More than that, allowing it to be extended means there is the assumption that it's not going to be available, and there's no provision to actually advance it or to have the sunset time reduced if, in fact, the clean tech does come into force before the 10 years.
I spoke too quickly. It would still be possible to consider amendment LIB-2, but only the “(b)” part, because the “(a)” part would already be adopted through amendment CPC-1. They are identical. You would have to move it without the “(a)” part.
Just so you're sure, Mr. Turnbull, obviously, if amendment CPC-1 passes, the language at the start of your amendment is mirrored. You would move an amended piece, which is on the sunset clause at eight years.
Seeing no further hands or debate or discussion, I'm going to move.... I was going to move to a vote, but let me just talk to my legislative clerk friend.
Colleagues, I'll ask the clerk for a recorded vote.
(Amendment agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: Colleagues, we're now moving to amendment LIB-2.
First, I'm going to turn it over to the legislative clerk to talk about the dynamics and the interplay here, and then, Mr. Turnbull, I'll turn it over to you to introduce the rationale and the reason this amendment makes sense to your mind.
First, you would need to move your amendment without paragraph (a), because that was just adopted.
On paragraph (b), the sunset clause that is provided here is only for proposed subsection 1(2.1). It would provide for an eight-year sunset clause.
Turning over to CPC-2, there is already a provision for a sunset clause for proposed subsection 1(2.1), for 10 years. Your amendment, if it were to be adopted, would negate the possibility of having that subsection 1(2.1) for 10 years. It would be eight years. The others would be able to be amended any which way—eight years, 10 years.
For my clarity as the chair, and perhaps for all members, my understanding is that if Mr. Turnbull's amendment is proposed, it wouldn't completely negate CPC-2; it would just negate the aspect around proposed subsection 1(2.1) of what is being proposed and what comes next.
Do I need to read it into the record? You all have it, so it should be fine.
Let me give you the rationale.
The original bill, Bill C-206, which Bill C-234 is based on, recommended a 10-year exemption. It's already been two years. It would follow very logically that another eight years is rational.
Certainly we've heard some testimony that the technology needs to adopted more quickly. I think the government can help with that. An eight-year timeline seems to me to be consistent with a lot of the testimony we've heard. There were witnesses who said that it's a moving target. They weren't sure whether a longer or shorter period was needed. We did hear testimony on that. I don't have all the testimony in front of me right now, but if one wished, I could look it up. However, I recollect pretty clearly that there were some different timelines given, based on different witnesses and their expert advice.
I'll leave it at that. I think eight years is better than 10 for those reasons.
I spoke to Ryan briefly. I propose to amend the time from eight years to four years to align with the time when we are completing the interim review of the pricing act, which the government has publicly committed to. That is 2026.
I ask that we move to a vote. I think we've covered a lot of this during the last conversation with all three of the amendments we are talking about, so I think we can move to a vote now and see where we land.
Unfortunately, that doesn't rest completely with me, because if members want to continue to have a conversation, the procedural rules say that by and large I need to make that happen. Thank you for the suggestion, Mr. Steinley.
Are there any other comments or questions? We might get to what Mr. Steinley wants. Are there any other thoughts from colleagues?
Okay. We do get to what Mr. Steinley wants.
Madam Clerk, could we proceed?
Also, colleagues, just to be clear, we're on the subamendment to the proposed four-year timeline for subsection 1(2.1),as moved by Mr. Turnbull, as proposed in the subamendment from Ms. Valdez.
Mr. Philippe Méla: Just to be clear, we're voting on the subamendment from Ms. Valdez.
(Subamendment negatived: nays 6; yeas 5 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: Colleagues, the proposed subamendment is defeated.
Now we will vote on the amendment as proposed, which is Mr. Turnbull's suggestion of eight years for subsection 1(2.1) as opposed to 10 years, which I guess is what we'd get to in amendment CPC-2.
(Amendment negatived: nays 6; yeas 5 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: The amendment is defeated, so we will turn our focus to the last proposed amendment—
Pardon me for a moment.
Okay. I was a little in haste to go to what is actually essentially a new clause that is being proposed in the amendment, so the clerk will explain to you that we have to see whether or not clause 1 as amended carries.
I see Mr. MacGregor's look of confusion. It was mine as well, as I heard from our legislative clerk.
Essentially, all the amendments to date would impact what's called “clause 1”, which is the actual text of the bill. What you're proposing in CPC-2 is an actual brand new clause, so I have to ask whether or not you want to accept everything to date on the four amendments, and then we will go to CPC-2.
Did I get it right, Mr. Legislative Clerk?
My law degree at Dalhousie has come to some use. Here's a shout-out to Dalhousie University.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
The Chair: Look, all universities are good.
Unless there are any other comments, I would move that we vote essentially on what we've just done as it relates to clause 1 of the bill.
Shall clause 1 as amended carry? Would you like to go on division? Would you like a recorded vote? How would you like to do this? Do you just want to go on division?
We can let the legislative clerk explain, or are we already into the vote and it's too far down?
Let me do my best to explain this to you. I have a little more discretion, perhaps, as the chair.
Essentially, Mr. Louis, what is being proposed in CPC-2 would be a second clause after what we've already adopted to date. Above and beyond Bill C-234, this is being proposed to be added as clause 2. Mr. Barlow moved that clause. Mr. Perron moved a subamendment to it, which would strike, under proposed subsection 2(3), the words “but may not be amended”.
The conversation—as best I can reflect it—that we've had today was in relation to the fact that Mr. Perron, Mr. MacGregor and others wanted to make sure that the hands of future parliamentarians are not tied and therefore the text of a motion introducing this type of conversation in the House could be amended. That, at its core, is what I believe is the intent of this subamendment.
Yes. With an assurance to Mr. Barlow that I will support the overall amendment CPC-2, I move that wherever the word “10th” appears, we change that to “8th”. Instead of it being the 10th anniversary, it would be the 8th anniversary. Later on, in proposed subclause 2(4), where it says “the day that is the 10th anniversary”, that would also be changed to “8th”.
It's just really a nod to my Liberal colleagues. I'm trying to find a halfway point here.
I wouldn't dare say I disagree with the legislative clerk.
However, based on my interpretation, the clause was partial in LIB‑2. So we said no to eight years for part of the act.
Right now, we're looking at a comprehensive provision that talks about 10 years. In terms of procedure, I may have missed something, but it seems to me that we could have the opportunity to propose eight years.
As a result of that discussion, we're still at the same point: we cannot propose eight years.
I don't mean to speak for the legislative clerk, but what I've heard is both that we can get unanimous consent to do eight years and that we can do not eight years.
I do take your point, Mr. Perron, that it was specific to proposed subclause 2(1) and not necessarily to the rest, but I see Ms. Taylor Roy's point. I don't want to presume what might happen next, but I know there was a desire among my Liberal colleagues to reduce it from 10 years, so it might be something we could all resolve.
If I may—and if I get it wrong, perhaps the legislative clerk can correct me—my understanding, Ms. Taylor Roy, is that it can be eight years so long as we have unanimous consent from this committee. The procedural element is that we did decide on subclause 2(1).
I think Mr. Perron raises an important point about the other provisions. I don't know if we have to go there, because I think we.... Well, we can see if we can get UC, but I see Mr. Barlow's hand.
We agreed on the eight years being part of that larger amendment CPC-2. My understanding from the legislative clerk when amendment LIB-2 was up was that we voted against that because that would have negated amendment CPC-2 and there were some other elements in amendment CPC-2 that we wanted to be there.
It wasn't that we were voting against the Liberal one to get the Conservative one. We're fine with eight years, so I would hope that we'd have unanimous consent to go to eight years and get this done.
Is there unanimous consent to essentially negate, as the clerk had suggested, the impact of the eight years and allow the provision to be struck from 10 years to eight years, as Mr. MacGregor is proposing?
(Subamendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: That is so passed.
Madam Clerk, with your help....
I mean, we do have unanimous consent. I guess I'll just ask for unanimous consent as it relates to Mr. MacGregor's subamendment to strike anywhere it says “10th anniversary” to “eighth anniversary”.
Is that correct?
Mr. Alistair MacGregor: That's correct.
The Chair: Do we have unanimous consent on that provision?
(Subamendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: Great. We save ourselves a vote.
Are there any other proposed amendments? Are there any other conversations or hands? No. Okay.
I'll bring this back, then, to Mr. MacGregor's proposed CPC-2, as amended by both the provision from Mr. Perron that strikes “but may not be amended” and the approved amendment from Mr. MacGregor that moves any mention of “10th anniversary” to now say “eighth anniversary”.
I'll call the vote on that specific provision, Madam Clerk, if you could help me there.
An hon. member: Is that on division?
The Chair: Would you like to do that on division, colleagues? Is that fine?
Mr. John Barlow: That's fine. Yes.
The Chair: Okay.
(Amendment as amended agreed to on division [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: This turns me to the point where I....
I guess I should look at my notes.
Do we need to have a complete vote on both clause 1 and 2, Mr. Legislative Clerk, or are we done with our work today?
Mr. Philippe Méla: No, no, no.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
The Chair: No, we're not done. I've turned the page.
This is my first time doing clause-by-clause consideration, colleagues, so stay with me.
The Chair: Shall the chair report the bill as amended to the House?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
An hon. member: On division.
The Chair: Shall the committee order a reprint of the bill as amended for the use of the House at report stage?
Obviously, that's pretty standard stuff. Whether on division or unanimous, we'll move that forward.
Some hon. members: Agreed.
An hon. member: On division.
The Chair: Is there anything else we need to do on your end? No.
Colleagues, we were about an hour and a half. It was a good discussion. I think it was done the way it should be done. I appreciate your time.
We will be moving on the 16th to our last global food insecurity study. The first hour will be witnesses. The second hour will be the opportunity to provide some feedback to the analysts in terms of their drafting instructions. We are asking for specific recommendations by November 21, if I remember correctly. Please come ready to talk about what we have heard since May and June. This will be our last panel on that subject.