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ENVI Committee Meeting

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.

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Minutes of Proceedings

44th Parliament, 1st Session
Meeting 2
Tuesday, February 1, 2022, 11:04 a.m. to 1:04 p.m.
Televised
Presiding
Francis Scarpaleggia, Chair (Liberal)

Library of Parliament
• Alison Clegg, Analyst
• Sarah Yakobowski, Analyst
The committee proceeded to the consideration of matters related to committee business.

The Chair presented the First Report from the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure, which read as follows:

Your subcommittee met on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, to consider the business of the committee and agreed to make the following recommendations:


  1. That, in relation to the appearance of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, the Commissioner be invited to appear either on February 1 or February 15, 2022, depending on his availability, and that government officials be invited to appear alongside him for the second hour of the Commissioner’s appearance.

  2. That the motion regarding the composition of witness panels adopted by the committee on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, be rescinded and replaced with the following:

    That concerning the composition of witness panels during studies, each party represented on the committee be entitled to select one witness per panel; that this motion not apply when ministers or government officials appear before the committee; and that when it’s impossible to do so, the Chair consult with a member of the subcommittee from the affected party to finalize the make up of the panel.

  3. That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the committee undertake a study of single-use plastics; 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, and that the meetings for this study be scheduled at the discretion of the Chair.

  4. That pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the committee adopt the motion of Ms. Pauzé, as amended by the subcommittee, regarding nuclear waste:

    That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the committee 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 (CNSC), Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), experts, and other stakeholders; that the committee hold a minimum of four meetings; that the committee report its findings and recommendations to the House and that members of the committee submit their witness list for this study to the clerk no later than Friday, January 14, 2022.

    That, after this study has been concluded, the committee adopt the motion of Ms. Collins, as amended by the subcommittee, and undertake a study regarding fossil fuels:

    That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the committee conduct a study of the government’s commitments to accelerate Canada’s G20 commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies from 2025 to 2023 and to develop a plan to phase out public financing of the fossil fuel sector, including by federal Crown corporations; that the study include a review of the definition of a subsidy and the criteria used to determine if a subsidy is inefficient, how those commitments contribute to achieving Canada’s climate targets and obligations under the Paris Agreement, and how Canada plans to meet those commitments; that experts and stakeholders be invited to appear; that the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance be invited to appear; that the study consist of no fewer than five meetings; that the committee report its findings to the House of Commons; and that all meetings be televised.

    That, after this study has been concluded, the committee adopt a motion from the members of the Conservative Party and undertake a study on a yet to be determined topic.

    And that, after this study has been concluded, the committee adopt the motion of Mr. Longfield and undertake a study regarding freshwater:

    That, pursuant to standing order 108(2), the committee undertake a comprehensive study of federal policies and legislation relating to freshwater, and more specifically focusing on:

    (a) the key legislative instruments of federal freshwater policy, including but not limited to the Canada Water Act, the Fisheries Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, the Canadian Navigable Waters Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, and the Impact Assessment Act;

    (b) the key organizational components of federal freshwater policy, including but not limited to Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Infrastructure Canada, Transport Canada, Public Safety Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, and Global Affairs Canada;

    (c) the relationship between the federal government and the provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and local governments relating to freshwater protection and management;

    (d) various international treaties governing Canada's freshwater interests and obligations;

    (e) present and future research needs relating to freshwater management and protection;

    (f) the pressures on Canada's freshwater resources, including with respect to climate change, flooding and drought; and

    (g) the creation of a Canada Water Agency.

    That the committee (i) schedule no fewer than seven meetings, (ii) report its findings and recommendations to the House within one year following the adoption of this motion, and (iii) take into consideration the evidence and documentation received by the committee during the 2nd session of the 43rd Parliament on the subject.

Motion

Lloyd Longfield moved, — That the First Report of the subcommittee be concurred in.

Amendment

Dan Albas moved, — That the subcommittee report be amended, in the last paragraph, by replacing the words “no fewer than seven meetings" with the following: “a yet to be determined amount of meetings".

Debate arose thereon.

Motion

Lloyd Longfield moved, — That the debate be now adjourned.

The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to on the following recorded division:

YEAS: Laurel Collins, Terry Duguid, Lloyd Longfield, Monique Pauzé, Leah Taylor Roy, Joanne Thompson, Patrick Weiler — 7;

NAYS: Dan Albas, Scot Davidson, Earl Dreeshen, Dan Mazier — 4.

Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food
• Matt Parry, Director General, Policy Development and Analysis Directorate, Strategic Policy Branch
• Dr. Ian D. Campbell, Director of Research, Development and Technology Transfer for the Charlottetown and Fredericton Centres, Science and Technology Branch
Department of Natural Resources
• Mollie Johnson, Assistant Deputy Minister, Low Carbon Energy Sector
• Debbie Scharf, Director General, Clean Fuels Branch
Department of the Environment
• Hilary Geller, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Branch
• Douglas Nevison, Assistant Deputy Minister, Climate Change Branch
• Vincent Ngan, Director General, Horizontal Policy, Engagement and Coordination, Climate Change Branch
Office of the Auditor General
• Jerry V. DeMarco, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development
• Kimberley Leach, Principal
• James McKenzie, Principal
• David Normand, Principal
• Michelle Salvail, Principal
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the committee on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, the committee proceeded to a briefing by the Commissioner of the environment and sustainable development.

Gerry V. DeMarco made a statement and, with James McKenzie, answered questions.

At 12:21 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 12:24 p.m., the sitting resumed.

Ian Campbell, Mollie Johnson and Hilary Geller made statements and, with the other witnesses, answered questions.

At 1:04 p.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.



Alexandre Longpré
Clerk of the Committee