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.
Honourable members of the committee, I see a quorum.
I must inform members that the clerk of the committee can only receive motions for the election of the chair. The clerk cannot receive other types of motions, entertain points of order or participate in debate.
We can now proceed to the election of the chair. Pursuant to Standing Order 106(2), the chair must be a member of the government party.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. Congratulations on your election. I know you're going to be quite capable, which is why I put your name forward. I didn't know if that would be the death knell of your chairmanship.
It's great to be here. I'm Dan Albas for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola. I worked very co-operatively in the last one. That might be contested by some parties, but I really look forward to this session and to working with the environment committee. I welcome all those newly elected—congratulations—but also those reappointed or those who have been on this committee. It's good to be working with you again.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. Again, congratulations on your election as chair.
Good morning, colleagues. We're going to have fun. I'm Scot Davidson for York—Simcoe. I call it Lake Simcoe, home of the Holland Marsh—the soup and salad bowl of Canada and ice fishing capital of Canada. I'm really looking forward to this committee. Thanks, and good morning, everyone.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and congratulations.
My name is Earl Dreeshen, member of Parliament for Red Deer—Mountain View. I come here with experience on international trade; industry, science and technology; and agriculture. I know that the environment is very significant to all of those sectors in Canada, so it's an honour for me to be here.
Good morning, colleagues. It's great to see everyone in person and on the screen. My name is Terry Duguid. I am the member of Parliament for Winnipeg South. My riding hosts Investors Group stadium, the home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Grey Cup champions.
Voices: Hear, hear!
Mr. Terry Duguid: I don't see any Saskatchewanians here.
In the last term, I was the parliamentary secretary to two ministers, one of which was the Honourable Mélanie Joly, with responsibilities for western diversification. I like to think that, like Dan, I bring that perspective to the table. I was also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, with special responsibilities for freshwater and nature conservation.
I think this is going to be a fabulous committee. I'm really looking forward to working with my colleagues on the screen and all of you. I think we're going to do some great work for Canada.
Thank you so much, Mr. Chair, and congratulations on your election.
My name is Laurel Collins. I bring some experience from city council. I'm very passionate about protecting the environment and tackling the climate crisis. I'm really looking forward to working with all of you. It was really great last Parliament, and I think we're going to have a similar experience this time.
It's great to see the returning members. We had a good time together last time.
Dan, I would say that your poems launching our meetings were always welcome. You always bring great skill to any committee.
We really do work well together, and I look forward to working with the rest of the members who are here.
My riding is Guelph. It's a very active environmental centre. It has always been a very progressive community when it comes to environmental issues. I'm glad to be on this committee so that I can bring some of the voice of Guelph to it.
I'm here from St. John's East in Newfoundland and Labrador. I'm very excited to be on this committee. Obviously, the environment is such a concern for all of us. I'm quite pleased to be here. I hear it's a fabulous committee. I look forward to getting to know you.
I'm sorry that I'm virtual today, but certainly in the new year I look forward to being face to face with you. Hopefully, we'll be able to have more meetings in person. I am so pleased to be here.
It's an honour and a privilege to be on this committee. I look forward to working with everybody here.
I'm the member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country. I come at this line of work from an environmental and aboriginal law background. Hopefully, I can add some expertise to this work. I'm really looking forward to getting started.
My name is Leah Taylor Roy, and I am the new member of Parliament for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill.
I'm very glad that I have figured out how to get this audio to work.
It's a pleasure to be here with you all. I am adjacent to Scot Davidson. In fact, we have something in common. I went to school in the Holland Marsh, and I worked on farms in the Holland Marsh. The environment there and the farmland there are near and dear to my heart.
I'm very interested in the conservation and protection of environmental land and in the agricultural methods that will protect our environment and food supply.
I would like to echo what other members have talked about this being a very friendly and collaborative committee. We got a lot of work done in the last Parliament. I'm sure that will be the case again in the 44th Parliament.
I would just like to go over a couple of points related to public health. Given the ongoing pandemic situation and in light of the recommendations from health authorities as well as the directive of the Board of Internal Economy on October 19, 2021, to remain healthy and safe, all those attending the meeting in person are to maintain a two-metre physical distancing. They must wear a non-medical mask when circulating in the room. It is highly recommended that the mask be worn at all times, including when people are seated. They must maintain proper hand hygiene by using the provided hand sanitizer at the room entrance.
As chair, I will be enforcing these measures for the duration of the meetings. I thank members in advance for their co-operation.
I would now like to suggest that we move on to the routine motions—
A voice: What about the elections of the vice-chairs?
On the subcommittee on agenda and procedure, I move:
That the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure be established and be composed of five members; the Chair, one member from each recognized party; and that the subcommittee work in a spirit of collaboration.
That the Chair be authorized to hold meetings to receive evidence and to have that evidence published when a quorum is not present, provided that at least four members are present, including two members of the opposition parties and two members of the government party, but when travelling outside the Parliamentary Precinct, that the meetings begin after 15 minutes, regardless of members present.
On time for opening remarks and questioning of witnesses, I move:
That the witnesses be given five minutes for their opening statement; and that whenever possible, witnesses provide the committee with their opening statement 72 hours in advance; that at the discretion of the Chair, during the questioning of witnesses, there be allocated six minutes for the first questioner of each party as follows for the first round: Conservative Party, Liberal Party, Bloc Québécois, New Democratic Party.
For the second and subsequent rounds, that the order and time of questioning be as follows: Conservative Party, five minutes; Liberal Party, five minutes; Bloc Québécois, two and a half minutes; New Democratic Party, two and a half minutes; Conservative Party, five minutes; Liberal Party, five minutes.
That only the clerk of the committee be authorized to distribute documents to members of the committee provided the documents are in both official languages, and that the witnesses be advised accordingly.
On travel, accommodation and living expenses of witnesses, I move:
That, if requested, reasonable travel, accommodation and living expenses be reimbursed to witnesses not exceeding two representatives per organization; and that in exceptional circumstances, payment for more representative be made at the discretion of the Chair.
I really appreciate how the previous committee was.
I would just like to hear the commitment of the clerk that reasonable costs.... If there's a person with a disability who needs extra help and assistance, that's considered reasonable. I just want to hear from the clerk that the taxpayer will also be considered in his decisions, especially when we're in the realm of so much Zoom business and telecommunications, like phone and videoconferencing.
As of right now, the routine motion that was passed in the House on November 25 said that all witnesses are to appear virtually for the time being. As long as that motion is still in effect, witnesses will be appearing virtually for committee meetings.
That, unless otherwise ordered, each committee member be allowed to be accompanied by one staff member at in camera meetings and that one additional person from each House officer's office be allowed to be present.
That one copy of the transcript of each in camera meeting be kept in the committee clerk's office for consultation by members of the committee or by their staff; and that the analysts assigned to the committee also have access to the in camera transcripts.
If a member of this 44th Parliament committee would like to look at some of the in camera discussions or whatnot, what would be the protocol for that for the previous committee? Are they authorized access to that?
That a 48-hour notice, interpreted as two nights, be required for any substantive motion to be moved in committee, unless the substantive motion relates directly to business then under consideration, provided that: (a) the notice be filed with the clerk of the committee no later than 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday; (b) the motion be distributed to Members and the offices of the whips of each recognized party in both official languages by the clerk on the same day the said notice was transmitted if it was received no later than the deadline hour; (c) notices received after the deadline hour or on non-business days be deemed to have been received during the next business day; and that when the committee is holding meetings outside the Parliamentary Precinct, no substantive motion may be moved.
I have a point of clarification, for my own understanding. If a motion is submitted before 4 p.m. on a Friday, do the Saturday and Sunday count as two nights, or do they have to be business-day nights?
On orders of reference from the House respecting bills, I move:
That in relation to orders of reference from the House respecting Bills,
(a) The clerk of the committee shall, upon the committee receiving such an order of reference, write to each member who is not a member of a caucus represented on the committee to invite those members to file with the clerk of the committee, in both official languages, any amendments to the bill, which is the subject of the said Order, which they would suggest that the committee consider;
(b) Suggested amendments filed, pursuant to paragraph (a), at least 48 hours prior to the start of clause-by-clause consideration of the bill to which the amendments relate shall be deemed to be proposed during the said consideration, provided that the committee may, by motion, vary this deadline in respect of a given bill; and
(c) During the clause-by-clause consideration of a bill, the Chair shall allow a member who filed suggested amendments, pursuant to paragraph (a), an opportunity to make brief representations in support of them.
That the clerk inform each witness who is to appear before the committee that the House administration support team must conduct technical tests to check the connectivity and the equipment used to ensure the best possible sound quality; and that the Chair advise the committee, at the start of each meeting, of any witnesses who did not perform the required technical tests.
I have a question of clarification, because this has happened a number of times and we do want to protect our interpreters.
The motion says that we will do tests, that is “check the connectivity and the equipment used to ensure the best possible sound quality”.
Who deems the sound quality to be acceptable for witnesses to deliver their comments? Do we rely on the interpreters to tell us that the sound quality is acceptable or not? If it is unacceptable, can we then stop the witness from giving evidence?
Do you understand the question? “The best possible sound quality” is a bit subjective.
Mr. Chair, there were times last spring when a witness did not have the right equipment and the interpreters were not able to hear him well. The interpreters were advising us through our headsets that they could not hear the witness well.
When that happens, we can reschedule the witness to another session.
Indeed. As I read this, if the interpreters say this is not good enough, then I have permission to say to the witness, “Sorry, but you'll have to procure some proper equipment or we'll try to make alternative arrangements, but you cannot continue your statement.” Is that good?
(Motion agreed to)
The Chair: Mr. Longfield, please move the last routine motion.
That all documents submitted for committee business that do not come from a federal department, members' offices, or that have not been translated by the Translation Bureau be sent for prior linguistic review by the Translation Bureau before being distributed to members.
I just want to make a statement, though, that we've had, in some cases, government departments come in and table-drop documents. That is not helpful. I would just encourage you, Mr. Chair, to work with the clerk to always emphasize that, if a department is going to be coming in and they have prepared documents, those must be supplied to the committee as soon as possible so as to make sure they're available in both English and French.
Was it not a given that if you brought documents they had to be in both official languages? That was agreed. That's always been the case.
It is, “That all documents submitted for committee business that do not come from a federal department” have been translated. Okay, we will always encourage witnesses to supply the documents ahead of time.
We did have a government department.... The date and the department name escapes me at the moment because, quite honestly, this committee can be a blur. We did have a case where a government department did not submit in both official languages, and that caused a big issue.
Mr. Chair, because I'm new to the committee, on the topic of documents, I just wonder if we could have the clerk send us the Minister of Environment's mandate letter. This is so important in this committee, so that we know what direction we're headed over the holidays.
Perhaps I can first take a moment to say that we passed the motion for the analysts to be named to their positions. We passed the routine motion for working meals. I would now like to invite the analysts to take their seats.
Oh, I'm sorry; I didn't see you. This going to take some getting used to.
There's an analyst at home, I think.
Natacha, it's nice to see you again. How are you? It's good to see you.
We have two analysts at the moment.
With regard to working meals, I would like to advise members to send any dietary restrictions they may have.
The motion is that, when it comes to the makeup of witness panels during studies, each party represented on the committee be entitled to select one witness per panel; that if no witness is designated by a party a decision be made by the clerk, after consultation with the chair; that this motion not apply when ministers or government officials appear before committee; and that, where there are circumstances where this condition cannot be met, the chair and the clerk consult with members of the subcommittee to finalize the makeup of the panel.
It seems to me that there will be many cases where we're all in agreement on witnesses. At that point, how do you determine which party that witness is here representing? Generally speaking, the witness list is provided for and by all parties. The clerk does the panels based on availability at the time. Some witnesses from some parties may or may not be able to attend. I think this puts some constraints on the clerks to be able to do their jobs.
In terms of the questioning, we all have an opportunity to question the witnesses from our own policy platforms or from our own constituencies. I think we're hand-tying the clerk on this one. I would prefer to work on the witness lists prior to the meetings to make sure that we all have a chance to get the witnesses we would like to see on the list. Then it's up to the clerk to try to get them to the meetings for us.
Really, the intention behind this motion is to allow us to create witness panels where each party has representation and witnesses on each panel. It means that our committee meetings I think will be better served. We'll have a diversity of opinion.
Oftentimes in the last Parliament there were witness panels that were completely composed of witnesses that one or two parties had suggested. It makes for, I think, less helpful hours of committee—
Before I give the mike to Mr. Duguid, I will say this by way of background.
When it came to witness panels, I was always working with the clerk and telling the clerk to please have the panels represent the breakdown of the parties in the House. There was a conscious effort made to make sure that everyone was fairly represented. In many cases, in fact, the opposition witnesses were more prominent. In many cases, we kept trying for certain witnesses and they just weren't responding or....
Obviously, the committee will decide, but I am a little concerned that it will slow down the whole process of putting panels together, which sometimes can be a last-minute exercise.
I just want to assure you, Ms. Collins, that working with the clerk, we always wanted to make sure that, if anything, the opposition witnesses were overrepresented. We didn't want to be accused of not taking into account their wishes.
It went by me, I must admit, Mr. Chair, pretty quickly. I wouldn't mind seeing it in writing. That's one issue. Might this be an issue that is referred to the steering committee so that you could have a conversation and just see whether it is something you can recommend to the overall committee?
I think it's pretty clear that when the rule can't be made.... I believe the last part of the motion read something like, “that the chair and clerk consult with members of the subcommittee”. To me, that's a phone call or a text if we're not sitting, or just a casual conversation. I think the chair can make decisions.
That, for the second meeting of the committee, the committee invite the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to provide a briefing on the office and role of the commissioner and the 2021 Fall Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, and that the meeting be televised.
I was hoping to have a steering committee meeting next week sometime, maybe next Tuesday, when we could talk about future committee business, including this motion. However, my understanding is, Ms. Collins, that for this to happen in the second meeting of the committee, we would have to get a steering committee report to the full committee to adopt. I don't think it can happen on the second meeting of the committee, but maybe the third.
I think that Ms. Collins is right. We should have the environment commissioner. Those reports, there are a lot in them. I think this committee's first duty is to look at the work that has been done by the commissioner. I'm not opposed to our making that our second meeting, but we have had instances in other committees where the subcommittee met, and just with this in mind. Then perhaps the environment commissioner is aware that we wish to see him and to talk about those reports. Then it's just a matter of scheduling that second meeting.
I think we can have a subcommittee report where we start the business, as long as there is agreement from all parties that, in regard to the environment commissioner, because he will be waiting in the room for the adoption of that report, the expectation is that we wouldn't reject that report and then send him away. That would be a waste of time.
Basically, you're saying—and I'll get to you, Mr. Longfield, in a moment—let's de facto accept this idea for the second meeting and put it more formally in a subcommittee report, which we would adopt as the first thing on the second meeting. Basically, we're voting on your motion for the second meeting.
I like the way the conversation is going, that the steering committee, which is actually the agenda and procedure committee, take a look at what we're going to be doing in the first meetings. I would like them to consider the water study that we were beginning and had done a lot of prep work on, and that it would be included in the priorities we look at for the upcoming meetings, and then get those scheduled in as well.
I think the group that will be getting together to look at our agenda needs to give us that report so that we can adopt it and follow the routine motions we've just adopted, and then have the commissioner in the wings. That would be, I think, a good way of economizing our time.
I want to specify that we are proposing today to consider Ms. Collins' motion at the first meeting of the subcommittee, which will take place next Tuesday at 11 o'clock.
Also, we agree that we are ready to receive the commissioner at our first meeting of the year 2022. We also agree to adopt the report of the steering committee before the commissioner appears at the committee. The adoption of this report will allow us to invite the commissioner to our second meeting.
If I understand correctly, we will vote on this proposal, and come to an agreement.
As long as Ms. Collins doesn't mind me just kind of just being like a bull in a China shop with her motion, then I think we should just to do that so that everyone has certainty as to what we'll be doing first thing as a committee. The one thing I wanted to make absolutely clear, though, is that, regarding the routine motion that was passed in terms of witnesses, I believe that the environment commissioner would be treated somewhat akin to a government department. We're not going to be saying, “I want this assistant of the environment commissioner as a witness” because that's not the intent here. The intent here is to have the environment commissioner, and he can choose who he brings in.
That, for the second meeting of the committee, the committee invite the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to provide a briefing on the office and role of the commissioner and the 2021 Fall Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, and that the meeting be televised.
I will move a motion that follows up on what was done in the previous Parliament. All my colleagues have received it on their P9. I will give a short history for those who were not on the committee before the election. The first motion we dealt with was on electric vehicles, a federal carbon-neutral law, and other things. We also dealt with infrastructure. Witnesses appeared for four days. We studied the report for three days, but not full time. There was unanimity. Before the election was called, there were three days left for the minister to respond. During this period, the elections were called. All that was missing were those three days. Today, I ask the committee to consider the motion I will read. It is the most appropriate one that we have from the information we received from the clerks. I remind you that it was unanimous. I will read it to you.
That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the committee undertake a study of zero-emission vehicles; That the evidence and documentation received by the committee during the 2nd session of the 43rd Parliament on the subject be taken into consideration by the committee in the current session; That the committee adopt the report entitled “The Road Ahead: Encouraging the Production and Purchase of Zero-emission Vehicles in Canada”, adopted during the 2nd session of the 43rd Parliament and tabled in the House of Commons on April 13, 2021; That, pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee request the government to table a comprehensive response to the report.
It is a matter of picking up where the work left off on April 13. The 120 days ended three days after the election was called. So it's just a matter of going back and giving the minister a chance to respond to us on this again. In any case, it was an election commitment by all parties. There is an urgent need to act, because these laws are being prepared everywhere. Manufacturers are not stupid; they can build in Ontario and send their vehicles to the United States. But Canadians do not have access, because in the United States there are laws in certain states that prevent them from doing so. So I am motivated by the urgency of the situation.
I would like to offer my thanks to Madam Pauzé for bringing this forward. It was an excellent study, and I do think that it merits a response from the government. That's our way of making sure that the government is held accountable.
There is one question I would ask, Mr. Chair, and perhaps you can consult with the clerk. It's my understanding that we would need to have some sort of period for a dissenting report, whether or not any committee members want to submit. Maybe you could just check with the clerk whether that's the case.
The issue is this—and you'll correct me if I've misunderstood—Madame Pauzé would like to get a response to the committee's report, which makes a lot of sense, but to do so we have to basically readopt the report and retable it in the House, which I think everyone is in agreement with. Because we're tabling the report, essentially, it's treated like a new report. In fact, we could change the whole thing if we wanted to, presumably, but Mr. Albas is asking that we allow for dissenting reports. This would be an amendment to the motion. We would have to vote on the amendment to allow for a dissenting report.
That's what we're debating now, and that's what we're going to vote on. Do we want to allow parties to—
At the time that we write reports, we decide on whether there are going to be dissenting reports. There are timelines given for those. I think that's counted within the procedure of adopting reports. I think these issues are something that we could look at with the steering committee, in terms of what we're going to be doing and what studies. I've already mentioned the water study that we began in the previous Parliament, and I know that you can't tie the next Parliament with the work of the previous Parliament, but we had started something that was going to be very worthwhile, and my suggestion was that it be included in our list of studies. I would like to see it done first.
We're all going to have ones that we want to do first. Maybe that's something the steering committee can look at in setting the agenda for the upcoming session.
Normally I agree with Mr. Longfield, but not this time.
This is a report that was adopted unanimously, I repeat. The wording we chose is the most appropriate. On the 120‑day deadline, the minister had three days left to give us his response. He could have given an answer more quickly. There were three days left before we received the official response from the minister, but then the election call came.
This is happening everywhere, in every country. Most countries have these kinds of laws, and most countries have more electric cars than we do here in Canada. Therefore, we are lagging behind.
I think we can table the report in the House of Commons. The 120‑day period will begin and, if I am not mistaken, there is a 60‑day period in which there could be a dissenting report, as Mr. Albas said.
So the idea is to table the report quickly. That way, the 120‑day period starts and we can get the minister's response as soon as possible.
We are not intending to present a dissenting report. That said, the concern that I heard from Mr. Albas was that they don't want this to be used in the future.
Maybe, Mr. Chair, if you don't mind clarifying, my understanding of the standing rules is that there is a requirement right now for the time period for dissenting reports. We don't necessarily need an amendment. In any report that the committee is tabling, there would be an opportunity for this. Is that correct?
Maybe the committee could write a memo to the minister to ask for a response to the report that was tabled in the previous Parliament, and give him 120 days or give him 60 days to respond. Could we do this in the form of a letter?
Actually, that's not a bad idea, Madame Pauzé, because instead of giving the minister another 120 days, we write a letter and we say, “We're sure that your response is ready. Could you table it in the next 20 days?” or whatever number we want to come up with. Then, if that doesn't work, we can retable the committee report.
I don't know if it was Ms. Collins or Mr. Albas next.
Ms. Collins, is your hand up again, or is it from the previous time?
Mr. Chair, again, even though that is a suggestion, it is outside the motion that is before us, so I think we have to dispose of the business that's at hand first. If it brings some comfort, maybe what I could do is see if it would be a friendly amendment to Madame Pauzé to simply add some language that any dissenting report would be required within the next 24 hours of adoption of this motion. That should give you enough time to be able to table it in the House.
Again, that gives the government another 120 days, whereas if we send a letter, we say, “Look, give us your response to our report within the next 10 days,” or whatever we want to come up with. If the government doesn't respond within 10 days, then we say we're going to retable the report with dissenting reports.
I'm going to ask Madame Pauzé what she'd like to do.
Do you want us to retable the report with the possibility of including a dissenting report, and give the government 120 days to respond, or would you prefer that the committee send a letter to the minister asking him to respond within the next week, saying that if he doesn't respond, we will retable the report?
So there are three days left if we count the 24-hour period.
The idea is that I want as many failsafes as possible—suspenders, belt and velcro. Let me explain: we table the report right away; the minister has 120 days to respond, but he is not obligated to use all of them.
I just wanted to kind of echo Madame Pauzé. I think it's important that we table this motion. With a letter, there's no requirement for the minister to respond. If we wanted to write a letter in addition to passing this motion, I don't think there's any harm in asking the minister to respond quicker, but it does seem like it's important to pass this motion. I think that, because there was an amendment proposed, we're probably on that portion, and I just wanted to speak in favour of the amendment.
Mr. Chair, maybe it's because I'm new to the committee, but there are just a lot of things flying around. I'm a little confused. I wonder if it would be helpful to suspend for a few moments for some informal discussions so that we can make our way through this matter and make a final decision.
I was hoping the clerk would, first of all, let us know how quickly he would be able to turn this around if this motion were passed, because that may impact the amount of time we would need for a dissenting report.
Through you, Mr. Chair, I would ask the clerk to just clarify that.
We should be able to do it pretty quickly, to have it ready and then to table it by the end of the week at this point. It depends on the motion that you adopt for the timeline. We should be okay to have it ready for tabling.
The reason for this again, Mr. Chair, is that we want to establish that, if this gets used in the future, there is a period for dissenting reports. We don't plan on doing that. I just want to support Madame Pauzé as much as possible.
With this amendment my concern is that introducing a dissenting report on a report that's already been tabled is really effectively opening this study again. I think we're looking for the right way forward. I suggested a letter because I think we would get a faster response, or we could ask for a faster response. Madame Pauzé makes a good point that the minister doesn't have to wait 120 days and could give us a faster response, which gives some flexibility. If he needs the time he can use the time, but if he can do it faster it's better for us as a committee to get a response because there was good work done there.
I'm concerned that the amendment on the table would be counter to the way reports are normally handled. They're either tabled, or else, if you're going to do a dissenting report, you have to open up the study again so that we can see what's changed in the meantime. I wouldn't be supporting a dissenting report, but I would definitely support retabling the report as it is.
My concern with having the dissenting report is that we have a very different makeup of the committee now. Not all of the members of the committee have had the opportunity to have witnesses and be able to ask them questions. That's part of my concern with this.
Again, to explain, when a committee readopts a report, usually they have to go through a standard adoption motion including Standing Order 108(1)(b), which allows all parties to submit supplementary dissenting reports. My stake in this is just process, not product. The Conservatives will not be putting forward a dissenting report. If everyone just agrees with the idea that Madame Pauzé is putting forward today, please allow us just to put a little sticker for when it comes to due process, and let's vote on this amendment. Again it would be for the end of business day. I'm sure many of us have very great thoughts that we could quickly write down, but I really don't get the sense that's really what's intended here.
I thought we were heading for a formality. I think the reason the committee is passing this motion is because it is master of its motions. No matter what happened centuries ago in Parliament, that the report needed to be reopened, and so on, the committee is master of its decisions.
I just want to remind you that it was still a unanimous report. We spent months talking about it and we had many stakeholders. Also, it was an all-party commitment here during the election campaign. All the parties had it in their election platform. In addition, there was also the government's intention stated in the Speech from the Throne—not Governor General Simon's, but the previous one—to put forward zero-emission vehicles and the date of 2035 was mentioned.
We have no more time to waste. The industry needs predictability, so we must not put this off indefinitely. The sooner it's done, the sooner we can discuss legislation to do this and the sooner the industry will be able to pivot and be able to build vehicles here.
This report ensures that zero-emission vehicles built in Canada, often with funds from Canadian citizens, are available to people in Canada. However, this is not the case at present. So the report addresses all of that, infrastructure, and so on.
Those are my arguments, and I agree with Mr. Albas. regarding the time up to today; we can then table it by Thursday, in case the House does not sit on Friday.
I would like to take this opportunity to table another motion that we could consider. It's a motion that you all received. I think the clerk sent it to you. So it's a new motion regarding a study.
I will read it to you:
That pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development undertake a study for a comprehensive review of nuclear waste governance in Canada and its impacts on the environment, including the issues raised by the import of these wastes and the trade in medical technologies; that the committee invite the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, the Minister of Natural Resources, representatives of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, experts, and other stakeholders; that the committee hold a minimum of five meetings and that the committee report its findings and recommendations to the House.
Before I go to Mr. Longfield, I would like to ask Madame Pauzé. It's up to her, I guess. Rather than have a big debate today, can we not submit this to the steering committee and discuss it there and then come back?
I was going to suggest that any other motions that we have, including this one, go to the steering committee, and that we get those in writing to the steering committee so that they have something to discuss when they get together next Tuesday, if that's going to be the meeting date, and then they can report back.
Mr. Chair, I just wanted to say thank you to Madame Pauzé for putting this forward. Also, we will be submitting a motion on fossil fuel subsidies and really looking forward to the subcommittee discussing all of them.
I'd also like to thank Madame Pauzé for submitting this, and I agree with the method of going to the subcommittee.
Mr. Longfield had suggested that we refer any new motions to the subcommittee. As the subcommittee is actually a group of people, I think it would be better for us to submit them to the clerk, so that they go through the proper notice of motion and be registered and then sent to all committee members properly.
I'm not trolling Mr. Longfield. I'm just making sure the new members here know the process. If you want to table a motion, it should be through the clerk.
What Mr. Albas is saying is that, yes, you send your motion to the steering committee, but you submit it to the clerk so that it's before the committee and ready to go if need be. Presumably that makes a lot of sense.