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House of Commons Emblem

Standing Committee on Natural Resources


NUMBER 099 
l
1st SESSION 
l
44th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Thursday, May 23, 2024

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

(1535)

[English]

    I call this meeting to order.
     Welcome to meeting number 99 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the committee on Tuesday, November 29, 2022, the committee is resuming its study of Canada's electricity grid and network.
    Since today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, I would like to make a few comments for the benefit of all.
    Before we begin, I would like to ask members and others participating in person to consult the cards on the table for guidelines to prevent audio feedback incidents. Please take note of the following preventative measures in place to protect the health and safety of all participants, including the interpreters. Only use an approved black earpiece. The former grey earpieces must no longer be used. Keep your earpiece away from all microphones at all times. When you are not using your earpiece, place it down on the sticker placed on the table for this purpose.
    Thank you all for your co-operation.
    Here are some Zoom reminders. Please wait until I recognize you by name before speaking. All comments should be addressed through the chair. Additionally, taking screenshots or photos of your screen is not permitted.
    In accordance with the committee's routine motion concerning connection tests for witnesses, I am informing the committee that all witnesses have completed the required connection tests in advance of this meeting.
    I would now like to welcome our witnesses for the study today.
    First, from ATCO, we have Dale Friesen, senior vice-president of corporate affairs and chief government affairs officer. From the Canadian Gas Association, we have Timothy Egan, president and chief executive officer. From the Canadian Nuclear Association, we have John Gorman, president and chief executive officer. From the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, we have Vittoria Bellissimo, president and chief executive officer, by video conference. From Electricity Canada, we have Francis Bradley, president and chief executive officer. Finally, from Electro-Federation Canada, we have Carol McGlogan, president and chief executive officer, and Frederick Morency, vice-president of sustainability, strategic initiatives and innovation.
    Up to five minutes will be given to each of you for opening remarks. After that, we will proceed with rounds of questions. I will be using yellow and red cards. Yellow is a 30-second warning, and red means that time is up. If you're mid-sentence, I'll let you complete your sentence.
    We will begin with Mr. Friesen from ATCO.
    You have five minutes for your opening statement.
    Good afternoon, esteemed members of Parliament and fellow panellists. Thank you for the invitation to speak with you today.
    For more than 75 years, ATCO has delivered electricity to hundreds of communities and millions of people in Canada and around the world. Today, we operate electric utilities in Alberta, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, as well as Puerto Rico. We own more than 700 megawatts of power generation—approximately 500 megawatts of which is derived from wind and solar projects—with a development portfolio of more than 1.5 gigawatts in future renewable projects.
    In sum, we have a uniquely holistic view of the electricity sector in Canada, from wind turbines and solar panels to transmission and distribution lines, all the way to meters at our customers' homes. It is in this perspective that I would like to frame my remarks this afternoon.
    The first priority for us is affordability and reliability. I want to begin by stressing the importance of maintaining reliability and affordability as the grid evolves. In each jurisdiction we serve, these topics are front and centre in the minds of our customers. In Alberta, volatile electricity prices and the cost of new distribution and transmission infrastructure are of paramount concern. These issues are anticipated to grow as gas-fired generation retires and renewable capacity is added to the grid, which will require new transmission infrastructure.
    Meanwhile, in our Yukon service territory, the rapid uptake of distributed energy resources, which we are a part of and support, has resulted in unintended consequences for power quality. Specifically, last spring, we recorded six events when fluctuations in solar output, paired with inadequate system inertia, resulted in sudden load increases that put grid stability at risk. These are challenges we are working on with the provincial and territorial governments and system operators to address, but they highlight the sometimes unintended consequences for customers associated with a rapidly decarbonizing grid.
     Over 90% of the renewable projects that were added in Canada last year were in Alberta.
    Our second priority is accelerating climate adaptation. While we're focused on maintaining affordability and reliability, we're collectively facing an increasing number of climate-related events. The vast and remote nature of our service territories in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon requires enhanced planning to maintain system integrity in the face of a changing climate.
    In recent years, we've seen an increase in both the frequency and duration of outages in our system, due in part to damage from weather-related events. We're investing in climate adaptation and resilience, such as improving the materials and standards we use for our distribution and transmission poles, and selectively undergrounding wires where possible. Another very helpful thing was the wrapping of the base of power poles up to about three metres. It has provided a lot more resistance against wildfires. These things can make a difference.
     However, these climate adaptation measures often require significant upfront investments and can lead to higher electricity rates. Finding a sustainable balance between resilience and affordability will be crucial for all electric utilities in Canada and needs to be considered by policy-makers as an additional pressure facing our systems.
    Our third and last priority is policy certainty. The reliability and resiliency challenges are complicated by challenges with policy and regulation. We remain concerned that the proposed clean electricity regulations may result in big impacts to reliability and affordability and potentially to public safety for customers. The latest considerations regarding the CER framework appear to provide some flexibility. However, without clear numbers, it's impossible to determine what their cumulative impacts will be at this time.
    We're awaiting progress on federal permitting reform. To reach our net-zero goals by 2050, we'll require dramatic acceleration, provincially and federally, in the permitting and construction of electricity infrastructure. Expediting permitting for net-zero generation is important, but expediting permitting for transmission lines is equally critical, including interties and connections to remote indigenous communities. In Canada, it can take up to a decade or more to build a high-voltage line, and many of these projects will be built simultaneously.
    Thank you.

(1540)

     Thank you, Mr. Friesen.
    We will now move to Mr. Timothy Egan from the Canadian Gas Association for five minutes.
    A previous minister of natural resources speaking to my board of directors a few years ago said, “Wouldn't it be great if we had a national electricity link coast to coast?” I said to him, “Minister, we have one in the TransCanada mainline.”
    The mainline, of course, is one of several extraordinary pipeline networks across the continent. The TC Energy system, of which it is a part, and the Enbridge system are two massive infrastructure networks owned by Canadian pipeline companies linking millions of North Americans to the energy they need for a range of services. There are numerous other systems as well.
    My response wasn't the one the minister wanted, and I dare say it's because he, like many Canadians, too often engages in an electricity conversation as though electricity alone can meet all of Canada's energy demands and electricity isn't dependent on the broader energy system. Of course, this isn't true. Electricity is a technology, not an energy source, and it uses a variety of energy sources. We need electrons to run a bunch of things, but that's because they enable other technologies, and we need energy sources to make electrons.
    I'm going to talk for a few moments today about one of those sources, natural gas, and how essential it is to the electricity system and indeed to the well-being of the country as a whole.
    Canada's natural gas infrastructure is extensive, with over 600,000 kilometres of pipeline delivering energy to two-thirds of Canadians and storage facilities across the country within that system, altogether meeting nearly 40% of Canada's energy needs—more than double the contribution of electricity. This extensive infrastructure and storage capacity allows the delivery of large volumes of energy reliably, especially during peak demand periods or emergencies, and this includes electric energy. Already a key part of the power generation mix in many provinces, natural gas-fired electricity has increased by an average of 4% every year since 2018, at a time when we are contemplating serious constraints in the power system.
     The reliability of the gas system and why that matters to the electric system are underscored by events like the polar vortex of January this year, when natural gas delivered the equivalent energy of 110,000 megawatts of power, or nearly 10 times the record electric peak in Alberta. Approximately 50% of that came from natural gas in storage—a battery of unparalleled scale. In other words, demand went through the roof, and the natural gas tap was turned on to ensure reliable energy for heating needs and reliable electricity. Without it, the electrical system would have failed.
    I mention the draw on storage during Alberta's cold snap. That storage strength exists there and across the country. The Dawn Hub in Ontario is one of the largest integrated storage facilities in North America. It's a massive battery of over 285 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or the equivalent of roughly one-tenth of the total gas used in the country in a year. There's no comparable battery storage, and the hub provides unmatched flexibility and reliability for our energy system. That is critical, especially in winter, when estimates suggest that the heating load met by natural gas would require the equivalent of as many as 90 nuclear plants.
    In Ontario, the Independent Electric System Operator understands the value of natural gas. The organization anticipates a shortfall of electricity by the late 2020s and has identified natural gas and renewable energy sources that are backed by natural gas as essential to meeting the need.
    From an affordability perspective, natural gas is unparalleled. In 2023, the delivered cost of electricity was more than three times that of natural gas, and that's even with carbon taxes. Also, electricity prices are rising. In British Columbia, there's an announced annual increase of 6.4%. In Nova Scotia it's 6.5%, and in Newfoundland it's 10.5%.
    Energy affordability affects the overall cost of living, not just because of the price of energy for direct use—as electricity, as fuel for transportation or as energy for heating—but also because the cost of energy affects the cost of absolutely everything else we need. The growing threat to affordable energy, something Canadians have always taken for granted, is leading to a growing reality of energy poverty, something we should never have to contemplate in a country so rich with energy resources.
    Natural gas is the most cost-effective energy source available to Canadians. The average cost of delivering energy through natural gas infrastructure is roughly $68 per megawatt hour compared to over $560 per megawatt hour for electricity. This cost-effectiveness makes natural gas a vital component of our energy strategy, helping to keep energy costs affordable.
    Finally, natural gas is an acceptable energy source that aligns with Canadians' interests and concerns. Its environmental footprint is small and steadily being reduced, as the industry continually innovates and invests in emission-management techniques, efficiency improvements and new fuels like hydrogen and RNG. Its infrastructure is unobtrusive, as it is overwhelmingly underground. Its safety record is exemplary. Millions rely on it and don't want to stop using it.

(1545)

    To conclude, I speak to remind you all of the great asset we have in our natural gas resource and our natural gas infrastructure. We are foundational to the overall energy system, and those who call for our elimination do so without reflection on the enormous risk this represents to the well-being of Canadians and even to the very electrical system that advocates seek to expand.
     Thank you, Mr. Egan.
     We'll now go to the Canadian Nuclear Association.
    Mr. John Gorman, you have five minutes.

[Translation]

    Thank you for the opportunity to appear before this committee.

[English]

    Electricity is fundamental to the well-being of Canada and Canadians, and the role it plays in our lives and our economy is set to grow dramatically over the coming years and decades. Ensuring the reliability and sustainability of the grid through this growth in demand is of paramount importance. However, the strength and reliability of the grid are tied directly to the strength and reliability of the electricity that gives it power. For approximately 15% of the nation's electricity grid and 60% of the grid here in Ontario, that strength is nuclear.
     I am here today on behalf of the Canadian nuclear industry, representing over 80,000 Canadians employed in exploring and mining uranium, generating electricity, advancing nuclear medicine and promoting Canada's leadership worldwide in science and technological innovation.
     Canada's nuclear technologies, which include large conventional reactors like the CANDU—one of our country's proudest technological achievements and exports—and newer small modular reactors, or SMRs, will play an increasingly important role in ensuring a reliable and affordable power supply, as increasing electrification puts pressure on both large and small grids, including in remote communities. Looking into the future, industry studies suggest that the electrification of the Canadian economy by 2050, while meeting net-zero emissions goals, will require at a very minimum an additional 100 gigawatts of clean baseload electricity generation. That does not include the significant amount of renewables that need to be brought on to help this transition.
    Provincial and territorial governments are actively considering how a suite of technologies could be allocated to meet this massive demand load. Nuclear is increasingly being considered as the best solution. Following the memorandum of understanding between the provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Alberta, SMR projects in each province have established a critical first-mover advantage, opening opportunities to develop a pan-Canadian new nuclear technology supply chain.
    Current, large CANDU nuclear electricity generating plants in Ontario and New Brunswick have been demonstrating for generations how important nuclear energy is in meeting the energy needs of industry and of Canadians. Canada's largest infrastructure project, a $26-billion refurbishment initiative undertaken by Ontario Power Generation and Bruce Power, is on time and on budget. Our nuclear fleet is the envy of many countries around the world that are struggling to find a path to net zero. As a tier 1 nuclear nation with a proven record with its CANDU reactors, Canada has the experience, knowledge and resources to develop new nuclear technologies such as SMRs, and indeed we are doing so.
     In addition to accelerating the clean energy transition, SMR development in Canada addresses needs beyond electricity. SMRs can be used to create non-emitting fuels like hydrogen for transportation, industry and export.
     The Government of Canada has shown clear support for the Canadian nuclear industry through a range of policy and financial commitments. However, for Canada to succeed in its ambitious decarbonization and electrification goals, much more needs to be done. Moving forward, in order to ensure a strong nuclear energy sector, the Canadian Nuclear Association recommends the following key points to build on the success to date and meet climate and energy security goals that will facilitate regional, provincial and local grid stability.
     First, on regulatory alignment, we recommend that the government continue to develop an efficient regulatory regime in Canada that recognizes the need for a significant acceleration of the development and deployment of clean energy infrastructure, including nuclear, large and small.
     Second, on the nuclear supply chain, we recommend taking a continental approach, recognizing that working with the United States is to our mutual benefit. This includes key issues such as uranium and nuclear fuel access, especially for SMR development.
     Finally, regarding financing, we recommend continued investment in both large and small reactor technologies. We recommend that the investment tax credit, ITC, design for nuclear technologies and supply chains be undertaken in a timely fashion to match efforts undertaken by the United States, and that Bill C-59 include an SMR definition to ensure the timely deployment of technologies.
    Members of the committee, we are a country built on our abundant natural resources and skilled, passionate workforce. Our path to success in the energy transition rests not outside our borders but here at home with the sectors we are proud to call our own.
     Thank you.

(1550)

    Thank you, Mr. Gorman.
    We will now go to the Canadian Renewable Energy Association and Vittoria Bellissimo, by video conference.
     Good afternoon, Chair. Thank you to you and this committee for inviting me to testify on behalf of the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, CanREA, as part of this committee's study of Canada's electricity grid and network.
     I would like to start by acknowledging that I'm joining you today from the traditional territories of the peoples of Treaty 7, including the Blackfoot Confederacy, consisting of the Siksika, the Piikani and the Kainai; the Tsuut'ina and Stoney Nakoda first nations; and the Métis nation, who call this region home.
    CanREA is the voice for the wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada's energy future. Our 300-plus members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada's energy needs, which are set to grow faster than ever.
    Canadians consumed approximately 640 terawatt hours of electricity in 2022—over 60% hydro; 17.5% fossil fuels; 13% nuclear; and notably, 5.7% wind, 1.5% biofuels and 1.1% solar PV. Environment and Climate Change Canada estimates that reaching net zero will require a doubling or tripling of Canada's generation capacity by 2050 as Canadians switch from fossil fuels to clean electricity to meet their everyday energy needs. This growth in generation will require significant investment in renewable energy and energy storage.
    Meeting Canada's climate targets is not the only reason to invest in new renewable energy and energy storage. Staying competitive in a rapidly digitizing global economy depends on Canada generating more electricity. The International Energy Agency notes that electricity consumption from data centres, artificial intelligence and the cryptocurrency sector could more than double by 2026, going from a global consumption of 460 terawatt hours in 2022 to more than 1,000 terawatt hours in 2026. With companies opening 20-plus megawatt facilities across Canada, the demand for power for computing here is rising.
    CanREA members are ready to meet the growing demand resulting from Canada's climate goals and the needs of the future economy. They have proven that they can build new large-scale generation projects in two to five years and do so at a cost that keeps electricity affordable for Canadians. Competing technologies may require a decade, if not more.
    Investments are happening now, with Ontario announcing last week the procurement of 1,784 megawatts of energy storage from 10 projects, which will be online by 2028. In total, Ontario will have up to 2,916 megawatts of energy storage capacity over 26 facilities before 2030. This story will be repeated across Canada as provincial utilities and system operators launch calls for new electricity from renewables and for energy storage.
    Renewable electricity and energy storage projects can be further accelerated by the clean technology investment tax credit, ITC, and the forthcoming clean electricity ITC. The relatively straightforward design and refundability of the ITCs will put the country in a competitive position relative to the U.S. and other jurisdictions that are looking to decarbonize their electricity systems. As companies looking to invest in renewable energy have stated, the fact that the clean technology ITC, once passed, will be available until 2034 gives them confidence that Canada will remain competitive in the long term.
    That said, CanREA members, including capital providers, have made it clear that without these ITCs, they will look to invest in the U.S., the EU or other markets where a path to profitability is clearer. In a world where demand is growing significantly, projects and capital will go to the jurisdictions of lowest risk and highest return. As such, I urge all parliamentarians to pass Bill C-59 as soon as possible. I also encourage the government to introduce the enabling legislation for the clean electricity ITC before the House rises for the summer.
    We are particularly optimistic about the opportunities that the clean technology investment tax credit will create. This measure will allow companies investing in a variety of low-carbon technologies to recoup between 20% and 30% of their project capital costs as a refundable tax credit. When the enabling legislation for this investment tax credit is passed, it will rapidly accelerate the deployment across Canada of such technologies as battery energy storage systems, wind, and solar by strengthening the economics of renewable energy projects and attracting capital to the sector. This is about acceleration, international competitiveness and keeping electricity affordable for Canadian ratepayers.
     Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your questions.

(1555)

    Thank you, Ms. Bellissimo.
    We will now go to Electricity Canada and Mr. Francis Bradley.
    You have five minutes.

[Translation]

    I'm the president and CEO of Electricity Canada. We were previously known as the Canadian Electricity Association. We are the national voice of Canada's electricity sector. Our members are the companies that produce, transport and distribute electricity in all provinces and territories.

[English]

    Our industry impacts all social, environmental and economic facets of life. Whether it is keeping the lights on, driving down emissions in other sectors or powering one of the largest economies in the world, Canadian electricity is foundational to it all.
    Since 2005, our sector has cut emissions by more than half, making Canada's electricity grid over 84% non-emitting—among the cleanest in the world. We will continue to see emissions reductions as our members adopt and integrate new technologies.
    Canada, like elsewhere in the world, is experiencing a rapid increase in electricity demand. This is driven by several factors, including the rise of new technologies like electric vehicles and artificial intelligence, as well as broader efforts to decarbonize the economy. We expect demand to double or triple by 2050. To meet this demand, we'll have to expand the system at a pace we haven't seen in decades. This must be done in a country with multiple electricity grids made up of different resource mixes, market structures and regulatory environments. Because of this regional variance, there will be no silver-bullet technology or one-size-fits-all approach to growth.
    The investment tax credit regime is foundational to promoting clean energy competitiveness while supporting rate affordability. The indigenous loan guarantees and the SREP programs will help address important gaps.
    Nonetheless, our industry faces significant challenges. Doubling or tripling the size of the grid while reducing emissions too quickly may jeopardize affordability and reliability. We must ensure that an emphasis on reducing further emissions faster does not compromise our ability to maintain the integrity of the electricity system in each region. We must also remain competitive in the global marketplace. Although the CCUS and clean technology ITCs are close, we aren't there yet. Meanwhile, the U.S. has been seeing record clean energy investments since the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act. We need investment certainty if Canada is to keep pace. Finally, we need to build faster. Current permitting and approval timelines do not reflect the urgency needed to meet demand.
    To address these challenges and support an affordable, reliable and clean industry, we have three key recommendations.
    First, federal regulations like the CERs must be designed to ensure that affordability and reliability can be maintained. Each province's starting point is different, so it's important that national ambitions don't unintentionally leave provinces behind. Besides, as I said at the beginning, the electricity system is going to grow substantially in the coming decades. It's important that the system remain as flexible as possible so that we can meet this growing demand no matter what. The technologies that are meant to help us get there have yet to arrive in Canada at the scale that will be required. This makes it difficult to be certain on timelines for the phase-in of reliable replacement power.
    Second, to support bringing these technologies to market, the federal government should continue investing in the system. At the same time, more is needed to ensure that communities and households are prepared to receive and manage the massive increase in load. Intraprovincial transmission and distribution will be crucial to supporting the growth of electric vehicles, demand-side efficiency and the connection of rural communities to clean electricity.
    Finally, our federal regulatory environment needs to be adapted to ensure that these timelines and targets can be achieved. Work is needed to reduce duplication and promote clarity, transparency and accountability within federal processes.
    To conclude, I want to stress that significant growth in demand will come regardless of our climate objectives. As an industry, we must be ready to meet this growth and to build for the future.

(1600)

[Translation]

    Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today.

[English]

    We have provided a detailed submission for the committee's consideration.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
     Thank you, Mr. Bradley.
    We'll now go to Electro-Federation Canada.
    Carol McGlogan, you have five minutes.
    Good afternoon, Mr. Chair. Thank you very much to you and the esteemed members of the committee for having me and Mr. Morency here this afternoon.
    The study you find yourselves currently undertaking will have big implications for the country and how we chart the path to net zero. We are grateful for your thoughtful deliberations to date and are excited to bring our insights to your conversation.
    Electro-Federation Canada is an industry organization with 260 members that represents a thriving industry of electrical manufacturers, wholesale distributors, sales agents and field service providers who design, develop, distribute and install electrical and automation products that support energy efficiency and contribute to a net-zero future. Our electrical and automation industry members are the technology makers, innovation experts and supply chain partners for a net-zero economy. We're powering a changing world.
    EFC members contribute over $15 billion to the Canadian economy annually and support 109,000 jobs directly and indirectly in more than 1,400 facilities nationwide. Though we have long been active in advancing these initiatives, it is only in the last few years that we've trained a more intense focus on working with departments and Parliament here in Ottawa.
    Last year, in conjunction with The Pembina Institute, we published an industry white paper entitled “Decarbonizing Canada via ‘Electrification’”, which provided a road map of where we believe strategic investments and policies need to be made in order to achieve the ambitious targets laid out before us. Specific to this study, we made recommendations on investing in distribution system upgrades and further emphasizing developing regional electricity interties. We also conducted two Hill Day exercises in February 2023 and 2024 respectively, where we met with parliamentarians of all stripes to discuss and raise these issues and recommendations. We have been encouraged by the reception we've received to date.
    We note the brief that Mr. Manvir Sandhu submitted to the committee as part of this study. We are aligned with its four recommendations regarding the development of a national electricity strategy, increasing interprovincial transmission capacity, modernizing and upgrading requisite infrastructure and increasing decentralized energy capacity countrywide. In addition, we state that, as all these substantive investments are being made, it is important to support the four recommendations with an industrial strategy that helps secure a global supply of energy transition solutions and promotes local manufacturing and supply chain building with investment tax credits to meet Canada's timelines for achieving a greener, electrified Canada.
    To put the supply issue in context, the demand for switchgear and transformers is no longer driven by building starts alone. Solar, batteries and storage in data centres are all competing for this technology. A study done by Scotiabank on the U.S. states that the demand for switchgear and transformers will increase by five times annually to meet the demand in the U.S. in the next 15 to 18 years.
    We know that a new mix of energy is required, and this impacts demand for components. For example, a 1,000-megawatt nuclear or gas plant will require 55 to 70 transformers, whereas the comparable amount of output from wind or solar with 1,000 megawatt hours of on-site battery energy storage will require 900 to 1,250 transformers. At the same time, a large hyperscale data centre needs 1,400 to 1,700 transformers per site. All of this is creating a tremendous demand for electrical equipment and electrical power generation.
    One of our four Canadian transformer manufacturers is committed to the grid and is saving their capacity for utilities. However, they may have to face a business decision, as the data centre market is moving quicker and is willing to pay more for equivalent products. This competitive activity was also highlighted in the Scotiabank report. Today's lead time for transformers is over two years, and the lead time for switchgear has gone from 20 weeks to over one year. It is important to secure a Canadian supply for our energy security.
    We know that net zero is important for our environment and the next generation of Canadians. At the same time, the push to net zero is good for the economy. Because of Canada's hard work in decarbonizing our grid, we have become an attractive destination for investment by companies that have made low-carbon commitments and see the economic value of a lower-emitting energy system. We are also seeing this investment create new jobs.

(1605)

    This is a win-win—a win for the environment and a win for the economy. We are in a global race, and our members can unlock capacity, secure supply chains and provide technical assistance to get this job done efficiently for Canada. We're here to help, and we want to make a positive difference.
    Thank you for your time. We eagerly welcome your questions about our work and initiatives.
     Thank you for your opening remarks.
    We will now proceed to our first round of questions.
    We'll start with Mrs. Stubbs for six minutes.
     Thanks, Chair.
    Witnesses, thank you for being here today and for your candid and comprehensive dose of reality. You have painted a very accurate picture of the absolutely inextricable link between your operations, your expertise and the everyday essential needs of every Canadian in every community across this country. I note your concern about affordability and Canadians being able to afford reliable, stable, predictable sources of power.
    Mr. Friesen, I invite you to comment on what I understand to be a growing gap between supply and demand for the equipment and materials needed to grow the grid. Also, do you have any comments on supply chain issues with the materials needed to build it out and meet expansion goals?
    I just want to give a shout-out to Carol for her great comments on some of the supply chain issues and for noting a few examples that we would use.
    I had the privilege, before the COP in Dubai last December, to speak at the Edison Electric Institute and Gulf Cooperation Council summit. It was really fascinating to hear the supply chain challenges being faced around the world. Those that you've heard from Carol and Francis are real.
    One number really grabbed me: The entire capacity of the world's production of transmission lines would be consumed for two years with just a 3,000-kilometre order for a transmission line globally. That would take up a two-year supply globally. That was shocking.
    When you drive into your neighbourhood tonight, you should look at those little transformers that hang on the power poles, which Carol was talking about. They used to be almost off-the-shelf, but they're now items with up to a two-year lead. Many of the suppliers are saying, “You either go single source or we don't want to talk to you.” That impacts price, and it impacts delivery and timing. Our stats show that in the States, they're estimating between 60% and 80% of these existing transformers will need to be replaced as a matter of course between now and 2050.
    These are challenges that everybody in the business is facing. I would add to that some of the labour challenges, which people in this room are well aware of. They're coming in parallel.
    Working with government, industry and schools is very important as we go forward to try to ensure that we can meet those demands.
     Mr. Friesen, Mr. Bradley and Mr. Egan, all of you in different ways have commented on the reality of the different grids, the regional and provincial differences. The Prime Minister says that our strength is diversity. That is very true of resources and electricity, although he seems to forget about that. I wonder if you might talk about the regional differences in the grid.
    Also, there's the discussion on interties. In 2017, MP Falk and I were members of this committee, and a report was issued that recommended engagement with the provinces and territories to identify and address regulatory barriers to facilitate interties—interprovincial and Canada-U.S. ones—and to modernize electric systems and markets.
    I would invite each of you to expand further on the issues with the diversity of grids between regions and provinces, the status of interties and the policy barriers that exist to expanding the grid and establishing interties. I'm wondering what your competing views on that might be.

(1610)

    I can begin, if you like.
    In terms of the diversity of the grids, it is both a strength and a challenge because there are such massive differences. It's a result, quite simply, as all members are well aware, of the different resource endowments in different areas of the country. There are some areas in this country where there is a lot of falling water, and other parts of this country happen to be very flat and don't have a lot of falling water. That results, of course, in some pretty significant challenges with respect to the clean electricity regulations, which impact different areas in different parts of this country in very different ways.
    Would greater interconnection and more interties address this? That partly would when we look at different regions and the ability to lean on them. However, it's much as I said earlier with respect to technologies. Even the greater interconnection between grids is not a silver bullet to addressing the challenges we have in the different jurisdictions.
    Would you say that in general there's been significant progress on interties since 2017?
     No.
    The government hasn't done anything significant on the recommendations.
    I wouldn't say there's been significant progress.
    I would invite you to expand on the importance of baseload power and the importance of natural gas and, if you want, to share any thoughts on the net zero by 2035 conditionality of the CERs. To all of you, what do you anticipate would happen to emissions in the electricity sector without the CERs?
    You'll have to save those answers for the next round, as the time is up.
    Thank you, Mrs. Stubbs.
    We'll now go to Ms. Dabrusin for six minutes.
    I will start with Mr. Gorman from the Canadian Nuclear Association.
    I come from a province that switched off coal for cleaner electricity, and nuclear was an important part of that transition. When we're talking about clean power and baseload power, I've seen in my home province the importance of nuclear.
    I'm wondering if you believe that nuclear, along with other renewables, can be an affordable and reliable source of energy for our country?
     I'll first reflect on the remarkable decarbonization of Ontario's electricity grids.
    When we closed down coal-fired plants, nuclear was responsible for replacing 89% of the electricity created by them with clean, non-emitting baseload power. It's a real asset to this country.
    Regarding the affordability of nuclear, I would point out that in the Ontario context, nuclear is the second-lowest cost electricity in the province next to water power—hydroelectricity. The $26-billion refurbishment of the plants in Ontario, which has been under way now for five years and has another five years or so to go, is ahead of schedule and on budget. It will be delivering cost-competitive electricity, which we have in this province, well into the 2060s. It's a really important cornerstone for providing the clean baseload power that you speak of.
    On the baseload question, Ms. Dabrusin, I referenced in my remarks that we are going to require an extra 100 gigawatts of new baseload, non-emitting power. As a nation, we have to ask ourselves where that power is going to come from. We've been blessed with water power for many decades. However, now, with a need for doubling or tripling the amount of electricity we have, ensuring that it's completely emissions-free and getting baseload power, we don't have the luxury of access to water power going forward. Nuclear is going to play a really important part there.

(1615)

    A lot of the conversation I hear these days is about SMRs. There's a lot of conversation about their potential, particularly in provinces that may not have much nuclear as part of their resources.
    I know that Canada's first commercial grid SMR reactor is at Darlington and had support from the Canada Infrastructure Bank. Can you talk to me about what role SMRs play in having a clean grid?
    Given the incredible track record and history of nuclear we have as a nation, which is really respected around the world, and because of the refurbishments that have the industry firing on all cylinders right now, we have been able to do some remarkable innovations in the development of these new nuclear technologies, these small modular reactors, which are ultimately scalable. They could be as small as something that fits on the back of an 18-wheeler and could be brought to a remote community or a mining site, for example. They're up to 300 megawatts, which is on the larger side.
    To your point, Ms. Dabrusin, about the Darlington site, those things are under construction right now. They will be generating electricity on the grid by 2028. The one thing that differentiates some of these new small modular reactor technologies, in addition to being scalable and emissions-free, is that they produce very high-temperature heat. That heat can be used to replace fossil fuels in heavy industry operations that require high-temperature heat.
    They have electricity capabilities, of course, and are scalable, but they can also produce steel, cement or even hydrogen, or do all three at the same time.
     Great. Thank you.
    In the remaining time, perhaps I could go to Ms. Bellissimo of CanREA.
    We've been hearing some conversations about renewables. Are they able to meet our energy needs and are they affordable and reliable? If you could, please comment on that.
    Thank you. I'd be happy to.
    One of the ways people look at affordability is through levelized costs. I'll give you a cost comparison from the Lazard study that was done in 2023.
    Solar photovoltaic dollars per megawatt hour range from $24 to $96. Wind ranges from $24 to $75. Nuclear ranges from $141 to $221. A natural gas combined cycle starts at $39 a megawatt hour and goes to $101. Electricity is a portfolio approach. When you want to deliver clean, reliable, affordable power, you need a mix.
    We're going to need everything. We have talked about it. In my introductory remarks, I talked about how much electricity growth we're going to see. It is a mix. The most affordable sources of new electricity supply in the world today are wind and solar, and batteries are dropping in cost very impressively. They've dropped to 10% of what they were 10 years ago, and it's getting better.
    Going forward, what we need for building reliable electricity grids all across Canada is diverse supply mixes that are complementary. One of the areas where I think we get into some problems is baseload power. What we need is flexible generation. We can get really affordable renewables on the system, and we can supplement that with energy storage. We need flexibility in our resources so that they can ramp up and meet demands when we need to meet them. I think the way we talk about it is, honestly, a little bit backwards.
    I'm happy to answer more questions on this.
    Thank you.
     Time is up. Maybe you'll get some questions as we move along.
    I'll now go to Monsieur Simard for six minutes.

[Translation]

    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
    I'd like to thank the witnesses.
    Mr. Egan, I don't know if you're familiar with a recent statement by Mr. Derek Evans, executive chair of Pathways Alliance, that Mr. Poilievre will have to clarify his position on carbon pricing. I'm telling you this because I believe that the deployment of clean energy requires a price on carbon.
    Do you support a price on carbon? My question is for each of you.

(1620)

[English]

    I think the honourable member is referring to Mr. Evans's comments. Mr. Evans runs the Pathways Alliance, an alliance of oil sands companies. He's not involved with the natural gas industry. That's the first point.
    The second point—

[Translation]

    I understand.
    If people in the oil sector are in favour of carbon pricing, I don't see why people in the gas sector would be against it. Ultimately, what I'm asking you is quite simple: Do you support some form of carbon pricing?

[English]

    We do not take a position on the carbon tax as the Canadian Gas Association.

[Translation]

    Very well. You're neither for nor against it, you're indifferent.
    I'm asking all the witnesses if they agree with carbon pricing, because the issue may arise again in the report we will prepare on this study.
    Thank you, Mr. Simard.

[English]

    Look, I would say there's a fairly strong international consensus that carbon pricing is a very effective way of guiding our industries towards a lower-carbon future, but I would also say that it's not the only mechanism you can use to get there. What is important is sending a strong signal and having guide barriers that point industry and their plans, investments and developments in the right direction.

[Translation]

    Thank you very much.

[English]

     From our perspective, much like Mr. Egan, we don't have a firm position with respect to specific pricing instruments. What we want, and what I think most people want, is certainty from an investment standpoint.

[Translation]

    Thank you.

[English]

     At ATCO, we've been familiar with the provincial specified gas emitters regulation since 2007. The carbon tax on industry can be very helpful for incenting certain behaviours, but there are other ways of doing it. However, I think it's about certainty and consistency so businesses can make the types of decisions they need in order to move forward.

[Translation]

    Thank you.

[English]

    At Electro-Federation Canada, we don't have a firm policy on the carbon tax. However, we feel it is an effective measure to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    We have a lot of manufacturing capacity within Canada among our membership, so they are also concerned about competitiveness and cost. Steady policy signals and timelines are important when implementing these types of measures.

[Translation]

    Thank you very much.
    I have a question specifically for you, as you represent Electro-Federation Canada. Some time ago, we heard from Normand Mousseau, a witness from the Trottier Energy Institute. He told us that we had to stop designing federal programs exclusively for large businesses and instead find solutions to electrify small and medium-sized businesses.
    Can't the companies you represent play a role in this?

[English]

     I'm not sure I understand the question.

[Translation]

    The federal government's electrification strategy consists of clean electricity generation tax credits. A previous witness told us that tax credits for large businesses may not be the best solution, as the major challenge we will face is electrifying small and medium-sized businesses.
    Since you represent an economic sector that can provide solutions for the electrification of small and medium-sized businesses, do you think the federal policy is adjusted to support the members you represent?

[English]

     When it comes to investment tax credits, where we're coming from is having the ability to get credits for the manufacturing of grid equipment, which is currently not included in the ITC system. Many of the grid equipment suppliers are in Canada, and they would not be considered the mega organizations you're talking about. They are more medium-sized organizations, but they play a role at the forefront when it comes to energy transition.

(1625)

[Translation]

    Thank you.

[English]

     Thank you for that.
    I want to give a reminder to everyone: When we speak into the mics, we don't need to lean too close to them, because it impacts interpretation. You can keep a bit of distance.
    We will now proceed to Mr. Angus for six minutes.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I want to thank our witnesses for providing their expert advice on the very complex set of issues we're confronting.
    I will use my six minutes to move the motion that I gave to my committee colleagues on May 8, 2024:
That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the committee undertake a study on the TMX pipeline to determine how, as in the case of the ArriveCAN app, the cost to taxpayers spiralled out of control, to get clarity on plans to divest and sell off the now completed pipeline and on the implications of such a sale to Canadian taxpayers, and to examine how increases in export capacity will impact a future cap on GHG emissions; that the committee invite the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Natural Resources, as well as experts on the economy and the environment, to provide testimony; that the committee hold no fewer than five meetings for that purpose; that the committee report its findings and recommendations to the House; and that, pursuant to Standing Order 109, the government table a comprehensive response to the report.
    I move this motion because of my growing frustration, after having come into this Parliament really believing that we had a moment, a rare moment, to confront the two unprecedented crises of our age: a crisis facing our species and our planet due to climate catastrophe, and trying to find a means to maintain the incredible quality of living, jobs and sustainability that our communities have depended on. I really thought this was going to be that moment. I heard in the Prime Minister's speech in Paris that Canada, with our incredible natural resources and talent, would lead the way, but I haven't seen that.
    We've heard our witnesses talk about how they're still waiting on the ITCs. We saw the Biden administration bring in an all-of-government approach. We see investment moving there. Throughout this, the TMX pipeline moved ahead and the government has never blinked once.
    Our latest greenhouse gas emissions show that once again, oil and gas emissions continue to rise. They've risen every single year since 2006. The energy emissions in Alberta now account for 38% of total emissions in Canada. This issue is not going away. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently said that we are at a make-or-break moment for our planet. He said, “Today, humanity spews out over 40 gigatons of carbon dioxide every year. At this rate, the planet will soon be pushed past the 1.5°C limit.” That, of course, is the red line that we've been warned about by scientists again and again.
    As a Politico article said, “Another U.N. report in 2022 warned that countries’ carbon-cutting pledges were too weak and, as of that moment, there was ‘no credible pathway’ to 1.5°C.” We've certainly seen that the last 11 months have been the hottest on record. Secretary-General Guterres called out the politicians who made promises and commitments on lowering emissions while failing and ignoring them.
    That brings me to my concern about the TMX pipeline. There was no business case for the pipeline. There was no company willing to do this. The International Energy Agency has written report after report warning governments against locking into long-term infrastructure because of the changing market. However, what we saw this government decide to do was lock Canada in for bitumen processing in the long term, no matter what it meant for the economy, no matter what it meant for changing global markets and no matter what it meant for the environment and the crisis we're facing.
    We've seen as a result of the news on TMX that oil production in Alberta has jumped based on the knowledge that 900,000 extra barrels a day will create a major opportunity for the Pathways Alliance. This is a group of companies that have never ever lowered emissions. We've given them all kinds of tax breaks; we've given them all kinds of gifts, and now we've given them $34 billion in taxpayers' money. There has to be accountability for that. There has to be accountability for how that much money was spent on a pipeline that should have cost $5 billion or $6 billion.

(1630)

    Why did we have to pay that amount of money? Why is that being given to an industry that made $48 billion in profits in two years while continuing to ignore emissions obligations? In fact, Derek Evans, the head of Pathways Alliance, is now questioning, after all these gifts we've given to them, why they should be forced to meet any future emissions caps. Maybe they'd do it in 2050, but not before then.
    We also have to address this because we saw the Prime Minister go to the international stage with the environment minister and claim that they were going to put in an emissions cap. You can't put in an emissions cap if you're going to massively increase production. That's like saying you're going to drink your way to sobriety.
    Everybody knew they were making that up. Everybody knew Mr. Trudeau had no intention of doing that. However, $34 billion later, we are stuck now with massive increases in GHG emissions when we've been told again and again by the world's scientific community that we're at peak carbon. That $34 billion could have been spent on a whole manner of elements to transform things, create clean energy and create alternatives, but that wasn't the choice. We need explanations for that.
     What really concerns me—and I hope my colleagues will offer their thoughts on it—is that since there wasn't a business case and it blew the budget so badly, there is no way that any company can use TMX unless it's massively subsidized. The toll costs on the bitumen you'd have to run down that pipeline would be too high to make it worthwhile.
    The CER, the energy regulator, estimated that 78% of the cost of every barrel will have to be paid for. By whom? Is it going to be by the public? Is that what we're being told? Or will this be the great reconciliation project of the Trudeau government and they're going to give the pipeline to some group? They may call that reconciliation, but I call that pork barrel. I want to know who's getting that pipeline. I want to know whether whoever buys that pipeline is going to pay the taxpayers back $34 billion. Is it going to be a group of friends who get that pipeline at a massive subsidy? We need to know.
    This is, to me, the priority that our committee has to address, because if we don't address how this pipeline is going to operate, there's going to be an agreement—maybe this summer, maybe in the fall—and suddenly $34 billion of infrastructure is going to be given to some group. There will be a big press conference, everyone will slap each other on the back, the taxpayers will be left as suckers and the planet will be paying the cost. We need to hear what the plan is. If they're going to massively increase production, where is this emissions cap? Was that just another bogus promise while Canada continues to ignore its obligations?
    I will refer to our environment commissioner, who's warned us again and again that this government has missed every single climate target they promised. He said:
After more than 30 years, the trend in Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions that create harmful climate impacts is going up....
Canada was once a leader in the fight against climate change. However, after a series of missed opportunities, it has become the worst performer of all G7 nations since the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change was adopted in 2015...[and] we can't continue to go from failure to failure; we need action and results, not just more targets and plans.
    Mr. Chair, I'm willing to talk with my colleagues about this, but I think we have to make it a priority to get a sense of what is happening with TMX, why these decisions were made and what the plan is to have an emissions cap when we're going to massively increase production to get the highest levels of GHG emissions and carbon on the planet.
    Thank you, Mr. Angus.
    We now have a motion on the floor.
    For our witnesses, as we have a motion on the floor, we have a speaking order that we'll be going through. We have time until 5:30, so if we are done with this, we'll get back to questioning. I'll ask everybody to be patient as we go through this process.
    I'll now go to Mr. Patzer.

(1635)

    I find it quite fascinating that we get a motion like this. Of course, Conservatives would also love to know how on earth the government managed to spend that much money on this project, especially when the private sector was fully willing and able to build this for significantly less. The fact is, the government chased them off and basically had to buy the pipeline, because they were busy speaking out of both sides of their mouth when it came to it. I think it's important to have that on the record.
    I hope this will maybe be a starting point of the NDP voting against the government, because as of now, they continue to support and prop up the government and allow them to get away with things like this—
    Chair, I have a point of order.
    Mr. Patzer, we have a point of order.
    I was hoping this would be a moment when the Conservatives support the NDP.
    Voices: Oh, oh!
    That's not a point of order. That's a point of debate. You can say that during your debate.
    Mr. Patzer, go ahead.
    Thank you for that.
    That would truly be putting actions to words. We'll see what happens with that.
    We definitely welcome this study. A gross amount of taxpayer dollars are being spent on a project that, as I was saying, the private sector was fully willing to build. It's the constant moving of goalposts that makes it impossible.
    We've just heard witnesses today talk about certainty for investors. That is the number one concern. A big reason the proponent got out of this project was that there was no certainty. We have heard this in many other projects that have been cancelled and delayed when it comes to resource development in this country. Again, it's the moving of goalposts and the uncertainty, the death by delay that we continue to see over and over again by the current government.
    I definitely welcome this study. I think clarity about how this would work would be great to see.
    I'll defer now to my colleague Mrs. Stubbs for her thoughts.
     Thank you, Mr. Patzer.
    We'll now go to Mrs. Stubbs.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Again, I want to thank the witnesses for being here today.
     I will offer support for this motion by our colleague Charlie. Before I get into the topic of TMX, I will be offering a friendly amendment to the motion to have this study supersede all the current work of the committee.
    Clearly, there is still a lack of certainty and clarity on the government's requirements for urging proponents to meet its goals on electricity decarbonization, even though, as all of you have outlined numerous times, Canada's grid is already almost 90% clean. I think if you had a chance to answer, you probably would have said that your proponents and workers would have continued on that innovation, that even without the CERs, you probably would have hit 90% very rapidly. I'm going to take a gamble that that might have been your answer. You're certainly welcome to expand on that in your written submissions.
    To all colleagues here, the reason Charlie's motion must supersede our existing work is that this government has promised ITCs for a year and a half and has not delivered. ITCs have been deployed in the United States for three years, and this federal government has talked a big game about caring about Canadian businesses, Canadian workers and Canadian taxpayers, saying it wants to compete with the United States. Of course, every single Canadian here knows that we cannot compete with the United States in a dollar-for-dollar subsidy race to the bottom of the barrel, because it is not affordable.
    What we can do is compete in every possible way, and we can control our domestic policy and regulatory and fiscal agendas. That means actually working with the private sector to establish realistic targets with realistic timelines that are affordable, economic and possible with current technology. It means caring about where the generation comes from and the supply chains for materials. It means thinking about Canadian energy security, affordability, reliability and liability. It means contemplating national security on energy security.
     It means not putting the cart before the horse, which this government has clearly done. It hasn't figured out, as all of you have called for in different ways, how to accelerate the recovery of resources that require it to meet its endgame and where they're all going to come from. We must contemplate that this work should be done by Canadians businesses, Canadian workers with Canadian technology, Canadian supply chains and Canadian products to protect Canadian security and pursue energy security with our North American partners and free and democratic allies around the world.
    What's also clear is that there is no federal regulatory process right now. The cornerstone regulatory framework and initiative by this government was found to be largely unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada six months ago, and they've done nothing. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance now talks a big game about how this summer she's going to suddenly accelerate major project approvals and back the private sector and other proponents to get things built. Well, for 10 years, their track record of results shows that it's all false. We're sitting here with private sector proponents and developers asking for clarity and certainty on fiscal and regulatory regimes, and right now they're completely broken. There is no certainty or clarity at all. That's a direct result of this Liberal government, but also with participation from the NDP, the Bloc and the anti-energy activists who got us here. However, I digress, and I don't want to undermine the spirit of co-operation here with my colleague Charlie.
    Mr. Charlie Angus: Don't undermine me.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mrs. Shannon Stubbs: What's at issue is a federal government that pancakes and layers on anti-competitive policies, taxes, targets and timelines that are detrimental to Canadians and our standard of life and that undermine the potential for reliable, affordable, accessible fuel and power, which are the absolute essentials to our everyday lives in this big, cold, developed, proud country.

(1640)

    I hope that our colleague will accept a friendly amendment to ensure that his motion will supersede all current work of this committee. I hope it will buy a bit of time, although it's urgent for the Liberals to listen to the people who generate, distribute and provide on the front lines to Canadians who need their power, their services, their products and their technologies. I hope this government will actually listen to what these candid truth-tellers to policy and power are saying about the grave risks of continuing down the agenda that this government is imposing, even though it's still fraught with a lack of certainty and clarity. None of us should be participating in this charade of pretending that it isn't.
     To the point that my colleague made, Conservatives, of course, opposed the government's purchase, by which we mean taxpayers' purchase, of the Trans Mountain expansion. There was a business case. Kinder Morgan believed there was a business case. The former federal Conservative government approved the Trans Mountain expansion. When this government came to office, for political purposes and ideology only, they outright froze the regulatory process of all existing major resource and energy infrastructure and project applications.
    That was the beginning of driving out investment, of killing 300,000 oil and gas workers' jobs and of starting what are the consequences of having a decade of these guys: Canadian investment soaring in the U.S. and foreign and American investment collapsing in Canada. Worst of all is Canadian investment collapsing in Canada. The collusion between big government and rent-seeking oligopolies always rips off taxpayers and always undermines the public interest. Our job here at this table is to protect it and to fight for it.
    The truth is that there was a business case, because a private sector proponent wouldn't have spent hundreds of millions of dollars going through a regulatory process otherwise, after which it got an approval to go ahead and build its interprovincial pipeline, which was in federal jurisdiction. However, what happened was these guys came in, froze the regulatory process writ large, as they do all the time, delayed and delayed and then forced Kinder Morgan to go through another process that they made up on the fly. They didn't get Bill C-69 out the door until years later. Then they started applying new conditions, with a new review and an entirely new bureaucratic process, to this private sector proponent for a project that had already been approved. They gave it the green light.
     Then what happened? Well, the court ruled almost exactly the same thing it had ruled with northern gateway: The Liberals failed in their indigenous consultation. As many governments have done, they failed to have a decision-maker at the table and couldn't demonstrate that there was viable two-way back-and-forth consultation and accommodations between the parties.
     Let's just be clear here: None of that ever had to be delayed. The proponent already had the green light. The proponent already went through a rigorous scientific, evidence-based regulatory process by world-class experts, which is, by the way, Canada's track record and the reality of Canadian energy development in this world. They already got the green light. That's the problem. That is what started the flood and the cancellation.
    The charade the Prime Minister perpetuates is that there isn't a business case for the Canadian oil sands, Canadian natural gas or exports of LNG. Clearly, the private sector proponents think there's a case and—news to the Prime Minister—so do allies around the world, which are begging for Canadian resources and technologies. That would actually, by the way, help lower global emissions.
     Moving forward, what happened was that anti-energy politicians, public policy-makers and activists took on every possible tool they could to kill the approved pipeline, to be obstructionist, to stop it at every step and to keep it from getting built. What we found out in the process was that the federal government itself gave tax dollars to anti-energy protest groups to block TMX and shut it down. That's the truth.

(1645)

    There's this language that there isn't a business case and nobody wants to do this. No. This is the consequence of a government that has an agenda to expand and exert command and control of the economic agenda to pick winners and force losers. That's what always happens when politicians and bureaucrats get involved in this kind of thing. The losses and the consequences are a generational travesty for our country, a failure of Canada to stand with our allies, a failure after 10 years of securing Canadian energy self-sufficiency and energy security and a skyrocketing cost of living crisis that has been caused by this big-government, corporate-oligopoly agenda.
    Conservatives said the federal government needed to declare the Trans Mountain expansion a general advantage of Canada. That would have allowed the federal government to assert federal jurisdiction, which that project was in with federal approval. We said that the government had to immediately and urgently get indigenous consultation right. They delayed it, by the way, for six months before they even started it again. That's linked to the unilateral veto of the northern gateway pipeline that the Prime Minister made, again for votes in B.C. and not based on science or evidence. He unilaterally reversed the approval of northern gateway, the only stand-alone, private sector-proposed export pipeline going to a deepwater port with a fast track to Asia, which obviously the former Conservative government had approved.
     Northern gateway wasn't just abandoned. Prime Minister Trudeau had the option from that court decision, just as he took in TMX, to redo the indigenous consultation and get it right. We would have had a fully functioning, dedicated export pipeline operating. If that had happened efficiently, the private sector would have built it on their tab. That would have given generational and permanent benefits to Canada.
    We said the government had to assert federal jurisdiction, enforce the rule of law and uphold the successive court injunctions, which were very reasonable. Conservatives believe every Canadian has a right to protest, to demonstrate, to speak up and to speak out on energy projects, of course. The court injunctions were very reasonable. They included staying 100 feet from the entrance and not blocking the workers, because it's a safety issue, yada yada yada.
    However, we all watched in slow motion as these activists and politicians colluded to weaponize their bylaws, undermine the concept of federal jurisdiction and question the legitimacy of the approval of this crucial energy infrastructure. The government deliberately dithered and delayed, and the truth is, exactly as my colleague MP Patzer said, they've been talking out of both sides of their mouths the entire time. What a tangled web we surely do weave when we first deceive.
     This is the worst part. We're all sitting around here like it's shocking that the tab for TMX is now $34 billion when the private sector had a plan to do it for $7.4 billion and it would have been operational in 2019. How has this happened? Well, this is what happens when governments get involved. How on earth is that even a question? This happened because the government would not back their own decision, caused delays, uncertainty and chaos and funded opponents to the project they approved while pretending they didn't.
    This is a very deliberate agenda. It all comes from an anti-energy and anti-capitalist ideology. There is not a single reason why this government had to purchase TMX. All this government had to do was stand by the approval, assert federal jurisdiction and get the indigenous consultation right, which they should have remedied by doing it with northern gateway but lost that opportunity.

(1650)

    They should have been prepared to back Canada's reputation and our world-class regulatory expertise. They should have been prepared to back the private sector proponent after they gave them approval. They should have used every tool in their tool box to open a path for the private sector to pay the bills, to make their investment and to build a major project that would benefit all of Canada for generations to come, show Canada as reliable to its allies and get better prices for Canadians. These are all the ways that, as we all know—or maybe only Conservatives know—energy infrastructure and energy transportation are absolutely critical to the everyday standard of living and quality of life of Canadians and underpin the entire economy.
     The regulatory and fiscal approach of this government is to force unrealistic targets and timelines on electricity generators, distributors and providers. They have promised and failed to implement the ITCs. They're still going back and forth on what the final version of the CERs might look like. There's the asinine exclusion of small and medium-sized Canadian builders, entrepreneurs and providers—even all of the insane exclusions that have anything to do with energy development and oil and gas—from any of the programs that they claim are all about innovation and technology. They're actually just about taxpayer dollars disappearing into the ether instead of enabling and opening the road for private sector proponents, experts, innovators, risk-takers and entrepreneurs to do the work that has built this country. This is after nine long, excruciating, painful, harmful years for the people I represent and for every Canadian whose livelihood, standard of living, and affordability depend on resource development in Canada.
     I want to thank the witnesses for being here. I hope they will be able to come back. I hope they will give extensive written submissions. I hope we can pull this out of the fire for the best interests of all of Canada.
     This is why I will be supporting our colleague Charlie's motion. I would just offer, if you would accept it, a friendly amendment to insert the words “that this study occur as soon as possible and supersede all other work of the committee”.
    Charlie, thank you for finally telling the truth and admitting it. I know that you've always known it. It's these guys who are talking with a forked tongue.
    The truth is that the emissions cap is designed to be a production cap, which is designed to put Canadian energy businesses and workers out of jobs. It is intentionally designed to kill their development and their businesses. It is intentionally designed to make unemployed the people I represent in northern Alberta, the people my colleague represents in Saskatchewan and the people my colleague from New Brunswick represents. Atlantic Canadians, as you know, have worked with Albertans throughout our country to build up our respective provinces to the benefit of this entire country.
     If only this government would get out of the way, stop gatekeeping and let Canada take the leadership role in global critical minerals, LNG, oil of all kinds and natural gas that we should be taking in this world. I think it is more important than ever that we have this discussion about how to reverse this poisonous, wrong-headed, big-government, big-company, colluding agenda; get back to a place where our regulatory and fiscal regime attracts investment and enables private sector proponents to do the work on which they are experts; be realistic about timelines and targets; and deliver actual outcomes and objectives, not a bunch of rhetoric and virtue-signalling baloney.

(1655)

    Conservatives oppose the emissions cap because we know it is a cap on production and is designed to put oil and gas workers and businesses out of work.
    I have a point of order.
    Thank you for telling the truth on that. We'll support your motion.
     Mrs. Stubbs, hold for just a second. I think you're done, but we have a point of order.
    I'm trying to clarify something. She read what she was going to add to it, but I wasn't sure how much was being added out of that conversation and I have to decide whether I'm going to support all of it.
    I've been pretty reasonable, but I heard that this study should occur as soon as possible—I was trying to write it down—and supersede all of the work of the committee. Is that the end of it, or did you have the other stuff as well, because—
     I think Mr. Angus is asking for clarification on what your amendment was. We have other speakers on the list, so if you want to, can you provide that clarification?
     Chair, thank you. I can hear him.
    It's a fair point raised by my colleague, who's trying to intervene on what exactly I'm trying to accomplish here instead of my evidence-based tirade.
    What I am suggesting to the member is for after the point about the emissions cap. We wonder if he would accept the insertion of the sentence “that this study occur as soon as possible and supersede all other work of the committee”.
     We agree entirely that the objective, at least at the back end of this, must be to make taxpayers whole.
    Thank you, Mrs. Stubbs.
    Go ahead, Mr. McKinnon, on a point of order.
    I believe the proper procedure would be for Mrs. Stubbs to move an amendment, and then we can vote on it. There is no such thing as a friendly amendment.
     Thank you for your point of order. For clarification, this is an amendment being proposed, because we don't have friendlies.
    I think you have another point of order, Mr. Angus.
    Yes. It's on the amendment. I'm writing it down. It would say, “examine how increases in export capacity will impact a future cap of GHG emissions; that this study occur as soon as”—

(1700)

    The clerk has sent it out to everybody.
    Okay. I'm a happy man, then. Imagine me trying to do the work of the clerk. The clerk is so—
     That's why we have the clerk. He sent it out to everybody so that it's clear. You can take a look at it on your devices.
     I'll continue down the speaking order that's been established. I'm going to Ms. Dabrusin.
     She wasn't done.
    I could say more.
    Ms. Dabrusin, the floor is yours. Go ahead.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
     It has been enlightening listening to these quite interesting bedfellows on this study so far and to the conversation. I'm not opposed to proceeding with this study, but what I find really interesting is that when we have studies, we have the chance to hear from witnesses. That's what they're about.
     I really hope I will have a chance to propose some amendments as well. I can't do that while we're discussing a subamendment, but—
    We have a point of order by Mrs. Stubbs.
    Hopefully, the parliamentary secretary will support inviting the witnesses back.
     I'll just add a hot tip here, which is that hopefully you're talking to them and don't need the committee to wrestle through some of these issues.
    That's not a point of order. That's debate.
     I'll go back to Ms. Dabrusin.
     I afforded you the respect of sitting and listening. I'm not going to take very much time.
     What I was saying, briefly, is that I'm looking forward to hearing witnesses on the study that will come from this motion. However, I am going to be proposing amendments following this. I hope that in the remaining half-hour, we will go back to asking questions of the witnesses we have here.
    When we're talking about emissions reductions, electricity is a big piece of what we have to do to get there. To be clear, emissions right now in Canada are at the lowest they've been in three decades, other than in the COVID years.
    The only target we've had to face is an interim target in 2026. We're on track to meeting that given what you see in the interim report that we submitted to the IPCC. However, electricity, the clean electricity regulations and what the people here at the table are working on are going to be a very big piece of what we need to do to meet targets.
    I would ask that we please park the discussion on this motion and give the last half-hour back to the witnesses so we can hear from them.
    I will also point out that if the Conservatives are interested in the amendments to the IAA, which were a whole chunk of the conversation, they can find them in the budget implementation act. We can talk about that when we're debating, but what I—
    Ms. Dabrusin, we have a point of order. Can you just hold right there?
    It's so interesting, because I listened.
    Go ahead on your point of order.
    Just to clarify, that means they're not done.
    Once again, that's debate, not a point of order.
    Folks, I'll give you a reminder. Let's use points of order for procedure. If you want to debate, I'll put you on the list. Feel free to debate.
    We'll go back to you, Ms. Dabrusin.
    As a matter of respect to the people we have here at the table, we can set aside time to talk about this motion. I would like that. As I said, I have some amendments to propose that we can talk about. That's going to take time, and we're going to run out the last half-hour.
    These people have travelled; they're here. Can we please go back to the witnesses and discuss this motion at a later moment?
    On a point of order, is that a motion to adjourn debate?
    I'll go back to Ms. Dabrusin.
    Ms. Dabrusin, is that a motion to adjourn debate?
    Yes, I propose that we adjourn debate so we can hear the witnesses.
     Ms. Dabrusin has indicated that she'd like to adjourn debate, so go ahead and call the roll.
    (Motion negatived: nays 6; yeas 5)
    The Chair: Ms. Dabrusin.

(1705)

    Maybe we can at least release the witnesses, then. I don't see how we're going to get through this in time for them to finish, so let's let them go.
     Ms. Dabrusin has suggested that we release the witnesses.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: We will release the witnesses.
    Thank you so much for coming today and providing your testimony. You can provide written briefs to the clerk if there's anything else from questions you were asked that you want to go into more detail on. Please proceed to do so. Thank you once again.
    We will go back to the speaking order that was established.
    Ms. Dabrusin, I'm going to the next speaker, and that's Monsieur Simard.
    I believe we're on the subamendment, though, now.
    We are on the amendment.
    What—
    We have a motion and an amendment. We haven't gotten to a subamendment yet.
    That's correct. We have the main motion, and we have an amendment that's been proposed by Mrs. Stubbs. Everybody received it in their inboxes, so you should have it.
    We are proceeding to the next speaker, who is Monsieur Simard.
    Monsieur Simard, go ahead.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I'm going to support Mr. Angus's motion. I will also support Ms. Stubbs' amendment.
    I tabled a similar motion over a year ago. I find it rather surprising that we are in agreement for diametrically opposed reasons. Unlike Ms. Stubbs, I don't believe there's an anti-energy, anti-capitalist ideology. At least, I don't think I'm part of an anti-energy, anti-capitalist ideology. I think we're just advocating for consistency in the energy transition, yet what the federal government is doing with this kind of investment in the Trans Mountain pipeline is anything but. So it goes without saying that we want to study this issue.
    In fact, I find it astonishing that my Conservative friends are prepared to support such a motion. One of my most vivid memories of coming to the House of Commons in 2019 was hearing my Conservative colleagues shout about building this pipeline and seeing people wearing buttons that said they loved oil and gas.
    Today we are studying the issue of electricity. I am very proud of Hydro-Québec, but it would never occur to me to shout about building pylons or to wear a button that says I love electricity. The extent to which my Conservative colleagues see oil as an identity boggles the mind. I will leave it at that, because if we're in agreement and are now ready to study the pipeline issue, so much the better.
    I also note that in 2020, before our last election campaign, the pipeline project was up to $17 billion. That matched all the investments in the federal government's green recovery plan. A single oil project costs as much as the entire green recovery plan. In my opinion, this perfectly illustrates how far Canada has drifted when it comes to fossil fuel.
    The budget that was just tabled shows that between now and 2035, $83 billion will be sent to the oil and gas companies, those gluttons for public funds who, year after year, generate record profits and can manipulate refining margins whenever they like to enrich themselves at the public's expense.
     During question period, I often hear my Conservative colleagues say that they are standing up for low-income earners, people who are struggling to afford housing, clothing and food. However, I rarely hear them criticizing the greedy oil and gas sector, which, during and after the pandemic, got rich on the backs of the most vulnerable.
    So, for all these reasons, I view my colleague Mr. Angus's motion very favourably, even though it may be poorly worded in French. The reference to ArriveCAN makes the motion difficult to read in French. However, the intent of it is very clear. I certainly support its thrust. I also support prioritizing the proposed study, and I thank Ms. Stubbs for that. We'll vote on Ms. Stubbs' amendment, but I'll be moving another amendment, perhaps afterwards.
    I would like to hear from the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, of course, and the Minister of Finance. I think we should also hear from the Parliamentary Budget Officer. Let's recall that he produced a report dispelling the myth that the government was trying to create at the time, according to which profits from the pipeline would be reinvested in clean energy.
    The Parliamentary Budget Officer said that those profits did not exist and nor would they subsequently. However, unless you're a magician, it is quite difficult to invest something that does not exist in clean energy. I don't see how we can do that.
    So I think we should also invite the Parliamentary Budget Officer to come and discuss the Trans Mountain pipeline and talk to us about his report. Perhaps he has further information that could be of interest and relevance to us. I agree with Mr. Angus. We did a study on the emissions cap. But how do you cap emissions when you're trying to increase production?

(1710)

    It's completely inconsistent. We cannot cap greenhouse gas emissions while increasing oil and gas production. That is not how we'll succeed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Call a spade a spade.
    Other examples were provided. For instance, Mr. Angus said that if someone has a problem with alcohol, they won't get sober by drinking more. We ourselves say that you shouldn't eat poutine when you're on a diet. Just as there is no such thing as a poutine diet, there is no low-carbon oil. We can't produce more oil if we want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    For all these reasons, I will vote in favour of Mr. Angus's motion and I will support Ms. Stubbs' amendment. I think it is in our best interest to ask this question about the pipeline without further ado. I have wanted the committee to conduct a study on this for over two years. I will then move a very simple amendment to invite the Parliamentary Budget Officer to testify.
    Thank you, Chair.

[English]

    Procedurally, Mr. Simard, we have an amendment, so if your subamendment amends the amendment, we can deal with it. However, if it does not specifically deal with the amendment, once we deal with it, we'll have your amendment at that time. Is that clear?
    I want to make sure that, procedurally, once we deal with this amendment, it will be off the table. You can move your amendment then and we can have that conversation.

[Translation]

    Yes, of course. That's what I was saying, Mr. Chair: Afterwards, I will move an amendment asking that the committee also invite the Parliamentary Budget Officer to testify.

[English]

    That's very good. Thank you.
    We had a motion moved by Mr. Angus, and we have an amendment now on the floor brought forward by Mrs. Stubbs. We have a speaking order for it.
    Mr. Patzer, you are next in the speaking order. We're on the amendment to the main motion.
    Thank you.
    To the points that Mario was making, we can think of a lot of things that $34 billion could have done for Canadians besides subsidizing a pipeline that could have, should have and would have been built by the private sector. A proponent was going to do it. They had the business case ready to go. I think we agree on that point.
    I think for us, there's another angle here. Imagine if this was all about eliminating hydro power from Quebec, from Manitoba, from B.C. or from Newfoundland. That would not go over very well. I think everyone at this table agrees that hydro power is a good thing. It is a strategic advantage for Quebec that they have hydro power. They have a great resource there. It's a good thing. We utilize it in Saskatchewan, although not nearly as much because we don't have as much suitable terrain to do it. We have the two big rivers and we've utilized it a bit, but we're quite limited in what we can do with that resource going forward.
    We also know about the exorbitant costs and timelines to build new projects like that. That's another reason why our province, for example, wouldn't be looking to expand hydro. To put it into context, we wouldn't ever suggest that we eliminate another province's main resource. That's part of what happens when we start talking about emissions caps. We're talking about eliminating a very precious resource and commodity that we have in our provinces, which we extract and use with the highest standards possible in the world.
    Methane reductions have happened quite rapidly in Saskatchewan. They're continuing to do more on it because they want more reductions in methane gases. If the United States adopted our flare gas generation regulation, American emissions would drop drastically. We have tighter regulations on that. If the rest of the world adopted our regulations on production, global GHGs would drop dramatically.
    That's part of the story we're trying to tell: We have great standards. We have what the world should be doing, but it's not. Let's tell that story. If this is truly about global emissions, let's do what we can to help other countries reduce theirs, which is to adopt our regulations. Certain regulations are pancaked and aren't necessary, and that's part of the discussion as well. However, I think the main point here is that we have such high standards in this country already, so let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater per se.
     This is a good amendment. I definitely think the people we represent would love to see this study happen because people are concerned about the complete lack of fiscal, financial and monetary policy. Pick whichever word you want, it applies to this government. I know they're two separate things, but it applies either way.
    People are concerned about that. When they see $34 billion being spent on something that it did not need to be spent on, people are concerned. They see what this money could and should have been used for, and it makes people upset.
    We're definitely happy to do this study. I really like my colleague's amendment. Obviously, we're going to support Shannon's amendment, but we're going to support Charlie's motion as well.
    Thank you, Chair.

(1715)

     Thank you, Mr. Patzer.
    We'll go to Ms. Dabrusin on the amendment.
    Thank you.
    I'll make it a bit easier for everyone to have a sense of where my amendments are likely to go. I'm not tabling them right now, as obviously I can't while we're discussing this amendment, but as we're closing in on the end, it's important that we have a bit of context for what I'll be looking at.
    One thing I'm looking to add to this motion is that it examines the impacts on Canada's economy and includes an invitation to “communities” after “taxpayers”. Again, I'm not moving this. I just think it's important, as we're having this conversation, that people see where I'm going. I think communities should be part of this conversation. I will also suggest that, rather than signalling the Minister of Finance or the Minister of Natural Resources, we replace them with “relevant ministers”. However, we can have our conversation about that, and as I said, we're not debating that piece.
    I think it's going to be a hard piece, after we had witnesses here and were in the middle of a study, to just stop the study. There's no particular reason that we would stop the study we've already embarked on. To me, it seems like at this point we should be continuing with what we've been doing, which is this study. We don't have a long, heavy road, and to be honest, this study is really important. We're talking about emissions and issues of affordability and reliability—all these issues that are so important. I heard members opposite talk about what the impact is and what their communities have seen. I believe Mrs. Stubbs mentioned brownouts have happened in Alberta. What is the impact going to be of working between provinces, and how do we bridge those changes?
    I think there's a lot we need to talk about that is really important for some of the baseline issues people have been talking about, even in the context of this motion. If we're talking about emissions reductions, what is happening with changes in the economy and what the regulatory frameworks will be, it makes the most sense for us to continue with witnesses, like what we did today, to hear about things like nuclear.
    The example, from Ontario, of the transition that happened from coal-fired electricity to nuclear in large part—it was 60% of power in Ontario—is a very important story for people to hear. It shows us a lot of the pathways for getting to cleaner electricity, and it's a story that not enough people know, quite frankly. From my own experience, I don't think people realize that was a huge change. I tell this story often, but while I worked downtown, I'd look out of the building from my window and see a line of brown smudge over Lake Ontario. There were about 55 smog days a year, and it was because we had coal-fired electricity, so an electricity study is so important.
    How did we get from 55 smog days a year to zero in Ontario? It's because we moved away from coal-fired electricity. We moved to cleaner energy. Actually, a big reason that we talk about a 84% clean grid is what happened in Ontario, and there should be a big shout-out to the Ontario government for what it did to move us over to the cleaner grid. That was done by doing exactly the kind of study we're talking about right now, which is on the electrical grid. What do we need to make sure that we have a clean electrical grid going forward?
    To my mind, having the witnesses we intend to call and the ones we had today.... I mean, sure, let's bring them back. I would love to hear more from all of them. They had some really great beginning presentations, and I think when you hear them, you can tell they have a road map for how we do this. What are their insights that we should be looking at? To my mind, there's no good reason that we would upend the progress of this very important study to switch to something on which there's nothing new happening at this point. This is looking backwards. We're not talking about anything massive and urgent to change right now in the course of the study.

(1720)

    I'm not opposed to doing the study. I haven't opposed the study. That's not the position I'm taking. I'm just saying that to my mind, it makes real sense for us to focus on something that's very urgent and necessary. Let's continue with the study of how we move to a cleaner electricity grid.
    We know that the last 16% is going to be the hardest. I think the witnesses are agreed on that. I think we recognize that. We've done the easy stuff, which is great. That's a real tribute to Canada. We're seeing that it's bringing in investments. I speak with industries that talk about how they're investing in Canada because when they're looking at their own ESG models, they want to be able to point to a clean grid. That's a draw for them. That's great.
     How do we get the last 16%? The people we had before us could give us more of the information we need on that. They talked about the urgency. All of them, I believe, talked about the need to make sure that the work is done quickly given the plans they have and so they are able to contribute. We need an affordable and reliable electricity grid, but we also need to make sure we have a grid that is clean and responsive. They want to play a role. Mr. Angus was very clear about the fact that we need to work towards a clean grid. He was talking about the need to reduce emissions.
    Climate anxiety is real for lots of people, and I think it's really important to acknowledge that. The fact is, in the last inventory report that we submitted, Canadian emissions were down to the lowest they had been in three decades if you pull out the COVID years. The COVID years are different. That is a tremendous success. That is a huge success. A lot of heavy lifting has been happening. It's a lot of heavy lifting from people who have to do the work to get it done. We have to work alongside them. We have to hear from them. There's really no point in having studies when we're not hearing from the witnesses we've called. This is showing that we're going in the right direction.
     I can't highlight enough that I get frustrated when I hear people say that we haven't made any targets. There hasn't been a target over the time of this government. It's the 2026 interim target. We're on track to meeting the interim target. That's in the inventory report. That doesn't mean the work is done. I'll never be the one to say the work is done. What I would say is let's keep getting to the point where we—

(1725)

    Mr. Chair, on a point of order, I'm having trouble hearing Ms. Dabrusin because of the commentary across the aisle.
    I'll address your point of order, Mr. McKinnon.
    Do you have a point of order as well?
    Mr. Chair, on the same point of order, I'm sitting right beside her. I can hear Ms. Dabrusin perfectly fine. We have an earpiece to easily hear as well.
     Thank you, Mr. Patzer.
    Everybody has different hearing and audio abilities. I would ask everybody to be respectful when folks are debating. Whisper if you're having a side conversation. I think everybody can do that, just to make sure everybody can hear and participate.
    Thank you for your point of order.
    Ms. Dabrusin.
    I appreciate that he's really interested in this study given that he is new to this committee. He's been really engaged in wanting to make sure that we continue with the work we're doing on a clean electrical grid. Thank you very much, Mr. McKinnon.
    The main piece that I would have to say is let's focus on what we have to do to reduce emissions. This study is a central part of what we have to do. Many issues were raised by the people who were here. Unfortunately, we were unable to get through all of their testimony.
    Let's get this study done and—
     If you could hold for one second, we have a point of order by Mr. Dreeshen.
     Mr. Chair, it's the second time that Ms. Dabrusin mentioned getting these specific witnesses back. I'm just curious if the clerk picked that up and if that's something the clerk and the chair can ensure.
    Thank you for that point of order.
    I know that's been mentioned by a few folks. I don't know where this is going, so I don't know if we'll ever have that conversation again regarding the study, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Thank you for reminding me.
     I'm mindful of time. You do have the floor, Ms. Dabrusin, but we will be running against the clock very soon and we have others on the speaking list. If you're not finished, keep going, and I will begin the next meeting with you. If you do end today, I will provide the same opportunity to somebody else.
    Go ahead. The floor is yours.
    Thank you.
     I recognize that we are running up to a deadline, but to Mr. Dreeshen's point, yes, I think we should bring these people back. I think we should hear from all of them in more detail. That goes to my point that this study is important. Let's bring these witnesses back, and then we can do the heavy lifting we need to do to get to our plans on how we transition.
    With all of these forms of energy we have in front of us, how do we work to support them to do the heavy lifting we need so we can have a clean grid? It's going to be essential to what we need. They've said themselves that double or triple the amount of electricity is going to be required. That's for many reasons, by the way. They pointed out it's because of data use, because of things like AI and because we're changing how we move our cars and vehicles and how we heat and cool our homes. It's all of those things.
    Let's make sure that we get that important piece in, and then we can go on to the next study. I don't see any reason why we would disrupt what we're hearing right now and stop the process as we're doing it.
    That's basically where I'm at. I'm not supportive of the amendment being proposed. I don't think we need it. I am fine with going ahead with the study, but I would say that this amendment is too disruptive to what we were hoping to do and that we had all agreed upon as a committee.

(1730)

     Thank you.
    We have others on the speaking list. Ms. Dabrusin, you still have the floor, so we can continue, but we are running against the clock for today's meeting.
    Is it possible to vote on the subamendment so we get something done?
    We have a speaking list, so we can't vote on the subamendment. If members want to take their names off the speaking list and want to go right to the subamendment, sure. If not—
     I'll take my name off.
    We have you, Mr. Angus, and Mr. Patzer as well.
     Ms. Dabrusin has the floor, so I'll offer it to her, but we are at the end of the time for the meeting today.
    I move that we adjourn.
    Don't we suspend because we have a speaking list to exhaust?
    She moved to adjourn, so we have to proceed with that.
    Can I put my name back on the list?
    That's fine.
    Chair and Clerk, I'm wondering if you can confirm this. I believe that because we are still dealing with a motion, we can't adjourn; we have to suspend the meeting. These technicalities do matter, so I think the proper procedure at this moment is to suspend the meeting, not adjourn it.
    I have a point of order.
    Ms. Dabrusin moved to adjourn, so we're in the middle of a vote on a dilatory motion and we have to proceed with that.
    (Motion negatived: nays 6; yeas 5)
    The Chair: That did not pass.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chair, can we move to suspend?

[English]

    We are out of time and resources. We can either try to request resources or suspend.
    An hon. member: Let's suspend.
    The Chair: I'll ask for unanimous consent to suspend, and then we'll resume debate where we ended off today, with Mr. Dreeshen having the floor.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: The meeting is suspended.
    [The meeting was suspended at 5:35 p.m., Thursday, May 23]
     [The meeting resumed at 3:55 p.m., Monday, May 27]
     I call this meeting back to order. Welcome.
    We are resuming meeting number 99 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources.
    Since today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, I would like to make a few comments for the benefit of all.
     Before we begin, I would like to ask all members and other in-person participants to consult the cards on the table for guidelines to prevent audio feedback incidents. Please take note of the following preventative measures in place to protect the health and safety of all participants, including the interpreters.
    Only use a black, approved earpiece. The former gray earpieces must no longer be used.
    Keep your earpiece away from all microphones at all times. When you are not using your earpiece, please place it face down on the sticker placed on the table for this purpose. Thank you for co-operation.
    Please wait until I recognize you by name before speaking. I remind you that all comments should be addressed through the chair. Additionally, screenshots or taking photos of your screen are not permitted.
     We are resuming debate on the motion of Mr. Angus and on the amendment of Ms. Stubbs.
    We will begin with Mr. Dreeshen.
     Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
     I want to thank Charlie for bringing this motion up.
     We'll certainly be supporting it, maybe for opposite reasons, but nevertheless, I do think it is something that is very important.
     As a bit of a summary, the key part is finding out why this thing had spiralled out of control as far as costs are concerned, trying to get some clarity on the plans to divest and sell off the now-completed pipeline, and the implications of the sale for Canadian taxpayers now and in the future.
    We recognize the increase in export capacity and how significant it is. There is always that other question of “impact on a future cap on GHG emissions”. However, this is where the real discussion is and always should have been: What is it worth to be sending Canadian oil and gas around the world versus importing it from other places or simply hoping that people are going to do as some people in our country plan and just shut it down, and then everything will be so much better?
    I don't think that's reasonable. There are certainly many arguments for why we should be using the wealth of our nation in order to help the rest of the world. I think people will look for plans that make that part of it.
    The subamendment that we are speaking of has to do with the study occurring as soon as possible and superseding all other work of the committee. Why is this so important?
    We need to know what was in the mind of the government. We are talking about bringing in the Minister of Finance, who should have the answer to what that's going to do for the nation's finances.
     In terms of the Minister of Natural Resources, I think it's important that we talk to him. Quite frankly, I don't see us getting a lot from that discussion because many times he seems to be more in line with the role of the Minister of Environment versus that of the Minister of Natural Resources.
    We are here in this committee to look at what Canada has to offer and how we can position ourselves in the future. Therefore, when you have a Minister of Natural Resources who looks at ways to limit that, I think that's an issue, but certainly, that's why we bring ministers here. It is so that we can talk to them, find out what is on their minds and come up with some justifications as to what should take place. Of course, this all has to do with energy and how we are going to take the great wealth we have, turn it into something that helps all Canadians and work from there. I think, really, that's where I'd like to start today.
     There are a lot of things that happened with Kinder Morgan that, perhaps, we have forgotten about in the last four or five years, or longer, actually. The basic cost of the pipeline, and what this private entity had in the books, was $7.4 billion. It was taking a pipeline and increasing its volume capacity. A lot of what was required was already there.
     The argument seemed to simply be, “Well, do we really want to sell more of our hydrocarbons and take them through the west coast?” There was a lot of discussion there, and I think it was fair. The pipeline was 60-some years old at the time, so people wanted to see just what was taking place. I think that's important.
     The government decided that it was time, because all of the other limitations they had put in front of them were making it very difficult for them to be able to make it work, and they said, “Okay, well, maybe the government should buy it.” I don't think that was exactly the way the discussions had taken place, but the government chose to. It knew, of course, that if you're government, you're going to end up paying a lot more, but a lot more shouldn't be four times the amount. This is one of the concerns.
     What did Kinder Morgan do? What was the whole point?
    The whole point was, to the argument of many people in Canada who wanted to restrict it, why take more hydrocarbons—more oil and gas—to tidewaters?
    Of course, we know why it has to go there. It has to go there to be able to compete on the world market stage, so you can get good value for it and so it isn't discounted simply because the only option that we had was the U.S. That was the reason for it.
    It's very interesting what Kinder Morgan did with the $4 billion or so that they were able to get after they paid down debt. I mean, a lot of it was paying down debt on the project. Of course, if you pay down debt, that means you have some more flexibility to invest in other areas.
    That, I think, is one of the key things as they were making decisions on their Permian Highway pipeline project. They had a final investment decision that was made in September 2018. They had a natural gas pipeline aiming to increase the Permian Basin's gas exports to the U.S., gulf coast and Mexico. That total cost was $2 billion and it was in Texas.
    They were able to take Canadian tax dollars—dollars that we were paying for a project, so it wasn't though it had no specific value. They took that and then they started building their pipelines in Texas, so that U.S. products could get to tidewater and go around the world. That was one of the things they had done.
    They had the TGP East 300 upgrade project, which was there to improve compressor facility capacity. That is another type of thing that you can do to increase the amount of hydrocarbons that you're moving: Make sure that you can upgrade the facilities that it goes through.
    Then the Kinder Morgan Louisiana pipeline Acadiana expansion increased capacity to the Cheniere Sabine Pass LNG terminal.
    A lot of these projects weren't a lot of money. They were $150 million and so on. I mean, it's a lot, but not when you're producing to that level and trying to get assets out the door.
    That's what we did. That's how we stopped and slowed down hydrocarbons to tidewater. We paid them to take it to another country so that they could get it to tidewater. There is a certain irony to that. There is certainly an irony that by adding so many extra barriers, we ended up paying four times more than we should have for that particular project.
     I submit that it was by design and that people knew how much extra cost it would be. I know people who have worked on the pipeline. Some of the things that stopped them are head-scratchers. Everybody's being paid, but people are being paid to sit around and wait for somebody else to make a decision.
    Again, the intent was to slow down the project in its entirety. That's why I believe it is important for us to look at this. Yes, we can stay here and wring our hands about how we have to do our part to save the world from CO2 pollution. I don't know; I guess I spent too much time teaching science to really jump on that bandwagon. Nevertheless, that's the argument and we all have to make sure we are onside. We always talk about all these other places in the world and how we just have to make sure we catch up to what they're doing. We listen to the ministers talk about what other governments are talking about as far as greenhouse gas policies are concerned.
    As I've mentioned at other times, in my time with the OSCE, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, we talked about food security, energy security and security in the region. Of course, Ukraine and Georgia and all of these other countries are affected by what happens with the Russian aggression there. These people, these countries and the businesses and the manufacturers are clamouring for energy. They don't want to get their energy from Russia, because they see what is happening. They understand the dynamics associated with that. But we sit back and say, well, here's a good opportunity for us to stop. If we don't supply it, then maybe they're going to start looking at more windmills, which they already have a bunch of, and more solar panels and all of the other types of things that will really help them.
    When you talk to the business people there, it's like any of the businesses we have around here. If the government says this is what you have to do, well, okay, you're 100% onside—until you can get rid of the government so that you can try to bring some common sense back into the discussion.
    We talked about sanctions, and of course sanctions of Russian oil into these places that could be markets for us. Everyone was very excited about it until you started realizing what was really happening—simply, that Russia was then selling into the Chinese and Indian markets. We found that they then did their production there. They have massive coal expansions, and they could continue with coal coming from Russia into China for its industrial base.
    Since there's no market, and you can't buy anything from Europe because their manufacturing has tanked, we have to buy it from China. We have to buy it from India. We have to buy it from these other countries. In the past, we simply said, well, we'll give them a pass, because they need to build up their capacity. It wouldn't be fair if we developed our country using oil and gas and we didn't give them an option to just pollute a little bit for a while and then go from there.
    But they're not just polluting a little bit for a while. They are at a continual uptake of emissions, and it's not just greenhouse gas emissions. That's something I'm so curious about—namely, how we think that a little bit over 400 parts per million is terrible when greenhouses pump three times that in so that they can have their plants growing properly in a greenhouse. The drop-dead part for the planet is a lot closer on the negative side if we go too low than it is on the upside. But we don't want to talk about that, because that might cause a few other people to be excited and triggered.
     I guess, really, where we want to be is looking at actual environmental issues.
     Quite frankly, I appreciate the electricity portion. To me, electricity is such a critical component. When I used to teach my students about electricity, I would start off that you have your protons that are quite positive, and they make up the foundation of the atom. Then you have these electrons that wildly go off in all directions, so when they get a chance to be free, they're anxious to go out with the flow. Then you have neutrons that help make up the mass of the atom, but they can't really get a charge out of anything, so they just stay there.
    Then, of course, sadly, we have come up with another group, and it's maybe a little bit of a quirk, but it's the morons who think that exclusive use of energy from electricity is the way to ensure a net-zero environment. Obviously, the latter have no idea about the foundations required to produce, store and transmit these little eager electrons that are always on the hunt for some place to land. I think you have to make sure you have the wires to transfer them, and you have to make sure you have all of these other components that are necessary; and it is as though that is going to come out of thin air.
     We have proudly spoken of the minerals we have and the opportunities we all have to produce the raw materials that are needed for us to be able to take charge and be in complete control of that part of the supply chain.
     The problem, of course, is sometimes we have trouble getting a transmission line over some farmer's field. We seem to think we'll be able to start having open-pit mines and everything else to find all of these minerals, that we will take all of the caustic chemicals that are needed to process all of these different minerals once they have been mined and that we have some place for the tailings to go after that process has been spent. We seem to forget that's how it really is. It really is like that, whether you are here in Canada or some place else in the world.
     I agree with many of my colleagues, who say, wouldn't it be better if it were all done in Canada? That's because we make sure we look after the environment. That's uppermost in our mind, even if we go through the mining processes. It's the same sort of thing I try constantly to convince my colleagues about.
     Take, for example, Fort McMurray. I've gone up there with many people, and you take a look into the pit where the open-pit mining is, and yes, it looks like sausage making, and everybody can “ooh and ahh” about how bad it is. Then you will turn around 180 degrees and you say, wouldn't it be nice if it was like that forest back there? That forest back there used to be the pit. That's what reclamation is all about.
     You don't see that necessarily in open-pit mining. We have other forms of getting electricity, and people seem to forget how much impact there is to the environment for that. My colleagues explain how important it is to have hydroelectricity. I believe that once you have chosen an area to flood and then wish to set up your dams, if you don't count that area that you dispersed and the people, animals and other opportunities that were displaced there, it looks pretty good with the sailboat on top. We can all talk about how there are zero emissions from it and how it is the cleanest.
    That isn't so, however, if you're going to count it. As I've said in this room before, if you count the environmental impact, from the first shovel you use to dig something up and then create the energy needed until the last shovel you have to use to cover it up once it has been spent, then we can start comparing environmental impact from one part of the six time zones we have across this country to another, because there are strengths we have throughout the nation. That, to me, is what we should be doing.
     The worst part is when we end up, sadly, too much into the political side of things, simply saying, “Well, we're not going to allow you to do that over there because we do this over here, and it's so much better.” There are strengths to everything. However, if we, as a nation, were to simply say, “Let's find where our strengths are. Let's take the advantages that we have, whether they're from what we have in Alberta with our oil and gas or hydrocarbon industry...,” then we can make sure that this money goes to other places and that it helps them.
     If people around the world would just get to the level of the technology of oil and gas and the environmental safeguards that we have.... All these projects down in the U.S. that they were lauding and going to.... We'd blow them out of the water because that's how much better we are. However, if we simply say that, no, we've decided that, in order to find our place in the groups of nations that wish to reduce oil and gas, we're going to take this, so you had better shut it all down because that's the only way it's worthwhile, that, to me, is a problem. That's what I hope we will be able to get to when we speak about the TMX pipeline: that people will at least sit back—I know the money's gone—and think about what contributions those hydrocarbons have made to the world, have made to our nation, have made to the people of B.C. and Alberta—where these products are coming from—and Saskatchewan when we start looking at the advances that we have.
    We have such an amazing story to tell. My other side of the story is that, usually, we do better if government isn't involved. I guess that's what my dad ingrained in me. He said that whatever the government says to do, if you do the opposite, you'll probably be better off. Well, this was a decision where, had we just stuck to what was there at the beginning, then, yes, the extra little roadblocks that we put up would have made it more expensive but certainly not more expensive than buying the thing and saying that that's how we're going to solve this problem.
    We have sort of solved the problem. We are now going to be able to have much more oil and gas coming to tidewater and being able to then displace dirtier oil from different places. However, somebody has to pay for it. It's an irony to think that we should have some extra taxes on the oil and gas system.
    Well, I can see where they're coming from. How else are they going to pay for that extra $27 billion that was in cost overrun? So, yes, I can see where people are going to say, “Well, they should pay for it.” Well, it would have been paid for in the beginning if the government had stayed out of it.
    Again, there are all of the things that are happening around the world by this relatively small oil and gas company of Kinder Morgan. If you compare assets and so on, the things that they ended up doing because we took an expense off the books for them so that they had that capability.... It worked out well for them, and I could go on to other types of issues.
    We talk about the U.S., and this is another thing that we talk about with this Inflation Reduction Act and so on and how it is that we have to compete against the U.S.
    The first thing that they did when they cancelled Keystone XL was that they stopped again. That's how they managed to stop this from going to the gulf coast. So, what did they fill it up with? They filled it up with Venezuelan oil. They filled it up with other oils coming from other places. That's what they did with it.
    People can stand up and say that this meant that we didn't take any of the heavy oil from Alberta, that we made sure that we stopped that.
     Meanwhile, the U.S. government took that as an advantage to start filling all of its hundreds of thousands of pipeline miles with shale oil to send it to the market so that the U.S. actually became the largest exporter of oil and gas in the world. That is simply because we got shut out. Here we were with the ability to do that with the reserves that we had, but there were political decisions and so-called environmentalists who jumped up and down and said, “That's no good.” That's just one small picture.
    I hope we will be able to see that much bigger picture once we get a chance to debate this. I certainly believe that this study should come about as soon as possible. I'm prepared to see it supersede the other work that we have in the committee.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
     Thank you, Mr. Dreeshen.
     I have Mr. Angus next.
    Mr. Angus, I'll turn the floor over to you.
     Thank you, Chair.
    I want to speak to the Conservative amendment, because I think we have a window on this deal, and if we don't take this window now, anything we study later will be irrelevant. That window really comes down to the fact that there are a number of key concerns that have never been addressed, but I'll start off with the issue of the sell-off of the pipeline.
    After $34 billion of public money, it is not a feasible financial operation to ship bitumen down that pipeline, because the toll fees would be so extraordinarily high. We tried to get an answer from the Canada Energy Regulator on the reports that they'd capped the toll fees at 22% of the cost, so 78% of the cost has to be borne by the taxpayer. That's outrageous.
    How, in any universe, are we going to say the taxpayer should pay 78% of the cost for an industry that made about $50 billion in the last two years? That's not going to fly with anybody.
    The reason we need to make this a priority above other studies, though, is the government has been floating an idea that they're going to sell the pipeline. Obviously, they have an idea who they're going to sell it to. I've been around politics long enough to know that backroom deals are in the Liberal DNA—no offence, Chair, I think you're a great guy.
    Who are they selling the pipeline to? If the pipeline gets sold off, then by the time we get to study it, it's going to be too late. I want to know what the terms are, because if we're going to look at this just on a financial cost basis, at the very least the Canadian public deserves to be paid back $34 billion for this. If we're going to give it to some group, or they're going to create some fiction group out of thin air and call it the reconciliation pipeline, how about telling us how much of a cut-down, haircut, they're going to be taking on this that is going to end up being borne, again, by the taxpayer? That's why I support the Conservative motion to bump this study up.
    The other area, of course, is the Prime Minister went to COP26 and announced an emissions cap. What we found out is that there were no prior discussions about how that emissions cap would be implemented. In fact, the net-zero advisory council had never heard of the discussion about an emissions cap until it was announced at COP26.
    Was the Prime Minister just doing what he's really good at, which is going on the international stage and making grand pronouncements? An emissions cap is a serious issue, and many people who are super concerned about the climate crisis took the Prime Minister at his word.
    An emissions cap is impossible if the one major financial investment that this government has made in terms of environmental legislation is $34 billion to massively increase bitumen production. There is no way you can impose an emissions cap, and there is no way you can meet the targets that they have been announcing.
    We see that, because Mr. Guilbeault is trying to pull numbers out of thin air and his best thing is saying how it's actually not as bad as it looks. Well, that's a pretty weak excuse after nine years of saying you're going to deal with the climate crisis, and that the numbers overall are actually going down. Yes, some of the emissions numbers are going down, and certainly the industrial tax on emissions has helped, but what we've seen in the oil patch are emissions continuing to rise. Those are the facts.
    What we've seen with the announcement of the Trans Mountain being finished is that production in the oil patch had its biggest increase ever. In fact, in February, production rose to 3.95 million barrels a day—which is bigger than ever—and that was based, according to ATB Financial, on the expectation that now they have a pathway to move 900,000 barrels a day.
    Expanding bitumen production is going to increase emissions. As I said earlier, to pretend otherwise is like when you're dealing with someone you're trying to get to go to A.A., and they're telling you to just let them keep drinking, and they'll drink their way to sobriety. It's not going to happen.
    Either there's an emissions cap or there's no emissions cap. I think the least this government can do is be honest with Canadians, because people are taking this issue very seriously.
    We have the huge increases. We have the massive overrun of costs, and there seems to have been no public input. There was no parliamentary oversight as to how this boondoggle carried on.
     There is the issue now of who is going to end up covering off to make this financially viable for some kind of front group, and it's all being done to the benefit of Pathways Alliance.
     I've worked with the mining industry. It's the area I come from. I know many of the leading people in the mining industry, and we expect that in mining if we're going to say that they're going to have to meet standards, they have to meet them. We expect the same from oil and gas.
    Yet, last year, we saw Rich Kruger, Suncor CEO, in the middle of the biggest fire season in Canadian history, talking about the urgency to make more money in automation so they were going to use fewer workers and make more money in stock buybacks and dividends. If that was the biggest urgency that we were seeing in climate fire, there are serious questions that need to be asked.
    However, the new Pathways Alliance head, Derek Evans, said that he believes that the emissions cap isn't fair and that it's unreasonable to meet the targets that are being suggested.
    Why would we spend $34 billion aiding an industry right now that hasn't met the targets, and hasn't even tried? Their numbers are going up. So if their numbers are going up, why are we making it easier for them to go even higher? This is a question about government policy that the government has to answer, and they haven't answered that. People expect an answer because people are deeply concerned about where we're going.
    When we look at other regions in the world and the amount of investment that's happening now in clean energy and long-term jobs, Canada is not even in the game. For over a year we've been promised these ITCs. Where are they?
    Biden came in, he brought in an all-of-government approach. We're seeing hundreds of thousands of jobs. We can actually track the projects that are getting off the ground.
    We've been talking about a lot of projects here, but what we can track is $34 billion that was given to TMX. That is going to increase emissions. There is no pathway to getting lower, under this plan.
    The deep concern, which I'm going to end on, is the UN that has been warning that the window is rapidly closing. The 2022 report said that there is, “no credible pathway to [maintain]1.5C”, which is the red line between catastrophic feedback events of climate catastrophe. The “Emissions Gap Report 2023”, released in November 2023, reiterated that failing to sufficiently reduce emissions over the next six years will, “make it impossible to limit warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot”.
    Canada is failing. Canada is the outlier in the G7. Canada has failed to meet its targets, and we have a government that's now locked us in.
    I am urging my Liberal colleagues not to filibuster. I think it would send a very bad message if this government tries to filibuster a fair study, an open study. Everyone can bring their witnesses, but it's our job to get answers to the Canadian public.
     I am not going to speak any further. I am ready to vote on the Conservatives' amendment. I come here in good faith. I'm asking my Liberal colleagues to do the right thing. Let's get this thing cleared up. Let's get on with this, and then we can finish our other reports so that we can continue to show Canadians that we're here to work.
     Thank you, Mr. Angus.
    We'll now go to Mr. Patzer.
     Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
    You know, there are quite a few things I agree with my colleague, Mr. Angus, about. There's lots that I don't, but the point is that we both want the same thing, and that's to get this study happening as soon as we can here.
    Again, the amendment is saying that the study should occur as soon as possible and supersede all other work of the committee. Now, that's a perfect amendment because the study that we were just venturing into prior to this was a study on a topic that this committee had previously studied. I find it quite fascinating that one of the first witnesses we had here last week spoke to that previous study on electrical interties. He was part of the study that happened in 2017, and one of the questions that was asked of him was whether anything had changed since 2017. He said that it had not. That's the answer right there, so there's nothing wrong with shelving that one for the time being and getting on with this one.
    The government is well on its way to imposing electricity regulations and these other regulations, like their Liberal fuel regulations and things like that, on Canadians anyway. It's as if they want to do this study even though they're already doing all the things that they're going to try to accomplish at the end of the study when they'll say, “Oh now we need to do these things.” Well, they're already on their way to doing what they are planning anyway, so it's basically wasting this committee's time.
    This study, though, which we want to happen right away, would not be a waste of time because of the cost overruns touched on by my colleague, Mr. Dreeshen, and spectacularly well by Mr. Angus. When we look at what the shippers through the pipeline are talking about, due to the uncertainty that this Liberal government put onto the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the cost overruns that it has incurred are going to impact them and the tolls that they're going to have to pay, which in turn are going to ensure that there's just not certainty for people who want to get through the next project, or even for people who are going to use this existing project.
    It's quite remarkable what the government is capable of screwing up, it never ceases to amaze me. I think we need to get to the bottom of it. As I say, some of us might be approaching why we want to get the bottom of it from different sides of the issue. Nevertheless, we need to get to the bottom of it. I think we need to prioritize it, and I agree with Mr. Angus that we should do that as soon as possible before the pipeline gets sold by the government. If there is a backroom deal, this committee needs to figure it out before it happens.
    Thank you, Mr. Patzer.
    I will now go to MP Jowhari. The floor is yours, sir.
     Thank you, Chair.
    First of all, it's good to be on this committee on a permanent basis, and I welcome working with all of you very closely.
    One of the reasons I personally requested to switch from the committee that I was on to join this committee was the study that is ongoing, or it was ongoing until, I believe, Thursday. As I understand it, we were talking about the amendment, and the amendment talks about the urgency of the proposed study by MP Angus. It is my understanding also that, in general, there was an agreement that the disagreement right now is over the timing.
    I was somewhat surprised to hear from colleagues who intervened to say that we're not dealing with an urgent issue or an urgent study. I was taken aback by that and it's why, as I said, when I started looking into the need for the generation of clean electricity and where the directions of Canada and the world were going, I personally felt a sense of urgency to come up with a proposal for a study. I tried to find a member of this committee who would table it. I was informed that there is a study, so here I am.
     Let's talk about the source of urgency, because I think the fact that we want to look at that study after this study is done is already agreed on, so why is it urgent? Why should we continue with the study that we're doing?
    If you look at the the new report from the Public Policy Forum, what we heard was that we need to double and, in some cases, triple the amount of green energy produced for us to be able to meet our 2035 and 2050 targets over the next 25 years. The timeline is already given, and these 25 years are basically equivalent to what has happened in the past century, so we need to expedite the generation, the transmission, the distribution, the storage and the many other elements around that, which I will touch on shortly.
    Is there a sense of urgency? Absolutely. We have a very short runway. How long is that runway? It's 25 years.
    How much is it going to cost? I believe I heard from the officials that we're talking trillions. It's going to cost a lot, and most estimates are in the trillions. If you look at trillions, if it's a trillion dollars. Just to put it into perspective for Canadians, if it's going to cost us a trillion dollars, just $1 trillion, that translates into about $40 billion a year. That $40 billion has to come from the federal government, the provincial governments and a lot of organizations or companies that are into generation and, from an investment point of view, in transmission, building more lines and enhancing the capacity of the distributors.
    Now, if it's $2 trillion, it's going to be about $80 billion a year. Just to give Canadians a sense of what that number is, Canada's annual GDP is about $2.1 trillion. What we are asking for and what we understand we need to invest over the next 25 years in a very urgent way is the equivalent of the GDP of Canada for one year. The nominal GDP is around $2.3 trillion.
    Therefore, we need to invest, in very short order, nearly the one-year GDP of Canada over 25 years. What does that entail? We need to do, as Mr. Greenspon said, two major things, and he called them major challenges ahead: massively expanding how much power we make and making it all clean.
     How do we massively expand how much power we make? Where do we generate the power?
    When you look at the whole extended supply chain of energy, as I call it, when it comes to generation, we have to massively expand. Not only do we have to build on the existing capacity, refurbish some of them, and introduce and expand, but we also need to explore new areas. For example, everybody is now talking about nuclear. SMRs for generation are now being considered by some other countries. There's wind.
    On Ontario, I'll quote this:
Five years ago, the Ontario Tory government spent nearly $300 million to end hundreds of renewable electricity projects the previous Liberal government had launched. Premier Doug Ford said the power wasn't needed and that wind power was destroying the province's energy system.
    It's a funny thing. It goes on:
Last week...Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith outlined a power plan that includes billions in new nuclear projects as well as a return to wind and solar projects the government once called a waste of money.
    What we see is that, even in generation, provinces that cancelled many of those projects are now trying to be the leaders. When you look at generation from nuclear to hydro to wind to solar—now we are exploring geothermal and areas that haven't been tapped into like magnetic and hydrogen—these are all sources of generation we need to invest in or where we need to massively expand our capacity.
    With that expansion of capacity and generating two to three times more electricity, naturally we need two key infrastructure elements. One of them is transmission lines. The other one is huge storage capacity—industrial-sized storage capacity.
    When you look at the transmission and at storage capacity, for us to be able to build that infrastructure and enhance the existing structure, we need to start now. Actually, we should have started many years ago. We need to start now, hence the sense of urgency.
    Look at distribution. I talked about Alectra, which is a distribution company in my neck of the woods, in Richmond Hill and in York region. For them to be able to meet the target of 2030 to 2040, they need hundreds of millions of dollars in investment. It's not going to come from the ratepayers. It's going to come from foreign investment. It's going to come from relaxing some of the regulations, which we need to study as part of this study.
    Actually, it comes from the consumption. As you can see, with the introduction of some of the government programs around greening, heat pumps, energy-efficient projects, as well as electric cars, not only is the amount of consumption going up, but also the infrastructure that's needed to support it. A lot of households are going to find they need to upgrade their electrical system to be able to handle that.
    When you look at this whole spectrum, we need to generate and invest to the tune of $80 billion a year to make sure that we can double or triple the energy that's generated from all those sources, through to transmission, distribution, consumption and storage. Now you look at it and ask what other elements we need to look at. Is it just as simple as coming in and saying that we'll build five more nuclear plants and three more SMRs?
    No. We also need to look at elements such as energy modelling. We look at different jurisdictions. If there's any company out there that's working on energy modelling, come and talk to me because I'm very much interested.
    Look at the energy modelling and you'll see that we have 13 provinces and territories and we have indigenous areas. They have different characteristics. If there is a company that's looking at those capabilities and asking what kind of energy modelling they need to do to find that balance to use, expedite and accelerate the needed generation and transmission, I would really like to invite you to come to this committee.
     We need to talk about the management of the electricity and how efficiently we are managing it. We need to talk about how we optimize the energy. If there is any company—and I worked with one of them; it's called Edgecom—that's leading on looking at all the sources of energy and trying to optimize based on the cost and the timing and the sources of all of this energy, we need to talk about that. Aside from generation, we also need to look at how we are going to ensure that we optimize the use of energy. We have to talk to consumers and understand how they can change some of their behaviours. We need to talk about integration and look at different sources of clean electricity and how they can be integrated. We need to talk about exchanges.
    One of the areas that Alectra is seriously looking at is almost an exchange market where you look at it and you say, “Okay, all these sources of energy are generating, but what is the best way for us to be able to exchange it so we can keep that rate for consumers down?”
    If you look at the current administration in the U.S. and the investment they did with ERA, what they are doing to make sure they can generate enough electricity to be able to run their plants is humongous, and we are behind. Edward Greenspon said, “We need to move very quickly, and probably with a different approach, you know, no hurdles, no timeouts.” We need to move now, hence the sense of urgency.
    Now you come in and you say, “Okay, you talked about the supply chain and, let's say, the model, and you're talking about the energy model, but is that all?” No, that's not all. We need to look at the social and environmental policies both domestically and internationally. If we are going to produce products that use electricity—and nowadays almost everything uses electricity—and we are a trading country, when we look at the international trade that we have to do, part of our free trade agreements is that the products being produced need to be produced on green electricity or renewable electricity. We need to think about it now.
    We need to look at incentives. There is no way the Government of Canada is going to be able to invest $80 billion every year. Let me give you an example. If it was $1 trillion, it would be an investment of $40 billion a year. The Government of Canada's 2024 budget for defence is $44.2 billion. The health care transfer we did to the provinces this year was $55 billion. This is an enormous amount of investment that needs to be done. The Government of Canada has the reconvening and convening power to be able to bring all these players in, but we need to also look at the incentives. When you look at the ITCs around clean energy, etc., we need to have experts coming here and telling us what programs and what incentives we need to ensure that key players are going to come to Canada and invest. There is no way that $80 billion could come from the federal government.
    Look at what Honda did with a $15-billion investment in four plants. Why did they make that decision? It was because we have the capability.
    It was interesting: I was sitting in the OGGO committee this morning, and they were talking about foreign investment, why foreign investment is coming to Canada and what we need to consider. Aside from the fact that we provide a safe environment and we have the green philosophy, it also looks at the talent we have and the direction the government is taking. When you look at these incentives and you look at the amount of international investment that's needed, we need to build incentives around that and we need to provide that environment. That sense of urgency cannot wait. Look at the amount of research and development that we need to do.
     I have a point of order, Chair.
    Mr. Jowhari, I would ask you to take a break for a second. We have a point of order from Mr. Patzer.
    Thank you.
    I'm happy that you've joined our committee. It's great to see another member on the committee. Just for your own benefit, we actually just did a study on ITCs and on what the U.S. is doing and what Canada's response maybe would be.
    We already did that study, so I'm just wondering if you wanted to get back to the amendment at hand. That would be beneficial.
    Thank you.
    I don't think that's a point of order, but that's okay.
    Thank you, Mr. Patzer, for providing your recommendations to the member. I'll let the member proceed as to why he's supporting or not supporting this amendment to the motion on the floor.
    I'll let Mr. Jowhari continue in providing his rationale.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I think each one of those areas, and I have probably five or six other areas to cover, is talking about an aspect we need to look at. I want to give Canadians a sense of the study that we were on and got derailed from—how encompassing, how important and how broad it is—what the aspects are that we need to take into account and how urgent it is. Indeed, each item I'm dealing with is talking about the urgency that I believe exists. It should not be superseded by the study proposed by MP Angus.
    We talked about research and development. Let me give you an example. How many of us have thought of magnets as a perpetual source of generating electricity, green electricity? What kind of investment or what kind of research and development are we doing on that? Research and development is yet another area that we need to really focus on.
    Now it comes to why we're doing all of this. We're doing all of this because we want to make sure we have adequate, reliable, affordable and accessible clean energy for our targets for 2035 and 2050. We have to increase our capacity by two to three times. I haven't even started bringing in the other elements that need energy on top of the programs that the government has rolled out.
    Imagine the food security over the next 25 years, which a lot of countries are focusing on, and the sources of energy needed to ensure food security around some new innovations, specifically around vertical farming. If you now look into the intersection of vertical farming as a source—
     I have a point of order, Chair.
    Mr. Jowhari, I'll ask you to hold for one second. We have a point of order from Mr. Angus.
     I love the concept of vertical farming as much as anybody, but let's just be honest. Was Mr. Jowhari sent in as the ringer for the Liberals so that he can run the filibuster? I don't mind doing emails. I'll sit here as long as it takes to get this study done. Mr. Jowhari can talk about everything under the sun. I would just like him to be honest with us as to why he's wasting our time talking about farming.
    Is he going to filibuster? Be honest. Is that what the Liberals have sent him here to do?
    Thank you, Mr. Angus, for your point of order.
    I'll remind members not to use points of order for debate.
    Mr. Jowhari has advised members that he is a full-time member of our committee and he's deeply passionate about the electricity study. That is why he wanted to be here and why, I believe, he was continuing to tell us why that study is important.
    I'll let him continue on with his rationale. Thank you.
    Go ahead, Mr. Jowhari.
     Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Why is it important? Vertical farming is just one aspect of food security. All I'm trying to make the point on here is that, if we even talk about the intersection of food and energy security and about food and energy sustainability, the amount of energy we are going to need is not going to be two to three times. It's going to be four to six times. If we don't act today and focus on exploring ways to generate, transmit, distribute, store, manage, optimize and exchange energy now; make the investments of nearly $80 billion a year; find incentives; look at social impact and policies; and start working with provinces on how, through interprovincial agreements, we can ensure that security, which comes with reliability and access, and make it affordable and adequate, we'll miss the boat.
    One of my colleagues across the way talked about the fact that we did a study in 2017, and, “Well, nothing happened, so let's not do anything about it.” Well, it's not 2017 anymore. It's 2024. I believe that, when we talked about it in 2022 and 2023, and now in 2024, the world is moving in a very different direction and is focusing on generating clean electricity. Each one of these industries is flourishing: High-capacity storage, transmission, modelling and management are all flourishing. Why? It's because everybody feels that sense of urgency, and it is that sense of urgency that I think the amendment is really ignoring.
    I believe that was already said when we agreed with the concept of doing the study, but superseding this, when we have only a short runway of 25 years, $80 billion and all of those elements—
    I'm sorry, but I have a point of order.
    Mr. Jowhari, I ask you to hold for a second. We have a point of order from Mr. Angus.
    I don't want to wait until the blues. I thought the little runway we have is 25 years. Did he say our little runway is 45 years? I just want to know how little the runway is—that's a clarification.
     Let's let Mr. Jowhari continue with his rationale. Go ahead, Mr. Jowhari.
    First of all, I'm glad that Mr. Angus is actually listening to what I'm saying. If I said it's 45 years, that was a mistake. I have iterated a number of times that it is 25 years. It's good.
    An hon. member: That's quite a long runway.
    I'm sorry. I ask you to hold again, Mr. Jowhari.
    Mr. Patzer, go ahead on a point of order.
     I just want you to get a chance to catch your breath here, Mr. Jowhari, but also this is the whole point of why I said the report was done in 2017. You guys have been in government ever since then and nothing's been done on this. If it were that important, you'd think that you guys would have acted on the recommendations of the report in 2017, but the witnesses say nothing has been done. That's why I made the comment, so maybe, you know—
     I remind members again to not use points of order to debate, but if you would like—
    I have a point of order.
    Let me just finish this, and then I'll let you go ahead, Mr. Angus.
    Do not use points of order for debate but for procedural matters. If you do want to add your insights, raise your hand. I'll put you on the list, and you can debate away.
    Mr. Angus, I go to you on a point of order.
    Thank you, Chair. This is just on a point of order. I really respect your work, and I'm very glad you made that.... I think that was an outrageous comment by Mr. Patzer. It wasn't a point of order, and I think he should know that it wasn't a point of order.
    I just want to say that, if we're going to do points of order, we should make sure that we're giving our poor friend there a chance to catch his breath. He has to look up some other stuff on Google, so I'm more than willing to let him go back. We'll spend as much time as we take.
    Mr. Jowhari, please continue where you left off.
     That wasn't a Google lookup. That was a picture I received of my granddaughter, who's four months and 27 days old today. She rolled over, so everybody's excited in our household. Her name is Arianna, and I love her very much. I'll gladly show you her picture.
    Why is there urgency? Let me tell you. “We need to move very quickly, and probably with a different approach, you know, no hurdles, no timeouts”, that's what Mr. Greenspon said.
    There are significant unanswered questions about the new power mix and the speed of switching away from fossil fuel power in one of the biggest political battles brewing in our country. I believe that MP Dreeshen went through a lengthy commentary on that.
    Let me give you some stats. Six provinces, including the three largest, get more than 90% of their power from clean sources. That includes hydro, nuclear and wind. Four provinces—New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Alberta and Saskatchewan—still rely heavily on coal or natural gas for their electricity. The premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan have declared the 2035 clean air regulation too costly and have said they simply won't meet them, so there are challenges. However, we know we have to move in this direction. We have to make an investment. We have a very short runway of 25 years, and here we go. It took us over a century to get here, and now we have to work faster, and we have to work smarter.
    All of those elements I talked to you about are things that we really need to hear from witnesses. I personally don't think that four sessions is enough, but if we can get all those answers in four sessions, I'm all for it. The sooner we start on this thing, the better it is. The federal government is quite flexible. We are ready to work with the provinces. We are ready to work with generators. We work with entities that are in charge of transmission. They need to come in and work together to create that think tank on how we can move.
    We already know the questions. Now we have to find the answers. It's 25 years and $80 billion a year in my estimate. We know the sources of generation. We need to look at different ways. We need to be innovative, we need to be agile, and we need to make sure that the end solution means that we have adequate, reliable, affordable and accessible sources of green electricity.
    Mr. Chair, I'll end by saying once again that I believe the urgency, and I hope I have demonstrated, over the last whatever minutes that I talked about this, the urgency that's needed for us to deal with all of those elements. The urgency is today, but I don't think that study should supersede the study we are in.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
     Thank you, MP Jowhari, for your comments and for joining us on this committee. It's great to have you, and I look forward to hearing more from you in the days ahead.
    We'll now proceed to Ms. Lapointe, who's online.
    Ms. Lapointe, I'll turn the floor over to you.
     Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I do want to start by saying that I am supportive of the study that is being proposed, but I can't support the notion that we would stop the work that we've already started on the electricity study.
    I think we're at a threshold of a pivotal era in Canada's journey towards a sustainable future, and it's crucial to acknowledge the indispensable role of our electricity grid in realizing our net-zero emission goals. Our electricity grid isn't just wires and poles. It's the lifeblood of our economy. It's the linchpin of our environmental ambitions. It powers our homes. It fuels our industries. It sustains our way of life, yet its significance extends far beyond mere convenience. It's the backbone of our transition to a greener, cleaner tomorrow.
    A robust electricity grid is essential for integrating renewable energy sources like wind, solar and hydroelectric power into our energy mix. It provides the infrastructure needed to efficiently transmit electricity from remote regions that are abundant in clean energy to urban centres where it's most needed. Without a strong grid, we know that we risk stalling our transition to renewables and hindering our efforts to reduce the carbon to meet the goals that we have all established for ourselves.
    What happens if we delay strong action on climate change? We all know the answer to that question. We're going to have a continued increase in the frequency and severity of extreme and devastating weather events.
    Just today in Ottawa, the area is under a severe weather and tornado watch, and it's May. We're seeing tornado warnings in Canada, something almost unheard of 20 years ago. Environment and Climate Change Canada's meteorologists continue to predict weather conditions for spring and summer 2024 that could lead to greater wildfire risks.
    More than 4,500 residents of Fort Nelson and the nearby Fort Nelson First Nation have just recently been allowed to return home since an evacuation on May 10 due to the out-of-control Parker Lake wildfire just west of the town.
    On May 14, close to 7,000 residents from the southern part of Fort McMurray were ordered to leave their homes and to evacuate from the Fort McMurray area. All of us were watching that news closely, and we saw the impact it had on those families who had to evacuate. Luckily, the fire risk dissipated, but the trauma from the 2016 wildfire can't be ignored. What people went through in 2016 was horrific, and I believe that, as legislators, we need to do everything we can to ensure we don't continue down this climate emergency path.
    We also can't afford increasing climate emergencies. We know that Public Safety's Canadian disaster database shows that the Fort McMurray 2016 fire cost over $4 billion with an additional $3.6 billion in insurance claims. I know I've talked to many families who were worried about even being able to insure their homes, and the increased insurance costs to their household budgets and the impact that puts on them in terms of affordability. In total, the Fort McMurray fires burned approximately 580,000 hectares of land, and it caused the evacuation of over 90,000 people and destroyed 2,400 homes and businesses.
    Even communities far from active fires were and will be affected by air pollution created by wildfire smoke. These conditions are often compounded by extreme heat.
    A few weeks ago, the Minister of Emergency Preparedness said, “Last year, Canadians experienced the most destructive forest fire season in our nation's history, and we know that climate change has been a root cause of their increased frequency and intensity”.
    I think it's important for us, as committee members, to also acknowledge the physical and mental health impacts that result from these wildfires. The Minister of Health said that wildfires can have significant negative impacts on our physical and mental well-being, even when they are burning thousands of kilometres away from us.
    We certainly saw that last year. We all saw that first-hand, with cities across the country blanketed in hazardous smoke. I know that my colleague MP Angus and I certainly saw that in northern Ontario and the fact of how hazardous that smoke was, especially for people with fragile lungs.
    With the 2024 wildfire season approaching, our government is ensuring that people in Canada have the tools and the information they need to understand and manage the health risks that are associated with the wildfires.
     I think it's imperative that we decarbonize our electricity grid. It's not only dangerous to continue on the path of fossil fuel energy, it's frankly irresponsible.
     However, the consequences of neglecting our electricity grid extend beyond environmental and climate issues. A weak grid—and we've heard witnesses tell us this—leaves us vulnerable to power outages, grid instability and energy insecurity. It threatens the reliability of our energy supply. It jeopardizes the functioning of essential services, and it's disrupting everyday life. This means we need to do the work now, and we need to continue with our electricity study to hear from witnesses, who can guide our actions in building resilience into our electricity grid.
     The witnesses we have heard to date, because the study is currently under way, have all talked about the need to act on an urgent basis in addressing our electricity grid. Witnesses have told this committee about the need to increase energy storage capacity and to ensure grid efficiency, and we know battery energy storage is a major part of this.
    I can tell you that in Sudbury we are actively working to produce the materials needed to support battery storage for our grid. The demand for critical minerals like lithium, cobalt and nickel are all essential for battery storage and also for the manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries, and that demand is soaring.
    Canada, with its abundant mineral resources particularly in regions like Sudbury and northern Ontario, holds tremendous potential to become a global leader in the EV economy. However, realizing this potential hinges on developing a robust EV supply chain from mining and processing to battery manufacturing and recycling.
    When MP Angus spoke earlier today, he talked about meeting with mining leaders. All of them have talked about the need to build that supply chain and the importance of that in conjunction with the critical minerals that we have.
    We often hear from our colleagues across the way that jobs are at risk in Canada's clean economy, but nothing could be further from the truth. I can tell you that in Sudbury we're seeing an unprecedented demand for labour in the mining industry and an increased availability of jobs in the related value chain sector.
    Electricity is the future of mining. Our mining companies are transitioning from diesel-powered trucks, loaders and drills towards electric alternatives. This is making mining safer, and it's also less polluting. Innovation in mining, such as moving to electrification, is part of how Sudbury's story went from being a mining town to being a mindful town. Our regreening efforts are globally respected, and electrification continues to help us lead the way. I attended PDAC this year and last year where—
     I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    Ms. Lapointe, we have a point of order. I'll ask you to just pause for a moment.
     I've been listening really carefully, and she's talking about mining and electricity. That really has nothing to do with the amendment that we're debating.
     I'm wondering whether perhaps she could rein it in. I know we allow for a lot of latitude, and I think that's useful and helpful, but she may as well talk about plastic straws and milkshakes as far as I'm concerned.
     Thank you, and I'll let you view that as you like.
     I'm going to let Ms. Lapointe keep providing her rationale, Mr. Falk, because she's talking about the importance of the previous study. I'll let Ms. Lapointe continue on the rationale and why that's important to her.
    Go ahead, Ms. Lapointe.
     Thank you, Mr. Chair.
     In Ontario the Independent Electricity System Operator is responsible for ensuring that there's enough power to meet the province's energy needs in real time, while also planning and securing energy for the future. The annual planning outlook by this operator forecasts that Ontario's total electricity demand will increase by 60% over the next 25 years.
    Their report states that they do this:
...by balancing the supply of and demand for electricity in Ontario and directing its flow across the province's transmission lines; planning for the province's medium- and long-term energy needs and securing clean sources of supply to meet those needs; overseeing the electricity wholesale market; and coordinating province-wide conservation efforts.
     They say that energy storage will power the grid transformation. I'll quote from the report:
After years of stable supply, Ontario is entering a period of need with demand expected to increase by 2 per cent per year over the next twenty years due to electrification, decarbonization and economic growth. Energy storage is well positioned to help support this need, providing a reliable and flexible form of electricity supply that can underpin the energy transformation of the future.
Storage is unique among electricity types in that it can act as a form of both supply and demand, drawing energy from the grid during off-peak hours when demand is low and injecting that energy back into the grid when it is needed most. Storage is particularly useful in supporting the wide-scale integration of renewable resources, like wind and solar, because it can help smooth out changes in energy output caused by unpredictable weather.
Ontario already has one of the cleanest electricity systems in North America, getting most of our power from hydro and nuclear generation. Energy storage can help leverage these existing assets while helping to enable more renewables to ensure clean, reliable and affordable electricity for Ontario’s homes and businesses.
    The Crown corporation in Ontario responsible for the safety and resiliency of our electricity grid is urgently and actively working on protecting Ontarians from a failed grid. I think as legislators, we can't delay the important work of hearing from experts who can guide our policy in grid protection. We have to be willing to be able to partner with our provinces, our territories and our municipalities in this important work.
     I think continuing—
    I have a point of order.
    Ms. Lapointe, we have a point of order. I'll just ask you to hold for a second.
     Mr. Angus, go ahead on the point of order.
     Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I don't want to interrupt my honourable colleague. I do appreciate that she did the shout-out for the Cobalt fire, which was just in my back forty and went from zero to 14 hectares to 164 hectares in an hour during our committee hearings last week. I was paying a lot of attention to our family loading their car up, whereas now I'm trying to really keep my eyes open here—and the fire in Cobalt is still out of control.
     I just wanted to ask my honourable colleague, with all due respect, because we have 15 minutes left, if she's planning on talking the clock out. Will there be other interventions?
    I could pack my bags. We could do other stuff. Just out of respect to colleagues, I don't know how long the thing she's reading is. Is it 10 minutes, five minutes, 15 minutes...?
     If she could just give us a heads-up, it would be helpful.
    Thank you, Mr. Angus, on the point of order.
     We do have other speakers on the speaking order as well, but Ms. Lapointe does have the floor. I'll allow Ms. Lapointe to continue as to why she thinks it's important to do the electricity study and the rationale for it.
    Ms. Lapointe, go ahead. The floor is yours.
    Thank you, Chair. I am very close to finishing my comments.
     I think continuing work to build a reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity system is critical to ensuring that communities will flourish, businesses will have the confidence to invest and industries can decarbonize. We know that a strong and resilient electricity grid is also a matter of national security. Innovation, powerful AI applications and supercomputers all require significant amounts of electricity.
     Developing the resilience of our grid is critical. We have witnesses who can share their expertise on developing this resilience with our committee. We had a number of witnesses before us last week, in fact. Unfortunately, we weren't able hear all their testimony.
    Ultimately, we can't delay our study on Canada's electricity and grid network. There is too much at stake to allow a less pressing but no less important issue take precedence over our current study.
     I want to thank the chair for giving me this time today at committee.
     Thank you, Ms. Lapointe.
    We'll now go to MP Schiefke.
     Thank you very much, Chair.
    I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts on what we are discussing today.
    I want to start, Chair, by sharing with my colleague MP Angus that I don't oppose the study that he's put forward. In fact, I look forward to being a part of that discussion. I look forward to having the testimony before us and studying that. The issue—
    I have a point of order.
     I'm sorry. MP Schiefke, I'll ask you to hold for a second.
    We have a point of order from Mr. Angus.
     I've been on a lot of committees that have been really toxic, and I really appreciate that he reached out. I want to reach across the aisle to him and say that's fantastic. Why don't we put this to a vote?
    Thank you, Mr. Angus. I'm not sure that's a point of order, but it's a conversation we're having.
    MP Schiefke, I'll ask you to continue where you left off. The floor is yours.
     Thank you very much, Chair.
    What I'm going to add, though, is that, unfortunately, even though I agree with the substance of the motion, there's one component that I do not agree with. That is the component that essentially states that this study would supersede all the other studies, including the one that we just embarked on. The reason I can't agree with that and will not be supporting the motion as it is written and amended is that the study with regard to Canada's electrical grid is one that's incredibly important to my community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges. Actually, I was very excited, when I got appointed to this committee, to be told that this would be the first study we'd be embarking on.
    The reason it's important to my community, Chair, is that my community has experienced, over the last two years, significant and unprecedented environmental events that led to tens of thousands of my constituents being without power, several times, in the midst of the cold winter in January and February, for several days. It brought to light the challenges that remain in Canada, whether in my community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges or in communities represented by my fellow members of all parties on this committee. If you're looking for the aspect that's most important to me, Chair, of the motion that was put forward on the electricity grid study, it's the component that deals with the challenges to improve electrical production and distribution across Canada.
    Distribution, for me, is key. Last January—January 2023—we had yet another ice storm in Canada. It was the second-worst ice storm in our history, second only to the one that we experienced in the late nineties—and my honourable colleague from the Bloc Québécois will remember this well—when several hundred thousand Quebeckers, thousands in my own community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges, were left without power. The reason they were left without power was, for the most part, that extra weight was put on the transmission lines that either weren't supported by the existing infrastructure or were damaged by falling trees. In some cases it took up to six days to restore power, while we had temperatures overnight and in the evenings going down to -15°C or -16°C.
    It got to the point that not only did my municipalities have to open up emergency centres.... Community centres had to be turned into emergency centres. Seniors or those who didn't have access to some form of generator had to go into those community centres overnight, return to their homes during the day and then make their way back to the community centres overnight. Something else that compounded that while all of this was going on was that, as elected officials—I as the federal member, the two provincial members Marie-Claude Nichols and Marilyne Picard, respectively, and the mayors—we didn't have access to any way of communicating with one another. What happened when we lost electricity was that the telecommunications system in the province, particularly in the south, was so heavily affected by the loss of power that we couldn't even communicate our collective response to the tens of thousands of our constituents we needed to respond to.
    The discussion that we've been having since then is what needs to be done to the grid to make it more resilient and to support the needs of our constituents as we make our way into the new world, which is a new world that's addressing climate change. Prior to embarking on this important study, I reached out to my mayors to ask them if they had any questions they wanted me to ask on their behalf, and I put forward my own questions that I wanted to ask. However, just before being able to ask those questions on behalf of the elected representatives I work very closely with in my community, we had this motion presented by MP Angus—whom I admire and respect greatly.
     This is a motion that, as I said, I support in substance, and I'm looking forward to getting to that, but before we get to that, we have a pressing issue for members like me. I'm sure there are other members in the committee for whom this is very important. We want to get to this. We need to address this issue. We need to talk about not just expanding and meeting the needs of Canadians tomorrow and figuring out how we're going to provide Canadians with that clean energy we need to provide them with because our population is growing, but also how that energy is going to have to be clean energy and how we're going to go about doing that—
    I have a point of order.
     MP Schiefke, there's a point of order. I'll ask you to hold for one second.
    Mr. Angus, go ahead on the point of order.
    Chair, I just want to put on the record that I've been the subject of a lot of love and respect from my Liberal colleagues today, but not one of them has mentioned the TMX pipeline, and that's what we're here to discuss.
     I can get by with less love, but I would really like to get something done.
     We're now down to six minutes. If you held off patting me on the back and we could talk about TMX, maybe we could get a vote so that on Thursday we could get down to business.
    Thank you.
    Thank you, MP Angus, for your point of order on the rationale.
     I believe the main motion is on the TMX pipeline, but the amendment is on bringing this forward ahead of any other studies, so it does tie in to the previous study that was under way. I would ask everybody, as you debate, that you think of both of those items.
    I'll let MP Schiefke continue because he's providing his rationale for why that study is important and why we should continue with it.
    MP Schiefke, go ahead. The floor is yours.
    Thank you very much, Chair.
    In response to my honourable colleague MP Angus on this, I don't have prepared remarks. For me, this is not a filibuster. I'm speaking on behalf of my community here.
     This study is an important one for my community, and what I shared earlier is that I'm not against the study that MP Angus is putting forward. I'm against the idea that it takes precedence over this very important study that we've already started, for which we had witnesses come in, ready to provide their testimony and share their expertise with us, and for which we had prepared questions that many of us had collected from our constituents and drafted ourselves and were ready to put forward to be able to get those kinds of answers.
    I just cannot see myself voting in favour of—
     MP Schiefke, once again we have a point of order. I'm going to ask you to hold right there for a second.
    Mrs. Stubbs, go ahead on a point of order.
     Thanks, Chair.
    I've just offered to the honourable member a solution for the problem about which he seems concerned. We of course have said that we would resume with the study afterwards, and also, he should know that there's not a single thing stopping him from getting those witnesses to make written submissions, from getting whoever it is he wanted to answer certain questions or from getting certain facts on the record. He can get them to submit that. There's no barrier.
    Is the member actually honestly making the argument that the Government of Canada has no grip whatsoever in terms of the current and future electricity generation capacity and distribution except for the requirement of this study with five-minute opening comments from private sector proponents and then six minutes of question-and-answer exchanges? If that's the argument he's actually making, then, oh man, are we ever in a world of trouble.
    Before you proceed, MP Schiefke, I would ask colleagues to use points of order for points of order, not for debate and not for Qs and As. You're more than welcome to have those discussions in private or to address those issues during your own debate time, and others can provide comments when they're up for their time.
    I have a point of order.
    We have another point of order here, MP Schiefke. Before I go back to you, I'll go to Mr. Angus on a point of order.
    You know, people, seeing that I've been given so much love, I feel I should share it.
     Chair, I think you're doing an excellent job. You've disagreed with almost all of my interventions. I think technically I was probably right on maybe 10% to 15% of them, but I think you've done it in a very dignified way.
     I will study your reflections in the blues so that the next time I ask my colleagues about filibustering, I might be able to take it to an extra level. I want to thank you for the work you're doing.
     Thank you, MP Angus, for acknowledging the work of this committee.
     I appreciate the work all of you do. I think that everybody today has had an opportunity to interject. It's not one member. I think it's been around this horseshoe, and it's been great.
    MP Schiefke, we do have a few more minutes, and I know that there are a few points of order, so I want to turn it back over to you. I may ask you to pause at some point when we're running out of time at the end of the committee.
    I'll turn it back over to you.
    Thank you very much, Chair.
    I'll add to the remarks of MP Stubbs that we are in a world of trouble when elected representatives like Mrs. Stubbs don't understand the difference between a point of order and debate and perhaps have not brushed up on procedure in committee.
    Moving on from that and getting back to what I was saying, I don't see—
     MP Schiefke, we have another point of order, so I'm going to ask you to pause once again.
    Go ahead, MP Stubbs, on a point of order.
     Thanks, Chair. Thanks for the hot tip.
    I'm quite confident that the people of Lakeland will give a verdict on my work and probably aren't quite as concerned about navel-gazing obsessions with our rules in rooms like this. My constituents are also watching this abysmal waste of time and tax dollars in this display today.
     Thank you for that point of order.
    I will go back to you, MP Schiefke, for about 90 seconds.
    MP Schiefke, you will have the opportunity to continue on if you have further commentary at our next meeting. I'll turn it back over to you.
     Thank you very much, Chair.
    Mrs. Stubbs brought up an interesting point, Chair, and that is this: Why don't we just ask the witnesses to provide written testimony?
    That does not allow for information to be presented and for follow-up or new questions to be developed. That just happened in the previous meeting. I had questions I referred to that were submitted to me by several of my mayors as well as ones that I drafted, but then there was a witness in the previous meeting who spoke to a lack of capacity to build transition lines across the country—
    I have a point of order.
     MP Schiefke, we have a point of order, so I'll ask you to pause there.
    Go ahead, MP Angus, on a point of order.
    Thank you so much.
     I didn't want to interrupt his discourse, but it is 5:30. I know that he has the floor to continue the filibuster when we come back on Thursday, but who else is on the list? At some point, I would like us to get to a vote, so I am trying to get a sense of Thursday and what we're looking at in terms of how the Liberal filibuster is going to continue.
    We have two more members after Mr. Schiefke currently on the list on the amendment. Others may put their hands up next meeting. I'm not sure, but we'll see next meeting.
    MP Schiefke, you have the floor, and we will continue with you at the next meeting. We are at 5:30, so we will suspend.
    Thank you.
    [The meeting was suspended at 5:30 p.m., Monday, May 27]
    [The meeting resumed at 3:36 p.m., Thursday, May 30]

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     I call this meeting back to order. Welcome.
     We are resuming meeting number 99 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources.
    Since today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, I would like to make a few comments for the benefit of all.
    Before we begin, I would like to ask members and other in-person participants to consult the cards on the table for guidance to prevent audio feedback incidents.
     Please take note of the following preventative measures in place to protect the health and safety of all participants, including the interpreters. Only use a black,approved earpiece. The former grey earpieces must no longer be used. Keep your earpiece away from all microphones at all times. When you're not using your earpiece, place it face down on the sticker on the table for this purpose.
    Thank you for your co-operation.
    Here are some Zoom reminders. Please wait until I recognize you by name before speaking. All comments should be addressed through the chair. Additionally, taking screenshots or taking photos of your screen is not permitted.
    We are resuming debate on the motion by Mr. Angus and on the amendment by Ms. Stubbs.
    I have an established speaking order from last day.
    Mr. Angus, I see that you're online and that your hand is up. I will put you on the speaking order.
     We will begin today's speaking order with MP Schiefke.
     The floor is yours, sir.
     Thank you very much, Chair.
    I appreciate the opportunity to conclude what I wanted to share with the committee at the previous meeting when we ran out of time.
    I had my last two points, Chair, that I wanted to add.
    One of the reasons the study we were working on before this motion was presented is so important for my community is the aspect of the discussion that we were having and were going to have regarding the electricity grid across the country, but more specifically, in our case, the resiliency of that grid—what exists and what needs to be put in place to meet the energy needs of not just Canadians today but also future generations of Canadians, and to make that transition to a greener, less carbon-intensive economy.
    The reason that's important for my community and the reason I truly want to conclude the study we're on first and foremost before we move on to any other business—unless it truly is about the safety and security of Canadians, at which point perhaps I would have a different approach—is that the study we're on, at least for members of my community, is about their safety and security.
    Since 2017—so in the last seven years, Chair—my community has experienced two once-in-a-century floods, one in 2017 and then again in 2019, in response to which our armed forces were asked to come to the aid of my citizens, to remove them from their homes and to put in place sand walls to protect their homes and to protect critical infrastructure from the rising water.
    That was in 2017 and 2019, and then, Chair, a couple of years later, just last year, we had an ice storm that caused a blackout across Quebec and southeastern Ontario and that resulted in hundreds of thousands of Quebeckers' losing power.
    My honourable colleague Mr. Simard remembers that, I'm sure.
    In my community, tens of thousands of people had no access to power. To compound that, as elected representatives—and I referenced this in the previous meeting, Chair—because the power went out and knocked out all of the transformers and all of the distribution lines for telecommunications at the same time, we couldn't even communicate with each other. I couldn't communicate with my provincial representatives, who couldn't communicate with the 13 mayors who make up my community. We couldn't coordinate our response.
    A role that I had taken very seriously was using my social media platforms to help share what the mayors were doing, which community centres were being opened, etc., and I wasn't even able to do that.
    It got to the point—and my team will remember this well—where every day for four days, I drove to Ottawa, just so I could have telecommunications, so that I wouldn't be the cause of a breakdown in communications with my fellow elected representatives. I would drive into Ottawa in the morning, spend the day trying to communicate with my elected representatives and then drive back home to be with my family overnight to make sure they were protected because we didn't have power overnight either.
    For me, the important aspect of this discussion is what we need to do to Canada's electrical grid right now to make it more resilient, to ensure that whatever we are investing in not only looks to the future but also addresses the challenges that communities like my community, Vaudreuil—Soulanges, are facing right now.
    Continuing the study we are on is paramount to me. I've said publicly—and I stated this three or four times in the previous meeting—that I am looking forward to doing the study that was put forward by Mr. Angus. When that time comes, I look forward to embarking on that debate and to asking important questions on behalf of my community, but to me, as a representative for Vaudreuil-Soulanges, one is paramount to the safety and security of my community, and one is not.
    The second point I want to address before I turn the floor over to the next speaker, is the economic benefits of that transition, of those investments that need to come and that are going to come in the next-generation electricity grid that we need to put in place and the next generation of clean energy that we need to put in place.

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     I feel that in that regard Quebec is a leader. Not only has Quebec been blessed with an abundance of hydroelectricity, which makes our electricity the cleanest in the world and which is why companies are coming here to establish their factories and businesses, whether it's the cleanest aluminum produced in the world, battery manufacturing plants or mining....
     They're setting up here because they know that to produce whatever they're going to produce and to be able to trade with our American and European counterparts, which are all putting in place stringent measures to ensure the products they're producing are as green as they can possibly be and requiring imports in the future to be the same.... Quebec is not just resting on that but is looking for ways to build on that and maximize that access to the cleanest electricity that exists in the world.
     An example of that is the analysis that was done of transitioning to green technology. The Quebec government said that we have the capacity to produce certain things and we don't have the capacity to produce other things. For the things that we can't produce, how can we build that in-house capacity to build what we need to build here to reach our carbon targets and make sure we continue to be one of the greenest places to produce electricity and to produce goods and then sell those goods in the market?
     A good example of that, Mr. Simard, I'm sure, is—
    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
     Mr. Schiefke, I will ask you to pause for a moment. We have a point of order from Mr. Falk.
     Thank you.
     I'd just like to acknowledge that Mr. Maloney has joined our committee. He was the former chair of this committee six years ago when we did a study on exactly what Mr. Schiefke is asking for. It was on electrical interchanges and interties.
     I'm hoping he's on the speakers list, Mr. Chair, because I'd love to get an update from Mr. Maloney as to exactly what has been done by this Liberal government since the last study.

(18345)

    Thank you.
     I can tell you on the point of order, just to clarify, that the study is on Canada's electricity grid, not on interchanges and interties. There's a bit of a difference there, but I appreciate, on your point of order, that if Mr. Maloney wants to participate, he has the opportunity to do so.
     I am going to go back to Mr. Schiefke because he's been patiently waiting to continue with his debate.
     I'm here to listen to him.
    Thank you very much, Chair. It's much appreciated.
    Continuing with what I was saying, there are economic opportunities here that can benefit every single one of our ridings across the country in every single province and territory.
    A great example of maximizing the benefits of a green economy is Quebec. Quebec looked at the entire board and said, “In addition to the fact that we have one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world, how can we also put in place the manufacturing capacity to build all of the other components that we need to build to be able to have a zero-emissions transport sector, a zero-emissions industrial sector?” A good example that I was about to share is Lion Électrique.

[Translation]

    This is a $100-million investment we made in collaboration with the Government of Quebec. We found that there was a shortage of entirely electric school buses and that they were being produced elsewhere.
    Quebec said that they could produce them. The federal government and the Province of Quebec each invested $50 million to produce clean energy school buses, which my children take every morning to go to school. That created thousands of well-paid jobs in Quebec. There's one example for us. Why can't it be followed elsewhere in the country?

[English]

     In the last meeting before my NDP colleague had put forward this motion, the testimony that was given stated that Canada is at the will and the whim of the international capacity to build transmission lines, and apparently the backlog, according to the witness, was several years. In addition to our willingness to invest and make that transition, we also have to look at the challenge that exists internationally about getting the products necessary to put in place the equipment necessary to make that transition and to build projects like the one that we're looking to build and, hopefully, are going to build in Atlantic Canada to bring clean electricity to Atlantic Canadian provinces.
    These are opportunities that are on the table right now where, if we have the opportunity to ask these experts, we can get that testimony and determine this is an opportunity for us. If the world can't build it for us, maybe we can invest to build in-house, creating thousands of well-paying jobs while also making the transition to a cleaner electricity grid and one—as I said, this is important to my community—that is more resilient.
    I am hopeful we can continue the study that we're on, although, based on the remarks that have been shared by my Conservative, Bloc and NDP colleagues, it looks like that will not be the case, and it's unfortunate. However, I felt it necessary to at least explain why, for the people of Vaudreuil—Soulanges, continuing on the study we embarked on, which looks at the electricity grid of tomorrow from a sustainability standpoint, from an economic opportunity standpoint and from a resiliency standpoint, is more important to us and is one that I think we should continue on and not delay.
    With that, Chair and colleagues, thank you for your patience in allowing me to share with you why this is important for me.
    I turn the floor over to the next speaker.
    Thank you, sir.
     Thank you, MP Schiefke.
    If you do have more to add later on, feel free to raise your hand and I will put you on the list. That was an enlightening intervention on your communities. I'm glad I learned more about the challenges of electricity, and you brought that information to committee.
     Thank you.
    Ms. Dabrusin, you are next and you have the floor.
     Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I have to say that I really appreciate everything I've heard from my colleagues. Mr. Jowhari had quite a bit to share. I know the reason he joined this committee, in fact, is that he has a deep interest in this study about electricity, so it's wonderful to have him here. I know he has hosted meetings and been particularly engaged on this file. It was interesting to hear his perspective on it, and also to hear about the deeply local impact of what we're talking about. Sometimes we spend a lot of time focusing on the national and bigger picture. To hear how this issue has such a deep impact on local communities, like Mr. Schiefke said, is a very helpful point.
    I'm going to remind everyone here that I support the motion brought by Mr. Angus. I believe I can say that on behalf of all of my colleagues here. We're happy to go ahead with that motion. The question we're debating today is the amendment that was proposed by the Conservatives: that we, after having prepared for this study on electricity and having invited witnesses.... In fact, just last week, when we had witnesses here, they weren't able to complete the testimony they were here to give. We cut them short because of this motion, which is deeply unfortunate. I always feel so terrible when we have witnesses come who prepare, take time out of their day to be here and share their knowledge with us, but get side-swiped.
    I really wish there had been a way for the motion and amendment to have been brought at the end of that day, so we could have heard from those witnesses. I believe everyone here has said they're good to bring that panel back. I would say that's a great idea. We should bring them back at the first moment possible. Again, we committed to the study. It's a study everyone around this table who's a member of the committee agreed to do. We prepared to do it, so why not do that? Then we can get to the study that was brought by Mr Angus.
    I will add, though, that there will be some amendments. I said this in the first instance when I spoke. There are some amendments we'll be proposing, particularly around making sure communities' voices are heard on Mr Angus's study. That's jumping ahead. It's putting the cart before the horse, to some extent. Right now, we're still debating the amendment brought by the Conservatives that says, “That's it. Pens down. We can't continue the study on clean electricity that you are ready to do. We're going to jump ahead to this new study.” It's a bit like watching some video games—the fast movement of things, where suddenly you have to change over to a new station.
    I feel this electricity study we embarked upon is critically important in this moment for our country. It's timely. There is no time like now to get started on it. This is an issue that is so important to communities right across the country. It goes to the energy needs of the future of our country, and I will talk to you a bit about that. It goes to employment issues in our country and job possibilities. I'll also be happy to expand a bit more on that. It goes to the need to plan. If we push it off, we're losing some precious time. We, as a committee, could have some input into that planning for clean electricity. On that, I can't see why we wouldn't want to seize the opportunity now and make sure we can help in that planning process.
    That's one of the things I treasure about committees. They give parliamentarians from all parties an opportunity to hear from witnesses and test what we hear by asking questions. They give us an opportunity to hear from each other. I often say, in my own community, that there are two bubbles. Absolutely, there's an Ottawa bubble, where we hear what we hear. You have to go back to your local communities to hear what people on the ground are thinking and caring about, and their needs.

(18350)

     I'll add one more piece. There is also sometimes a bubble in our own communities. We come to Ottawa and we get to hear from each other about how things translate differently in different parts of the country. I think that's one thing we can forget. We have a very large country. We have a beautiful country, but our experiences are different from coast to coast to coast. I treasure, when I'm here, that I get the opportunity to hear from people and to learn more about their communities.
    When we're talking about this issue—we embarked upon our study on electricity—that looks different. How are we going to manage these changes, the increased needs for electricity? How do we get to a net-zero grid? How do we support each other across different provinces and territories? This brings in that very regional experience that is very important to all of us.
    If we're looking at the timeline, I believe the last time we met, Mr. Jowhari was talking about 25 years as a running timeline for what we're looking at. Mr. Angus, I think, questioned that—at least that was the way I understood it. Isn't 25 years a long time? So what's the rush?
    In fact, when I talk with people in the industry about electricity, 25 years is not that long. There are many different reasons for that, but if I were going to use an example, permitting aside, just the construction time for many of these projects is really quite long. You don't build different electricity projects just like that.
     One example is that of the Site C dam in B.C. Construction began in the summer of 2015. That's the construction date. I'm not talking about permitting timelines; I'm talking about when they began construction. The completion date is now 2025. That's 10 years for the construction of a project. That gives you an idea.
    A twenty-five-year window, when you're talking about hearing from all of the experts about what the needs are, what it's going to look like.... Hydroelectricity, obviously, doesn't work in every part of our country. Different needs and different forms of energy are going to have to be looked at. Even once that plan is laid out, there will be the time working with local communities and stakeholders to get their input. Then there's the part about permits, and then finally construction. It's really important to take into account that none of these projects turns on a dime and happens very quickly.
     I would say that when we look at what different people are saying about the need to plan ahead.... In fact, Bruce Power is a very important source of power in Ontario. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Nuclear is what helped Ontario move from coal-fired electricity to a cleaner form of electricity. That made huge changes. We're talking about health implications. We're talking about emissions implications. It got rid of our smog days. It was a big change. That didn't happen overnight.
    Bruce Power was saying that nuclear refurbishment projects require meticulous planning and coordination. These are multi-year projects that demand precision and thoroughness to ensure safety and efficiency. We must take the time to plan every detail to deliver clean, reliable power for decades to come.
    Again, to that point, we could push this study off for years, but the time is now if we're talking about how we make sure we're planning for an electrical system that's going to be well thought out and that's going to provide us the clean electricity we need. There's no question that we're going to need a lot more clean electricity. It's, in fact, where the world is moving.
     I was looking at this really interesting study by the International Energy Agency. They put out a study called “Strategies for Affordable and Fair Clean Energy Transitions”.

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     I find that to be an interesting perspective. I was talking about coast to coast to coast, but it's not just our country that's looking at how to get to clean electricity. In fact, the world is looking at these issues and what the energy needs will be. One great thing for our economy—I can touch on that a little more in a bit—is that Canada is already ahead of the curve. This is something we should all be proud of. Ontario, having made that switch from coal-fired electricity, is a big example of how we got there. By numbers, if I have it correctly, I believe we're already at about 84% clean electricity here in Canada. Hydro in Quebec is a big piece of that. We've already seen a massive transition across our electricity grid that puts us ahead of a lot of other countries across the world. It's the last 16% we have to plan for. That's the hardest 16% for us to get to. When we look around, the world is going in that direction.
    I was looking at the letter written, as part of the special report, by Dr. Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency. In that opening letter, he writes the following:
As we consider the energy technology pathways available for communities and countries worldwide, it is essential to keep in mind that many of the clean and efficient choices are also the most cost-effective ones—typically because they require much lower day-to-day spending on fuels to operate. Putting the world on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050 requires additional investment but also reduces the operating costs of the global energy system by more than half over the next decade compared with a trajectory based on today's policy settings, this special report shows.
    Really, it's also a very important piece about how, if we care about affordability.... I know all the members around this table should care about affordability. Certainly, that's something that gets raised by people in my community. They care about clean environment and looking after emissions, but they also care about energy affordability. In fact, the things we're talking about are questions we could have asked those witnesses who came to us and who, unfortunately, we were unable to hear from. These are witnesses we can still call and should call. We had planned to call them. Those witnesses would be able to talk to us about the planning required and energy affordability.
    In fact, I was able to ask some questions about that already. We were already starting to get some of those important insights. Those are the insights the people in our communities want to hear about—what we need to do to get to a clean electrical grid, what we need to do to have a reliable electrical grid, and what we need to do to have an affordable electrical grid. It's good to put it in context. This isn't something that's happening just in Canada. It's happening around the world, and it's something that has potential to bring cost savings to Canadians. Why we would put off those cost savings, I'm not sure. I'm not sure why we would put off saving money on electricity bills and energy bills for Canadians, but apparently that's where we're at—putting it on hold and going to another study now.
     The other piece that came to my mind when I was reflecting on why it's so important we do this now is on planning for the employment needs of Canada's electricity future. We don't pause and think about it enough. When we bring in our next set of witnesses, I'm going to want to hear more from them about that very issue. At this committee, we had the sustainable jobs bill. It was a bill that I thought Mr. Angus was very much in support of.

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     I'm surprised that he wouldn't want to seize this opportunity here for us to talk more about the sustainable jobs that come along with a clean electrical grid and about all of the work that's being done by the people who could come here as witnesses to talk to us about it. I thought that would be something of very great interest. I know that I'm interested in it. If I could, I'll give an example again.
     Just recently, to show the forward thinking that we must have and the kinds of changes that are coming, on International Women's Day, March 8, I went to a graduation. It was a very special graduation, because for the first time it was a graduating class of women millwrights—only women.
     It was specifically a program that was targeted to ensuring that women have the opportunity to get these new clean jobs of the future. They traditionally have been under-represented, in this case in millwrighting, but in many different skilled trades women are under-represented still to this day. This was a program where OPG, along with the millwrights, took that moment, and in a very thoughtful approach, said, “How are we going to do better?”
     These are clean sustainable jobs of the future.

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    I have a point of order.
     How do we make sure that we create those opportunities?
    This graduating class was a project that was done alongside Ontario Power Generation.
    Mr. Angus, please go ahead on your point of order.
    I'm sorry. I know everybody was so fascinated by the talk of International Women's Day that people might have dozed off for a second.
     We're talking about the TMX pipeline.
     I'm just asking Ms. Dabrusin, out of respect, whether she is going to talk out the clock until 5:30. I might need a sandwich or something. If she's ragging the puck, I'm fine with that. She can rag the puck until the end of June. We're not going to go away from this.
     I'd just like her to maybe indicate whether or not we have to keep paying attention to her interesting commentary on International Women's Day and cellphones.... It was her previous colleague with cellphones, I think, and buses, you know...all that stuff. Are they doing this until 5:30 and then in the next meeting and the next meeting? It doesn't matter to me. I just would like to get a sense of it.
    Thank you, Chair.
     Thank you, Mr. Angus.
     On your point of order, procedurally Ms. Dabrusin does have the floor and can debate as she wishes, obviously relating it back to the discussion we're having on the motion that's presented, but on the rationale on the amendment and on why the study is important and in what order.
    Ms. Dabrusin, I'll turn it back to you to continue.
     Thank you so much, Mr. Chair.
    I thank Mr. Angus for that intervention, because it gives me a chance to clarify exactly what the point is that I've been making. He's free to grab a sandwich while I talk to him about that. It's not about his study—which, again, I support. It's about the fact that there is an amendment proposed that means we don't get to go ahead with a study we were engaged in, which our committee had agreed to do and already begun to call witnesses on. I am speaking about that amendment. I'm very open if Mr. Angus would like to tell me he will help me in convincing the members opposite to drop that amendment. We can then adopt his motion. Like I said, I have some amendments to propose. I don't think they'll be very controversial. Then we could adopt that motion. We could complete the electricity study and move on to his. In fact, that would be a faster way to go about things.
    As far as I know, unless he and the members opposite are willing to give me a thumbs-up that the amendment is being dropped, I need to explain, in very clear detail, why it's so important we deal with clean electricity in an urgent way. I looked around. I appreciate, Mr. Chair, that you looked around the table to see if there was a thumbs-up. I didn't see buy-in to drop the amendment, so it looks like we'll continue to keep trying to encourage the members opposite to think about why we should be working on this electricity study, not bumping it forever into the future. We should be proceeding with the electricity study now, because these issues are important.
    I believe I left off with the graduation of a class of women millwrights for Ontario Power Generation. The reason I raised it is that it goes to some of the forward thinking and planning happening now regarding sustainable jobs and employment in the electricity sector and how we're making sure we're prepared for the changes coming to that sector, so Canadians are able to seize those job opportunities—even better, how we make sure under-represented groups in many of these Canadian trades have those opportunities and seize them.
    What was great about this graduating class of women millwrights—it was quite a lovely graduation at Ontario Power Generation—was that all those women got a job at the Darlington refurbishment immediately upon graduation. In fact, in order to make sure they were best supported, they put them on shifts so they would be working as a group that could be supported together. I'll have to give a big shout-out to the millwrights for providing that kind of supportive environment. I think it's a good enough way of coordinating that program so it provides a bit of a framework for the future, in terms of what that could look like.
    Again, Mr. Angus has shown very strong interest in sustainable jobs and in supporting our unions to make sure they have a seat at the table in planning for those sustainable jobs. This is a very good example of that. It's a good example of the power of unions and supporting skilled trades so they can get that planning done for the sustainable jobs of the future. That's why I wanted to highlight it as one of those great examples I have seen in the community in Ontario, which is my home province.

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    What I found really interesting too, because we're talking about it, is that Electricity Human Resources Canada—and I hope we're able to hear from them—did an entire study specifically on the issue of the employment needs we'll be facing in the electricity industry going forward and the planning we'll have to do. Why is it important that we do this study now and start looking at the labour force and supply chain needs? What are the impacts of delay and the different decisions we could make?
    I was looking through their study, and as an opening piece, I thought it would be really helpful, to put some context to this, to read a message from Electricity Human Resources Canada and Ontario Power Generation. They say:
Our sector employs more than 110,000 people across Canada who are responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Vast teams of skilled workers are there for Canadians 24/7 in communities nation-wide—keeping millions of homes and businesses powered up.
    I think that very much goes to the point raised by Mr. Schiefke. These are the workers who make sure we have electricity and energy in our homes and through different crises we face in different moments. They're talking about those jobs as we go forward.
    They go on to say:
However, Canada's electricity sector is experiencing change on an unprecedented scale. Decarbonization and expansion of electrification initiatives are driving investments for clean, affordable and reliable energy to address climate change for a healthier planet. New technologies for smart homes and smart cities, electrical vehicle integration, small modular reactors (SMRs), and the increasing need for energy efficiency and energy storage are all factors that are reshaping how we generate, deliver, and use electricity.
    By the way, all of those are things we could be asking witnesses about and studying—the impact of these new technologies, energy efficiency and how they are “reshaping how we generate, deliver, and use electricity.” That's what I'd like to know and that's what I would like to ask witnesses about. Unfortunately, right now it looks like that study will be bumped and we won't get answers to those questions.
    They go on to say:
As we work to reduce climate change emissions, there will be a tremendous impact on the labour market for Canada's electricity sector. This transformation will require workers with different skill sets and new knowledge—many more than are employed currently—as new priorities on clean growth and electrification change the human resources landscape.
The two key drivers of total workforce demand are retirements, followed closely by growth in the sector, which currently outpaces the broader Canadian economy.
     I'd like to pause on that for a moment, because it's quite a bit to say that the “growth in the sector...outpaces the broader Canadian economy.” That gives you a sense of the breadth of what we're talking about here. We're talking about some very big, momentous changes that are happening in electricity. I really look forward to hearing witnesses talk about that.
    They go on to say, “Currently in our sector the number of veteran workers outnumbers youth by a multiple of three to one.” Let me repeat that. They say that one of the key drivers for workforce demand is retirements. Veteran workers outnumber youth “by a multiple of three to one”, and that's quite the number for us to keep an eye on.
    They also say:
Further, with technology changes in the industry, layering digital on top of analog, and integrating more data for decision-making in a context of an increasingly destabilized geopolitical world—the role of information communications technology continues to grow and competition for these workers will be intense.

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    This is a key part, because I was talking about why now is the time to do the study and how important it is that we do the study now rather than push it off.
    They say:
The lead time to create or adjust education and training courses is often significant. Indeed, it takes detailed knowledge of the current labour market context and training curricula grounded in competency requirements of industry to adequately adjust educational offerings on a regional, and national level. While historical occupations in the sector are well-established, new growth roles, particularly in renewable occupations, require better alignment with industry needs – and more capacity to turn out qualified applicants.
    That goes to the point I've been saying, which is that there are big changes afoot. Frankly, they're happening regardless. We have a choice of whether we want to be part of the planning for that and whether we want to be part of making sure that we have a say on behalf of all of our communities in how that looks, how we make sure people in our communities have those opportunities and how we can make sure we have the right plans in place.
    They go through this piece, and then they say:
Realizing a net zero future will require a coordinated effort. It has never been more important for industry, labour, post-secondary, and policymakers—
    That would be us.
—to look at how we regulate, approve, build, operate and maintain our electricity system.
    Their report focuses on one piece of that:
This report focuses on the people who will ensure the continued reliability and stability of Canada's electricity sector while supporting environmental progress and sustainability in the 21st century.
    I feel that there's more we can think about and speak about when it comes to that issue, but I think it's important to put a pin in that for all of us to think about: What is the importance of taking a moment for planning and really thinking about how this goes?
    We could be bringing in these experts. I'll keep saying it: We have an opportunity. We could be bringing in experts to speak with us, but if this amendment goes through, we don't get that opportunity, and that would be unfortunate.
    I'm going to go into that piece a bit more, but before I do, I was taken by something that was raised. I think it was Mr. Patzer, but I could be wrong, who said that we haven't been doing anything. I think what we have been doing on electricity even came up today, and the answer to that is that so much has been done on electricity.

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    Ms. Dabrusin, we have a point of order from Mr. Patzer.
    Mr. Patzer on a point of order.
    I haven't had the floor yet today, so I haven't made any comments up until this point in time. It was a witness, in the first and only meeting we had on the study, who said there's been nothing done since that report. At the time, Mr. Maloney was the chair of the committee that did a report on this. That's where those comments and remarks came from.
    Thank you, Mr. Patzer, for your point of clarification, but I'll remind members at this time that points of order are not for debate.
    It was a clarification.
    That's just a reminder for everybody—not just you, Mr. Patzer, but others as well—to use points of order for procedural items. It's a good reminder.
     Ms. Dabrusin, I'm going back to you.
    It's a great reminder. It hearkens back, actually, to why it is so important to hear from witnesses and then to ask them follow-up questions. After people from one of the parties ask questions, we have several rounds, as you know, Mr. Chair, because you are the person who helps us keep organized on all of that. We go through several rounds of questions. That means maybe one person from one party has six minutes or five minutes—I can't remember if it's two and a half minutes—depending on the different ways we do these things as we go around. That gives us an opportunity to test what was said and to maybe dive deeper. Unfortunately, we didn't have that opportunity, because our panel was cut short. We didn't get the opportunity to ask any further questions to build on that.
    That's too bad. I would have wanted more clarity, particularly in light of what we've done over the past several years. I would say that budget 2023 in particular had a massive investment and policy direction on electricity. When we're asked what we have done on electricity, you can look at budget 2023. A lot happened in there.
    The Premier of the Northwest Territories was talking about budget 2023 and said:
Building a clean economy is another area of focus in the 2023 federal budget. The Northwest Territories is a jurisdiction with great energy and critical mineral potential but we have a small population and limited financial resources. We can't address our infrastructure challenges alone, and the Government of Canada is a key partner in this journey. Budget 2023 specifically references the ability to support clean electricity projects across the north including the Taltson Hydro Expansion Project.
    There you go. That's a regional example of what we're doing when it comes to clean electricity and what has happened in even the past few years.
    We can look at the Minister of Finance for the Government of Ontario:
The Government of Canada’s 2023 budget provides significant support responding to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act with investment tax credits in clean electricity, including small modular reactors, and clean technology manufacturing and extraction of critical minerals. We also welcome the federal government’s investment in its Strategic Innovation Fund to support the development and application for clean technologies.
    That's an interesting tie-in, because we started off with a study talking about our response to the Inflation Reduction Act. That's something we have worked on here. When we look at what the Minister of Finance for the Government of Ontario said, specifically there was a reference to our investment tax credits in clean electricity. That's some of what the Government of Canada is doing when it's talking about electricity.
    Let's go to Alberta. Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, said, “Alberta unions have been urging the federal government to seize the opportunities associated with the unfolding paradigm shift in the global economy. And we urged them to keep up with the incentives in the American Inflation Reduction Act. Today, they delivered.” That's quite the shout-out. It refers to the global economy, which is something I talked about when I referred to the International Energy Agency's report. It also talks about how unions responded and saw that we were stepping up and doing the work they wanted to see in that area.

(18425)

    We could have heard more from Electricity Canada, and it's deeply unfortunate that we weren't able to. However, in response to budget 2023, they said, “#Budget2023 makes transformative investments in the affordability of Canada’s electricity system. The new Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit will help Canada’s electricity sector build the clean, affordable, & reliable grid that we need.”
     I would have liked to ask about that. When the question about what the federal government has done was asked, Electricity Canada said that we were making “transformative investments in the affordability of Canada's electricity system”. That's what we have done. That's what we have been doing. That is what our focus has been, and it has been developed by listening to stakeholders, people working in the industry and unions working in the industry. We have developed this groundwork, and that is a good example of the type of work we have been doing.
     However, I didn't get a chance to ask about any that. We didn't get to follow up on it because the study was cut short. That's why the amendment being proposed by the Conservatives is so troublesome. It just cuts us short, with no ability to follow up on some of these points and see what the next steps are, what other planning needs to be done, where we go from here and how to make sure we set this all in, with our voices—the people at this table—making recommendations as to next steps.
     We talked about, as I have been mentioning, the emissions piece. I have been focused a lot more on the affordability piece, but this is also about the environment, as we're talking about electricity and our electrical grid. What did the David Suzuki Foundation have to say about it?
    Mr. Jeremy Patzer: They're very credible.
    Ms. Julie Dabrusin: I hear Mr. Patzer questioning their credibility. I was asking what they say about this because I believe they're a strong voice when we're talking about the environment.
    What did the David Suzuki Foundation say? I will tell you. They said, “Historic investments in clean electricity in the 2023 budget could make Canada a global leader in the clean economy. But there's still work to do”. We need to keep on working. Just to paraphrase, they said we need to ensure that effective policies are in place to address the climate crisis.
    Historic investments could make us a global leader, but there's more work to do. Let's talk about what more work we need to do. Let's make sure that we bring witnesses forward and get to know more about what we need to do. Unfortunately, if we cut this study short, we won't get to ask those questions. We won't get to hear that expertise. We won't get to make recommendations.
    It seems so simple to me when I think about it. We just have to drop this amendment, adopt the motion and talk about some amendments and how we make sure that community voices, for example, are included. Then we can move on. We can hear from all the people we want to hear from on clean electricity, and then we can move on. Unfortunately, for some reason, that's being put to the wayside with this amendment.
    I think we should also talk about—because I have talked about nuclear as we have had these conversations—what the Canadian Nuclear Association had to say about budget 2023. Again, I'm raising this because a question was raised. I wasn't able to follow up and ask any more questions of the panel, but—

(18430)

    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    Ms. Dabrusin, we have a point of order.
    Mr. Patzer, go ahead.
     I think my colleague would find this quite fascinating. Mr. Suzuki is on record as saying that the Prime Minister is an “out-and-out liar” who doesn't deserve another chance.
     I just wanted to put that on the record so that when she references the David Suzuki Foundation, she knows who she's talking about.
     Mr. Patzer, you're on the speaking list. The perfect time to provide those remarks and others is when you have the floor. A point of order is for procedural items. I just wanted to remind you of that.
    It's about relevance.
    Ms. Dabrusin, the floor goes back to you.
     I wait with bated breath to see environmental organizations clamouring to give the Conservatives any endorsements, but I appreciate that input from Mr. Patzer. Maybe it's worth having a good conversation about how we can make sure to have strong environmental policies. I'd be happy to talk with him about the importance of certainty in the market and carbon pricing, if he wants, at another moment. Right now, though, we're talking about clean electricity, and I'm going to stay focused on the study, because it is an important study we have in front of us. It's a study I would like to see us go ahead with.
    A question was put about what the Canadian government has done when it comes to electricity and any other piece that has come into all of this is. What I was trying to get to was whether we've had the chance to ask the witnesses about that. What have they seen? What did they like? What would they like to see more of? Have we had that chance? The answer is no, and we won't have that chance if this amendment goes forward.
    That's why I am going to keep pushing for this and really encourage members opposite to think about that. What are the kinds of questions we would love to ask of these witnesses if we get to call back these panels? Don't we all think that's an important thing for us to be thinking about?
    I have had the opportunity to meet with the Canadian Nuclear Association and share our firm commitment to nuclear as part of the energy mix we need as we move to a net-zero grid. They said:
The Canadian nuclear industry is encouraged by the Government’s commitment to nuclear playing an increasingly significant role in the country’s energy mix. While additional steps must be taken to ensure that all clean energy technologies receive equal and fair treatment, today’s budget is a significant step to ensuring that Canada remain a global leader in the advancement of this critically important clean energy technology.
     We're talking about nuclear, and I was talking about the global context with the International Energy Agency as well. It's important to point out that Canada has a part to play in supporting our allies and like-minded countries when they're looking at how they get these clean, affordable forms of energy. How can we support them?
    We have quite the deal set up with Romania, which is not only creating jobs for Canadians in the nuclear field, but also helping to support Romania in building out more nuclear capacity. That helps keep them away from any reliance on Russian oil and gas. It allows them to help support their neighbours.
    It's really important, then, when we're talking about what we're doing with electricity in our own grid, to recognize that there is an expertise we've developed here in Canada that's sought after by other countries. This is a tribute to Canadian workers, expertise and know-how. I just wanted to point out that piece too.
     Let's look at the executive director of Clean Energy Canada and talk about what our competitive advantages are. As I just mentioned, there's the investing we did with Romania and other examples like that, but there's also our electrical capacity here in Canada. Budget 2023 was foundational for clean electricity investments. It was a foundational budget.

(18435)

    The executive director of Clean Energy Canada said:
Budget 2023 is a carefully considered hand. While the transition to clean energy is a nation-building project that won’t be complete in one fell swoop, Tuesday’s budget—
    That was budget 2023.
—builds on Canada’s pre-existing climate measures while injecting capital into a clean industrial strategy, helping secure our nation’s many competitive advantages.
    To pick up on a point in there, it's not going to be complete in one fell swoop. What I've been trying to drive home in so many ways is that many steps and much planning will be needed by industry, and predictability is going to be needed by government, by unions and by colleges and universities. There will have to be thinking about what we are looking for in the growth of our electrical grid and what we will need to do.
    It's not going to be done in one fell swoop, but with respect to budget 2023, the question came up. I wasn't able to follow up on it to get another answer or to put these questions to witnesses. That's something I would have wanted to do. I didn't get that chance. I hope I will before we're done this sitting, before we get to the end of June.
    If I get the chance, if this amendment doesn't go forward, I will be asking about that. It can't be done in one fell swoop, but how do the investments in budget 2023 translate into the needs, into the capacity? How do they help us get to the clean grid? Clearly it's a monumental task for our country. I was really interested in learning more about that piece.
    We're still talking about budget 2023,and it was really foundational for clean electricity. As the president and CEO of the International Institute for Sustainable Development said:
The funding commitments in this budget for clean electricity and fresh water are unprecedented. Taken together with support for climate adaptation, this puts Canada on strong footing in the global race to net-zero while protecting the health of its people and the planet for generations to come
    It would have been good to ask witnesses about that as well. The budget commitments put Canada on a strong footing. What does that look like in terms of the next steps? I hope we will get to ask more questions about that.
    I mentioned the importance of unions. I'm really surprised...given Mr. Angus's deep interest in sustainable jobs and making sure we have unions and labour—the voices of workers—at the table. I think this study on clean electricity would give us a chance to hear more from our unions about what they need from workers and what they need to see as we move forward.
    However, let's talk about budget 2023 again, because there was also the question of what we have done on electricity. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers also made a statement about budget 2023. They said:
The IBEW’s 70,000 members in Canada strongly support the Government of Canada’s 2023 Federal Budget which delivers the tools to tackle climate change and create well-paying, high-quality union jobs in Canada that can support Canadian workers and their families
    That's quite the statement. When I hear that, I hear 70,000 members. That's a lot of people.

(18440)

    They're talking about how the 2023 budget, which had such an important investment in electricity, was delivering the tools not only to tackle climate change but also to create well-paying, high-quality union jobs in Canada to support Canadian workers and their families. We're talking about affordability, making sure we have a strong economy, and the future of our country. Those are all things we should be looking towards. Fighting climate change and making sure Canadians have well-paying, quality jobs to support their families build strong communities. When I have a chance to bring an amendment to the motion brought by Mr. Angus, I'll want to make sure those community voices are included in the study, because I think it's so important we do that. I think we need to take one peek more at that piece.
     We have different perspectives, as I said, in different parts of the country. The president of the Business Council of Alberta was also able to comment on budget 2023. He said:
This budget takes some important steps toward unlocking the investments needed for Canada to meet its environmental and growth ambitions. These steps include not just investment incentives in areas like hydrogen and carbon capture (CCUS), but also positive early signals on important issues like accelerating regulatory processes and establishing contracts for differences.
     By the way, “contracts for differences” are about carbon pricing, in case that needs some explanation. That's about making sure there's certainty in carbon pricing for industry when they're looking at how to move forward.
    What I'm hearing from the president of the business council when I read this is that budget 2023, from this federal government, was supporting the environment. I've underlined a few times the importance of the environment and emissions when we're talking about electricity and our growth ambitions. When I think about the next generation, I'm thinking about how we make sure we support growth possibilities and job possibilities. How do we make sure we have a strong economy for the future?
     The electrical grid is going to play an important role in that. It's literally the backbone to everything we do. We heard Mr. Schiefke talk about what was happening in his community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges to make sure there's a strong, reliable and affordable grid. That's what people in his community and all of our communities are asking for. That's an important piece.
    I believe there was also a question about studies that were previously done on interties. What's happened? What's new? Well, I'm very happy that I get to make another comment about budget 2023. Again, budget 2023, put forward by our Liberal government, was foundational on electricity and clean electricity.
     The Nukik Corporation said:
Federal Budget 2023 establishes an important pathway for major clean inter-tie transmission projects through, for example, the recapitalization funding for the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program to support critical regional priorities and Indigenous-led projects, and add transmission projects to the program's eligibility.
     I'm going to talk a bit more about the SREP program, as it's called for short. The smart renewables and electrification pathways program is a bit of a mouthful. It has been such a foundational and important program. I hear about it all the time, actually, because of all the different little projects it supports right across our country that help build the building blocks we need for clean electricity. I wanted to highlight that because it's an important perspective that goes to the intertie question that was asked.

(18445)

    Another piece on budget 2023 comes from Andrew Weaver, the former leader of the B.C. Green Party. He said he was thrilled with the Liberal Party's budget, that it was “visionary & reflects the new reality that prosperity is local & grounded in cleantech, clean power, innovation and creativity. Building on our strategic strengths and the integrated North American market I give it a solid A!” I always like getting an A. It's like a gold star, and there we go; we got that.
    This is someone who cares a lot about the environment. I've brought some perspectives from the Northwest Territories, from Alberta and from Ontario, and this is a perspective on budget 2023 from British Columbia, so that's right across our country, coast to coast to coast. We'll get a few chances to talk about some other parts of our country as we go forward.
    People saw budget 2023 as a very exciting and important investment and building block for electricity. Again, if only we could ask questions of all these people as part of the study. Imagine all the people I have mentioned so far. If only we could hear from them and ask them what they see now. They saw the building blocks we put in budget 2023. They've seen the programs. What now? What do we do now to support those good-paying jobs, make sure we reduce emissions across our country and do what we need to do? On clean electricity, what are the opportunities they see for those jobs? What are the opportunities they see for attracting investment to our country? Unfortunately, I can't get to that right now, but I'll have an opportunity, I'm sure, to talk about how so many industries from other countries, when they're making a decision about where to invest, consider that a clean electrical grid, a net-zero electrical grid, is an important part of that.
     Really, this is about the environment. It's about growth. It's about jobs. It's about affordability. As I said, even the International Energy Agency supports this. These are important things for us to be thinking about, planning for, asking questions about and making recommendations on. We can't do any of that if this amendment goes forward. We won't get a chance to ask all those questions. We won't get a chance to put forward witnesses to share these thoughts. It's really too bad.
    Let me also look at what some other people have said about budget 2023. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I'm so excited when I read these endorsements about our budget. This input makes me very excited about how foundational it was for clean electricity.
    The question of what this Liberal government has done for electricity has come up, so let me keep reading, because more people have had some great statements.
    Let's go with The Pembina Institute. The Pembina Institute said this about the federal Liberal budget of 2023:
This budget makes Canada competitive with the U.S.'s Inflation Reduction Act and Europe's Green Deal Industrial Plan, in terms of investment in climate. It ensures Canadian workers can benefit from the significant economic opportunities presented by clean electricity, energy efficient building retrofits, zero-emission vehicle manufacturing, and the production and refining of critical minerals.
     It's another organization commenting about how budget 2023 supported Canadian workers, provided economic opportunities and was an investment in climate. These are the kinds of things I want to talk with my constituents about when I go home. What would I want to say? It's something of importance we've done to leave behind. These are the kinds of things I want to be talking about.

(18450)

     I want to be talking about how, yes, I took action on climate. Yes, I helped create good-paying jobs. Yes, I was part of a government that made sure we were growing the economy and doing all of these important things. These are the kinds of thing that, if this amendment had not been put forward, I would be asking more about.
    On another piece, I think you had heard me talking earlier about the millwright program and that tremendous group of women millwrights who graduated and were getting jobs with Ontario Power Generation to work on the Darlington refurbishment. What did Ontario Power Generation have to say about federal Liberal budget 2023 and its investments and planning for the electricity of the future for our country? They said this:
OPG welcomes and applauds the Federal Government's support for clean energy initiatives, including for nuclear and hydroelectric projects. This is a tremendous step towards achieving our net-zero goals.
     I've talked a few times now about the importance of nuclear in Ontario. It's not right for every part of our country, but there are parts of our country where it forms an important part of what a clean electrical grid needs to be. I would like to have been able to ask more questions about that. We just had a little snippet. It was gone. If we'd had the opportunity, I would have asked more about what that mix looks like in different provinces.
    That statement by Ontario Power Generation also refers to hydroelectric. If you're from a province like Quebec or British Columbia, you have opportunities for hydroelectric. Other provinces and other territories might have those opportunities as well, but that takes planning. I mentioned the timeline for the Site C dam. What was it, about 10 years? It was about 10 years just on construction, right? Not in one fell swoop do you do this. You need the time and the planning and the figuring out of the right energy mix for each part of our country from coast to coast to coast.
    Speaking of coast to coast to coast, I'm back to Alberta. Let's look at what the mayor of Edmonton, Amarjeet Sohi, said about budget 2023. He said, “The incentives to support renewable energy, hydrogen and growth in the clean tech sector will help grow and decarbonize our economy, while creating well-paying middle class jobs.”
    Again, there's a focus on growth of the economy and well-paying, middle-class jobs. I think that should be something we all share as things that we would want to see and learn more about in terms of how we can keep investing in it.
    The reason I'm going through these statements, Mr. Chair, is that a question was raised: Has this federal Liberal government done anything on electricity? Time and time again, as I'm going through this list, we're hearing from people who say, yes, they have. In budget 2023 we see that commitment. We see so much work being done. We see the opportunity. If the Conservatives decided to not go ahead with this amendment, or if we were to defeat this amendment, we would be able to continue with this electricity study and ask those kinds of questions and find out more about it.
    I have more pieces about it. I've talked about the different unions that have responded to it. One thing that I thought was interesting—I'm an Ontarian, so I'm always interested in what's coming out from Ontario—was this from Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce:
We welcome commitments made in Budget 2023 to unlock the potential of the green economy, advance economic reconciliation, mitigate supply chain challenges, and bolster health care resilience—all of which are fundamental to a strong economy.

(18455)

     Those are all the pieces fundamental to a strong economy and they're really important.
     One piece I heard from the witnesses when they did come, the panel that I guess we'll have to recall.... Unfortunately, we weren't able to complete our rounds and really get to the bottom of all of the information and expertise they brought to us. I believe that at some point questions about supply chain were raised. What are those supply chain issues? How do we resolve those supply chain issues? What do we need to do? If we don't get the experts here, then we don't get to ask those questions and we don't get to make those recommendations. What are we going to have to do as our next steps?
    I think that statement, that response to budget 2023 from the then president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Rocco Rossi, really highlights why that's important. It's all of the different pieces that come together.
     I mentioned—and I think there's some value in this—that when I talk with industry and people looking to invest in Canada, one of the things they talk about is our clean grid. That's a draw. They look at it and say that we—I'm speaking as if I were a company when I say that—need to show that our business is ready to meet our ESG standards, that we're meeting ESG standards. If they are looking at their carbon footprint, one of the things that's important is the energy they're using to get there.
     Certainly that's something we have seen over the past couple of years, and I think it's a real tribute to the work that's been done by Minister François-Philippe Champagne, but also by our government. We have seen massive investment in automobile manufacture in Canada. Really massive amazing investments have been happening that are transformative for Ontario. The fact that we are able to provide them with a very clean grid in Ontario is definitely a draw.
    The other thing we have to think about—and I feel as if I'm going to get a chance to get to that a bit—is that knowing we're attracting such manufacturing to our province and to our country also means that we're going to need more electrical grid capacity to meet that. It's the double piece to this, right?
     It's great news that we're attracting this investment. It's creating good-paying jobs in Ontario, when I'm talking about auto manufacturing. I know that in Quebec there has also been investment in the industry, particularly on the battery supply chain side. When we're talking about that and that draw, that's great news. It's great that we're able to attract those investments.
     What are we also going to have to do? We're going to have to make sure our electrical grid keeps up. Again, if we bring those witnesses, if we get to continue with this study, we can ask those important questions.
     Honestly, the time is now. They are building their manufacturing capacities right now. Those lines are going to be opening up for those battery manufacturers, for the electric vehicles, to build the vehicles. We need to be able to keep up and to keep doing the work we need to do, and the time is now.
    If this amendment goes through, Mr. Chair, we're going to be putting this whole study back farther. We're not going to be able to ask those questions. We're not going to be able to really get to the nitty-gritty of what their needs are, to find out provincially and regionally what the needs are going to be. How is it going to change? How can we support each other across provinces and territories? We're not going to get that chance.

(18500)

     I'll go back to budget 2023, because it was such an amazing budget when we talk about things like clean technologies and electricity. As I think you will probably have seen by now—because I've been able to go through these statements—it was really well received.
    The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association—that's what really got me thinking about the automobiles—said:
The 2023 federal budget recognizes the competitiveness challenges posed by the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act...and introduces several new measures in response that will help to level the playing field for automotive and battery supply chain investments...
    That's an important piece.
    My final quote about budget 2023, before I can talk a bit about some other pieces I had in mind, is from the executive director of Marine Renewables Canada, who said:
The upcoming launch of the Canada Growth Fund and the tax credit for green hydrogen could play a significant role in catalyzing Canada’s first offshore wind to green hydrogen projects, as well as the associated electricity infrastructure needed
    Think about all those pieces right there in that first sentence. We're talking about green hydrogen. We're talking about offshore wind. We're talking about the associated electrical infrastructure. I'm going on. I'm sorry.
    I'll go back to the executive director of Marine Renewables Canada, who said:
We are also pleased to see further support for other marine renewable energy technologies through the investment tax credit and commitment to improve regulatory processes. To achieve net zero goals, we know Canada will need 2-3 times more clean electricity—and this statement is a positive step towards meeting those climate goals.
    Again, there's reference to the fact that we're absolutely going to need more electricity to meet our climate goals, but budget 2023 was a significant step forward.
    One piece that really got me thinking when I read that is about Bill C-49. Bill C-49 was about offshore wind for Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. We worked with those provinces to come up with the regulatory framework we need to be able to develop that offshore wind industry. It brings so much opportunity to the Atlantic region and to our country. Again, we're talking about good-paying jobs. We're talking about clean electricity.
     When I was talking about nuclear, I talked about Romania and how we are supporting nuclear there. On offshore wind, Germany, another one of our allies, came and talked with us and said they had this need. They know they need to transition from the forms of energy they're using, and they don't want to rely on Russian oil and gas. They want to make sure that they have allies they can work with. They said, “Hey, Canada, we're looking to you to help supply us with green hydrogen. We believe in you.” We were able to be those people, that country of opportunity and that ally, and Bill C-49 for offshore wind was a critical piece of that.
    It was really quite unfortunate that it took us such a long time to pass that bill and that we weren't able to get the support I would have liked to see to get through this process more quickly, just because there was such opportunity.
    Frankly, it's also about working with our provinces and territories. They wanted this. Bill C-49 was about agreements we had reached with Newfoundland and Labrador and with Nova Scotia. They said they wanted to partner with the federal government. That's our role. As a responsible federal government, our role is to be a good partner, so I was really happy that we were able, in this committee, to finally get Bill C-49 back out and to pass that through, because it's so important.

(18505)

     It's important to us. It's important for the opportunities in our Atlantic provinces. It's important in terms of the partnerships we have with our Atlantic provinces. It was an opportunity to see how we can also help internationally and how we can be that source of clean electricity. Like I said, the International Energy Agency itself points to the global need for clean energy. That's where the world is looking to build. It's an important piece.
    Now, I was troubled when I heard this idea that Canada hasn't done anything in electricity. I've gone through multiple examples of organizations and unions that have looked at budget 2023—and not just budget 2023. They commented on budget 2023 and said, “Yes, Canada has done that heavy lifting when we look at electricity.”
    I always love to refer to this page in the budget—I think it's page 76. There is a pyramid. It's Canada's plan for a clean economy described in a pyramid. It's a great way of looking at how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. I find it to be a helpful tool. At the bottom of the pyramid, one foundational piece is pollution pricing and the regulatory framework. That includes large-emitter pricing systems, contracts for differences and clean fuel regulations.
    Then you take the next step and have the investment tax credits, which include clean electricity, clean hydrogen, clean technology adoption and clean technology manufacturing—all of those types of ITCs. They are the next part the pyramid builds on. They also form an important part. I read through some of those statements in reaction to budget 2023. They talked about how those ITCs were another foundational piece to the work our government is doing to support clean energy in our country.
    Now, the next part of that pyramid—we're going higher up here—is the strategic finance piece. That's the Canada Infrastructure Bank. It's the Canada Growth Fund.
    I'm sorry. I'm going to digress for one second, because a lot of people were asking what the Infrastructure Bank is going to do. One amazing project, if we're talking about clean electricity and energy, is the Oneida battery storage project in Ontario. I stand to be corrected, but I believe it is the largest battery storage project in North America. If it's not North America, it certainly is Canada. That is a project that shows strong partnership with Six Nations. It also shows an important investment by the Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide the battery storage we're going to need for our reliable, clean electrical grid.
    Again, I would love to be able to ask more questions about the role of the Infrastructure Bank, the role of battery storage and what those pieces are. Unfortunately, those are not things I'm going to be able to ask about if we have this amendment go forth. I'm going to miss that opportunity.

(18510)

    Now, at the top of this pyramid is targeted programming. The target program includes the strategic innovation fund, the smart renewables electrification pathways program—I think I mentioned that a little bit earlier—the clean fuels fund and the low-carbon economy fund.
     I'm going to use the example of a low-carbon economy fund. It has helped to fund projects right across our country, some very interesting and innovative projects. One of them that I thought was really interesting is at the University of Toronto, my alma mater. I graduated from the Faculty of Law at University of Toronto. They built a geothermal district energy system on their campus. The campus is like—
    I have a point of order.
     Mr. Angus, we have you on a point of order.
     I know we only have 15 minutes left, and the clock's going to be talked out, so I might not get a chance.
    I just wanted to get a sense from you, Chair, of how many meetings we have left, because, for every day that Ms. Dabrusin decides to waste our time, we have a report that doesn't get finished, and there's stuff we need to do. Could you tell us how many meetings we have left that we're going to have to sit through Ms. Dabrusin and her colleagues filibustering our efforts to move forward? With my other colleagues, I think we're all in this together. We've done some great work, but it'd be good to get a sense of how many more days this is going to happen before the summer recess.

(18515)

    We have about 15 minutes left in today's meeting, and if we go up to June 20, we have six meetings remaining.
    Thank you so much for that. I needed to know that.
    Mr. Angus, I know you're online. I do have you on the list, so we may get to you today. Just be prepared.
    I'll be here until the end of June. Whenever I get my chance, don't worry, I'm waiting with bated breath. If it's June 5, June, 8 June, 10, or whenever, when you get me on the list, I'll be more than happy to participate.
    Thank you for your co-operation.
    Ms. Dabrusin, we'll go back to you.
     I appreciate that he's waiting with bated breath and I appreciate that he has an interest in all of this. To the point, though, this is not about wasted time. This is about answering the questions that we had kind of put toward witnesses and weren't able to continue on with in the study. It's about trying to make sure that we outline for everyone here why it's so important that we go ahead with the electricity study.
    When we're done with that study, let's go to Mr. Angus's study, a study that I've said I agree to. I am good to go ahead with that study. I will probably be proposing some amendments, as I said, to make sure we have community voices included. But we had a study before us. We had a panel before us ready to answer our questions. We had to dismiss them before the normal time. We had a project planned for this study. We haven't been able to continue with it and we won't be able to continue with it if the amendment proposed by the Conservatives goes ahead.
    I'm just hoping that by outlining some of these examples I'm helping to convince the other members of this committee why it's so terribly important that we do look at this study on the electrical grid and that we don't just toss it aside.
    Before I talk a little bit more about the low-carbon economy fund and other kinds of funding supports that we have for electricity that our government has put in place, I would ask whether this is something that the other members of this committee would agree to: Let's not go ahead with this amendment. Let's drop this amendment. That's a possibility. Let's complete the clean electricity study we had in front of us. Then let's move on to Mr. Angus's study.
    The interesting part about this is that, as far as I can tell, although I don't think I've heard from absolutely everyone yet, not only would Mr. Angus's motion pass; it would pass unanimously, I believe. Why not take that opportunity? It would actually be a rare and beautiful moment for this committee to say, hey, we're all agreed on this. We all want to study it together. We might be coming at it from different perspectives as to what we want to bring through with Mr. Angus's study, but let's do it. Let's do that study.
    Why supersede the electricity study? Why do away with the work that we've started? Ultimately, by the way, every time we do something where we start a study and then we stop it, and we stop it for a whole period of time, and then we get back to it—it could be months later or almost a year later—it just ends up being so outdated. It's outdated from what we've heard from the witnesses we've had already. That becomes dated. You have to call them again. It means that things overtake you, to some extent.
    I've been talking about the importance of planning ahead and looking ahead, and about all the steps of what we need to be looking at, be it from the employment perspective, be it from the investment perspective and be it about the different regional needs. We either get to complete the study now and make it a timely study, making the evidence that we've already heard timely, or we lose that. It becomes an outdated study that we complete a year from now. That's what I'm really imploring the other members of this committee to think about.

(18520)

     Why not just go ahead, have all committee members show that kind of co-operation and goodwill and agree to Mr. Angus's study? I believe that motion will pass once we get to it. The challenge is that the Conservative amendment that was brought would supersede the electricity study. That's the part that doesn't quite make sense to me.
    That's what I'm hoping for.
     If it wasn't about all of the statements I was able to bring forward until now about budget 2023.... If they don't convince people and get them excited about what we could be studying in the growth opportunities, the jobs and the affordability pieces.... If they don't do the trick, I have a few other things I can bring to mind that might help people think about this a bit more, and about what they would like to see and do.
    Before Mr. Angus's intervention, I was talking about the low-carbon economy fund, which provides some very interesting and different funding projects.
     I was talking about my alma mater, the University of Toronto. This was interesting to me, but it makes sense when you think about the size, not only of all its buildings, but also of the number of students and faculty on campus. There are so many people. It's really like a small town. The university is built a geothermal system right in the centre of its campus. It's a district energy system. It can actually help support the City of Toronto system a bit if it has excess energy along the way.
     The low-carbon economy fund helped it do that. That is a great support to reduce emissions.
     I'm going to have to look into it again, but I think the University of Toronto has been rated one of the top universities from a clean energy or environmental perspective. It's also building tall timber, but that's for a whole other study on another day.
    Anyway, that was just something I wanted to flag about the low-carbon economy fund in the targeted programming. That's the top of the pyramid when we're looking at clean electricity. It's all those building blocks that fit together.
     I hope this goes to show that, in fact, Canada has been doing a lot, and our federal government has been doing a lot, to put in place all of these building blocks to make sure that we have what we need to get that strong, affordable, reliable and clean electrical grid.
    That is some of the stuff you have seen.
    Now, going to the other piece, because I've been talking about economic growth, one of the parts I would be really interested in being able to ask more questions about, when we talk about electricity and our electricity needs, is the impact of artificial intelligence on our energy needs as a country. When we look at this budget, budget 2024, there are investments in artificial intelligence. It's a growing sector. It's certainly a sector that we are trying to grow in our country. It provides a lot of opportunities, again, for different kinds of good-paying jobs. It's a different part of the economy that we're growing.
    I also talked a bit about how the auto sector investments in battery technology, manufacturing and all of that bring with them needs for more energy, but what I didn't really focus on, and what I would really like a chance to ask witnesses about, is the impact of that. What do we need to be thinking about around AI and our electrical needs? Again, it's probably going to have regional implications.
     When I looked at that, I was reading some articles and just getting some information about it, and there was some work on what is even a need to have Energy Star ratings for AI models.

(18525)

     I didn't even realize that training GPT-3, for example, is estimated to use just under 1,300 megawatt hours of electricity. That's about as much power as is consumed annually by 130 homes.
    This is kind of a fun comparison. Streaming an hour of Netflix requires around 0.8 kilowatt hours of electricity. That means you'd have to watch 1,000,625 hours of Netflix to consume the same amount of power that it takes to train GPT-3. That's from an article in The Verge that came out earlier this year.
    That's a lot of energy that we're going to need when we're looking at AI. There are huge possibilities, good-paying jobs and an area of growth for our country, but that's going to have a different kind of regional impact.
    Sometimes we ask questions and we think about it in terms of some things that we've traditionally thought about, like certain manufacturing sectors and what those electricity impacts are. We can ask about what it means as we talk about changing the way we move our vehicles, the way we heat and cool our homes, but the other question is, as we build in new technology and industries, what energy storage will we need?
    As an example, there was a paper by Dr. Sasha Luccioni, who is a leading AI researcher and climate lead at Hugging Face, based in Montreal. She's the one who had advocated to introduce Energy Star ratings for AI models.
    She was talking about a test of 88 models generating text versus image generation energy uses. If you were going to use some examples of what that looked like for images images, it was based on 1,000 requested with text versus images. On one little test, the amount of power was equivalent to running a washing machine for about 2.9 loads of laundry. I know a whole lot about laundry. I do a lot of laundry in my home. It's an unfortunate thing, but there you go. That's a whole lot of laundry that you get for just that one image.
    On projected growth in energy use from AI, Alex de Vries, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Amsterdam, uses Nvidia GPUs to estimate AI's global energy usage. That currently represents about 95% of the AI hardware market. It provides specs and sales projections.
    The calculation—
     I have a point of order.
     We have a point of order from Mr. Angus.
    Before Mr. Dabrusin gets into Bitcoin, are we at 5:30?
     We're almost there. We're getting there.
     I'm counting that we're 12 seconds away. I want her to save the best parts of Bitcoin and other stuff that she wants to talk about for the next meeting.

(18530)

    It is 5:30 on my clock.
    Thank you everyone.
    We can pick this up next week. We can suspend the meeting for today.
    [The meeting was suspended at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 30]
    [The meeting resumed at 3:41 p.m., Monday, June 3]

(27940)

     I call this meeting back to order.
     Welcome. We are resuming meeting number 99 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources.
     Since today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, I would like to make a few comments for the benefit of all.
     Before we begin, I'd like to ask all members and other in-person participants to consult the cards on the table for guidelines to prevent audio feedback incidents. Please take note of the following preventative measures in place to protect the health and safety of all participants, including the interpreters.
     Only use a black, approved earpiece. The former grey earpieces must no longer be used. Keep your earpiece away from all microphones at all times. When you are not using your earpiece, place it face down on the sticker placed on the table for this purpose.
    Thanks to all of you for your co-operation.
     As a Zoom reminder, please wait until I recognize you by name before speaking. I also have a reminder that all comments should be addressed through the chair. Additionally, screenshots or taking photos of your screen is not permitted.
    We are resuming debate on the motion of Mr. Angus and on the amendment of Mrs. Stubbs. We will continue with Ms. Dabrusin, who had the floor when we finished our last meeting.
     Ms. Dabrusin, the floor is yours.
     Thank you.
    When we ended last week, I was just beginning to talk about the many different things that are happening and are increasing the need for electricity. We've talked about things like the manufacturing sector and the automobile sector and a lot of the amazing investments that our government has actually brought to Ontario for battery manufacturing and electric vehicle manufacturing. These are very exciting changes or increases that are happening in Ontario in particular, in my home province, and in other provinces as well, but they will increase the need for electricity.
     When we're looking at this issue, we need to consider how it is quite imminent. We are seeing the development and the building of these factories as we speak. They're going to be coming online. We've talked about the amendment that's been brought by the Conservatives to supersede the electricity study and just stop it in its tracks, and I really want to underline that we have to be talking about the electrical grid now. It makes no sense to just stop that study in its tracks.
    Because I want to make it clear at this very moment, I take no issue with, and I don't believe that any of the other Liberals on this committee take issue with, the study that's been brought forward by Mr. Angus. As I said, there might be an amendment that I will seek—once we're past this amendment that was brought by Mrs. Stubbs—about making sure we have community voices brought to the table. Other than that, I'm okay with that study going forward. I'm not okay with the amendment that would stop the electricity study in its tracks, so to speak.
    Just quickly, the part that I was talking about when we left off was about artificial intelligence and data centres, because we talk a lot about the manufacturing side. We can see that. We can see how people are switching the way they heat and cool their homes or the way we power our vehicles, but another piece that we maybe don't talk about enough is—

(27945)

    I have a point of order.
    We have a point of order from Mr. Angus.
    Mr. Angus.
     Thank you, Chair.
     I've noticed that the Liberals never mentioned once that the study is about the $34 billion in taxpayers' money they gave to the TMX pipeline.
     That being said, being that this is a filibuster and we're seeing a tactic to stop us from moving forward as a committee, could you tell us how many meetings we have left in this session?
     I am concerned that if the Liberals are going to talk this out until June..... We actually had a report that was almost finished and that we would have been more than willing to talk about to make sure we got it out the door, but obviously, if the Liberals are going to block, interfere and shut down the committee, could you at least tell us how many more days we're expecting to listen to the Liberals so that we can make plans?
     Thank you, Mr. Angus, for your point of order.
     I guess for clarification for all members—and I stated this on the last day as well—after today's meeting we have five more that we're anticipating. That also depends on when the House may rise. That's what we're at, based on what I know as of today.
    Thank you.
     Ms. Dabrusin, I'll turn it back to you.
     I appreciated that question, because it goes to the point that, with five more meetings, we would be able to call back the panel that was disrupted from completing their evidence when this motion was brought. It would give us enough time to complete the electricity study before we leave. That's what I'm asking and why I'm opposing the amendment.
     I want to mention the artificial intelligence piece, because I do find it very interesting and it's one that we don't talk about enough. I would certainly have questions for witnesses when we get to them, which I'm hoping is sooner rather than later. The International Energy Agency, for the first time this year, commented on artificial intelligence and data centres and their impact on electricity demand worldwide. In fact, I'm looking at the report from January, and they specifically say that market trends, including the fast incorporation of AI into software programming across a variety of sectors, increases the overall electricity demand of data centres, and that search tools like Google could see a tenfold increase in their electricity demand in the case of fully implementing AI into them.
     They were talking about how that will potentially make a significant change, but there are a lot of variables that need to be looked at when deciding that, because there are also factors that are being put in place to make them more energy efficient. However, they certainly comment about how generative AI uses a lot of energy.
    We need to be thinking about that as we develop what's a very exciting, new prospect for our country in the AI industry and what we can really do to make sure that we're building up within the tech sector. How do we make sure that we have the electricity that we need for that, and how do we make sure that we have the clean electricity that we need for that?
     Now, because I think it's very directly on point with the amendment that was brought by Mrs. Stubbs, which seeks to stop the electricity study in its tracks and instead move to the next study—just skip over one place to another—it's important that I highlight to the committee a letter that was sent to the clerk and is signed by the president of WaterPower Canada, the president and CEO of Electricity Canada, the chief executive officer of Electricity Human Resources Canada, the president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association and the president and CEO of Electro-Federation Canada.
    All those leaders in the electricity industry wrote to us, and I think it's important that we hear this and think about what the electricity industry is asking of us. They said:
Dear members of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources—
    That would be all of us. It continues:
As representatives of the electricity sector, comprised of industry associations and companies from each province and territory, we strongly encourage you to-

(27950)

    Ms. Dabrusin, I would ask you to hold for a moment. We have a point of order from Mr. Falk.
     Mr. Chair, has that letter been distributed to committee members if it's addressed to the committee?
     Mr. Falk, it's my understanding that it has been sent, but it's being translated. It will be sent out.
     Okay, it's going to be in both official languages. Yes, it should be.
     Thank you, Mr. Falk.
    Go ahead on a point of order, Mr. Angus.

[Translation]

    The tactic of talking at committee about a letter that has not yet been translated into French seems problematic to me. Committee tradition dictates that each letter is distributed in French and English before we can discuss it.

[English]

    I think she's using a tactic to put into the record something we haven't had access to in both official languages. We have a tradition. If one of my francophone colleagues from the NDP were here, I'd have to respect their position. She's using the public record and a filibuster to evade the basic obligation of ensuring we have....
    I'm sure she has a million other things she could talk about. She could talk about her relatives. She could talk about prom night, or whatever. I mean, we're here for five more days. At least she should follow the rules.
    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Angus, on that point of order, we are getting into debate. You're up next, actually, so you'll have lots of time to debate.
    Would that be in September?
    Maybe. I don't know.
    There's a point of order from Ms. Dabrusin. Then I'm going to deal with the matter at hand.
    I think it's a matter of disrespect, quite frankly, to talk about me talking about prom and family when, in fact, I have, this whole time, been talking very much not about either of those things. I would hope the member opposite could at least respect this. He may not appreciate that I am speaking about all these issues as much as I am, but I am not talking about things that haven't been directly on point.
    I would hope he could respect that.
    Next I'm going to you, Mr. Jowhari—
    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    Hold on. Before we get into other points of order, I want to address the issue at hand.
    Ms. Dabrusin has the right to read it into the record, since she has the floor for debate, as long as it's relevant to the motion at hand. She's talking about electricity and a letter she received, and that was the study we were studying. As all of us members know, we have the ability, when we have the floor, to provide context and support for whatever arguments we're trying to make.
     Now, before I go back to you, Ms. Dabrusin, I have Mr. Jowhari on a point of order as well.
    Mr. Jowhari, go ahead on a point of order.
     Thank you, Mr. Chair.
     I know I'm new to this committee. However, in all the committees I've been in over the last, let's say, eight years, we've always referred to our colleagues with either their gender and their last name, or MP Dabrusin, PS Dabrusin, etc. I take offence when my colleagues are being called a “he” or a “she” in a reference.
    I ask all our colleagues to please use appropriate titles when referencing each other.
    Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Jowhari, for your point of order.
     Colleagues, I'll remind everybody about this. I think it's an important time to reflect. Please debate, but let's ensure you address each other in a parliamentary and appropriate manner.
    I have a point of order from Mr. Angus.

(27955)

    Thank you.
    My honourable colleague can refer to me by my gender. I don't have a problem. I'm often referred to as “Charlie” here. If you lived in Cobalt, you'd call me “Chuck”, but you're not from my hometown. I don't want people doing that. I would take offence.
    The reason I'm intervening is to apologize to Ms. Dabrusin. I didn't mean to say she was going to talk about prom night. I was saying that I didn't have a problem if she did, because this is a filibuster. This is about stopping the work of the committee. Therefore, if we are going to spend five days of meetings.... I don't have a problem with whatever she is going to talk about. However, I do have a problem with reading into the record something we have not had access to. That was my concern.
    I apologize if I anticipated something about prom night. We don't have to talk about prom night. I don't have a problem.
     I don't know whether I often refer to her as “she”, but I will refer to her as “Ms. Dabrusin”. Mr. Jowhari can call me “he” if he wants to. He can call me “Charlie”. Just don't call me “Chuck”.
     Thank you, Mr. Angus, for withdrawing that as well.
    We can proceed. Once again, I will state to all members that a member has the opportunity, as long as it's relevant to the topic at hand, to bring forward evidence that might help support committee members in making a decision on the potential upcoming vote on the amendment, and then on the main motion.
    Ms. Dabrusin, after that little break, it's back to you.
    I've read or quoted other things along the way. The reason I want to read this letter is that it goes to the very point I've been raising, which is the need for and the urgency of continuing the study on electricity that we started.
     Before I go back to that letter, I'll very much point out that Mr. Angus himself opposed it when the Conservatives previously tried to stop one study in order to move on to the next. Therefore, it's very much something I would think he'd understand—the need for us to stay with the plan that was agreed upon.
    However, going back to the representatives in the electricity industry, they wrote:
As representatives of the electricity sector, comprised of industry associations—
     Ms. Dabrusin, we have a point of order. Can you hold again? Thank you.
    Go ahead, Mr. Falk.
    This goes to my original point of order, Mr. Chair. The letter that is being referenced has been addressed to the entire committee. I've checked with Mr. Simard. He does not have a copy of that letter in the language that he communicates in.
    I think it's unfair to reference a letter that is addressed to this committee when the committee hasn't seen it.
     Thank you, Mr. Falk, but as I reminded earlier, members will get a copy. If that letter was sent to the clerk and the clerk is translating it, it will be provided to our members.
    The member does have the right to bring forward any letter or information she has that she believes supports her argument. That's what Ms. Dabrusin is doing. I'm not sure if this letter is the letter that was sent to everybody in the committee or if it's something that was just sent to her and that she's reading into the record. I'll let her continue on with her debate. She is allowed to present information that supports the argument she's making.
    If you are reading the letter, Ms. Dabrusin, the translators will be following along. That's the only thing I would say on top of that.
     I appreciate that.
    Many of the people who signed this letter were actually the people who were here on the panel that was suspended when this motion and then this amendment were brought forward. They weren't able to complete their evidence—
    Ms. Dabrusin, you have my apologies. I missed Mr. Schiefke. He has his hand up. I don't want to cut you off midstream, but I do want to give Mr. Schiefke an opportunity.
    Is this an old hand or a new hand?
    It's a new hand, Chair. Thank you.
    To my understanding, every member of the committee received this letter from the organization individually. I believe a copy was also sent to the chair as well as the clerk. If this is something that's important to all members, perhaps I could recommend, being a chair of another committee, that we suspend until all members have a copy of the letter so that we can actually reference it and discuss it. This is an organization that wants to be heard and has sent a letter about the importance of continuing with the study we were on.
    My recommendation, Chair, is that we suspend until we're able to provide copies to all members in both official languages.

(28000)

    Thank you for that, Mr. Schiefke.
    Members, the clerk has sent it for translation. It will be provided to members as soon as translation gets it back. Members will have the letter, but if we do that, I don't know if we'll get it back by the end of the meeting today.
    If it's the will of the committee to do so, we can suspend until we get the letter back. I will leave it up to colleagues to think about that. If we proceed, and Ms. Dabrusin would like to read in the letter she's received.... If we do want to suspend—I'll let committee members reflect on that for a few moments—we can do that, but we may not be able to come back to today's meeting today because of the timing needed for translation.
    Ms. Dabrusin, before you begin, I will go to Mr. Angus on a point of order.
    I'm just trying to clarify. You're saying that we could suspend and look at the letter, but then we would have to decide whether or not we could bring the letter in if it's not in both official languages...?
    No. What I'm saying is that Ms. Dabrusin is reading into the record the letter she has as evidence that she believes is important to her debate at today's meeting. If members would like a copy of the letter, you will receive one once it's translated. You do have one copy in English, I believe. If you want a translated version in French, the clerk has sent it for translation. It is being translated, because it was sent to the committee and, I believe, to all committee members.
     What was the element you said about suspending the meeting?
     That was a recommendation made by Mr. Schiefke—that we could suspend and wait until the letter was translated. What I'm suggesting is that it may not happen today. It might happen tomorrow or Thursday or beyond. It depends on translation.
    Monsieur Simard, I'll go to you.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chair, I just want to be clear, because I sense that my Liberal colleagues disagree on how to proceed.
    According to Mr. Schiefke, we should suspend the meeting, since we don't have the letter in both official languages.
    Earlier, you ruled that Ms. Dabrusin could use the letter and refer to it, even though it hadn't been translated. However, I think it may be problematic for Mr. Schiefke to ask to suspend the meeting because we don't have a French version. Perhaps the simplest solution would be for Ms. Dabrusin to set the letter aside and filibuster on something else. I know it can be a little baffling.
    Even in a filibuster, both official languages must be respected. So she could forget about the letter and come back to it at a later meeting, when we have the French version of the letter. That is my proposal to you, Mr. Chair.

[English]

     Thank you, Mr. Simard.
    I think it's up to the member to provide evidence that supports the argument. Based on the advice that I've been given by the clerk, if it's a letter that everybody wants to have, a member does have the ability to reference material that he or she may have received as part of the evidence here today. If the member chooses not to, that's up to the member. I know members were sent this letter by an organization, and it may have not been in both official languages. If it's for the record of the previous study, the committee does need to translate it, and that's what the clerk has endeavoured to do.
    I'll go back to you, Mr. Simard.

[Translation]

    I understand completely, Mr. Chair, but you're repeating to me what you said to Mr. Angus earlier. Clearly, this letter is creating some discomfort, not only for Mr. Angus, my Conservative colleagues and me as francophones, who raised it, but also for Mr. Schiefke, who moved to suspend the meeting.
    In my opinion, since the majority of members feel uncomfortable with Ms. Dabrusin continuing to read this letter, it goes without saying that, if you listen to the committee, you will recommend to Ms. Dabrusin that she set the letter aside and come back to it later, once we have received it in both official languages.

(28005)

[English]

     Thank you, Monsieur Simard.
     It is up to the member. I can't tell the member how to use their time, as long as it meets with the committee.... However, if members would like to suspend until we get that letter translated, just so they can follow along, I'm happy to accommodate members here today, if that's what they would like. What I'll say is that the member doesn't have to read the letter entirely in, but could talk about it in terms of the aspects of the letter or in any other way. However, that's up to the member. The member is allowed to present ideas or information that supports their argument. However, the official letter that's sent to the committee does need to be translated so members have it, and that's what the clerk has done.
     I will turn it back to members. If the members do not want to proceed at this point, we can proceed in that direction.
    I'll go to you, Mr. Angus, on a point of order.
     Thank you.
     I'm feeling a lot of discomfort among my colleagues, and that's the last thing I'd want to be the cause of for having raised this, so I vote to suspend.
    I don't see any objections, but I think members would like to suspend until they have that information.
    We will suspend until we get that information provided to all members. I don't know when we'll get the letter. I don't think we'll be getting the letter today. It could be tomorrow. It could be Thursday.
    We're suspended.
    [The meeting was suspended at 4:06 p.m., Monday, June 3]
    [The meeting resumed at 3:50 p.m., Thursday, June 6]

(35150)

[Translation]

    We are resuming meeting number 99 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources.
    Before we begin, I have a few instructions to avoid audio feedback incidents. I would like to ask all members and other in-person participants to consult the cards on the table for guidelines to prevent audio feedback incidents.
    Please take note of the following preventative measures in place to protect the health and safety of all participants, including the interpreters.
    Only use a black approved earpiece. The former grey earpieces must no longer be used. Keep your earpiece away from all microphones at all times. When you are not using your earpiece, place it face down, on the sticker placed on the table for this purpose.
    I thank you all for your co-operation.
    We are still discussing the motion tabled by Mr. Angus, and, if I understand correctly, there is another motion that we would be prepared to discuss. To do so, we need the unanimous consent of the members to proceed with the consideration of this new motion.
    Do I have the unanimous consent of the committee?
     Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Wonderful, thank you.
    Do we have the French version of the new motion? If not, can Ms. Dabrusin move a new motion?
    Can we suspend the meeting to make sure we get the document in French? That way, we will be able to discuss it in both official languages.
    All right. I will suspend the meeting for a few moments.

(35150)


(35225)

    I call the meeting back to order.
    Ms. Dabrusin, you have the floor.
    I think all parties agree on a motion. May I proceed with it now, Mr. Chair?
    All right.
    I move that:
That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the committee undertake a study on the Trans Mountain pipeline to determine how the cost to taxpayers spiralled out of control; to get clarity on plans to divest and sell off the now completed pipeline and the implications of such a sale to Canadian taxpayers and examine how such increases in export capacity will impact on a future cap on Greenhouse gas emissions and;

That the committee invite the following witnesses from the following organizations to appear on Monday, June 17, 2024:

First hour:

i. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers;

ii. Environmental Defence;

iii. Pathways Alliance, and;

iv. A Conservative Witness (TBD).

Second hour:

i. Canada Energy Regulator.

That the committee invite the Parliamentary Budget Officer to appear for the first hour on Thursday, June 20, 2024; that the committee invite the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, as well as experts in the economy and the environment to provide testimony; the committee hold six meetings for this study; that the study resume in September 2024, starting with two meetings on this study, and alternate, week by week, with the committee’s current study on Canada’s Electricity Grid and Network and that the committee report its findings and recommendations to the House and that, pursuant to Standing Order 109, the government table a comprehensive response to the report.
    That's all.

(35230)

    Do we have unanimous consent for Ms. Dabrusin's motion? Is there any discussion?
    Mr. Patzer, you have the floor.

[English]

     Yes. The unanimous consent will be there.
     I don't know if it was just in the interpretation but I thought I heard you come across as Monday, June 24. I think it was just reading 2024, the year, in there. It just came across, in my earpiece anyway, as Monday, June 24, which I know is not the right date. I'm assuming that it is Thursday, June 20, 2024, for the PBO to come. The interpreter then said in French that it was five meetings and, in English, six meetings. I just want to confirm that we have six meetings, not five meetings. That's what I'm reading in here: six meetings.
    Ms. Julie Dabrusin: Yes.
    Mr. Jeremy Patzer: I just want to confirm those two things: that it is Thursday, June 20 for that first hour, and then six meetings, not five. Correct?
     That's right. I'm sorry. That's what I was trying to say.
     On the 2024, you are correct, there's no June 24, 2024. What I was trying to correct is that there's a mistake between the French and the English versions that have been circulated. It should be six, in both languages.
    Okay.
    Thank you.

[Translation]

    So it's June 20 and six meetings.
    Is there unanimous consent to adopt the motion?
    (Motion agreed to)
    There being no further business, the meeting is adjourned.
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