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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 99
Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 3:46 p.m. to 6:22 p.m.
Francis Scarpaleggia, Chair (Liberal)

Library of Parliament
• Alison Clegg, Analyst
• Sarah Yakobowski, Analyst
Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources
• J. Michael Miltenberger, Special Advisor
Conseil régional de l'environnement et du développement durable du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean
• Jimmy Bouchard, Support Representative
Council of the Great Lakes Region
• Mark Fisher, President and Chief Executive Officer
CropLife Canada
• Pierre Petelle, President and Chief Executive Officer
• Terri Stewart, Executive Director, Chemistry
Forum for Leadership on Water
• Alain Pietroniro, Professor
Mikisew Cree First Nation
• Billy-Joe Tuccaro
Nutrien Ltd.
• Tim Faveri, Vice President, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations
• Mike Nemeth, Senior Advisor, Agriculture and Environment Sustainability
World Wildlife Fund-Canada
• Elizabeth Hendriks, Vice-President, Restoration and Regeneration
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the committee on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, the committee resumed its study of freshwater.

Alain Pietroniro, Tim Faveri, Billy-Joe Tuccaro and Elizabeth Hendriks made statements and, with Mike Nemeth, answered questions.


Branden Leslie moved, — Given that:

  1. Steven Guilbeault, the Minister of Environment announced, “there will be no more envelopes from the federal government to enlarge the road network”;
  2. Minister Guilbeault also said the Liberal government has decided to stop investing in roads because the current network is “perfectly adequate” to respond to the needs of Canadians;
  3. Moreover, Minister Guilbeault said, “we can very well achieve our goals of economic, social and human development without more enlargement of the road network”;
  4. Minister Guilbeault has provided no evidence to back up his erroneous claims;
  5. The Liberal government has not consulted with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, or with Indigenous leaders regarding Minister Guilbeault’s announcement;
  6. Drivers in Canada’s major cities spend on average 144 hours in rush-hour traffic every year, with Toronto topping out at 199 hours, Vancouver 197 hours, Montreal 180 hours, and Winnipeg 173 hours;
  7. Kam Blight, the president of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities said: “In response to the recent comments made by Federal Minister Steven Guilbeault that demonstrate a lack of awareness regarding the challenges face by municipalities, investing in municipal infrastructure, particularly road projects of all sizes, is crucial in fostering economic growth and addressing the challenges posed by a growing population and expanding trade networks. “With the reality of our members facing an ever-increasing municipal infrastructure deficit and operating under 19th century fiscal limitations, it is now more important than ever that other orders of government increase investments to support all kinds of infrastructure and work in partnership with municipalities to develop a modernized Municipal Growth Framework for the 21st century. “It is a strategic move that not only addresses the immediate needs of a growing population but also positions municipalities as hubs of economic activity, fostering sustainable development and enhancing their roles inn the broader regional and global economy.”; and
  8. Minister Guilbeault’s plan to end all federal investments in new roads and highways would cripple Canada’s economic growth.

The committee call on the Liberal government to condemn Minister’s Guilbeault’s announcement; and the committee report its opinion to the House.

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

YEAS: Gérard Deltell, Michael Kram, Branden Leslie, Dan Mazier — 4;

NAYS: Shafqat Ali, Sophie Chatel, Laurel Collins, Lloyd Longfield, Monique Pauzé, Leah Taylor Roy, Adam van Koeverden — 7.

Questioning of the witnesses resumed.

At 5:12 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 5:15 p.m., the sitting resumed.

J. Michael Miltenberger, Jimmy Bouchard, Mark Fisher, Pierre Petelle and Terri Stewart made statements and answered questions.

On motion of Laurel Collins, it was agreed, — That the committee invite the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change to appear for the first hour and departmental officials for the second hour on the Supplementary Estimates (C) for the fiscal year 2023-24, and that the Minister appear before the end of the current supply period, March 31, 2024.

At 6:22 p.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

Natalie Jeanneault
Clerk of the committee