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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 209


Thursday, June 8, 2023

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]



Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, for clarification, I often stand to table documents, and I have been asked what happens when I say that a document will be tabled in an electronic format. To answer that question, by tabling a document in an electronic format, members are afforded the opportunity to receive the response to the petition through email.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 13 petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format. That is why I provided the explanation.

Amendments to Standing Orders

    Mr. Speaker, the government has taken note of the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs in its 20th report, entitled “Future of Hybrid Proceedings in the House of Commons”, presented to the House on Monday, January 30, 2023. In accordance with the government's response to the report on May 30, 2023, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the proposed amendments to the Standing Orders, which aim to enshrine hybrid proceedings as a permanent fixture of the Standing Orders.


Committees of the House

Official Languages 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, entitled “Government Measures to Protect and Promote French in Quebec and in Canada”.
     Pursuant to Standing Order 109 the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the report.
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank each member of the committee, who went above and beyond to produce a fine report. We heard from tons of witnesses and read many reports and briefs. I would also like to thank those who are often overlooked: the analysts, the clerks, the interpreters and the translators. Basically, I thank the whole team. It is an excellent report.



Competition Act

    He said: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise to present my first private member's bill.
    Competition is a myth in Canada. Canadians pay some of the highest prices in the world for a lot of different monopolies that dominate Canadian marketplaces: cellphones and Internet, banking, airlines and even beer. What a travesty that is. Why? The culprits are many, but a lacklustre and surprisingly pro-monopolistic Competition Act is among the biggest reasons.
    My private member's bill would eliminate the most glaring anti-competition section of the act, section 96, the efficiencies defence. Canada is the only G7 nation to include the efficiencies defence in its competition laws, and it currently allows an outdated Competition Act to fulfill its most glaring anti-competitive mandate to allow companies to merge, no matter how bad the merger may be for competition, if they can find efficiencies. Most of the time, those efficiencies are as simple as job losses.
    This was created at a time when Canada embraced an industrial policy in the 1960s. It was not at a time with free trade but when we wanted companies to get as big as possible to compete internationally. It is a relic of the old. This deletion will not alone fix competition, but it will go a long way to start.
    I am happy to bring this bill and the debate on competition to the floor of the House of Commons, and I want to thank the member for Abbotsford for seconding it.

    (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)


Climate Change  

    Mr. Speaker, today I am tabling a petition that was spearheaded by the incredible team at Ecojustice, an organization that continues to show amazing leadership in our collective fight to protect the planet.
    The petitioners call on the government to implement a total ban on thermal coal exports. They draw attention to the fact that coal power plants produce more greenhouse gases and subsequent warming than any other single source, yet the Liberals continue to allow Canada to mine and export thermal coal to be burned overseas. They note that during the last election, the Liberals promised to phase out thermal coal exports by no later than 2030. It is now two years later and nothing has been done to support this commitment. Emissions do not know borders, and coal burned anywhere in the world contributes to a climate crisis that affects us all.
    The petitioners are calling on the government to show real climate leadership and ban thermal coal exports.


    Mr. Speaker, I rise for the eighth 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 a surge of crime throughout their community. People used to travel around the town freely and safely in Swan River, and now they fear leaving their own homes.
    The people of Swan River demand that the Liberal government repeal its soft-on-crime policies, which directly threaten their livelihoods and their community. I support the good people of Swan River.

Climate Change  

    Mr. Speaker, it is timely that I table this petition on behalf of youth from Qualicum Beach in my riding. They cite that children born in 2020 will face, on average, two to seven times more extreme weather events than their grandparents. Clearly, we are on the higher end of that. In a 2021 report in The Lancet, 83% of children worldwide reported that they think people have failed to take care of the planet. Those most affected by climate change are the youngest generation, as they will live to see the worst effects of this crisis.
    Youth discussion has proven crucial to successful climate action and policy creation. However, dozens of climate-related decisions are made without input from youth. Statistics around the world show that if youth were making these decisions, the representation in Parliament outcome would be different. Children under 18 are not legally allowed to vote and are therefore without legal voice or action.
    They are calling on the Government of Canada to require all members of Parliament, regardless of party line, to consult with secondary or elementary school leadership, a student council or an environmental youth group in their ridings before Parliament holds the second reading of any bill that directly affects Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. The purpose of the consultation will be to listen to the viewpoints of those directly affected by the specified bill who do not already have representation in Parliament.



    Mr. Speaker, today I table a petition signed by the residents of Winnipeg North. They are calling upon parliamentarians to advocate for and promote senior activities and different types of seniors programs. They cite specifically the importance of the guaranteed income supplement and OAS, and want members of Parliament to look at ways of being ongoing advocates for and supporters of programming and supports for seniors from coast to coast to coast, in particular, obviously, for the residents of Winnipeg North.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 1420 to 1422, 1426, 1427, 1430 and 1432.


Question No. 1420—
Ms. Elizabeth May:
    With regard to the funds allocated for future Arctic offshore oil and gas development in budget 2023 and the 2016 moratorium on oil and gas activities in Canada’s Arctic waters: (a) what are the details of the proposed funding; and (b) are future Arctic offshore oil and gas developments and an end to the moratorium being considered?
Hon. Dan Vandal (Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), funding announced in budget 2023 will support evidence-based oil and gas decision-making in the Arctic offshore to ensure that any future oil and gas development in Canada’s Arctic waters is consistent with the highest safety and environmental standards and with Canada’s national and global climate and environmental goals.
    The funding will support the co-development of a five-year climate and marine science-based assessment of Canada’s Arctic waters. The climate and marine research projects will complement the science-based research carried out as part of the initial five-year science-based review. The Government of Canada will commence work with northern partners to identify gaps in climate and marine-based research in the Arctic offshore, with a focus on climate change impacts across the region. The funding will also support work with northern partners to prepare a final report on the findings of the science-based assessment for consideration by the Government of Canada in respect of whether to maintain the moratorium.
    With regard to part (b), the Arctic offshore oil and gas moratorium announced in December 2016 is indefinite and will remain in force until such time as it may be repealed.
Question No. 1421—
Mrs. Laila Goodridge:
    With regard to the report in the Washington Post that the Prime Minister has told NATO officials privately that Canada will never meet the military alliance's defence spending target: (a) what did the Prime Minister tell NATO officials about whether Canada will meet the spending target; and (b) when does the government anticipate it will reach NATO's spending target of at least two percent of the GDP on defence?
Mr. Bryan May (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Canada remains committed to maintaining the defence budget increases that were set out in Canada’s defence policy, “Strong, Secure, Engaged”. This will increase Canada’s total defence budget from $18.9 billion in 2016-17 to $32.7 billion by 2026-27, an increase of more than 70%.
    This is an ongoing process and figures on planned spending continue to be refined. Indeed, at any given time, projected calculations can fluctuate based on changes in defence investments, capabilities and needs. Further, Canada’s defence spending and procurement will be based on threat analyses and assessments of needs.
    For capabilities more specifically, Canada will begin exceeding the 20% guideline on military equipment spending in 2023, reaching approximately 33% by 2026.
    In addition, Canada continues its steady and reliable commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO missions, operations and activities. Canada has been leading enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia since its inception, and working on a significant expansion of it, in line with the commitments made in Madrid. Canada has recently led one of the Standing NATO Maritime Groups. Canada will host a NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence in Montreal. Halifax had been proposed as the location for the North American regional office of NATO’s defence innovation accelerator for the North Atlantic, DIANA.
    Annual reports on defence expenditures of NATO countries, including Canada, are published in March of each year, and can be found at the following web page: NATO - News: Defence expenditure of NATO countries (2014-2022), 21-Mar.-2023.
    Finally, as announced in budget 2022, National Defence is undertaking a review of its defence policy, which will include considerations for defence spending.
Question No. 1422—
Mr. Brad Vis:
    With regard to the legislative review of the Cannabis Act launched by Health Canada in September 2022 and the related online questionnaire: (a) how was the online questionnaire advertised to the public; (b) over what time period did each of the advertising methods in (a) take place; (c) how many individuals provided feedback through the questionnaire; and (d) what is the breakdown of the responses to each question in the questionnaire?
Mrs. Élisabeth Brière (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the online questionnaire was first communicated to the public on September 22, 2022, when Canada’s federal health ministers, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced the launch of the legislative review of the Cannabis Act at an in-person event alongside the chair of the independent expert panel.
    As part of this launch, the opportunity to participate in online engagement was announced, thereby commencing the 60-day online public engagement period. On this day, Health Canada published two discussion papers online, one for the general public and stakeholders, including a supporting questionnaire to receive feedback, with a closing date of November 21, 2022, and the other one specific to first nations, Inuit and Métis communities, which originally was slated to also close November 21, 2022 but was extended to January 15, 2023, due to requests from indigenous peoples that they required more time to provide feedback. Announcement activities were supported by a news release, social media and the launch of a dedicated web page that included links to participate in the consultation and provide feedback to the questionnaire. Emails from Health Canada were also shared directly with stakeholders and indigenous partners, inviting them to participate in the online engagement process.
    With regard to part (b), social media was issued frequently throughout the duration of the engagement period, including a push near the end of the consultation period to remind Canadians to participate in the consultation prior to its closing date.
    As per the response to part (a), on the day of the consultation launch, September 22, emails from Health Canada were shared directly with stakeholders and indigenous partners, inviting them to participate in the online engagement process. Emails reminding these same groups to participate were also sent midway through the consultation and just before the closing date.
    The consultation was also posted on the “Consulting with Canadians” page on
    With regard to part (c), the public engagement gathered feedback from more than 2,300 individuals, organizations, and other stakeholders. A total of 2,158 individuals responded to the questionnaire. Additionally, a total of 211 email and mail submissions were received
    With regard to part (d), the questionnaire consisted of 17 open-ended and 11 closed-ended questions, nine of which were demographic questions. The results of the online public engagement, including responses to the questionnaire, are being analyzed and will be summarized in a report and published online in 2023.
Question No. 1426—
Ms. Kirsty Duncan:
    With regard to national sport organizations (NSOs) with contribution agreements with Sport Canada (SC), and that have or had non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with athletes: (a) is SC monitoring which NSOs have NDAs with athletes; (b) for each NSO, what are the details of each NDA, broken down by the year or years in place; and (c) for each NSO in (a), has the agreement ever been used, and, if so, when, and for what purpose?
Hon. Pascale St-Onge (Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), Sport Canada, through the athlete assistance program, reviews agreements between athletes and national sport organizations to ensure they are inclusive of specific references as required by the athlete assistance program policies and procedures. Sport Canada is not monitoring which national sport organizations have non-disclosure agreements with athletes. However, in her May 11 announcement to foster a safe and sustainable culture change in sport, the Minister of Sport reiterated that non-disclosure agreements or non-disparaging clauses should never be used to prevent athletes and other sport participants from disclosing maltreatment they have experienced or witnessed. To this end, all national sport organizations shall use the text of the athlete agreement, developed by AthletesCAN with input from national sport organization leaders and legal experts, and recently revised, which states that under the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport, UCCMS, athletes’ rights cannot be restricted. Consistent with national efforts to this end, Sport Canada, through its funding agreements with national sport organizations, will prohibit any national sport organization contract, policies, procedures or actions that restrict participants’ rights under the UCCMS.
    With regard to part (b), since Sport Canada does not monitor non-disclosure agreements, it is not able to confirm which national sport organizations might have them and what the details might be.
    With regard to part (c), as per the answer to part b) above, these details are not available.
Question No. 1427—
Ms. Bonita Zarrillo:
    With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and the funds provided for energy retrofits: (a) what is the amount provided, broken down by (i) number of units, (ii) province, (iii) type of recipient (Real Estate Income Trust, private corporation, non-profit, etc); (b) what measures are taken, and what assurances are required from recipients, to prevent renovictions as a result of these funds; (c) does the government track evictions triggered by renovations supported by these funds, and, if so, how many evictions have been recorded; and (d) for the evictions in (c), what measures are in place to ensure that tenants (i) have alternative accommodations with the same rent, (ii) are informed about the progress and completion of renovations, (iii) are able to return to their home with the same rent once the renovations are complete?
Ms. Jennifer O’Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the CIB and the funds provided for energy retrofits, the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s building retrofits initiative, BRI, provides financing for energy retrofit projects. With buildings currently accounting for 18% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, modernizing these assets is critical to meeting Canada’s climate change goals. The BRI invests in the decarbonization of buildings to finance capital costs of retrofits, using savings from energy savings, efficiencies and operating cost savings for repayment. The private sector under the BRI includes privately owned commercial, industrial and multi-unit residential buildings. The CIB’s financing is eligible for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings through decarbonization retrofits, including energy efficiency; fuel switching, such as electrification, renewable natural gas or hydrogen; on-site renewable energy and storage; and electric vehicle, EV, chargers. The CIB’s financing is not available for building renovation projects that are not decarbonization retrofits. Ultimately, savings from energy savings, efficiencies and operating cost savings are passed on to building owners and tenants.
    With regard to part (a), the CIB has made one investment towards building retrofits to multi-unit residential buildings to date. This investment with Avenue Living Asset Management, Avenue Living, an owner and operator of properties primarily in Alberta and Saskatchewan, will enable retrofits at approximately 95 properties in their portfolio consisting of 240 buildings to optimize energy performance in more than 6,400 residences. The CIB’s investment commitment is in the amount of $129,871,754.71. As of this date, no funds have been transferred to Avenue Living in accordance with the terms of the credit agreement.
    The CIB does not track evictions triggered by building renovation projects and, therefore, does not have a response with respect to parts (b), (c) and (d).
Question No. 1430—
Mrs. Laila Goodridge:
    With regard to security cameras and closed-circuit video equipment in use at bases and facilities operated by the Department of National Defence (DND) or the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF): (a) is any such equipment manufactured in China, and, if so, what are the details, including, for each, the (i) location, (ii) description, (iii) manufacturer, make, and model; and (b) for the equipment in (a), has DND or CAF received any warnings, including from our Five Eyes partners, about the use of such equipment due to China's National Intelligence Law, and, if so, what are the details of the warnings and what was the response?
Mr. Bryan May (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), for large-scale infrastructure projects that require security cameras or closed-circuit video equipment, Public Services and Procurement Canada, PSPC, or Defence Construction Canada, DCC, act as the contracting authority and enter into a service contract with a company on behalf of the Department of National Defence. In these instances, the company awarded the service contract is responsible for the procurement and installation of security equipment, including security cameras or closed-circuit video equipment, based on the technical standards set out in the contract.
    The security requirements of a project are assessed through the security requirements check list, SRCL. Any company that enters into a service contract for a large-scale infrastructure project must meet and adhere to the security requirements, such as the level of personnel security level that a company and its employees require as applicable. The installation of security systems in sensitive areas would require a higher security clearance, up to and including secret. The SRCL is validated by security authorities.
    For small-scale purchases of security cameras or closed-circuit video equipment, including those used for Canadian Armed Forces, CAF, training purposes, National Defence may procure equipment directly from a vendor that meets the technical and security standards of the requirement.
    National Defence does not centrally track the manufacturer origin of security cameras or closed-circuit video equipment in use at bases and facilities operated by the Department of National Defence, DND, or the CAF. A manual search of individual contracts, in concert with other implicated government partners, would be required and could not be completed within the allotted time.
    With regard to part (b), National Defence works closely with Five Eyes partners on a range of defence and security issues; however, further details cannot be shared for operational security reasons.
Question No. 1432—
Mr. Pat Kelly:
    With regard to environmental assessments of natural resource projects submitted under the Impact Assessment Act: (a) how many submissions have been received since June 21, 2019; (b) how many submissions has the minister approved since June 21, 2019; (c) how many submissions have been made but later withdrawn since June 21, 2019; (d) how many projects whose submissions were approved since June 21, 2019 have commenced construction; (e) how many projects whose submissions were approved since June 21, 2019 have completed construction; (f) what was the shortest processing time for a submission which was approved since June 21, 2019; and (g) what was the longest processing time for a submission which was approved since June 21, 2019?
Hon. Steven Guilbeault (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, timelines for project decisions are predictable based on the requirements in the Impact Assessment Act. The act indicates that the impact statement phase conducted by proponents is up to three years. Government planning and decision-making is approximately one and a half years, which includes the planning phase, impact assessment phase and decision-making.
    Project timelines are often contingent upon the timing, quality and sufficiency of the information and studies provided by proponents throughout an assessment process, including the project descriptions and the impact statement.
    It is possible for the entire process to be closer to three years, and experience has shown that when proponents invest in the front end, in the pre-planning and the planning phase, it helps save time later.
    The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada has searched its records since June 21, 2019.
    With regard to part (a), the Impact Assessment Act, IAA, came into force on August 28, 2019, and since that date the Impact Assessment Agency has accepted initial project descriptions from proponents for 17 natural resource projects, mining or oil and gas.
    With regard to part (b), one natural resource project has completed the impact assessment process under the Impact Assessment Act since coming into force. On March 15, the government announced that the project was determined to be in the public interest by the minister and is allowed to proceed.
    With regard to part (c), one natural resource project was terminated by the proponent.
    With regard to part (d), zero.
    With regard to part (e), zero.
    With regard to part (f), 1273 days, or 3.5 years.
    With regard to part (g), 1273 days, or 3.5 years.


Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Mr. Speaker, if a revised response to Question No. 1283, originally tabled on April 17, and the government's responses to Questions Nos. 1423 to 1425, 1428, 1429, 1431, 1433 and 1434 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.


Question No. 1283—
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to federal contracts awarded since fiscal year 2015-16, broken down by fiscal year: what is the total value of contracts awarded to (i) McKinsey & Company, (ii) Deloitte, (iii) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (iv) Accenture, (v) KPMG, (vi) Ernst and Young?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1423—
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
    With regard to legal fees and expenses incurred by the Canada Revenue Agency in relation to court cases involving registered charities, since January 1, 2016: what are the details of all cases with legal fees exceeding $25,000, including, for each case, the (i) name of the case, (ii) total legal fees and expenses, (iii) internal legal fees, (iv) external legal fees, (v) current status, (vi) outcome, if applicable?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1424—
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
    With regard to Old Age Security (OAS) payments: (a) how many OAS recipients have a gross income of over $60,000 in total, broken down by $5,000 salary increment levels between $60,000 and $150,000; (b) what was the amount paid out for each of the salary increments in (a) during the last fiscal year; and (c) for each part of (a) and (b), what is the breakdown by age 65 to 74, and those over 75?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1425—
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to government requests to censor information, since January 1, 2016: (a) how many requests has the government made to social media companies to censor information, including any article, post or reply; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by social media platform, year, department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity that made the request; (c) what are the details of each request to a social media company, including, for each (i) the date, (ii) the platform, (iii) the description of the post or reply, (iv) the reason for the request, (v) whether the information was censored and how it was censored; (d) how many requests has the government made to traditional media companies to censor information; (e) what is the breakdown of (d) by media outlet, year, department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity that made the request; and (f) what are the details of each request in (d), including, for each, (i) the date, (ii) the media outlet, (iii) the title of the individual who made the request, (iv) the description of the content subject to the censorship request, (v) whether the content was censored and how it was censored?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1428—
Mr. Colin Carrie:
    With regard to the procurement of COVID-19 rapid test kits: how many kits were procured during the 2022-23 fiscal year, and what is the value of those kits, in total, broken down by (i) month acquired, (ii) supplier from which they were acquired, (iii) provincial or territorial government, federal department or other entity to which they were provided?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1429—
Mr. Scot Davidson:
    With regard to reports of "March madness expenditures" where the government makes purchases before the end of the fiscal year so that departmental funds do not go unspent, broken down by department, agency or other government entity: (a) what were the total expenditures during February and March of 2023 on (i) materials and supplies (standard object 07), (ii) acquisition of machinery and equipment, including parts and consumable tools (standard object 09); and (b) what are the details of each such expenditure, including the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date of the expenditure, (iv) description of the goods or services provided, (v) delivery date, (vi) file number?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1431—
Mr. Pat Kelly:
    With regard to Prairies Economic Development Canada, and its precursor Western Economic Diversification Canada, between December 2015 and December 2022 inclusive: (a) how many recipients were still in business (i) one year, (ii) three years, (iii) five years, after receiving funding, broken down by funding stream; (b) how many of the positions created by recipients continued to exist (i) one year, (ii) three years, (iii) five years, after receiving funding; and (c) how many new inventions, discoveries, or innovative processes have been brought to market by recipients?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1433—
Mr. Pat Kelly:
    With regard to the procurement commitments, in “Strong, Secure, Engaged” (SSE): (a) how many full time equivalent employees at Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and the Department of National Defence (DND) are tasked with work to complete each of the following tasks as their primary responsibility, using SSE's internal numbering system, 29. Recapitalize the surface fleet through investments in 15 Canadian Surface Combatants and two Joint Support Ships, 30. Acquire five to six Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships, 31. Operate and modernize the four Victoria-class submarines, 32. Acquire new or enhanced naval intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, upgraded armament, and additional systems for current and future platforms allowing for more effective offensive and defensive naval capabilities, 33. Upgrade lightweight torpedoes carried by surface ships, maritime helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft, 34. Acquire ground-based air defence systems and associated munitions capable of protecting all land-based force elements from enemy airborne weapons, 35. Modernize weapons effects simulation to better prepare soldiers for combat operations, 36. Replace the family of armoured combat support vehicles, which includes command vehicles, ambulances and mobile repair teams, 37. Modernize the fleet of Improvised Explosive Device Detection and Defeat capabilities, 38. Acquire communications, sustainment, and survivability equipment for the Army light forces, including improved light weight radios and soldier equipment, 39. Upgrade the light armoured vehicle fleet to improve mobility and survivability, 40. Modernize logistics vehicles, heavy engineer equipment and light utility vehicles, 41. Improve the Army’s ability to operate in remote regions by investing in modernized communications, shelters, power generation, advanced water purification systems, and equipment for austere environments, 42. Modernize land-based command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, 43. Acquire all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and larger tracked semi-amphibious utility vehicles optimized for use in the Arctic environment, 44. Replace the CF-18 fleet with 88 advanced fighter aircraft to improve Canadian Armed Forces air control and air attack capability, 45. Acquire space capabilities meant to improve situational awareness and targeting, including: replacement of the current RADARSAT system to improve the identification and tracking of threats and improve situational awareness of routine traffic in and through Canadian territory; sensors capable of identifying and tracking debris in space that threatens Canadian and allied space-based systems (surveillance of space); and, space-based systems that will enhance and improve tactical narrow- and wide-band communications globally, including throughout Canada’s Arctic region, 46. Acquire new Tactical Integrated Command, Control, and Communications, radio cryptography, and other necessary communications systems, 47. Recapitalize next generation strategic air-to-air tanker-transport capability (CC-150 Polaris replacement), 48. Replace utility transport aircraft (CC-138 Twin Otter replacement), 49. Acquire next generation multi-mission aircraft (CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft replacement), 50. Invest in medium altitude remotely piloted systems, 51. Modernize short-range air-to-air missiles (fighter aircraft armament), 52. Upgrade air navigation, management, and control systems, 53. Acquire aircrew training systems, 54. Recapitalize or life-extend existing capabilities in advance of the arrival of next generation platforms, 55. Sustain domestic search and rescue capability, to include life extension of existing systems, acquisition of new platforms, and greater integration with internal and external partners, 56. Operationalize the newly acquired Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue aircraft fleet; (b) for each task in (a), how many person hours did employees of PSP and DND devote to the respective procurement projects in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2021, (iv) 2022; and (c) for each task in (a), when was the task completed or when is the estimated date of completion?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1434—
Mr. Bob Zimmer:
    With regard to the Translation Bureau: (a) how many translators are assigned to (i) reports and other documents for committees of the House of Commons, (ii) other parliamentary assignments, (iii) other assignments; (b) what turnaround times are required and estimated for translating the items referred to in (a)(i), (i) in each fiscal year since 2016-17, (ii) for the remainder of the current fiscal year, (iii) for the 2024-25 fiscal year; (c) when did the backlogs begin; (d) is the Minister of Public Services and Procurement supplying additional resources or re-assigning translators working on assignments referred to in (a)(iii) to reduce the current turnaround times, and, if so, what are the details; (e) if the answer to (d) is negative, why are additional resources not being added or re-assigned; (f) what is the government’s explanation for the current turnaround times; (g) has the Minister of Public Services and Procurement addressed the backlogs with the Chief Executive Officer of the Translation Bureau, and, if so, on what dates did this occur and what commitment, if any, did the minister receive; (h) what is the Translation Bureau’s policy on working from home and how has it changed, since 2016-17; and (i) what percentage and how many translators were working from home as of April 21, 2023, broken down by the assignments referred to in (a)?
    (Return tabled)


    Mr. Speaker, I request that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]


Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Climate Change  

    That the House:
(a) stand in solidarity with and express its support for all those affected by the current forest fires;
(b) acknowledge that climate change is having a direct impact on people’s quality of life, and that it is exacerbating the frequency and scale of extreme weather and climate events (floods, tornadoes, forest fires, heat waves, etc.);
(c) recognize that the federal government must do more to combat climate change, prevent its impacts and support communities affected by natural disasters;
(d) call on the federal government to invest more in the fight against climate change, which is at risk of becoming increasingly expensive for both the public and the environment; and
(e) demand that the federal government stop investing in fossil fuels and develop incentives, while respecting the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces, to promote the use of renewable energy and public transit.
    The hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to indicate that, pursuant to Standing Order 43(2)(a), all of the Bloc Québécois' speaking slots for today's debate on the business of supply will be divided in two.
    Thank you.
    We will now begin the debate.
    The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly.
     Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my speaking time with my esteemed colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé, who will be displaying the excellence we all strive for.
    Quebec and Canada are grappling with unprecedented wildfires. As we speak, we could even say it is a—
    I must interrupt the hon. member because there is apparently no interpretation yet.
    I will speak in French to check whether it has started, which now seems to be the case.
    The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly may continue.


    Mr. Speaker, right now, in Quebec, we are seeing a level of devastation roughly 11 times greater than the average for the last 10 years. We have not even begun to assess the dramatic economic impact of these wildfires.
    Over the next few years, we will likely experience many phenomena that will dramatically worsen the impact of climate change. This is very worrisome. The seasons conducive to extreme events, whether they are tornadoes, extreme tropical storms that have an impact in our area, heat waves, droughts, wildfires or floods, will get increasingly longer, begin earlier and end later. The likelihood of extreme events will increase. The intensity of these events will also increase.
    These droughts, heat waves, floods and storms will have a very significant impact on Quebec. They will also affect people around the world. These people will have to try to protect themselves and prepare for the situation. One possible way for them to adapt would be to move somewhere else because the waters will rise, deserts will grow and lands that were once fertile will no longer be. We, the countries that can do so, will be responsible for receiving climate migrants. That will put additional humanitarian pressure on migration issues.
    On a billionaire friend’s yacht, people do not feel the water rising. At sea, a glass of champagne in hand, they rise with the ocean. However, when the water slowly rises or suddenly rushes over banks and shorelines, entire villages are destroyed, in places where people were unable to protect themselves. It is in places that could, in theory, protect themselves—such as major cities around the world—that massive and extremely costly infrastructure is needed.
    To a lesser extent, Quebec will face similar pressure. Every storm and every event slowly and irrevocably changes and adds to the misery in the world.
    Ecosystems are unable to adapt to this climate change. Animal species are more mobile, of course, but they are dependent on plant environments. Plant environments cannot move along with climate change. Plants cannot migrate fast enough to new areas with a climate that is conducive to their growth. The Observatoire régional de recherche sur la forêt boréale at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi is studying these phenomena.
    The entire biodiversity of vast regions of the planet, and also of Quebec, is affected. We cannot naively say that the forest will move north, that we will have more space with potential for plant life to grow. It simply does not work that way because things are changing too fast. Within the space of a few decades, we are provoking what has historically taken thousands and tens of thousands of years through changes that others would have us believe are still natural, even today.
    The loss of biodiversity is also having an impact. The destruction of economic models comes with this destruction of ecosystems. There is still a massive share of the global and Quebec economies that rely on the growth of plant and animal life. I am talking in particular of fishing and agriculture, and also forestry.


    The forests in Quebec are in many ways a resource that is comparable in importance to petroleum resources in western Canada, aside from one small detail: They are a renewable resource. Not only is it a resource that does not contribute to climate change, but it is also a fundamental resource that is still the best way we know to capture carbon naturally and to reduce the phenomena that lead to climate change.
    Still, despite the importance of the forests for our economy, for the regions of Quebec, for our very identity as a people and a nation, today we see the effect of climate change. This effect is not direct. Let us not claim that science says certain things that it has not said. We cannot associate the 11-fold increases over the last 10-year average with a particular climate event, but the probability is increased to such a degree that science would never dare to deny again.
    This has an even more significant impact because Quebec's money, which should be invested in a much greener and much more sustainable economy for Quebec, is going into western oil, in the form of tax credits, direct subsidies or nonsense such as costly carbon sequestration or, worse, the hypocrisy of wanting to use nuclear energy, which is not a clean energy, so as not to use oil to extract oil.
    All of this sends us into a spiral of destruction. Is it not time to put an end to it? Is it not time, given the evidence of the damage caused by climate change, to put an end to all funding of fossil fuels, to rather use this money, especially in Quebec because that is our strength, to ensure a sustainable economy, and to explain to people that environmental challenges are not restrictions on what we can do, but a wealth-creation model that is not only different, but the bearer of increased wealth, especially in Quebec?
    As I have said before, we are open to having the necessary amounts that are now invested in oil but that would be invested in the green transition, stay in western Canada, which really needs to engage in this energy transition.
    We need to use this money immediately to fight forest fires, help communities in distress, support research to mitigate the consequences of climate change, which, even if we stopped everything tomorrow morning, would continue to exist, and finance municipal infrastructures to meet the challenge.
    We must, however, resist the temptation to make this a political instrument for centralization. We are starting to see that when people say that the Canadian military should be the main resource for fighting forest fires. Quebec has the institutions and the expertise needed to fight the forest fires. What do we not have? Because of the fiscal imbalance, we do not have money. It is the tried and true tactic of saying that, since the provinces do not have money and the federal government would like to take over their jurisdictions, everything will be taken over by the federal government, and the provinces will have to rely on the federal government.
    That is not what we want. We want our share of the money needed to adapt to the situation to go to Quebec and the provinces. Given the government's moral collapse, this may be an opportunity to give more meaning to the concept of state and to ensure that people actually see that our institutions, democracy and parliaments can still serve the common good with dignity, honour and respect.
    By voting this way, we will be taking action.


    Mr. Speaker, I thank the members of the Bloc Québécois for the motion they have introduced in the House today. I want to congratulate them on bringing forward a motion of substance that genuinely calls on the government to do something meaningful within its realm of possibility.
     I want to express that I plan to vote in favour of this motion, not only because it is well crafted, but also because it is a motion on something we should be calling upon the government to do.
    When we talk about the government investing in fossil fuels, I think it is important that we do not invest in the creation, exploitation or extraction of fossil fuels. However, I believe there is still work for the government to do with dealing with abandoned oil wells, for example.
     Could the leader of the Bloc confirm that the motion is attempting to distinguish between investing in fossil fuels from an extraction perspective and dealing with abandoned oil wells and other impacts from previous fossil fuels extraction?



    Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, the reality is one of investments in the form of tax credits or assistance for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the process of extracting petroleum resources.
    The only petroleum resources that are safe to develop are biofuels and biogas. They exist, but that is not what we are talking about.
    The suggested approach is not really useful. If the industry were able to lower its emissions per barrel, it would only produce more barrels. Our money would then be used solely to maintain the level of greenhouse gas emissions. We need to go a step further and transition away from oil.


    Mr. Speaker, I note that in the first item in this motion the member is calling on the government to express consideration for the people affected by the wildfires.
     I would like to bring the Bloc caucus up to speed on my private member's bill, Bill C-365 from the 42nd Parliament, which sought to consider the theft and vandalism of firefighting equipment as an aggravating factor in sentencing. The entire Bloc caucus voted against it. I would like to ask the member why.


    Mr. Speaker, there is not much I can say, because I am not familiar with the bill in question. It has not been on my radar for a long time.
    However, in the past few days, I have heard statements that have made it rather hard to differentiate between the positions of the People's Party and the Conservative Party, both of which basically claimed that wildfires are a ploy by environmentalists to make people panic. I was a bit alarmed by that. Today, we all have the opportunity to act reasonably for the good of the planet.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the leader of the Bloc Québécois for his excellent speech.
    He talked about the disasters that are occurring in many regions of Canada, including Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, where I learned to speak French, and Abitibi-Témiscamingue, where I spent a lot of time. Of course, our thoughts are currently with the volunteer firefighters and emergency workers who are working in those areas and in other regions of Canada.
    The member reminded us that the government is spending billions of dollars on fossil fuel subsidies. We need to make the transition to clean energy. Other countries have already done it. What is the best way for Canada to make that transition and make its contribution to climate justice?
    Mr. Speaker, a number of suggestions come to mind.
    As I recently said in the House, we need to walk the talk. In this case, that means that we need to do whatever it takes—even if we are hogtied and gagged—to prevent a government partner from spending billions of dollars on measures that support the oil-related economic chain. That in itself would be a major contribution.


    Mr. Speaker, I was mesmerized by my leader’s speech. The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly is a hard act to follow. I always listen to him attentively, because I find him very inspiring.
    At the end of his speech, he mentioned something that I think we should all focus on today: the sense of state. Today’s motion by the Bloc Québécois is not a partisan motion. It is not a motion that points a finger at the bad guys and the good guys, but a motion that states a fact, that expresses an important problem we have for the most part ignored: the sense of state.
    I will begin by expressing our solidarity with the people affected by the terrible forest fires raging across Quebec. I am originally from Abitibi—Témiscamingue, and having lived for many years in Northern Quebec, I know many people who have been evacuated and who are not sure their homes will still be there tomorrow. I understand their distress. This is a situation of unprecedented magnitude. We must, of course, acknowledge the work of the people on the ground who are trying to put a stop to this horror and those who are taking care of people who have been displaced.
    I would also like to acknowledge our colleagues in the House who are directly affected in their ridings, who are on the ground and have been over the past few days. The hon. members for Abitibi—James Bay—Nunavik—Eeyou, Abitibi—Témiscamingue and Manicouagan are doing a remarkable job by being there for their constituents.
    This motion expresses our solidarity. Climate change exists. We are not here today to say that the forest fires are caused by climate change. However, there is something that we do know, and that all the scientists are telling us: Climate change exacerbates the conditions that cause dramatic events like the ones going on today by extending the wildfire season and the number of extremely hot and dry days.
    Scientists tell us that, even now, during heavy rainfalls, since the ground is very dry when the rain begins, it is unable to absorb the water. This causes erosion, the ground dries out again very quickly, and the next storm will likely spark another fire. That is one of many examples. I could talk about floods. We could talk about a lot of things. It is important that we realize what is going on.
    It is also important to recognize that the federal government has the greatest financial resources at this time. Our leader raised the issue earlier in referring to the infamous fiscal imbalance. There is an urgent need to stop investing in oil energy and allocate the funds to the right places, to the right resources, in order to trigger a fair and equitable energy transition for all regions of Quebec and Canada.
    I am addressing my Conservative colleagues from western Canada in particular. They constantly promote the oil industry. Today's motion is not a motion against the people in their ridings. It is a motion for the future of our entire population. We are telling them that we want to invest funds in their region to start the climate transition. It has to start sometime. That is the problem.
    The final point of the motion states that the federal government must stop investing in fossil fuels and start investing in renewable energy and public transit. That is not always the federal government's responsibility, so that also implies significant transfers. We need to revise our adaptation plan from two angles: first, mitigating climate change, and second, preparing the public for climate change. That is another crucial challenge.


    Currently, our municipalities are being left to deal with climate change on their own, even though they already have very little revenue for their development. It is important to decentralize these funds. It is important for our communities to be able to invest in their infrastructure, such as sewer systems or municipal wastewater treatment, because they know it better than anyone. Underground infrastructure is not very popular in the world of politics. There are many communities where various people in power failed to invest in basic infrastructure. It is important that funds be released for this purpose.
    The current wildfires are a natural phenomenon, of course, but their impact is exacerbated by climate warming. In 2022, the cost of the damage caused by climate change around the world was pegged at $275 billion. I am not just talking about fires, but about all extreme events related to climate change. This can include floods and ice storms, which are more and more frequent.
    Moreover, the cost of insurance directly affects ordinary citizens. Insurance companies are not charitable organizations. I assume that my colleagues have shopped for insurance at one time or another. I am sure that they feel the same way I do: that we often pay a lot for what we get. These companies assess a risk. Unfortunately, that risk is growing. That means that costs are going to go up and up until the insurance companies are no longer prepared to take the risk of insuring us. Eventually, they are going to tell us that they will no longer insure us, because the risk is too high. Who will the responsibility fall on then? It will fall on us and the government. That is why it is important to act quickly.
    The Bloc Québécois has made constructive suggestions. We introduced a bill on climate change accountability, which would have made major changes. After COVID-19, we had the good sense to consult the people on the ground and propose a recovery plan based on a change of direction for government measures aimed at fighting climate change. We wanted to make something good out of this bad situation. There are two ways to handle difficult situations: we can either wring our hands, or we can figure out how to turn the situation to our advantage.
    We were willing to make major investments. Unfortunately, the government did not follow our recommendations. Right now we are proposing solutions that promote green finance to force the financial industry to stop investing in fossil fuels. I do not know if anyone here has ever tried keeping fossil fuels out of their RRSP or other investment portfolio, but it is not easy. Investors need to be careful and read all the fine print. I think I succeeded, but it was not easy.
    What we are telling the government today is the same thing the IPCC and everyone else is saying. Earlier, I said that we could have invested after the COVID-19 pandemic, but that we missed the boat. COVID-19 showed us that governments are capable of stopping everything at once, making investments and taking extraordinary measures. Just look at what is happening in Quebec and Canada right now. It is time we realized how urgent it is to act.
    The government is the strongest tool we can collectively use to make major changes, so let us use it. Right now, the government is saying things that seem to be positive, but there is nothing concrete. They are announcing either amounts that have already been announced or amounts that are available for the oil and gas industry to help it hang on a little longer. That is not acceptable anymore.
    Every scientist in the world is telling us that the first step in a just, fair and equitable green transition is to stop investing in oil and gas. That is the first step. Today, the Bloc Québécois's motion acknowledges the situation, expresses our solidarity with the people who are suffering, and tells the government that it is time to take action, take that first step and finally end all fossil fuel subsidies.



    Mr. Speaker, I know that the last clause of the motion specifically speaks to incentivizing renewable energies, and Quebec has an incredible track record in terms of its renewable energy program.
    Some initiatives that have come out of Quebec relate to using government tools and resources to properly incentivize the renewable energy sector. Could the member comment on initiatives from Quebec that the rest of the country can benefit from?


    Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his question and, in particular, for announcing his support for today's motion. That is very important.
    I am pleased that he brought up the issue of resource allocation, because that will allow me to wrap up my point. At present, we are seeing how resources are being wasted at federal level. Money is being given to the biggest global warming offenders.
    My colleague asked me to give examples from Quebec. I am very proud to be able to point out today that Quebec is the first government in North America to have announced it was ending oil exploration. It is a significant gesture, and I invite Canada to do the same. It is all well and good to announce investments in clean energy. There is a certain nuance in that wording. When Quebec talks about clean energy, we are not talking about oil that is less dirty. We want to turn to something other than oil.
    We want to turn to wind power and solar power, for example, which are renewable.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Berthier-Maskinongé for his very good speech.
    He talked about subsidies. We spend billions of dollars on fossil fuel subsidies. We know full well that other countries are in the process of making investments and building networks for clean energy such as electricity grids. I am thinking in particular of the grid that links Scandinavian countries to Germany.
    This Nordic grid allows the export of clean energy. In the United States market, for example, states and cities are increasingly demanding that they be supplied only with clean energy. The market is incredible and the potential is there.
    Does my colleague agree that we really need to make investments to create an electricity grid that allows us to export energy throughout North America?
    Mr. Speaker, electric power is definitely an energy of the future.
    Still, investments need to come from the right level of government. There has to be fairness in federal investments. We must not forget that. I could talk about past injustices.
    As for the importance of investing in the right energies, I would say that, according to experts around the world today, for every dollar invested in oil, $1.7 is invested in renewable energies.
    However, that is not what is happening in Canada. This year, investments could reach $40 billion. That is 11% more than before COVID-19. Production in Canada is expected to increase until 2040. We are going off course. We need to steer the ship in the right direction, towards a real energy transition and renewable energies.
    Mr. Speaker, our colleague did a good job of explaining that, although forest fires have certainly always existed, climate change is making conditions worse and far more conducive to these types of fires and many other disasters that will keep making headlines. Over the past few days, the air in Ottawa was absolutely impossible to breathe and the sky was totally grey. It was terrible here, even though the fires are raging in Abitibi and on the north shore.
    I wonder why people have a hard time understanding this. The government always makes big announcements about money it is spending to fight climate change, but it is also spending billions of dollars on the oil industry, which completely undermines those efforts. Sooner or later, expenditures from this line will have to be put on that line. Why do people not understand that?


    Mr. Speaker, once again, the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot has shown us how intelligent he is and how thoroughly he understands the issues.
    What he said was exactly right. We have to take the money that is being given to fossil fuels, move it to a different line in the budget and invest it in renewable energy and in the transition.
    I said something earlier that I may not have emphasized enough. We need to invest in the transition, but also in helping people prepare and become more resilient. Unfortunately, it is too late to completely stop global warming, and we are already seeing the consequences. That is why we need to invest in both of those things.
    Mr. Speaker, I am glad to have the opportunity to speak on this important issue today. I thank my hon. colleagues from the Bloc Québécois and commend them for their activism on this issue. I do not doubt their commitment to the issue of climate change for a single second. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for all the members of the House.
    Forests all over Canada are burning. We are facing what will very likely be the worst forest fire season in the history of our country. Families have lost everything, thousands of people are risking their lives to keep Quebeckers and Canadians safe, and I would like to tell everyone affected by the wildfires that our thoughts and the government's thoughts are with them.


    Climate change is real, and we are seeing and living its impact every day. In the last year alone, we have seen record-level atmospheric rivers creating havoc in British Columbia; Fiona, the most powerful hurricane we have seen in the Atlantic Ocean; and now, fires raging from the east coast to the west coast and all the way to the Northwest Territories. Everyone in the House needs to acknowledge that.


    Canadians are concerned about the impact of climate change. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced this year, sometimes twice or even three times. Some families have lost everything. Millions of people, both young and not so young, cannot go outside because of the poor air quality. People are worried and so are we.
    Across the country, the public can see how climate change is exacerbating the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. As U.S. President Joe Biden recently said to the House, these days, a good plan for the economy is also a good plan for climate change and a good plan for security.
    The deterioration in air quality due to the forest fires is so bad that smoke plumes can be seen and smelled as far away as New York. The air quality index was worse in our national capital this week than in cities like Mexico City, Jakarta or even Kolkata. We know that this is the worst fire season on record for Nova Scotia and Quebec, and in Alberta, 2023 is about to surpass the summer of 2016, one of the worst seasons in the history of that province. There are currently more than 2,000 forest fires burning across Canada, and nearly four million hectares have burned, which is 10 times the Canadian average for the same date.
    Now I would like to talk about Parks Canada's role in this issue.


    Parks Canada is the only federal organization that can provide firefighting equipment and trained professionals in response to requests from provinces, territories and international partners when they need help fighting wildfires. Parks Canada has a dedicated team of firefighters across the country. It also maintains national incident-management teams composed of personnel from field and business units across the country. These teams are dispatched to manage complex fire situations and other incidents.
     Parks Canada has many wildfire mutual aid resource-sharing agreements in place at the local, provincial, national and international level, such as with the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Africa. It also works with communities and partners within or near national parks on initiatives to reduce wildfire risks. Its fire management program is focused on prevention and response measures for wildfires that originate in, traverse through or otherwise threaten lands administered by Parks Canada, as well as adjacent communities.



    I would like to thank the team at Parks Canada for all its work and for its amazing services to the public.
    Last weekend, the Quebec government asked the federal government for help to deal with the catastrophic wildfire situation in the province, and we instantly said yes.
    We are working in close collaboration with all provincial and territorial governments, as well as with indigenous peoples. Non-governmental organizations, like the Canadian Red Cross and the United Way, are also providing support to evacuees and other people affected by the forest fires. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been deployed to areas across the country, particularly in Quebec, to keep our communities safe.
    Climate change is already here, and its effects will continue to be felt. The impact is very real. Climate change is taking a major toll on our communities. That is why our government, unlike the official opposition, is committed to doing more and doing it faster, both to reduce our climate pollution and to better prepare Canada and Canadians to deal with the consequences of climate change.
    Let me give a few examples.
    A little over two years ago, we enacted the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, which requires the Government of Canada to set emission reduction targets for 2030, 2035, 2040 and 2045 in order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The act provides for consultations with the provinces, territories and indigenous communities, as well as public participation when the government is establishing or amending targets or plans. This must be done openly and transparently.
    The act requires governments to plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, to table their plans in the House and to make any corrections necessary. It also establishes the net-zero advisory body, which is responsible for providing independent advice with respect to achieving this goal.
    The government's role is to create incentives and to make regulations that send clear, long-term signals to the markets to foster the reduction of emissions in a flexible and economical manner.
    That is also why we implemented carbon pricing in 2019. Our approach is recognized worldwide. It is flexible, because it allows the provinces and territories, including Quebec, to develop their own system or to opt in to the federal system. It also sets minimum national standards that must be met to ensure that all the provinces and territories are comparable and that they contribute equitably to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    Our approach is one of consistency and fairness for all Canadians. It also aims to cover a wide range of emissions and to ensure the effectiveness of the carbon markets.


    Its goal is both to reduce pollution and to support Canadians in the transition toward a cleaner and greener economy, which is why all direct proceeds from the federal system remain in the province or territory they came from and are used to keep life affordable while taking aim at climate pollution.
    Wherever federal fuel charge proceeds are returned directly to households, eight out of 10 families get more money back through the climate action incentive rebates than they faced in increased fuel costs. This is particularly true for low-income households, which come out significantly ahead. Households can use these funds however they see fit. As households take actions to reduce their energy use, they will come out even farther ahead because they will still receive the same amount in climate incentive rebate.


    If any members of the House of Commons have not yet read the 2030 emissions reduction plan released last year, they should.
    It is the most comprehensive, detailed, and transparent plan in our country's history. It charts a course to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030. It continues and enhances support for the deployment of market-ready renewable energy technologies to drive the decarbonization of electricity grids. It sets an interim target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% below 2005 levels by 2026. This plan has been welcomed by organizations such as Greenpeace, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Climate Institute of Canada.
    We also introduced the clean fuel regulations, which are part of a very significant approach to reducing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. These regulations replace the former renewable fuels regulations.
    They seek to drive innovation in clean technologies and expand the use of cleaner fuels throughout the economy. The regulations are based on initiatives in other jurisdictions, such as British Columbia and California, that have directly contributed to the growth of the clean-tech sector and the supply of cleaner fuels.
    These regulations will reduce the carbon footprint of gasoline and diesel sold in Canada. They will also encourage investment in clean energy, thereby helping to reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 megatonnes by 2030. Following the announcement of these regulations, more than $2 billion in investments have been announced over the past few months in the hydrogen and renewable fuels sectors in Alberta, Quebec, and Newfoundland.
    I would now like to talk about faster and further: Canada's methane strategy.
    This strategy relies on Canada's progress and current commitments, including the 2030 emissions reduction plan. It provides a path for further reducing methane emissions, a very powerful greenhouse gas, throughout the entire economy. I will give a few examples. The oil company Cenovus reduced its methane emissions by 40% over the past two years. Saskatchewan reduced the methane emissions of its oil sector by 60% between 2015 and 2021.


    Still, we need to bear in mind that all the initiatives I have mentioned so far are just the highlights and do not exist in a vacuum. It is the combination of initiatives that changes everything and our plan is beginning to bear fruit. Between 2019 and 2021, our greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 53 million tonnes in the country. That is the equivalent of removing 11 million cars from the roads in Canada, or more than half of all the emissions in Quebec. In 2020 and 2021, Canada had the best performance in the G7 when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    Many environmental groups have said that they are seeing overwhelming evidence of progress. For example, Climate Action Network Canada says, “The [report] the federal government shows that...greenhouse gas emissions fell by 8.4% below 2005 levels”. That is what economists call a decoupling of emissions from the country's gross domestic product, with emissions intensity from the entire economy down by 42% since 1990.
    Since 2015, our government has committed over $200 billion to implementing more than 100 measures to support climate action. Canada has bent the curve downward even as our economy continues to grow, creating well-paying jobs.
    Earlier, the leader of the Bloc Québécois talked about fossil fuel subsidies. Here are a few encouraging facts about this issue.


    The federal government is hard at work on delivering its G20 commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. We are preparing a rigorous framework to identify what is a fossil fuel subsidy. This will apply across all departments in the government.
    We are proud to lead ambition on the global movement of fossil fuel subsidies. Canada has accelerated its G20 commitment, from 2025 to 2023, and we are on track to deliver on this accelerated timeline. We are also calling on peer countries to accelerate their timeline. When we come forward with the fossil fuel subsidies framework, this will be a first-of-its-kind approach to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. No other country has published its methodology for so transparently identifying fossil fuel subsidies. This is the second of a three-part commitment on the financing of the fossil fuel sector. The first was international financing of the fossil fuel subsidy, which we delivered on last December, with widespread acclaim from think tanks and environmental organizations. The second commitment is on domestic fossil fuel subsidies, which we are on track to complete shortly, and the third one is on domestic public financing of fossil fuel subsidies.


    Several organizations, such as Equiterre and Environmental Defence, have publicly highlighted the progress made on this issue while indicating that there is still work to be done. The NGO Oil Change International has published a report showing that, among G7 countries, Canada and Great Britain are at the forefront on issues of international funding of fossil fuels.
    We also need to be better prepared to face the impacts of climate change. We must ensure the health, security and well-being of the population and communities across the country. A good adaptation strategy is also a good economic strategy and will help minimize the costs of the impacts of climate change, which have already been assessed at several billions of dollars per year.
    Those are our main objectives in collaborating with the population to develop Canada's first national adaptation strategy. Part of this work focused on the approach needed to build resilience to the impacts of climate change. This approach includes, among others, a framework to measure progress made across the country so we ensure that our measures remain effective as the climate continues to change.
    The following are a few reactions to the release of the Government of Canada adaptation action plan.



    The Insurance Bureau of Canada said, “Canada's first National Adaptation Strategy is brave and ambitious. No other country has proposed such a comprehensive suite of adaptation targets.” The Federation of Canadian Municipalities said that the National Adaptation Strategy is “a critical framework that will help to better protect Canadian communities from the effects of extreme weather events made more severe by a changing climate.” Finally, Climate Proof Canada said, “Climate Proof Canada applauds the Government of Canada on world-leading National Adaptation Strategy", and that this “represents a bold step forward by delivering a strategy with world-leading targets and clear goals that will drive necessary progress on adapting to the worst impacts of climate change.”


     Climate change is a global problem, and Canadians want real climate action. The government owes it to them to be responsible and bring in policies that are known to be the most efficient and cost effective, which is what we are doing.
    However, it is important to remember that the federal government cannot meet Canada's objectives for climate change and adaptation on its own. A concerted effort is needed from all governments, economic stakeholders and Canadian society as a whole. Each sector has a role to play and a responsibility to reduce climate pollution.


    Action on climate change has become the driving force for economic opportunity in the 21st century. Countries and businesses across the world are moving rapidly toward net-zero emissions.


    With the initiatives we have already introduced, and many others that are still to come, we are taking action today to ensure not only that Canada is not left behind, but that we actually become a leader in the global low-carbon economy.
    We must continue to fight climate change. We recognize that we need to do more to tackle climate change, prevent its impacts and support communities affected by natural disasters. We must continue to work together and do more. However, in order to do more, we need the support of all parties.


    It is unfortunate to see that, in 2023, we are still having to try and convince the Conservative Party of Canada that climate change is real, that it is happening now and that it is costing Canadian lives and dramatically impacting our society.


    There are forest fires burning all across Canada right now. People are risking their lives to ensure Canadians' safety and protect the environment. However, the Conservatives are trying to block everything we try to do to fight pollution.
    Last week, we saw the member for Red Deer—Mountain View rise in the House and tell Canadians that climate change is normal. Pretending it is normal is irresponsible and it is disrespectful to Quebeckers or Canadians who are fighting for their lives against raging wildfires.


    It has been 271 days since the leader of the Conservative Party was named leader and still no plan to fight pollution, no plan to support the economy of the 21st century and no plan to support Canadians.
     The Leader of the Opposition spoke for four hours last night in the House, but did he talk about the linkages between the devastating forest fires and climate change? Did he talk about his plan to fight the climate crisis or even how he would work to help Canadians face those impacts? He did none of those things, because, like his party, he denies the very existence of climate change.
    Rather than investing their time in debating carbon pricing or blocking everything we are trying to put in place to fight pollution, perhaps the Conservatives should invest that time toward writing a real plan for our environment, for the future of our kids and grandkids, and for the future of the economy of this country.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister alluded to his having prepared the country, that we know climate change is here. I would like to ask the minister this. I had a cabin burn down in northern Ontario. The firefighting force up there told me it was short water bombers.
    If we look to the CL-215, the government could have procured more water bombers. The president of Viking said yesterday that if a Canadian province ordered a water bomber, it could not even begin construction until 2030 now. All the orders are from Europe. Europe knew what was coming and it reacted. Our Canadian military now cannot get helmets. We have the new airbus A-330s. They are going to have to go out and procure fuel tankers.
     The government has not prepared the country, so I would like the minister to comment on the water bomber situation.


    Mr. Speaker, I think the member almost recognized the reality of climate change. For that, I am extremely grateful.
    As I said, we have presented Canada's first-ever national adaptation strategy. No other government did that before we did. That strategy has been applauded by many stakeholders in this field. I also recognize that we need to do more. We are not ready to face the impacts of climate change. To get Canada ready to face the impacts of climate change, I guess the Conservative Party would have to recognize that climate change exists.
    We are on it, we are working, but I recognize more work still needs to be done.


    Mr. Speaker, I have often heard the Minister of Environment boast in the House about 2021, saying that emissions reached record-setting lows that year. This is hardly surprising, considering there was a pandemic going on. Although he denied it, I remember that the vast majority of Quebeckers had to comply with a curfew for half the year, which says a lot about the strict lockdown in effect at the time. Needless to say, planes were grounded, and teleworking meant that cars stayed in the garage.
    What did not increase during that lockdown year, but that certainly made up for it in the inflationary year of 2022, were oil company profits. What did not decrease were the billions of dollars that Ottawa supplied to oil companies.
    Given that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has shown that 80% of oil must remain where it is, underground, can the Minister of Environment promise us that there will be no more new oil development projects?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    First, I would like to remind him that, in 2021, Canada's economic growth was the strongest in the G7, at 5%. Economic growth in Canada leads to increased greenhouse gas emissions.
    Second, despite the global pandemic, we had the best record of any G7 country of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The pandemic affected not just Canada, but the entire world. As I said in my speech, we eliminated international fossil fuel subsidies last year, and we will eliminate domestic subsidies this year, in 2023. That is two years earlier than all our G20 partners.
    Third, I think that my colleague and the Bloc Québécois would be the first to object if the federal government encroached on provincial jurisdiction. The use of natural resources is a provincial jurisdiction. Where we can make a difference is on pollution, and that is exactly what we are doing.


    Mr. Speaker, right now, as forest fires are raging across the country, from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island, what are the Liberals doing? They are building pipelines and subsidizing oil and gas.
     While the Liberals are patting themselves on the back, right now a fire is burning in my riding, and not just anywhere. It is at Cameron Lake Bluffs, on the doorstop of Cathedral Grove, of the ancient rainforest in my riding. This is in early June.
     We need the government to step up and take action on climate change, but also to ensure that there is a separate firefighting agency in Canada to support provinces when there are surges. We also want to ensure that the government has people's back when it comes to mental health supports and climate infrastructure.
    Right now, as I said, Highway 4 is cut off. I cannot even get home this weekend. Thirty thousand of my constituents are trapped on the other side of Cameron Lake. Seniors cannot get to their doctor appointments. People cannot get to work. The indigenous communities are greatly impacted.
    Will the government have the backs of people in my riding, and across the country, if my province asks for help?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his advocacy on this issue. He talked about the forest fire situation in Canada. It is likely going to be the worst year for forest fires.
    The federal government is supporting all the provinces and territories, as well as indigenous communities that have requested help from the federal government. I have spoken personally to some indigenous leaders. Parks Canada has been working with some of them, either to evacuate or to support their communities in their forest firefighting exercise.
    I am the first one to recognize that we need to do more. The member spoke about fossil fuel subsidies. He knows that when it comes to eliminating international fossil fuel subsidies, we are the best performing country in all of the G7 countries. That is not me saying that; I am not patting myself on the back. The member can look at reports from Oil Change International or at what organizations like Environmental Defence have said.


    Mr. Speaker, again, climate change is the challenge of this generation and of these times.
    In my community of Windsor—Tecumseh, we had two devastating floods in 2016-17 that put thousands of homes under water. It was absolutely devastating. Today, we see a blanket of smoke covering our community.
    At the same time, our community of Windsor—Tecumseh will be leading the transition to a zero-emission economy. We will be building electric vehicles in Windsor. We will be building batteries at the Stellantis plant in Windsor.
    Could the minister speak to how the goals of environmental support and protection are not mutually exclusive to economic development, when in fact they are reinforcing goals to both the economic and the environmental aims?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for all his work on these issues.
    As I said in my speech, in the economy of the 21st century, there is an international race to attract companies and investors in the green economy. Ten years ago, there was 10 times more investment in fossil fuels worldwide than there was in renewable energy.
     In 2022, it is the opposite. Smart money is moving toward clean technologies, renewable energy and electrification, like the projects he mentioned. We are transforming Canada's auto sector. The investments we are seeing in electrifying our auto sector are the most important investments in the history of Canada's auto sector.
    Unfortunately, the Conservatives are opposing every single investment we are trying to make to help Canada have its share of this international race for a greener and cleaner economy.
    Mr. Speaker, my first question for the minister is one that I have been trying to get answered for a while now. It is about giving an update to Canadians on the Liberal government's commitment to plant two-billion-trees. How many have been planted to date?
    Second, could I get the minister's commitment to help make the program more efficient? It is very bureaucratic. I know conservation groups and municipalities have tried to apply to the program. They find the bureaucratic process too complicated. They cannot seem to meet the requirements.
    My final question, based on discussions with Liberal MPs and members from all parties, is on the idea of getting help to plant more trees to help combat climate change around the world. Could we maybe allocate a number of these trees to every MP in the House of Commons, if members choose to do that, and work within their constituencies to get more trees planted?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for mentioning climate change, which, unfortunately, on that side of the House, does not happen very often.
    To answer his first question, we planted 30 million trees in 2020 and 60 million trees in 2021, which is up from eight million trees in 2019. To get to two billion trees by 2030, we need to get to a cruising speed of planting 300 million trees per year. I agree that we are not there yet.
    We can do better with the partnerships he has talked about. Conservation organizations and municipalities are essential. I would be happy to work with the hon. member and any member in the House who is interested in working on this project.
    Mr. Speaker, I am splitting my time with my colleague, the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord.
    As we know, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Tip O'Neill, said, “All politics are local.” I am going to focus on what has been happening in my community, my district, in the last two weeks.
    At 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, two weekends ago, first responders in Halifax arrived in the Westwood Hills subdivision in Halifax. This is in my district, 10 minutes from my house. They were responding to reports of a house on fire. They were there in minutes. The fire was driven by winds of 40 kilometres an hour, and it was spreading rapidly through the house and moving to other homes in this family suburban neighbourhood. It was engulfing homes and hopscotching from house to house. It was missing some, burning others and skipping and bouncing over streets. Cellphones screamed with an alert for residents to immediately leave their homes. Over the next hour, as the wind drove the flames across neighbourhoods along Hammonds Plains Road, more than 16,000 people were evacuated.
    Many, not knowing what to do, went to the homes of friends and family outside the evacuation zone. Others went to the comfort centres, which were set up quickly by volunteers. Some were set up within an hour, such as the ones at the Black Point fire hall and Black Point & Area Community Centre on St. Margarets Bay and the Canada Games Centre in Bayers Lake. They were set up by volunteers, such as Janet Fryday Dorey, who opened the Black Point comfort centre and kept it open from then until this day.
    The volunteers at the centres were and are remarkable. They put their lives and families on hold to provide comfort, food, clothes, a place to sleep, a person to talk to, a place to help find accommodation and a place to regroup in this trying, confusing and emotional time. There were volunteers like my neighbour, Peggy Pippy, who ran food and clothing drives for victims.
    To give some idea of the desperation of the evacuation, I want to share an experience. Captain Kevin Corkum and firefighter Conor Scott were working at the firefighting command post on Hammonds Plains Road in Halifax on that Sunday when an emergency call came in. A family could not get to their elderly father, who has dementia and was at home on Yankeetown Road. This was inside the evacuation zone, where the fire was raging.
    Fire crews had retreated from the area because of the speed of the fire, which was making it unsafe for them to battle the intensity of the flames. Captain Corkum said, “When the 911 call came in [saying] that there was a person in the house, we knew that fire conditions were going to be bad on that road.... But that's what we do. We're the fire service. Our main objective is life safety.”
    Captain Corkum said that he and firefighter Scott, wearing only basic personal protective gear, and with no oxygen equipment, jumped into the chief's pickup truck to attempt to save the man. Firefighter Scott said, “There were moments when it felt like we were driving through a wall of fire”. Captain Corkum reported that “as they travelled toward Yankeetown Road, day turned into night, and visibility was zero.” They could not see the civic numbers and ended up passing the home twice before they found the driveway. “As we pulled up, everything around the house was on fire. There were trees on two sides, maybe 20 to 30 feet away, and everything was on fire,” the captain said. Captain Corkum was driving and instructed firefighter Scott that he had 30 seconds to check the house for the man. Both doors were locked, so Scott ended up kicking in the front door.
    Captain Corkum said, “The elderly gentleman was in his chair unaware of what was going on, unaware of the danger [around him].” Corkum and Scott grabbed the man, lifted him up and carried him into the truck, with only minutes, maybe even seconds, to get out, and “Captain Corkum said it was one of those moments that ‘you're there doing what has to be done.’” “It's the first time,” he said, “in my 22 years that I'm looking around...and I'm like, ‘I really don't know that I'm 100 per cent going to get out of this’”.


     According to Captain Corkum, “Luckily...they were able to make it through the smoke and embers to get the man to the command post, where he could be assessed by paramedics.” After, Scott said, “My heart grew a little bit. I was very, very happy when we passed him off”.
    He continued:
    And then it was just moments later before we're on to the next task. But there was this brief, beautiful moment where we knew he was going to get back to his family.
    Corkum and Scott “then went on to help evacuate a home in Upper Tantallon, where a family was still packing items” and could not escape.
     Captain Corkum said to the media, “It was an unprecedented fire for me, just with the speed and the forward momentum that fire had and just the sheer amount of fire”. He went on to say, “I've never seen anything like it in my 22 years, that's for sure.”
    According to Brendan Meagher, “even though the pair knew it was dangerous, they kept going.” He stated:
    They kept going, they got to the house, they got in and they got him in that truck and...they got out of there and they saved his life.
    I believe, as do most Nova Scotians, that what they did was remarkable and heroic.
    According to Captain Corkum, this was only one story of those told during these devastating fires. I'm sure there are many people with many stories of real heroism that we will hear from in the coming days.
    I would like to share with members another experience I had during this time in my riding last week. The next day after that fire, Monday, May 29, after attending the morning news conference with the Halifax deputy fire chief, I drove two hours south to the town of Shelburne. I went to the fire hall and command centre, which was managing the fire for the municipality. I met with Fire Chief Locke. He and his crew had just arrived back from Clyde River, where they were battling the spread of the Barrington Lake fire. It was quickly becoming the largest fire in the history of Nova Scotia, with 65,000 acres on fire. In Clyde River, the fire had jumped the highway, as it had jumped across the lake a few hours earlier. Chief Locke told me that the freight train speed and the power of the fire overcame the firefighters, who had to abandon their hoses and gear and jump into their trucks; they barely escaped with their lives.
    He has been a firefighter for 50 years, and he had a hard time with his emotions as he described what his team faced. The flames they were battling reached 200 feet high and whirled around them. This happened time and again to crews battling this beast.
    Half the county was evacuated. Yesterday, the fire was only declared held; it is not growing beyond the 65,000 acres. More than 200 kilometres of the area has been destroyed. The Halifax fire is now 100% contained.
    The two fires incinerated more than 300 private property houses and buildings, destroying homes, dreams, family treasures, vehicles and everything dear to these families, and to us, including pets, dogs and cats, that were lost in the flames. The job of rebuilding for these families is immense. It is going to take time before everyone can return home safely. Knowing that the fire cannot resurface and restart is essential.
    The 190 professional volunteer firefighters who have kept the Barrington Lake fire out of the towns of Barrington and Shelburne are exhausted. They worked 18 hours a day. A member of my constituency team, Tyson Ross, is one of these firefighters; he slept in his own bed for the first time two nights ago. However, they know the work is not done. They need to get the 65,000 acres secure and fire-free before residents, who simply want to go home, can do so safely.
     They left their jobs to save their communities. They left their families to risk their lives to save others. They left their own evacuated houses in the fire zone to save the houses of their neighbours and strangers. The words “thank you” seem desperately insufficient for what they have done for our province and these communities, given what we owe them.
    Nonetheless, I will conclude by thanking the volunteer firefighters who fought and controlled the fires at Beech Hill Road and Pubnico. I want to send an enormous thanks to the hundreds of firefighters who fought, and got under control, the Halifax fire, and who have enabled all but a few thousand of the 16,000 residents to return home. From the bottom of my heart, I thank the 190 firefighters who have fought, and continue to fight, the largest fire in the history of our province, known as the Barrington Lake fire, and the Lake Road fires in Shelburne County, over the last 14 days.


    While I have the floor for a second, I just want to echo that. This was in a neighbouring riding, and one of those fires was in my community as well. My thanks go to the firefighters, who responded from all over southwest Nova Scotia.
    Questions and comments, the hon. Minister of Environment and Climate Change.


    Mr. Speaker, the member quoted a number of people who have fought the forest fires in his communities in Nova Scotia and spoke at length about how the forest fires are unprecedented. They have never seen such intense forest fires.
    One of my colleagues and I spoke about the linkages between the extreme forest fires we are seeing and climate change. There is abundant scientific evidence out there on these linkages. The member for South Shore—St. Margarets said, “You are lying. And for you to lie using the tragic situation of my community that have lost their homes because of human set fires is despicable.”
    According to the member, he seems to have evidence that none of us have about the fact that all those forest fires would have been set by humans. Could the member elaborate on that?
    Mr. Speaker, as an MP who understands his riding and was on the ground during these fires and talking to firefighters, I know what started the fires. The reason I wrote that is because the Halifax fire was a fire in the suburbs. The minister should know this, but he apparently does not. It was not a forest fire. It ran through houses. Sixteen thousand people were evacuated, not in a forest but in a suburb.


    Mr. Speaker, I have always wondered if my Conservative friends are not just a little bit jealous of the Liberals.
    They always criticize the Liberal government for its inaction and its lack of leadership in dealing with the oil industry, but in 2022, the Liberals invested $40 billion in it, including $11.5 billion directly in the Alberta oil sands. They just invested $30 billion in the Trans Mountain expansion. I do not understand why my Conservative friends are criticizing the Liberals; the Liberals are world champions in fossil fuel investments.
    I do not get it; are my Conservative friends jealous?


    Mr. Speaker, perhaps the member did not listen to my speech, or maybe he was having too many conversations. I did not criticize the government once during my speech. My speech was about a tragedy that is happening in my community. People are losing their houses and will not get back to their lives for years. That is what my speech was about. The member should have listened a little more to it. I did not speak about oil and gas. I did not criticize the government.
     In fact, I have been very public and very vocal in thanking the Minister of Emergency Preparedness for being so helpful and responsive in working with the provincial government, with me and with local representatives to fight this fire with the resources Canada has.
     Perhaps, in future, before a member asks a question, they should actually listen to the speech.
    Mr. Speaker, first, I want to thank the member for South Shore—St. Margarets for highlighting the devastating and horrific forest fires that are impacting his riding, as well as my riding in British Columbia and Canada as a whole.
     Interconnected with this, today is also World Oceans Day. We are seeing our oceans warming at record levels along the coast of the member's riding in Nova Scotia, as well as in British Columbia. This is having detrimental impacts on marine ecosystems and coastal communities.
    I am wondering about the importance of addressing the climate crisis and acknowledging that we need to do everything we can to stop the warming of our oceans and ensure that we do not have additional pollutants going into our waters, such as plastics and the pollutants from open-net fish farms, derelict vessels and container spills, just to name a few. Could the member share his thoughts on this?
    Mr. Speaker, the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith and I served together on the fisheries committee, and she is very passionate about the fisheries issues, as am I.
    I am surprised she did not ask me about Bill C-365 from the 42nd Parliament, which was introduced by our colleague on the fisheries committee, the member for North Okanagan—Shuswap. His bill sought to amend the Criminal Code to establish specific penalties related to the theft of firefighting equipment. It also would have created an aggravating circumstance for sentencing if the mischief involved firefighting equipment. Finally, it would have established sentencing objectives in relation to the theft of such equipment.
    Rather than expressing support for the firefighters, which the member had a chance to do, the Bloc and the Liberals at that time, although I know the member is of the class of 2021 and was not there, all voted against the bill that would have penalized people for stealing firefighting equipment to help us fight these fires.



    Mr. Speaker, It is always a pleasure for me to speak. I consider myself truly lucky, and even honoured, to be in the House and to be able to represent my fellow Canadians. We have the power, as members of Parliament, to propose solutions and make decisions to improve our country, Canada, and to help it prosper. I am often called on to speak on hot topics in the news, but I am always thankful for every chance I have to speak out against what I see as unfair and to debate important issues. However, I would prefer to talk about something other than today's topic.
    Of course, it is with grave concern that I will be making my speech today. I have been very worried for the last few days and I still am. I do not always sleep soundly because residents in my region are living in fear of losing their homes and seeing their towns entirely wiped out. I hope we do not reach that point. Of course, I am talking here about the wildfires that are burning across Canada, fires of immeasurable violence that have been a hot topic in the news for the last few weeks now.
    The Government of Canada has never seen wildfires this early in the season, and they are far from being the last. These numerous fires are having unprecedented effects. If this unfortunate trend persists, the record for the most fires ever recorded in Canada could very well be broken. All Canadians are worried about these wildfires, but also about what we will learn from them and what will remain. The fires are raging across the country and the situation is critical.
    I would like to talk more specifically about the regions of Quebec, like Saguenay—Lac‑Saint‑Jean and Abitibi, that are currently experiencing the most severe effects of the wildfires. There is an article that shows that Abitibi—Témiscamingue is the most affected region in Quebec. The second most affected area is mine, Saguenay—Lac‑Saint‑Jean. Most of the fires are in my colleague's riding in Lac‑Saint‑Jean. I can assure the House that partisan allegiances are left by the wayside in times like these. We are all in the same boat and we must work together to get through this crisis.
    I would like to begin my comments by noting the regional figures for Saguenay—Lac‑Saint‑Jean. At this time, there are 4 fires that are under control, 2 that are contained, 2 new fires and 22 that are out of control. Clearly, this last figure is the real problem. Twenty-two fires are out of control.
    What gets me right in the heart is seeing images of my beautiful region burning. It is seeing communities being reluctantly evacuated. I am thinking in particular of the indigenous community of Oujé-Bougoumou, whose village is threatened. They had to seek refuge in Chicoutimi. I want to reassure the member for this community, my colleague from Abitibi—James-Bay—Nunavik—Eeyou that her constituents are being well taken care of by the city of Saguenay. This is the time for solidarity, and the people of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean are there for them.
    I have always known that we had a very close bond with Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean and it is during situations like these that we can really prove it. Just this morning, an article mentioned that large numbers of city of Saguenay residents showed up at various shelters with food, while others have volunteered to help. It is precisely for reasons like these that I am proud to represent my constituents. We are good people in Saguenay. We are welcoming and helpful, and this gives us comfort in these kinds of situations.
    The Chicoutimi CEGEP opened its doors to the indigenous community I just mentioned. It is very difficult for people to leave their homes not knowing when they can return, but many places were prepared to take in the victims. There is the Chicoutimi CEGEP, the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, the Centre Georges-Vézina and the Pavillon de l’agriculture. I must also congratulate the City of Saguenay for promptly taking charge of the situation and providing services in such a short time. Officials were informed that they had to find 1,000 places for those affected by the disaster, and they found them in no time at all.


    In addition, we were able to count on invaluable partners, such as the Red Cross, which provided camp beds.
    Of course, I must mention the complete evacuation of Chibougamau the day before yesterday. Two fires in the area—one covering 50,000 hectares and the other 12,000 hectares—have forced the evacuation of thousands of residents. These fires are 20 kilometres from Chibougamau. Residents were told on Tuesday evening that they had just a few minutes to pack their bags and leave town. Some 7,500 residents had 15 minutes to leave for their temporary home in Roberval.
    I was in touch with the mayor of Roberval, Serge Bergeron, yesterday morning to get an update. I must say that the mayor is doing an extraordinary job and has the situation in hand. He mentioned that 450 evacuees are currently at the Benoît-Levesque arena. There are shuttle buses from the arena to various locations, such as pharmacies, so that people can access their medications. Even the grocery stores are doing their part. They are using delivery trucks to send food to shelters. The Bagotville base is also ready to welcome people. If Chapais has to be evacuated, the town of Saint‑Félicien will be ready. When I say that we stand together in Saguenay—Lac‑Saint‑Jean, it is because we have a reputation that is second to none.
    SOPFEU is doing everything in its power to stop the spread and save the town of Chibougamau. In partnership with Chantiers Chibougamau, SOPFEU is building a trench around the town to protect it as much as possible.
    I would be remiss if I failed to mention the situation in my riding, Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, and the exceptional work that has been done. Two fires were brought under control thanks to the great work of forest firefighters and SOPFEU. The first fire to break out in my constituency was in Ferland‑et‑Boilleau. As luck would have it, it started the day after celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the local forestry co-op. What a coincidence. This small municipality is surrounded by trees, which put the residents particularly at risk. In all, 40 homes had to be evacuated because the situation had become too dangerous. Families were left homeless for several days. It is all very stressful for parents and children.
    The second major fire took place in Rivière-Éternité, near the Montagne à Adrien, a few days ago. Once again, the forests in this small municipality fell prey to the flames. Approximately 30 residents were evacuated. Furthermore, Marie-Médiatrice elementary school had to close for a few days for safety reasons. Four water bombers and a number of forest firefighters battled the fire for several hours. The fire was on the side of the mountain, so it was hard to bring under control, but today the residents of these municipalities can rest easy.
    Fortunately, there has been no loss of life reported from the forest fires burning at the moment. That is due to the excellent work of the forest firefighters. I would like to commend them for their bravery and their extraordinary efforts. Of course I would also like to thank SOPFEU, whose mission is to protect the forest as well as infrastructure. I would also like to once again thank all the personnel who provide assistance to disaster victims and ensure that citizens feel safe, despite the conditions. I want to thank the volunteers and civil authorities who are coordinating the effort, as well as police officers and forestry workers. They are essential and indispensable in these times of crisis.
    Not only do fires devastate the vegetation and the wildlife, but they also mess up the air. Air quality in much of the province will be affected. Many schools are having to close their doors, because the situation is critical.
    I want to remind the House and Canadians across the country how important it is to refrain from going into the woods unnecessarily. Everyone needs to remain aware of the danger, and pull together in tough times like these.


    Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord talked about the people who are currently giving it their all for the Saguenay—Lac‑Saint‑Jean region and the fact that people are tightly knit over there. That is indeed the case.
    As members know, there are two kinds of people: those who are not willing to pay the price, as my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord would say, but also those who dedicate themselves. I would like to thank him for his speech and for pointing out that people help each other a great deal in the Saguenay, Lac‑Saint‑Jean and Abitibi regions.
    Perhaps there is one part of the Bloc Québécois's motion, however, that he did not talk about. I would like to know whether he thinks we should stop all subsidies to the oil and gas industry, just as we in the Bloc are calling for. I think that climate change is currently caused by the largest polluters in the world, which Canada is subsidizing with the taxes of our fellow citizens. At some point, we have to ask ourselves where we are going with this situation.
    I would therefore like to thank him for pointing out that we are helping each other, but I would also like him to comment on the fact that we are subsidizing oil and gas companies, which are responsible for climate change in particular.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Lac‑Saint‑Jean.
    I think now is the time for solidarity. We have to be very careful, we have to make sure that people are safe, but also, and this is what we will be looking at later, whether the resources and equipment are adequate when situations like the one we are experiencing now arise, and whether the staff and firefighters have all the necessary resources.
    Once again, I would like to thank my colleague from Lac‑Saint‑Jean, and I am sure that he will also be working hard in his riding in the coming weeks.


    Mr. Speaker, I just came from a meeting with the company that invented and makes the buckets that helicopters use to fight forest fires around the world. Armed forces around the world use these buckets to fight forest fires in their countries, and the Royal Canadian Air Force is one of the few that does not.
    In the face of a fire season like this, would it not be a good idea to have a dedicated air squadron of bombers and helicopters to help provinces across this country, or at the very least train and equip the air force with Bambi buckets, to really hit these fires hard and early so they do not explode into the catastrophic situations we have seen so much over the last weeks?


    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague because that is a very good question.
    We know assessments will also be carried out after these events. Since I do not think this will be the last time we will face these kinds of forest fires, sadly, we will really have to make sure the equipment is up to par and that we have the proper airplanes and trained personnel, but we also need to know what the Canadian army can do in the future.
    It is a good question, and it would also be a good thing to think about. Since these are major events, we will have to put politics aside, pull together and have productive discussions later on.
    Mr. Speaker, I first want to thank my hon. colleague for recognizing the efforts made by the Bagotville military base to help during this crisis.
    I have a question for him. Can the federal government do something else to help his region?


    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    We can definitely always do more. The federal government must have a good relationship with Quebec, serve Quebec and ask what it needs. I say that because these forest fires are also happening in Quebec. The federal government must listen and do everything it can to provide what Quebec needs.
    I think that is a very good question, and that we again need team work and co-operation. It is in times like these that we need to feel that everyone is on the same page.


    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.
    I will take a moment to paint a picture of what we are up against. Often when there are problems around the world and around our country, it is hard to imagine what it is like unless we experience it ourselves. What we saw over the past couple of days in Ottawa was a little glimpse into the reality of thousands of Canadians, particularly those in indigenous communities, who were among the hardest hit. Here in Ottawa, for the first time in anyone's memory, the forest fires were so bad in the surrounding regions that the smog was covering the city of Gatineau when we looked over the river. The air was filled with smoke. Yesterday, it was so bad that we could smell the smoke in these chambers. People were told not to go outside. Children were at risk if they were outside, and people with young children were particularly worried. I have a young daughter who looks forward to going outside. She was staring out the window, but we told her that we could not go outside that day.
    In reality, this is just a glimpse of what so many communities face every forest fire season, and we got a bit of what that is like in Ottawa. We saw the sky obscured with smoke, and it was difficult to breathe. People's eyes were stinging and they were coughing. This is a small example of the reality for so many people and the reality of the climate crisis.
    In a crisis like this, where we cannot even breathe the air and eyes are stinging, when we cannot see the sun and cities are clouded in smog, the reality is that it is clearly 100% the result of a hotter and drier climate. This means earlier forest fire seasons, and longer and hotter seasons. We are seeing a clear trend in the face of what is clearly the result of a climate crisis, which is exacerbating an existing problem and making it a lot worse. However, in the face of this, we have the Conservatives who cannot even agree whether or not there is a climate crisis at all. They cannot even come to an agreement that it is actually a problem. Then we have a Liberal government that continues to talk a lot about the problem, but does nothing really concrete that meets the urgency of what we are up against. What we are up against is urgent, with people evacuating their homes or stranded across our country. Our country is really burning.
    We have massive numbers of forest fires that are uncontrollable, and we have communities hit that have never been hit before. In the Atlantic region, I spoke with the mayor of Halifax, and he said that this is the first time he recalls forest fires within the municipality of Halifax. The Atlantic region is a very rainy region pretty much year-round except maybe for part of the summer. It is a very rainy region, and for there to be forest fires close to or in the municipality of Halifax is not normal. Also, we have forest fires early in the season. Summer has not even officially begun, and we are dealing with what looks like a horrific record-breaking year of forest fires.
    However, it is not just the Atlantic region, not just here in Ontario and not just in Quebec, but across the prairies, northern communities and in the west that we are seeing forest fires raging, and there are a lot of people wondering what our leaders are doing. While the country is burning, what are parliamentarians talking about? Are they taking this seriously? Are they taking steps? Sadly, the answer is no, they are not taking this seriously. The government of the day and the official opposition both are still trying to figure out if they can just talk about it, if that is good enough, or try to argue that it does not exist. Neither approach is going to deal with this problem.
    What we are proposing is a two-pronged approach. First of all, we know that we have to do more to protect our planet. We have to reduce emissions. We have to fight the climate crisis, because it is absolutely contributing to worsening conditions for forest fires. There is no doubt about that; the science is clear. On top of that, we need a better approach to firefighting. My colleague just shared some ideas about what we could be doing. However, we need a national response that acknowledges that forest fires have become so severe that every year we call for support from around the world, and provinces call on neighbouring provinces and others in the country to send in supports.
    Our firefighters are incredible, and they do an incredible job. I want to acknowledge them and our first responders. However, they are tasked with an impossible job. How can they contain what is becoming worse and worse every year, when they need to rely upon so many other supports, and when international firefighters have to come?


    New Democrats are calling for a better approach at the national level. We need to train up a national firefighting force that has the training and the equipment to deal with what has now become more of a reality. We know with forest fires, they literally only take a matter of days to spread. If we can catch a forest fire early and respond with enough vigour and a strong enough response, we can contain it early, but if we miss the opportunity and that window, the forest fire becomes uncontrollable.
    We need a better approach. We need better forest management, we need a national team of firefighters who are properly trained and we need to make sure we have the equipment necessary. Sadly, many of our communities are fighting forest fires with inadequate, outdated equipment that is not up to the task. They are still doing a heroic job, but we have to make sure that we are better prepared.
    New Democrats are calling for a national investment in an approach to forest management, having a team that is trained, prepared and equipped to deal with forest fires so they do not have to rely on international volunteers and communities giving us their support and so that provinces do not have to scrounge to find ways to deal with this. We need a national team that is prepared to do this work.


    I also want to talk about what is happening in Quebec. In Chibougamau, the mayor had to ask people to leave with as few belongings as possible. She even recommended leaving pets behind. People across the country are afraid, and rightly so.
    However, the current problem with the climate crisis is that, on one hand, we have the Conservative Party and its leader who do not believe in climate change, and on the other, we have the Liberals who talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. They are not doing what is necessary to win this fight. The government has always alternated between these two parties.
    I simply do not accept that this is the best we can do. Once again, the Liberals acted too slowly, which, as I said earlier, is inexcusable in the case of wildfires. This is frustrating because, every year, the number of wildfires increases and the Liberals learn nothing from it.
    The federal government does not always have to wait for a crisis to occur before it takes action. The government has a vital role to play when it comes to prevention, preparation and protection. Rather than subsidizing big oil and spending $30 billion on a pipeline, the Liberals could invest to strengthen preventive measures and expand the national Firesmart program. They could train, equip and assign more initial fire control teams to deal with fires before they get bigger; stockpile emergency firefighting equipment, including planes; develop a process to deliver additional resources to high-risk wildfire areas before fires break out; renew the existing fleet of air tankers, many of which are 30 years old; and modernize and repair the infrastructure to support those aircraft.
    There are solutions. The government just needs to have the will and the courage to take action.


    It is clear that we have solutions. We know it needs to be done. It is really a question of whether or not the government is prepared to do what is necessary. We cannot continually be in the cycle of just responding to a crisis. It is not good enough to say that we stand with communities when we could have prevented the worst from happening. The federal government has an important and vital role to play. It is too often that a crisis happens, we are scrambling to respond and communities are left devastated.
    Let us take this crisis seriously, let us respond to the climate crisis with the seriousness and urgency that it requires and let us invest in a better national approach to deal with forest fires.


    Mr. Speaker, I take some exception to the leader of the NDP saying that members of this House are not taking this seriously.
    A month ago, I was on the front lines and visited the government operations centre for the fires around Parkland County. I know the member for South Shore—St. Margarets just came from the front lines in Nova Scotia and the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord came from the front lines in Quebec.
    Can the leader of the NDP tell us whether he has visited any of these wildfire sites and, if so, what were his experiences on the front line?
    Mr. Speaker, we had an emergency debate on the forest fires given how serious they are. In that emergency debate, not a single member of Parliament in the Conservative Party from Alberta showed up despite how serious the matter was.
    We have a point of order from the hon. member for Calgary Centre.
    Mr. Speaker, I raised this with one of his colleagues as well. I would ask for a retraction of that statement, because I was in this House well into the debate.
    I want to remember members not to note whether people are in the chamber or not. We need to be careful of that.
    The hon. member for Burnaby South.
    Mr. Speaker, I should clarify. One member of the Conservative Party from Alberta was there. I retract saying that no one was there. There was one person there out of many Alberta MPs.
    The matter is serious—
    I just want to remind folks again that we cannot say who is here and who is not here, now or in the past.
    The hon. member for Burnaby South.
    Mr. Speaker, it is serious that we are still faced with a Conservative Party that does not accept that a hotter and drier climate is directly contributing to worsening forest fires. We have to tackle the climate crisis if we truly want to make sure communities are safe. The Conservatives are still struggling to understand that concept.
    The Liberals talk about that and have the power to actually do things but are not doing them. They have the power to make things better, the power to end fossil fuel subsidies, invest in clean energy and reduce emissions, but they are not doing that.
    On top of that, we have the power to have a national response with proper funding and training to equip a national forest firefighting team and that is not being done. That is what we are up against.
    Madam Speaker, I am a fan of podcasts and one of them is a Canadian podcast called The Hurly Burly Shakespeare Show! A few months ago, the guest on the show was a so-called well-known NDP adviser to both the federal and provincial NDP. The first question the host asked was, “What do you think the Liberal government will be remembered for?” The famous NDP adviser to the federal NDP and many provincial NDP parties said that it will be remembered as the first government in Canada to take climate change seriously.
    I would ask the member to comment on that.
    Madam Speaker, sadly, as I mentioned, the only two parties that have been in power in Canada have been Conservative and Liberal. The bar has been set very low for the Liberal government to be the government that has done the most. That is not a compliment to the government.
    It is a testament to how poorly governments in the past have responded that the government's inaction and lack of real urgency are considered the most aggressive approach to the climate crisis. That is a sad state of affairs. That is a sad testament to where we are. We have to do a lot better.
    As I said in my speech, this cannot be the best that our country can do. The inaction from the Liberals and disbelief from the Conservatives that we even have a climate crisis cannot be the best that our country has to offer. I believe we can do a lot more and we need to do a lot more.



    Madam Speaker, in budget 2023, the Liberal government promised to invest $80 billion to prevent global warming, but that funding is available to the oil and gas industry. I would like to know how my colleague feels about that. Where does he think we should urgently invest those funds?
    Madam Speaker, I do not agree with the Liberal government giving billions of dollars to oil companies that have made huge profits, record profits, in fact.
    We must force the government to invest more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We must invest more money to encourage clean energy and invest in businesses that are tackling the climate crisis. We must not give money to oil companies that are making record profits. We must force the government to do what is necessary.
    Madam Speaker, I think it is very important to rise in the House to speak on this extremely important issue. I have the pleasure of following the leader of the NDP, who gave a truly inspiring and highly informative speech. I think that it should be shared with all parliamentarians and all Canadians and Quebeckers as well.
    We are currently seeing, experiencing and feeling the impact of the climate crisis and climate disruption. For days, the country has literally been on fire. We can smell it. This week, the air in Ottawa smelled like smoke, like a campfire. The impact of the wildfires burning in the Prairies, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec has major repercussions on our communities and our societies.
    In Quebec, nothing like this has ever been seen before. Yesterday, there were 140 out-of-control fires. People on the north shore and in Abitibi had to be evacuated. Entire cities, including Chibougamau, are at risk. Tens of thousands of Quebeckers are being forced to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere because the planet is literally burning. It is no longer happening in Australia, Siberia or somewhere else in the world. It is happening here, in our own backyard.
    People are seeing the real effects of climate disruption. They are seeing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions being so high that some areas get too hot, while others get colder, and that some areas get a lot of rain, causing flooding, while others do not get enough, causing drought. This climate disruption has an impact on our ecosystems and living environments and on people everywhere.
    With the smog in Montreal and the smoke in Ottawa, people in frail health, seniors and people with respiratory conditions like asthma are suffering right now, and they will keep suffering in the years to come because it is not over.
    Unfortunately, it is not over because previous governments, both Conservative and Liberal, did not do what needed to be done to significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. That is why, today, Canada is lagging way behind the international community, at the back of the pack in terms of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. We are not an example of what the rest of the world should do. Instead, we are an example of what not to do.
    Obviously, we cannot say that a particular forest fire is directly attributable to climate change or climate disruption. For years, however, the IPCC, the UN and all the scientists have been telling us that disasters such as forest fires, floods and droughts will become more frequent. There will be more and more of them, and each event will be more serious. We can therefore conclude that forest fires growing in number and intensity are a direct result of climate change. All the scientific reports and all the IPCC reports have been telling us for years that this is what is coming, that it will happen and that we have to prepare for it or change how we do things.
    Unfortunately, we did not change how we do things. We still act according to the old economic model of natural resource extraction and pollution. Canada has been doing this for years and has not changed.
     Canada ranks 39th in the world in terms of population. Of course, there are China, India and the United States. However, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, we find ourselves in the top 10. We are the 10th-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, when we are 39th in terms of population. I realize that it is cold and that we have to keep warm. Everyone agrees on that. However, we are not the only northern country. Scandinavian countries are also in the north and need to keep warm, but they are not in the same ranking.
    There is the Paris agreement; we can hope, but I do not think we will get there. In order to limit global warming to 1.5°, every human being on the planet would need to emit an average of two tonnes of GHGs per year.


    Right how, the average Canadian emits 17.5 tonnes of greenhouse gases, when the goal is to reach two tonnes. So when people tell us that Canada is not an important player, that things are not so bad, that we should wait for China and the United States to act, I say no. We have a collective responsibility as Quebeckers and as Canadians because we are major emitters of greenhouse gases. This is due in part to our lifestyles. We buy very heavy cars that consume a lot, even for electric cars. Indeed, due to the materials needed to manufacture an electric car that weighs 2,000 kilograms, we still emit a lot of greenhouse gases.
    In addition, Canada is an oil and gas producing country and the Liberal government uses public funds to encourage, subsidize and pay for increased oil and gas production. That is entirely inconsistent with the Paris agreement, which Canada signed and agreed to. At some point, there must be consistency in our actions.
    The official opposition tells us that climate change happens, that the climate changes all the time regardless, and that production must be increased. The Conservatives tell us that it is enough to reduce the carbon intensity per barrel of oil. The Conservatives' plan for years has been to reduce the intensity per barrel of oil.
    It is like telling a smoker that the amount of tar in each cigarette will be cut in half so they will have less impact on their lungs. That is great news, but if they smoke two packs a day instead of one, that will have no impact. There will be just as much tar in their lungs before and after. Still, that is the Conservatives' plan. They advocate the use of technology so that each barrel of oil is a little bit cleaner, but two or three times more will be produced. The result is the same; absolutely nothing changes.
    For their part, the Liberals say that we really need to reduce pollution. They believe that putting a price on carbon will solve the problem. It is all well and good to put a price on pollution and a price on carbon. However, if, at the same time, we buy the Trans Mountain pipeline, which is a bottomless financial pit, with tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money, pretty words and a carbon tax will not change much. If the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, who was previously an environmentalist and an activist, signs a ministerial order to approve the Bay du Nord project, to approve a new operation that will produce billions of barrels of oil near Newfoundland, the carbon tax will not change a thing. At the same time, we are doing something completely contradictory that does the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.
    In an article published in La Presse, Patrick Lagacé tells us about the Bay du Nord project, which the Minister of the Environment has authorized. If we took 100,000 motorists and put them on bicycles tomorrow morning, that would not be enough to offset the environmental impact of the Bay du Nord project. The project was postponed for three years, which was not the Liberals' decision. However, the Liberals authorized the project, which will still begin later.
    In addition, the government is subsidizing oil and gas companies time and again, which fully contradicts our international commitments and the urgency of the situation. I repeat, the urgency of the situation is staring us right in the face. It is before our eyes, in our mouths, in our noses and in our lungs. Today, people must take their suitcases and leave their villages to flee forest fires, while the Liberal government is not doing enough to fight climate change and is being completely inconsistent.
     I had the opportunity to represent the NDP at two COPs, the international climate change summits. During the last COP in Egypt, the Liberal government invited oil companies to join Canada's pavilion to talk about climate change. That is where the Liberals are today. They must take responsibility for their decisions.



    Madam Speaker, to have these conversations, we need to find common ground and we need to deal in facts. For example, I find common ground with NDP members when they talk about not subsidizing the fossil fuel industry. I think perhaps we need to more aggressively implement those reductions. I also think we have to accept the facts, and some of the facts the NDP is presenting are slightly misleading. The reality is that GHG emissions in Canada went down by 9% between 2019 and 2021. That is second best in the G7. It also happened, and this is very important, while our economy continued to grow, as we may get comments that there was a pandemic at that time.
    I am wondering if the member would like to reflect on the fact that we are making serious moves forward. Our GHG emissions have gone down, and we have been second best in the G7 over the last two years despite our economic growth.


    Madam Speaker, it is pretty funny to hear the Liberals tell us that greenhouse gas emissions went down in 2020-21. Something happened during that time: the COVID-19 pandemic. The economy slowed down to roughly zero. Of course greenhouse gas emissions went down. There was no economic activity.
    Now that the pandemic is over and economic activity has resumed, greenhouse gas emissions have increased. That is what needs to be said, contrary to what my Liberal colleague is saying.


    I am hearing members who are trying to continue to participate even though they were not recognized. I would ask them to wait to be recognized.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I addressed that fallacy in my question.
    That is debate, not a point of order.


    The hon. member for Drummond.
    Madam Speaker, it is unbelievable. I was sitting pretty close to the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, but I could barely hear what he was saying because the other member was shouting so much. That being said, let us move on to more serious matters.
    I very much appreciate the NDP's position on today's motion. Its approach to the climate emergency is quite similar to the Bloc's. I am pleased to see that we have common ground. However, the NDP is supporting the government's budget, which commits billions of dollars to the oil industry.
    I understand that the NDP is getting something out of it, including dental care, and they are very proud of that, but is that not a high price to pay to support a budget that once again allocates billions of dollars to this industry we are denouncing today?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Drummond for his extremely relevant question.
    The NDP is indeed proud to have secured gains that will benefit Quebeckers, such as dental care for seniors and teenagers and housing for indigenous communities. We are making progress on these fronts, but we are also continuing to put pressure on the Liberal government and to condemn oil subsidies. Under the agreement that we negotiated, we will be able to reduce oil subsidies and invest in renewable energy. The two are not mutually exclusive. We do not necessarily want to trigger an election, because we have achieved real gains for people. However, at the same time, we are able to criticize the government and ask it to do more on climate change and to invest in renewable energy.


    Madam Speaker, I enjoyed listening to my colleague. Like him, we recognize that climate change is real and that action is needed. Humans played a role in creating climate change, and so we have a role to play in turning the situation around. Everyone agrees that we need to reduce pollution. The path that these people are taking is different from ours. I respect it, but it is different.
    The government has been in power for eight years, and it wants to increase the carbon tax. We have to wonder whether this will produce any real results. According to an analysis by UN scientists at COP27, Canada ranks 58th out of 63 countries when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    Why continue down this path that does not take us to the top, but instead places Canada among those countries at the bottom?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    It is quite true that Canada, under the Liberals, ranks 58th out of 63 countries when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I agree with him that this is an admission of failure.
    However, we cannot blame this solely on the carbon tax or the price on pollution. It is a good tool, a market-based tool, that provides incentives to pollute less. When it is the only tool we have and we do things that are inconsistent and contradictory, we end up with a failure and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The problem is that I still do not see what the Conservative Party's plan is for achieving better results.
    Madam Speaker, first of all, I must say that, for the past week, my thoughts have mainly been with Quebeckers and all the communities in Canada that are suffering due to the forest fires. I would also like to highlight the poise, courage and invaluable work of all the firefighters battling the forest fires in Quebec and all those who have come to lend them a hand to get through this ordeal.
    However, we cannot say we are surprised by what is happening. Climate events are increasing in frequency and intensity, confirming the forecasts published by experts from all over the world. We need only think of the historic floods in Quebec, mainly in the Lanaudière and Charlevoix regions, the ice storm a few weeks ago, the repeated heat waves, such as the ones that left 60 people dead in Montreal in 2018, or the violent storms that hit Ontario and Quebec a year ago, killing nine. There is a long list of examples, but I want to use my time to also talk about the cost of climate inaction.
    The economic and human costs are closely intertwined. According to the Canadian Climate Institute, climate impacts will be slowing Canada's economic growth by $25 billion by 2025. It is almost 2025 now. One of the researchers, Mr. Bourque, said that it is really the public who will pay the highest price and that they will be hit from different sides, either by higher insurance premiums or by direct costs that are not covered.
    Extreme weather events have high economic costs. In Fort McMurray in 2016, they cost $3.8 billion. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, in 2022, these costs reached $3.2 billion in Canada. Worldwide, in 2022, the cost was $275 billion. What will the current fires cost? More important, however, are the direct effects on people's lives. People who are currently affected will find shelter and refuge, but when they go home, heartbroken, what will they find? Some have also lost their jobs. With the EI system on its last legs, what will happen to those who lose their jobs because outfitters are burning down?
    Severe weather also affects mental and physical health. The World Health Organization says that climate change is the greatest threat to health in the 21st century. It is not the first time that I have said this here in the House. On several occasions, I have presented the House with Canadian statistics on the economic impact of health problems caused by air pollution. This week, we are breathing air as bad as the air in cities like Jakarta and Mexico City, and there are not tens of millions of people here.
    The health effects of climate change include increased rates of cardiovascular, lung and kidney disease, as well as increased cancer rates. Research has found causal links with the deterioration of the environment: contaminated water, air pollution, soil contaminated with toxic substances, all against the backdrop of constantly rising mercury levels. This amounts to a cost of $34 billion per year for the health care system.
    It would be a mistake to think that the problems affecting people on the other side of the globe have little or no impact on us. Let us not forget the forest fires in Australia a few years ago. According to a study that was published in the May issue of Sciences Advances, the smoke from those fires may have even changed weather patterns. What happens at one end of the globe affects everyone.
     Here is another example. This week, the UN informed us that the warming of the oceans is causing unparalleled cascading effects, including ice melting, sea level rise, marine heat waves and ocean acidification. The ocean's capacity to absorb CO2 is also diminishing. This shows that there is a connection between extreme weather events in the world and the global weather system, regardless of where the initial trigger event occurred.
    The government needs to do more. That was well put, was it not? It shows decorum. However, what I would really rather say is that the government needs to get its head out of the sand and stop making matters worse. It is as though we are standing on the side of the highway and we see a big tractor trailer heading our way at full speed and we just stand there. The truck drives past, the wind from it pushes us back and we fall and hurt ourselves. I think that metaphor accurately describes the government and Canada as a whole.


    If we are to be proactive with respect to extreme weather, we have to call a spade a spade. We must stop downplaying the dangers and the impacts of the climate emergency. What is the government doing in response to this challenge? It is continuing to subsidize the oil and gas industry. That is what it is doing.
    I will give two examples. I talked about this at the beginning of the week and I am talking about it again today. Billions of dollars have been invested in the Trans Mountain pipeline and its expansion. Costs have skyrocketed, going from $7.5 billion to $30.9 billion, even though the Minister of Finance promised not to inject public money. No, she is using the Canada account instead, but that comes from taxpayers.
    A few years ago, the Prime Minister proudly said that the profits from the TMX project would be invested in the fight against climate change. We knew that there would be no profits, and today, it has been confirmed. Trans Mountain is the costly crowning touch to the Liberals' failure to fight climate change.
    Another example of subsidies is found in budget 2023. Subsidies, or tax credits, which are the same thing, are being provided for false solutions such as carbon capture and storage and blue hydrogen produced from natural gas, which is a fossil fuel. These are fossil fuel subsidies by another name. We must call a spade a spade.
    The government has powerful mechanisms at its disposal. It has legislation, which is binding. It can provide disincentives in the form of taxes. It can also provide incentives in the form of subsidies.
    Canada will pay a heavy price for believing that subsidizing the industry that is fuelling the climate crisis is the right path to take. The federal government is not focusing enough attention on the green technologies that are ready to be deployed to support an energy transition guided by renewable energy. People we meet with have told us that they do not have access to the Canada growth fund.
    There is no ambiguity on what constitutes renewable energy, right? However, the government seems to be a bit confused about this, even though it is easy to understand. Let me explain it again: The incentive has to be tied to solutions to the problem, not to funding the problem.
    The hydrogen tax credit should be available only for clean hydrogen. The allegedly miraculous technology of carbon capture and storage makes me laugh. It is rather pathetic. Th oil industry has infected governments and earns obscene profits, yet it is looking for a handout for technology to optimize its production. Come on. It could take care of that itself. The industry has known for 60 years how much CO2 it was going to generate.
    However, the industry understands all too well how things work. It is adapting its government and corporate relations in light of global net zero targets, with the aim of taking full advantage of energy transition subsidies. The industry is very savvy.
    The government gets to keep its hands clean. It has given the industry permission to export its infernal reserves of fossil fuels. Carbon capture and storage technologies are very popular with the government, but they only serve to scrape to the very bottom of the deposits. Believing that this can save anything is a pipe dream of the saddest sort. Manipulating citizens by presenting false solutions is dishonest and dangerous. These technologies are immature, expensive, energy-intensive and ineffective. That is the admission of a government that consents to maintaining the dependence on fossil fuels it has created with taxpayer money. Moving to carbon capture and storage only proves the government's submissiveness to the oil and gas lobbies.
    I have not even mentioned the drilling in a marine refuge off the eastern coast of Newfoundland. I do not have enough time to call out everything, so let me end on a more positive note.
    With today's motion, the Bloc Québécois is calling on all parliamentarians and the Government of Canada to change course. The investment approach currently being pursued is not working. We missed an opportunity in terms of the postpandemic economic recovery. Our climate targets are for 2030, seven years from now. It is time for a paradigm shift to trigger the real transition.


    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague and friend from Repentigny for her speech. She is an extraordinary activist.
    This is my first opportunity to speak this afternoon. I would like to thank the Bloc Québécois for raising this issue today. It is a good opportunity to have an important debate. I completely agree with the Bloc on this. The Green Party will obviously be voting in favour of the motion.
    I would like to briefly ask my colleague whether she agrees with the Green Party that the federal government needs to state very clearly today that it is not open to allowing new oil development projects anywhere in Canada.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague and friend from Saanich—Gulf Islands for her kind words, but I think she knows a lot more about it than me. She is a long-time activist.
    Like her and many others, we lament the fact that Canada is an oil-producing country. Sooner or later, it will have to take the leap, change direction and engage in a meaningful transition. I have lost track of the number of years we have been talking about a transition. It is time to stop talking and get started on the transition.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech.
    The reality is that we are seeing other countries make the energy transition. Canada has vast potential, whether in terms of solar energy or geothermal energy. At the same time, we know that the U.S. market is increasingly closed to fossil fuel exports. However, U.S. states and cities are becoming increasingly open to clean energy imports.
    The NDP considers it important to create an electrical grid like the one in Europe to facilitate clean energy exports. The member just discussed this topic very eloquently. Would she agree that upgrading the electrical grid is important to permit such exports?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. He seems very optimistic about what is happening in the United States. It could change completely, depending on who is elected next. I, for one, am not that optimistic.
    Now, there was a word missing from his question. He talked about electrifying transportation, but we need to talk about public transportation. That is what is important. That is what is lacking in this country. There is almost no public transport. I once came here by train from Vancouver, and we had to keep stopping to let the oil through. That is not public transportation. Frankly, it is a bit ridiculous. We need public transportation for people who have to travel, and we need to stop always thinking about oil. Of course products and goods have to get through, but it should not always be to the detriment of those who take public transportation.



    Madam Speaker, I asked a question earlier this morning to one of the Bloc members, and they had no idea of the bill I was speaking about, so hopefully they have had some time since then to research it a little. The bill I was speaking about is my private member's bill from the 42nd Parliament, Bill C-365, which sought to increase the recognition of the significance of theft and vandalism of firefighting equipment.
    The leadoff statement in the motion today is to show solidarity and express support for those affected by the forest fires. Why did the Bloc members, en masse, vote against the bill that would have seen increased recognition of theft and vandalism of firefighting equipment?


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I know that he asked the member for Beloeil—Chambly the same thing this morning, and that he could not remember it. Unfortunately, I have to say that I do not remember it either. However, when I listened to him this time, it made me question whether this is not something that falls under the jurisdiction of the provinces and Quebec.
    The issue of equipment and so on is a matter for Quebec and the provinces, is it not? I will leave it at that because I honestly cannot remember, and there are so many other things to talk about. I have no other answer for him.
    Madam Speaker, once upon a time in Abitibi and James Bay country, in my home, there were forest fires caused by climate change.
    I appreciate the opportunity to speak to my party's motion today. Under the circumstances, this is an important motion to debate. I will be talking about what people in Abitibi and James Bay are going through.
    The forest fires raging in Quebec are further proof that the federal government must stop subsidizing fossil fuels and accelerate the fight against climate change. In my riding, Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, as in many other parts of Canada, fires are raging, threatening many communities. Thousands of people have had to leave everything behind and evacuate immediately. All of these fires are affecting air quality, threatening infrastructure and undermining our collective efforts to fight climate change.
    The events of the past few days have made it clear that extreme weather events are a huge burden. They have shown us how high the human and economic cost can be. This situation forces us to rethink our climate change adaptation plans and redouble our efforts to prepare for the future and build a resilient society. We must scale up our efforts to adapt so we can help municipalities and the regions build resilience to natural disasters by creating an environmentally sustainable economic future.
    I do not want to rehash last Monday's emergency debate, but since I had to be in my constituency at the time, I did not have a chance to take part in it. I will therefore use some of my speaking time to provide an update on the current situation in my riding, Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou.
    The Abitibi and James Bay region is facing an extraordinarily difficult situation because of the forest fires. Thousands of hectares have burned and our forests are dying. People are confused about what to do. It is important to say that the situation is still very dangerous.
    Last week I went to Chapais, where the risk of fire was high. The situation has since improved. The next day, the risk was high in Lebel-sur-Quévillon, where the Nordic Kraft pulp and paper mill is located. There could have been a very serious explosion, because of all the chemicals in the plant. The entire town of Lebel-sur-Quévillon had to be evacuated. In just a few hours' time, 2,500 people were evacuated to Senneterre and Val-d'Or. We can imagine the consequences.
    People have to leave their homes in a hurry, and sometimes they even have to leave their animals behind, because they do not have time to pack up everything they need, given the stress that they are under. These people need support. They are not always able to assess what is going on, because right now the situation is worsening, not by the hour, but by the minute.
    It is important for me to say that my heart goes out to all those affected by this situation. It is very difficult. It is a matter of survival.
    It is also important to stress that people need to stay out of the forest. They need to avoid travelling and discarding cigarette butts, or driving around in all-terrain vehicles just because they are on vacation.
    We know that outfitters are suffering at this time. I was there with the people of Lebel-sur-Quévillon. It is my hometown, the place where I grew up and spent my youth. When people found out that they had to evacuate, they were stunned, but they had to act quickly.
     I commend the mayors who are having to evacuate with their people. I commend all the municipalities that are taking in those who are affected. I am referring to Senneterre, Val-d'Or, and Roberval. In Chibougamau, 7,500 people had to be moved because the road between Senneterre and Chapais was impassable. Quick action was needed in such conditions.
    Simply put, my riding is the largest in Quebec, and it is on fire. The towns are completely surrounded by fire. Val-Paradis is a northern Quebec village in my riding, not far from La Sarre. This village also had to be evacuated. I would like to thank La Sarre for taking in the people of that community. We always thank those who help out. We are short of firefighters, but help is on the way. We would also like to thank everyone and all the families who are providing support and taking in the disaster victims.


    As I said, I was right there on the ground. I came here because as a parliamentarian, it is important for me to inform members of what we are going through right now because of climate change. With the fires that are raging right now, my region is absolutely feeling the effects of climate change. I am here not so much to talk about examples as to talk about the reality.
    Right now, in my riding, just in the Chibougamau area, 78,000 hectares of forest have burned. In the Senneterre area, 132,000 hectares have burned. Let us imagine that forest. In terms of distance, it takes five hours to reach Val-d'Or from Ottawa. It takes four hours to go from Val-d'Or to Chibougamau. Let us imagine the immense forest surrounding our cities, the beauty we had that is no more.
    We are also talking about businesses that are barely hanging on. We are talking about people who are concerned and wondering whether there will be work. We are talking about miners and forestry workers. Take, for example, Chantiers Chibougamau, which responded to the concerns of Lebel‑sur‑Quévillon and worked hard to dig a trench so that the fire would not spread to the factory or the town.
    There has been a lot of collaboration. About 30 indigenous people from the Anishnabe Nation of Lac Simon and the Pikogan community are going to work as volunteer firefighters to support us. It is important to mention that.
    I am also talking about communities. For example, the community of Lac Simon had to be evacuated to Val‑d'Or. Many of those people have pets. The SPCA took care of those animals. Volunteers went to care for the animals and get them out. When times get tough, it affects everyone. It affects individuals, families, the municipality and the general public, because people are worried. There are also major wildfires in Alberta. My son lives in Edmonton and I must say I was very worried about him.
    What are we doing as parliamentarians? What we should do is protect our environment. We cannot wait until it is too late. Unfortunately, we may be at that point. We must work together. It is not about pointing fingers. We must work together and make progress on environmental issues. Earlier, my colleague mentioned a few aspects that we need to develop together. We must stop talking and take action.
    Climate change is exacerbating the conditions that lead to fires, such as drought, wind and lightning. All this also results in other extreme weather events such as landslides and flooding.
    I will take this opportunity to express many thanks to all the mayors in my riding; I cannot say it enough. I have been in touch with these very competent people. All the crisis welcome centres in my riding are efficient and effective. With everything we are going through right now, I take my hat off to them and I congratulate them all.
    However, I am no fool. I know that all the fires currently raging in our forests are not just the government's fault. I know that not all wildfires are caused by climate change, but are also a natural part of the forest life cycle. Still, it seems cynical for the Liberal government to be claiming, since it was first elected in 2015, that it believes in a climate emergency and is participating in the global effort to fight climate change. The truth is that, since 2015, it has been spending billions of taxpayer dollars to keep Canada's oil and gas industry on life support, including Canada's tar sands, the source of the dirtiest oil in the world. The government has gone off track.
    The Bloc Québécois is asking parliamentarians and the government to stop investing in fossil fuels and, instead, to introduce incentives that encourage the use of renewable energy.
    In closing, I would like to say a last word about my riding. I want to underscore the monumental efforts being made by the people working on the ground as we speak, including firefighters, volunteer organizations and everyone associated with them. Once again, I commend them.


    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her speech on this important subject.


    My heart is with all those who are having to evacuate and for what they are going through. These events are deeply traumatizing. We need to think about the supports that will be necessary in the days, the months and the years ahead. I do not want this to be our new normal. I do not want my kids to not be able to have clean air to breathe or to be anxious about what crisis or disaster our communities will face next.
    What are the mental health impacts of the climate crisis? What supports are we going to need, moving forward, to ensure we have these resilient communities?


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
    The important thing is to get support from social services. I neglected to thank the integrated health and social services centres, including the one in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and the Baie‑James regional health and social services centre. These organizations support the community.
    As members know, the Baie‑James regional centre is normally headquartered in Chibougamau, which has been evacuated. Services are now being provided from Roberval. The fact is that, when it comes to social and mental health services, support is very important. There is a “during” and an “after”. We have to be there to support these people.
    I am calling on the government to help Quebec by providing the necessary transfers so that we can support our communities. We need it. Today it is us, but tomorrow it will be others.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech, and I thank her party for choosing to debate this motion today. It is especially timely now, with forest fires raging across the country.
    Last year, the Liberals gave big oil $20 billion in subsidies.
    Does the member have any suggestions for climate solutions that we could invest in, instead of doling out public money to oil companies?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her support.
    It is important to mention that we have to stop investing in oil companies. The Conservative Party often spreads false information.
    At present, the issue is not to act on the basis of false information. We need to spread real information, because we need to take action on climate change right now. That is the important part. The government must take the proper measures, which have to be clear and specific.


    Madam Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to my colleague from Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou. She represents a riding next to mine, and we have a lot of relationships in common. My riding shares a very long border with hers.
    Over the past few days, people in my region have been anxious, particularly because of the air quality. The fires were more prevalent in her riding, but she was on the ground on Thursday, and she went to meet the communities, which are several hours apart. Last night, we did not know whether it would be possible to cross the La Vérendrye wildlife reserve, and the day before, we learned that the town of Chibougamau, with a population of 10,000, had been evacuated. That had a huge impact.
    As my colleague from Saint‑Hyacinthe—Bagot likes to say, managing this crisis is like building a plane while flying it. That is why co-operation and communication are so important.
    I would like to pay tribute to my colleague, who has been on the ground, who has demonstrated solidarity, who has shared information with people and who is reinforcing the already very strong social fabric of Abitibi—Témiscamingue and northern Quebec.
    I encourage her to keep up the good work.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague.
    It is true that we often collaborate. It is important to say that we are talking about this because our colleagues and our leader support us. I also have to say that the Deputy Prime Minister has reached out to me. The government is supporting us too, and I am grateful for that support. It is important to say these things, but we have to take action. I cannot say it enough: What we are going through right now with these fires is a huge deal.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to indicate that I will be sharing my time with the member for Mississauga—Erin Mills.
    I will begin by acknowledging that this Parliament is located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people.
    I appreciate the fact that we are debating this today.
    By their very nature, forest fires strike swiftly and without warning. Tens of thousands of families in Canada have experienced that this week. Few things are as terrifying as forest fires. As so many Canadians and communities can attest, few things have such devastating consequences.
    Over the past few weeks, we have seen videos of families fleeing through smoke from flames encircling their vehicles. It is horrifying. They had nothing but the clothes on their backs. Houses were reduced to ashes. Cars, trucks and forests were incinerated. Smoke blanketed cities hundreds of kilometres away.
    In Canada, there have been more than 2,293 forest fires since the beginning of the year. These fires have ravaged more than 3.8 million hectares and forced thousands of Canadians to flee their homes. More than 20,183 people are still under evacuation orders. This week, we were all shocked to experience the unprecedented thick haze here in Ottawa due to the nearby fires.
     In Alberta alone, more than one million hectares have burned, making this the second-worst wildfire season on record. It is only early June, and the hottest and driest period of the year is still to come. The situation in Nova Scotia is also unprecedented. The province has already been hit by more forest fires this year than in all of 2022. The fire in Shelburne County is the largest ever recorded in the province. In Quebec, fires are estimated to have destroyed more of the province's forests in the past four days than in the past 10 years combined.
    We are pleased to see that the immediate danger has somewhat subsided in certain areas, but there are still 239 out-of-control or uncontrolled fires across the country. The numbers change by the hour.
    Environment and Climate Change Canada also issued special weather advisories in parts of the country, including the national capital region, to warn the public about the risks of wildfire smoke. People with lung disease such as asthma or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk.
    The situation is unprecedented. Emergency responders from across the country are pitching in. I know that all members will join me in expressing my gratitude and admiration for the unwavering efforts of the firefighters and public safety personnel who continue to toil 24 hours a day to keep our citizens safe. International assistance has come to us from our partners in the United States, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and more help is on the way from our allies, including France.
    In particular, I want to thank all those who took the time to help their neighbours. A lot of people have offered their help to others. I had the opportunity to visit northern Ontario, Quebec and a lot of other places in the past few days, and I can say that it is necessary, it is paramount, for neighbours to help each other. I am proud to see that in Canada, when people need help evacuating their families, their neighbours answer the call. I am proud to see that in Canada, when a province needs help, its neighbours answer the call by providing the personnel and resources to help fight the fires.
    Over the past few weeks, I have met with representatives of search and rescue organizations in Sault‑Saint‑Marie and Pointe‑Claire. I had meetings in emergency operations centres in Thunder Bay and Quebec City, in addition to meeting with representatives of the Salvation Army in Montreal.


    Those organizations exist to support efforts on the ground at times like these. I can say that the people who sustain those organizations are the embodiment of Canadian solidarity. Canadians can rest assured that the Government of Canada is ready to support any province or territory that requests assistance.
    My riding, Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation, has suffered the impacts of flooding, and we have seen the solidarity of the volunteer groups that have rallied together. I would like to thank everyone who has helped out, including the organizations, the businesses that supplied equipment and all those who came together, including the municipalities that set up service centres.
    We have supported the provinces by sending nearly 150 members of the Canadian Armed Forces to Alberta to support firefighting efforts in the Fox Creek and Fort Chipewyan regions. DND and CAF personnel are also helping fight forest fires in Nova Scotia. This assistance comes on top of other supports being provided by various federal departments and agencies, including the Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada, to name a few.
    Health Canada, for example, provided equipment such as cots for evacuees through the national emergency strategic stockpile. Public Services and Procurement Canada is ready to provide emergency assistance to guarantee additional supplies, services and temporary accommodation.
    I do not have the time to list all the assistance we are providing today, Madam Speaker, but rest assured that our government will continue to work with all levels of government to ensure they have what they need to keep people safe. This is not the time for playing politics, it is the time for everyone, including the federal government, the provinces, the territories, indigenous people, organizations and municipalities, to work together. Let us all work together to fight the forest fires.
    We must also plan for how to get back to normal after the fires are put out. In the event of a major catastrophe, the federal government can cover up to 90% of eligible response and recovery costs for the provinces and territories as part of the disaster financial assistance arrangements.
    These events are becoming more frequent and more severe because of climate change, and this trend will continue. Canadians still clearly remember the destruction of Lytton in 2021 and Fort McMurray in 2016. Last fall, the Atlantic region was hit by hurricane Fiona, one of the worst storms ever recorded. We know that climate dangers pose significant risks to the safety of Canadians and also to our economy and our natural environment.
    Indigenous communities are at greater risk because they are often in remote or coastal locations, do not have access to emergency management services and are dependent on natural ecosystems.
    Understanding these consequences and other repercussions of climate change and preparing for these events are a priority for our government. Public Safety Canada is working with our federal partners, the provincial and territorial governments, indigenous organizations and our non-governmental partners to strengthen Canada's ability to assess risks, mitigate the effects of natural disasters, and prepare for, respond to and recover from them.
    In conclusion, I want to thank my colleagues from the Bloc Québécois for raising this issue in the House today and the NDP for requesting an emergency debate about it on Monday. Indeed, it was very important on Monday also. Our homes and our well-being are at risk. As parliamentarians, we must continue to work together, setting partisanship aside, to make Canadians' safety a priority.
    In closing, I would say that after watching what has been happening on the ground these past few days, we need to take climate change seriously. No government has ever done as much to combat climate change. We must keep going and fight the forest fires. That is the priority right now. Then we can look at ways to combat these environmental disasters more effectively.


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for expressing quite extensively his solidarity with all those who live there. The situation is indeed quite serious.
    Just 20 minutes ago, I was talking with one of my assistants whose family lives in Chibougamau, a town that was evacuated yesterday. His mother and sister, who has young children, are now in Roberval, but he was saying that the situation is causing the children a lot of anxiety. They do not know whether they will be able to go home or whether they will lose their house. It is a very tragic situation.
    Above and beyond that, we are still talking about a motion about climate change. My colleague has rose-coloured glasses on when he says that his government is among those that have done the most to combat climate change. I would remind him that his government made $40 billion in direct and indirect investments in fossil fuels last year, in 2022, including $11.5 billion that was allocated solely to the oil industry.
    How does my colleague think we are going to successfully combat climate change if we continue like this?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to talk about our non-partisan collaboration on the wildfires. Our government is working hard to meet its G20 commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. Although we cannot stop using oil overnight, we have made a lot of commitments in this regard.
    Let us talk about what really matters today, which is solidarity in the fight against the wildfires. Let us talk about the wildfires, which is the hot topic of the day.
    The Quebec government appealed to our government on Friday. The Bloc Québécois has asked me questions in the House. I answered that we were fully co-operating with the Quebec government. We received Quebec's request, and, the very next day, we gave our approval and said that we would assist Quebec.


    Madam Speaker, I have asked this question of the Bloc members a couple of times, so hopefully the Liberal members will have been paying attention to the questions that are being asked about the motion today.
    In the 42nd Parliament, I introduced a private member's bill dealing with the theft and vandalism of firefighting equipment. It would have made changes to the penalties for theft of firefighting equipment that result in actual harm to or threat to life, or loss of life, yet the entire Liberal caucus voted against it. I would like to ask the member if he knows why. It did not even allow the bill to get to committee stage, to be looked at at the committee level. It simply voted it down at second reading.


    Madam Speaker, as a government, we have taken real action. We created the national risk profile. This document, which we have been working on since we took office, is now available. Today, we have an understanding of the risks in a world increasingly affected by climate change. In addition to equipment, this is one of the best ways to keep Canadians safe. It lets us determine what we need, and what equipment and personnel are required.
    The bad news is that there will be more events like this as time goes on.
    I hope that the national risk profile will be further developed to cover events other than floods and wildfires.



    Madam Speaker, it is clear that we are experiencing a climate crisis. It is here today as forest fires ravage across the country. On Vancouver Island, in my riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith, we are seeing fires. As a mother, I find it just heartbreaking to see the impacts, not just for the future but also for today.
    When will we see the Liberal government finally implement real climate solutions? Instead, we are seeing subsidies going to big oil. We could be using that money for real climate solutions. When are we going to see it?


    Madam Speaker, we are proud to be at the forefront of the global movement against fossil fuel subsidies. Canada has accelerated its commitment within the G20 by moving the date up from 2025 to 2023. We are on track to meet this accelerated timeline. We are also asking our peer countries to accelerate their timeline. If everyone on the planet moves in the same direction, we will succeed in combatting climate change.


    Madam Speaker, as I begin speaking about this very important topic in the motion, which, in part, asks us to stand in solidarity with and express support for all those affected by the current forest fires and to acknowledge that climate change is having a direct impact on people's quality of life and is exacerbating the frequency and scale of extreme weather and climate events, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the firefighters working night and day to control and put out the over 431 fires raging across our country in over seven provinces and territories.
    I come from a very urbanesque riding, where people do not get to see what forest fires are really all about. Over this past week, I heard from constituents, and have experienced myself here in Ottawa, what smog from a forest fire hundreds of kilometres away feels like and the impact it has on our health and well-being. Schools in my riding have cancelled classes and recess to prevent kids from going outdoors so they are not breathing in a lot of really toxic fumes.
    We tend to think about climate change as a concept that is out there, which we do not really connect with in urban centres like mine, but the forest fires this year have really grounded people, in my riding especially, in what the reality of climate change is, in Canada and across the world. It really begs the questions of what we can do, when we should have done it and how we can accelerate the process to ensure that the track we are on is delayed, smothered and stopped.
    In the past seven years of the Liberal government, there have been significant steps taken. Bill S-5 is one of the very good ones that ensure recognition that climate change is, indeed, a crisis right now. We do need to invest further in protecting our environment, not just here in Canada but also in building partnerships abroad. More and more Canadians are realizing now that climate change is real.
    What has happened so far this year, and what is anticipated to happen over the next weeks and months, with forest fires in our country is setting for us a very clear path forward: We need to protect our planet. We need to do it by partnering with industry, civil society and all levels of government here in Canada through multilateral partnerships, and we need to do it with individual Canadians, because until and unless we really all come together on this, the outcome does look bleak.
    The climate crisis right now is more urgent than ever. Canada is already experiencing an increase in heat waves; wildfires, as we have seen; and heavy storms. The poor air quality here in Ottawa over the last few days, as a result of the forest fires, is just a very small example. The impacts and the economic and health repercussions that come with them will continue if we do not accelerate what we are acting on now.
    Since 2015, the government has taken significant action to protect the environment, to conserve nature and biodiversity, and to respond to the threat of climate change. Even so, we need to do more, and that is what I am hoping this motion will continue to do: push us and drive us together collectively, as a whole of government, partisan politics aside, to really tackle the issue of what climate change looks like now, what it will look like 50 years from now for our children and grandchildren, and the impact it will have on their lives.


    We know the world's major economies are moving at an unprecedented pace to fight climate change, retooling their economies and building the net-zero industries of tomorrow. In fact, earlier today I had a conversation with one of those companies that is part of that industry, talking about its pathways initiative, which would lead to net zero; its investments in clean technology; and how they could transition. When industry comes together, when companies come together, when they work with government and when they work with indigenous communities, that is how we are going to develop a foundational, strong pathway forward to fighting climate change. The accelerating transition to net zero has started a global race to attract investment, as our friends and allies build their clean economies.
    Canada has to keep the pace; we cannot afford to fall behind. Despite our competitive advantages and the foundational investments we have made in building Canada's clean economy over the past seven years, there are two fundamental challenges Canada has to address. The first is that many of the investments that will be critical for the realignment of global supply chains and the net-zero future are large-scale, long-term investments. Some investments may require developing infrastructure, while others may require financial incentives or a patient source of financial capital. For Canada to remain competitive, we must continue to build a framework that supports these types of investments in Canada. That is what we are doing with budget 2023.
    Two weeks ago, I was happy to announce an investment by the government into a clean-tech company in my riding, Stromcore, which is now building batteries to replace biodiesel, to replace fuel in the manufacturing industry, for forklifts. Its work is profound, cutting-edge and part of the whole conversation about how we transition to being clean, to ensuring that climate change is curbed and to ensuring that our future generations have a clean environment to live in.
    The second challenge is the passage of the United States' Inflation Reduction Act. It poses a major challenge to our ability to compete in the industries that will drive Canada's clean economy. Canada has taken a market-driven approach to emissions reduction. Our world-leading carbon pollution pricing system not only puts money back in the pockets of Canadians, but also is efficient and highly effective, because it provides a clear economic signal to businesses and allows them the flexibility to find the most cost-effective way to lower their emissions.
    I realize that Canadians, during this very difficult time, feel the pinch, but the majority of people in my riding understand and appreciate that, yes, we do need to feel the pinch because we do have a world to protect, we do have to fight climate change, and each and every one of us has to do our part. This includes the current government, past governments and future governments. It includes all levels of government, civil society, individual Canadians and, across the board, the global community.
    There is so much more we need to do. I am very proud of the efforts the Liberal government has made in ensuring that we are fighting climate change, that we are providing resources as these wildfires rage, and that we are working together with all parties across the aisle to ensure that we continue to fight that good fight.



    Madam Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague's speech. Once again, there is talk of good intentions and specific measures. However, I want to hear her reaction to the fact that the money her government is currently investing in the energy transition is being made available to oil and gas companies.
    As a result, these companies stick around even longer when we should really be investing in actual clean energy, such as renewable energy, to begin a fair transition. What is more, this money should be invested in regions that are currently dependent on oil production, in order to support those populations through the transition.
    I would like my colleague to respond to my comment. How does she explain that her government is still funding petroleum-based energy?


    Madam Speaker, I think it is important to transition those that are heavy emitters, but in my speech I also spoke about a company in my riding that, through research and development and by starting a lithium battery within its garage, is now able to make clear reductions to our emissions through clean tech. We invested $4.8 million in that company to ensure that it is able to thrive and provide support to other companies that rely on biodiesel or heavy fuels. To make sure that the transition piece is happening, we are definitely investing in those companies.
    Madam Speaker, I have a specific question for my friend from the Liberal side. When the carbon tax reaches $170 a tonne, which will add 61¢ per litre for gas, and they have obviously done the modelling, how much lower will the temperature be in our country? How many degrees will the temperature drop when the carbon tax is fully implemented?
    Madam Speaker, I love that the member opposite feels he needs to draw a short-term transactional type of question here. What I had said in my speech—
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    Ms. Iqra Khalid: I can hear the member speaking over me as I am trying to answer his question. It is that we need to continue. This is not a flip of a switch, and everything is fixed with one measure. It is, yes, a price on pollution; yes, it is to get to net-zero emissions; yes, it is to invest in clean technology and to make sure there is a transition to clean technology in our country. It is not partisan politics.


    Madam Speaker, the situation with the climate crisis is very real. We are seeing forest fires all across the country. In British Columbia, in my own home province, we certainly have experienced this—
    We are having some type of a technical issue. Is the hon. member's phone or computer close to the mike? Maybe an earpiece is on. Maybe we could turn down the earpieces that are right by there.
    It almost sounds like water or something. We are just getting a constant noise.
    We will try again.
    The hon. member for Vancouver East.
    Madam Speaker, I have moved everything away from the mike, so hopefully it is better.
    The climate crisis we are experiencing is very real. We have seen forest fires in many different communities and in my home community of British Columbia, this is not a strange occurrence for us. We have experienced the heat dome and then, of course, severe forest fires, as well. I was reminded today by an indigenous leader that the most vulnerable communities are often people who have very little, and they are the people who suffer the most in a crisis like this. That includes indigenous peoples.
    However, for the government to really address the climate crisis, it really needs to stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry and redirect those dollars into renewable energy. Will the member commit to doing that?
    Madam Speaker, as our government and I have said in the past, they really are hand in hand, the environment and the economy. I think a clean and just transition includes partnerships with our indigenous communities. It includes partnerships with all types of industries to ensure that any transition, and the important transition we have to make, happen with the community coming together and ensuring we are working together. I know that I am very committed to ensuring that transition, and I know that the member opposite is also. I look forward to working with her on this very important issue.


    Madam Speaker, I would first like to offer my deepest condolences to a very important member of my team, Jean-François Vachon, who recently lost his grandmother. I extend my condolences to his family, and particularly his mother.
    I also want to say that I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member for Laurentides—Labelle, with whom I also share Highway 110 and the boreal forest, which is significant given the circumstances.
    I have spent the last few days at home driving around Abitibi-Ouest, an area in my riding of Abitibi—Témiscamingue that is now at a high risk and greatly affected. Our peaceful forests, our hard-working communities and magnificent, invaluable memories are being darkened by this unprecedented disaster. No one can remain indifferent to such a sad state of affairs. I thank all my colleagues for all their wonderful words over the course of the day.
    I have seen with my own eyes the human distress and the concerns of our families in our towns and communities. These are communities where everyone knows their neighbours.
    My colleagues who spoke before me presented the issues and spoke about the need for an energy transition, which is a crucial step in our commitment to the environment. It requires a shift to renewable and sustainable energy sources.
    Given what is happening here, I invite the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry in particular to reflect with his colleagues on the economic policies of that transition, with special consideration for the regions whose resources will be sought-after commodities. I am thinking in particular about forestry and mining. We must accelerate investments at the start of the battery supply chain and recover the economic losses that are plaguing us. The Standing Committee on Industry and Technology recently tabled a report on the green transition, and another on the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises. They contain some very good recommendations.
    I want to talk more about what is happening on the ground, what is happening at home. Due to the warmth of its residents, Abitibi-Ouest may be one of the friendliest places in Quebec but, unfortunately, that is not what we are talking about right now. On the ground, our forest firefighters and forestry workers, with their machinery, are working non-stop to fight a monster that is trying to engulf the towns of Normétal and Saint‑Lambert, in particular, and Val‑Paradis, which is in the riding of my colleague from Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou.
    They are digging trenches, pulling down trees to create firebreaks and continually spraying the fire from morning to night, and even during the night. Nothing is left to chance. The forest firefighters from SOPFEU can rely on firefighters from Normétal, who are led by their fire chief, Ms. Doris Nolet. While they are on the front lines, they can rely on an army of volunteers who provide services so they can lead the fight. Those volunteers provide meals, clean-up services and supplies.
    What is happening in Normétal is just one example of the solidarity people in my region are showing. When I visited La Reine, I heard from seniors who brought photos with them because they were afraid they might never be able to go home and would lose their precious memories. Dedicated people at the La Sarre reception centre were there to listen to people's concerns and provide caring support. That is not all.
    Right next to the reception centre, the Centre de formation professionnelle Lac-Abitibi is working with Table des chefs to provide free meals to evacuees. I want to give a shout-out to the very dedicated Cécile Poirier, who told me that they had served nearly 300 meals that evening. That shows just how badly evacuees need this service. I want to acknowledge the work of Karine Francoeur, executive director of Maison St-André, who is helping out by providing free clothing to evacuees. This regional solidarity is crucial to supporting the evacuees.
    Amidst all this chaos, our mayors are hanging in there. Some of these dedicated people in my riding are Diane Provost, the mayor of Saint-Lambert; Ghislain Desbiens, the mayor of Normétal; and Fanny Dupras-Rossier, the mayor of La Reine. They and their municipal teams are all working tirelessly to coordinate emergency measures, support citizens, keep people informed and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. There is also Yves Dubé, the mayor of La Sarre, who is making facilities in his city, including the school, available to evacuees. I really want to emphasize the amazing work the RCM's general manager, Normand Lagrange, has done over the past few days. I have seen him in action, and I get the impression he never sleeps. My hat is off to him on behalf of the people of Abitibi—Témiscamingue.


    I would also like to thank the reeve of the Abitibi-Ouest RCM, Jaclin Bégin, who is also an important leader in my riding and who works with the other municipalities. Despite the anxiety, there is hope and encouraging actions on the ground. Basic services are provided. So I want to point out that everyone is committed.
    I would like to acknowledge the courage and solidarity of indigenous peoples, such as the Abitibiwinnik community of Pikogan and Chief Monik Kistabish, who welcomed members of the Anishinabe communities of Lac‑Simon and Kitcisakik. We see the same mutual support in all the communities of my region. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Coopérative de solidarité de Pikogan, which helped train 25 new auxiliary firefighters recruited among members of the Pikogan and Lac‑Simon communities.
    Let us commend the mayors and chiefs of our communities across Quebec for their commitment. Their presence and dedication are being felt during these times.
    I also want to acknowledge my counterparts, the elected provincial representatives from Quebec, especially my colleague Suzanne Blais, the MNA for Abitibi‑Ouest, who is very active on the ground. I send her my salutations.
    The executive director, Lise Bégin, and the municipal employees of La Reine actively prepared for an emergency by contacting each person to ensure their safety. I am highlighting this to show just how much people are working hard to find solutions. During our trip to that municipality, a second fire started, so elected officials from the village of Saint‑Lambert had to be evacuated. This situation is evolving as we speak. Firefighters and SOPFEU are now facing a monstrous fire in my riding. The fight seems endless. They all hope for rain as soon as possible.
    I felt a certain emotion when I saw light rain falling as I was leaving Rouyn-Noranda last night, but it was not enough to put an end to the situation. It is quite moving to feel the rain in such circumstances.
     My thoughts are with the evacuated workers in my riding whose livelihoods depend on forestry, hunting, fishing and outfitter activities. No one should be overlooked in circumstances like these. I therefore want to underscore the importance of a major EI reform to better support our workers. In fact, the minister recently announced administrative measures. Maybe we should skip ahead down the list to emergency measures and make eligibility requirements easier for workers to meet. This will be very difficult if we wait, and it needs to start now. Evacuees and people currently without an income require special consideration.
    Forestry and agriculture play a pivotal role in my riding. Farmers have shown tremendous solidarity by sheltering and moving animals affected by the fires to protect them from the smoke. However, this comes with added costs. I am grateful to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for her time and attention. She understands the importance of this sector of the economy in my region. It is essential to compensate farmers for their animal transportation costs and other special expenses, and to carefully meet their needs given the devastation that the fires have caused to certain farmlands.
    We must not forget private forestry producers, who will see or are already seeing years of hard work go up in smoke. Just under 650,000 hectares of forest have gone up in smoke across Quebec. Ottawa will have to be there for the forestry industry. It will have to listen to Quebec's demands in that regard. The reforestation of those areas must be a priority. Support measures for the forestry industry will be needed. I am thinking about Lebel‑sur‑Quévillon, a town where Chantiers Chibougamau just invested close to $350 million in a plant in partnership with the Government of Quebec. The wildfire-related losses will be significant for communities like that one, which will need support to get back on their feet. The same goes for the vitality of our northern communities and the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region.
    These wildfires are making us experience all sorts of things. They have made us aware of how isolated our municipalities in remote areas are. The government needs to fund highway infrastructure and better air service to better take care of our territory. Ottawa needs to allocate funding to ensure that critical infrastructure is available at all times. Other options are needed.
    I want to take this opportunity to remind members of the military expertise that has been lost in Abitibi—Témiscamingue over the past two decades. Because of its geographic position, my riding used to be a strategic area for national defence, and the minister has a document that sets out in detail my expectations regarding significant investments. Had she developed military expertise there, she would have been able to deploy and transport materials to more northern areas and respond more effectively. Military training in Abitibi—Témiscamingue would make it possible to get many volunteers out on the ground, volunteers who can provide support during serious crises. We never have enough trained people when a disaster strikes. These people become symbols of solidarity. They become heroes.
    There are some lessons to be learned right now.



    Madam Speaker, as I indicated earlier, I think that this is a good motion. I plan to vote in favour of it, as I hope many people in this House will.
    I recognize that towards the end of the motion, the Bloc specifically calls on the government to promote the use of renewable energy and public transit. There are a number of initiatives that are already ongoing with respect to both of those. I am wondering if the member from the Bloc can comment specifically on what more he thinks should be done as it relates to promoting renewable energy and public transit. What more could the federal government do?


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his input and for his support in these circumstances. That is support on behalf of the Liberal government, and it could mean a decisive moment in Canada's history and its economy. Action and change certainly have a cost, but the cost of inaction is even greater. Right now, the cost is obvious in the deforestation and the devitalization of our towns. The scarred, ravaged landscapes around them are extremely concerning.
    I think of the wildfires that devastated Fort McMurray, Alberta, which cost $3.58 billion. Losses due to natural disasters have reached $3.2 million, according to the director of communications and public affairs of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Around the world, costs associated with disasters have reached a record $275 billion. It probably costs more not to act than it does to act. We must act right now. The government has my full support on that.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my dear colleague for his speech. Our ridings are next to each other, just as he and I sit next to one another in the House.
    I would like my colleague to say a few words about businesses, indigenous communities and the support offered by the government. What needs to be done so that more entrepreneurs, especially in the forestry industry, get the support they need?


    Madam Speaker, I want to take this opportunity again to acknowledge the courage and the work on the ground of my colleague from Abitibi—Baie‑James—Nunavik—Eeyou, who is more impacted than I am by the circumstances. I also want to acknowledge all of my colleagues from northern Quebec and other affected regions in Canada.
    In the context, obviously putting out the fires and saving these businesses is a priority. I want to ensure that the people affected and the businesses that have incurred expenses or lost revenue are adequately compensated. We will work very hard on that. I am thinking about outfitters who made massive investments and who are wondering if their assets will still be standing after the fires. We may need to plan for support similar to the support that was offered during the COVID‑19 pandemic. We will need to be generous in order to save our economy. Land use is not a luxury.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my dear colleague from the Bloc Québécois and all members of the Bloc for raising this debate today.
    The federal government's answer is that it is already doing things to protect the climate, but obviously it has yet to reach any of its targets because it is still favourable to new products that come from fossil fuels. We have only to think of the Bay du Nord project, as well as other projects in the Arctic and in Newfoundland-and-Labrador.
    What does my colleague think of the fact that the government says one thing and does the opposite?
    The hon. member has one minute to answer.
    Madam Speaker, thank you.
     I would like to begin by acknowledging the leadership of my colleague, the leader of the Green Party, who has been an inspiration for decades in the fight against climate change.
    I have to admit that today, I am feeling optimistic about the future. I hope that what is happening across Canada, especially back home in Quebec, sends a clear message that we need to change the way we interact with the environment and get closer to nature. After hearing the Minister of Environment say he wants to be proactive and change things, I really want to be optimistic.
    Obviously, I think the Liberals have done a terrible job when it comes to fighting climate change over the past eight years, but I hope we can look to the future from now on, because our children's future is at stake.
    Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from Abitibi—Témiscamingue. What he said was really touching.
    I will approach the issue from a different perspective. One of my daughters is in Spain right now. The images she is seeing from the sky above my home in Lac‑des‑Écorces worry her, and her sister is also very worried. My daughters are 16 and 18 years old. I do not know what to say to them about their climate anxiety.
    One of the reasons that prompted me to run in the campaign for Laurentides—Labelle in 2019 was the fight against climate change, the energy transition, and the capacity, as an elected representative, to influence the course of history. Today, I feel powerless because the Liberal government refuses to meaningfully fight climate change. The Liberal government will not address the real energy transition head-on.
    I am very embarrassed to tell my daughters, but also the residents of Laurentides—Labelle, that the federal government, frankly, is not acting. Some say that the Prime Minister is pro-environment, but let us speak the truth. The Prime Minister, the government and the Liberal Party are greenwashing. Greenwashing is when a company or organization gives itself the image of being environmentally responsible. The word fits the government like a glove. Since 2015, the Prime Minister and his government have been boasting to us how green a government they will be, how important the environment is and how they will always be ready to defend the environment. The future will determine if there is any truth to that. They even appointed a well-known environmentalist to the position of Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Let us also note the modified title. This is called greenwashing.
    At the same time, the government wants to complete the Trans Mountain pipeline; go figure. They make big announcements about this as they do for the battery plants. I wonder why. Are they afraid of taking responsibility for their actions? As we know, it is all a matter of public relations and image. They buy the perception of being green and eco-friendly, but it is not true.
    The Liberal government's environmental record is very poor. Since 1990, Canada has increased its greenhouse gas emissions by 17.75%, excluding Quebec. If we exclude Quebec, it is because Quebec has decreased its greenhouse gas emissions by 8.1%. I say bravo. Will someone listen to us and act? Once again, as is often he case, Quebec is the example to follow.
    Quebec is the example to follow because Quebec is alone in North America in prohibiting oil and gas exploration and production on its territory and is a member of an international coalition of jurisdictions committed to progressively reducing oil and gas production. I say bravo.
    We need to start an energy transition. The first step in starting the energy transition is to stop investing in the energy of the past. It is imperative that we take Quebec's example and end all new investment in oil and gas exploration and production throughout Canada. It starts here.
    However, that is not the direction that the Prime Minister is taking. Investments in oil and natural gas production will reach $40 billion this year, 11% more than during the pandemic.


    Honestly, I cannot believe it. I would like to have an answer and know what people think of that. It is unacceptable.
    We know that this will not work. We know it so well that we felt it a bit less this morning. Since Monday, the skies of Ottawa and Gatineau have been shrouded. Air quality in the Ottawa-Gatineau area is among the worst. The forest fires are hundreds of kilometres away, however. Headaches, difficulty breathing, rashes and dry eyes are mild symptoms. It is safe to say that, even though the fires are far away, their impact is being felt.
    I am thinking about the people in Sept‑Îles, Val‑d'Or or La Tuque, who have to live with this smoke that is harmful to their health. If we needed something to demonstrate that climate change will impact our health, the current situation is, unfortunately, a prime example. Some will say that forest fires are part of the boreal forest life cycle. That is true, but the difference is that this is not normal. It is June 8, not July 22, and there are already hundreds of active fires across Quebec. There is no doubt, especially from a scientific point of view, that climate change is having an impact on the size and scope of forest fires in Quebec and Canada. Climate change will worsen the severity and frequency of these fires. Dry forests are fuel. It is like putting gas on a fire.
    I do not even want to imagine it, but studies predict that fires could burn twice the area on average per year in Canada by the end of the century, compared to what has happened recently. Meanwhile, we continue to invest in the oil industry. It is beyond comprehension.
    In 2002, at the Earth Summit in South Africa, French President Jacques Chirac said, “Our house is on fire and we are looking away.” This quote has stuck in my head since Monday. Quebec is on fire and some are looking away. Quebec is on fire and some want to contribute to oil and gas development. Quebec is on fire and they want to finish Trans Mountain. Quebec is on fire and some choose to deny climate change. I am disgusted. That may seem like a lot, but it feels good. I have to do it. I am telling my Liberal and Conservative colleagues that we have to act.
    Today, my thoughts are with the seasonal workers, forestry workers and my colleagues who are hard at work on the ground. I have often had the opportunity to say in the House and to tell the people of Laurentides—Labelle that seasonal work is critically important. I am so afraid that they are going to be let down, which is something that they do not deserve. I listened to my colleague a few minutes ago, and I am hoping that our heartfelt pleas to make changes to employment insurance will be heard. I am imploring the government to make adjustments and allow flexibility to the qualifying period.
    In closing, fires are currently raging in Laurentides—Labelle. My thoughts are with the residents and contractors in controlled harvesting zones. I will name just a few: Domaine de la Baie au sable, Pourvoirie Domaine les 4 vents, Pourvoirie des 100 lacs Sud, Pourvoirie Meekos, Pourvoirie Rabaska, Pavillon des pins gris campgrounds, Pourvoirie Cécaurel, and many others. As I take Highway 117 and go to our controlled harvesting zones, my heart goes out to them and to all Quebeckers who have to live with the consequences of these wildfires.
    In closing, I would like to recognize the work of my colleagues, the member for Manicouagan, the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, and the member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue. In all sincerity, I say to them and to the communities affected that we will not give up the fight against climate change.



    Madam Speaker, this is an encouraging debate. We see a great deal of passion, I would suggest, virtually from all sides of the House. We can contrast this to previous Bloc opposition days, when we talked about changes to the prayers and monarchy. Obviously Bloc members are listening to the priority issues of Canadians.
    I like the motion that has been presented. Later I will explain in more detail some thoughts on the issue.
    The national government, for the very first time, introduced a national adaptation strategy that involves dealing with the environment in a very tangible way. As a national government, this is the first time we have implemented a price on pollution and brought in the banning of single-use plastics in certain areas. We also have a commitment to the planting of hundreds of millions of trees.
    I wonder if the member could provide her thoughts on why it is important that not only the national government demonstrate leadership. There is also an expectation that provinces, territories and indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast get involved in protecting our environment. It is not one level—


    The hon. member for Laurentides—Labelle.
    Madam Speaker, it is 2023.
    Earlier in my speech, I mentioned that in 2002 Jacques Chirac said that our house is burning, that the earth is burning. This government will soon have been in power for eight years. All of a sudden, they are thinking about changing course. Meanwhile, we should already be seeing the positive effects of the shift that should have started in 2015.


    Madam Speaker, pardon my voice, as the smoke in this area is bothering me.
    Also, pardon my feelings of skepticism toward all sides here regarding the importance of what is going on. For eight years we have been waiting for the government to take action. In 2017-18, the province of British Columbia experienced the very same smoke that we are experiencing in Ontario and Quebec. Now the forest fires are on the doorsteps of our friends here. My thoughts go out to all those who are impacted and affected. I know about this first-hand, and now all of a sudden the rest of the country is waking up and seeing the importance of it and how devastating the smoke and these wildfires can be.
    To my hon. colleague from the Bloc, is it not a bit rich that our friends have been in government for eight years and are only now starting to wake up and say they are going to do something about it? They have yet to do anything after eight years of being in government. Why should we believe them now?



    Madam Speaker, I am not a fan of looking back to the past, but I would like it if people took responsibility. There needs to be a shift, starting today. Enough is enough. All parliamentarians need to take action and take responsibility. That is what I want to see.
    If the Conservatives ever form government, what will they do? That worries me. I have no idea what to say to my children who are living with eco-anxiety.


    Madam Speaker, I really want to thank the member for bringing up the Trans Mountain expansion right now. It is going right through my riding. If someone were to drive anywhere in the Lower Mainland, they would see the trees down, the devastation, the streams that are being affected and even the devastation within the community as we build the pipeline. Right beside where the pipeline is being built in my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam, kids cannot go outside because of the air quality. I thank her so much for raising that.
    I wanted to talk a bit about northern and indigenous communities in Quebec. I wonder if the member could share how these communities are being impacted right now and as the climate crisis rages on.


    Madam Speaker, the situation is alarming. We are very worried. I would like to thank all those who are showing such solidarity. When a fire travels 15 metres a minute, it is frightening.


    Madam Speaker, I thank the Bloc for introducing this motion today, which I plan to support. More importantly, I want to thank the member for Cariboo—Prince George for his last question. I do not particularly agree with everything he said, but I want to thank him for addressing the issue of what is going on in this country right now.
    In the short time he took asking that question, he spoke more about the forest fires going on in this country than the Leader of the Opposition did in his four-hour stunt last night when he was supposedly filibustering. The Leader of the Opposition took the floor of the House of Commons last night to fundraise, or to speak to the issue of our budget, and he went on for four hours talking about Henry VIII, Winston Churchill and the stonework in this room. He never once mentioned the fires going on outside in the four hours he spent speaking about whatever he spoke about last night.
    I thank the member for Cariboo—Prince George for standing up and speaking about it and being passionate about it. We do not see eye to eye on whether or not this government has done anything. That is fine and I respect that. However, he is speaking to the issue and he cares about the issue and that means something to the debate in this place, in my opinion.
    There is also another narrative out there, based on comments made in this House and what we are seeing coming out of Conservative Party conventions, that Conservatives do not believe humans created climate change. We do not have to go back and dig up quotes from years ago. We do not need to find some dark corner of a Conservative convention, where there is a conspiracy going on that humans have nothing to do with climate change and this is a narrative we need to project. We do not have to do any of that. All we have to do is look at Hansard, the official record of this place, from last week, when the member for Red Deer—Mountain View referred to the climate discussions as “60 years of catastrophic snake oil salesmen” predictions. He said:
    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.
    This is from the official record of this House of Commons from last week. Anybody can find it. We can find it in Hansard and we can find the video of it. It exists.
    I am quite often perplexed, and I find myself in a different position when I listen to people like the member for Cariboo—Prince George, who spoke passionately and who I hope attributes what is going on in our country to climate change. I try to reconcile that with the colleagues he sits in this House with, who talk about the discussion of climate change over the last 60 years as 60 years of “snake oil salesmen”.
    It is so incredibly difficult for me to reconcile that. How does one sit in a political party with somebody who has such strongly opposing views on whether humans created and contributed to the effects of climate change? I never in a million years, when I ran in 2015, thought I would come to this place and have to debate basic science and what scientists have proven to be the case, but I do that. When I come here, I am faced with comments coming from the other side of the House that suggest climate change is just part of the cycles: We were under a kilometre of ice 10,000 years ago, which he also referenced, and now we are not, and one day we will be again and this is just the way the planet works. I am really confused and find it very perplexing that those in the Conservative Party can have such opposing views on humanity's participation in climate change, but, nonetheless, here we are.


    With respect to the motion, I agree with everything the Bloc put forward. I am very pleased to see it come forward with this motion, because I do not think it lacks significance. I do not think it is a light, fluffy motion that just calls on the government to do something that perhaps the government is already doing. It calls on the government to be more ambitious and more aggressive, and I think that is important. That is the responsibility of an opposition party, and it is being taken seriously.
    Having said that, we did have a few motions earlier in the winter, which I believe my parliamentary secretary colleague referenced recently, come forward from the Bloc about the prayer we have. I found those to be interesting and oddly timed, but, nonetheless, this is an important one. It calls on the government to do better and to do more in dealing with fossil fuel subsidies specifically.
    Fossil fuel subsidies, in my opinion, need to be decreased as quickly as possible. I have said this in this House before. I have made my position on that known publicly at every opportunity that I get. I would encourage my government and the Minister of Environment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies as quickly as possible. I understand that the phase-out period is supposed to be around 2025 and I look forward to that, but if there is an opportunity to do it by 2024 or even this year, I would tell the government to do that and would encourage it to do that because it is the right thing to do. We should not be subsidizing an industry that is polluting so heavily our environment.
    If we look at GHG emissions, we see that all sectors of the economy have been on a downward trend except the oil and gas sector. That is why it is important that we put in strong emissions caps, in my opinion, to reverse the trend on that and that we ensure there is legislation in place to incentivize and push that sector in the right direction so it can match all of the other sectors, such as transportation and home heating, that have been on a downward trend.
    One thing I took issue with arose earlier today when I asked the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie a question. I said that when we look at the trajectory of our emissions, they have been going down. Between 2019 and 2021, they were on a downward trend.
    Mr. Jeremy Patzer: What happened in those years, Mark?
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Mr. Speaker, I am going to get to that. I am going to say what happened in those years.
    I specifically qualified my question by stating a falsehood that is continually repeated by the NDP and the Conservatives: What happened during that time? We had a pandemic. That is absolutely correct; we did. However, what else happened? Our economy continued to grow. Despite the fact that our economy continued to grow during the pandemic, emissions kept going down.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Mr. Speaker, in response to my question—


    I will interrupt to remind the hon. members that if they are very excited to ask questions, the question period will come at the end. We will open it up for questions and comments then.
    The member may continue.
    Mr. Speaker, that is nothing. Usually it is a lot worse.
    I asked a question of the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie. His response, although he started talking about the pandemic, which I qualified in my question, he started to say yes, but that after the pandemic they started to go back up. That is not entirely true. As a matter of fact, he is using that same falsehood about the pandemic to justify his point, which is that they started to go back up since the end of the pandemic. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, 2019, they are still significantly lower.
     When we come to this place, it is important that we deal in facts. We will have conversations about this, and I understand that my conversation will be interrupted in less than two minutes and I look forward to continuing after question period.
    Having said that, I do respect the fact that the NDP, when it is presenting this, at least believes that climate change is real, and I genuinely appreciate that. I cannot believe I have to actually express that, because it is completely contrary to my Conservative colleagues, who do not seem to believe that climate change is real, especially when they come in here and talk about climate change and the discussion around climate change over the last 60 years as “snake oil salesmen”.
    Why do I not read one more time, so it can really sink in before I am cut off, exactly what the member for Red Deer—Mountain View said. He said:
    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.
    I almost fell out of my seat when I heard the member say that last week, basically dismissing the participation of humans in climate change. Nothing could be further from the truth. We caused it and we have a responsibility to do something about it.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]


World Oceans Day

    Mr. Speaker, we know what climate change looks like on land. We see it. Our forests are burning. We see storms, droughts and floods. We experience it as human beings. However, every single second of every single minute of every single hour of every single day, the energy equivalent to 10 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs is absorbed by our oceans.
    Today is World Oceans Day, and it is worth pausing for a moment to note that while 619 British Columbians died in the heat dome of 2021, three billion sea creatures also died from the heat that was absorbed in the ocean in that time. People who wanted to get cool went down to the ocean and then wondered what the stench was. Our oceans are losing oxygen, they are hotter, more acidic and choking on plastic.
    This World Oceans Day we do not celebrate, we protest.


Freedom of the Press

    Mr. Speaker, to begin with, I want to make it clear that I speak here today as the member for Louis-Hébert and not as a representative of the Canadian government, if ever there was any doubt.
    A month ago, we highlighted World Press Freedom Day. As we all know, a free and independent press is a pillar of our democracy. However, there is one case that casts a long shadow on the ideals we purport to defend here in western democracies. I am talking about the case of Julian Assange.
     Julian Assange is currently jailed in the United Kingdom, fighting extradition to the U.S., where he is being charged under the century-old Espionage Act and facing 175 years in prison on charges for publishing information of immense public interest that served to expose war crimes in Iraq, charges for doing exactly what quality and independent news organizations do every day, and what we expect them to do.
    Whatever one thinks of Julian Assange, it is time for Canada to side with organizations like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, and with news outlets like The New York Times, The Guardian, EL PAÍS, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and to ask for these charges to be dropped, because they set a chilling precedent and because publishing is not a crime.


    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urgently raise the case of the persecution of journalist Niloofar Hamedi.
     Hamedi is the 22-year-old Iranian journalist who broke the story of the now famous Kurdish woman, Zhina Mahsa Amini, her beating and murder at the hands of the morality police in Tehran. For her professionalism and journalistic ethics, she has been charged with “colluding with hostile powers”, a charge that carries the death penalty. She is now subject to a show trial behind closed doors, while her lawyer is prevented from expressing any defence on her behalf.
    Niloofar's life hangs in the balance. The Iranian regime has been executing political prisoners every week, in addition to its continued intimidation and bullying of its political opponents.
     The Iranian regime has the blood of thousands on its hands, of brave women and girls, men and boys who have taken to the streets in opposition to the brutality, the evil and the blood-soaked hands of the autocrats in Tehran.
    Niloofar is a brave journalist, a credit to her profession. I invite all parliamentarians to join me in calling for the Iranian regime to immediately end the show trial and set her free.


    Mr. Speaker, two years ago, on June 6, in London, Ontario, we lost the Afzaal family to an act of Islamophobic terrorism. Out for a walk in the community they called home, they were targeted for their faith. It hit Muslims hard because it could have been any one of us.
    Islamophobia in Canada is real. We all have a responsibility to fight it. That is why our government held the first national summit on Islamophobia, bringing together community groups from across Canada to share their stories and ideas.
     We appointed Canada’s first special representative on combatting Islamophobia, creating a day for awareness of Islamophobia and expanding funding for security improvements at community centres and places of worship.
    As a member of Parliament, I introduced legislation for reforming our national security agencies and worked through my multi-faith council to bring people of all faiths together. We must all continue to work to make Islamophobia and all forms of hatred a thing of the past.


Monique Miller

    Mr. Speaker, this week, Quebecor held its 2023 tribute evening to recognize the extraordinary contributions of two of Quebec's cultural luminaries, Monique Miller and Serge Fiori.
    Quebec's cultural firmament is teeming with stars, stars whose voices, words, acting and music light Quebec up. Some of our stars have burned brightly for a short time; others have been shining forever, it seems.
    Monique Miller is one of those magnificent stars. She has been treading the boards in our theatres for more than 70 years, interpreting the work of playwrights from Marcel Dubé to Michel Tremblay, from classics of Quebec theatre to the timeless greats, Molière, Ionesco, Shakespeare and Shaw. A grande dame of the theatre, she has also been a formidable presence in Quebec's small-screen industry since its inception: Cap-aux-sorciers, Quelle famille!, Du tac au tac and Montréal P.Q.
    She has done it all with extraordinary talent.
    The Bloc Québécois applauds Québecor's initiative to pay tribute to our greats. We join our voices to the much-deserved shower of praise for the one and only, the great Monique Miller.



Italian Week Ottawa

    Mr. Speaker, I am thrilled to rise today to highlight an amazing community event happening this month in my community of Ottawa Centre.
     A staple of Ottawa’s event calendar, Italian Week Ottawa festival is back this year on Preston Street. This year’s celebrations will run from today until June 18. It is eleven days of events members do not want to miss, so I welcome all members to join us.
    The Ottawa Italian festival focuses on creating exciting experiences that share Italian culture in our diverse Ottawa community. The events scheduled this year include an opening weekend of music, nights of comedy, masterclasses on Italian cooking, an outdoor market, an art exhibition, and more.
    I would like to finish by thanking the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion as well as the Department of Heritage for their ongoing support of Italian Week Ottawa. I wish the festival organizers, board members and all the volunteers the best of luck as they show Ottawa all that Italian culture has to offer.
    As for all of Ottawa's residents, Italian Week kicks off another incredible summer of cultural festivals for our community to enjoy, with events like the Greek Festival and the Lebanese Festival just weeks away.
     Happy Settimana Italiana.

Brooks Bandits

    Mr. Speaker, every fall, about 120 teams go on a journey to win the Centennial Cup. It is an honour to represent the best Junior A hockey team in Canada, the Brooks Bandits, the 2023 Centennial Cup champions.
    In the last 10 years, with same coach, the Brooks Bandits have won 7 Alberta championships: three years in a row as the Canadian Centennial Cup championships, the first-ever back to back to back; and four national championships in 10 years. In the current championship and in the two preceding it, they did not lose a game in those three years. In six games in 2023, they allowed only four goals. A lot of players from this team receive U.S. scholarships and some go on to NHL careers.
    I congratulate the coach, staff, administrators, families and the sports fans of Brooks Bandits.

National Indigenous History Month

    Mr. Speaker, every June, in honour of National Indigenous History Month, I select a book written by an indigenous author and invite everyone in my riding to read along with me for Indigenous Reads. This year, I have chosen the North-West Is Our Mother by Jean Teillet, a lawyer, lecturer and great-grandniece of Louis Riel.
     The book tells the rich story of the Métis people in Canada, starting with their early history in the late 1790s and ending at present day. The book explores the rise of the Métis Nation, their long battle for recognition and the ongoing challenges that Métis people have faced, even today.
     Later this month, I will sit down with the Minister of Northern Affairs to discuss the book and the history of Métis people in Canada. I invite everyone to watch our Facebook Live at 3 p.m. on June 26 and learn more about our often overlooked history.

Canadian Armed Forces

    Mr. Speaker, around the world, our Canadian Armed Forces are working to promote peace and security. That includes Haiti, where gang violence and civil unrest has reached a crisis point. The deployment from Halifax of HMCS Glace Bay and HMCS Moncton to Haiti, along with the support from the Royal Canadian Air Force, demonstrates our commitment to the Haitian people.
    These ships have conducted patrols around Port-au-Prince, signalling Royal Canadian Navy presence in the area, while the Royal Canadian Air Force's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support has been crucial in disrupting gang activities. In addition, the CAF has delivered three additional MRAP armoured personnel carriers that will aid the Haitian National Police in combatting gang violence.
     Canada’s whole-of-government response to this unrest includes diplomacy, sanctions against those supporting gangs and humanitarian assistance. We stand with the Haitian people as they strive for a more peaceful and prosperous future.
    Our armed forces represent Canada's commitment to peace and security around the world, and I invite all members to join me in thanking them.

Butter Tarts

    Mr. Speaker, when we think of Canadian cuisine, we might think of peameal bacon, poutine or ketchup chips, but nothing holds a candle to the butter tart. They are great things, but this is Canada's delicacy.
     This treasure originated in Simcoe County in the year 1900. Today, if we search online for butter tart recipes, we will find 79 million results. The possibilities are endless.
    This weekend, in Midland, Ontario, on June 10, we are hosting the world's greatest butter tart festival. With over 200,000 butter tarts, people will be sure to find something to satisfy their palate.
    While the price of flour is up over 8% and the price of butter is up over 10%, our spirit will not be broken. People can come to Midland this weekend to satisfy their palates. Let us bring the butter tart home.


Attack on Amritsar Temple

    Mr. Speaker, I rise before you to shed light on a dark chapter of history which launched a decade of systematic abuse.
     Operation Blue Star, conducted in June 1984, fought to suppress Sikh voices within the sacred walls of the Golden Temple of Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. Regrettably, the repercussions of this ill-conceived operation were far-reaching and catastrophic, leading to the loss of innocent lives and forever staining the principles of justice and human rights. Let us not forget the countless Sikh pilgrims who sought solace within the serene walls of the Golden Temple, only to be met with violence and bloodshed. Their devotion to faith and their commitment to the values of peace and unity were crushed under the weight of tanks and gunfire.
    The wounds inflicted by Operation Blue Star are not confined to the borders of India. They resonate deeply within the Sikh diaspora right here in Canada, where Sikh Canadians have contributed immeasurably to our social, cultural and economic fabric. We cannot remain silent in the face of injustice. As lawmakers and guardians of human rights, we must lend our voices to those who have suffered, to those whose cries for justice have gone unanswered for far too long.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, the Bank of Canada raised the interest rate for the ninth time since February 2022. Of course, this should come as no surprise, given the budget the Liberal government tabled in March.
     The real surprise was the budget itself. We thought relief was on the way when the finance minister admitted that deficits cause inflation, and then she added another 60 billion dollars' worth of fuel to the inflationary fire. The Liberal government’s deficits have caused the inflation crisis, and this in turn has caused higher interest rates, which has now put Canadians across the country at risk of losing their homes.
     The IMF has warned that Canada is at the greatest risk of mortgage defaults out of all advanced economies. What is the solution? It is very simple. It is to stop the deficits, which would stop inflation, which would stop the interest rates from going up and stop the defaults. The Liberal government needs to stop its out-of-control spending before it is too late.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, batten down the hatches. Canada is at the greatest risk of mortgage defaults of any other developed country, and it is because the Prime Minister is steering this ship right off course.
     Liberal government deficits are causing inflation. Inflation is causing higher interest rates, and higher interest rates are causing Canadians to default on their mortgages. The Liberal government is forcing Canadians to sink or swim, but we know that most are barely treading water. Nearly half of all homeowners are finding their mortgage payments unaffordable, and Canada has the highest household debt in the entire G7. Liberal inflationary spending, red tape and government gatekeepers are leaving Canadians underwater.
     Conservatives have a solution to right the ship and get our country’s compass pointing towards prosperity once more. We will stop the deficits, which will stop the inflation, which will stop the interest rates from going up, which will stop the defaults. Let us bring it home.



    Mr. Speaker, firmly rooted in the Saint-Michel neighbourhood and at the heart of the Cité des arts du cirque, TOHU is a place of creation, culture and community engagement that contributes considerably to Montreal's reputation as an international capital of the circus arts.
    TOHU recently won in two categories at Tourism Montreal's Distinction Awards for its 3GIANTS project, presented during the 2022 edition of the Montréal Complètement Cirque festival.
    I would like to congratulate the executive director, Stéphane Lavoie, and his entire team on these important awards and recognitions, which reflect the quality of their work.
    On the weekend of June 16 to 18, I invite everyone to come and enjoy the Lumières de Saint-Michel event, presented by the TOHU team and featuring a nocturnal parade, shows and circus entertainment.
    I want to thank TOHU, which has been inspiring so many since 2004 and sharing the wonders of the circus arts.




    Mr. Speaker, Canada is on fire.
     By last Sunday, more than three million hectares had already burned across the country, about 13 times the 10-year average. There are more than 400 active wildfires, most of which are deemed out of control, and thousands of people are under evacuation orders—
    I am going to ask the hon. member to start over once we quiet down so that everyone can hear.
    The hon. member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford may start from the top.
    Mr. Speaker, Canada is on fire.
     By last Sunday, more than three million hectares had already burned across the country, about 13 times the 10-year average. There are more than 400 active wildfires, most of which are deemed out of control, and thousands of people are under evacuation orders. Over the last 20 years, we have never seen such a large area burned so early in the season.
    My home province of B.C. has already seen fires burn an area larger than that of last year's entire fire season. It is only June. We are not even in summer yet. The signs are all there. Climate change is having a direct and brutal impact on the lives of people. The sheer scale and ferocity of the forest fires are a testament to that fact.
    Yesterday, I saw a headline that read, “Parliament fiddles while Canada burns”, an apt description of what we have seen from Liberals and Conservatives. As parliamentarians, we owe it to Canadians to meet this moment with the seriousness it deserves. We must do better.


Serge Fiori

    Mr. Speaker, I do not know what animates this moving and magnificent individual, this artist who left an indelible mark on Quebec, its history, the hearts of its people and the promises of the 1970s and beyond.
    Serge Fiori is extraordinary. He crafted a brand new musical universe that crossed borders and stood the test of time. His music pierced right through the skin of Quebeckers, flowed through their veins and found a place in their hearts.
    What I do know is that Serge Fiori, who was awarded a Quebecor prize Tuesday night at an event held at the Mount Royal Chalet, loves unreservedly, unconditionally, unboundedly. He loves so much and so well that he is like a river of emotions that overflows in the spring. He makes us want to share in one of the embraces that he so generously shares with his voice, which, even when speaking, carries a range of emotions in which people want to remain enveloped.
    Quebec loves the beautiful, great and eternal Serge Fiori. Fiori loves Quebec. He is so in love with Quebec that he wants, with all his oceanic heart, for it to become a nation.


The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians learned yesterday of the devastating news to their household budgets. The Bank of Canada has hiked interest rates once again, which are now 19 times higher than they were just one year ago. Plain and simple, Canadians are at the most risk of any advanced economy for mortgage defaults, according to the IMF.
    Let us make no mistake about it. These rate hikes are caused by Liberal inflationary deficits. The finance minister admitted it just weeks ago, before adding $60 billion in new deficits instead of balancing the budget. The economics here are simple. Liberal government deficits cause inflation, which cause higher interest rates, which cause mortgage defaults. The solution is simple too. Liberals must stop the deficits, which will stop the inflation, which will stop interest rates from going up, which will stop the defaults.
    The Prime Minister admitted he does not spend a lot of time thinking about monetary policy, and now Canadians are paying for it. Mortgage payments are going to go up another 40%. It is time for the Liberals to smarten up and get the crisis they caused under control.

Conservative Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party opposite is far too comfortable using divisive, sexist rhetoric to gain cheap political points at the expense of women. It is crass. It is gross. It is reckless.
    Let us not forget that the leader of the Conservative Party used misogynistic hashtags to drive alt-right traffic to his YouTube page. He could not care less that many women in this country feel unsafe online or that he has aligned himself with the very same people who perpetuate this toxic online hate.
    When it comes to the issues that matter most to Canadian women, such as child care, good jobs and reproductive rights, he and his handpicked Conservative candidates stand against those very ideals. It is indicative of one thing. The Conservative Party will never stand up for what matters when it matters.
    While the Conservatives will not, we on this side of the House will never ever back down from—


    It is now time for Oral Questions.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]



    Mr. Speaker, Canadians learned yesterday that the Bank of Canada is raising interest rates for the ninth time since last year. This comes thanks to the Prime Minister's out-of-control spending, which is driving up the cost of the goods that we buy and the interest that we pay. Half of all mortgage holders were already struggling to make payments and that was before the bank's announcement. The Department of Finance knows this number, and the government refuses to share it.
    Can the finance minister tell us how much families will now pay for their mortgages because of her inflationary spending?
    Mr. Speaker, when we compare ourselves to our economic peers, we have a lower deficit, a lower net debt-to-GDP ratio, the fastest-growing economic growth in the G7 and lower interest rates.
    That is what is allowing us to invest in things such as dental care, child care, health care, affordability, economic growth and jobs. Over 900,000 jobs have been created since the pandemic. Yes, global inflation is hard, but we will get through this by working together.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals say everything is fine. They either do not know the number or they will not tell us. It is $4,000 a month for an average mortgage payment.
    After eight years of the Liberal government, consumer debt is the highest it has ever been. Canadians carry more debt than our entire GDP. The Prime Minister told us that interest rates would stay low. He promised that he would take on debt so Canadians did not have to. Canadians need some certainty. They need to pay their bills.
    How many Canadians will have to lose their homes before the Liberals notice something is wrong?
    Mr. Speaker, over the last week, the Conservative Party has tried to convince Canadians that we would be better off if we did not make those investments in health care, if we did not invest in dental care, and if we reduced investments in seniors' pensions and retirement security. They want to get rid of the CBC. They do not want to attack climate change.
    Canada has the highest economic growth and the lowest deficit in the G7. We are able to invest in making life more affordable for Canadians. Our government is up to this challenge, and so are Canadians.

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, it is clear the Liberals do not want to talk about the economy. I understand why.
    We just learned that David Johnston fired the crisis communication firm he hired for strategic advice. It turns out that the same firm worked for the member for Don Valley North, who was asked to leave the caucus amid allegations of foreign interference. David Johnston exonerated that member without even talking to him. There is a conflict of interest and then there is this.
    What the hell is going on?
    Before we go to the Minister of Public Safety, I want to remind hon. members that parliamentary language is something we want to respect as much as possible. I understand we get emotional, and it sometimes slips out.
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, at this stage, it is shocking but not surprising that the Conservatives continue to focus on Mr. Johnston, someone who was appointed by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, someone who did much work under the last Conservative government. Despite all of that, they would rather focus on partisan attacks than the actual hard work of fighting foreign interference together.
    Mr. Johnston has laid out a path forward to engage Canadians to ensure our national security establishment has all of the tools necessary to protect Canadians. Rather than continue on with these partisan attacks, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada should take the briefing.



    Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening, hundreds of thousands of families in Quebec and Canada had a very difficult conversation at the supper table.
    The question was this: Will we be able to keep our house? The Bank of Canada increased the policy rate for the ninth time in just under a year, which means that interest rates will rise. The government rightly pointed out that mortgage payments are going to go up by 40%. There is one thing that the government could do to reduce inflation and that is to control spending.
    Why does it not do that?


    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague referred to what happened yesterday evening. While those difficult conversations were happening at the supper table, the Conservative leader was in the House, where I heard him rambling on and on for four hours. He talked about King Henry VIII and the difference between copper coins, silver coins and IPads, but I did not hear him talk about an economic plan for Canada.
    The Conservative leader has been on the job for 271 days and he has nothing of substance to offer Canadians.


    Mr. Speaker, my colleague has a selective memory. The Conservative leader clearly said that there are two things the government must do. First, it should not create new taxes and, more importantly, it should have a plan to reduce spending and get to a balanced budget.
    Why have a balanced budget? That would honour the word of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance who said that deficits add fuel to the inflationary fire.
    Does the Deputy Prime Minister still agree with herself, namely that they really need to control spending and, most importantly, aim for a balanced budget for all Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, let us talk about balance. We have struck a balance between fiscal responsibility and compassion.
    What the Conservatives are proposing is austerity and cuts. Our government is offering a new grocery rebate. Our government is offering subsidies for dental care. Our government is proposing a low-income workers benefit in Canada to support and help workers.
    The Conservatives are just not interested in helping Canadians. We are doing all of that and still have the lowest deficit in the G7.

Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, Quebec is grappling with forest fires that are causing 11 times the devastation we have seen for the last 10 years, on average. We are talking about three million hectares and it is only June.
    In terms of length of season, intensity and frequency, periods of drought and heat conducive to fires can be linked to climate change, while climate change can be linked to oil and gas development.
    Does the Prime Minister agree that fossil fuels are the reason for the fires that are devastating Quebec?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the leader of the Bloc Québécois for his question. We agree with him. We must do more to fight climate change. There is a clear link between the forest fire season we are currently experiencing in Canada and the use of fossil fuels.
    We must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. That is why we will be supporting the motion moved by the Bloc Québécois today in the House of Commons.
    Mr. Speaker, I feel like I have gone back in time 10 years. No serious person can deny that oil and gas are to blame for some of the terrible tragedies happening around the world, and increasingly right here, too. This obsession with oil comes at a very high price.
    Will the Prime Minister agree to halt all forms of funding, direct or indirect, to the oil companies and transfer the money saved to Quebec and the provinces in order to increase funding for research into mitigating the effects of climate change and the measures required to protect ourselves, particularly when it comes to municipal infrastructure?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, I thank the leader of the Bloc Québécois for his question. I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We are not going to wait until fossil fuel subsidies are completely eliminated.
    We are already doing this, so we can make massive investments in public transit, electrification and clean technologies. That is what we did in the last budget. It is what the Conservatives vehemently oppose, even though they claim to believe in technology. When we want to invest in technology, they say we should not invest in technology.
    I thank the Bloc leader for his question. We will work with the Bloc on these important issues.
    Mr. Speaker, we have seen the images of New York's Statue of Liberty completely shrouded in smoke from Quebec's wildfires. It is astonishing to think that 128 million people in the United States are under air quality advisories. The air quality index for New York City peaked at 413 on a scale of 0 to 500 by the end of the day on Wednesday. Figures like these have not been recorded in 20 years.
    Climate change knows no boundaries. What will it take for this government to quit spouting hot air and finally take action?


    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my hon. colleague that we are in the process of eliminating fossil fuel subsidies in this beautiful country we call Canada with the collaboration of his very own party.
    We put a stop to international subsidies last year, and we were applauded by NGOs like Environmental Defence and Équiterre and by international organizations like Oil Change International. According to these groups, when it comes to getting rid of fossil fuel subsidies internationally, there are two global leaders: the United Kingdom and Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, that would be more believable if the Liberals had not bought the Trans Mountain pipeline and approved the Bay du Nord project.
    Listening to the Liberals, it sounds as though everything is sunshine and lollipops. The problem is that the sun is hidden by the smoke. It is getting harder and harder for the Liberals to keep pretending everything is fine when the entire country is burning.
    Since 2015, the famous water bombers used to put out fires are not even made in Canada anymore. We are now forced to borrow them from abroad. This government is not prepared to deal with the crises that are coming.
    When is this government going to stop subsidizing oil companies and use that money to invest in renewable energy?
    Mr. Speaker, the answer is quite simple: We are already doing it. We are investing more than $200 billion in clean technologies and in the fight against climate change. That is half of what the United States, a country 10 times our size, is doing. What is more, we are eliminating fossil fuel subsidies.
    I agree with my hon. colleague. We need to do more. We need to move faster on both tackling climate change and ensuring we can adapt to it. That is exactly what we are doing on this side of the House.



    Mr. Speaker, the IMF reports Canadians have the most indebted households in the G7, with a mortgage default crisis looming. Out-of-control Liberal spending gave Canadians nine bank interest rate hikes in a year. Former Liberal finance minister John Manley said that the out-of-control spending by the Liberals is like pressing the gas while the Bank of Canada is trying to slam on the brakes with its interest rate hikes. Adding another $60 billion of fuel on that inflationary fire is not going to help anybody.
    Will the Prime Minister cancel his tanning plans this summer, get to work in this House and rewrite his budget, so Canadians do not lose their houses?
    Mr. Speaker, in fact, inflation is coming down. It peaked at 8.1%; it is now 4.4%, and that is better than the United States, Europe and the OECD. It is actually projected to continue coming down to below 3% very soon. It is still too high, but that is why we are investing in affordability. We have lifted 2.7 million Canadians out of poverty. We have created more than 900,000 jobs. In fact, through the workers benefit, more than 4.2 million Canadians are taking home bigger paycheques.
    All of this is while maintaining the highest economic growth in the G7 and the lowest deficit.
    Mr. Speaker, Conservatives will continue to fight to stop this Liberal-NDP government from putting another $4,200 of debt on the backs of struggling Canadians. Liberals' out-of-control spending gave Canadians the highest inflation seen in 40 years, and that made interest rates go up. The majority of Canadians are only $200 away from insolvency. Any more rate hikes are going to be crippling. This budget would turn Canada into a nation of inflation and higher debt.
    Will the Prime Minister end his surf trips, end the phony celebrity tours and rewrite this failed budget, so Canadians can keep their homes this summer?
    Mr. Speaker, when global inflation reared its head, the Conservative leader had a solution; it was to invest in cryptocurrency. If Canadians had followed that advice, and sadly many did, they not only would have been reduced, if they had invested in Terra, Celsius or FTX—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am sorry; it started a couple of questions ago, and I think it is more people talking to each other, so I am going to ask them, if they are speaking with each other, to please whisper, and if they are more than one seat away from someone, to maybe just move over and talk to them at a lower pace, not so loudly.
    See how I am speaking quietly? I want everybody to talk quietly to each other, if they are not answering or asking questions.
    The hon. government House leader has about 25 seconds.
    Mr. Speaker, if that advice was not bad enough, they got something new. It does not matter that Canada is lower than the OECD in terms of its average on inflation, lower than the eurozone, lower than the G7, lower than the United States and lower than the U.K.
    It does not matter that we have one of the lowest inflation rates in the world. They want to solve global inflation by slashing supports to Canadians. They think they can fix global inflation by getting rid of dental care, by getting rid of child care and by attacking the most vulnerable. Not only will it not work, it is shameful.



    Mr. Speaker, Canada is supposed to be a place of prosperity, hope and opportunity, yet for far too many Canadians it has become a place where they can no longer afford to work, to live and to thrive. Earlier this year the finance minister admitted that her Liberal deficits were driving inflation. Still, they added $60 billion of inflationary fuel on a cost of living fire.
    We know that deficits lead to inflation, inflation leads to interest hikes and interest hikes lead to mortgage default.
    How many Canadians will lose their homes before the Prime Minister learns his lesson?
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member opposite said that Ireland is the place to be and that it is the greatest country right now. I would say that the facts show that this is the greatest country on earth. This is the place where we are leading growth and change, where we are transforming to the economy of the future, where we are building the jobs of the future and where we are making sure we have a future for our country.
    We love this country. While they idolize others, we stand for this country.
    Order. There are no points of order during question period. You will have to wait until it is over.
    Mr. Speaker, I must have misheard because he said he admired Canada. I heard the Prime Minister say he admired the basic dictatorship of China. I would ask that member to come down to the food banks in Cobourg. I think it is about two hours from his riding. He should see the children lining up outside the food bank.
    Shame on you. Shame on you. Life has never been better, that is all we hear. That is not the truth. Go to the food banks. See the double and triple use. See Canadians suffering.
    We know that deficits lead to inflation which leads to housing default. How much longer until the Prime Minister learns his lesson, stops the inflationary deficit spending and puts an end to—
    Order, order. I just want to remind the hon. members to place their comments or their questions through the Chair, not at the Chair.
    The hon. minister for families.
    Mr. Speaker, unfortunately what Canadians know is that the Conservative way of doing things is one of throwing up their hands, sitting down and saying, “Let's do nothing“. Actually, no, “Let's cut”. That is the Conservative way of doing things. Let us cut the Canada child benefit. Let us cut the thousands of dollars that Canadian families are saving when it comes to child care. Let us cut the grocery rebate that we are giving to Canadians. Let us cut the Canada worker benefit.
    On this side of the aisle, we actually believe in investing in Canadians. The facts speak for themselves: 2.7 million fewer Canadians living in poverty, including 635,000 children—


    The hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques‑Cartier.
    Mr. Speaker, since January 2022, interest rates have risen nine times. Everything costs more, including groceries and heating. Now we are getting another cold shower: another increase in mortgage payments.
    Families have to cut back on groceries in order to survive and continue making the payments on their mortgage. Their house is their main asset. The Liberals told them that when rates are low, it is time to borrow. What great advice.
    What does the Prime Minister have to say to these many families who are struggling to make ends meet?
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, when we know that times are tough and the people we represent are struggling, we roll up our sleeves and work harder to provide support to these people, the same people the Conservatives want us to abandon by cutting assistance to families for child care, dental care and the low-income workers benefit.
    On this side of the House, we will continue to be there for Canadians while being fiscally responsible.


    Mr. Speaker, we are not the ones who have abandoned Canadians. The Liberals have. They need to wake up.
    When a mortgage increases by $2,000 a month, is it realistic for a family to overcome that obstacle? The answer is no. This government has been irresponsible, and now Canadians are paying the price. The Bank of Canada told the Liberals that their policy is causing inflation.
    I was sad to read in the paper this morning about a mother in Quebec City who said, “basically, our house is killing us”.
    What does the Liberal government have to say to that family?
    Mr. Speaker, the reality is that families in Quebec are going to receive $1,400 with the doubling of the GST tax credit. Unfortunately, with the Conservatives' austerity plan, those families would not get that money.
    I would also like to point out that inflation in Canada peaked at 8.1% and has now fallen to 4.4%. Yesterday, the Bank of Canada said that it expected inflation to drop to 3% this summer. Yes, times are tough, but they are going to get better—

Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, this morning, more than 11,000 Quebeckers were evacuated because of the forest fires. Everyone else also felt the impact of the fires, if only by breathing the ambient air. Climate change is here.
    We have a duty to support the victims, but we also have a duty to be consistent. The oil and gas sector is the primary accelerator of climate change. We have to divest from oil and gas. We have no choice.
    Since we need to get out of this industry, will the government commit to banning any new oil and gas development and putting an end to searching for deposits?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question and for her activism on the issue of climate change.
    I want to reassure her. Fighting climate change is the reason why we brought in carbon pricing, one of the most ambitious such initiatives in the world.
    Fighting climate change is the reason why we are implementing zero emissions legislation to put more electric vehicles and zero emissions vehicles on our roads.
    Fighting climate change is the reason why we are making record investments, including investing $30 billion in public transit by 2030.
    Fighting climate change is the reason why we are putting a cap on greenhouse gas emissions and bringing in many other measures.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, I understand, but the government keeps repeating that it could accelerate the fight against climate change if it did not have to fight the Conservatives. That is true, but things would also move more quickly if it stopped imitating the Conservatives.
    Not only is it refusing to divest from oil, it is also looking for new deposits at the bottom of marine refuges. It has just authorized BP to drill off the coast of Newfoundland. Even worse, according to Radio-Canada, the Minister of Natural Resources said that if BP finds oil, he could help them develop it by redrawing the refuge's boundaries.
    Will the Minister of Environment and Climate Change immediately correct his colleague?
    Mr. Speaker, we have already talked about this, and I want to repeat that those are only exploration licences and not production licences. It is very important to know that. A production project has never been proposed in a marine refuge. It is quite possible that such a project would be rejected.
    Furthermore, I would like to speak about the work we are currently doing with Bill C-49. It will make it possible for us to develop renewable energy projects, such as wind energy, in the Atlantic provinces.
    Mr. Speaker, blaming the opposition is not going to cut it anymore. Competing over who is the least bad is not going to cut it anymore.
    The Conservatives are not the ones authorizing oil exploration in Newfoundland; the government is. The Conservatives are not the ones talking about rejigging the boundaries of a marine refuge to facilitate oil extraction; the government is.
    Enough with the blame game. Let us look at what we can do better. We have to get out of oil and gas. Everyone knows that.
    Will the government take action that is both concrete and symbolic and announce an end to oil development in marine refuges?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, when we took office, only 1% of our lands and waters were conserved and protected. Now we are at 14%, and we will reach 30% by 2030. We will keep doing this great work.
    We are continuing to invest in renewable energy. That is what we did with Bill C‑49. It will provide a lot of renewable energy opportunities in the Atlantic provinces.



Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's rapporteur was paying the same crisis communications firm as the member for Don Valley North. That is the former Liberal member who left caucus because of the same scandal the rapporteur was supposed to be investigating. In a surprise to no one, the rapporteur exonerated the former Liberal MP.
    With all the conflicts of interest, will the Liberals recognize the damage they are doing and call a public inquiry today?
    Mr. Speaker, on and on the Conservatives go about Mr. Johnston, who was appointed by Stephen Harper. They now appear to disagree with their former Conservative leader. They disagree with the member for Durham, who took a briefing from the service to ensure that we can do the work of protecting the people who work in our democratic institutions. In fact, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada disagrees with himself; he said that Mr. Johnston is one of the most credible individuals, with the most integrity, in this country. He has now reversed himself on this. He should do so again and rally around the cause of protecting our democratic institutions from foreign interference. This is not a partisan issue.
    Mr. Speaker, it seems to be a comprehension issue for the minister. The question is about levels of conflict of interest with the government. We have the Prime Minister, who hired his friend, paying him $1,500 a day. That friend then hired Liberals. He hired Frank Iacobucci, from the Trudeau Foundation. He hired Liberal insiders, such as Sheila Block, and now we have this rapporteur, who is taking the same communications advice as the member for Don Valley North is getting. It is conflict of interest after conflict of interest.
    Fire the rapporteur. Call a public inquiry. Will the Liberals do it today?
    Mr. Speaker, in 2007, when Mr. Johnston's integrity was called into question, the leader of the official opposition said, “This is a very qualified individual, and frankly, I haven't heard anybody question his integrity”. I agree.
    I will take it back to 2007, when the Leader of the Opposition was being questioned on how close Mr. Johnston was to the Conservative Party and the fact that he was appointed in that role by Stephen Harper not once, not twice, but three times. The Leader of the Opposition stood up against the calls saying that he was too close to the Conservatives. I do not understand how the Conservatives can say that now and pretend that he has no credibility. That is what has no credibility.


    Mr. Speaker, the special loyal Liberal rapporteur David Johnston has hired Navigator to help manage the conflict of interest crisis he has plunged himself into. We just learned that the member for Don Valley North also hired Navigator to obtain strategic advice. The upshot is that this week, the not particularly independent rapporteur exonerated the Liberal member for Don Valley North, despite serious allegations about his ties to the regime in Beijing. We could not make this stuff up.
    It is time to end this farce. When will the Prime Minister launch a truly independent public inquiry?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives will continue their personal attacks against Mr. Johnston, despite the support he received from the current leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. We need to stop this bickering and concentrate on the task at hand, which is protecting our democratic institutions. We must bring Canadians into the discussion. On this side of the House, that is exactly what we are doing as the Government of Canada.


Oil and Gas Industry

    Mr. Speaker, Canada is on fire, and cities across North America are suffering in the smoke of this unprecedented ecological disaster. The Prime Minister promised the world that Canada would finally get serious about capping our oil and gas emissions, but since then, the environment minister has allowed an increase in production of 109 million barrels a day. Meanwhile, big oil is racking up record profits, firing thousands of workers and switching to automation. Therefore, where is this cap on big oil, and why will this environment minister not stand up for Canadian workers and our fragile planet?
    Mr. Speaker, it has been very clear that we are putting a cap on oil and gas emissions, but let us also talk about what we are doing to reduce combustion right across our entire economy.
     Just last year, we tabled an emissions reduction plan. It covers all sectors, and we are doing that work. We are moving to a sales target on zero-emissions vehicles. We are helping Canadians to transition the fuels they use to heat their homes. We are going to make sure that we are there, and we are already seeing progress. The national inventory report that we put in with the UN showed that we are on track. We are already bending the curve on our emissions.


    Mr. Speaker, more than 400 wildfires are raging across Canada, forcing thousands to flee from their homes, and it is only June. The climate crisis is being felt in every corner of our country, yet the Liberals continue to hand out billions in subsidies to the biggest polluters. Some of these tax breaks, including the accelerated investment incentive and the accelerated capital cost allowance for fossil fuels, are set to expire, but oil and gas lobbyists are trying to get them extended. Therefore, will the Liberals stop listening to oil and gas executives and end these subsidies for good?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her advocacy on this issue. As she is well aware, last year, we eliminated international fossil fuel subsidies. Canada and the U.K. are the two most advanced countries in the world who have tackled this international crisis, and we are on track to phase out domestic fossil fuel subsidies this year, in 2023, two years earlier than any of our G20 partner countries. We are getting there, and we will get there faster than anyone else.

Diversity and Inclusion

    Mr. Speaker, June 1 marked the beginning of pride season across Canada. We honoured the occasion today with the raising of the pride flag and a celebratory drag brunch. It is a joyful time of year, when we uplift the 2SLGBTQI+ community. However it was disappointing that the official opposition was not well represented as we raised the pride flag. This is especially the case because we sadly recognize a rising tide of anti-2SLGBTQI+ hate and intolerance that is bringing to light a very real fear.
    This community needs our support, now more than ever. Could the Minister for Women and Gender Equality share what our government is doing to protect the community's rights?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for joining us this morning to raise the pride flag. I say thanks so much to all who came. Pride season is a time of both celebration and reflection. We see the rising anti-2SLGBTQI+ hate, and it is causing real fear. That is why we responded with $1.5 million for security supports to Fierté Canada Pride, for safer pride festivals right across this country.
    To queer Canadians, we say this: We see them, we hear them and we stand with them. I wish them a happy pride.


    Mr. Speaker, Liberal deficits and spending have caused inflation to reach a 40-year high, which caused interest rates to reach a 22-year high. These rates will cause mortgage defaults.
    We have made-in-Canada inflation, and people cannot afford the government. We need to stop fuelling the inflationary fire, stop interest rates from going up and stop people from losing their homes.
    When will the Prime Minister stop his inflationary deficit spending?
    Mr. Speaker, I think it is very important to reiterate that inflation is coming down. It was at a peak at 8.1%. It is now at 4.4%. It is projected to go down below 3%. I think the other thing to say is that we are focused on affordability. That is why we have lowered taxes for Canadians, not once but twice. We lowered taxes for small businesses. In fact, in this budget, we found a way to drop credit card fees by 27%. That is going to save small businesses a billion dollars a year. That is the type of solution we can build if we work together on the budget instead of filibustering it.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal member just does not get it. The government refuses to take any responsibility for what it has done to affect the cost of living of Canadians.
    For example, a local food bank in my community told me that they registered 294 new households in March alone, with the fastest-growing demographic needing help being two-parent, working households. Inflationary deficits are crushing families' finances.
    When will the Prime Minister give people hope and end the inflationary deficit spending so that Canadians can afford to stay in their homes?
    Mr. Speaker, it is important to be clear about what the government has spent money on. When the Conservatives talk about those deficits, those deficits were spent on such things as CERB, the Canada emergency response benefit, or the Canada emergency wage subsidy, which quite literally kept households afloat during the pandemic.
    When it comes to what we are spending on right now, we are spending on such things as the Canada workers benefit. That is in the current budget, which the Conservatives are delaying, and it will help the lowest-income Canadians have more access to more money.
    If the Conservatives truly cared about helping low-income Canadians, they would support Bill C-47. They would vote with us, and they would—


    The hon. member for Banff—Airdrie.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, with billions in new spending in the budget, the Liberals are driving up inflation and the cost of living. This has caused another increase in interest rates, which is going to cost thousands more for Canadians on their mortgages. However, the Prime Minister has the audacity to try to claim that his budget is “uninflationary”.
    One does not have to be a meteorologist to look outside and see that it is raining, and one does not have to be an economist to know that this Liberal budget is driving up inflation. When will the government finally come up with a plan to balance the budget?
    Mr. Speaker, what we are doing is really delivering for Canadians.
    I will just read back to the hon. member what his colleagues believe. The member for Edmonton Riverbend believes that we should download responsibility for housing to provinces and territories, as does the member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon. The member for Calgary Centre believes in not supporting density and actually opposes more density to build more housing supply. The member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry believes that we should pull back federal investments in housing. The member for Calgary Signal Hill believes that we do not even need the housing accelerator fund, and so on and so forth.
    Mr. Speaker, let us listen to what some Liberals have to say.
    A former Liberal finance minister described the government's economic strategy as “a bit like driving your car with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake”. Some Canadians might want to go out and try that for themselves to really understand the metaphor. However, with the carbon tax driving up the price of gas, no one can afford to do burnouts anymore.
    If the Liberals will not listen to our advice or even their own advice, will they at least listen to Canadians, who are footing the bill for all their spending?
    Mr. Speaker, since 2015, we have been there supporting Canadians, including seniors. As the member opposite knows, in April, millions of Canadians received the climate action incentive rebate, putting hundreds of dollars back into their bank accounts. We did not stop there. This budget, which they are filibustering and not making pass through the House, helps nine million Canadians, including seniors. That is going to help with dental care, through our new Canadian dental care plan, and 11 million Canadians will receive a new grocery rebate.
    On this side of the House, we are going to continue to make sure that Canadians have the supports that they need.


Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, let us take a step back.
    There is foreign interference in our electoral system. About a dozen ridings were targeted. The former leader of the opposition was targeted, along with at least two other members. This is extremely serious. The House itself is being targeted. The legitimacy and integrity of the members of the House are being undermined by foreign interference. That is why the House continues to push for a public inquiry.
    What is the government waiting for to launch the inquiry?
    Mr. Speaker, the short answer is that we are not waiting for anything.
    Since the beginning, we have taken concrete measures, such as creating new national security powers. We increased transparency by creating the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians and the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency. Now, we have a recommendation from Mr. Johnston, a distinguished Canadian, for the next steps: a conversation with Canadians.
    How can we take the next steps to better protect our democratic institutions? That is exactly what the Government of Canada is focused on.
    Mr. Speaker, the government is constantly accusing the opposition parties of partisanship on the foreign interference file.
    Actually, we are asking for an independent public inquiry so as to be as far from partisanship as possible. The Liberals responded with a rapporteur who was appointed by the Prime Minister and only reports to the Prime Minister.
    The Conservative Party, the Bloc Québécois, the NDP, every community that has fallen victim to Chinese interference, former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley, and former Liberals, such as Gerald Butts, are calling for a public inquiry.
    Who is being partisan on the interference file?
    Mr. Speaker, if we have accused the opposition of making personal attacks against Mr. Johnston, it is because those are the facts. For several months now, the opposition, especially the Conservatives, has continually engaged in personal attacks against Mr. Johnston, despite his long-time service to Canadians.
    Now, we need the opposition to reverse course and agree to work together, accept the security briefing and help us protect our democratic institutions and all the Canadians who are working toward that goal.




    Mr. Speaker, massive deficits cause inflation. Inflation causes rate hikes. Rate hikes make mortgage payments unaffordable. Unaffordable payments lead to mortgage defaults.
    However, there is a solution. The Liberal government could stop the deficits, stop inflation, stop rate hikes and prevent defaults. Even the finance minister agreed with this basic advice a few short months ago.
    When will the Prime Minister end his inflationary deficit spending?
    Mr. Speaker, as I already described, inflation is coming down in Canada, and it is actually below inflation in the United States, inflation in Europe and inflation in the OECD. That is what is allowing us to invest in making life more affordable.
    I remember that when I was door knocking last summer, my constituents would tell me that their child care costs were as much as a mortgage payment, but now that we have reduced those costs by half and we are going to continue to reduce them to $10 a day, they are not saying that anymore.
    Mr. Speaker, the latest interest rate hike is having a devastating effect on Canadian homeowners and homebuyers.
    Half of homeowners say that their mortgage is already barely affordable now, and shocking higher payments are only one renewal away. Rate hikes are also crushing the dreams of new homebuyers and threatening to collapse transactions that are currently in progress.
    When will the Prime Minister take the advice of former Liberal finance minister John Manley, take his foot off the inflationary gas pedal and rein in his deficits?
    Mr. Speaker, what I appreciated about the question from the member opposite is that he is concerned about the welfare of Canadians. On that, we share commonality.
    However, we would link the welfare of Canadians to the small businesses that really run our economy. Each time we on this side of the House have put forward policies, proposals or directives that would assist those small businesses, the party opposite has voted against them, whether it was lowering taxes for small businesses or whether it is CEBA supports and rent subsidies that we put in place to assist our small businesses.
    Now, before this very chamber, we have support in place that would reduce credit card fees for small businesses from 27% to much lower than what they are right now, and that is being opposed by the party opposite.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, Conservatives MPs on the immigration committee called four times for action to help international students who were victims of a fake college admission letter scam, and four times the Liberal and NDP MPs on the committee voted against it.
    Malicious consultants profited by tens of thousands of dollars from each and every student, promising them a new life in Canada and then sticking them with a fake college admission letter that the immigration department did not catch.
    Hundreds of international students are now protesting at CBSA offices. These students finished their studies, worked hard and obeyed the law. How could this incompetent Liberal government allow hundreds of international students to be defrauded?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question, because I think we collectively agree that this is unacceptable and we are seized with this situation that these international students are facing. Our focus is to make sure that we identify the perpetrator of this fraud and prevent them from abusing anyone again.
    At the same time, we recognize that there may be students in this cohort who are vulnerable and who were taken advantage of. There is an opportunity for them to present their case, and we will be there with them.


Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, according to Gilles Lehouillier, mayor of Lévis, the inclusion of Davie Shipbuilding in the national shipbuilding strategy marks the birth of “the largest economic ecosystem in the past 50 years” in Lévis.
    Can the Minister of Public Services and Procurement tell us more about the economic spin-offs that Davie's inclusion will have for the Lévis region and for the country more generally?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle for her important question.
    The historic investment in Davie is great news for Quebec and for Canada as a whole. It is expected to generate $21 million in economic spin-offs in a variety of sectors and support more than 4,000 jobs. Together, we are rebuilding Canada's marine industry.




    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and his speNDP junior partners have caused a problem. Their massive inflationary budgets have caused rate increases, which cause mortgage increases, which cause defaults on homes for Canadians.
    We have the solution. The solution is to stop the deficits, stop the inflation, stop the interest rate hikes and stop the defaults on homes.
    I have a simple question: When will the Prime Minister stop his inflationary deficit spending?


    Mr. Speaker, at a time when wildfires are raging across Quebec and Canada, the Conservatives' priority is to filibuster a bill for implementing the measures set out in our budget. Clearly, the Conservative's plan centres on austerity.
    We have made it very clear that our government will never give up our fight against climate change. We will never abandon the environment. We are here for future generations, and we mean it.


    Mr. Speaker, what a ridiculous response. Canadians are paying the price for the Prime Minister's addiction to spending. The Liberals are telling Canadians that they have never had it so good. One in five Canadians are skipping meals. Eight million Canadians are visiting food banks because there is more month than paycheque always left over.
    The simple question is this: If the Liberals are making things so good, why do Canadians not have more money in their pockets?
    Mr. Speaker, contrary to the Conservatives, when we see Canadians struggling, we say, “Let us figure out a way to help them.” The Conservatives say, “Let us do nothing” and sit on their hands.
    We have put forward several initiatives to help Canadians, including the increase to the Canada workers benefit, the doubling of the GST tax credit, the grocery rebate that 11 million are going to get as of July 5 or the Canada dental benefit that is going to help millions of Canadians access dental care for the first time.
    The Conservatives have an opportunity right after question period to support our budget implementation act, help Canadians and make sure that we move forward together.
    Mr. Speaker, families in Nunavut are waking up to a financial nightmare. The Prime Minister's out-of-control spending is causing inflation, and mortgage rates are skyrocketing. An average mortgage payment for a home in Iqaluit went from $3,100 in 2016 to a whopping $4,667 today. That is a $1,500-per-month rise in the last seven years. Sadly, many families in Nunavut are going to lose their homes.
    When will the Prime Minister end his out-of-control inflationary spending? When?
    Mr. Speaker, our government understands the needs of northerners and Canadians. That is why we have introduced the grocery rebate for all of Canada. That is why, in terms of food security, I have introduced $163 million of new money for Nutrition North. That is why we introduced $10-a-day day care, which the member voted against. That is why we brought in the Canada child benefit, which has lifted 450,000 kids out of poverty, and the member voted against it.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, today is World Oceans Day, and it is a moment to think about the critical role healthy and abundant oceans play in the fight against climate change.
    Can the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard please inform the House on our government's progress toward our ambitious goal of protecting 30% of our oceans by 2025?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for St. John's East for her tireless advocacy on behalf of oceans and fisheries.
    In 2015, less than 1% of Canada's oceans were protected. Today, we are protecting close to 15% and we are on track to protect 25% by 2025 and 30% by 2030 by working closely with indigenous peoples.
    Healthy oceans support prosperous coastal communities and are a very important heat and carbon sink. We are taking action to protect the oceans and the planet, half—
    The hon. member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke.

Human Rights

    Mr. Speaker, exclusionary policies that ban trans women and girls from sports are cruel human rights violations. There is no credible scientific evidence to support these bans. The real threat to women's sports is not trans women; it is systemic and discriminatory underfunding of women's sports.
    Human rights protections are only meaningful when the government takes a stand in defence of rights and against discrimination. What is the Minister of Sport doing to bring an end to trans-exclusionary policies at organizations like Swimming Canada?



    Mr. Speaker, of course, our government will always stand up for human rights, especially the rights of the trans community. Incidentally, I want to point out that, unfortunately, the Conservative leader was not at the flag-raising today to support the community.
    That said, I will continue to work with all sports community partners so that, together, we can find a way to respect the rights of trans people, women and all communities in local and international competitions.


Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, our country is on fire. The climate emergency is all around us, and instead of serious action, we have the Conservatives' tone-deaf efforts to repeal the carbon tax on one side and the Liberals giving our money to the very sector, the oil and gas industry, most responsible for it on the other. What we need now is action, not more loans for the Trans Mountain pipeline.
    Will the government get serious and end all subsidies to the oil and gas industry today?
    Mr. Speaker, I have good news for my hon. colleague. In 2018, EDC went from $12.5 billion in international fossil fuel subsidies to less than $400 million last July. This will get to zero this year. These are international fossil fuel subsidies. We will also eliminate all domestic fossil fuel subsidies in 2023, two years earlier than all of our G20 partners.

Honorary Canadian Citizen

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I believe, if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion.
    I move:
    Whereas Russian opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza is facing political persecution in the Russian Federation including a show trial with high treason charges following his public condemnation of the unjustified and illegal war by Russia against Ukraine;
    Whereas he has survived two assassination attempts by poisoning including in 2015 and 2017;
    Whereas he is currently imprisoned in Russia and his health is failing;
    Whereas he is the recipient of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize awarded by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe;
    Whereas Vladimir Kara-Murza is a Senior Fellow to the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights;
therefore, this House resolves to bestow the title “honourary Canadian citizen” on Vladimir Kara-Murza and demand that the Russian Federation set him free.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay. It is agreed.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

     (Motion agreed to)

Points of Order

Technical Issues Raised During the Taking of Recorded Division—Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    Before proceeding with the vote, the Chair wishes to return to the issues experienced with the voting application during the votes held yesterday.
    Multiple members claimed to be having difficulty with the voting app, and instead sought to cast their vote by video conference. Many others, having voted successfully with the app, connected to the video conference, seeking to confirm their vote. Their interventions were often preceded by lengthy preambles, despite the instructions of the Deputy Speaker to cast their vote without additional comments.
    As was done after similar difficulties last Friday, the Chair asked the House administration to investigate what had occurred. Many employees worked last night to confirm, once again, that there was no generalized outage and that, with a few isolated exceptions, the application worked as intended.


     In the two years the House has been using the voting application, there have generally been a small number of members who experience technical difficulties on a particular vote. In those cases, the correct procedure is for them to connect to the video conference and to cast their vote orally.
    There are also some occasions where the app will signal to members the potential for an issue and invite them to confirm their vote via video conference. Again, this is normal and generally presents no problem for the small number of members affected. Finally, technical difficulties can often be resolved by contacting an IT ambassador which, as members know, is something that is highly recommended as a remedy for issues. These are then normally very quickly resolved.



    What was unusual was that, both Friday and yesterday, a particularly large number of members who seemed to have such difficulties were almost exclusively from one political party. However, only three members made any attempt to contact our IT support during the votes.
    One of the advantages of the voting application is that it can be used by members from anywhere in Canada. As such, the Chair finds it curious, even worrisome, that yesterday, a good number of members who seemed to have issues were using the application from their lobby. Furthermore, when claiming to have experienced issues, they opted to log into the video conference from the lobby rather than walking the few metres it takes to enter the chamber to clarify their vote.
    More troubling is the audio feedback issues that were created while doing this from the lobby, thereby putting the safety of our interpreters at risk, something that was addressed by the Deputy Speaker yesterday.


    Given these circumstances, the Chair suspects that these difficulties were not technological in nature. A verification of our technical logs leads one to the same conclusion.
    In the ruling delivered on Monday, found at page 15261 of the Debates, I stated, and I quote:
    The Chair has the utmost respect for the voting process. The success of the voting application depends on the good faith of members. All members are to treat their right to vote in this place with the sanctity and respect it deserves.
     As we approach the summer adjournment, I recognize that there are often moments when tensions run high, and disagreements can become more pronounced, but the Chair implores members to carefully consider their actions and the example they are providing.


    On March 14, 2008, Speaker Milliken said, at page 4183 of the Debates:
    Like all Canadians, and indeed all hon. members, I realize and respect that political exigencies often dictate the strategies adopted by parties in the House. However, as your Speaker, I appeal to those to whom the management of the business of the Parliament has been entrusted—the House leaders and the whips of all parties—to take leadership on this matter....I ask them to work together to find a balance that will allow the parties to pursue their political objectives and will permit all members to carry on their work.
    In this spirit, the Chair once again hopes that members will cast their votes with the solemnity such an act deserves and will refrain from actions which bring the House into disrepute.
    I thank all members for their attention.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]



Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1

     The House resumed from June 7 consideration of the motion that Bill C-47, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 28, 2023, be read the third time and passed.
    It being 3:19 p.m., pursuant to order made Thursday, June 23, 2022, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-47.


    Call in the members.



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

(Division No. 366)



Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Martinez Ferrada
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McDonald (Avalon)
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
Petitpas Taylor
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Taylor Roy
Van Bynen
van Koeverden

Total: -- 177



Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
Rempel Garner
Van Popta

Total: -- 146




Total: -- 2

    I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, as it is Thursday, we would ask the House leader on the government side if he could inform us as to what the Liberals have for their agenda next week. Specifically, the Conservatives would like to know if the Liberals have a plan to address the higher deficits, the higher inflation and the higher interest rates they have caused, which are causing people across this country to be worried about losing their homes.
    Mr. Speaker, inflation is a global phenomenon. It is good that Canada is below the OECD average. It is also below the G7 average, the G20 average, the U.S., the U.K., Spain, Germany and many other countries. Of course, that is not good enough. We have to continue to lead and do everything we can. That is why I am so proud that this House just adopted a budget with critical measures to help Canadians in every corner of this country with affordability, because we are not going to fix the problem of global inflation by slashing support to the most vulnerable.
    After passing the budget, this House has important work to do over the next two weeks.
    It will start this evening as we resume debate on Bill C-35, on early learning and child care, at report stage. Once that debate is done, we will resume debate on Bill C-33, on railway safety. Tomorrow, we will debate Bill C-41, on humanitarian aid. On Monday at noon, we will begin second reading debate of Bill C-48 concerning bail reform, and then we will go to Bill C-35 at third reading after question period. On Tuesday we will call Bill S-8, on sanctions, at report stage and third reading.
    On top of this, priority will be given to Bill C-22, the disability benefit, and Bill C-40 regarding miscarriage of justice reviews, as well as our proposal to implement changes to the Standing Orders, which were tabled earlier today, to render provisions with respect to hybrid Parliament permanent in this House.
    Furthermore, I have a unanimous consent motion that I would like to propose in relation to the debate tomorrow.
    I move:
     That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House, in relation to Bill C-41, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other Acts:
(a) the amendment in Clause 1 adopted by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which reads as follows:
“(a) by adding after line 26 on page 1 the following:
     (4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to a person who carries out any of the acts referred to in those subsections for the sole purpose of carrying out humanitarian assistance activities conducted under the auspices of impartial humanitarian organizations in accordance with international law while using reasonable efforts to minimize any benefit to terrorist groups.
“(b) by deleting lines 15 to 19 on page 2.”
be deemed within the principle of the bill; and
(b) when the bill is taken up at report stage:
(i) it be deemed concurred in, as amended, on division, after which the bill shall be immediately ordered for consideration at the third reading stage,
(ii) not more than one sitting day or five hours of debate, whichever is the shortest, shall be allotted for consideration at the third reading stage,
(iii) five minutes before the expiry of the time provided for government orders that day, at the conclusion of the five hours allocated for the debate, or when no member rises to speak, whichever is earlier, all questions necessary to dispose of the said stage of the bill shall be put forthwith without further debate or amendment, provided that, if a recorded division is requested, it shall be deferred pursuant to order made Thursday, June 23, 2022.


    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay. It is agreed.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Climate Change  

[Business of Supply]
    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, would members look at that? Two days ago, the Leader of the Opposition said that he was going to pull out every tool in the tool box to prevent the budget from being passed. I have been here since 2015, and I am pretty certain this is the earliest I have ever seen a budget get passed. I would encourage the member for Carleton, the Leader of the Opposition, to keep up his tactics, because it is certainly helping this side of the House get important pieces of legislation like the budget, which will help so many Canadians, through the House.
    As we talk about this motion introduced by the Bloc today, I cannot help but reflect on what I was talking about prior to question period when I started my speech, and that is the absolute reluctance of Conservative members to agree that humans have caused climate change and that we have a role to play in addressing it.
    I am reminded of a cartoon that I recently saw that was floating around on social media that shows forest fires burning and firefighters fighting those fires while a plane flies above with a banner off the back of it with the Conservative logo, “Scrap the carbon tax.” Conservatives are ready to burn the whole place down in the name of preserving our ability to extract fossil fuels from the ground. Even the Bloc Québécois, which they are partners with most of the time, the light blue, understands that climate change is a serious issue and we need to move quickly. We need to do more and push the government to do more at all times in order to properly combat the negative effects that we are seeing as a result of climate change and, quite frankly, prepare ourselves to be able to deal with them.
    There is a lot that has already changed and a lot that we will not see reversed for generations to come. We have to understand that climate change is with us and that we have to be as prepared as we can be to deal with it in the best ways possible. However, that is not to say that we should throw up our hands and suggest that we should not be doing anything to prevent further disasters and further climate change from occurring. The Bloc Québécois, with this motion, is pushing the government, as it should, as a responsible opposition party, to do more and to do better.
    I reference item (e) in its motion, which I am very much in support of. It states, “demand that the federal government stop investing in fossil fuels and develop incentives, while respecting the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces, to promote the use of renewable energy and public transit.” In response to that, I would say that we have done a significant amount, whether it is investing in public transit and, in particular, electric buses in transit systems throughout our country, investing in renewable energies or investing in electric vehicle technology and electric vehicle purchases by consumers. The federal government has been there, but that is not to say that we cannot do more; we must do more and we have to be asking the government at all times to do more about ensuring that we are taking this matter seriously.
    When we talk about some of the specific investments, I am reminded of a company just outside of my riding of Kingston and the Islands, in the riding of Hastings—Lennox and Addington. The government formed a partnership with Umicore, a battery manufacturing facility, which will establish the largest battery manufacturing facility for electric vehicles in North America. This is a company that has a lot of history and has built similar facilities in other parts of the world. It is based out of Europe. It has expanded in Europe, and is now looking at markets outside Europe. It is looking at Canada.
    One may ask why it is interested in Canada and not the United States. We are a relatively small economy compared to our neighbour, the United States, and there are other options in North America. Quite frankly, it chose Canada because it sees our commitment to sustainability. It sees our commitment to supporting the industry that it is part of. That is exactly what we need to be doing now.
    Not only is the Bloc Québécois calling on the government to do more from an environmental perspective, but this motion is also asking the federal government to bolster the economy and have a stronger economy as it relates to renewable energy. This is absolutely critical at this point, as we heard the Minister of Environment say earlier. We are at the forefront of new technology. This is technology that is going to change not just Canada, but the world.
    We have an option. We can either wait and let other countries develop it, import their technology and what they produce in years to come, or we can be at the forefront of it. We can develop those technologies here, we can harness the intellectual capability, intellectual patents and the ideas that come from people who are working on these projects. We can see them developed here, and then we become an exporter of that technology, selling it to the rest of the world.


    Anybody who looks at macroeconomic policy would determine that the far superior way of approaching this is to become a leader in this. Of course, in order to do that, they have to believe that is the future. That is where the divide is in this House, at least as it relates to Conservatives versus every other party. Conservatives do not believe that the future is in those technologies. They believe that the future is in the continual extraction of oil and fossil fuels from underground so that they can be burned and used, and we would not have the opportunity to benefit from those incredible advancements that we are seeing in other parts of the world.
    As I wrap up my speech, I again want to compliment the Bloc Québécois for bringing forward what I regard to be a substantive motion that is not light and fluffy and lacking a call to action, but indeed a motion that does call on the government to do more. That is what a responsible opposition party should be doing. I see that in this motion today and I am very happy to vote in favour of it when we ultimately vote on this next week.


    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his macroeconomic policy speech. I suppose that is what it was. I listened to him speak with regard to EVs, electric vehicles, and ZEVs.