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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 204

CONTENTS

Thursday, June 1, 2023




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 204
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1000)  

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to nine petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

Certificates of Nomination

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 111.1 and subsection 75(1) of the Parliament of Canada Act, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, a certificate of nomination and biographical notes for the appointment of Dr. Heather Lank as Parliamentary Librarian.
     Pursuant to Standing Order 111.1, I ask that the certificate of nomination and biographical notes be referred to the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament.

[Translation]

Committees of the House

Public Accounts 

     Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 29th report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts entitled “Public Accounts of Canada 2022”.

[English]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    I would like to thank all the witnesses who appeared, who included the comptroller and the Auditor General of Canada, among others, and I thank committee members and our team at public accounts for helping us put together this report.

Petitions

Port Workers  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to table a petition on behalf of hundreds of workers at Canada's ports.
    The petitioners note the essential nature of the roles of port workers in the operation of Canada's supply chain, the impact of decision-making at Canada's ports on their lives and, most importantly, the essential experience and knowledge they bring to the operation of Canada's ports. The petitioners call upon the government to amend the Canada Marine Act to ensure that port workers are represented on the boards of directors of Canada's port authorities.

Justice  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise for the sixth time on behalf of the people of Swan River, Manitoba, to present a petition on the rising rate of crime.
    The common people of Swan River are demanding a common-sense solution to repeal the Liberal government's soft-on-crime policies, which have fuelled the scourge of crime throughout their community. Since 2015, violent crime has increased by 32%, and gang-related homicides have increased by 92% in Canada. What was once a safe rural community has now turned into a place where people fear leaving their homes.
    The people of Swan River demand that the Liberal government repeal its soft-on-crime policies, which directly threaten their livelihoods and communities. I support the good people of Swan River.

Climate Change  

    Mr. Speaker, petitioners from my riding are once again raising the issue of a just transition. This language is not divisive. It comes directly from the Paris Agreement. Canada and all countries on earth are committed to the just transition language that they have committed to.
    The petitioners point out that the skills of oil and gas workers can be easily transitioned to jobs in renewable energy and that there should be an allocation of resources to support this work, which is essential and becoming more urgent by the day.
    The undersigned petitioners call on the House of Commons to work alongside fossil fuel sector workers to create a plan that works for them and their communities, and to follow up on the 10 recommendations put forward by the task force on the just transition that was developed under former environment minister Catherine McKenna, a plan that involves commissioners going into every community where coal sector workers depend on coal for their livelihood. Those workers have been let down, as nothing has followed on from the significant efforts made by the task force on just transition for Canadian coal-power workers and communities.

  (1005)  

Charitable Organizations  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition concerning political discrimination in Canada.
    The petitioners note that the Liberal Party, in its 2021 platform, promised to remove the charitable status of organizations that do not share the Prime Minister's views on matters of life. The petitioners ask the government to reject this proposal and to preserve the political neutrality of charitable status rules for hospitals, houses of worship, pregnancy and women's centres and many other important institutions across our country. In addition, this petition calls on the government to affirm Canada's freedom of expression, even and especially when it runs counter to the views of this government or any federal government.

Climate Change  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to table a petition calling on the Government of Canada and the Prime Minister to enact just transition legislation that reduces emissions by at least 60% below 2005 levels by 2030; winds down the fossil fuel industry and related infrastructure, ends fossil fuel subsidies and transitions to a decarbonized economy; creates new public economic institutions and expands public ownership of services and utilities across the economy; creates good, green jobs; protects and strengthens human rights and workers' rights, respects indigenous rights, sovereignty and knowledge, ensures migrant justice and emphasizes support for historically marginalized communities; expands the social safety net through new income supports, decarbonized public housing and operational funding for affordable and accessible public transit; and pays for the transition by increasing taxes on the wealthiest and corporations and financing through a public national bank.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table two petitions.
    First, I would like to table a petition supporting Motion No. 1, a made-in-Canada green new deal. This is the first initiative before the House of Commons that calls on Canada to take bold and rapid action to adopt socially responsible climate action to tackle the climate emergency and worsening socio-economic and racial inequalities.
    In this country, hundreds of Canadians from coast to coast have signed this petition. They outline that we are seeing a global climate emergency and many manifestations of that. They raise the issue of the floods and forest fires we are seeing, rising temperatures, killer heat waves such as the heat bomb that killed 600 people in my region about a year and a half ago, massive storms, sea level rise, and disruption to marine and land ecosystems.
    The petitioners say that to avoid further catastrophic climate change, Canada has to meet the obligations we have under international agreements, with the ambition and urgency required. The impacts of the climate emergency are far more severe for those living through the immediate consequences, such as indigenous people, frontline and vulnerable communities and people seeking refugee status or asylum. These are all communities that are profoundly impacted, and as a result, they support my motion, Motion No. 1, a made-in-Canada green new deal, to tackle both social and economic inequalities and to have Canada meet its obligations by transitioning to a clean energy economy.
    I also want to table a petition on the just transition, as my colleague from Vancouver East has just done.
    The petitioners, again hundreds of Canadians from right across this country, are calling on the Government of Canada to enact just transition legislation that reduces emissions by at least 60% below 2005 levels; ensures the end of the massive fossil fuel subsidies that Canada, the Liberal government and the previous Conservative government have invested in the fossil fuel sector; creates new public economic institutions and expands public ownership of services and utilities; creates good, green jobs and drives inclusive workforce development; protects and strengthens human rights and workers' rights and respects indigenous rights, sovereignty and knowledge by including indigenous peoples in creating and implementing this legislation; expands the social safety net through new income supports; and pays for the transition by increasing taxes on the wealthiest and corporations and financing through a public national bank.
    We lose $30 billion a year through overseas tax havens. Closing those loopholes would go a long way to transitioning us and our economy in the right way to ensure that we are achieving climate justice on this planet.

  (1010)  

Air Transportation  

    Mr. Speaker, it is such a pleasure to table yet another petition in regard to the growth of our Indo-Canadian community and the impact it is having. It is estimated that there are now well over 1.5 million people of Indo-Canadian heritage here.
    The petitioners are asking for the federal government, airport authorities and international airlines, like Air Canada and WestJet, to ultimately look at enhancing routes going from Canada to India. With this particular petition, they are hoping to see an international flight that would go from Winnipeg to Amritsar, India. If this is not possible, the bottom line would be to increase the number of international flights. This goes beyond members of our Indo-Canadian heritage community, as more and more Canadians are travelling as tourists to India.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Madam Speaker, I would ask that all questions be allowed to stand.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[Translation]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Tax  

That, given that,
(i) the first carbon tax, including sales tax, will add 41 cents to a litre of gas,
(ii) the second carbon tax, including sales tax, will add 20 cents to a litre of gas,
(iii) the combination of carbon tax one and carbon tax two will mean that Canadians pay an extra 61 cents for each litre of gas,
(iv) making life more expensive for Canadians in a cost of living crisis by implementing a second carbon tax demonstrates how out of touch this Liberal prime minister is,
(v) the Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed that both carbon taxes will have a net cost of up to $4,000, depending on the province in which they live,
the House recognize the failure of carbon tax one and call on the government to immediately cancel carbon tax two (the "Clean Fuel Regulations").
    He said: Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.
    The Prime Minister lives in a parallel world, a world where fiction reigns supreme and reality is largely absent, a world where people just invent solutions to very real problems. In reality, these solutions sadly do nothing to solve those problems.
    Imagine a meeting of the federal Liberal cabinet where each Liberal minister dreams of changing the world in their own way, but where each of those dreams unfortunately turns to a nightmare for the real world. That is exactly what we are experiencing in Canada with this Prime Minister. The Prime Minister’s good ideas are very costly for all hard-working Canadians.
    Instead of adopting responsible fiscal behaviour that will reduce the cost of living, the Liberal government has passed an inflationary budget that increases the cost of everything for all Canadians. Instead of adopting a real plan to address climate change, what has the Prime Minister done? He went ahead with a tax plan that in no way changes emissions in Canada to actually address climate change. Instead of implementing common-sense policies that respect the situation of Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet each month, the Prime Minister chose to implement measures that make life even more difficult. Why? To satisfy his own conscience, by making those who are the very foundation of our country and our economy, our workers, pay for his “woke” policies.
    Today’s motion is clear. Allow me to reread it because it is very important and this will have an impact and disastrous consequences for all Canadians and for Quebeckers, despite what those in the government and the NDP‑Liberal coalition will be claiming all day.
    The motion states that the first carbon tax and the associated sales tax—because the carbon tax is taxable with the GST—“will add 41 cents to a litre of gas”. It also states that the second carbon tax, and the associated sales tax—the GST that will also be added to the second carbon tax—“will add 20 cents to a litre of gas”.
    If we do the math, we see that, with those two taxes, Canadians will pay 61 cents more on a litre of gas because a tax will be added to a tax that will be added to a tax on another tax. That is a lot of taxes. When it comes time to pay at the pump, when Canadians use a debit card or, too often today unfortunately, a credit card to fill up, they realize it right away.
    Above all, when Canadians have to make difficult choices like travelling less on their own or as a family for activities or leisure because they can no longer afford the fuel they need to get around, they are being deprived of their right to live. We never expected something like this to happen in Canada.
    Let us return to the motion. It says that “making life more expensive for Canadians in a cost of living crisis”, like the one we are currently experiencing, “by implementing a second carbon tax demonstrates how out of touch this Liberal prime minister is”. It also mentions that the Parliamentary Budget Officer, and not the Conservatives, “confirmed that both carbon taxes will have a net cost of up to $4,000, depending on the province in which they live”. In Quebec, this new carbon tax will cost more than $400 per year, per family. What the motion is asking is that “the House recognize the failure of carbon tax one”. Why is it a failure?
    According to a recent United Nations report, how did Canada rank among 63 countries, despite the carbon tax being imposed on Canadians?

  (1015)  

    If we listen to the Liberals, we would think that Canada's performance is very good and that this country is in the top 10. Looking at how deep the Liberal government will dig into Canadians' pockets, we might expect Canada to be among the best countries because it is costing everyone so much. However, Canada's actual ranking is 58th out of 63.
    I will not go further on that topic, because my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent has the study with him and he will talk about it in his speech, which is coming up next. I encourage everyone to listen carefully to his speech. Unfortunately, the Liberals want to make the middle class pay for their so-called fight against climate change that does absolutely nothing but deprive Canadians of the financial resources they need to make ends meet.
    I will return to the motion, which proposes that “the House recognize the failure of carbon tax one and call on the government to immediately cancel carbon tax two”, the new tax that is about to be added.
    It is not enough for the Liberals to cause so much suffering to so many families; they want to go even further with the clean fuel regulations. These regulations will be applied right across Canada, even in Quebec, and Quebeckers will have to pay more at the pump for the same tank of gas.
    I think that that is enough. I had the opportunity to talk to many citizens in Mégantic—L'Érable who are at the end of their rope. I visited every food bank in my riding. They have all seen an increase in the number of people using their services. People no longer have enough money to live on, and the Liberal solution is to take even more from the pockets of Canadians. One in five Canadians goes without food because groceries are too expensive. In addition, nine out of 10 young Canadians no longer dream of becoming homeowners in this country because rents are too expensive and homes are unaffordable. The Liberal solution is to impose yet more taxes.
    I already hear the Minister of Environment and Climate Change tell us, as he does regularly, that we should know that the carbon tax does not apply to Quebec, which has a provincial cap-and-trade system. In Quebec, this system is less visible than a carbon tax.
    I will quote from the report of the CFIB, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. It says that the “cap-and-trade system is less visible than a carbon tax because it because it involves creating a market mechanism for allocating the right to emit a certain amount of carbon in the form of allowances....Therefore, there is little information on the pass-through cost of prices within the system that affects both SMEs and consumers.”
    Does that mean that they are not affected by carbon pricing? No, not at all. Quebeckers are still affected by carbon pricing with this mechanism. Also, if we increase the carbon tax in Canada, the cost of absolutely everything will increase. Guy Parent, who has been a trucker for 30 years, said that the automatic reaction of companies that pay the carbon tax is to “pass it on to customers”.
    In this CFIB study, it is said that any increase in taxes will certainly have an impact on consumers because small businesses do not have the resources to absorb these increases. Now, Quebeckers are being asked to pay even more through a second carbon tax that will deprive them of even more of the income they need to make ends meet. As a result, more and more Quebeckers will need to turn to food banks.
    Who are the victims of this ideology? Is the coalition planning to reduce greenhouse gases by making all Quebeckers poor? That would reduce consumption and therefore production, resulting in lower emissions. If that is indeed the plan, it is not the right way to go. Depriving Quebeckers and Canadians of the money they need to make ends meet serves no purpose. That is why I am asking all parliamentarians to support this motion.

  (1020)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, once again the Conservatives are masters of misinformation. The hon. member will know that the federal carbon price does not apply in Quebec.
    To take a little trip down memory lane, in 2007, the Harper government proposed a $15-a-tonne carbon tax. In 2008, the Conservatives promised a cap and trade system, and in 2011, they abandoned this idea, and, for that matter, any other climate measure. During the 2021 election campaign, every person on that side of the aisle campaigned on a carbon price. What the heck is going on?
    The Leader of the Opposition has been leader now for 263 days. Where is his climate plan, and when are the Conservatives going to stop flip-flopping?

  (1025)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, in 2029-30, the carbon tax will be $170 per tonne. That is the Liberal plan. Here is what the carbon tax has achieved so far: Absolutely no greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets have been met. According to the UN report that my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent will be talking about, Canada ranks 58th out of 63 countries.
    I would like to remind my colleague that I said Quebec has a provincial cap-and-trade system. I made that absolutely clear. Quebec has a different carbon pricing system, but Quebeckers are still paying a carbon tax under another system, and the government wants to impose a new tax that will cost families an extra $436 per year.
    Madam Speaker, with all due respect, I wish the Conservative Party would stop with the populism. They have been shouting at us for almost a year, for example, that the government has been in power for eight years, when it will actually be eight years in October. Of course, if they say it enough times, it will eventually be true.
    Today, all sorts of things are being said. Puns are being made with the Prime Minister's first name. All day, we hear talk about “common sense”. A person can claim that something is “common sense” all day long, but it has to be put into practice all year long.
    Would my colleague not agree that people can show “common sense” but still take moderate measures to ease the impact of the carbon tax, the way that Bill C‑234 does?
    I am quite proud of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. We reached a reasonable comprise to help people through the transition. Does my colleague acknowledge this? This is my first question.
     My second question is: What will the Conservative Party do to address climate change? When will it realize that climate change exists? There are wildfires burning now.
    Madam Speaker, right now as we speak, Canada is experiencing major climatic shifts. The Atlantic provinces have seen flooding and forest fires. Quebec is seeing more and more forest fires. What impact has the carbon tax had in preventing these events? None.
    The Department of Finance estimates that between the years 2019-20 and 2022-23, the federal government accumulated $21.2 billion in revenues from carbon pricing. Of this money, SMEs received only $35 million in assistance, or compensation, as my colleague put it.
    That is preposterous. This is not a plan to fight climate change; it is a plan to tax Canadians.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to read a brief passage to my friend from Mégantic—L'Érable. It states:
    We’ll finalize and improve the Clean Fuel Regulations to reduce carbon emissions from every litre of gasoline (and other liquid fuels) we burn, turning them into a true Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
    Our improvements will include:
     Basing our Low Carbon Fuel Standard on British Columbia’s policy to achieve a 20% reduction in carbon intensity for transport fuels....
    That is from the 2021 Conservative election platform, a platform that my friend from Mégantic—L'Érable ran under. Now the member is saying the exact opposite, and I am wondering if somehow we can harness this Conservative policy weather vane as a source of renewable energy. What are his thoughts?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, just a few months ago, the leader of the NDP was praising the special rapporteur, saying that the government had made the right decision in appointing a special rapporteur to investigate foreign interference. Yesterday, the NDP leader called for his dismissal, so I will take no lessons from the NDP, considering all of their flip-flops.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to take part in this very important debate that affects all families, particularly following such an eloquent speech by the member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    Climate change is real. Humans played a role in creating climate change and so humans have a role to play in reducing its effects. The government is proposing a tax to reduce the impact of climate change. That is not the path that we are taking.
    As we speak, we know that 1.5 million Canadians used food banks this month. One in five families will skip a meal this week because they do not have enough money in their pockets.
    Inflation is the highest it has been in 40 years. That is the daily reality of Canadian families. The government is saying that, in order to provide direct assistance to Canadian families who are struggling because they do not have enough money in their pockets and have to skip meals, it has to impose a new tax. The government has to create a new tax and take even more money out of people's pockets.
    For years, Canadians who have been saving have noticed that, under the Liberal government, the price of housing has doubled, the cost of borrowing to buy a house has doubled and the down payment required to buy a house has doubled. All of that has happened in the eight years that the Liberal government has been in power.
    Families are having a hard time. The government's brilliant idea for helping Canadians is to create a new tax, the Liberal carbon tax 2.0. The Liberals think that the issue of climate change can be solved by taxing Canadians, but we believe that that is not the answer, especially in inflationary times.
    Let us get one thing straight. The system in Quebec is different from those in other provinces. Quebec has a carbon exchange. One thing that everyone seems to forget in this debate, especially the Liberals and the NDP, is that, in passing the act that created the Liberal carbon tax, the federal government gave itself the right to impose a price on carbon in all of the provinces, regardless of whether or not they had a carbon exchange. The federal government was the only one that knew how much more this would cost. The Liberal federal government wants to impose its philosophy on everyone. It is unfortunate to see people who call themselves nationalists agreeing with the invasive approach taken by the Liberal government, aided and abetted by its pal, the NDP.
    For eight years, the Liberal government has been in power. For eight years, the government has been lecturing the entire planet. “Canada is back”: That is what the Prime Minister was so proud to say in Paris in 2015.

  (1030)  

[English]

    Canada is way back; it is really way back. In the last eight years, the government has failed to reach any goals, except one during the COVID tragedy. If the government's plan is to shut down the economy in Canada to achieve its goal, I do not think this is the right way to go, and it is certainly not the one we will follow.

[Translation]

    This government talks a good game but never follows through. Need I remind members that the Minister of Environment, the founder of Equiterre, is now being personally sued because, according to the document filed with the Federal Court on May 6, 2022, the government talks a lot, but fails to react or take any concrete actions?
    The Conservatives are not the only ones who can see that the government's track record on climate change is mediocre. The United Nations sees it too. Last November in Egypt, which is a strange place to hold a conference on climate change, but that is the venue the organizers chose, the United Nations tabled a report on the performance of the 63 most important countries in the world for fighting climate change. “Canada is back”, he said eight years ago.
    What did the UN think? It ranked Canada 58th out of 63 countries when it comes to climate change. That is what the report says, and that number is not all.
    Let us look at another table. How does Canada rank among the 63 countries in terms of greenhouse gas emissions? It ranks 57th. That is not bad. It moved up a rung. “Canada is back”, indeed—way back.
    Now let us talk about renewable energy. How is Canada doing after eight years of Liberal government? It ranks 52nd out of 63, yet it is telling the whole world what to do.
    In terms of energy consumption, we are not doing at all well. Canada ranks 63rd out of 63. Canada certainly is back, at the back of the pack. It could not go any lower, since only 63 countries were evaluated. The upshot is that Canada, which loves to lecture everyone else, ranks 58th out of 63. We are not the ones saying that. It comes straight from the UN, yet the Liberals want to tell us what to do.
    As I said earlier, pollution is real and must be reduced. Everyone has to work together to reduce pollution. The Liberal approach of imposing a Liberal tax on carbon is not the right way to do that, much less when this tax is doubled. For Canadian families, that means $573 more. For Quebec families, it is $436 more. This is in addition to the carbon exchange that exists in Quebec. As my colleague from Mégantic—L'Érable said, according to the report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, there is an effect, but it is difficult to pinpoint the price exactly because it is the business that must absorb the costs.
    The second Liberal carbon tax will have a direct impact, in that families will need to pay $436 more.
    Why does the Liberal carbon tax not work?
    If every country in the world had a carbon tax pegged at the same level, we could look closely at that, but this is not the case. I would remind members that, geographically speaking, we have a rather imposing neighbour to the south. There are 40 million Canadians compared with more than 300 million Americans. The U.S. is our next-door neighbour and our most significant financial partner, but it is also our greatest competitor. Our economies are interconnected, and we are proud of that, we are privileged, but we still have to participate on equal terms and get the same results everywhere, so that we can then conquer the world. The carbon tax does not exist in the President Biden's United States.
    I was very proud to welcome the President of the United States here. He was just a few feet away from me. There is no denying that it was exciting. He has taken a leading role in the global fight against climate change, yet he does not impose a tax in his own country. Why should we Canadians have one, when our main neighbour, main partner and main competitor does not have one? Perhaps it is because the United States knows it is a risky move to go after American families directly.
    That is not to mention the fact that our country generates 1.5% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, whereas the United States generates 14%. We also know that China is responsible for one-third of the world's pollution and that India produces an enormous amount of pollution. Many emerging countries are increasing their environmental impact because their economies are doing better. We must keep that in mind.
    The last time I checked, pollution travels. I have never seen a CO2 molecule travelling with a passport. Pollution knows no borders. If other places in the world do not have the same measures as we do in Canada, then we are just undermining our economy without obtaining the tangible results we are trying to achieve.
    We believe that we need to take specific concrete action to reduce pollution with tax incentives for investing in the high-tech sector, that we need to give the green light to green energies, that we need to be proud of our Canadian expertise in exporting around the world, particularly to emerging countries, and that we must do all of this with the support and co-operation of the first nations. Those are the four pillars that will help us to combat climate change. That is what we need to do, rather than taxing Canadians.

  (1035)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have two questions for my hon. colleague.
    First, he spoke about the American approach. It is true that the Americans have not put a price on carbon, except in California. They prefer subsidies. In fact, the Inflation Reduction Act contains $329 billion in subsidies. Would my hon. colleague prefer that we spend more to achieve our goals?
    Second, he claims to be a nationalist, but all of Quebec's governments—the CAQ government as well as previous Liberal and PQ governments—have advocated for a price on carbon. Why are the Conservatives diametrically opposed to Quebec's policies?

  (1040)  

    Madam Speaker, Quebec has never supported the idea of Ottawa imposing a price on carbon. This centralizing, overreaching Liberal government is imposing a major change on the provinces. Ottawa knows what the price is, but the provinces do not. This is a direct attack on the provinces' responsibilities.
    I want to say one thing about everything that is being done. The companies are the ones polluting, and they know how and why they are polluting. They are also the ones who know how to reduce pollution. It is not up to Ottawa to tell them how to do it, especially not by increasing their taxes.
    They should instead be given tax incentives so that they can directly reduce pollution in a concrete and real way. It is everyone's duty to reduce pollution, but it is not Ottawa's job to tell them how to do it, on top of imposing a tax. No, it is up to businesses to do it, with tax incentives. Giving tax incentives does not mean giving subsidies as the current government is doing.
    Madam Speaker, with all due respect to my colleague, there are some fallacies in the objectives of this proposal.
    At the same time, we can acknowledge that some people are struggling with inflation. I just finished a visit where I met with seniors. There is definitely cause to ask the federal government to do more for the most vulnerable. However, continuing to rely on oil and hydrocarbons to contribute to socio-economic conditions seems to be exactly the opposite of what we should be doing.
    Why is my colleague stuck on the idea of denying climate change and continuing to increase its effects by promoting oil and gas?
    Madam Speaker, I have said it before and I will say it again: Climate change is real and we need to address it. The member from the Bloc Québécois is very proud of Quebec, I am sure. I am too. However, in the past year, the Quebec nation consumed 18 billion litres of oil. It is not me saying that, it is the Hautes Études Commerciales school of business, or HEC.
    That is the reality for Quebec families. Quebeckers still need oil, just like everyone else around the world. If we suddenly no longer needed it, that would be one thing, but that is not the case. Quebec needs 18 billion litres of oil. Does the member really want us to cut Quebec off from all oil? I do not think so.
    Madam Speaker, I am always a bit shocked to see the Conservatives, who believe in the free market and capitalism, refuse to put a price on pollution, when that consists in using market rules to change people's behaviour. I find that to be inconsistent with their philosophical framework. In fact, my colleague is saying that if the rest of the world does not take the initiative, we should not do anything.
    The United States, and specifically the states of California and New England, already participate in the carbon exchange with Quebec. We are already competitive.
    Why does the member not recognize that?
    It seems that there is someone else who wants to reply but, unfortunately, they cannot, unless they decide to give a speech.
    I would also ask the member who gave the speech to reply at the appropriate time instead of answering while someone is asking him a question.
    Madam Speaker, I simply want to say to my colleague that he spoke about certain states in the U.S. participating in the exchange, but not all states do. Our economy is essentially based on collaborating with the United States, not just some of the states. That is a big difference.
    Need I remind members that after eight years of Liberal governance and the application of the Liberal carbon tax, Canada ranks 58th out of 63 countries?
    In the midst of the worst inflation crisis in 40 years, the Liberals want to impose $436 in additional taxes on Quebec families. I am against that.

  (1045)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to contribute to today's debate.
    As our allies worldwide are moving forward with measures to make their economies greener and cleaner, it is really unfortunate to see that some of our hon. colleagues still do not understand the benefits of our approach. They like saying that our pollution pricing system is making people poorer, chumming the water with hyperinflated misinformation based on the worst-case scenarios of a future where we do nothing to combat climate change.
    The truth is, in fact, that today, right now, pollution pricing is putting more money back in the pockets of Canadian households. In 2022-23, through the climate action incentive payments, an average family of four received $745 in Ontario, $832 in Manitoba, $1,101 in Saskatchewan and $1,079 in Alberta. In addition, those living in rural and small communities received an extra 10%.
    Clearly, it appears that my colleagues from the official opposition would prefer that we just wait and take no action to address climate change. They would prefer that Canadian households just keep riding the roller coaster of international oil prices, while the cost to our environment, our health and our communities from climate change just keeps adding up. This is by no means a viable option for our country.
    At the end of March, our government released budget 2023, our made-in-Canada plan for a strong middle class, an affordable economy and a healthy future. It comes at an important moment for our country.
    I will be splitting my time with the member for Lac-Saint-Louis. He is a proud Quebecker, who I am sure will share his important perspective.
    To go back to my remarks, I will begin by speaking about the state of the Canadian economy today. Last year, Canada delivered the strongest economic growth in the G7, and our economic growth was stronger than expected in the first quarter of this year; I think it was 3% or 4%. There are 900,000 more Canadians working today than there were when COVID first hit. Our unemployment rate is just 5%, and it has remained near a record low for five months in a row. We have recovered 129% of the jobs lost to COVID, compared with just 115% in the United States.
    Inflation was 4.4% in April, down from a peak of 8.1% last June, and the Bank of Canada predicts that inflation will drop to just 2.5% by the end of this year. Even with a slowing economy driven by elevated interest rates in Canada and around the world, our deficit is projected to be lower than it was last year, down to just 1.4% of the GDP. Our deficit and our net-to-GDP ratio are the lowest in the G7 and lower than those of other large AAA-rated economies, such as Australia and the Netherlands.
    This strong economic foundation underpinned the budget our government released in March. Bill C-47, the budget implementation act, is currently at committee stage. It would implement many of the key measures outlined in our budget, including new targeted investments to make life more affordable for Canadians.
     As I mentioned earlier, in Canada, inflation has come down significantly from its peak of 8.1% in June. However, we all know that it is still too high, and it is still making it difficult for many Canadians to make ends meet and put food on the table. Groceries are more expensive today, and for many people, higher prices on other essential goods are causing undue stress. That is why budget 2023 announced new targeted inflation relief to help support the most vulnerable Canadians with the cost of living. This includes the introduction of a one-time grocery rebate, providing $2.5 billion in targeted inflation relief for 11 million low- and modest-income Canadian families.
    I am pleased to say that, with royal assent to Bill C-46, the grocery rebate will be delivered to eligible Canadians on July 5, 2023, by direct deposit or cheque through the Canada Revenue Agency. This means that eligible couples with two children will receive an extra $467, single Canadians without children up to an extra $234 and seniors an extra $225 on average. However, the Conservatives voted against every one of these measures. This is much-needed inflation relief that will be in the pockets of Canadians in just over a month. This is just one of example of a suite of measures announced in budget 2023 to help make life more affordable.

  (1050)  

    As another example, to support hard-working small business owners, budget 2023 outlined the government's efforts to work closely with small businesses and the payment card industry to lower these fees. Another important measure in the budget includes working with regulatory agencies, provinces and territories to reduce junk fees for Canadians. The budget also takes action to crack down on predatory lending. Predatory lenders can take advantage of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, including low-income Canadians, newcomers and seniors, often by extending very high interest rates. With budget 2023, our government is taking action by proposing to lower the criminal rate of interest from the equivalent of an annual percentage rate of 47% to 35% and imposing a cap on payday loans.
     Budget 2023 announced that the federal government will increase the number of Canadians eligible for File my Return to two million people by 2025, almost triple the current number. Budget 2023 also announced that, starting next year, the CRA will pilot a new automatic filing system. This will help vulnerable Canadians who do not currently file their taxes to receive the benefits to which they are rightly entitled.
    The government knows that the higher cost of living means that students still need support to afford an education and pursue their dreams. Budget 2023 also proposed enhanced support for students for the 2023 school year. This included increasing Canada student grants by 40%, providing up to $4,200 for full-time students, raising the interest-free Canada student loan limit from $210 to $300 per week of study, and waiving the requirement for mature students aged 22 years or older to undergo credit screening in order to qualify for federal student grants and loans for the first time.
     The members opposite like to make up big-cost numbers for the year 2030 and pull them forward as though they are happening right now, all the while ignoring the real damage that climate change is inflicting in our communities, whether it is through fires, floods, coastal erosion or storm damage. Meanwhile, we are helping people in the here and now in budget 2023, with measures that build on significant investments our government has made since 2015 to support Canadians and make life more affordable. These measures include reducing fees for regulated child care by 50% on average, to deliver regulated child care that costs an average of just $10 a day by 2026; increasing old age security benefits for seniors aged 75 and older by 10%; supporting about 3.5 million families annually through the tax-free Canada child benefit; enhancing the Canada workers benefit for our lowest-paid and often most essential workers to support up to 4.2 million Canadians annually; and permanently eliminating interest on Canada student loans.
    In conclusion, making life more affordable for Canadians has been a priority for our government since 2015, and it remains a priority. As I have outlined, budget 2023 builds on key investments from our government throughout the years, as we continue to make targeted and responsible investments to build a stronger economic future for all Canadians. As with previous inflation relief, this new support has been carefully designed to have the biggest impact on those that need it most and, at the same time, to avoid exacerbating inflation.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate it every time my colleague gets up to speak in the House of Commons. However, in 2018, an economist from Yale named William Nordhaus came out with his concept of a carbon tax. At that point in time, his concept was for $44 per tonne, far from the $170 per tonne that Canada is moving towards here very quickly. He also said that it had to be efficient, because it is the only mechanism to apply across the economy to make things balanced. With the current government, it has a carbon tax. Now it has a clean fuel standard and clean electricity regulations. There are all kinds of other taxes it is putting on top of this, and the oil industry in Canada is the only industry that pays royalties to the federal government and the provincial governments, mostly. This is a problem.
    There are significant regulations and additional taxes being layered on that are far in excess of what any academic, economist or financial person has ever seen. Can my colleague square this with me in terms of how he sees a carbon tax actually working?

  (1055)  

    Madam Speaker, I enjoy working with the hon. member on the environment committee. We have a good spirit of collaboration there.
    I would just start by saying that the party opposite campaigned on a clean fuel regulation and a price on pollution. We used to agree.
    The carbon price is not the only thing we are doing, as the hon. member mentioned. There are things on the incentive side of the question. We are working with the oil and gas sector. We are putting forward investment tax credits to support carbon capture, to support hydrogen and, importantly, to support the province of Alberta, where that important sector is located.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague. He said that, in the last budget, the government invested a lot of money in carbon capture, which is an extremely controversial technology. It is of absolutely no use in the fight against climate change. That carbon does not go away; it just gets buried in the ground.
    In the latest budget, the government is giving billions of dollars in tax credits to oil companies, which, I would remind the House, netted over $200 billion in 2022.
    Two weeks ago, I asked the Minister of Housing a question in committee of the whole. I am going to ask him that question again. Could that money—those tax credits and the billions of dollars the government is still giving oil companies—have been used to help with housing, seniors and health care?
    There are huge mental health issues across the country. Does my colleague think that money could have been used for better things than a technology that actually does absolutely nothing?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, we need to do both. The energy transition includes carbon capture, an important technology that is going to allow us to take advantage of our energy resources without the pollution. We need to help with the energy transition, and we need to invest in housing.
    We have a $170 billion national housing strategy. I was very fortunate to be involved in the early stages. On the housing front, it is a collective effort by the federal government, provinces and territories. We are on it. The hon. member raises a very good point.
    Madam Speaker, one of the points that the Parliamentary Budget Officer made in his report, when it comes to the clean fuel regulations, is that it is a policy that is regressive for Canadian households. Lower-income households pay a greater proportion of their income to meet the requirements of this policy.
     Affordability, of course, is a concern for everyone in this House. Why did the government choose not to put affordability measures in place in relation, specifically, to the clean-fuel regulation?
    Madam Speaker, again, I enjoy working with the hon. member on the environment committee.
    The clean-fuel regulation is just one tool in our tool box. The price on pollution, as the Parliamentary Budget Officer has pointed out, gives back more to eight out of 10 families. It is progressive. That is right in the Parliamentary Budget Officer's report.
    We have a plethora of initiatives that have been supported by my hon. colleague and his party. These include the OAS increase, the Canada child benefit, the middle-class tax relief, and the dental and rental supports. Again, we are both fighting pollution and supporting affordability.
    Madam Speaker, since we are talking about fuel, gasoline and the like, today, I would like to ask you a question. It is a rhetorical question; I am not expecting an answer. Do you have a car? I am sure you do. I am sure you drive on two-lane highways and three-lane highways. If you are like me, you see, every now and then, a car that moves from one lane to the next and then back again, sometimes without even signalling. That is frustrating and it is dangerous. I will come back to that car later.
    The official opposition has a gift for holding two contradictory positions at the same time. It is a clever balancing act, and, in some ways, I am impressed. I find it disturbing in a way, but it is clever in its own way. The official opposition can argue both sides at once. It is as though it wants to have its cake and eat it too. I will give an example. We hear, every day, that inflation is caused by too much money chasing too few goods. In other words, it is caused by a record expansion of the money supply during the pandemic. The next day, the official opposition says inflation is cost-driven, principally by the price on carbon, not by any other factor impacting costs, like supply chain bottlenecks and so forth. I will give a second example. The official opposition gets up and says that the horrible drug problem we have in this country is because of the low price of street drugs, which has created high demand. However, when we talk about the high price of gasoline, somehow that does not curtail demand. In other words, it seems like, according to the opposition, only those with addictions respond to the price mechanism. There are contradictions everywhere.
    I will give a third example. The official opposition has been for the price on carbon, and then it has been against the price on carbon. I would suggest that every Conservative MP in the House owes their constituents an explanation as to why they ran on a platform to impose a price on carbon yet abandoned that platform commitment very shortly afterward. They call the price on carbon a tax, but we are in an alternate reality here. The price on carbon is simply a transfer. They then call the clean fuel standard a second tax, but when it comes to the clean fuel standard, the government is not imposing any kind of charge. The clean fuel standard is not a tax; it is a regulation. This brings me to the fourth example of Conservative contradiction. For years, the Conservatives have been saying no to a price on carbon. That was before the 2021 election platform. Before that, they traditionally favoured regulation, as if regulations do not have a cost. They would say that they are not for a price on carbon, and that they prefer regulation, because, they say, there is no cost to regulation. It is very simple. It is like a magic wand. They will combat climate change through the magic wand of regulation, which, according to the Conservatives, costs nothing.
    The clean fuel standard is a regulation. No money goes to the government. It will result in the transfer of credits between companies, but only if a company does not meet its intensity target. It is not even clear how many credits a company or an enterprise would have to purchase, and since we do not know how many credits a company would have to purchase in 2030, we do not know what the cost impact of the purchase of those credits will be.

  (1100)  

    The clean fuel standard is something Conservatives should approve of and support, because it will drive innovation. We know that Conservatives like that, because, as the solution to climate change, they always invoke the magic word “technology”, which again they imply is something free. Technological advancement and innovation are often the result of government regulation and involve costs for research and development in order to arrive at new, more efficient technologies.
    The next thing they will be telling us, and this will be another contradiction in their discourse, is that the methane regulations the government brought into force, which are meant to stop fugitive and controlled methane emissions, are a tax, which they are not. We are in Alice in Wonderland; it is all sleight of hand.
    Then there is the Conservatives' fake math. They are pulling numbers out of thin air and omitting to tie them to specific dates. Do members remember “Triple, Triple, Triple” on the Conservatives' hit parade? That ditty seems to have fallen from the number one spot recently. It made it seem like the price was going up in multiples overnight, but the price on carbon goes up only $15 per tonne annually, or 30% from 2022 to 2023, not 300%. I think the Conservatives got the decimal point wrong. It will go up in a declining percentage every year: 23% from 2023 to 2024, then 19% from 2024 to 2025. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, which is no friend of the Liberal government, estimates that, after the 2023 increase on the price on carbon, the total impact of carbon pricing will amount to an extra 14¢ per litre, not “triple, triple, triple".
    There is another thing the opposition omits, and that is the rebate, which is what makes the price on carbon a transfer. Milton Friedman, who agreed with the price on carbon, did in fact include a rebate in his formula. We know that the leader of the official opposition is a disciple of Milton Friedman. I think Milton Friedman would be very upset, if he were alive today, to know that the leader of the official opposition here in Canada is against a market mechanism like the price on carbon.
    Once the clean fuel standard regulations take full effect, according to figures the PBO obtained from Environment and Climate Change Canada, they will increase the price of gas and diesel by as much as 17¢ per litre, but that is in 2030. Conservatives never mention the date when they get up and say, “triple, triple, triple". They forget there is a calendar date that is far off into the future.
    There is another point I would like to make about the PBO study, which would be apparent to anyone who has studied economics. I do not know how many people on that side have studied economics, but I am sure many other people in the House have. The PBO's analysis is based on what is called “static” economics. It does an analysis based on the idea that everything else stays the same, so it does not take into account innovation, or the fact that companies innovate to meet the intensity target and will not have to buy credits, and so on. It is not real-time economics, and I would say the official opposition needs to get with real time.
    I will come back to the big, blue car on the highway. Conservatives are for a price on carbon, then are against it. Conservatives are for regulations that drive innovation, then are against them. That big, blue gas guzzler that zigzags incessantly across the highway needs to pick a lane.

  (1105)  

    Madam Speaker, that was quite a show we just had from the member.
     In my province, we have regulated gas pricing, so we understand locally just how much the taxes and regulations cost consumers. Right now before the province, we see a request to raise the carbon tax by 3.25¢. What is more interesting is that the clean fuel standard is going to add 7.5¢ a litre on July 1. This is the headline of the CBC back home right now: “New Brunswick consumers may face double carbon charges on July 1”. The total is 12.4¢ with the HST, because, of course, with the Liberals it is a tax and another tax, a tax on a tax.
    My last point is this. The CTF, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, has said that the tax will be 14¢, and by 2030 will be three times that, at 41¢. That is where we get the “triple, triple, triple”.
    With the Liberals, it is all taxes, more taxes and taxes on top of them all the time. What does the member have to say about that?

  (1110)  

    Madam Speaker, I go back to the point that, unlike Milton Friedman's price on carbon model, ours includes a dividend to individual taxpayers, and that is what makes the price on carbon essentially a transfer. That is what I would say in response to the member's question.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer admits that the clean fuel regulations could have a minor impact on some households, especially the most disadvantaged.
    I would like my colleague to tell us his thoughts on the official languages action plan launched a month ago, which announces $700 million in funding over five years for Quebec's anglophone community. That is staggering.
    Does my colleague truly think that Quebec's anglophone community needs this money? Could this amount not be better spent on helping offset the possible impact of this tax, for example?
    Madam Speaker, I am a firm believer in the official languages action plan, but we are talking about fuel today, not official language communities.
    I make no apologies for being in favour of funding to help official language minority communities across the country.
    Madam Speaker, I found the speech by my Liberal Party colleague fascinating. He seemed to be suggesting that the Liberal government's record on greenhouse gas emissions is a good one. However, in 2021, greenhouse gas emissions increased by 2%. In fact, greenhouse gas emissions have gone up by 14% in Canada since 1990 despite the climate emergency.
    Why is his government not doing better? It is incapable of meeting the Paris Agreement targets.
    Madam Speaker, I would point out that, between 2019 and 2021, greenhouse gas emissions in Canada went down. Sure, they went up in 2021, but, as everyone knows, we were emerging from the pandemic, and the economy was recovering.
    We have to keep doing more, though. Clearly, the government's efforts since being elected in 2015 are starting to pay off. These things do not happen overnight, as the member should know.
    However, I am very optimistic about the future. For example, sales of zero-emission vehicles are on the rise. Demand is outstripping supply. That is why I am very optimistic about the future.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is high praise, coming from the masters of showmanship, to say that one has put on a good show, but it was a very good speech.
    We have been talking about the cost of our climate action plan and the rebates, etc. I was just reading a peer-reviewed study, based on science, and it showed that 30% of the total burned forest area in western Canada and the United States between 1986 and 2021 can be traced back to 88 major fossil fuel producers and cement manufacturers.
    I am wondering if you can comment on the cost of inaction as well as the price of pollution.
    I want to remind the member that she is to address questions and comments through the Speaker and not directly to the member.
    The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Louis has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, any kind of an analysis around environmental measures, including the price on carbon, must take into account the effects of doing nothing.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the champion of the environment, the hon. member for Repentigny.
    I am going to do something I rarely do. I am going to make an aside, because today is my son’s birthday; my loyal equerry is 22 years old. My son is studying political science, and I thought that the best gift I could give him was to use one of his university papers. No one will be surprised to hear that the paper was on populism. Everyone will see me coming right away: I feel like the motion before us here today is more populist rhetoric than actual political debate.
    I would like to use the reading grid my son presented in his paper. He gives the simplest definition of populism as being the act of developing a simplistic solution to a complex problem. In my opinion, saying that the carbon tax is responsible for today’s inflation is a simplistic solution to a complex problem.
    Once again based on the vast knowledge of my son, Émile Simard, populism can also be defined as the political tendency to create division, to simplify and to exacerbate differences of opinion. Later on I will talk about some of the discourse used by the leader of the official opposition. Members will once again see this tendency to create division, to simplify and to exacerbate differences of opinion.
    Populism can also be defined as the discourse and behaviours of persons who use rhetoric that combines reality with demagoguery, and that turn the people against ideological adversaries or existing institutions. Lastly, it can be said that all forms of populism berate institutions that do not sufficiently take popular aspirations into account. Populism caricatures political adversaries as elites who are not interested in taking the people’s ideas and popular wisdom into account.
    Let us start there and analyze the proposal contained in the Conservatives’ motion today. Populism revolves around populist themes. One of these themes we often see relates to purchasing power. This is telling people that, thanks to the political action of one party, they will have more money in their pockets. The notion of purchasing power is the focus of our Conservative colleagues’ motion. Another populist theme is mistrust of science. Climate change was made up by scientists. Another theme is the irrational need to defend the fossil fuel industry, which, as we know, contributes significantly to climate change.
    The Conservatives have tabled a motion here today that is textbook populism. It uses the inflationary context to advance their goal of antagonizing the members of the Liberal Party and the Bloc Québécois, who recognize that measures must be put in place to fight climate change. They are also trying to advance the agenda of the oil companies.
    Let us be honest for a moment and say, right from the start, that those who are not populist and remain rational understand that there is no second carbon tax. What the Conservatives are talking about are the clean fuel regulations, which aim to reduce the carbon intensity of fuels. As a result, we can say that the Conservative discourse linking this policy to the current purchasing power crisis is populist; it is doomsday rhetoric aimed at demonizing the energy transition.
    Let us say right from the start that the carbon tax that the Conservatives are talking about does not affect Quebec, but only Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. It must also be said that, for many years, the Conservatives have demonized the carbon tax. That was already the case under Mr. Harper. The goal is to score political points in the short term, which is another basic characteristic of populism.

  (1115)  

    It must also be said that, at the last Conservative convention, 54% of Conservative Party members rejected the existence of climate change. So more than half of Conservative Party members do not believe that climate change is real.
    To counterbalance that, I recall that the hon. member for Durham, the former Conservative leader, had said that he wanted to put a price on carbon. I do not know what led to the carbon tax becoming a key issue for the Conservative Party. At the last election, we had a leader who said that we should still have a tax on pollution.
    In my view, the Conservatives are using the Parliamentary Budget Officer because it suits them today, but we rarely hear them when the Parliamentary Budget Officer tells us about a phenomenon as important as the fiscal imbalance. I rarely hear the Conservatives say that they will use an opposition day to study this scourge of the Canadian federation that is the fiscal imbalance. Of course, if we synthesize all that, we are faced with simplistic solutions to the complex problem of inflation.
    There is a problem that none of my Conservative colleagues have mentioned. I do not want to address the real problem, because then I would be guilty of populism myself. The problem no one has mentioned is the problem of Canada, which continues to increase the production of dirty oil and tar sands, an unconventional and polluting type of oil. This is the problem we need to tackle today in this federation if we want to fight climate change, which will have a considerable impact on the economy.
    What my Conservative friends also often forget is that, historically, what has contributed the most to price fluctuations are fluctuations in the price of oil. We have seen that on numerous occasions. The gluttonous oil companies, which are forever increasing their margins, are earning record profits. We saw that during and after the pandemic. We need to ask these gluttonous oil companies, which are earning record profits, to make an extra effort, and not blame the carbon tax. This distorts reality.
    There are ways to fight inflation. I will mention one in particular: increasing retirees' fixed incomes. We have been calling on the government to increase the OAS and GIS for quite some time now. I would have liked to hear my Conservative colleagues talk about that.
    This brings me to the favourite topic of the Conservative leader, the member for Carleton and leader of the official opposition. I have heard the opposition leader denounce “wokeness” on numerous occasions. On a trip to Quebec, he said that the Bloc Québécois and the Liberal Party are woke parties. Here is a quote that made me laugh. While in Montreal, the Conservative leader said:
    The Liberals and their woke buddies from the Plateau Mont-Royal are waging a war on cars. So, having listened to the common sense of the people from the Quebec City region, allow me to send an equally clear message: A Poilievre government will not fund a third link without lanes reserved for cars.
     “Good common sense” is a populist term. When someone uses those words, they are usually a populist. Let us not forget the ultimate populist theme: driving. The woke are against driving. What is really funny is that the leader of Conservative Party was rebuked by Quebec's premier, who said that it was not the Liberal federal government that put an end to the third link, it was Quebec. The leader of the Conservative Party was rebuked.
    I will conclude by saying that I am going to use a little populist discourse myself. Those we consider woke in Quebec are generally those who are against Bill 21, the secularism law, and Bill 96, the French language law. I know that the leader of the Conservative Party is against both these laws.
    Is the Conservative Party a woke party because it is against Bills 21 and 96? That is what I want to know. Perhaps my son can give me an answer on his next birthday.

  (1120)  

    Madam Speaker, what I find interesting in what my colleague across the aisle says is that, in his own province of Quebec, the federal tax on pollution does not apply. Quebec has its own carbon pricing. It is a system that works very well. I congratulate them.
    However, what we have heard from the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent raises several questions. The only thing that applies to the province of Quebec is the issue of affordability, which is a concern for all Canadians.
    My question concerns affordability. When measures were proposed here in the House to offer dental care for children, subsidies during the pandemic or grocery rebates, the Conservatives always voted against them. In this context, does my colleague find that there is a contradiction in the way the Conservatives voted?

  (1125)  

    Madam Speaker, I agree with my colleague that the Conservatives' proposal is a simplistic solution to a complex problem.
    Where I disagree somewhat with my Liberal colleague is that, in my view, the best way to fight inflation is to support those who do not earn very much. I immediately think of retirees. The Liberal Party has never wanted to increase the OAS and GIS. It created two classes of seniors. The best way to fight inflation would be to support seniors.
    I also do not agree with him on the dental care system, which creates a lot of unfairness in Quebec because we already have a dental care system. We lose big under in this system.
    I do not completely agree with him, but I am prepared to say that the Conservatives have a simplistic solution to a serious problem.
    Madam Speaker, my Bloc colleague said that the Conservative Party is the party of populism. Could he define the word “populism”? A large number of Canadians elected the Conservative Party to represent them in the House of Commons.
    Now, a second carbon tax is about to be forced on Canadians. Another tax on clean electricity regulation is going to be imposed in July, and yet another tax on electricity is coming later.
    Among the Government of Canada's many proposals, is there a tax on logging? We now know that trees store carbon and release it into the environment. Would my colleague agree with me on that point?
    Madam Speaker, I am not sure I entirely follow where my colleague is going with this. I have never heard of a tax that would apply to the forestry sector because a tree sequesters carbon.
    He asked me to provide a definition of populism. To me, it is quite clear. It refers to politicians who try to oversimplify certain issues, sow division and create antagonism without listening to reason, to common sense, to science.
    The science shows that climate change is going to cost us a fortune. If we listen to the science, then we should try to prepare for this looming threat and put in place measures such as carbon pricing. It is as simple as that.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the Conservative motion seems to conflate two different concepts in policy: taxes and regulations. I cannot think of why my hon. colleagues on the Conservative side would want to try to confuse Canadians, and I cannot imagine that they do not know the difference between taxes and regulations, so I wonder if my friend could provide his thoughts on why the Conservatives seem intent on confusing these two concepts.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, to be clear, the Bloc Québécois's objective is to stand up for the interests of Quebec in the House.
    I often get the impression that the objective of the Conservative Party, which is the bloc of the west, is to stand up for the interests of the oil companies in this chamber. The Conservatives often try to distort reality by claiming carbon pricing is one of the causes of inflation, since carbon pricing has repercussions for big oil. That is unbelievably stupid.
    Madam Speaker, like my colleague, I will say that the Bloc Québécois will vote against this motion.
    First, we are not in favour of cancelling the clean fuel regulations. In addition, we do not approve of the Conservative grandstanding on the important issue of inflation and the rising cost of living. We have solutions that would be suitable for Quebec and Canada and that would not prevent them from addressing climate change.
    It bears repeating that there is no second carbon tax. My colleague and I have said it twice. It is the clean fuel regulations, or CFR, which are intended to reduce the carbon intensity of liquid fossil fuels and which must come into force on July 1, 2023. Four measures were proposed by Canada to achieve a target of 40% reduction in greenhouse gases from 2005 levels. The CFR and carbon pricing, the elimination of coal and the regulation of methane are all important. The CFR is a measure that focuses on the transportation sector, which is very good since it is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Canada. Unfortunately, emissions are rising.
    The Conservative outrage stems first and foremost from their total aversion to policies aimed at putting our society on a path of energy progress. They are against that. Indeed, the CFR could have a regressive effect because lower-income households allocate a greater proportion to transportation expenses than high-income households. However, what is not being said in the discussion is that the analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Officer focuses on the projected cost in 2030 in a scenario in which the CFR is not implemented.
    What is needed by 2030, and it is needed even sooner, is a change in our behaviour. That is the idea, that is the objective. By consuming less, the environmental impacts will be proportional. We will pay less because we will be consuming less and we will change our habits. There is no other choice. Things cannot continue as they are now. With their motion, in a truly apocalyptic tone, the Conservatives are weaponizing data from the Parliamentary Budget Officer by applying their mantra of everything to oil and gas.
    As I said earlier, this measure aims to send a signal to the market to promote innovation, and I would even add without delay. We are going through major upheavals at the moment. It is all interrelated, interdependent. The global economy is changing. Historically, the greatest factor in price instability has been the price of oil. The best way to protect against that instability is to move to post-oil as soon as possible.
    Indeed, as Canadian oil sands production increases, the role of unconventional oil in the Canadian economy increases. However, it is unconventional products that result in economic costs because they are more polluting than conventional oil. The more the share of bitumen increases, the greater the costs of the CFR. Thus, conversely, costs can be saved if the share of bitumen declines.
    Provinces with economies that are less dependent on fossil fuels are less affected, as is the case in Quebec. The result of this Quebec policy foresees a reduction of 1.78 megatonnes in our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. That is the equivalent of 512,000 light vehicles. That is something; it is a step forward.
    On the other hand, the discourse from the Conservatives represents a step back. It links these regulatory efforts to the current purchasing power crisis. That is doomsday rhetoric, and I would even say rather misguided. Why?
    Conservative thinking does not take into account the economic benefits of the energy transition, as it is that unavoidable step that allows us to consider a future for our society and future generations. The Conservatives ignore the fact that the costs incurred by environmental policies, such as the CFR, are inextricably linked to our energy choices and policies.
    To achieve a transformation, to change, tools are needed, incentives are needed, efforts are needed. Human beings are made that way. That is how we are made. As an example, what did we do to curb smoking?

  (1130)  

    Once all the facts were on the table, the research was there, the devastating findings on cancer were there, multiple deterrents were implemented and they worked. It took time. It did not happen in 5 years; it may have taken 10 years. It took time, but there are fewer cancers.
    I will cite an example from Europe. The bonus-malus solution for large engines in Europe gives hope for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. A cost-benefit study of the bonus-malus provision in France shows that the market share of new low-consumption vehicles increased from 30% in 2007 to 45% in 2008 and 56% in 2009. Let us imagine the result 12 years later. It works but, yes, arm-twisting is sometimes needed to move forward.
    Levers are needed to speed up the development of new technologies and, at the same time, stimulate demand for clean fuels.
    I want to briefly mention New Economy Canada, which was on Parliament Hill this week. The representatives of this organizations came to present to us Quebec and Canadian innovations that will structure the new economy of the future, and they are impressive. We ware talking about companies that fully align with the goal of net-zero emissions and that care about the just transition and ties with indigenous communities. Everything is there in every sector a person can think of.
    The climate policy is costing so much because Canada continues to increase the production of oil from the tar sands, so-called dirty oil because it is unconventional and causes more pollution. Pollution has a cost, as does inaction. Inflation affects purchasing power and money. Let us talk about money.
    As we speak, there are forest fires raging across the country. The resulting distress and destruction are overwhelming. Climate change does in fact have an impact on people's health and safety, even though the Conservatives sometimes act as though it is no big deal. Have the Conservatives forgotten the sad fate of the 700 people who lost their lives in Lytton in the summer of 2021 or the devastation in the Fort McMurray area?
    In 2018, the World Health Organization identified climate change as the greatest threat to health in the 21st century. The disasters I just mentioned bring with them trauma, the displacement of families, material losses, and the list goes on. The impacts of the climate crisis, which is largely attributable to our dependence on fossil fuels, are such that the reinsurer Swiss Re estimated the cost of natural disasters in 2021 at $320 billion, up 24% over 2020.
    What does all this mean for our health?
    The medical costs associated with air pollution are high. According to a 2017 estimate by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, these costs totalled between $26 billion and $48 billion in 2015.
    An in-depth analysis done by Health Canada in 2019 found that air pollution causes 14,600 premature deaths every year, at a cost of $114 billion, or 7% of Canada's GDP. That is significant.
    I am a little confused by the Conservative demagoguery. Their party seems to embody one single objective: to maintain, and even grow, a lethal industry that is shamefully making the rich even richer, to the detriment of any collective progress offered by a genuine energy transition.
    This budget leans heavily on green this and green that, on the magical—and, as I see it, smoke-blowing—technology known as carbon capture and storage, a Trojan horse if ever there was one. It is anything but efficient.
    Independent expert analyses confirm without a doubt that capture and storage is inefficient, costly and impossible to implement in time, not to mention a tool invented by oil companies themselves to make money.
    Conservative Party members are not knights in shining armour come to the aid of workers and citizens. They are shills for the ruling Canadian oil and gas elite, which is laser-focused on producing more, exporting more and sucking up more public money to stay afloat, all while greenwashing to the max.
    When people are in denial, they lose sight of the truth. This stubborn rejection of change has to stop. The longer we wait, the higher the financial, human, environmental, economic and social costs.
    Sometimes changing one's mindset requires therapy. Summer is coming, and we will not be here for three months. I think this is a good time to start therapy.

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, I have a question for the Bloc member.
     Many organizations see the deforestation happening across the world as the primary cause of the rise in CO2 in the atmosphere. In 2019, the government said that it was going to plant two billion trees over the next 10 years. It is now 2023, and the government has only planted 60 million trees. This is hardly the way to reach a goal of planting two billion trees in Canada.
    Is this a success or a win in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions into Canada's atmosphere?

  (1140)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question. He sits with me on the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.
    Trees capture CO2 up to about the age of 70. There is some carbon capture going on there, but the problem is that, when it was announced in 2019 that two billion trees would be planted, the Trans Mountain pipeline was under construction. Trans Mountain far exceeds the carbon that two billion trees could ever capture.
    Of course, we should plant trees. That said, I do not believe anyone is foolish enough to believe that two billion trees will make up for greenhouse gas emissions.

[English]

     Madam Speaker, I want to thank my friend and hon. colleague. I also serve on the environment committee with her. She is an excellent member, and I really enjoyed her speech, which I mostly agreed with.
    I wonder if the hon. member would reflect and comment on the clean fuel regulation. It would give us cleaner air, and it would lower carbon emissions, as she said. Also, it is very good for our farmers. The hon. member knows there is increasing canola production. In Quebec, there is canola crushing. In fact, Quebec takes canola from the Maritimes and crushes it.
     Could the hon. member reflect on the economic benefits for Canada, for Quebec and for the farmers of this land?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague, with whom I also sit. There are three questions in one.
    There are economic benefits, because it will force people to change their habits by consuming less petroleum products and focusing on innovation and the transition. We need to stop talking about the transition and start doing something. That is the problem.
    As I mentioned in my speech, I find that the benefits mostly concern the environment and public health. The pollution caused by the fine particles emitted by the combustion of oil is making us sick. That is how we should be looking at this, rather than through the lens of agriculture.
    I am far more concerned that it is harmful for our health and that, if we use clean fuel and if we use less fuel, we will improve the health of both the environment and Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, when it comes to climate, the Conservatives are dinosaurs. I think that they like oil so much because it is the remains of dinosaurs. They must feel at home there.
    What does my colleague think about the Liberal government, and especially the Minister of the Environment, who make grand speeches at COPs but then sign an order authorizing a project like Bay du Nord?
    Madam Speaker, we have talked at length about what the Conservatives brought to the table for their opposition day, but the government is essentially no different.
    To return to the topic of carbon capture and storage, it is like a magic pill for them too. They think it will solve everything. I think that both the Conservatives and the government in power are behaving more like pawns of the oil and gas oligarchs.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to announce that I will be sharing my time with my hon. colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley who, I am sure, will teach us a lot about this very important issue.
    The planet is burning. It is not a metaphor. Global warming and climate change are real. This is affecting people. It is killing people. It is making people sick and forcing people to leave their villages and towns. The planet is burning and not thousands of kilometres away, but here at home in our own backyard.
    Forest fires are currently burning in British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Quebec. What bright idea did the Conservatives come up with? They are saying that we should not put a price on pollution. They are completely disconnected from reality, from what is actually happening here at home and around the world.
    The ice shelves in Antarctica are collapsing. This is causing ocean levels to rise. If the permafrost ends up melting, it will release an unbelievable amount of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 70 times stronger than CO2. All these phenomena are piling up. The oceans are acidifying and that will also have an impact on climate change.
    How is it that the Conservatives are coming back for the eighth time in three years, telling us that we should not put a price on pollution, that it would be good to continue the status quo because everything is going so well and this is good for the economy?
    However, if there is no planet, if there is no environment, there will be no economy. I do not understand why the Conservatives keep hammering away on this issue, supporting an industry that is harmful not only to biodiversity and nature, but also to human beings, public health and our economy. Even insurance companies are sounding the alarm. Insurance companies are not the biggest tree huggers in the world, but they are beginning to realize that there are areas and places that are no longer insurable. They no longer want to insure people's homes because it is too risky. It is too risky, whether for floods, forest fires or landslides. It has come to that point.
    The Conservatives keep repeating the same old line that nothing needs to be done or we should wait until others do something. If China does nothing, we do nothing. If the United States does nothing, we do nothing.
    As human beings and citizens of the world, we have a responsibility to take action to ensure that our environment remains healthy, viable and livable for our children and our grandchildren. As Quebeckers and Canadians, we have a special responsibility because we are big polluters. It is true, we have a small population but we are major greenhouse gas emitters.
    In 2021, Canada ranked as the 10th GHG-emitting country in the world. By population, it is ranked 39th in the world. Thus, we should be ranked 39th for greenhouse gas emissions, but no, we are ranked 10th. We are in the top 10 emitters because, on average, our per capita greenhouse gas emissions total 17.5 tonnes per year.
    According to the Paris agreement, to perhaps hold the temperature increase to 1.5° or 2°, per capita greenhouse gas emissions must be limited to two tonnes per year, on average. We are at 17.5 tonnes. This shows the gap between how we live and what result we should attain. It is a huge gap.
    I would like to take this opportunity to urge caution when discussing the concept of averages in connection with climate change. When we tell people about the need to be careful because a global temperature increase of more than two degrees could be catastrophic, they usually react by thinking that two degrees is not that much, and they wonder what difference it could make. They tell themselves, after all, they often wake up in the morning to a temperature of 15°C, only for it to rise by the afternoon to 25°C. That is a difference of 10°C in a single day. In Quebec, temperatures can drop to 35 below in winter and rise to 35 above in summer, a difference of 70 degrees. All this leaves people wondering what a 1.5°C or 2°C rise in temperature really means.

  (1145)  

    They say it is going to alter the planet's ecosystems and, to understand that, we need to go back a bit. When I say “a bit”, I mean a very long time ago. If we go back 20,000 years, it was, on average, 4°C colder than it is today. As a result, Europe was covered by 3,000 kilometres of ice. The planet was uninhabitable, because it was colder. It is easy to see that if, when it was 4° colder, there were 3,000 kilometres of ice, then when it is 4° warmer, a whole slew of areas on the planet would simply become uninhabitable. Human beings, the human body, cannot survive in those conditions. French engineer Jean-Marc Jancovici is quite clear about that.
    There are beautiful maps that unfortunately show that an additional 2°C would make certain parts of the world uninhabitable, places such as Central America, northern South America, parts of the Maghreb, South-East Asia, parts of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, where, if it were over 35° with 100% humidity it would be impossible for human beings to survive. Perspiration would no longer be enough to cool a person's body, so they would die. What happens when people are at risk of dying if they stay in their region, town or village? They move to places where it is not as hot, where it is cooler.
    Global warming will lead to phenomenal levels of population migration across the globe, which could give rise to geopolitical conflict, extreme tension and probably even war. That is why former U.S. vice-president Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize several years ago for his work on the environment and the prevention of climate change. Why would someone win the Nobel Peace Prize when we are talking about the environment? I just explained why, and it might be worth reflecting on.
    I submitted a written question to the government recently, specifically to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration and the department responsible for housing, to find out how the federal government plans to handle the arrival of climate refugees. The answer was that Canada has the national housing strategy, that everything is going to be fine and no one needs to worry about it.
    We have a Liberal government that is a climate change laggard on the international stage. It is incapable of planning for what is coming. Greenhouse gas emissions in Canada increased by 2% in 2021. Between 1990 and 2021, greenhouse gas emissions in Canada increased by 14% when the goal was to reduce them by 40%. We are way off target. What is more, there has been a dizzying increase in oil and gas production since 2005. The production of oil in the oil sands, which is the most polluting oil in the world, has increased by 215% since 2005 while, internationally, Canada boasts. It attends COP and says that it is a model, that we need to transition, that it is important and we need to pay attention. In the meantime, there is a 215% increase in production in the oil sands. That means that, since 2005, 200,000 wells have been drilled to find oil and gas.
    The Liberals tell us that things will work out, that we will be able to reach our objectives, yet their actions say the opposite. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change is a former founder of Equiterre, an organization that is currently suing him for shirking his responsibilities. Although he claims he wants to be there to change the world and save the planet, he picked up his pen or pencil and signed a ministerial order green lighting the Baie du Nord project, a decision solely within his purview that will ultimately generate hundreds of millions of barrels of oil.
    On the one side we have the Conservatives, dinosaurs who refuse to take the matter seriously, and on the other side we have the Liberals, saying one thing and doing the opposite.

  (1150)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to reiterate something that I have said many times here in the House of Commons: Climate change is real, humans helped cause climate change and humans must impose new rules to be sure to mitigate it as much as possible. That takes realistic, concrete measures, not more taxes.
    The member mentioned earlier that Canada is climate laggard. That is true, of course. He is not the one saying it, and neither are we. The United Nations said it in a report presented at COP27 last November.
    I want to remind the House of one thing. The Liberal strategy, with the support of the NPD, involves imposing taxes. The Liberals have been governing the country for eight years by taxing and lecturing everyone, and yet greenhouse gas emissions are still rising. I am not the one saying it. He said it himself earlier.
    Why then is the government continuing with a strategy that is not working? Why does the government not take realistic, concrete, responsible action with real measures to reduce pollution rather than taxing people? We have been saying that for years.

  (1155)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent for his speech. Unfortunately, it does not surprise me.
    I still cannot believe the Conservatives would refuse to use the tools of the market and the capitalist system to change the behaviour of individuals and companies. I agree with the NDP caucus that this tool must be used, but it would work a lot better if the government did not simultaneously do the opposite.
    It is like stepping on the gas and the brakes at the same time. Rarely does anything good come of that. That is the problem with the Liberals: They are sucking and blowing. Unfortunately, the Conservatives would prefer to do nothing at all.
    Madam Speaker, the dinosaurs are presenting the environmental transition as a cost. It is true that polluting may seem like the profitable option when we look just at the economic indicators. During the rise of globalization and the triumph of neo-liberalism, we were told to forget about national production and buying local and to go global instead. We were told to think about the international division of labour. It was basically a religion.
    Now we have developing countries specializing in processing electronic waste, which is highly toxic. We can see that those countries are becoming wealthier and that their GDP is increasing. However, what about the hidden costs, such as the future cost of decontaminating groundwater and the effects on health care systems, which are often not very developed, when the workers who handle this waste start to need treatment? Often, those countries do not have very good accounting systems and the costs are really hidden.
    There are hidden costs behind the growth and economic indicators. Should we completely change our statistical view of the situation?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his very interesting and specific question.
    Yesterday, I attended an event organized by Stop Ecocide Canada, a group advocating a new legal concept of environmental accountability. An American was there to talk about responsible investment funds and the use of tax measures to effect change. He spoke about the social, environmental and public health impacts that should be taken into account when it comes to the cost of externalities. I think that is in line with my colleague's question. I think that we should incorporate that into our vision and analysis.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am wondering if the member could provide his thoughts with regard to consistency. The Conservatives are saying they want to get rid of the price on pollution, but at the end of the day, we have other provinces, in particular British Columbia and Quebec, that have a price in place. If they were to get rid of the price on pollution on a national basis, does the member believe that the Conservatives would be obligated to compensate people in the provinces of B.C. and Quebec to be fair?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his question.
    This is a complex issue because we have different systems. Quebec has had a carbon exchange in place for a number of years now. The funny thing is that the carbon exchange was implemented by Jean Charest when he was premier of Quebec, and he recently ran for Conservative Party leader, so that idea came from someone within their own ranks.
    We do need to think about it. The important thing is that we take action. The systems may be different, but what I want and what the NDP wants is for all of the provinces to make an extra effort because, right now, we are not doing enough. The federal government has this small measure, but unfortunately, it should be doing a lot more and putting an end to oil and gas projects.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to this motion.
     I am struck by the fact that we are here, yet again, debating a Conservative motion to cancel a climate policy. It is like Groundhog Day, except in this case, every time the Conservative groundhogs poke their heads out of the ground, the weather is hotter, the wildfires are more severe and the floods are more frequent. This is taking place, of course, against the backdrop that my friend from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie described very eloquently. In Nova Scotia, wildfires are raging. In Alberta, there are still 61 wildfires. I checked the portal last night to see how many there are. To date this year, they have had 555 wildfires in that province, and it is only June.
    This debate is taking place against the backdrop of oil and gas corporations raking in eyewatering profits, historic profits, profits so great that the CEO of Shell, one of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world, said that we should tax them. Of course, these profits drive inflation and make life more expensive for average Canadians.
    This is the backdrop against which we are having today's debate, yet on Monday I listened to a Conservative colleague from Red Deer, a very decent guy, talk about how climate change is not real, how CO2 is not a problem, how the people who warned us about things like acid rain in the seventies and eighties were snake oil salesmen, and how, without climate change, we would not have rivers. This is the kind of discussion we hear coming from the party that has put forward the motion before us today.
    This particular Groundhog Day, the Conservatives' target is something called the clean fuel regulation, a regulation that the government has proposed to reduce the carbon intensity of liquid fuels, including gasoline and diesel. The fuel regulations account for 26 million tonnes of greenhouse gas reductions in the government's emission reduction plan, which, putting aside the merits of the actual policy, indicates that it is being called on to do some heavy lifting in reaching the targets. We know how much difficulty previous Liberal governments have had in meeting their targets.
    I think that Canadians should look at this motion before us with some skepticism. I will lay out a couple of reasons why.
    The first one is the language that the motion uses. I think we have a responsibility as parliamentarians to communicate clearly and accurately to the people who we represent when we talk about policy, particularly policy that is so important and that can be complex. The Conservatives are calling a regulation a tax, knowing full well that regulations and taxes are different things. We know this. If we call everything the same thing, it does not work. That is the purpose of language, to differentiate between different kinds of things.
    I cannot imagine why they would be doing this. The only two reasons I can come up with is, first, they don't know the difference between a regulation and a tax. That cannot be the case because I know that many of my hon. colleagues are intelligent and educated people, so that cannot be why. What could the other reason be? Of course in this place it is against the Standing Orders to intentionally mislead the House, so that cannot be the reason. I cannot think of why they would want to conflate two very different kinds of policies: taxes and regulations.
     Perhaps, Madam Speaker, you know what that third reason might be.
    The second reason I think that Canadians should be very concerned about the motion in front of us is because the party proposing it, the party calling for this policy of the Liberal government to be cancelled, to be axed, has not provided an alternative. This is a pattern that we see. We just heard it from our colleague down the way. They say, “Oh, no, this plan doesn't work. We need a real, effective plan.” They never bring forward that real, effective plan so we can evaluate it against the plan that the government has put forward.
    Granted, the government's plan has many shortcomings. It should be evaluated and it should be costed out, but the official opposition never puts forward a plan that can be costed out or evaluated. In fact, the one time that it brought forward a climate plan that could be evaluated, it contained a lot of the same policies the Liberal government has put forward. I would love to read some of those. I am going to get to that a little later in my speech.

  (1200)  

    Of course, this motion rests heavily on and draws heavily from a recent report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer, and the many challenges with that report have been well documented in the media and by climate policy experts. I wish that the PBO had provided an explanation as to why he chose the highest possible cost estimate, the uppermost bound, as the basis for his estimations of cost. The $531 per household is not the expected cost. It is the maximum cost. Of course, there are many things that could prevent that maximum cost from being reached. For instance, the update of electric vehicles could be faster than expected or the biofuel industry could advance technology and innovate at a greater pace. All of these things are not only possible, but likely.
    Most important is that the PBO's report was silent on the cost of inaction. There is something called “the social cost of carbon”, which in 2020 was estimated by our public service as being $54 a tonne. We cannot compare the costs of the proposal in front of us to cancel a climate policy against the option of no action at all. That is not a fair comparison. We are talking about an existential threat, a threat that everyone in the House has acknowledged in this debate and previous debates. Therefore, we can only compare the clean fuel regulations the government has proposed against alternative policies, yet the Parliamentary Budget Officer, in a footnote, states very clearly that it is outside the scope of his work to compare the clean fuels regulations to other alternative policies that may achieve a similar end.
    Finally, the PBO has not explained in adequate detail what other scenarios may take place. We know there is great uncertainty about the path forward when it comes to climate action and how this policy interacts with other policies. There is a great amount of uncertainty, and overly simplistic conclusions, such as the one we have received, do not serve the public interest.
    It is surprising, and this has been raised previously in this debate, that the Conservatives do not like market-based mechanisms because, of course, that is the party that worships at the altar of the almighty market, yet the two policies they criticize the most are both market-based mechanisms that leverage the power of markets to find the most efficient and the least-cost way to reduce emissions. This is what economists say is the path forward.
    Personally, I am agnostic. What I want to see are effective policies that drive down climate pollution and give our kids a chance at a decent, stable future. However, we do not hear policies like that coming from the Conservative Party. All we hear is criticisms of the policies that have been put forward by so many experts.
    I was looking at the 2021 Conservative election platform, and I want to read members a passage because I find it quite interesting. It says in that platform:
    We’ll finalize and improve the Clean Fuel Regulations to reduce carbon emissions from every litre of gasoline...we burn, turning them into a true Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
    Boy, that sounds very familiar. It goes on to read:
Our improvements will include:
    Basing our Low Carbon Fuel Standard on British Columbia’s policy to achieve a 20% reduction in carbon intensity for transport fuels....
    The policy from the government reduces the carbon intensity by 15%, yet in the last election, the Conservatives were proposing the same policy, but with a 20% reduction. Therefore, I am not sure how we get this weather vane of Conservative policy. As I proposed before, maybe that weather vane itself could be a source of renewable energy that could drive down emissions. If it were not for all the hot air, that might be an opportunity.
     I am perplexed. If not these policies, then which ones? When are the Conservatives going to put forward a plan? Having no plan is not an option at this juncture.
     These aspects should concern all Canadians, and we do need to focus on affordability, but we need to have a serious debate in the House about serious matters. I am deeply troubled by the fact that the Conservative Party continues to conflate basic concepts to confuse Canadians on a topic that has so much import for our country and our world.

  (1205)  

    Madam Speaker, it was interesting to hear my NDP colleague across the way. This is from a party that just had a motion this week to talk about foreign interference, that it was going to tackle it, and then, within hours, it had backed down and said that that it was not going to pull the government down, it is not that serious and it is still going to support the government.
    The question is about the carbon tax. He gets convoluted and caught up in whether it is a regulation or a tax, but in the end, what happens is that it costs his citizens in Skeena—Bulkley Valley a lot more. What I am hearing from Skeena—Bulkley Valley residents is that he does not get it. They have plans that do not actually reduce emissions but still keep charging Canadians more and, with the new tax, even more.
    When is the NDP actually going to listen to its constituents and deal with the real issue of affordability in Canada?

  (1210)  

    Madam Speaker, Skeena—Bulkley Valley is a beautiful spot. It is just to the west of Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies.
    On that topic, I want to talk a little bit about my colleague's riding. My colleague represents Prince George, an excellent community full of wonderful people, which has seen a number of investments that relate very directly to the clean fuel regulations his party is attacking in this motion, including a major potential investment by Canfor in a biofuel facility in Prince George, which would employ hundreds of people and create millions of dollars of economic development. I wonder what that company thinks, because the clean fuel regulations are driving the innovation that it is proposing in his community.
    Madam Speaker, I agree with just about everything my hon. colleague mentioned. While it is frustrating that we keep having this debate, it does give us an opportunity to talk about climate policy.
    We know that our province has many successful climate policies, but we know the climate crisis and the biodiversity crises are intertwined. One area where I have been very frustrated to see a lack of change in policy in our province is the continued logging of old-growth trees. I put forward a motion that would ban old-growth logging on federal lands and the export of old-growth logs and their products, while we work with the province to move toward more sustainable forms of forestry, including supporting conservation.
    I was wondering what my colleague thinks of this motion, and if he would be willing to support it—
    Madam Speaker, it is a very good point. I took note of his motion. He will not be surprised to learn that I support increasing the protection of old-growth forests in British Columbia and around the world, because of course, they are important sources of biodiversity and play an important role in protecting our climate.
    On the topic of biodiversity, though, there is an important tie-in to the clean fuel regulation that we are debating today, which is that, if we rapidly increase the production of biofuels, we need to ensure that safeguards are in place so it does not impact biodiversity, especially when we are using wood products to create those fuels, and so it does not impact food security when we are using farmland to create—

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. Earlier we heard the Conservatives touting carbon capture technologies, and we often see the Liberals doing the same. However, just about every scientist in the world criticizes those technologies. The Conservatives praise this technology a lot, saying that it is a cure-all, a miracle, and that, in the end, it will mean oil sands development is not so bad for the environment.
    This morning, I heard a Conservative MP push the envelope even further, incredibly enough. He talked about the forestry industry. We know that trees capture carbon. This MP asked whether we should also tax the forestry industry because trees capture carbon.
    When misinformation like that is sent out to the public, does it not make things even more confusing for citizens? Does it not make the job even harder for those who want to provide correct information?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would agree with my colleague that attempts to confuse or conflate different issues and different topics is not helpful in the context of such an important debate.
    When it comes to the forest industry, we need to ensure that our forest practices are truly renewable. It is an industry that my family has worked in for years and years. If done properly, and if practised sustainably, it can be a renewable resource that actually helps our climate.
    We are not there yet. We need to get there.
    Madam Speaker, these are sad times for rural Canada, and specifically for rural Atlantic Canada, its people and industries that depend on fuel to move everything.
    The Liberal-NDP coalition has decided carbon tax 1, which will add 41¢ per litre to gasoline when fully implemented, is not enough of a beating to lay on Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and Maritimers. I stand here today on behalf of the good people of Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame and on behalf of my province and all of Atlantic Canada to support our Conservative motion.
    I will be sharing my time with our hon. Leader of the Opposition.
    On behalf of all these people in Atlantic Canada who are downtrodden, I stand here to support our Conservative motion to recognize the failure of carbon tax 1 and to immediately cancel carbon tax 2.
    Carbon tax 2 is cleverly disguised as the clean fuel standard. The costly coalition will argue that carbon tax 2 is not a tax. What is next? Will income tax be called the “income standard” or will the harmonized sales tax be renamed the “harmonized sales standard”? We do not know where all this is going, but the Liberal-NDP marriage, which is rumoured to be entering some period of marriage counselling not long after the honeymoon, will never run out of creative ways to tax us. That is one thing that is guaranteed.
    Carbon tax 1, let us face it, is a complete failure. Not one single solitary emissions reduction target has been met. In fact, our emissions are higher than they were in 2015 when our country started to head for the toilet.
    President Biden recently stood right here just a few feet from where I am standing right now. He is a close personal friend of the Prime Minister. He has decided not to place a carbon tax on fuel in the United States, and guess what, U.S. emissions have dropped since 2015.
    For us here and for people in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador, they are going to pay an extra $1,316 per year by the time carbon tax 1 is fully implemented. Carbon tax 2, by the time it is fully implemented, will be another $850 a year for families. Can I get a drum roll for the grand total? There is no drum roll as they cannot be proud enough to give that a drum roll. The total is $2,166 per year.
    P.E.I. does not have anyone on this side to represent it and stand up for it. For the poor people of P.E.I., it is going to cost those folks $2,081 a year.
    I referenced net because these Liberals, including Liberal MPs like those from St. John's South—Mount Pearl and Long Range Mountains, claim that we will get more back in rebates than we will pay. These two federal ministers from Newfoundland are thrilled, according to a SaltWire article from this past November 22. Imagine our own federal representatives in this cabinet thrilled about the extra costs being placed on the lives of their people.
    Liberals will tell us that Conservatives are presenting fake numbers. Earlier today I heard exactly what my hon. colleague said when he blamed us for using fake numbers. These are not magical, illusionary or fabricated figures. These are figures that were calculated by the PBO, who is a Liberal-appointed official. According to the PBO, carbon tax has an inflationary effect.
    Guess who else said that tax was inflationary? It was the Governor of the Bank of Canada. Our federal members, including the member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl, who was sick and tired of hearing about the cold winter and what we are doing about it, do not believe the PBO or the Governor of the Bank of Canada. It is unbelievable. They are expecting the people they serve to believe them instead of experts. Atlantic Canadians are not buying what the Liberal government is selling.

  (1215)  

    The Liberal premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Andrew Furey, close personal friend of the Prime Minister, and three other Atlantic premiers wrote to the Prime Minister last fall begging him not to place the carbon tax on home heating fuel. The silence was deafening.
    Last week, the same four premiers reached out to the Minister of Environment and asked him to not implement carbon tax 2. Once they realized that the PBO had identified the big hit that it was going to make to the pocketbooks of Atlantic Canadians, the premiers went to work.
    Will the Prime Minister and his climate-change wingman listen to the premiers of Atlantic Canada, or will they barrel ahead with no regard for the people who gave them 32 seats in 2015?
    This new tax, disguised as a standard, will cost families in Newfoundland and Labrador $850 a year when it is fully implemented. Who besides seniors and families is going to pay? The answer is simple: everyone will pay.
    Carbon tax 1 is crippling the mining, forestry, tourism, and oil and gas industries in Newfoundland and Labrador, and that effect will accelerate as we move toward 2030. Carbon tax 2 will be charged on all fuel in these industries and this new tax will even be placed on fuel used by fishermen to land their catch and haul around their gear as they endeavour to feed their families in this challenging environment.
    Farmers are going to pay as well. Not only are these failed tax policies impacting the bottom lines of household and manufacturing industries, now our farmers and fishermen are taking on added costs that will affect their bottom lines.
    Farmers and fishermen feed families. Taxing their operations with the new standard is an attack on the livelihoods of farmers and fishermen, and it is a threat to our food security in this country. At a time when people are struggling to survive, the tone-deaf, costly coalition strikes again.
    Madam Speaker, you might be thinking to yourself, “Where is the member's seal skin bow tie?” I did not wear it today. My clothes today represent the people I represent.

  (1220)  

    The member cannot refer to props even if they are very discreet.
    The hon. member has two and a half minutes left.
    Madam Speaker, that is not nearly enough time to express the disgust that the people in Newfoundland and Labrador have for the way the people who are here representing them have been voting.
    We have come with motions to get rid of the carbon tax, to reduce these inflationary taxes, and now we have another one coming: the standard. Will these members from Newfoundland and Labrador, my six colleagues across the way, vote with their people? This is the $64 question. Are they going to vote to diminish the tax burden that is hauling them down and making them suffer?
    The six Liberal MPs who sit over there were not sent here to inflict suffering on the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. They were sent here to represent them, to bring them up and to make their standard of living better.
    An. hon. member: And they are.
    Mr. Clifford Small: Madam Speaker, I just received a little heckling. Yes, the Liberals have done a great job over there. They delayed the Bay du Nord project by four years. They put well over 100 conditions on the Bay du Nord project. We are now going to lose three years of royalties on nearly 800 million barrels of oil a year because of the great work they have done.
    I implore the six members from Newfoundland and Labrador to vote with the goodness in their hearts that I am sure they have. They need to stand up for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and vote yes to our Conservative motion.

  (1225)  

    Madam Speaker, it is just bizarre, because the Conservatives want to take a tool off the table that is going to fight climate change and put more money in people's pockets. By the way, the Conservatives campaigned on a clean fuel standard and on a price on pollution, and they are sitting there, straight-faced, and it is just bizarre. They never talk about the cost of climate change. There was a $4-billion impact from hurricane Fiona. Houses were washed into the sea. Lives were lost, and the Conservatives are even mocking our measures to transition away from dirty foreign oil to heat pumps. What have they got against heat pumps?
    Madam Speaker, what a character. What do I have against heat pumps? I do not have anything against heat pumps, but what I do have something against is that team of Liberals over there that is destroying our country. They are at it again. Bay du Nord was delayed by three years. There is close to 800 million barrels of oil per year, the cleanest oil in the world, that we are going to lose the royalties on, which we desperately need to fund our health care and pave our roads.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am the member for Thérèse-De Blainville, not for Newfoundland and Labrador. As we know, whether we are in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec or anywhere else in Canada, the main reason that should motivate us to be here is to help significantly reduce the impact of our carbon footprint on citizens.
    What does my colleague think and what does he have to say to his fellow citizens about the costs generated by the failure to act on climate change, which is affecting their living conditions and their health?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I really appreciate that question, because we have a great project that was built in the sixties, the Churchill Falls hydro project, which has contributed lots to reducing emissions and has contributed a lot to the province of Quebec as well. Quebec has done very well off it. We have been partners, but not quite so equitably from our point of view. However, going forward we have lots of hydroelectric resources in Newfoundland and Labrador that we can produce. We can use technology, not taxes, to reduce greenhouse emissions and to try to mitigate this climate change. We cannot deal with what China is pumping into the atmosphere. That is something that the Liberals can help on with their Chinese friends.
    Madam Speaker, I was just on Wikipedia, and I note that my friend from Newfoundland and Labrador ran for the first time, winning by a narrow margin, in the 2021 election on a platform that included the following, and I will just read it:
    We’ll finalize and improve the Clean Fuel Regulations to reduce carbon emissions from every litre of gasoline...turning them into a true Low Carbon Fuel Standard [and]
    Our improvements will include:
    Basing our Low Carbon Fuel Standard on British Columbia’s policy to achieve a 20% reduction in carbon intensity for transport fuels...
    That member just ran less than two years ago on a policy that sounds to my ear an awful lot like the policy he would be cancelling with the motion before us. Can he explain the difference?
    Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague is no doubt a smart individual, but I will tell members who is even smarter than him. It is his soothsayer who is telling him what I campaigned at the doors with. I will tell members what I campaigned at the doors with. I said to the people of Coast of Bays that I am going to fight for their salmon farming industry and that I am going to stand up in the House of Commons and support Newfoundland and Labrador's aquaculture industry and not let it get destroyed, like my hon. colleague is trying to do in B.C.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the chance to follow the great member from Newfoundland and Labrador, a man who has a stronger and more honest and powerful voice for Newfoundland and Labrador than all other MPs from that province combined. He understands that his job is to be the voice of Newfoundland in Ottawa, not the voice of Ottawa in Newfoundland. Indeed, that is all of our roles.
    Here we are today in a country where nine in 10 young people believe they will never be able to afford a home, something that would have been unimaginable eight years ago. There are 1.5 million Canadians eating at food banks, and one in five are skipping breakfast, lunch or dinner because they cannot afford the cost of food. What do the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc think is the remedy for all of that? It is a 61¢-a-litre carbon tax.
    Let us go back, though, and examine the history of this tax. First, the Prime Minister said that it would give people more money than they pay, a tax that makes them better off. He said he would send out cheques to give people back the money they paid. It turns out that the Parliamentary Budget Officer he named proved that people will end up paying approximately $1,500 more in taxes than they get back in rebates. Then the Prime Minister said the tax would never go above $50 a tonne, but what he realized was that his tax was so ineffective at tackling emissions that he would have to raise it more than triple that $50. Of course, that news came out after the election rather than before.
    Another falsehood is that he said this tax would help us meet our emissions reduction targets. He has missed every single target he has set. He did not even meet them in the year 2020, when Canadians were locked down and banned from using their automobiles. Even then, his tax was so ineffective that it did not reach the targets he set. Those are three falsehoods on which he built the tax in the first place.
    When the first tax failed, what was his solution? It was to bring in another one. If it failed once, do the same thing all over again. The definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over again expecting to get a different result.
    The Liberals now have a second carbon tax. The first one will take the price of a litre up 41¢ and the second will bring it up another 17¢, to a total of 58¢ a litre. However, they are not done yet. They want to charge HST on the tax and the tax, to get it up to a full 61¢ a litre in taxes. We can imagine, then, that a cost of a litre of gas will be two dollars, three dollars or maybe four dollars if the Prime Minister has his way.
    We should keep in mind that higher gas prices are not a bug; they are a feature of Liberal Party policy. The goal is to raise gas prices. That is not a secondary consequence. It is the policy, and it is a policy supported by the NDP and the Bloc Québécois. The NDP, which pioneered the carbon tax, brought it to B.C. and has raised it in that province higher than anywhere else, is voting with its Liberal bosses in Ottawa to more than triple the carbon tax on British Columbians.
    What are the consequences of a tax on energy? When one taxes energy, one taxes everything, because everything has to be dug, built, moved, cooled and heated using energy. Let us start with food. If we tax the farmer who grows the food and the trucker who ships the food, we ultimately tax the food itself. This is at a time when food price inflation is at a 40-year high.
    We just got more evidence. The Prime Minister told us inflation is on the decline. Worry not; it is all over. The nightmare has ended and inflation is going away. What happened in the month of April? Inflation shot up again. Why did it shoot up in April? What happened in the last part of March? There were two things. One was that the finance minister introduced $60 billion of new inflationary spending, or, as she called it, gas on the inflationary fire, two days before the start of April. Then the carbon tax hit on April 1, April Fool's Day. The joke is on Canadians. The tax hits, the deficits hit and inflation is back on the rise. It is cause and effect.

  (1230)  

    However, they are just getting started. The tax right now is only 14¢ a litre. We used to say “triple, triple, triple”, but it is not triple anymore. The Liberals want to quadruple it and more, from 14¢—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Hon. Pierre Poilievre: Madam Speaker, it is quadruple, quadruple, quadruple, quadruple. There is a tongue twister, but it is going to be even more painful to pay than to say.
    We have families already living in poverty, and we know that the rich guys will be fine. They have no problem. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, this latest carbon tax will hit the poorest people the worst. Those with the least will pay the most, because energy constitutes a bigger part of their family budget. Rich people spend a smaller amount of their family budget on energy.
    We know that it will affect the single mom, the truck driver, the barber and the student who is trying to scrape together an extra $4,000 or $5,000 a year as part of his 25-year plan to save for a down payment. Those are the people who will end up paying this tax, and for what? Canada places 58th out of 63 nations in the climate change implementation index. We are behind the rest of the world. According to this index, China has a better record than the Liberal government. It is worse than the dictatorship the Prime Minister so admires when it comes to climate matters.
    We get all the pain and none of the gain. If the Liberals want a real plan for climate change, why not technology and not taxes. Let us speed up and lower the cost of carbon-free energy.

  (1235)  

[Translation]

    Let us cut through the red tape and allow Quebec to build hydroelectric dams. This would allow Quebeckers to double the amount of electricity available for electrification. Under my leadership, the government will allow Quebec to speed up construction of this green energy network.

[English]

    We could approve the wave power that Nova Scotia was attempting to permit with a private sector company, using tidal forces to bring electricity to the great shores of Nova Scotia and power its grid with lower emissions. I would have approved that in a millisecond. The bureaucratic gatekeepers blocked it for years, and the company got up and left. I will green-light green projects like that. I will green-light nuclear energy, allowing for small modular nuclear reactors to electrify places like Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. They have already signed memoranda of understanding to move forward with nuclear power, but not if it takes 25 years to get it permitted.
    What kind of safety and environmental knowledge would we gain in the last 17 years of that process that we could not gain in the first three years? Why not compress the work? Yes, let us protect safety. Yes, let us protect the environment. However, let us do it quickly, because our environment and our energy grid cannot wait.
    Finally, for carbon capture and storage, we would incentivize our mighty energy sector, which is the most advanced, sophisticated and ethical in the world, to reinvest some of its growth in cleaning its operations so we can have the lowest-emitting energy sector anywhere in the world and can put that carbon right back in the geological structures from whence it came.
    All of these things are possible if we have a government in Ottawa that gets out of the way, green-lights green projects and incentivizes reinvestment of market revenues back into clean, green technology. The Liberals' philosophy is very different. If it moves, they tax it. If it keeps moving, they regulate it. When it stops moving, they subsidize it. That is a nonsensical approach.
    What we have here is common sense. The common sense of the common people, united for our common home: their home, my home, our home. Let us bring it home.
    Madam Speaker, a lot is said in this House, when we have debates on this topic, about the fact that all members of the Conservative caucus who sit here today ran on pricing pollution in 2021. However, the Leader of the Opposition sits in a special club, a club that is joined by five other Ontario MPs, six from Alberta, one from B.C., one from Manitoba, one from New Brunswick, one from Quebec and three from Saskatchewan. This is a club of MPs who not only ran on it in 2021, but also ran on it in 2006. In 2006, the member, along with all the other MPs I just referenced, ran on Stephen Harper's plan to develop and implement a North America-wide cap and trade system for greenhouse gas and air pollution.
    The member has now run, with other members from the Conservative caucus, on pricing pollution twice. Could he explain the flip-flop?

  (1240)  

    Madam Speaker, we have stood for exactly the same thing the entire time. When Prime Minister Harper was in office, he did not implement a carbon tax. He thoroughly and forcefully rejected the carbon tax the Liberal Party has proposed. Instead what he did was incentivize technology. That is why we reduced greenhouse gas emissions while growing the economy in this country. For example, we worked with the Province of Alberta and its tier system, which encourages large industrial energy companies to reinvest in reducing the intensity of their emissions. They succeeded, reducing emissions per barrel by approximately 30%.
    This approach works. By using market forces and competitive technology, our free enterprise system can reduce emissions and build a cleaner, greener future that brings powerful paycheques home to Canadians.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, according to what the Leader of the Opposition said at the beginning of his speech, nine out of 10 young people believe they will have difficulty buying a house and becoming homeowners. That is certainly true. We need to take action on that and develop social housing, among other things.
    However, that is not today's topic. We are talking about the carbon tax and the fact that the Conservative Party is constantly calling for all environmental measures to be completely abolished. He talks as if everyone else in the House of Commons is completely unreasonable and out of touch, when, in my opinion, it is quite the opposite.
    My question for the Leader of the Opposition is this. Does he recognize that members of the House are capable of taking reasonable action, by voting in favour of Bill C-234, for example? I asked the question this morning and did not get an answer. Does he agree that we were reasonable in voting for Bill C‑234?
    What is he going to do for the 10 out of 10 young people who are asking us to take action on climate change?
    Madam Speaker, are the members of the Bloc Québécois capable of being reasonable? Perhaps they are, but they certainly are not acting like it. We do not know why they are hardly ever reasonable. The members of the Bloc Québécois agree with the Liberals and the New Democrats on almost every political issue, except the location of the nation's capital. That is the only issue they disagree on.
    The member mentioned that I said that nine out of 10 young people cannot buy a home. He says that has nothing to do with the carbon tax. I am sorry, but houses need to be heated, and heating requires energy. The carbon tax increases the cost of home heating, which means that many young people cannot afford a home. That is one of the reasons we want to eliminate this carbon tax.
    Madam Speaker, I want to quote a document, which reads as follows: “We’ll finalize and improve the Clean Fuel Regulations to reduce carbon emissions from every litre of gasoline...we burn, turning them into a true Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Our improvements will include: Basing our Low Carbon Fuel Standard on British Columbia's policy to achieve a 20% reduction in carbon intensity for transport fuels”.
    That comes from the Conservative Party election platform, so it is rather strange for the leader of the official opposition to be rising in the House today to contradict his own political platform. I would like him to explain how he thinks he can lower greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the fossil fuel production.
    Madam Speaker, we are still against the carbon tax. The member will never be able to quote any statement made by me at any point in my political career that supports a tax on carbon. I have always been against it and I still am. The New Democrats want to raise taxes and income tax on the backs of the working class. The New Democrats are for the ultra rich, whom the government makes richer. We stand for ordinary folk, the people who work.

  (1245)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Winnipeg North.
    Since I am speaking today on June 1, I would be remiss if I did not say happy National Indigenous History Month—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

[Translation]

    Order. Can we show the hon. member the respect she is owed and listen to her while she gives her speech?

[English]

    The hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville.
    Madam Speaker, I would be remiss on June 1 if I did not say Happy National Indigenous History Month, Deafblind Awareness Month, Filipino Heritage Month, Italian Heritage Month, Portuguese Heritage Month and Pride Month.
    To go back to the topic at hand, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to discuss this important subject today. The Canadian economy is doing well in the face of global economic challenges, with more than 900,000 Canadians working today than before the pandemic and an unemployment rate close to a record low. However, we are well aware that many Canadians continue to struggle with the cost of living. Since 2015, the government has been making important investments to grow the economy, strengthen Canada's social safety net and make life more affordable for Canadians. These investments have included the tax-free child benefit to support about 3.5 million families annually, an enhanced Canada workers benefit and a 10% increase in old age security payments to seniors aged 75 and over, among others.
    In budget 2023, we outlined how our government will provide new targeted inflation relief to Canadians, including the grocery rebate, to support the many individuals and families who are struggling to put food on the table because of the rising cost of groceries. The new one-time grocery rebate will deliver targeted inflation relief for 11 million low- and modest-income Canadians and families who need it most, with up to $467 for eligible couples with two children, up to an extra $234 for single Canadians without children and an extra $225 for seniors, on average. The grocery rebate will be delivered to eligible Canadians on July 5, 2023, by direct deposit or cheque, through the Canada Revenue Agency. By targeting the grocery rebate to Canadians who need it the most, the government will be able to provide relief without making inflation worse.
    We all know that inflation is still too high, and the steep increase in interest rates has caused economic pain for many Canadians, including small businesses, which need to pay more for their lines of credit. We saw the pandemic lead to an increase in people using credit cards when they shop. Canadian small businesses pay fees to process these credit card transactions, with the largest component being the interchange paid to credit card issuers.
    However, I am pleased to be able to say that the Government of Canada recently announced that, in budget 2023, it will be delivering a commitment to lower credit card transaction fees for small businesses by finalizing new agreements with Visa and Mastercard, while also protecting reward points offered by Canada's large banks for Canadian consumers. For qualifying small businesses, Visa and Mastercard have agreed to reduce interchange fees for in-store transactions, to an annual weighted average of 0.95%, and to reduce interchange fees for online transactions by 10 basis points, resulting in reductions of up to 7%. As a previous small business entrepreneur myself, I am happy to say that these new agreements will help most small businesses in Canada.
    More than 90% of credit card-accepting businesses in Canada will qualify for the new lower rates and see their interchange fees reduced by up to 27% from the existing weighted average rate. These reductions are expected to save Canadian small businesses about $1 billion over five years. Small businesses will also have free access to online fraud and cybersecurity resources to help them grow their online sales while preventing fraud and charge-backs. In concrete terms, a small store with $300,000 in annual credit card sales should see interchange savings of $1,080 per year. The new rates will come into effect in the fall of 2024 to allow time for systems to be updated.
    Another important measure in the budget includes working with regulatory agencies in provinces and territories to reduce junk fees for Canadians, including higher telecom roaming charges, event and concert fees, excessive baggage fees and unjustified shipping and freight fees. These costs can add up very quickly. It is important to ensure that businesses are transparent and fair with prices for Canadians.
    The budget also takes action to crack down on predatory lending. Predatory lenders can take advantage of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, including low-income Canadians, newcomers and seniors, often by extending loans with very high interest rates. With budget 2023, our government is taking action by proposing to lower the criminal rate of interest by reducing the annual percentage rate from 47% to 35% and imposing a cap on payday loans.
    Another way the government is taking steps to support low-income Canadians is through automatic tax filing. Having hosted a free tax clinic in my office during tax season, I know first-hand that this will go a long way for all our constituents.

  (1250)  

    We want to ensure that Canadians can easily file their tax returns in order to receive the benefits to which they are entitled. Since 2018, the Canada Revenue Agency has delivered a free and simple File my Return service, which allows eligible Canadians to auto-file their tax returns over the phone after answering a series of short questions. Budget 2023 announced that the federal government would increase the number of Canadians eligible for File my Return—
    The hon. member for North Okanagan—Shuswap has a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I would ask the hon. member about the relevance of her speech. All she has spoken about here is budget 2023; she has said nothing in relation to the order of the day, the—
    She is making references to some of the issues. As the hon. member knows, we have a lot of leeway in what members can discuss in their speeches.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, on that point of order, maybe the Conservative member does not know what his opposition motion says, but the fourth point says, “making life more expensive for Canadians [is] a cost of living crisis”. The member is speaking directly to the cost of living.
    We are not going to enter a debate on the issue. I have already said that the hon. member has some leeway, and I am sure she will round it out to the motion in question.
    The hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville.
    Madam Speaker, as I said, budget 2023 announced that the federal government would increase the number of Canadians eligible for File my Return to two million people by 2025, which is almost triple the current number.
    My son Kyle is about to graduate from elementary school, and I am thinking forward to when he enters university and what he is going to be paying for his education. We know that the higher cost of living means that students still need support to afford an education and pursue their dreams. Budget 2023 proposed enhanced support for students for the 2023 school year. This includes increasing Canada student grants by 40%, providing up to $4,200 for full-time students; raising the interest-free Canada student loan limit from $210 to $300 per week of study; and waiving the requirement for mature students, aged 22 years or older, to undergo credit screening in order to qualify for federal student grants and loans for the first time. This would allow post-secondary students to access up to $14,400 in enhanced Canada student financial assistance for the upcoming school year. Students with disabilities and dependents would also receive an increase in Canada student grants.
     Post-secondary education is expensive, and the government is committed to ensuring that education remains accessible and more affordable for Canadians, so that future generations can seek higher education. That is why we will be working with students in the year ahead to develop a long-term approach to student financial assistance in time for budget 2024.
    Unfortunately, for too many Canadians, including young people and new Canadians, the dream of owning a new home is increasingly out of reach. In budget 2022, the government committed to introducing a tax-free personal savings account, a new registered plan to give prospective first-time homebuyers the ability to save $40,000 on a tax-free basis. In budget 2023, the government delivered on this commitment by allowing financial institutions to start offering this plan to Canadians on April 21, 2023, a few months ago.
    These are just a few examples of how we are making targeted and responsible investments to build a stronger economic future for all Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, I join with my colleague, whom I work with on the agriculture committee, in wishing everyone a happy Filipino Heritage Month. We have a large Filipino community in Regina, and I say hi to all my friends back home.
    I have a simple question for my hon. colleague. Could she tell me how much carbon taxes 1 and 2 will reduce emissions in Canada? Is there a number that the Liberals have? They have not met many emissions reduction targets yet, so what will carbon taxes 1 and 2 do? What is the number in terms of how much emissions will be reduced?
    Madam Speaker, I enjoy working with the hon. member on the agriculture committee.
    I just want to state that, from the national inventory report that was recently published, Canada's climate policies are starting to bend the curve on greenhouse gas emissions. Canada is leading the G7 emissions reduction since 2019 and produced 53 million tonnes less of carbon in 2021 than in 2019. That is the equivalent of taking 11 million cars off Canada's roads. Our plan is working. We are taking action to ensure that we push toward our 2030 emissions reduction target.

  (1255)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I have a question for my colleague, who seems awfully pleased with her government's program to help the least fortunate. Yesterday, along with other members of the House, I sponsored a Food Banks Canada event. The people in that organization do not think things are going very well at all.
     Let us look at some of the numbers. Requests for food assistance have gone up by 20% since 2021 to 2.2 million per month. In Quebec, 671,000 people used the food bank network every month in 2022, a 9% increase. There has been a 43% increase in food hamper services since 2019, and 60% of requests for food hamper services come from households whose main source of income is social assistance, old age security or employment insurance. There has been a 25% increase in requests for food hampers from households whose main source of income is an old age pension.
    Does my colleague think there are some pretty serious poverty issues we need to get to work on right now?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to give a shout-out to the Mississauga Food Bank for its amazing work in giving back to the community and providing our communities with food.
    As I mentioned, or outlined, earlier in my speech, today, we have designed budget 2023 to have the biggest impact on those who need it most. We have made so many different options available to constituents to assist them in this time of need while avoiding exacerbating inflation. Again, we are committed to providing a brighter future for Canadians through these different measures.
    Madam Speaker, with regard to green energy and the Stellantis battery plant, the decision is still pending. The auto industry stretches from all the way from Windsor, Ontario, here into Quebec. Can my colleague outline more specific supports that will be available for not only the OEMs, being the original manufacturers, but also the supply chain?
    Madam Speaker, as a part of the auto caucus, I hear all the different concerns that we get from the auto industry. I am looking forward to continuing to work with different members in this House to continue to put policies and legislation in place that can help, especially, with enhancing electric battery plants that are coming into Canada. They can also help with different investments, such as those from Stellantis and Volkswagen.
    Madam Speaker, I want to read into the record an analysis by the Hon. Dan McTeague. He spent 18 years serving in this place as a Liberal MP, and he now serves as the president of Canadians for Affordable Energy. He states, “The Clean Fuel Standard is simply another tax grab by this government that will raise the cost of everything with no benefit to the environment.” He adds, “It is shocking that this government insists on moving forward with another ineffective tax during a time of soaring household costs”.
    What is my colleague's analysis on how this tax is going to drive up household costs?
    Madam Speaker, I just want to state something else on the record, which is this: Data from Public Safety Canada shows that the average annual bill for disaster assistance has been $430 million over the last three years. The total damage from natural disasters in Canada has been $3.1 billion alone in 2022.
    Given these substantial costs, inaction towards protecting our planet and fighting climate change will inevitably affect us all, so the clean fuel regulations are critically important. They are an important part of Canada's overall approach to reducing emissions.
    Madam Speaker, one can imagine my surprise when I found out that the Conservatives wanted to talk about a price on pollution again. I say that tongue in cheek because, obviously, I am not surprised.
    It is interesting. If someone has followed the debate on the price on pollution, they will find that the first jurisdiction, I believe, in North America, many years ago, that instituted the principles of a price on pollution was actually a Conservative government in the province of Alberta. The Conservative member applauds across the way. He is quite right. It was a Conservative provincial government. I have to qualify this: It was a Progressive Conservative government. There is a big, substantial difference between the Progressive Conservatives and the extreme right movement we now have, which the leader of the Conservative Party heads today.
    Let us fast-forward and imagine an international conference being held in Paris. Countries from around the world convene in Paris and come up with the idea of a price on pollution, and say that we should be promoting it. Canada comes back from Paris and says, “Look, some provinces already have some form of a price on pollution, and what we need to be able to do is ensure that all provinces are on the same level playing field, in essence, and are dealing with the environment.” We established a program that allowed for provinces that had plans in place to have those plans respected as long as they met certain targets. We still have provinces today that have their own programs. In other words, the price on pollution that we have today is, in fact, applied to most provinces and territories but not to all provinces. British Columbia and Quebec are examples of that.
    If we look at it from that perspective, we now have the Conservative Party of today, that far right movement. What is it saying? As has been pointed out on numerous occasions in the past, the far right party of today is very different, even from the party of 2021. The leader, at that time, had a policy platform, and in that policy platform, he was able to reverse the Conservative position that came out of the Paris accord. Coming out of the Paris accord, the Conservative Party of Canada said that it did not like it. After a great deal of debate, the Conservative Party changed its mind and told Canadians that. It said to Canadians that it had changed its mind and that it now supported a price on pollution. People do not have to take my word for it; they can actually look at the party policy platform of the Conservative Party in 2021 and they will find that the Conservatives supported a price on pollution.
    Let us fast-forward. The Conservatives dumped that leader and adopted a new, shiny leader, the member for Carleton. The member for Carleton now comes out saying that the Conservatives have changed their opinion. It does not matter that it was an election platform issue that all 338 candidates had incorporated in the last federal election, saying that they supported a price on pollution. That is just pushed to the side because the Conservative Party, that right-wing party today, wants to be able to have a bumper sticker that, in essence, says that it is going to get rid of the carbon tax. There are inconsistencies even in that, if we think about it.

  (1300)  

    I will use the province of British Columbia as an example. From coast to coast to coast, the new, shiny leader of the Conservative Party is telling people that the Conservatives are going to get rid of the price on pollution. What about the province of British Columbia? The Conservatives say they are going to get rid of the price on pollution in the rest of Canada, but they are not doing it in the province of British Columbia. What is the member for Abbotsford going to be telling his constituents? Will he say that what the leader of the Conservative Party is saying does not apply to British Columbia, or is the Conservative Party going to be consistent and say it will subsidize and compensate the residents of British Columbia because the rest of Canada is getting that so-called tax break?
    The Conservative Party is intentionally misleading Canadians in many different ways, all because it wants a simple bumper sticker saying that it is prepared to abandon principles the traditional, progressive party actually supported. It supported them, whether decades ago or in the last federal election, because the principles of a price on pollution are, in fact, effective; they work.
    The Conservatives can talk all they want about emission controls. It does not take away the principles of what a price on pollution does as an incentive. When the Conservative leader says he will get rid of the so-called carbon tax, he does not tell Canadians that, along with the tax, he will get rid of the rebate portion. I would like to reflect on the residents I represent in Winnipeg North. The Conservative Party will take away, from more than 80% of my constituents, a net gain because of the price on pollution. In essence, he is reaching into their pockets and taking money out of them, while, in the same breath, he is trying to tell them he is giving them a tax break. It is completely inconsistent. This is not the first time, when we really take a look at what the Conservative Party of Canada is proposing. It just does not make sense. It is not good for the environment. It is not good for the economy. It is not good for supporting Canada's middle class. However, I guess it will fit on a bumper sticker, and the leader may be able to fool some Canadians. That is the driving force behind this.
    It reminds me of another idea he had when he was running for the leadership, which was cryptocurrency. Do people remember that one? Those who would have followed his advice would have lost thousands of dollars. In some areas, individuals may have lost 60% of their life's earnings if they had invested in cryptocurrency. We had today's leader of the official opposition advocating for it. He still has not apologized for that piece of wisdom, which turned out to be a total failure.
    I think there is a responsibility of the Conservative Party. One of my colleagues said that its leader has now been the leader for more than 250 days. I do not know the actual number, but we still do not have an environmental policy coming from the Conservative Party of Canada.
    On this side of the House, we consistently announce programs that will assist in protecting our environment, whether by the expansion of conservation sites, the expansion of national parks, the banning of single-use plastics, making zero-emission vehicles more affordable or the idea of planting more trees. These are the types of things we are talking about, and the price on pollution is a major part of what a progressive government needs to do in order to protect our environment, support Canadians and build a healthier economy. We are building greener jobs. A good example of that, and there are many examples one can give, is the Volkswagen battery plant. It is going to be the largest factory in Canada. The Conservatives are opposing even that.

  (1305)  

    Madam Speaker, the member brought up the issue of planting trees, so I would like him to clarify this for the House and for Canada. Under the two billion trees program the Liberals have promised, how many of those two billion trees have been planted? Specifically, in my riding, I have been trying to get any organization to qualify for this bureaucratic process that is filled with red tape. I have gone to the municipalities. We tried to band together with local conservation groups, and the feedback I got from my counties when they reached out to the Liberal government was that they cannot qualify as they do not meet the requirements. I live in a rural area that is willing to plant all sorts of trees to help deal with reducing carbon emissions in this country, yet the program seems to be failing. Can the member provide some clarity?

  (1310)  

    Madam Speaker, I have two quick points. The member referred to an election platform issue. Is this not somewhat ironic, when the election platform issue of the Conservative Party was to support a price on pollution? If we look up the word “hypocrisy” in Webster's Dictionary, we can see that we might want to incorporate this as an excellent example.
    The second point I would make is that we should remember that all trees start from a seed. We cannot just wish for a tree to be six feet tall. It takes—
    The hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert.

[Translation]

     Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Can we let the hon. member ask his question?
    The hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert.
    Madam Speaker, I find the current debate a little pathetic. I hope that everyone in Quebec is watching the debate we have been having since 10 o'clock this morning. Quebec is strongly committed to the fight against climate change. Quebeckers know that this is a serious, major threat, and they want to take action to address it.
    This is a pathetic spectacle. On one side, we have a government that is absolutely incapable of taking action. Since the Liberals came to power, Canada has been one of the worst performers in the world when it comes to tackling climate change. Our greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise since the Liberals came to power. That is the Liberal record.
    On the other side, we have the Conservatives, who are saying this morning that we need to do even less. They are proposing that we do less about the biggest challenge of our time. It is a bit pathetic.
    Then they wonder why there are 32 Bloc Québécois MPs. It is because Quebeckers are strongly committed and want governments to act—
    I must let the hon. parliamentary secretary respond to the comment.
    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the member can say whatever he wants when he stands to speak, but the reality is quite the opposite in terms of what the member is saying about the government.
    I listed a number of initiatives the Government of Canada has taken over the years that are making a positive difference. In working with provincial jurisdictions, we have been able to accomplish some great things, and we will continue to work with the provincial, territorial and indigenous governments to ensure that our environment is protected, while advancing our economy, building on good-quality, middle-class jobs and providing an economy that works for all Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, the Liberals like to talk about heat pumps, so I will ask a heat pump question. By my estimation and the numbers I have seen from experts, Canada needs about 500,000 additional heat pumps by 2030 to meet its target. How many heat pumps did the Liberals incentivize under the greener homes program in the two years since it was launched? It was 438. I did the math, and, by my calculation, it is going to take 1,000 years at that pace to hit their 2030 target.
    Can the parliamentary secretary square the math for me and tell me whether Canadians are going to have to wait 1,000 years to hit the target?
    Madam Speaker, the greener homes program does more than just heat pumps. It provides Canadians from coast to coast the opportunity to improve the condition of their homes and assists by having the pumps put in. Not only will Canadians take up and use those incentives, but I suspect a good number of Canadians will also move forward even without the incentives. We need to encourage both, and I believe we are working in the right direction.

  (1315)  

    Madam Speaker, I am going to be splitting my time with my amazing colleague and good friend, the member for Sarnia—Lambton.
    It was a scam all along. It was never sold as advertised. This carbon tax scam, in 2015, was sold to Canadians as a scam that the Conservatives called out all along the way.
    First Liberals said it was a levy. They said it was a levy for one's Chevy, that they wanted to charge us for driving our Chevys around rural Canada to get from job site to job site and job site to home. They said that it would make Canadians better off. That was the other scam they sold with carbon tax scam 1.0. They said that Canadians would get more into their pockets than what they paid. That was the scam.
    Thank God we have a public budgeting officer. Who should we believe? Should we believe the public budgeting officer the Liberals appointed themselves or should we believe a drama teacher, the Prime Minister, who has the most scandals of any prime minister in Canada's history?
    Should we believe the public budgeting officer, whose job is to tell the truth and expose any scandal or any mistruths being told in any type of reporting or should we believe an environment minister, who is the only one in this House I know of who has been in an orange jumpsuit?
    Should we believe the public budgeting officer or should we believe a finance minister who said she would not fuel the flames of inflation and who just months ago took a big $63-billion jerry can of inflation of fuel and threw it on the inflationary fire she started herself?
    Who should we believe?
    The misinformation continues from the Liberal-NDP costly coalition, which continuously says Canadians get more into their pockets and are much better off. The reality is that after eight years, the carbon tax scam 1.0 is still a scam. It will cost on average every single Canadian household, every struggling Canadian household, around $1,500 each. This is at a time when we see inflation out of control because the Liberal-NDP government spent out of control and spent more money than all governments before it combined, making inflation out of control. We see rents out of control and mortgages unaffordable, going up by the day, because it could not stop spending Canadians' money.
    Then the Liberals sold this other scam that it would magically fix the environment and that the weather would start getting better, the more they charged Canadians for this scam. They said that they would be fix all the problems we see around the world with climate. The reality is that was a scam all along too, because Canada ranks 58th out of 63 countries in its climate plan. This is behind China, of all countries, the same country the Prime Minister admires because he admires that basic dictatorship. Although Canada produces much less emissions than China, we are still behind it. That just goes to show how big a scam this was from day one.
    Let us now talk about the realities of what Canadians are going through today. As I said, we see inflation out of control. Food inflation is out of control. We see mortgages have doubled since the Liberal-NDP government has taken over. We see rents that are out of control. There is not enough housing. One in five Canadians are skipping meals today because they cannot afford to eat and heat their homes. There are 1.5 million Canadians visiting a food bank in a single month in this country. I could not have imagined when my family and I moved to this country that this would be what Canada is today, a country where one can have two or three jobs and still not be able to afford eating and heating one's home.

  (1320)  

    Not only has the Liberal-NDP government caused the price of food to go up, it added to that price, because of the carbon tax scam, which has made it more expensive for farmers to grow food, to transport it and to store it at the grocery store. At the end of the day, Canadians are having to pay those costs, at a time when one in four Canadians are saying they have to borrow money to meet their basic necessities. This is not the Canada my family and I moved to so many years ago. Like other immigrants who came here, we were looking for hope, hope for a better future and a government that wanted to support them, not continue to kick them down and take more from them while giving less back.
    This carbon tax scam is hurting Canadians and Canadian households. It takes more out of their pockets, leaving them with even less. We see parents and single moms having to choose between being able to afford tutors for their children or feed them nutritious food three times a day at minimum. They are making choices they have never had to make before. What did the Liberal government do? It added a second carbon tax scam on top of it, one without any phony rebates. Now, on average, every single Canadian household in this country is going to spend $2,000 on these carbon tax 1.0 and 2.0 scams combined. This is the Liberal-NDP solution to a problem it created for struggling Canadian households.
    Canada is in a dire situation. I will quote some statistics from a representative of the Daily Bread Food Bank who came to the finance committee on May 17. Before the pandemic it saw 60,000 clients a month, during the pandemic it saw 120,000, but in March 2023 it spiked to 270,000 visits.
    I will quote Neil Hetherington, from the Daily Bread Food Bank, who stated:
     The underlying reasons for this are complex, but I can summarize them in one sentence: People do not have enough income to afford the rapidly rising cost of living.
    The Liberal-NDP government not only made housing impossible to find in this country, but its out-of-control spending made mortgages and rents go up. Now it wants to take even more from Canadians who are struggling. It is impossible for anyone to be able to survive today. I have spoken with newcomers who have said that they find it impossible to stay in this country when they came here looking for hope.
    Hope is on the horizon. We are going to get rid of these carbon tax 1.0 and 2.0 scams. We are going to make sure we build more green, clean projects in this country to bring down the cost of our energy. We are going to make sure we are supporting families, not taking more from them. We will leave more in their pockets. We are going to bring home more powerful paycheques by lowering prices and making sure we get rid of the carbon tax scam.
    We need to make sure our immigrants, newcomers and young people can all see the hope of a better future in this country, and we will see that hope when the member for Carleton becomes the Prime Minister of this country.
    Madam Speaker, the member is incorrect when he said that we have not been doing our part in the world when it comes to reducing emissions. As a matter of fact, between 2019 and 2021, Canada's GHG emissions dropped by 9%.
    Conservatives will quickly say it was the pandemic that slowed it down. The problem with that argument is that our economy continued to grow during that time, so we are indeed bending the curve on GHG emissions, despite the fact we continue to see economic growth.
    Would the member like to reflect on his comment and perhaps provide more truth in his next statement?

  (1325)  

    Madam Speaker, the only thing bending about that member's statement is the truth. The Liberals are talking about lower emissions during a lockdown. It is absolutely ridiculous to think that we can take this member seriously when they are bragging about a lockdown that brought down emissions.
    Actually, what they did do was make sure that we have the worst growth in all of the OECD developed countries. Canada will be performing the absolute worst, and yet their solution to all of this is to tax Canadians even more and make sure there are going to be more people going to food banks and borrowing more money just to meet their necessities. This is the out-of-touch policy—
    The hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we no longer know how to put it, but I will repeat the question that I have asked many times and to which I have yet to receive a response: Are the member and his party aware of the existence of climate change?
    As we speak, there are towns in Quebec that have been evacuated because of forest fires. Now the Conservatives want to remove any incentive that will improve our performance and say that, since climate change exists, then the tax serves no purpose. The carbon tax was just created. We have to give the transformation time to take effect.
    We agree with the fact that measures are needed for low-income Canadians. However, if the Conservatives get rid of this tax, what are they going to do? That is my big question.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, does the Conservative Party believe that climate change is happening? Yes, to answer his question. However, do we believe that taxes are the way? Well, the Liberals, the Bloc and the NDP are proof that charging more to Canadians for a carbon tax scam is not working when emissions go up. They have not met a single emission target that they set for themselves. It is these failed policies that continue to not help the environment, the economy or Canadians. We are going to turn that all around and we are going to bring hope over this hurt that this collective has brought on Canadians.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am always surprised by the Conservatives' rhetoric as the planet is literally burning.
    Canada is ranked 39th for per capita greenhouse gas emissions but 10th among countries for greenhouse gas emissions. If we want to abide by the Paris accord, the average per capita emissions around the world should be two tonnes per year, and yet each and every Canadian emits 17.5 tonnes. Does my colleague not think that there is considerable work to be done and that using market tools could be one solution?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, since it is my NDP colleague who asked the question, I want to take this time to congratulate the people of Alberta who rejected the failed smear-and-fear tactics of the NDP government. Albertans overwhelming rejected the Liberal-NDP government that was once in power from 2015 to 2019 once again.
    I want to remind the House that, in 2019, when the UCP formed government, the number one bill that Albertans overwhelmingly put the party into power with was to get rid of this carbon tax scam. I want to congratulate Albertans on the great job and huge victory by Danielle Smith and her government. We are looking forward to working with them when we have a Conservative government at the federal level and the provincial level, and we are going to have a strong confederation.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise in the House and especially today for this opposition day motion, which talks about how the first carbon tax would increase the price of gas by 41¢ a litre and how the second, the clean fuel regulations, would add 20¢ more to that when sales tax is included. This will further exacerbate the cost of living issues that people are facing across the country.
    What I want to do today in my speech is talk about what the carbon tax will do, talk about what it will not do and talk about what real solutions should be offered.
    First of all, what does it actually do? It increases the price of things. It is not just the price of gasoline that is going up, because it is an escalator. For example, if we look at food, it has increased in price, on average, by 12%, but some items of food are up 30% and 40%.
    When we are talking about a farmer who is producing the food, they will have to use more diesel and fuel to heat their barns and take care of growing their products and drying them. There is a carbon tax on that. To make it worse, there is a tax on the tax. The Liberals are applying tax on top of that, and it is a substantial amount of money. We are talking about $150,000 for a farmer. That is a real thing that they obviously have to pass on to the consumer.
    Then they are shipping the product to a processing facility, and there is a carbon tax on that and a tax on the tax. Then at the processing facility, depending on the type of processing facility, there is a carbon tax on emissions. Then we are talking about shipping it to the grocery store. Again, that is another carbon tax and a tax on the tax. Then we get to the grocery store, and it has to be put in refrigerators. If the Liberal do not buy them, that is another expense, but then they are spending more energy trying to keep the products preserved.
    What is happening is this is hurting individuals. Before the pandemic, the data reported said that half of Canadians were within $200 of not being able to pay their bills. Let us think about that. Then fast-forward to where we are now, where we have added a second carbon tax that is estimated, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, to cost each individual $538 a year. Half of Canadians were within $200 of not being able to pay their bills every month, and now the Liberals have added $600 more. That is on top of the estimated cost of the already existing carbon tax, which the Parliamentary Budget Officer says, depending on the province we live in, is between $1,500 and $3,000 a person.
    By the time all these taxes, carbon taxes and the tax on the tax get to an individual, we are talking about $4,000 per Canadian. That is a substantial amount of money. If we break that down by month, we are talking $300 a month, which puts us way over the 50% of people who could not pay their bills if they had an increase of $200.
    The Liberals are going to say that Canadians get back more than they give, but we know that is not true. I have seen my climate action rebate cheque come to me, $128.55 four times a year. Adding that up, it is nowhere near $4,000. It is absolutely a misrepresentation of the facts to say the government is giving Canadians more back. No, it is not.
    I am getting calls at my office, continually, from individuals who are saying they cannot afford to pay their bills and are losing their house. I have a lot of seniors in my riding, and some of them have had to go back to work at 74 years of age in order to afford heating, gasoline, groceries, the whole thing. That is what the carbon tax is doing. It is adding to inflationary pressures that we already have from the out-of-control spending happening on the other side. That is what the carbon tax does.
    Let us talk a little about what it does not do. It does not reduce emissions. It is a tax plan; it is not an emissions plan. If we look to who has met their Paris targets, our neighbours to the south have met their Paris targets, and they did it through emissions reduction technology and switching to fuels like nuclear, LNG and lower-carbon fuels. These are actual, concrete solutions. They put capital incentives in place so that businesses would put emissions reduction technology in place. That is how they did it, and they did it in four years.
    If we look at where we are, we were supposed to reduce our targets by 30% from the 2005 level. The 2005 level was 732 megatonnes and we are now at 670 megatonnes. In 20 years, we have reduced 60 megatonnes, but the target we have to get to is a reduction of 538. We are nowhere near the plan.

  (1330)  

    In the approach the Liberals have, they talk about tree planting. They are going to plant two billion trees. Do members know how many trees we already have in Canada? We have 318 billion trees in Canada and this is two billion more. More trees are always better, but the reality is that recent reports said the Liberals have planted less than 2% of these in years. It is because the program that was introduced does not work.
    I know a great group, Climate Action Sarnia-Lambton, that wants to plant trees. I approached the minister and said that we have lots of volunteers who are willing to come out. They have all the tools. We just need the money to get the trees and get them in the ground. Do members know what I heard? We have to plant 10,000 trees or we cannot get any money. We have to start somewhere with a program that works a little better than that. That is what the carbon tax does not do.
    I have heard this a lot in the discussion today during the debate: Well, what about the wildfires and what about the floods? We are seeing severe weather events and we are seeing them at a frequency that we have not seen before. However, Canada is less than 2% of the carbon footprint of the world. We could eliminate the whole thing and we are still going to get all of those wildfires and all of those floods, because we have countries, like China and India, that are building coal plants. China is 34% of the footprint.
    What would be better is if we exported Canadian LNG. We could reduce the global footprint by over 10%. We could reduce five times our existing footprint. That is real climate action. Instead, 12 LNG projects have been shut down by the Liberal government.
    The Germans approached us. Germany decided to go down the green energy path, and they found out that it was so expensive that they got rid of it and went back onto coal and LNG. They approached us to get a contract with us for $58 billion, which we refused. The Australians used to have a carbon tax. They got rid of it. It made everything more expensive and it did not help them meet their goals.
    We have a situation where countries are in need of our fuel. We are the most environmentally responsible producers of LNG in the world, but we cannot get anything built because a Bill C-69 project approval thing was put in place. We have seen the disaster that the government is making with the Trans Mountain project. It was supposed to be $7 billion and is up to $30 billion, and it is not even built yet.
    The carbon tax hurts Canadians. It inflates their costs. People cannot afford to live. They are struggling. I know that Liberal MPs are hearing this from their constituents and they need to listen.
    What we need to do is have emissions reduction technology, get on lower-carbon fuels, export them to the world and work together to get a better planet. That is what we need to do and that is the vision on this side of the House.

  (1335)  

    Madam Speaker, if I heard the member correctly, she said that she wanted a tenfold increase of Canadian fossil fuel extraction in order to supply other parts of the world. Can she confirm that this is indeed what she is suggesting? Perhaps I heard her wrong and she would like to correct the record.
    Madam Speaker, it would be my pleasure to correct that.
    Basically, if we build all of this LNG capacity to ship fuel to other places in the world, it will increase our footprint from 1.6% to about 3.2% to 3.6% depending on how much we build. However, it will reduce the overall global footprint by 15% by getting places like China and India and the emerging world off of coal. We go up by less than 2% and the world goes down by 15%. That is a noble goal.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, there is a lot of chit-chat happening around me. I would ask the gentlemen to let me speak.
    Regarding my colleague's speech, we have heard a few times this morning that the Conservatives' plan is to rely on technology—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Can we show the hon. member the respect he deserves and let him ask his question?
    The hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleagues for allowing me to speak. It is so very kind of them.
    I heard many Conservative members talk about relying on technology. The Liberals have had a plan for seven years, but as many people have pointed out this morning, it is not working. Some of my Conservative friends are saying they are going to rely on technology, but what technology are we talking about?
    In the budget, the Liberals introduced tax credits to help the five biggest oil companies, which made $220 billion in combined profits in 2022, to engage in greenwashing and carbon capture. However, carbon capture does not work.
    What technologies are my Conservative colleagues talking about when they say they are going to invest in technology?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, let me talk as a chemical engineer about some of the things I have seen that are very effective at reducing emissions.
    When I was the director of engineering at Suncor, for example, we had emissions reduction programs in place for all the refineries. We were able to reduce our GHG emissions by 25%. We were basically capturing the emissions and recycling them. Then there is carbon sequestration. Canada is a leader in this technology. It is a great carbon sink. That is a way of getting there.
    In terms of energy, 40% of the energy in Ontario is nuclear. Of course, nuclear is carbon-free, so expanding into small modular nuclear reactors, especially in the emerging world, which is on coal and heavy carbon fuels, is a great idea. I also mentioned LNG supplanting coal. It is a lower-carbon fuel and is environmentally responsibly produced here.

  (1340)  

    Madam Speaker, the last time the Conservative Party had a costed and modelled climate plan, it included both a price on carbon and a low-carbon fuel standard, two policies they are now saying they would not proceed with. My question to the member is this: When is the Conservative Party going to release a new modelled climate plan that replaces those policies with policies she claims are going to be effective?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Taylor Bachrach: Madam Speaker, I cannot hear if they are—
    Can we allow the hon. member to finish his question so the hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton can answer it?
    The hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley.
    Madam Speaker, maybe I will start again so I can clearly articulate the question.
    Given that just two years ago the Conservatives ran on a platform that included carbon pricing and a clean fuel standard, what do they intend to come forward with that would replace those, which just two years ago they said were adequate policies? I do not understand.
    Madam Speaker, it is important to note that Conservative policy is typically set by the grassroots, and our policy has always been to oppose a carbon tax. Members can remember we had a leader with a different vision, and he is no longer the leader. Members can take what they want from that.
    We have always been opposed to a carbon tax. The grassroots members are opposed, and they are opposed because they know it does not work. Even the cap and trade program in Quebec has not reduced emissions. It does not work, so we need to get technology solutions in place.
    We will come up with a plan. We are expecting an election pretty soon, and if the NDP would do its part and help push the Liberals for a public inquiry or pull the agreement, we would be there with our plan.
    Madam Speaker, they are all opposed to pricing pollution because 54% of their base does not even believe in climate change.
    I find it interesting that earlier, the member for Calgary Forest Lawn said, in answer to a question, that Conservatives believe in climate change. I almost fell out of my seat and gasped. The member for Abbotsford started to heckle me from the back. The reason why I almost fell out of my seat is because the member for Calgary Forest Lawn probably was not listening when the following was said by the member for Red Deer—Mountain View just two days ago in the House. He said—
    An hon. member: Time.
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: I have 20 minutes, so buckle up.
    Madam Speaker, the member for Red Deer—Mountain View said:
    I mention that because it has been 60 years of catastrophic snake oil salesmen predicting different things that could happen. They have predicted how, in 10 years' time, we are going to have cities flooded, how we are going to have all these issues and how animals are going to go extinct. We hear that all the time.
    Every once in a while, I go to Drumheller. I take a look at a sign above the canyon there saying that, 10,000 years ago, we were under a kilometre of ice. If one wanted to talk to the Laurentian elites, Montreal actually had two kilometres of ice over top of it at that time.
    This is where it gets really good and I hope the member for Abbotsford is listening. He also said:
    In the 1960s, we were talking about global climate cooling, and we had everybody scared then as well. In the 1970s, we spoke about acid rain and concerns existing around that. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was all about global climate warming. In the year 2000, it was Y2K. Since global warming and global cooling did not seem to match what was happening in reality, we now simply talk about climate change. When we think about the environment, we think about the things that have to be done.
    He late continued:
    Things change; the climate changes. That is how we got our rivers. I know I deal with the effects of climate change right now when I have to go out into my field and pick rocks, because that is how they got there. These are the sorts of things we have to realize. Things do change.
    That was his Conservative colleague speaking in the House, the member for Red Deer—Mountain View, just two days ago.
    I apologize to the members for Abbotsford and Calgary Forest Lawn for almost falling out of my seat when I heard the member for Calgary Forest Lawn say that Conservatives believe in climate change. Now there might be a really interesting caveat there that they are neglecting to mention as to whether they believe that humans have caused climate change. The member for Red Deer—Mountain View clearly told the House that it has been changing. He just says that it is okay because it is just part of the cycles of earth and nature.
    The question is whether they believe that humans have caused it. I think that is where there is going to be a problem, with the grassroots, as the member for Sarnia—Lambton referenced, as 54% of them said at the last Conservative convention that they do not believe in climate change.
    Imagine that in a political party in the 21st century, in the year 2023, when we have fires raging on the east coast and we have fires in Alberta. We are literally witnessing the impacts of climate change on a daily basis in this country, and they are still throwing their hands up in the air saying that none of that is true, we did not cause climate change and this is all normal, folks. Nothing to see here.
    Again, I apologize profusely to the member for Abbotsford if I offended him when I almost fell out of my seat after listening to the rich rhetoric coming from the member for Calgary Forest Lawn.
    Nonetheless, what I find really interesting, which has been said a couple of times in the House today, if not more than that, is the number of times Conservatives have brought forward a motion on our price on pollution. Do colleagues know how many times they have brought forward this motion since this Parliament was formed a year and a half ago?
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Twice.
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Twice? No, it is more than twice.
    Mr. Warren Steinley: Eight, or 10?
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Madam Speaker, I understand that even my Conservative colleague across the way cannot even keep track, but guess what. It is more than eight.
    Mr. Warren Steinley: I said 10.

  (1345)  

    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Madam Speaker, this is the 10th time Conservatives have brought forward a motion about pricing pollution. It is a motion that has been defeated in the House not nine times but 10. Do members know who has voted against it? Every political party except the Conservative Party has voted against it.
    I often think to myself, from time to time, because of the growing similarities between the Conservatives and the Bloc members, that we have the Bloc-Conservative coalition here. They say the NDP-Liberal coalition. We can start saying the Bloc-Conservative coalition. However, not even their coalition buddies in the Bloc will agree with them on this issue. Even the Bloc Québécois members, as right wing as they have become in recent months, if not years, believe that climate change is real and that we have to price pollution.
     It is a very basic, fundamental concept that, if we want to change market behaviour, we put a price on something. This is economics 101. This is the fundamental rule people are taught about supply and demand and affecting market decisions, in an introductory course to economics. However, somehow, the political party in the House of Commons, the only party that cannot understand that, also happens to be the party that purports itself to be the saviours of the economy. The only party in the House of Commons that somehow understands how an economy works is also the only party that disagrees with countless numbers, hundreds and thousands, of economists who say that this is the way to do it. The Conservatives disagree with the basic fundamental principles of how an economy works, but somehow they like to build up this image that they are the ones who know what is best for the economy.
    I should make it very clear that, although I am talking about Conservatives right now in the current context, I am really speaking about these particular Conservatives. These particular Conservatives are even further to the right than the Conservatives with whom I was elected in 2015. Members will remember that it was only a year and a half ago that all of the members of Parliament who are Conservatives ran on a platform that actually said that they wanted to price pollution.
     I have here with me, in both official languages, the plan. It is called “The Man with the Plan”. This is the Conservative Party platform from 2021, which is something I am sure all Conservatives are very proud of because they ran on it.
    Madam Speaker, I do have it in both official languages, so with your indulgence, I would seek unanimous consent from the House to table, in both official languages, the Conservative platform. Could I have unanimous consent?

  (1350)  

    Is there unanimous consent?
    Some hon. members: No.
    Madam Speaker, wow, I am really surprised.
    Madam Speaker, I just have a brief point of order. I know the member is very passionate, but he has been yelling for an extended period of time, and our interpreters could be hurt by this. I would just ask him to maybe—
    I do take the hon. member's point, and I ask the hon. member to perhaps be a bit softer in tone.
    Madam Speaker, I apologize to my colleague. If I am too loud for him, perhaps he could leave and watch this later on CPAC to make sure he does not miss a moment of it.
    I find it amazing that I just sought the unanimous consent of the House to table, in both official languages, the Conservative Party platform called “The Man with the Plan”, which outlined its plan, and it was Conservatives who yelled no and will not let me table that.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: They are embarrassed about it.
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Madam Speaker, it does sound like they are embarrassed about it.

  (1355)  

    How about I read what it says in the platform? In the 2021 platform, it says, “Canada’s Conservatives will work with the provinces to implement an innovative, national, Personal Low Carbon Savings Account. This will put a price on carbon for consumers without one penny going to the government.” That sounds familiar to me. It goes on to say, “It will be completely transparent and engage consumers in the process of building a lower carbon future.”
    There were 338 Conservative candidates, 18 months ago, who went door knocking throughout this country and sold this plan to Canadians. Since they were elected, they have brought forward opposition motions against their very own plan 10 times. Talk about it being extremely embarrassing. They are trying to run away from their plan. I am absolutely amazed by it.
    Despite the fact that there are over 100 Conservative MPs in the House who were part of that and believed in that, there is also a really special group of Conservative MPs in the House. These members are above and beyond those who ran in the last election.
    Those members are, starting with the Leader of the Opposition, the member for Carleton; the member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin; the member for Edmonton Mill Woods; the member for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie; the member for Red Deer—Mountain View, who everyone will remember I quoted earlier; the member for Red Deer—Lacombe; the member for Banff—Airdrie; the member for Abbotsford, who was heckling me; the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman; the member for Fundy Royal; my neighbour, the member for Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston; the member for Niagara West; the member for Oshawa; the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke; the member for Wellington—Halton Hills; the member for Prince Albert; the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle; and the member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek.
    What club do these members belong to? They belong to a different club. They belong to a club that not only ran on pricing pollution in 2021, but also ran on it in 2008 under Stephen Harper. Can anyone believe that? I have that platform too, in both official languages. Perhaps, with unanimous consent, they will allow me to table the 2008 Conservative platform in both official languages.
    Does the hon. member have unanimous consent?
    Some hon. members: No.
    Madam Speaker, wow, I cannot believe that. The Conservatives have now rejected, not once but twice, my attempts to table their very own platforms.
    Well, I guess I will just have to read it. Listen to Stephen Harper's commitment that the member for Abbotsford and all the members I referenced, including the member for Carleton, ran on in 2008. It said:
     A re-elected Conservative Government led by Stephen Harper will implement our Turning the Corner action plan to reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms by 20 per cent over 2006 levels by 2020. We will work with the provinces and territories and our NAFTA trading partners in the United States and Mexico, at both the national and state levels [here is the good part], to develop and implement a North America-wide cap and trade system for greenhouse gases and air pollution....
    For those who do not know what a cap and trade system is, it is basically an alternative to the pricing mechanism that we have now. However, I cannot believe that we now have not only MPs who were hypocrites in 2021, but now we have hypocrites from 2021 and 2008 elections, including the member for Abbotsford, who I understand used to be the minister of the environment.
    People will sometimes ask what the cap and trade system is, which I think is a very good question to ask, because there is a slight difference between that and our existing pricing mechanism.
    The cap and trade system was actually brought about in North America a number of years ago. It was started by the Western Climate Initiative. In 2007, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington started what was known as the Western Climate Initiative. Later on, Montana and Utah joined. After that, Ontario, Quebec and B.C. got into the cap and trade program.
    The cap and trade program is slightly different from pricing pollution, but it effectively does the same thing. It encourages companies within those jurisdictions to trade off their emissions and effectively lowers emissions. This is exactly what Stephen Harper was talking about in his 2008 platform commitment. He wanted to implement that system that had been developed by the Western Climate Initiative. He wanted to bring it in.
    Now, guess what happened? Stephen Harper got elected, but do members think he delivered on that commitment?
    An hon. member: I bet he flip-flopped.
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: He flip-flopped, that is right. He did not deliver on that commitment. However, instead what we ended up seeing were the provinces going alone. The provinces said, “Well, if Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, cannot take a federal initiative on this, something he ran on and was elected on, we will do it on our own.” That is when Ontario and Quebec went to see Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California, signed the deal and essentially became part of the cap and trade.
    Flash forward to our newest premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, who got elected.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Yay for Doug Ford; amazing. If we can believe it, Doug Ford is even more progressive than these guys.
    However, I will conclude with this: Doug Ford got out of it. What did we see in the process? What have seen since then? We saw Quebec move so much faster and further ahead in terms of emission reductions via electric vehicle stations and protecting our environment. Now, Ontario is lagging behind.
    I look forward to continuing after question period.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Italian Heritage Month

    Mr. Speaker, today marks the beginning of Italian Heritage Month here in Canada. Over the next 30 days, we will have the opportunity to celebrate and honour the richness of the Italian language, culture and heritage. From generation to generation, Italian Canadians have visibly and vastly contributed to the economic growth of our country and marked the history of Canada with their many achievements.
    Tomorrow, June 2, is also an important date for Italians here in Canada and around the world, who will celebrate the 77th anniversary of the Italian Republic. Indeed, it was on June 2, 1946, that Italians voted to embrace democracy and to form the republic as we know it today. It was also the first time women were allowed to vote in a national election, marking the beginning of our country’s long-standing embrace of liberal values.
    Tanti auguri per una Buona Festa della Repubblica Italiana.
    I wish everyone a happy Italian Heritage Month.

  (1400)  

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, Philip Cross, former chief economic analyst at Statistics Canada, testified before the finance committee that Canada has had its lowest GDP per capita since the 1930s. Yes, that means we are languishing in the worst economy since the Great Depression.
    The reason is the Liberals' war on work. Excessive taxation and regulation is punishing our entrepreneurs and our workers. Parents and seniors are regularly facing marginal effective tax rates in excess of 50%, which means that on the next dollar generated they are often only getting 40¢, 30¢ or even 20¢.
    Help is on the way: the common sense of the common people. From my home, one's home and our home, let us bring it home.

[Translation]

Vaudreuil-Dorion Heritage Weekend

    Oyez, oyez, Mr. Speaker!
     Lords, ladies, nobles and the good folk of Vaudreuil-Dorion will gather again on June 8, 9, 10 and 11 for the 2023 edition of the Seigneuriales. At this festival honouring the history of New France, they will eat, drink, play and sing as they celebrate the rich cultural heritage of our community, Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
     In partnership with the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion and the Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges and under the leadership of Christiane Levesque and her team, the people of Vaudreuil-Soulanges will have the opportunity to explore the local artisan fair and participate in the tall tales competition.
    I therefore want to take this opportunity to invite all the lords and ladies of Vaudreuil-Soulanges to join me at this festival. There will be activities for the whole family, and, of course, everything our seigneury has to offer.

La Journée de la Gaspésie

    Mr. Speaker, every year on the first Thursday in June, we celebrate Gaspé day. What a pleasure to celebrate the people of the Gaspé and our magnificent region.
    To show our affection and attachment to our home region, the Stratégie Vivre en Gaspésie invites us to wear blue, enjoy the great outdoors, listen to music of the Gaspé, enjoy local products, express our creativity and share our love for the Gaspé with as many people as possible.
    This year a wide range of activities are on offer throughout the peninsula from Sainte‑Anne‑des‑Monts to Matapédia, Gaspé, Chandler, L'Anse‑à‑Beaufils, Percé, Grande-Rivière, New Carlisle, Bonaventure and Carleton‑sur‑Mer.
    Our Gaspé is more lively than ever, more vibrant than ever. Good people with warm hearts fill our region with a zest for life every day. I invite members to join me in celebrating the dynamism and vitality of our region. I wish us a happy Gaspé day.

[English]

Port Saint John

    Mr. Speaker, as Port Saint John celebrates its annual Port Days, excitement and optimism reign supreme. Our government's $100-million investments are supporting more than 100,000 TEUs of cargo and are aimed at 150,000 by the end of the year. This will be the largest volume of container traffic the port has ever processed and will explode to over 800,000 TEUs in only a few years.
    This has positioned Port Saint John as the fastest-growing container port on the eastern seaboard and in all of Canada. We are no strangers to tourists through our port either. Just this week, Saint John welcomed the fourth-largest cruise ship in the world. The Oasis of the Seas came to our port with over 8,000 passengers and crew filling our uptown businesses, restaurants and tourist destinations.
    Federal investment in our port is driving our economic diversification and growth in Saint John—Rothesay. I am proud of the entire team at Port Saint John, led by CEO Craig Estabrooks and chair Jack Keir, and I know our government will continue to stand up for, invest in and deliver for Port Saint John.

[Translation]

Criminal Code

    Mr. Speaker, traditionally, members' statements are used for non-partisan purposes. I assure the House that today, my statement will uphold that tradition.
    When the government adopted Bill C‑5, I am sure that those who supported it meant well. We now see, however, that we need to go back to the drawing board.
    We all agree that violent criminals deserve harsh sentences. Any form of violence against women, children or any other person needs to be taken seriously.
    It is possible that some people saw Bill C‑5 as a way to modernize the Criminal Code, but in fact its application has been quite the opposite. That is why I am introducing Bill C‑325.
    This bill has two objectives. First, it will ensure that violent criminals have no chance of serving their sentence at home. Second, my bill seeks to create an offence for violent criminals who breach their parole conditions. There are currently no consequences for breaching conditions. Everyone agrees that this is wrong.
    We all have people in our lives who are dear to us. As elected members, we must ensure that they are protected. Let us support Bill C‑325.

  (1405)  

World Milk Day

    Mr. Speaker, today we are celebrating World Milk Day. It is an opportunity to thank our dairy producers who work tirelessly to supply our country with dairy products of superior quality.
    The Canadian dairy industry plays a crucial role in our economy and in our food supply. It is an economic powerhouse in our regions.
    Not only are our dairy products delicious, but they are prepared with care, safely and sustainably. We are proud of the quality of our dairy industry and its environmental innovation.
    Today, we are celebrating the work of our farmers, producers and processors. Their efforts ensure that we always have delicious milk and beloved milk products such as butter, yogourt and cheese on our tables
    On this World Milk Day, I want to express my gratitude for these dedicated individuals and thank them for their commitment to the quality and sustainability of their products.
    I wish them a happy World Milk Day.

[English]

2SLGBTQI+ Community

    Mr. Speaker, Liberal governments have done more to advance equality for the 2SLGBTQI+ community in Canada, and globally, yet we continue to see an alarming rise in hate directed at this community, both here and abroad.
    From 2020 to 2021 alone, there was a 64% increase in hate-motivated violence against this community in Canada. Queer and transgender Canadians are subjected to harassment, threats, vandalism, swatting and assault.
    In 1993, I ran on the issue of equality under the law for 2SLGBTQI+ persons and continue to champion this cause as our government funds community organizations, banned conversion therapy and redressed past wrongs to the Canadian Armed Forces.
    What I have learned is that no one can take equality for granted. Basic human rights can be removed easily by non-progressive governments. Be on guard as parliamentarians and act for queer safety.

Pride Month

    Mr. Speaker, as we begin to celebrate Pride Month, I want to say I am thankful. I am proud to live my life as an openly gay member of Parliament. As a then-29-year-old mayor in small town rural Ontario, my public coming-out story could not have gone any better. My family, friends and colleagues to this date have been absolutely wonderful and I am truly blessed.
    I know that was often not the case for past generations, and sadly for too many people today still. Many have lost their jobs, their livelihoods, their family and friends. They risked everything for the freedom to live and love as they were born. For me, during Pride Month, I am reminded, through my lived experience, of my blessings and also of the struggles of others in tough times. Their sacrifices and pain have made it easier for Canadians like me to share my story and to have witnessed such progress.
    Every person who shares their story opens new hearts and new minds. I thank those who have fought and who keep fighting for a better and brighter future. I wish everyone in Canada a happy Pride Month.

Filipino Heritage Month

     Mr. Speaker, the month of June marks Filipino Heritage Month, and on June 12, Filipinos from around the world will celebrate Philippines Independence Day.
    From coast to coast to coast, there will be flag-raising ceremonies, cultural events and festivals. Filipino Canadians have made tremendous contributions to this great country. It is an honour to stand here on behalf of nearly one million Filipino Canadians to mark this momentous occasion.
    I want to thank my friend and colleague, the member for Scarborough Centre, for advocating for Motion No. 155 to designate June as Filipino Heritage Month in Canada. This would not be made possible without her support, and the support of all the members of this House.
    This month, I encourage everyone to learn more about our rich Filipino heritage, culture, traditions and food. I want to send a special mention to the Filipino interns who travelled from across the country to work here on Parliament Hill. I wish all Filipino Canadians a happy Filipino Heritage Month.
    [Member spoke in Filipino and provided the following translation:]
     Happy Filipino Heritage Month.
    [English]

  (1410)  

Oil and Gas Industry

    Mr. Speaker, “broken” is the only word to describe what happens to everything the current government touches.
    We are learning of yet another $3-billion loan guarantee required to complete the Trans Mountain expansion so the Liberal government can sell it. It would not have had to buy it if it had not broken the regulatory approval process in the first place. The list just keeps getting bigger, with northern gateway, energy east, Teck frontier, 17 LNG terminals and, just in, Bay du Nord, which are all broken. The cost to complete the TMX has quadrupled in the past decade, to $31 billion.
    The cause of all of these cost increases is not only inflation and supply chain challenges but also incompetence.
    I would say to the Prime Minister that he broke it. He bought it, and then he broke it again, so he should get out of the way so the Conservatives can fix it.

Carbon Tax

    Mr. Speaker, I recently heard from a local small business owner who produces value-added goods found in many of our local grocery stores. His products and ingredients come from Quebec and Atlantic Canada, and he uses federally regulated trucking companies to deliver these goods.
    Unfortunately, those companies now charge fuel surcharges and carbon tax fees on top of his invoice, which he shared with me. As a B.C.-based small business owner, he not pays not only these federal Liberal carbon taxes, but also the provincial NDP carbon tax increases. To offset these taxes, he must raise his prices to his customers, resulting in further increases in food prices when his finished value-added goods are shipped to grocery stores. This is direct evidence that the out-of-touch Liberal government is to blame for rising food prices and made-in-Canada inflation.
    Under the leadership of the member for Carleton, a Conservative government will look to help struggling Canadians by cancelling the carbon tax and ending this constant barrage of NDP-Liberal policies on food prices.

Italian Heritage Month

    Mr. Speaker, today, Italian Canadians are proudly part of the chamber and of the broader italo-canadese community ingrained in Canada’s social fabric.
    However, the journey was not an easy one. In 1933, 90 years ago, the Christie Pits riot brought together Jews and Italians to fight against discrimination. From 1940 to 1943, nearly 31,000 Italian Canadians were considered “enemy aliens”, and almost 700 were sent to internment camps. On March 17, 1960, the Hogg’s Hollow disaster claimed the lives of five Italian Canadian construction workers who were installing a water main under the Don River in the city of Toronto. Nearly 2,000 Italian construction workers died helping to build Ontario.
     During Italian Heritage Month, we celebrate the rich culture, history and traditions by sharing the stories of the brave Italian men and women who immigrated to Canada in search of opportunities but have never forgot their homeland.
     La nostra storia is one of resilience.
    [Member spoke in Italian]
[English]

Land Acknowledgements

    Uqaqtittiji, today is the first day of National Indigenous History Month.
    When the sun rises in the east, shines throughout Canada and sets in the west, too many indigenous peoples are missing, murdered or buried at the hands of governments.
    Indigenous history is largely invisible in the House. There is nothing I see that acknowledges that we sit on unceded Algonquin Anishinabe territory.
    All governments, past and present, have used incremental change. Responses are always that more needs to be done.
    I ask for two small but important land acknowledgements: first, that the Speaker do one at the the start of each day, and second, that all standing committee reports publish them.
    Let us start to make Canada's obligations more visible in order to ensure that indigenous well-being is celebrated. Yes, I expect more to be done in order for indigenous justice to be realized.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

World Milk Day

    Mr. Speaker, today is World Milk Day, but I drink my milk every day just as I like it, because, frankly, milk is better under any circumstances.
    Milk is a rich and tasty source of nourishment, proudly produced by people who continue to innovate, to produce more and better using less, people who are protecting our planet and our future. Milk is liquid gold.
    I therefore invite all members of the House to enjoy this fantastic product. Let us do right by our farmers by passing Bill C‑282 quickly and protecting their wonderful model, so that we can always say “Never without my milk”. There is no need for moderation, because when it comes to milk, one glass is good but two is better.
    To anyone with doubts, remember that it is worth crying over. I cannot imagine a better natural source of comfort.
    In conclusion, milk is, and always will be, the best thing ever.

[English]

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, residents of Kelowna—Lake Country are increasingly disturbed by a Liberal government, propped up by the NDP, that does not seem to care that homelessness is on the rise. After eight years of the Liberal government, rents and the cost of owning a home have doubled, inflationary policies have poured fuel on the inflationary fire, interest rates are high and local food banks have 30% more people reaching out for help.
    Encampments have now become common sights across the country, including in my community, but when I asked the housing minister what he thought about the average rent in Kelowna being over $1,900 a month, he said “it does not matter”. Instead of addressing crushing inflation and building homes, these left-wing Liberal and NDP politicians would rather defend people's living in tents. This creates safety issues for the greater community with potential fires and crime, and leaves vulnerable people to live in unsafe conditions where criminals prey on them.
    An Auditor General's report noted that the federal government does not even know whether its billions of dollars spent have improved outcomes for people experiencing homelessness or chronic homelessness, or for other vulnerable groups. Every Canadian deserves a safe place to call home.

[Translation]

Carl Gillis

    Mr. Speaker, 35 years ago, I was a parliamentary page in the House. Many of my page colleagues from 1988-89 are here with us today.
    We are honouring the memory of one of our colleagues, Carl Gillis, with a gift to the House of Commons.

[English]

    On a beautiful day in May 1996, Carl went rollerblading along one of Ottawa's famous paths. It was to be his last time. He suffered a devastating fall, and the resulting injury was fatal. One of Canada's brightest lights was extinguished. Carl was vibrant, smart, caring and compassionate. We lost a dear friend. His family lost a son, a brother, an uncle and a grandson, and I am convinced that Canada lost a future prime minister.
    Carl loved Parliament. He loved public service and parliamentary procedure. Even at the tender age of 26, Carl was committed to making a difference as he embarked on his life in politics. Although he was robbed of that chance, he still had an incredible impact on everyone he met.

[Translation]

    I hope that future pages will like this gift from the class of 1988-89 and know that they are part of a larger family of parliamentary pages.

[English]

    I say, “Here's to Carl.”

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, Parliament passed a motion expressing its lack of confidence in David Johnston, the ski buddy, cottage neighbour and Trudeau Foundation member that the Prime Minister tasked with investigating Beijing's interference. In response, Mr. Johnston said that he was working not for Parliament, but for the government and the Prime Minister. That is the problem. Only 27% of Canadians trust him to do the job.
    Will the Prime Minister finally fire David Johnston and appoint an independent judge for an independent inquiry?

  (1420)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I believe it is unfair, and frankly offensive, to question Mr. Johnston's allegiance.
    His 50-year career in public service makes it clear that his loyalty is to Canada. I believe he represents the highest ideals of hard work, dedication, public service and humility. We should all be thankful that he perseveres in his commitment to service to Canada.

Disaster Assistance

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Minister of Emergency Preparedness for his briefing yesterday with regard to the wildfires. I know that Premier Houston and other provincial leaders have been working hard to protect public safety, to save lives and to minimize damage to property.
    Would the minister please rise and give us an update? Since the Government of Nova Scotia has asked for assistance, would the minister give an update on what assistance the federal government will provide?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question and also for attending that briefing.
    In an emergency when the safety of all Canadians is threatened, it is all hands on deck, and it is important that we work together. Premier Houston has, in fact, submitted a request for assistance. It was immediately approved. We have been mobilizing the resources Nova Scotia needs, and, in fact, many of those resources have already been delivered. We will act as expeditiously as possible to make sure Nova Scotians get the resources they need, and that we respond positively. We will work very carefully and closely with Premier Houston.

Oil and Gas Industry

    Mr. Speaker, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are in shock today that the Bay du Nord project is now being delayed by three years, and maybe forever.
    The federal government killed two pipelines, bungled and massively overspent on a third, killed the Teck frontier mine and blocked 14 or 15 massive natural gas liquefaction projects that are necessary to fight global climate change.
    Will the government remove its gatekeepers so Newfoundlanders and Labradorians can bring home energy production to their province and our country?
    Mr. Speaker, as the Leader of the Opposition well knows, I approved that project myself just last year. The company announced yesterday that it is putting the project on pause for three years because of market conditions.
    That is the company's decision. We will take it as it is.
    Mr. Speaker, whenever the government henpecks to death a natural resource project, it forces the company to claim it has something to do with market conditions. It does that by threatening them to do more damage on other projects. We know the government did that with TransCanada's national pipeline, claiming that it was the daily price of oil that had caused the company to cancel a project that would have been place for more than half a century. We know that the price of oil has been stable now. We know that the energy demand is going to be continuing for at least half a century. We also know the government kills projects like this.
     Why will it not get out of the way and let Newfoundlanders and Labradorians bring home paycheques for its people?
    Mr. Speaker, again, I would like to reiterate that this was an independent business decision made by Equinor; it was not a cancellation. The decision was largely due to market forces.
    Let us also talk about the fact that, right now, we have introduced legislation to diversify Newfoundland and Labrador's economy. We have introduced Bill C-49, and it provides huge opportunities for offshore projects, resource projects. That is what we are doing; we are making sure we are diversifying and supporting the economy right across our country.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the Liberals cannot get out of the way to let people get things done.
    It is not just oil and gas. The fisheries department blocked a tidal wave power project in Nova Scotia for so long that the private company that was going to build it left to build it somewhere else. By the government's own admission, it takes as long as 25 years to get a mine approved. It is no wonder we do not actually produce any lithium here in Canada. We have to import it from abroad. Yesterday, the resources minister tweeted a bunch of projects that are not even started.
     Why will the Liberals not get out of the way so Canadians can get things done?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, we are getting good projects done. I would like to highlight that, just earlier this year, we approved two mines. James Bay lithium and Marathon palladium were both approved under the government.
    More than that, if we are looking at LNG projects, let us look at Cedar LNG. It is a first nation-owned business, and it is something that has been pointed out by that first nation as being economic reconciliation in progress. We are supporting good energy projects in our country.

[Translation]

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, the House voted again yesterday in favour of a public inquiry into Chinese interference.
    The three opposition parties stood up for our constituents, who are demanding an inquiry. However, there is no inquiry because, as David Johnston explained yesterday, his mandate comes neither from the House nor from the people. His mandate comes from the Prime Minister himself.
    The Prime Minister said, no, over my dead body, the people will not get an inquiry.
    I know the Liberal members. They are democrats. Are they not embarrassed that their leader is the only one fighting this inquiry, but more importantly, the only one going against the entire population?
    Mr. Speaker, I must say, as a relatively new parliamentarian, I am extremely disappointed to see that some elected officials here do not understand the importance of protecting Canadian intelligence, as well as the people who work on gathering this intelligence.
    Protecting our democracy and protecting our institutions is the responsibility of all of us. The responsible thing for the leaders of the opposition parties to do is to get their security clearances, receive their briefings and work with us to strengthen our democracy.
    Mr. Speaker, it is not inconsequential: A foreign power is attacking our democracy.
    Most Canadians are concerned and are calling for a public inquiry. Most of the people elected by these Canadians are calling for a public inquiry. Only one man, the Prime Minister, is going against the will of the people. The Prime Minister's only supporter, David Johnston, is an unelected individual who, by his own admission, reports only to the Prime Minister, and certainly not to Canadians or their elected officials.
    If we want to defend our democracy, we must start by respecting our democracy. What does the Prime Minister not understand about that?
    Mr. Speaker, we must not forget that by obtaining their security clearance, the leaders of the parties will have access to the secret information used by David Johnston.
    The responsible thing to do is to debate the facts, and not just opinions, get the security clearance, attend the briefings and then work with the rest of the House to propose solutions to better protect our democracy and our institutions, because foreign interference is everyone's business.

[English]

Emergency Preparedness

    Mr. Speaker, wildfires are raging across the country. We are seeing forest fires like we have never seen before so early in the season. Regions in the Atlantic are hard hit. The Prairies are hard hit, as well as northern communities and the west. Communities are hard hit and impacted.
    What is the government going to do to deal with what might be a record-breaking year for forest fires and damage to communities?
    Mr. Speaker, we have seen a very significant number of fires in this country. In fact, 2.7 million hectares of forest have been lost to fires so far this season. We are working very closely with provincial and territorial partners, and we are making significant investments.
    I will also acknowledge that there is a great deal more work to do.

[Translation]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, we are facing an opioid crisis that has killed a record number of people across the country.
    I have met mothers who have lost a child to this opioid crisis. They requested a meeting with the leader of the Conservative Party, but he refused to meet with them. That is disrespectful.
    When will this government finally take action to save lives?
    Mr. Speaker, it is shameful that the opposition leader is so committed to an outdated, discredited and illogical bumper-sticker drug policy.
    His fearmongering will increase stigma and cost lives. The supervised consumption sites he wants to close have prevented over 46,000 overdoses since 2017.
    We cannot return to the failed Conservative ideology of the past.

  (1430)  

[English]

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, in response to yesterday's vote, in which members of Parliament, representing a clear majority of Canadian voters, demanded that he step down, phony rapporteur David Johnston said he is not going anywhere. In fact, he said—
    There are some words that have a meaning that is just not really parliamentary. I am going to ask the member to keep going, but remember that.
    Please start from the top, with nice language.
    Mr. Speaker, in response to yesterday's vote, where MPs, representing a clear majority of Canadians, voted for him to step aside, rapporteur David Johnston said he is not going anywhere. In fact, he said he does not work for Parliament or Canadians; he said he works for the government.
     That is the problem. He works for the same Liberal government that benefited from Beijing's election interference. He personally serves the Prime Minister, who chose to do nothing while Chinese Canadians were bullied into voting for his Liberal Party. Nobody is fooled by this sham of a process. When will the Prime Minister fire his ski buddy and call a public inquiry?
    Mr. Speaker, I am reminded once again that it is not only unfair but also deeply offensive to listen to the member opposite question Mr. Johnston's allegiance to this country. His 50-year career in public service has made it clear to everyone that his loyalty is to Canada. As I also said, and to quote former prime minister Harper, “[David Johnston] represents hard work, dedication, public service and humility.” Canada is blessed to have a man so dedicated to public service, persevering through this type of abuse.
    Mr. Speaker, Canada is cursed by a Prime Minister who tarnished that man's reputation by involving him in this scandal.
     The Prime Minister cannot be the one to decide how to investigate this scandal, because he benefited from it. David Johnston cannot decide either, because he is a family friend and a long-time member of the Trudeau Foundation. Frank Iacobucci cannot be the one to sign off on David Johnston's role, because he is part of the Trudeau Foundation as well. Those are conflicts of interest.
     Why is it that whenever the best interests of Canadians conflict with the political interests of the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister always chooses himself?
    Mr. Speaker, protecting Canada from the nefarious, hostile activities of foreign-state actors is a priority for our government. We have taken very significant action to protect Canadian institutions and, in particular, our democracy. We recognize that there is more work—
    Order. I am going to interrupt for a second. I am going to ask for everyone to respect each other so that one side does not see the other one is screaming. It goes both ways, and that is the way we are going to enforce it.
    The hon. minister, from the top please. Hopefully, we have some peace and quiet and some respect in this chamber.
    Mr. Speaker, protecting Canada from nefarious hostile activities of such foreign-state actors as China is a priority for our government. We have taken significant action to protect the integrity of Canadian institutions and, in particular, our democracy. We recognize that there is more work to do, and we all have a responsibility to stand up and protect our democracy. I would invite all members to cease their attacks on some of the finest Canadians I know and to unite in this important work.
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, after this House voted non-confidence in the so-called special rapporteur, the rapporteur issued a statement in which he said that he does not answer to this House; instead, he answers to the Prime Minister. Now that the Prime Minister's so-called rapporteur has finally admitted that he is not independent, will the Prime Minister end the charade, fire him and call an independent public inquiry?
    Mr. Speaker, as I already explained, Mr. Johnston's 50-year career in public service, culminating in his role as the governor general of this country, has made it crystal clear to all Canadians that his loyalty is to Canada—
    I think everyone asked me to stop people from heckling and shouting, but I am still hearing voices coming. I will do it for each side. If members do not want me interrupting them over and over again, we might have to change the way we do things in here as far as the list goes. I expect quiet.
    I am going to ask the hon. minister to start again.

  (1435)  

     Mr. Speaker, as I have already made clear, Mr. Johnston has a 50-year career in public service, culminating in his role as the former governor general of Canada. This has made it crystal clear to all Canadians, and certainly to this House, that his loyalty is to this country, to this nation, to Canada. His ideals of hard-working dedication, and his commitment to persevere through some of the, frankly, offensive criticism that is being sent his way, is something for which all Canadians should be grateful.
    We are very fortunate to have a man of his experience and values leading this work on behalf of the nation.
    Mr. Speaker, his loyalty should be to the people of Canada and the elected members of this place, not to the Prime Minister.
    This House voted non-confidence, and Canadians have no confidence in the so-called special rapporteur because he is in a conflict. He is a lifelong friend of the Prime Minister and a former member of the Beijing-financed Trudeau Foundation. Yesterday, he admitted that he does not work for Canadians; he works for the Prime Minister.
    Why will the Prime Minister not acknowledge this blatant conflict of interest and fire his fake rapporteur?
    Mr. Speaker, the only thing fake in this place is the Conservative outrage.
    All Canadians expect opposition parties to work hard to criticize government, but what Canadians also expect is that they do so with information and that they are informed. By refusing to receive the confidential information that was the basis of the Right Hon. David Johnston's report, the Conservatives are living under a veil of ignorance. However, Canadians expect that, on issues of national security, there are reasonable, responsible members in this House serving their—
    With the interference that I am still hearing, I am going to try something different. The end of the list may be less noisy.
    The hon. member for Spadina—Fort York.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, today marks 1,241 days since the IRGC murdered 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents among 176 people killed when Flight PS752 was shot down. One of them was my friend.
    Last year, on the 1,000th day, Iranian Canadians came to Ottawa to get justice for those innocent victims and get action on Iranian operatives who threaten and intimidate Iranian Canadians on our own soil. They also wanted their government to finally designate the IRGC as terrorists, but they got only useless platitudes.
    On June 11, when they return to Parliament Hill, will they again receive empty promises?
     Mr. Speaker, the Iranian regime bears full responsibility for the tragic downing of Flight PS752.
    We are focused on the next steps, and we will continue to pursue all available means for holding the Iranian regime accountable. Action is under way, under the Montreal Convention, and we are seeking binding arbitration. If an arbitration tribunal cannot be organized within six months, we will then be able to move on to litigation before the International Court of Justice.
    We will not rest until the families have the justice, transparency and accountability from Iran that they so truly deserve.

Air Transportation

    Uqaqtittiji, communities in Nunavut must rely on safe, affordable and accessible air transportation. The government's new deal with Canadian North jeopardizes the overall well-being of Nunavummiut. Raising prices would increase the cost of food and supplies and threaten the health care that people in Nunavut rely on, which is already limited.
    Will the government commit to keeping air travel affordable, so northerners can access the services and care they need?
    Mr. Speaker, our government understands the importance of accessible and affordable air transportation to many regions of Canada, including the north. We have been working diligently with the airline and the territories to ensure that the airline is able to maintain viable, efficient transportation. This will ensure that people who live in the north are able to access that critical service.

[Translation]

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, what is the Prime Minister so desperately trying to hide from Canadians that he is willing to jeopardize the credibility of Canada's democracy?
    He insists on keeping his special rapporteur, longtime family friend and member of the Trudeau Foundation. Why is he doing that? Because he is satisfied with his work. In fact, David Johnston did exactly what the Prime Minister expected of him. He implemented the Prime Minister's plan and sheltered him from a public inquiry.
    Will the Prime Minister finally admit that he knew in advance, when he said that he would follow the recommendations of his rapporteur and special friend, that he would not recommend a public inquiry?

  (1440)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, while foreign state actors try to undermine our democracy, what do we see from the Conservatives? We see nothing more than political attacks. Every single member of this House and every Canadian should take the issue of foreign interference seriously, but the Conservatives do not offer solutions. They do not offer recommendations. All they do is take cheap political and personal shots. Canadians expect more maturity from the official opposition.
    We are going to work hard to ensure that our democratic institutions are protected for all Canadians, because it is not a partisan issue.
    It is getting noisy again. I am going to try the back end of the list.
    The hon. member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity.

Veterans Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, our veterans represent the very best of us. The women and men who served our country have done so with immense bravery and selflessness, and they deserve the best care and support possible. There are so many unique organizations across Canada that are going above and beyond to help support our veterans and their families. They are integral to veterans but also important pillars in our communities.
    Could the Minister of Veterans Affairs please share with this House what is being done to support these organizations?
    Mr. Speaker, last week, I was at the Old Brewery Mission in Montreal to announce over $6 million in funding for 21 organizations. Right across the country, they are doing vitally important work to support our veterans and their families. These projects will help veterans in a wide variety of ways, including by addressing homelessness, retraining, employment and mental health and by supporting under-represented veterans.
    We will continue to work hard to ensure Canada's veterans have the care and support they need and deserve.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Beauce.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we have this member here.
    I am sorry, but that is not the way my list works. There is a rule that says the Speaker decides who is going to speak next.
    I am going to ask the member to sit down. If the member for Beauce wants to get up, he can get up. Otherwise, I will go to the next name on my list.
    I am glad the hon. member for Beauce got permission.
    The hon. member for Beauce.

[Translation]

Agriculture and Agri-Food

    Mr. Speaker, it is World Milk Day, and I would like to recognize the hard work of all the dairy farmers and processors from coast to coast.
    These farmers work very hard. However, the second carbon tax this government is proposing is putting farming prospects at risk across the country. Canadians need farmers to put food on the table.
    When will the Liberals wake up and cancel the second carbon tax, so Canadians can feed their families?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to wish everyone a happy World Milk Day.
    I thank my colleague for giving me the opportunity to sincerely thank all our dairy farmers across the country, who are working very hard to ensure that we have sustainable agriculture.
    Do members know, by the way, that our dairy farmers are committed to building a zero-emissions sector? I would like to congratulate them on their plan for sustainable development.

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, last night the special rapporteur admitted it himself. The Prime Minister gave him his mandate and he could care less about the vote in the House of Commons. I would like to quote from Le Journal de Montréal:
…Mr. Johnston has obviously become Justin Trudeau's adviser.... As he understands it, his role is to protect his boss, the Prime Minister…even if it means sacrificing his career and the reputation that goes with it. 
    This was written today by Yasmine Abdelfadel in her column entitled “Democracy's new enemy is David Johnston”. The Conservatives are not the ones saying this.
    When is the Prime Minister finally going to put the former governor general out of his misery by ending this charade and launching an independent public inquiry?
    Mr. Speaker, earlier, my colleague explained how, throughout his entire career, David Johnston has always been dedicated to Canada, to Canadians, to serving the public well.
    Now, I call on my colleagues, whether my Conservative colleagues or those of the Bloc Québécois, to ensure that we respect and protect Canadian intelligence and those who work to gather this intelligence. I would ask that the party leaders go and get their secret clearance, that they sit in on the briefings, that we stop sharing and debating opinions, and that we work with the facts to find solutions that are actually constructive for our democracy and our institutions.

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, the opposition parties have been calling for a public inquiry into Chinese interference since February. The Prime Minister refused and instead appointed a special rapporteur, despite all opposition.
    Three months later, we are at the same impasse. David Johnston finally tabled his report, in which he blamed the media, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the opposition, everyone except China or the government. That is why, yesterday, the House again called for a public inquiry because the will of the people has not been respected and because we are still stuck at the same impasse.
    When will the government finally launch an independent public inquiry?
    Mr. Speaker, the opposition parties have access to all the information that David Johnston used to write his report and make the recommendations that we have before us. Now, the right thing to do is to get the security clearance to read the report and then come back and talk about solutions for protecting our institutions and our democracy.
    Foreign interference is a threat to our country. It needs to be taken seriously in a non-partisan manner.
    Mr. Speaker, my democracy is suffering, and I hope that I will not get an answer that I have already heard.
    I want to come back to what we learned the day before yesterday about the member for Durham. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service informed him that he was the target of a disinformation campaign by Chinese authorities during the 2021 election. That is important. We are talking about the leader of the opposition at the time, someone who could have legitimately expected to become prime minister, someone who was the leader of the party that got the most votes in 2021. We are not talking about just anyone.
    The interference is not targeting the government. It is targeting our democracy as a whole. We are all concerned, and we are all calling for a public inquiry.
    What will the government do?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am really happy to see the Bloc so interested in this issue, but what Mr. Johnston's report actually said was that he included an annex with all of the confidential information he reviewed. He provided it to party leaders and asked them to receive their security clearance to review it and determine if his recommendations from it were appropriate. However, what has the leader of the Bloc chosen to do? He has closed his eyes under a veil of ignorance and ignored the actual facts of the matter.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, an NDP member, a Conservative member, and the former leader of the official opposition have all been the target of threats, and I am sure that others have been too.
    However, the Prime Minister is telling us that the opposition is creating a toxic climate. Come on. The toxic climate stems from the fact that our electoral system is under threat and that the government only wants to talk about it behind closed doors without taking action. Now is the time for transparency. Now is the time to shed light on this issue. Now is the time for an independent public inquiry.
    When will the Liberals finally get that through their heads?
    Mr. Speaker, now is the time for the opposition leaders to set partisanship aside and receive the briefings to which they are entitled, so that we can move on, discuss the facts and discuss the solutions to be put in place because, as everyone agrees, foreign interference poses a real threat to our country. It must be taken seriously, but it needs to be done in the right way to protect our intelligence and to protect our public service employees who collect that intelligence.
    They need to do the responsible thing and go get their briefings.
    I must point out that I do not have the name of the member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier on my list to ask questions. I invite him to check with his whip.
    The hon. member for Chatham-Kent—Leamington.

[English]

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, the government's policies are akin to death by a thousand taxes as Canadians watch their life savings bleed away. Gas prices are draining their bank accounts, as Liberal carbon tax 1 adds 41¢ per litre and Liberal carbon tax 2 adds another 17¢ per litre. However, do not forget that, just like adding salt to this open wound, the government's GST is a tax on a tax on a tax. This combination will add a whopping 61¢ to the price per litre of gas for Canadians.
    I ask this again: When will the minister get the facts and stop the tax?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, we have to roll the tape back, because not once, not twice, not three times, but five times in just the last year the Conservatives have had the opportunity to reduce taxes on Canadians. However, what did they do? Every single time we vote to reduce taxes on Canadians, how do they vote? Against. When we reduced taxes on workers, how did they vote? Against. When we reduced taxes on the middle class, how did they vote? Against. When we reduced taxes on people who just want to pay their bills, how did the Conservatives vote? Against.
    We know the plan, and we are going to keep delivering for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, mothers in the north are having to make very difficult decisions because of the Prime Minister's first carbon tax, and now it is even worse with the new carbon tax 2.0. This is from Northwest Territories MLA Jackie Jacobson: “we're really hurting.... Single mothers are having to choose to buy Pampers or pay their cell bill, or pay their power bill, or pay to buy food, and people are going without.” No mother should ever have to make the difficult decision between buying food and keeping their children warm in winter.
    When will the Prime Minister finally axe his cruel carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, we know the rising cost of food and groceries is having a challenging impact on families and single moms. That is why we introduced programs like $10-a-day child care, the Canada workers benefit, dental care and the Canada child benefit to help make life more affordable for families, for moms and for all Canadians.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are struggling financially, but this government continues to be overly keen, not to help people, but to take more money out of their pockets with new taxes. There are not one, not two, not three, but four taxes.
    First, there was the Liberal carbon tax. Second, they taxed this Liberal carbon tax. Then they invented the second Liberal carbon tax and they want to tax it. People are being taxed one, two, three, four times. It is outrageous.
    Will the government understand that taxing struggling Canadian families four times is really not a good idea?
    Mr. Speaker, I have to admit that it is very disappointing to hear my hon. colleague opposite oversimplifying the issue. He knows full well that the carbon pricing system does not apply in Quebec.
    Let us talk about carbon pricing. In 2021, not only did all members of the Conservative Party campaign in favour of carbon pricing, but 19 members on the other side campaigned in 2021 and 2008 to implement carbon pricing. They have reneged on their promise twice. They are breaking the promises they made to Canadians.
    That is not what we are doing on this side of the House. We are working for Canadians. We are fighting climate change.

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health recently blocked reforms that would save Canadians billions on their prescription medicines. The minister said he did this because he wanted to be consulted by Canada's drug price regulator but did not receive an invitation. In fact, documents obtained by the health committee show he was invited at least five times, and the minister's office either ignored or rejected them.
    Why will the minister not come clean with Canadians and just admit that he refused to lower drug prices because big pharma told him not to?
    Mr. Speaker, as the member knows really well, we had discussions on that just a few months ago. On July 1, we put into place some of the strongest regulations ever put into place to regulate the prices of patented medicines. This is great news because we are now going to compare the cost of patented drugs in Canada to a new basket of countries. It is a better basket of countries and excludes the highest costs seen in the world, which are in the United States and Switzerland. We look forward to doing more.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, 200 residents of a west end Toronto building are taking action against huge rent increases by their landlord. Their rent is being jacked up by 40% this fall. Seniors on fixed incomes, workers and families are worried sick they could end up on the street.
    Under the Liberals, rents have skyrocketed. We are now seeing rents double or even triple in communities. This is unacceptable.
    Will the Liberals stop these renovictions, put people before profits and launch an acquisition fund for non-profits to keep rents low?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that rent subsidies and making sure rental rates reflect fairness are in provincial jurisdiction. However, we do believe we have a role in helping vulnerable renters. That is why we introduced the Canada housing benefit, which is helping tens of thousands of Canadian households across each province and territory in Canada. That is why we introduced a top-up to the Canada housing benefit. It is why we are also making sure we are building more rental supply, including more supply of affordable rental units across the country.

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, this year marks the centennial of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a shameful chapter in our nation's history that we must not forget.
    Can the Minister of International Trade tell this House how our government is planning to commemorate the history of the Chinese Exclusion Act and what steps it is taking to continue supporting Chinese Canadians and their heritage?
    Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in this Parliament. It stopped Chinese immigrants from coming to Canada, stopped families from reuniting, and caused racism and harm. These same Chinese immigrants helped build Canada's railway to connect our country from coast to coast to coast.
    I pay tribute to those whose strong advocacy repealed that law, but it took 24 years. Our government is recognizing the centennial as an event of national historic significance and we are commemorating it with a plaque. We must ensure that this never happens again.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' first carbon tax hikes the cost of gas and diesel, doubles heating and makes groceries more expensive. A record 1.5 million Canadians had to go to a food bank in one month, and one in five Canadians skip meals just to get by. The Liberals will hit struggling Canadians with carbon tax 2 anyway. It will add 17¢ a litre at the pumps, and it will hurt the working poor and people with low incomes the most.
    Why do the Liberals not care and will they not axe their costly carbon taxes?
    Mr. Speaker, setting aside the fact that the members opposite all campaigned to put in place carbon pricing in Canada, let us look at what they are saying no to.
    They are saying no to clean air and clean water. We were evacuating people in New Brunswick and in Quebec. We had to airlift people outside of Fort Chipewyan last night because of climate change. The Conservatives are saying let us make pollution free again, and let us move away from the economy of the 21st century. We are saying no.
    We had the strongest economy of all G7 countries last year and we are the country that has reduced its emissions the most of all G7 countries. We can fight climate change and have a strong economy.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals say the carbon taxes are supposed to reduce emissions, but after eight years, they have missed every target and they only went down slightly once when governments locked Canada down.
    To really help lower global emissions, Canada could export LNG, but after eight years and 18 proposals, the only one getting built was approved by Conservatives before. From oil and gas, to critical minerals, to tidal power and to offshore opportunities on every coast, the Liberals hold Canada back. The world wants Canada's energy and technology. The Liberals are out of touch and Canadians are out of money.
    When will the Liberals axe their harmful, failed, costly carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but the member is plainly wrong. We have not missed our target. The Conservatives missed their target. I was in Copenhagen in 2009 when former Prime Minister Harper committed Canada to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. They did nothing.
    We have reduced emissions by 50 million tonnes between 2019 and 2021, the best performance of all G7 countries. We did that while creating millions of jobs in this country and having the strongest economy of G7 countries.
    Mr. Speaker, after eight long years and out-of-control spending, what are we seeing? More Canadians are using food banks, going hungry and worried about how they are going to make ends meet. Carbon tax 1 increases a litre of gas by 41¢ and makes everything more expensive. Carbon tax 2 adds another 17¢ and more pain for Canadians. If we add the GST, the price is 61¢ a litre.
    Why is the Prime Minister so intent on pricing Canadians out of a living?

  (1500)  

     Mr. Speaker, I quote from the 2021 Conservative Party platform. It says, “Our plan will ensure that all Canadians can do their part to fight climate change, in the way that works best for them, and at a carbon price that is affordable...increasing to $50/tonne”. The document further states, “We will assess progress...[so] carbon prices [can be] on a path to $170/tonne”.
    Either the Conservatives believe that climate change is real or they do not, but there is one thing that is for certain: Canadians in this country cannot believe a word that side says.
    Mr. Speaker, the carbon tax has been in place in some jurisdictions in Canada now for nearly 15 years. The commissioner of the environment admitted at committee recently that Canada has no metric by which to measure whether there has been any reduction in carbon as a result of its implementation.
    With no results other than its diminishing effects on Canadian pocketbooks, why in the world would the government place an additional carbon tax on their already weary and burdened backs?
    When will the government finally listen to the common sense of the common people and scrap this useless, regressive, ineffective and punitive tax?
    Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the commissioner of the environment did not have the benefit of our latest national inventory report, which shows that we have the best performance of all—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Wait a minute. Both sides are talking to each other. We are not at a party here. We are in the House of Commons, so I want everybody to just calm down and listen.
    The hon. minister can start from the top, so that we can all hear his answer.
    Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, when he went to committee the commissioner of the environment did not benefit from the information in our latest national inventory report, which shows that we have reduced emissions by 53 million tonnes, which is the equivalent of removing 11 million vehicles from our roads, between 2019 and 2021. We are landing deals like Volkswagen. We are landing deals with Tidewater in B.C., with Imperial's $720-million plant in Alberta for a bio-refinery, with Federated Co-op's $2-billion plant in Saskatchewan or with Braya's plant in Newfoundland, which has received in the last few months $300 million.

[Translation]

Intergovernmental Relations

    Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, the National Assembly unanimously demanded the disclosure of documents from the Grenier commission. Let us not forget that this commission had found that the federal government had engaged in illegal spending during the 1995 referendum.
    The National Assembly is missing some key documents from the federal government. Ottawa is still refusing to disclose these archives. The heritage minister was asked to collaborate, but instead he accused the four parties in Quebec City of living in the past. Let us give him another chance. We are good people.
    For the 125 elected members of the National Assembly, will he open his archives?
    Mr. Speaker, I was talking directly to my friends in the Bloc Québécois who are constantly looking for something to bicker over.
    Speaking of bickering, or chicane in French, this makes me think of the famous band La Chicane and one of their songs: The Bloc is so “goddamn pissed” and there is “some resentment here”. They have a lot—
    Order. There are words we do not use. That term is unparliamentary. I would like the minister to continue without using sacrilegious language.
    The Minister of Canadian Heritage.
    I apologize, Mr. Speaker. I was quoting the song.
    The Bloc Québécois is always looking for ways to divide people. Why does it not work with the government to make a difference for our families, our seniors, our young people, our businesses and the environment? That would be a sign that they are here—
    Order. The hon. member for Jonquière.
    Mr. Speaker, that is a lack of respect for the National Assembly.
    In history and in relationships, the one who tells the other that they are trying to pick a fight is usually the guilty party. Everyone knows that. The federal government is the one that has been accused of illegal financing here.
    The National Assembly is unanimous. It voted last Thursday to investigate the illegal financing, not last year. We are not living in the past. We are talking about last Thursday.
    Will the minister play fair, respect the National Assembly, which is unanimous, and open their archives?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, I do not know what kind of relationships my colleague has been in in the past.
    To come back to the debate that concerns us, I have a great deal of respect for the National Assembly. What is happening is that we are respecting jurisdictions. Right now, there is a debate going on in Quebec and we are talking about it. We respect all that.
    However, the Bloc Québécois is trying to bring 30-year old arguments and debates up here. Why does it not focus on what we can do together to help society, to help Quebec move forward? That would be more productive than always trying to go back to the past.

[English]

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, new stats out in Winnipeg show a very disturbing trend. After eight years of a Liberal government, crime in Winnipeg is up by over 25% over last year, which includes a record 53 homicides, and the Liberals have done absolutely nothing effective to address this. In fact, they have made it worse with their dangerous and reckless catch-and-release bail policies.
     Winnipeggers deserve far better than this. When will the Liberals reverse the damage they caused, clean up our streets and finally protect our communities?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been working with provincial premiers, provincial ministers of justice, provincial ministers of public safety, and police associations across Canada to address questions about bail reform. We have done that. We have tabled Bill C-48, which has the support of provinces and police associations across Canada.
    Saskatoon's police service deputy chief said, “It's encouraging to see the voices of the community and the policing community across Canada being heard”. He called it “a good move forward”. It is by working together that we can address complex problems like bail—
    The hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul.
    Mr. Speaker, the reality is that this bill will do very little to fix the problem that Liberal minister and his Liberal government created.
    Meanwhile, innocent Canadians are being murdered, abused and violated on a daily basis in our communities. Conservatives know that it does not have to be this way. Certainly, Winnipeggers deserve far better than what that Liberal minister is offering them.
    Last year, Winnipeg saw a 12% increase in knife attacks. Bear spray attacks doubled in the last three years and property crime is way up. We know that violent repeat offenders are behind most of these crimes.
    When will the minister reverse his dangerous catch-and-release policies once and for all?
    Mr. Speaker, there is no such catch-and-release policy. In fact, what we have done in Bill C-48 is address violent repeat offenders, including with knives, including with bear spray. The Government of Manitoba, as well as indigenous peoples, asked for that provision. We provided that, working with provinces and territories.
    We need to work together. The provinces have the administration of the justice system as part of their portfolio, their jurisdiction. We need to work with the provinces, not use meaningless rhetoric to try to debase the problem.

[Translation]

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, now that Roxham Road is closed, the hotels booked and paid for by the government are empty. Even though the Prime Minister spent six years telling us that it was impossible to solve the Roxham Road problem, we now see that it was feasible. Now, we have learned that the government wants to renew the hotel contracts for $14 million, adding to a total contract of $60 million so far.
    Why book hotels that will be empty now that the Roxham Road problem is solved?
    Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate my colleague's question, because it allows me to further reinforce the idea that, on that side of the House, what they were trying to do was virtually nothing.
    We worked very hard to renegotiate the agreement between the United States and Canada. We have always been there for people who ask for help. We are already seeing concrete results regarding asylum seekers. We will always be there for the well-being of all the people who ask for Canada's help.

The Environment

     Mr. Speaker, water is our most precious natural resource. It is crucial to our well-being and our economy. Canada has 20% of the world's fresh water. It is both an asset and a huge responsibility.
    Last week, the Prime Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change were in Winnipeg to announce the creation of the new Canada water agency.
    Can the Minister of Environment and Climate Change tell us more about this important step toward protecting 30% of Canada's water by 2030?

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question and for all his work on the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.
    In the latest budget, we invested $750 million to protect fresh water across the country. We have delivered on our promise to create an independent water agency, which will be located in Winnipeg. By protecting water, we are protecting the health of Canadians, our economy and our country's future.
    There is more to do, but we have already done a lot.

[English]

Oil and Gas Industry

    Mr. Speaker, I am disgusted. The people of Newfoundland and Labrador are disgusted. After four years of Liberal delays, the Bay du Nord project was approved with 137 onerous conditions attached.
    Because of these Liberal shenanigans, we now have the Bay du Nord project put on the shelf for three years. It is costing the Newfoundland and Labrador economy $3 billion in royalties and revenues.
    My question to the minister is this: Will he revisit the 137 onerous conditions or will he let this project die and let the province of Newfoundland and Labrador—
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Mr. Speaker, again, I want to reiterate that this was an independent business decision that was based largely on market forces.
    Let us talk about the fact that Newfoundland and Labrador's opportunities go well beyond one project and that is where we are with them, to support them. In fact, we have, just this past week, tabled a bill with the accord acts, to make sure they are able to take advantage of offshore opportunities, including with wind and hydrogen.
    In fact, the member opposite would know that when the German chancellor came to Newfoundland and Labrador, what he asked for was hydrogen and we signed an accord for that.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals label the carbon tax a “market mechanism” or a “standard”, when in reality it is a fancy way of saying that the centrepiece of their environmental policy is based on forcing Canadians to pay more.
    Albertans are going to pay nearly $4,000 more per year when both carbon tax 1 and 2 are imposed. Farmers would pay more than $150,000 on average to fund this failed leftist ideological experiment.
    Canadians need a break. Farmers need a break. When will the Prime Minister finally listen to Canadians and axe the tax?
    Mr. Speaker, I would remind my hon. colleague that he campaigned during the last election on putting carbon pricing in place.
    He is saying no to billions of dollars of investment already happening in Canada, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Alberta and southern Ontario, in the new economy. That is what Conservatives are saying no to.
    We are saying yes to fighting climate change. We are saying yes to having a strong economy.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Canada Business Corporations Act

    The House resumed from May 31 consideration of the motion that Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    It being 3:13 p.m., pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, 2022, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading of Bill C-42.
     Call in the members.

  (1525)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 343)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Aldag
Alghabra
Ali
Allison
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barron
Barsalou-Duval
Battiste
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bergeron
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney
Block
Blois
Boissonnault
Boulerice
Bradford
Bragdon
Brassard
Brière
Brock
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Cannings
Caputo
Carrie
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Chahal
Chambers
Champagne
Champoux
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Chong
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cooper
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Dalton
Damoff
Dancho
Davidson
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Epp
Erskine-Smith
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Ferreri
Fillmore
Findlay
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gaheer
Gallant
Garon
Gaudreau
Gazan
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gould
Gourde
Gray
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hallan
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Hoback
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Idlout
Ien
Jaczek
Jeneroux
Johns
Jowhari
Julian
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Kelly
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Koutrakis
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Kusmierczyk
Lake
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Larouche
Lattanzio
Lauzon
Lawrence
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Maloney
Martel
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLean
McLeod
McPherson
Melillo
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Michaud
Miller
Moore
Morantz
Morrice
Morrison
Morrissey
Motz
Murray
Naqvi
Nater
Ng
Noormohamed
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perkins
Perron
Petitpas Taylor
Plamondon
Poilievre
Powlowski
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Roberts
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rood
Ruff
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Savard-Tremblay
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Seeback
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shipley
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Small
Sorbara
Soroka
Sousa
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Stewart
St-Onge
Strahl
Stubbs
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thériault
Therrien
Thomas
Thompson
Tochor
Tolmie
Trudeau
Trudel
Turnbull
Uppal
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Van Popta
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Villemure
Virani
Vis
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weiler
Williams
Williamson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zimmer
Zuberi

Total: -- 317


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Members

Anand
Normandin

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology.

    (Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

    I wish to inform the House that, because of the deferred recorded division, Government Orders will be extended by 12 minutes.

[Translation]

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, I can understand—
    I am asking everyone to keep quiet for a little while, or at least not to talk as loudly. The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    Mr. Speaker, I can understand that, in the excitement of question period, the Speaker may find it difficult to recognize me when I rise. However, for the Thursday question, I think it is very important.
    In fact, all my colleagues in the House of Commons cannot wait for this very important moment when they will finally hear the government's proposed agenda for tomorrow and next week, especially given the heat we experienced today. I am talking about the weather.
    Given that we will likely have some very long days next week, I would like the government House leader to inform us of the temperature of the House for next week.
    The Minister of Tourism.
    Mr. Speaker, this is the first time that I have had the honour to share with our very dear colleagues in the House the message concerning the Thursday question. I am very pleased to answer my colleague.

[English]

    As members know, Bill C-47, the budget implementation act, was reported from committee yesterday, so we will call it for the final stages of debate starting tomorrow and then continue early next week on Monday and Tuesday.
     We will also give priority to Bill C-40, the miscarriage of justice review commission act, also known as David and Joyce Milgaard's law; Bill C-48, bail reform; and Bill C-41, humanitarian assistance.

[Translation]

    Finally, I would like to inform the House that next Thursday will be an opposition day.

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Tax 

[Business of Supply]
    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise to continue my speech, which I started before question period. I highlighted some very obvious hypocrisies and these are hypocrisies that we have seen from the Conservative Party of Canada.
    I outlined for everybody what many of us have been talking about in the House. The Liberals, the NDP and even the Bloc at times have asked the Conservatives why they ran in an election in 2021 on pricing pollution, only to come to the House immediately after that election and move virtually the exact same opposition motion about carbon pricing that they are moving today, for the 10th time since that last election, when they ran on it.
    What I found to be even more staggeringly offensive, or perhaps a better expression would be concerning, is that there are a number of Conservative MPs, and I believe the number, if I have it right, is 19 members of the Conservative Party, current members of the House, who not only ran in 2021 on pricing pollution, but also ran in 2008 on Stephen Harper's promise to bring in cap and trade, which is another form of pricing pollution. It is a form that, I would add, the province of Quebec continues to this day. As a result, Quebec does not have the federal pricing mechanism that many of the other provinces, such as the one I am from, Ontario, are subject to.
     Members can think of how far to the right this particular brand of the Conservative Party has come. This is not from Brian Mulroney, because we know it is light years away from Brian Mulroney. Brian Mulroney and Flora MacDonald, from my riding, were Progressive Conservatives who cared about the environment. They were Progressive Conservatives who fought for things such as saving the ozone layer, and who worked with Americans to do that. Those were Progressive Conservatives, the Progressive Conservatives of Brian Mulroney.
    Brian Mulroney brought 42 countries from around the world to Montreal to talk about how to deal with acid rain. That was a progressive Conservative party, but this party, in its current form, is even further to the right than Stephen Harper. I do not know if members are aware of this, and I just became aware of it this morning, but there were ads run by the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association at one time thanking Stephen Harper for the work he was doing when it came to renewable fuels as a form of energy.
    Here we are in 2023, with a political party, the Conservative Party of Canada, that does not even believe in climate change. I would argue that this is really just the Reform Party using the Conservative name and the shade of blue. That might be offensive to some members sitting in the House right now, but as I read out earlier, we heard a statement from the member for Red Deer—Mountain View just two days ago, in which he basically said that this is all cyclical, happens every 10,000 years and there is nothing to see here. This is the Conservative Party of Canada we are dealing with now.
    We are in a world where it is so glaringly obvious that humans have contributed to climate change, and where it is so obvious that we need to actually do something about it. Rather than try to bring forward policy, create ideas and bring forward suggestions to work on protecting our environment, the Conservative Party of Canada has brought forward 10 motions in the last 18 months trying to eliminate the price on pollution, despite the fact it has already lost two elections since it was introduced.

  (1530)  

    Madam Speaker, the member made reference to Conservatives losing an election. What I think is important, for anyone who is following the debate today, and we have heard it in questions and comments, and during question period, is the fact that 338 candidates in the last federal election, who were all Conservative candidates, had a platform, a platform that my friend and colleague tried to table earlier today, which made it very clear that they were campaigning in favour of a price on pollution. I am wondering if he could just discuss that a little more, the details and his perception of that particular promise.
    Madam Speaker, it is true. They might disagree with it now, and to the defence of one member of the Conservative Party, she, of the numerous times I have asked that question, was the one member who stood up and said she disagreed with the policy they ran on in 2021. I will hand it to that one member. I will not call her out by name right now because I do not want her to receive any emails to her office to that effect, but every other Conservative we asked the question of just completely skated around it. At least they could stand up to say they ran on it in 2021, it was part of their platform and it was a price on pollution, but now they have changed their mind.
    That would be so much more honourable than just trying to avoid answering the question every time. I did try to table that platform, as the parliamentary secretary said. I tried to table the 2021 and 2008 platforms, in which they talk about pricing pollution, in the House before question period. Do members know who yelled out no to that, not letting me table them? It was Conservatives. They would not let me table their own platforms.

  (1535)  

    Madam Speaker, being an old hockey guy, I always appreciate the fourth line grinder doing their role and doing what they have to do to make sure they are part of a team, and I appreciate that member's ability to stand on his feet to talk about nothing for 20 minutes. It is fantastic, and I think he has a certain amount of skill at that. He has found his role on his team, and I do not begrudge him that, because he has that kind of talent.
    I do have a simple question. I know the member talks about our platforms from the last couple campaigns a lot. The Liberal platform promised not to raise the carbon tax to more than $50 a tonne, ever. I am wondering how he goes back to his constituents and rights that ship when he made that promise to them while door knocking. I would also like to hear an answer on that. I appreciate his fourth line talent.
    Madam Speaker, I will answer it, and I think I have already answered it to that member and other Conservatives.
    The policy changed. It is different now than it was then. Can members see how easy it was for me to directly answer the question? It may have been a position we had at one time, and now the position is different, but we are honest and open with Canadians about that. The question is why that member and other Conservatives will not be honest and open with Canadians about how their position has changed on climate change.
    We will note that the member complimented me, in some form I guess, by saying I spoke about nothing. He is a Conservative who comes from a party where 54% of its base says climate change is not real, and he is a Conservative who shares the same side of the aisle as the member for Red Deer—Mountain View, who talked about climate change two days ago as though it were just something that happens every 10,000 years, as though there is nothing to see here. Only a Conservative who shares that space would refer to my dire plea to do something about global warming and climate change as me talking about nothing.
    Madam Speaker, something I find infuriating about the motion, and we see have seen this every time in the various versions of the same motion coming to the floor of the House from the Conservative Party, is that it never mentions the profits of oil and gas companies. The price on pollution went up 2¢ a litre in the last year. Wholesale margins, profits of the largest oil and gas companies across the country, went up 18¢ a litre.
    Why is it that the Conservative Party is not talking about this? To go further, does the member support a windfall profit tax? We could use those funds to invest in the climate solutions we need.
    Madam Speaker, the Conservatives do not talk about it because that is who their base is. That is who donates to them. When they put forward 10 motions about getting rid of the carbon tax, that is who they are targeting with those motions. When the Leader of the Opposition comes in here to speak to that issue, clips it afterward and puts it out there in an email blast, he is talking to those people. That is why they will not talk about it.
    To the member's other question about a windfall tax, I think it is a very good discussion to have. I am completely open to it. I think we need to look at absolutely every possible solution to fight climate change, and I am more than willing to work with my colleague and other members of the House to see how we can go about doing that.
    Madam Speaker, I will ask the parliamentary secretary the exact same question I asked the parliamentary secretary sitting beside him just a little while ago in the debate, which he did not answer.
    How many trees have been planted by the Liberal government under its promised two billion tree program? Once we get that number, could the parliamentary secretary explain why the program is so bureaucratic and difficult for communities, ridings, counties and conservation groups to even apply and qualify for it? I ask because I think this program is a good idea. We should be planting more trees right across this great country we have, but nobody can seem to qualify for the program, and the trees are not getting planted.
    My final comment is that the parliamentary secretary may want to tell the Minister of Public Safety of the parliamentary secretary's role and position. The Minister of Public Safety yesterday in the Senate did not even know the position existed here in the House of Commons.
    Madam Speaker, I will start with the latter comment and come to the beginning.
    The Minister of Public Safety was responding to Senator Plett's comment about me being a parliamentary secretary to the leader in the Senate, which I am not. I am the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader. That is to correct the first error he made.
    Second, I will answer the member's question the exact same way that my parliamentary secretary colleague did. I was here and heard the whole thing. He started off by saying he found it very hypocritical that the member would challenge us on a platform commitment that we have only partially delivered on, given the fact that the member ran on putting a price on pollution and is somehow oblivious to that fact now. He does not think it is necessary to answer for that while he makes these demands, and that is hypocritical.
    To the other point, which is what my parliamentary secretary colleague said specifically, does the member not realize that if we plant that many trees, we are not going to do it all at once? It is not a linear graph. It is going to happen exponentially. Does the member realize that to create that many trees, we have to start with a seedling? The seedling has to be properly germinated and turned into a tree to get to the point where we can actually plant it. I cannot believe I am actually having this high school science discussion with the member, but it is the reality of how trees grow.

  (1540)  

    Madam Speaker, given that we are talking about the environment, I wanted to highlight one thing that I know my friend is very much in tune with. It is the idea of batteries.
    We have seen the Volkswagen investment, with the types of green jobs that are going to be there going forward. The government is assisting on that, working with other jurisdictions, investing in Canadians and building a healthier, stronger, greener economy. I know the member has further ideas, locally, that he has been advocating for very strongly.
    Madam Speaker, the future is in electrification. That is where it is going to be. There is a transition happening before us, and there is nothing the Conservatives can do or say to change that.
    The real question is, where is Canada going to be in that regard? Are we going to be leading at the forefront of it so that we can export our technology and become prosperous as a result? Or are we going to wait until every other country has done it and buy the technology off them?
    This government has set us up in such a way that we can bring investments into Canada early on. We are taking a measurable risk on that by investing in companies and letting them establish in Canada and build their roots here. However, we will become the exporters of that technology throughout the world. That is leadership. That is what the government has been doing.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, following the member's multiple requests today for unanimous consent to table the Conservatives' platform for two election campaigns, I am requesting unanimous consent to table the Liberal Party's fiscal plan from the 2015 campaign.

[English]

    It says, “We will run modest deficits for three years so that we can invest in growth for the middle class and credibly offer a plan to balance the budget in 2019.”
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay.
    An hon. member: Nay.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Regina—Lewvan.
    We need to start today with a bit of history. There is an expression that says those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. That appears to be true of the government, which has never met a tax it did not want to increase.
    The Liberal government first introduced its clean fuel standard in 2016. The effect on Canadians was noticeable. Some lower- and middle-income homeowners found it difficult to heat their homes due to the price increases associated with this standard. In effect, it was a tax on those who could least afford to pay it.
    Three years ago, the Department of the Environment put the direct costs of the clean fuel standard on Canadian households at $2.4 billion, and I am sure it is way more now. The Liberal-NDP plan for the environment is not designed to combat climate change. It is a plan to increase taxes.
    The clean fuel regulations require liquid fossil fuel producers to gradually reduce the carbon intensity of the gasoline and diesel they produce and sell for use in Canada. That is a worthy goal, but what happens to producers that do not meet that standard? They will be taxed. What will they do when they are taxed? They will pass the tax on to the consumer in the form of higher prices, which the Liberals do not mind because then they can add more taxes to the higher prices.
    With inflation already at historic levels, this new clean fuel regulations tax is a tax that Canadians do not need. Giving more money to the Liberals to help them mismanage the Canadian economy and the federal budget is not the way to fight climate change.
    After eight years of the Liberal government, Canadians have seen their lives become more unaffordable thanks to the inflationary carbon tax. Now the Liberals are bringing in a second carbon tax. Do they not understand that they are making life unaffordable? Do they not understand that people are struggling to make ends meet and that adding to that tax burden makes things worse, not better?
    I can see the looks on the faces of the Liberals. It is not hard to tell what they are thinking as I say this. I know what their questions will be when I finish speaking. They are going to ask me why I did not mention that their government is offering Canadians a carbon tax rebate, and whether I understand that the carbon tax does not really cost anyone any more. If that is the case, why have it at all?
    The truth is that the carbon tax is not offset by carbon tax rebates. It is a source of government revenue, just like any other tax. My Liberal friends do not want to admit that they find it better to live in a dream world than admit their taxes are hurting the people they are supposed to serve.
    They do not want to hear about the numbers the Parliamentary Budget Officer has given us. They do not want to talk about how their first carbon tax is going to cost the average Canadian family $710 this year after taking their rebate into account. They would prefer that I did not mention that once the second carbon tax is fully implemented, the cost to the average Canadian family after rebates will increase to $1,160 annually.
    Let us talk about the true cost of carbon taxes. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the second carbon tax will cost the average Canadian household an extra $573 per year without any rebate, with families in some provinces facing costs as high as $1,157. Both carbon taxes will have a net cost of up to $4,000 for each family depending on the province in which they live. The combined impact of the two Liberal carbon taxes will be an extra 61¢ for every litre of gasoline at the pumps.
    If the government was interested in economic growth, it would scrap the new tax and the existing carbon tax. The Parliamentary Budget Officer says the effect of the clean fuel regulations and the existing carbon tax will not help grow the economy but rather will shrink it. That is not what Canadians want from the government's policies.

  (1545)  

    I have heard the Liberals' argument. They whine that the Parliamentary Budget officer was not being fair to them and that the PBO only took the numbers into account when making his calculations. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change has complained that the PBO has not taken into account the technological change the clean fuel regulations will help promote. I would love to hear about those changes from the minister. What new technologies have been developed as a direct result of this tax? My guess is the minister does not understand that taxes do not stimulate invention.
    If he wants new technologies, perhaps his government should try to encourage a climate where businesses and individuals are free to innovate. However, do not ask the PBO to calculate the benefits to the economy of some imaginary technology. That makes no sense. Perhaps in some Liberal fantasyland carbon rebates and carbon taxes balance themselves, just as budgets do. In the real world, these taxes hurt Canadians and provide no benefit to the economy or ecology of the country.
    Simply put, a tax is a compulsory contribution to state revenue imposed on taxpayers in order to fund government spending. That is what the clean fuel regulations are for. They are to fund government spending. They have nothing to do with combatting climate change.
    Unfortunately, the Liberals and their NDP allies appear to be blinded by ideology and uncaring as to the needs of Canadians. It is ludicrous to continually raise taxes at a time of high inflation and when grocery prices are soaring and Canadians are finding it difficult to make ends meet. The government is apparently determined to push through this tax no matter who it hurts. The reality is that the Liberal government's policies are fuelling inflation and making people poorer, which is why one in five Canadians is skipping meals and food banks are seeing record demand.
    The Liberals have no plan that will actually help Canada reduce its carbon footprint. The objective is to fund never-ending Liberal deficits. This scheme will only hurt our economy, discourage investment and increase the cost of everything in a Canadian household.
    As a Conservative, I oppose this tax and the burden it places on Canadian families. This is not the way to fight climate change. The way to fight climate change is through innovative technologies and harnessing Canadian brainpower, not through increased taxes. A Conservative government will govern with fiscal responsibility, axe these taxes and bring home affordability for Canadians.