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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 040

CONTENTS

Thursday, March 3, 2022




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 040
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[English]

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner

    Pursuant to subsection 15(3) of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, it is my duty to lay upon the table the list of all sponsored travel by members for the year 2021 as provided by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

Committees of the House

Citizenship and Immigration 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, entitled “Situation at the Russia-Ukraine Border”.
    The committee wishes to advise the House that it condemns the unwarranted and unprovoked attack on Ukraine that was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a clear violation of international law. It also calls on the Government of Canada to support Ukrainians and people residing in Ukraine who are impacted by this conflict, to ensure that it is prepared to process immigration applications on an urgent basis without compromising needs in other areas and to take steps to ensure rapid entry to Canada for all who wish to come.

Natural Resources  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, entitled “Supplementary Estimates (C), 2021-22”.
    The committee has considered the estimates referred by the House and reports the same back without amendment.

Financial Administration Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce an important bill to Parliament. This legislation would amend the Financial Administration Act to require gender parity on the board of directors of Crown corporations and agencies.
    I would like to thank the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre for seconding this bill and for her tireless advocacy for gender equality.
    Today in Canada, women make up only 27% of federal appointments to Crown corporation boards. Only 18% of director seats are held by women across all corporate boards in Canada, and 61% of boards are composed entirely of men. This is unacceptable and must change. By adopting this legislation, the federal government can lead by example and take concrete action to advance gender equality in Canada.
    For systemic change to occur, we must change the system. I hope all parliamentarians will support this important and overdue initiative.

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

Canadian Human Rights Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Haldimand—Norfolk for her collaboration and assistance on this important project.
    I am tabling a bill that would expand human rights protection in Canada by making political belief and activity prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act. Canadians must be free to express and act on their political beliefs within the law and with the protection of law. They should not face intimidation or discrimination while doing so by either governments or private employers. This freedom is essential for strong democracy within a robust and independent civil society.
    This bill would align federal human rights codes with the human rights codes in most provinces. Currently, in federal jurisdiction it is legal for someone to face threats to their employment or access to services because of their political beliefs or activity. This allows governments and large corporations to coerce workers and other Canadians into limiting or changing their political behaviour.
    The Canadian Human Rights Act already contains an exception for a bona fide occupational qualification. Let us protect freedom of speech, the rights of workers and the health of our democracy by passing this important human rights legislation as soon as possible.

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

  (1010)  

Proposal to Rename Street

     Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions, and I hope if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:
    That the House call upon the City of Ottawa to consider renaming the portion of Charlotte Street which houses the Russian Embassy in honour of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine.
    All those opposed to the hon. member 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)

Petitions

Seniors  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present petition e-3629 on behalf of Single Seniors for Tax Fairness. Their petition advocates for equal treatment in Canada's tax system for single seniors who are not able to access the same tax benefits as those who are married, but who face same reality of the rising costs of living on a limited income.
    I want to thank the group's founder, Jane Robertson, who has been a strong advocate for this cause that affects those across Canada, including those in my riding of Davenport.

Air Transportation  

    Mr. Speaker, Canada and Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon are home to a vibrant community of more than one million Punjabi Canadians. Each year many travel to the Punjab region to visit family, friends and religious landmarks like the Golden Temple. Right now, they must fly into Delhi and make the long journey by train, bus or other means. Canadians are asking for direct flight service from Vancouver or Toronto to Amritsar, Punjab, which would cut travel times drastically. This would be good for our economy and it would make good economic sense.
    I am pleased today to table petition e-3771, signed by more than 14,000 Canadians, calling on the Government of Canada to work with airlines and India's High Commission to initiate this direct flight service as soon as possible. We could get this done, and petitioners from across Canada look forward in good faith to the government's response.

Seniors  

    Mr. Speaker, many residents of Winnipeg North have signed this petition asking for the Government of Canada, the Prime Minister and, in fact, all members of the House of Commons to advocate for our seniors and deal with issues such as long-term health care, mental health, the OAS and the GIS, all very important issues for our seniors.
    The constituents I represent have signed, in good part, the petition asking for all members of the House to be advocates for the needs of our seniors.

Queen Juliana Park  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in this place to present a petition from many people in the Ottawa area. This is in fact one of many petitions I have received on this issue, which has also been presented by other members in this place.
    The cutting down of beautiful urban trees is a problem in any city in Canada, but in Ottawa Queen Juliana Park is more than a park. It is also a memorial and an honouring of the Canadians who died in the liberation of the Netherlands in the war. Queen Juliana Park was established to honour the 7,600 Canadians who died.
    It is now slated that 750 mature canopy trees will be cut down in order to accommodate a decision that was the reverse of what was recommended by the National Capital Commission, which recommended 53 acres of surplus federal office land at Tunney's Pasture. Instead, the city council of Ottawa chose to cut down the trees at Queen Juliana Park to build parking lots and open up the door to more development.
    The petitioners ask that the federal government assist in having an inquiry into why the National Capital Commission recommendation was overturned, restore the National Capital Commission recommendation of Tunney's Pasture as the ideal place for an Ottawa Hospital and maintain Queen Juliana Park and the entire Central Experimental Farm areas as much-needed urban green space for Ottawa.

  (1015)  

Questions on the Order Paper

    The Speaker: Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Natural Gas Pipelines and the Invasion of Ukraine  

    That the House:
(a) condemn President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation for their unprovoked, illegal attack and invasion of Ukraine;
(b) stand with Ukraine, the people of Ukraine and Canadians in the Ukrainian community; and
(c) call on the Government of Canada to undertake measures to ensure new natural gas pipelines can be approved and built to Atlantic tidewater, recognizing energy as vital to Canadian and European defence and security, allowing Canadian natural gas to displace Russian natural gas in Europe, and being consistent with environmental goals in the transition to non-emitting sources of energy.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Calgary Centre.
    The attack on Ukraine by the Russian Federation is the first European war between countries since the Second World War and a serious violation of the international order and our collective humanity. This attack threatens not only Ukraine, but Canada. Canada's defence and security has always been inextricably linked to that of Europe. The attack was in Ukraine, but the threat is also among us.
    Since Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec in 1608, the outbreak of major wars in Europe has always involved Canada. The Seven Years War, which many consider to be the first global conflict between Great Britain and France, led to the conquest of 1759. What we call the War of 1812 was actually a subsidiary of the Napoleonic Wars. Canadians know well the price that Canada paid in the First World War and the Second World War in Europe, and 100,000 Canadian war dead can attest to that.

[Translation]

    The attack represents a second threat to Canada. It came on the heels of an autocratic pact between the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China that threatens the rules-based international order in place since 1945.
    Canada contributed to establishing this international order, and it has been the basis for the longest period of peace and prosperity in modern times. The disintegration of this international order will threaten peace and security here in Canada.

[English]

    We support the actions taken to date by the Government of Canada, but more needs to be done, which is why we have introduced our motion today. One of the most important things we can do is understand that energy is vital not only to our economy, but also to our defence and security and to the defence and security of Europe. Russia understands this. It has used natural gas to intimidate and coerce European democracies. Russia supplies 40% of Europe's natural gas and uses this to intimidate Europe and Ukraine, threatening to cut off supplies. If supplies are cut, people will freeze, factories will shutter and Europe's economy will grind to a halt.
    Not only does Russia understand this, and not only does it understand that energy is vital to its defence and security, but so does the European Union. In 2015, the European Commission introduced measures to try to diversify energy away from Russia. The commission said, in reference to Russia's use of energy to intimidate and threaten European democracies, in a document titled, “A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy”:
    Energy policy is often used as a foreign policy tool, in particular in major energy producing and transit countries.
    The commission said:
    As part of a revitalised European energy and climate diplomacy, the EU will use all its foreign policy instruments to establish strategic energy partnerships with increasingly important producing and transit countries or regions....
    It also said:
    The [European Union] will continue to integrate Norway fully into its internal energy policies. The EU will also develop its partnerships with countries such as the United States and Canada.
    We need to understand, as the Russians and the Europeans do, that energy is vital not only to our economy but to our defence and security. We need to understand what others have long understood, which is that energy is also a foreign policy tool, particularly in major energy producing and transit countries.
    Since the first week of December, the Biden administration has been trying to rally natural gas-producing allies and partners around the world, such as Norway and Qatar, to ensure that additional natural gas supplies can be brought online in the event that Russia cuts the gas to Europe. While Canada has participated in these conversations, Canada has not been able to provide any assistance.
     Canada is the world's fifth-largest natural gas producer, but we are unable to get natural gas to tidewater to provide assistance to European democracies. We cannot get natural gas to tidewater because we cannot get pipelines built. That inability to get pipelines built is now not only impacting our economy. It is now threatening our security and defence here at home, and the defence and security of Europe.

  (1020)  

[Translation]

    The government must introduce measures to get new pipelines approved and built to transport Canadian natural gas to the Atlantic coast so we can displace Russian natural gas in Europe.
    This is an urgent matter affecting the safety and security of Canadians. It is also an important issue for the defence and security of European democracies.

[English]

    I know that some might say that exporting liquefied natural gas to Europe is inconsistent with our environmental goals. They would be wrong. Exporting liquefied natural gas is consistent with environmental goals in the transition to non-emitting sources of energy. One of the biggest things Canada and the world can do in the next decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in order to meet the Paris accord targets, is to replace coal-fired electrical generation plants with natural gas-fired electrical generation plants. Canada can play a role in that transition if we can build natural gas pipelines to tidewater to export liquefied natural gas.
    The government's own data shows that coal-fired electrical generation plants are two times more greenhouse gas intensive than natural gas plants, and Europe and many other countries in the world still rely on coal-fired electrical generation plants. Getting our natural gas to tidewater is not only an economic imperative or a defence and security imperative, but it is also an environmental imperative.
    We condemn President Putin and the Russian Federation for their unprovoked, illegal attack and invasion of Ukraine. We stand with Ukraine, we stand with the people of Ukraine, and we stand with Canadians here at home with ties to Ukraine. We must use all of the tools available to us as a country to defend Ukraine and Europe against a vicious authoritarian onslaught.
    Some of the things that the Canadian government can do to support democracies in Europe are recognize that Canada has immense energy resources, recognize that energy is vital to Canadian and European defence and security, recognize that natural gas is consistent with environmental goals in the transition to non-emitting sources of energy, and undertake new measures that ensure natural gas pipelines can be approved and built to Atlantic tidewater. If we can build pipelines to get Canadian natural gas to tidewater, we can displace Russian gas in Europe, thereby countering the threat from the Russian Federation and President Vladimir Putin and strengthening democracy in Europe and here at home in Canada.

  (1025)  

    Madam Speaker, Parliament certainly stands to condemn Vladimir Putin for his unprovoked illegal attack, and we certainly stand with the people of Ukraine, but what I find really disturbing and appalling at this time is the crass exploitative attitude of the Conservatives to try to take a humanitarian disaster and use it to promote the pipe dream of spending billions of taxpayers' dollars on pipelines.
    They could have talked about the need for Parliament to stand together and take on Russian disinformation. They did not do that. They could have talked about the food crisis we could start to see if we see wheat exports in Ukraine cut off. They could have talked about refugees, but they are not interested in that. I expect a lot from many of the Conservative backbenchers, but I expect more from this member.
    Does he not know that Quebec has already shut down LNG pipelines? If he is going to get to tidewater, does he not have a map of Canada? Quebec says it will not allow LNG exports. That would actually undermine our world obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    Madam Speaker, I could not disagree with my hon. colleague more.
    We have for weeks, months and years called for the government to issue an order of general application to direct the CRTC to a new broadcasting policy, under section 7 of the Broadcasting Act, to take state-controlled broadcasters that spread disinformation and propaganda off of Canadian airwaves, such as Russia Today: RT. We have been advocating for over a year for visa-free travel for Ukrainians coming to Canada. It is clear, as understood by the European Union, that energy is not only vital to economies, but it is also vital to defence and security. That is why the Conservatives have introduced this motion today. It is vital that we protect the security and defence of this country and that of our European allies and partners.
    Madam Speaker, the government has demonstrated very clearly how important it is to work with allied countries, and we are all horrified by the things we see taking place in Ukraine. I am interested in knowing, from the Conservative Party's perspective, to what degree it weighs working with allied countries. Many of the initiatives, such as immigration, the lifting of and assisting with visas, and sending lethal weapons and humanitarian aid are done by working with allied countries.
    Could the member share his thoughts on the importance of working with allied countries?
    Madam Speaker, we believe it is essential that Canada work with allied countries. Our position is that the NATO alliance has worked in a very collaborative fashion in presenting a very strong position against the menace of the Russian Federation in Eastern Europe, and we support the actions taken by the Government of Canada to date.
    We encourage the government to work in a quadrilateral fashion with the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union to discuss how the humanitarian crisis of refugees in Eastern Europe could be handled by the four parties to ensure that refugees are taken in, in an appropriate manner, by the members of the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, La Presse newspaper published an excellent article by Paul Journet this morning about the Conservatives' obsession with building pipelines and exporting fossil fuels.
    He wrote that there are two obstacles standing in Canada's way. First, competing countries are already lined up to supply Germany.
    He mentioned Norway in particular and wrote that time is not on Canada's side. It would take a few years to get a liquefaction plant up and running, but the war has prompted the German chancellor to speed up his energy transition.
    Paul Journet quoted the German chancellor as saying, “the faster we make progress with the development of renewable energies, the better”. The chancellor then added that his finance minister calls renewable energy “freedom energy”.
    Does my colleague not believe that, rather than using—

  (1030)  

    The hon. member for Wellington—Halton Hills.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's question.
    The European Union is also obsessed with pipelines. I have a document here from 2015 that says that pipeline policy is a concern not only for the economy, but also for Europe's security and its expenditures. I encourage my colleague to read this document.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is my honour today to second the motion brought forward by my colleague from Halton Hills. I stand firmly with the rest of my party in condemning the actions of Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime against our allies in Ukraine, our democratic friends in Ukraine. Here in Canada, there are 1.3 million Ukrainian descendants. They are one of our most important allies in the world, and we need to stand with them strongly at this point in time and make sure that we speak and act accordingly so that this does not continue, as much as we can.
    The other day I heard from a friend who has a cousin who is in Ukraine. She was here in Canada for 20 years, but she chose to go back to Ukraine because she retired. She had an inheritance there in a small house that she got from her family, so that is where she retired. That house was destroyed earlier this week by a tank. Her name is Luda and now she is in hiding. Luda's family is asking that we quickly allow 200,000 refugees to come from Ukraine, at least temporarily. We have seen the backlog at the border with Poland. They are not going to be able to shelter all of these refugees alone. We need to help. Canada needs to help and quickly.
    Rex Tillerson, former head and CEO of Exxon Mobil Oil, one of the world's largest oil and gas producers, said in 2014, when Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine, that they didn't take sides in international conflicts. That is an absurd statement. We need to know what side of humanity we are on. There is no commodity, no dollar earned, that is more important than the lives that are being trampled on by Vladimir Putin. Rex Tillerson's words represent the decline of western values to the point where nothing matters more than money. This needs to change immediately. The evidence is clearly at our doorstep.
     I have heard the meek calls from world leaders saying we cannot disrupt Russia's oil and gas exports for various reasons. First, it will cause a spike in oil prices that will cause financial hardship in the world.
    That is ironic considering the intent of all of our various tax measures on the oil and gas industry: excise taxes, royalties and carbon taxes. That one is going to escalate by 25% in less than a month in Canada. These are all designed to do exactly that: to make the consumption of hydrocarbons more expensive so that people believe that the expensive alternatives are more palatable. I suppose the message is to make it more expensive just on our own terms, but inaction to disrupt Russia's trade in oil and gas in the world is going to have some financial consequences on those countries that have chosen to have the resources supplied by Russia. This will cause inflation. There is no doubt. Just as every other input increasing prices in oil and gas impacts inflation. We are experiencing significant inflation.
    Second, Europe's economy is dependent on the supply of Russian natural gas. That is also a choice that has been made, in spite of the danger that was always evident of having such a large portion of energy supply coming from an unpredictable and despotic regime. Yes, jobs will be impacted.
    Third, Europeans will freeze at the end of this winter. Yes, the absence of natural gas delivery to Europe will cause some discomfort, some of which we have already seen as energy prices have skyrocketed in Europe this year. Europe is entering a period of energy poverty, and it has always been looking for a quick fix. It turns out that the impacts of being overly reliant on Russian gas supply is not the quick fix that leaders without foresight envisioned or ignored, with its own consequences.
    There are many consequences, but for succinctness let us put three consequences briefly together. Higher costs for hydrocarbon energy is something that we in the west have been manipulating higher through government action for years, but higher costs suddenly will cause inflation, hardship and choices. There is also economic displacement. European factories will need to adjust and some will shut down as the cost of energy becomes prohibitive. Again, we in the western world have been offshoring our jobs for years to parts of the world with lower environmental standards and lower labour standards. On heating for homes, there is going to be some discomfort.
    Let us compare these three hardships that I have just outlined here to what Luda is experiencing in Ukraine right now.

  (1035)  

    A country is being destroyed. There is no economy or jobs that will matter in the midst of a shelling war. Luda's home was destroyed by a Russian tank. The juxtaposition is stark and the world is soft-pedalling our response to Russia because we need its oil and gas. The irony is stark. Where do we draw the line here, after Ukraine, when Poland or Moldova is in Russia's sights? We need to collectively act now and ensure the entire world rejects Russian commodities. Such is the cost of tyranny, which we have been ignoring for years. The Canadian government has been a willing part of this abject shift. Dollars have flown to Russia because of the government's regard for Canada's resource industry.
    In the last seven years, oil production in Russia has gone up by a million barrels a day. Gas exports have gone up 35% from Russia. Disdain for Canadian resources has led oil and gas exploration elsewhere, including the world majors. Shell and British Petroleum have just recently decided they would extract themselves from Russia, losing $20 billion and $25 billion respectively in the process. However, the largest beneficiary, particularly for the flow of capital, has been Russia, which has profited with hundreds of billions of dollars because of choices such as the ones the Liberal government has made.
    These are choices. All of these choices have consequences, the consequences of curtailing Canadian oil and gas development through various ill-advised methods has led to the void being filled by less transparent regimes, primarily Russia. Our naive policies have put hundreds of billions of dollars into the pockets of a despotic regime. This week I asked the government to actually curtail oil imports into Canada from Russia, and it said we had not imported crude since 2019. Subsequently it recognized there is more to oil than crude and did suggest, on which I think it will follow through, cancelling all crude oil imports. I hope that happens immediately.
    We have helped finance, through this transfer of money, a military buildup in Russia. Our military has shrunk. We do not meet our international obligations from a military perspective. I remember a song by a Canadian band from when I was young. The gist of it was that if we choose not to decide, we still have made a choice. This is a choice we have made without any eye on the consequences here. When I ran for Parliament going on two and a half years ago, it was to get pipelines built. There is no better infrastructure for helping the Canadian economy and the world environment than Canadian pipelines delivering Canadian product to markets.
    Canadian natural gas production has gone down in the last seven years. Russia's has gone up by 35%, again a juxtaposition that is stark. The west coast had 14 LNG facilities in line to be built in Canada. Now there is one that is being built. In the U.S., in the meantime, seven have been fully built and five more are being built. Think about how we do not get things done in this country anymore, things that will help the world from an environmental perspective, from an economic perspective and, of course, from a democratic perspective.
    One of the issues on natural gas is that it is not just a fuel. It is also an input to fertilizer. Feeding eight billion people in the world requires natural gas fertilizer and that is going to continue to be necessary to prevent a crisis at some point in time in the future. Therefore, getting that natural gas to where it is needed for fertilizer is essential.
    I spoke last night for 20 minutes with a gentleman named Karil. He is a temporary foreign worker from the Ukraine working in Alberta's oil fields. He was pleaded with me, and he ended up shouting at me and apologizing to me. I felt awful because he should not be apologizing to me. He is from Kharkiv and he has seen his city destroyed. He has seen his family displaced. They are looking for places to stay, and I say I am sorry to him that we cannot act more forcefully here in getting this under control.
    We need to act. We need to act quickly and decisively, as soon as we can. Slava Ukraini.

  (1040)  

    Madam Speaker, as I think we all know, President Zelenskyy of Ukraine has asked Canada for military aid; lethal and non-lethal weapons, which we have delivered; financial assistance, which we have delivered; and sanctions, which we have delivered. Every ask that President Zelenskyy made we have delivered on.
    He has not asked us to build pipelines in Canada. Why is this the Conservative Party's priority? Is it an attempt to help Ukraine or is it a crass throwback to a 20th-century Conservative Party policy instead of a 21st-century solution to a problem we are facing today?
    I remind members that, when somebody is asking a question, there is no sense in trying to answer for the hon. member who has the floor and will be answering. I am sure the hon. member for Calgary Centre is able to respond to the question.
    The hon. member for Calgary Centre has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, I am unfamiliar with my hon. colleague's timeline of 20th century versus 21st century. The solution is more environmental power to the world. It is more ESG, environmentally friendly, socially friendly and good governance, as we see investments in natural gas supply to an energy starved world.
    That starts with natural gas, and that is what has been held up by the government since it came to power, when we had the best rocks in the world and the best ability to get a good resource to the world for its consumption. We have put the world in a position where it is reliant on despotic resources. That is, as I said, a choice we have made and there is a consequence to that choice.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for defending the Conservative motion that the Bloc Québécois does not support because it does nothing to respond to the crisis in Ukraine. That is something we need to keep in mind.
    Neither Europe nor Ukraine has asked for oil or gas from Canada, namely Alberta. In the short term—because we all hope this crisis will be short-lived—there are many countries that are infinitely better placed than Canada to supply gas, countries that already have pipelines and access to ports to export to Europe.
    The only way the Conservative motion would produce results is in the long term, if Russia was permanently isolated, which would push Russia into China's camp.
    Is that what we want? No.
    Does my colleague understand that this war would have to last 15 years before this solution could be implemented?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I think I understood the gist of it.
    Right now, it is very important that we make Canada's gas supply available to the world. Countries are currently getting gas from Russia, and there are needs in China. The Russian pipelines to China are very important for that country. We need to build pipelines so that we too can sell our gas to China.
    This is a global issue, and we need to address it with our natural gas industry.

[English]

    Qujannamiik, Uqaqtittiji.
    According to the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, about 1.45 million people are still internally displaced after fleeing the conflict in Donbass and occupied Crimea. Save the Children states that children in eastern Ukraine have grown up in conflict for the past eight years, enduring violence, shelling and displacement from their homes. Even before this latest escalation of tensions, 2.9 million people, including over 400,000 children, already required humanitarian assistance.
    Does the member not agree that, if Canada is to truly stand with the Ukrainian people, we must focus our energy on humanitarian efforts and not on measures to further exploit land and resources by expanding oil and gas operations?

  (1045)  

    Madam Speaker, the most important thing to do right now is to make sure we are standing firm with the Ukrainian people in the plight they are facing from an aggressive neighbour that wants to defeat them. This is first thing we have to look at. How do we help them as much as possible? Part of that is the displacement of refugees that is occurring immediately.
    In my speech, my colleague will recall that we were actually looking at 200,000 people being allowed into Canada on a temporary basis. That is the first step. We also need to address how this is happening, why it is happening and how we can avoid it happening again in the future. Part of that is the supply of energy.
    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Don Valley West.
    I, like my colleagues on all sides of the House, stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. This past week has seen them demonstrate incredible courage and strength in the face of an unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of the Russian forces acting under the orders of President Vladimir Putin.
    Russia has tried to make a mockery of our international system to force a reversion to a “might makes right” world. We will not allow this to happen. Inspired by the courage and resolve of the Ukrainian people, we are working together to suffocate the Russian regime. We are working in lockstep with our allies. Measures that were described as a last resort just days ago are now moving forward with consensus.
    The Russian regime is being hit from all angles with severe, economic costs for their unjustified and unprovoked attack on Ukraine. They will feel the impact of these sanctions and penalties, financially and politically, immediately and for years to come.
    President Putin and those who have enabled this crisis are increasingly isolated. Soon, there will be nowhere left for them to hide. We will continue to support the people and government of Ukraine as they fight against these illegal acts.
    We remain deeply concerned by Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the impacts these actions are having on Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Today, I can assure you that our government is taking steps to assist Canadian citizens, permanent residents and the family members affected by this tragedy.
    Our diplomatic staff who were in Ukraine are now safely located at our temporary office in a city in Poland close to the Ukrainian border. Our office there, along with the neighbouring Canadian embassies in Warsaw, Bucharest, Vienna and Budapest are continuing to provide essential services to Canadians, including consular services. These countries are providing robust infrastructure that has assisted us in managing demand for consular services.
    Specifically, we want to continue to focus on three key areas of support: communicating with Canadians, supporting Canadians in need and continuing to plan for all consular scenarios.
    We continue to communicate risk to Canadians and ensure they are able to make the best possible choices for themselves and their families. Our travel advice and advisories for Ukraine and neighbouring countries continue to be updated regularly, as well as our assessments of the safety and security environment for Canadian citizens.
    These updates are always based on the latest intelligence and reflect what we are seeing on the ground. To ensure that information is available to all Canadians when they want it, on February 19 we launched a crisis website that provides a significant amount of information Canadians may need to know, including information on Ukrainian borders and public health requirements. Not only is this information available to all Canadians and permanent residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but it is also continuously updated as conditions change.
    The emergency watch and response centre provides 24-7 consular support to Canadians overseas who require assistance. The centre delivers a critical service that enables Canada’s ability to offer services to its citizens in Ukraine and around the world. Canadian citizens and permanent residents in need of our government’s support may contact the centre 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via a range of communication channels, including telephone, email, text message, WhatsApp and live chat on the Global Affairs Canada website.
    While the centre is able to handle routine volumes of enquiries, in the event of a significant increase in consular demand, Global Affairs Canada is able to stand up a Ukraine-specific contact centre to manage an influx in enquiries. The department maintains an inventory of over 60 people who are trained and ready to take calls from Canadians in need.
    On the ground in Europe, our standing rapid deployment team, the SRDT, is ready to provide support to missions who may require surge capacity. Team members are currently on standby and, with a 4-hour notice to move, they can activate in a rapid response scenario. This group of specialists are trained and exercised to provide help and support to missions in a variety of emergency scenarios.
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs has been heavily engaged with countries neighbouring Ukraine, such as Poland, which has led to assurances that Canadians, permanent residents, and their family members will be able to cross the border from Ukraine and obtain consular support outside of Ukraine.

  (1050)  

    Our government takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and continues to provide credible and timely information to Canadians. Our contingency planning has been, and continues to be, robust. We will remain agile as the situation on the ground continues to evolve. We are prepared, and we will continue to provide support to Canadians and permanent residents in Ukraine.
    I want to reiterate what I believe all sides of this House can agree upon: President Putin’s war on Ukraine is a war on freedom, democracy, the rights of Ukrainians and ability of all people to determine their own future.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his speech and its comprehensive nature. Does he agree with the European Union that an important energy strategy will also be essential to ensuring the safety and security of nations going forward and at this time? We see that as a very important part of what is going on with Ukraine.
    Is energy security not an important part of the government's process as well?
    Madam Speaker, the Ukrainian government has approached us with many different asks, including support for lethal and non-lethal supplies, support through using sanctions against the Russian regime and supports for Ukrainians who want to come to Canada, and we have delivered. We have been there for Ukrainian people and for the country of Ukraine. I want to reiterate, in terms of working on severe costs to the Russian regime, that this unjustified and unprovoked act needs to be handled seriously. We are working with our NATO allies and our partners around the world.
    Madam Speaker, the Liberal environment minister recently said, “The solution to global energy problems is not to increase our dependency on fossil fuels”. He continued that the best way to improve the energy security of European countries is to simply reduce dependence on oil and gas “regardless of where it's coming from”.
    I am glad to see that the minister recognizes that increasing our dependence on oil and gas is not the way to respond to the climate crisis. However, despite that recognition of the problem, the Liberal government is still giving billions of dollars of subsidies to the oil and gas sector and purchased a pipeline. It is also the only government in the G7 under whose watch pollution has increased.
    Will the Liberals listen to their own minister and finally stand up to the oil and gas sector and hasten the transition to a clean energy future?
    Madam Speaker, as we know, climate change is real and it is happening. When we look toward the future, and we see what is happening in B.C. and with floods and heatwaves across this country, we want to make sure that we are there to protect generations to come, including my own children. We will continue to stand there for the environment, but we will not stand back when Ukrainians are being attacked, and we want to be focused on what we are doing in Ukraine to ensure that world order is restored and democracy is protected.

  (1055)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to come back to the Conservative Party motion.
    Does the Liberal government believe that by building pipelines, thereby “allowing Canadian natural gas to displace Russian natural gas”, as the motion calls for, we will will meet the current needs of a serious war and crisis in Ukraine, where thousands of women and children are forced to flee and leave the men behind?
    Does my colleague think that is the solution?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the member opposite has a very important question. I hope to answer the member in French one day, but I am still learning.
    I think it is really important that we see the motion at hand and the importance of standing with Ukraine. Just this morning, the Minister of National Defence said we are providing additional lethal weapons to Ukraine, including up to 4,500 M72 rocket launchers, up to 7,500 hand grenades and up to $1 million to Ukraine to purchase high-resolution satellite imagery for the Ukraine military to monitor movements of Russian forces in its territory.
    It is important that we continue to focus on the needs of Ukraine. We continue to stand with Ukraine and its people, and we will continue to do what we can with our allies and partners around the world.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague, the other Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, for his great speech and his continuing good work on this and many other files.
    This debate today gives me the opportunity to state once again Canada's unwavering and united support, how we are standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and to once again, unequivocally, condemn Vladimir Putin's unprovoked and unjustifiable war of aggression against the people of the democratically elected government of Ukraine. I believe we stand united in this House across all party lines in that condemnation, and I am proud to be a Canadian parliamentarian because of that.
    President Putin's war is in contravention to article 2, paragraph 4, of the UN charter. It has tyrannically shattered the lives of Ukrainian people and imposes the greatest threat to peace, security and human rights on the continent of Europe, certainly in what I have seen in my memory, and even earlier. He is implementing his shocking, distorted vision and view of history that an independent Ukraine does not exist, which is simply not true. This is a grave moment. We all stand united against this tyrant.
    Yesterday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reported at least 227 civilian deaths, while the UN Refugee Agency estimated that one million people have already fled Ukraine. The real figures are probably even higher than that, and they will continue to rise exponentially should the Russian regime, which is being enabled by Belarus, persist with its callous and cruel disregard for human life and human rights.
    The international community stands in solidarity and has condemned Russia. To look at the vote at the United Nations this week, we realize that Russia is constantly being isolated by all except for a very small number, perhaps four or five countries in the world.
     Let me be clear, Russia's actions are as deplorable as they are unacceptable to us and to the international community. Indeed, they may amount to war crimes under international humanitarian law, which is why we stand together with other nations in referring this to the International Criminal Court to actually investigate whether war crimes are already being committed.
    As my colleague stated, we will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people. Our response has been strong, and it has been fast. Sanctions are an important component of Canada's principled and pragmatic approach to foreign policy. The decision to deploy sanctions is not one that Canada takes lightly. In close coordination with our international allies and partners, including the United States, the U.K., the EU and Australia, Canada is holding President Putin and those complicit with his aggressive actions accountable.
    On February 22, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs announced our first round of sanctions against all members of the Russian State Duma who voted to recognize the independence of the so-called independent republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. We also began our pressure on the Russian financial system with sanctions on two Russian banks and a dealings ban on Russian sovereign debt.
    On February 24, Canada continued to tighten the noose with additional sanctions on key members of President Putin's inner circle and his close contacts, those who have been benefiting from his regime.
     On February 25, we moved against President Putin himself, sanctioning both him and his chief of staff. Canada also sanctioned Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and all other members of the Russian security council, including the ministers of justice, defence and finance.
    In response to Belarus's clear complicity with Russia's unacceptable actions, we also announced sanctions against some 57 Belarusian elites and entities who are close associates of Alexander Lukashenko, as well as several oligarchs.
    We are continuing to put the squeeze on the Russian economy, and on February 26, we moved to disconnect Russian banks from the SWIFT global interbank payment system. This will significantly restrict their ability to send money in and out of the country, effectively pausing Russia's major imports and exports.
    On February 27, in coordination with several European countries, Canada closed its airspace to Russian aircraft operators.

  (1100)  

    On February 28, we announced a dealings ban on the Russian central bank, the Russian National Wealth Fund, and the Russian Ministry of Finance. On February 28, we also announced a ban on crude oil imports from Russia. Measures to implement this ban will be finalized very shortly.
    On March 1, two days ago, we announced our intention to ban Russian-owned or Russian-registered ships and fighting vessels in Canadian ports and internal waters, and yesterday we announced we would impose restrictions on an additional 10 key individuals from two important companies in Russia's energy sector.
    Let me be clear: More will come until Russia disengages, de-escalates, retreats, allows Ukraine and the Ukrainian people to be free, and respects their territorial integrity. Every day we have responded to the requests of the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government. Every day we have done the things that are meant to suffocate the Russian economy and to isolate Russia in the world.
    It is extremely important that we continue these important efforts and not be distracted by other issues. It is extremely important that we keep our eye on the ball and ensure that we are doing what President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian government have requested of us to put that squeeze on and suffocate the Russian government. This is the way that Russians will understand what their government is doing in their name and call upon the Russian government itself to stop as well.
    What President Zelenskyy has not asked for are more pipelines in Canada. What President Zelenskyy has not asked for is a retreat to 20th century energy policies. What President Zelenskyy has not asked for is to engage in a debate this day about climate change or about oil security. What President Zelenskyy has asked is for us to be laser-focused on the problems of Ukraine and to allow Ukraine to have our support on every critical aspect on which they need support.
     I am deeply concerned that the Conservative Party does not get that. While I absolutely appreciate their solidarity on the actions that we have taken, what distresses me greatly is a crass opportunity that they are taking, like an opportunistic infection, to take advantage of a deeply disturbing grave international crisis that affects every one of us in this House, every Canadian and every one—

  (1105)  

    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I am listening with great interest to the speech of the member opposite. To use, on such an important subject, words accusing his political opponents of being “crass” and referring to them as an “infection”—
    That is a point of debate.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, I am glad I am able to continue, because the interruption to our important debate on this international crisis is actually in the third section of this motion, which makes it absolutely an inappropriate debate to have.
    I take the opportunity to say that we stand with the Ukrainian people and we stand with the Government of Ukraine. We stand with the free world and we stand with those who value the international rules-based order. We stand with our colleagues and like-minded companion countries, such as the EU, the U.K., the U.S. We stand with the vast majority of the countries of the world at the U.N. that voted to condemn the actions of Russia and Vladimir Putin.
    What we do not want to engage in today is a debate about energy security, although it is an important debate. We do not want to engage in talking about our climate change initiative, although it is another important debate, or talking about weaning us away from fossil fuels or about a 21st century energy policy that guarantees Canada will have the energy security we need. These are important debates, but today's debate should be about Ukraine. It should be about an international crisis, and I am frankly embarrassed that we are actually having to deal with this issue while the world is facing such a crisis. I would hope that all members stand in solidarity with Ukraine and continue to do that.
    Madam Speaker, I am glad I have the opportunity to ask this question, because I believe that the member is missing much of the context for the critical importance of the third part of this motion.
    We are coming into another growing season. I come from one of the breadbaskets of the world, and Ukraine is another one of those breadbaskets of the world, providing food security for much of Europe and much of the world. The current government seems to be unaware that energy policy has a direct impact on global food security, whether that be directly through things like nitrogen-based fertilizer, which is a miracle of modern agriculture that allows massive increases in global food production to be able to feed the world, or whether it be in the fuel that is required to run the equipment to put the seed in the ground and harvest the crop.
    Would the member acknowledge that his calling the conversation around energy security—which relates to food security, which relates to poverty reduction, which relates to all of these very important subjects—“an infection” is misguided? Would he acknowledge that the conversation is needed to ensure that the world has peace and security both in Ukraine, going forward, and—
    I have to allow for other questions.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, it is a wonderful opportunity to talk about the nearsighted nature of the Conservative Party. The hon. member is talking about the upcoming growing season as though this motion is going to have any effect on the ability to provide food for the world from Ukraine. What will provide an effect on ensuring that the Ukrainian breadbasket continues to provide food for Europe is stopping this war. It is stopping this war, and that is what we are focused on by sanctioning the government of Russia, by continuing strong measures, by working with international partners. We are not short-sighted. We are getting the job done.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, from what I understand, the Conservative motion is suggesting that we can resolve a dependence problem by creating a new dependence. That seems about as logical as having a Liberal lead the Conservatives.
    To me, the government's position is less clear. To date, the government has invested $20 billion of public funding into a pipeline that even the private sector did not want.
    Can the parliamentary secretary confirm today that increasing the transfer and production capacity of western oil is not a solution to the geopolitical problems we are seeing today in Ukraine?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am intentionally not going to answer that question in the fullest sense of the word because I want this debate to be about Ukraine. I do not want to be sidetracked by the third part of the Conservative motion. I would like us to focus on Ukraine and on what we can do in this House to stop that aggression by Russia and have that debate about energy self-sufficiency, which is a valuable debate, at a future time. I welcome working with the Bloc on a future debate in that regard.

  (1110)  

    I see that there is some heckling going on and maybe some people trying to answer that question. I ask them to wait until it is time for questions and comments.
    The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.
    Madam Speaker, I am absolutely appalled to see the Conservatives' use of talking about children going hungry as a reason for us to spend billions on a pipeline. We are dealing with a world crisis of people dying in the streets, being killed, and they see this as another reason to turn on the taps of taxpayer money.
     We have spent $121 billion in subsidies to big oil in the last seven years, $75 billion on carbon capture, $21 billion on TMX and $1 billion on the abandoned wells, and the Conservatives are talking about using a humanitarian crisis for more.
    Will the Liberals agree with us that this motion is undermining Canada's reputation of standing up for Ukraine because the Conservatives are more interested in satisfying big oil?
    Madam Speaker, I would easily say yes and I thank the member for Timmins—James Bay for his ongoing work on this issue.
    We need to unite in this House to talk about the important issue of Ukraine, but we must also continue to talk about the important issue of climate change. We will do that at a future time. I look forward to that ongoing conversation.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to point out that I will be splitting my time with my colleague from Repentigny.
    Today, we are being asked once again to participate in a very important debate on the situation unfolding in Ukraine. To present the Bloc Québécois's position on the Conservative motion, I would like to read it point by point.
    The member for Wellington—Halton Hills is proposing “That the House: (a) condemn President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation for their unprovoked, illegal attack and invasion of Ukraine”.
    We completely agree with point (a). However, we were expecting that, a little later, they would make suggestions about possible additional sanctions to punish Vladimir Putin and Russia for the unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine. We were also expecting them to propose additional sanctions on the oligarchs.
    The member then suggests that the House “(b) stand with Ukraine, the people of Ukraine and Canadians in the Ukrainian community”.
     Again, no one could be against that. We have said many times over that we stand with the people of Ukraine. We are not going to stop standing with them now. We would have liked to see some proposals, though. What more can we do on top of the humanitarian assistance we have already sent to support the people of Ukraine? Will the government increase the $10 million cap it set to match the donations Canadians make to the Red Cross? We are waiting to hear.
    Will the government lift the visa requirements that are still in place for Ukrainian refugees? These people are fleeing with a small suitcase, can barely find a place to sleep, and yet they are being asked to fill in 14 copies of forms in a language that is probably not their first language. They also have to pay fees to be able to seek refuge in Canada. As the Bloc Québécois leader said, Canada is allowing people to cross the border at Roxham Road without a visa but cannot lift the visa requirement for Ukrainian refugees.
    We were expecting the Conservative motion to propose ways to meaningfully demonstrate our solidarity with Ukraine, the Ukrainian people and Ukrainian Canadians. We then jumped to point (c) thinking that we would see proposals for sanctions to punish Russia, Vladimir Putin and the oligarchs who support him. We expected to see proposals in point (c) to help Ukrainians, Ukraine and our fellow Canadians of Ukrainian origin, but no. What then did we find in point (c)?
    It suggests that the House “(c) call on the Government of Canada to undertake measures to ensure new natural gas pipelines can be approved and built to Atlantic tidewater, recognizing energy as vital to Canadian and European defence and security, allowing Canadian natural gas to displace Russian natural gas in Europe, and being consistent with environmental goals in the transition to non-emitting sources of energy”.
    If that is not a basely self-serving argument, I do not know what is. Honestly, even if we decided to go that route and build pipelines, despite the fact that it would first of all go against the idea that we need to phase out fossil fuels, the conflict would, hopefully, be long over by then.
    What would be the purpose then, other than to export the dirty oil produced in western Canada? It would have no other purpose, because our German friends cannot rely on Canadian oil and gas to replace Russian oil. That is a bogus argument. What we find in point (c) is a bad idea masquerading as a solution.

  (1115)  

    More than that, it is an idea that would hurt Ukrainians. Why?
    This morning, our friend Paul Journet, in La Presse, reported that some oil companies in western Canada are owned by Russian oligarchs who are still free from Canadian government sanctions.
    I would have expected the Conservatives to tell us that they are also going to impose sanctions on the oligarchs who hold shares in western Canadian gas companies. No, they are not proposing sanctions against these oligarchs.
    However, if we help these oligarchs, we are helping Russia and therefore hurting Ukraine. This contradicts points (a) and (b) in the motion that the House “condemn President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation for their unprovoked, illegal attack and invasion of Ukraine” and that we “stand with Ukraine, the people of Ukraine and Canadians in the Ukrainian community”.
    What the Conservatives are proposing means giving more cash to Russian oligarchs who have shares in western Canadian oil companies. Is that how we want to help Ukrainians? Is that the great idea of our Conservative friends to help Ukrainians?
    All the Conservatives want to do is help their oil industry, period. There is no other explanation.
    I can name names. How about Roman Abramovitch, who owns 28% of Evraz, which supplies steel for pipelines? That is interesting. How about Igor Makarov, Coastal GasLink's primary shareholder? These are oligarchs who are still dodging sanctions, and we would sure like to know why the Government of Canada has not yet imposed sanctions on them.
    If only the Conservatives had put forward the idea of punishing these oligarchs too. Let me reiterate: The chief of staff for Alexei Navalny gave the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development a list of oligarchs who should be sanctioned, and that was long before the invasion of Ukraine. We had that list. The Government of Canada had that list. When will it impose sanctions on all those oligarchs?
    Today, the Conservatives actually want us to send more cash their way and help them help Vladimir Putin invade Ukraine. We wholeheartedly agree with parts (a) and (b) of the motion, but how could we possibly support the part (c) the Conservatives have put forward in this motion? Never in a million years would we support that kind of thing because supporting the Conservatives' proposal would hurt Ukraine.
    If the Conservatives had been the slightest bit reasonable and honest in their desire to help, given the climate crisis as well, they would have said that this proposal will need to be accompanied by energetic measures, no pun intended, to undertake the green transition and significantly reduce the amount of oil and gas in our economy. Once again, they come up with no such proposal. They are simply proposing that we consume even more oil and gas and export it to other countries so they can continue consuming it, which runs completely counter to the idea that we need to start the transition immediately.
    Allow me to reiterate: The Bloc Québécois is voting against this motion. We take no pleasure in doing so, but we have no choice. My colleague from Repentigny will most certainly provide even more reasons why, from an environmental perspective, the Bloc Québécois cannot subscribe to a motion like this one.

  (1120)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is unfortunate that my colleague from the Bloc failed to read the part in part (c) that references the need for a transition to non-emitting sources of energy.
     I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to members from all other political parties who seem to think this is somehow about a big oil vendetta. The reality is that the energy security situation in Europe has been funding the war in Ukraine. It is now high time for us to acknowledge the fact that we need to ensure there are ethical sources of energy that do not get into the hands of despots.
    Would the member acknowledge that this is not simply about oil, but about the ingredients that are required for things like fertilizer? With an upcoming growing season in Ukraine, this would be absolutely essential to ensuring that the people of Ukraine have not only energy security, but long-term food security as well.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, first, it does not take a pipeline to send fertilizer to Ukraine.
    Second, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz himself says that Germany should reduce its dependence on oil and start transitioning to green energy as soon as possible. The Conservatives are offering to sell him more oil. However, that is not what is needed. The Germans themselves are saying this is not the direction they should take.
    Why would we not heed the advice of our European allies in the context of this crisis and provide them what they need to begin the green transition? Quebec is especially well placed to help in that regard.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I have sat in for about a half hour of the discussion so far in this debate. I think the member opposite is missing the point that this is not just about Ukraine. For the last week, we have seen an invasion by Russia into Ukraine that completely changes the geopolitical dynamic we have seen over the last 30 years of the post-Cold War period.
    Of course, I love to sometimes chide my Conservative colleagues, but I think this is a sincere conversation that needs to be had about the endowments Canada has, whether in food, energy or critical minerals. Would the member at least recognize that the foreign policy context has changed and Canada has to evaluate how we can support our allies in Europe?

  (1125)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am seeing that the Liberal government is going to vote for the Conservative motion. The mask is coming off. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Conservatives are courting a Liberal to be their leader, given that the Liberals seem to be in exactly the same camp as the Conservatives on the energy issue.
    I do not know how to respond to my colleague's comments. Even if it were true that the Germans, who want to switch to other types of energy, needed Canadian oil and gas, we would not be able to supply them in a reasonable period of time. By the time we got it done, winter and the war would already be over.
    We need to stop lying to ourselves, and we need to stop trying to help western Canada's oil and gas industry.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am not surprised the Liberals are coming out to support the Conservatives. They have had 6,800 backroom meetings with big oil, and there have been more oil subsidies under the Liberals than under the Stephen Harper government.
    I want to ask my hon. colleague a quick question. I have seen the map of Canada. To get a pipeline from Alberta to the Atlantic it has to cross Quebec, which has just cancelled the Saguenay pipeline because it undermines our international Paris obligations. Does the hon. member think the Liberals and the Conservatives are going to force Quebec to put the new pipeline through?

[Translation]

    Madam President, that is an excellent question.
    We saw the Liberal government force B.C.'s government to agree to let a pipeline cross its province. Quebec is fundamentally and irrevocably opposed to a new pipeline going through. I hope that our Liberal colleagues are not suggesting that they are prepared to force a pipeline down Quebeckers' throats.
    Madam Speaker, I want to begin by reminding members that we are deeply mired in a global climate crisis, which is recognized by all the experts. Governments around the world are mobilizing in the face of this crisis, although some are doing more than others.
    We were just beginning to get out of the health crisis when Russia decided to attack Ukraine. This was a vicious attack, a clear violation of international law and a direct blow to the European community. Like many nations, Canada has chosen—and rightly so—to impose sanctions on this belligerent government, this dictatorship that seems impervious to all diplomacy as it refuses to even consider the most rudimentary thinking towards resolution and appeasement.
    History will provide compelling academic explanations of what we are witnessing today, although there is no way Russia's current behaviour could ever be endorsed. However, today is not the day to hold this history workshop. Instead, we have a duty to take a very serious look at the Conservative Party's motion. My colleague from Montarville did a great job breaking down its three main points.
    The Bloc Québécois has already made public statements that reflect the messages in points (a) and (b). We condemn the Russian Federation and its president, and we stand with the people of Ukraine, no matter where in the world they are. The Ukrainian diaspora that has chosen Quebec will be supported. It goes without saying that we will stand with them and help them. Just this morning, my riding office was getting calls from people who want to take in Ukrainians.
    The problem is with the next point in the motion. The most outrageous part of this Conservative motion, because yes, it is outrageous, is that the Conservatives mention Ukraine but then do not propose any form of assistance. Instead, the motion would help develop Alberta's oil and gas industry, which is something neither Europe nor Ukraine are asking for.
    The Conservatives do not even hide the fact that they are suggesting that promoting pipelines and other energy projects is the solution to the conflict. This solution would most certainly represent an unprecedented setback to the real progress that Europe has made over more than 10 years in improving the climate record of many of its member nations, and it would further reinforce global dependence on fossil fuels, a dependence we so desperately need to overcome.
    There is no need for any of us to play innocent. We all know it, so let us just say it: For some businesses and some people, war is unfortunately a sorry excuse to fill their pockets.
    Let us start by establishing that nothing could be done in time to relieve Europe's dependence on Russian energy, certainly not before the current violence ends for good.
    I urge all members to be realistic and show some basic practicality. What the motion is proposing would require the construction of new pipelines from Alberta to the Atlantic, crossing Quebec. This is a 20-, 30- or 35-year project. However, GNL Québec, the only officially submitted pipeline project for exporting liquid natural gas to the Atlantic, was not expected to be operational until 2025-26. Both the Quebec government and the federal government rejected it. The now defunct energy east pipeline project estimated that it would take five years to get up and running, but it, too, was rejected by Quebec and scrapped in 2017.
    This motion tells us that the answer to generations of oil wars, of which there have been several, is apparently to entrench fossil fuel dependency even more deeply by building high‑carbon infrastructure that would lock in fossil fuels beyond the middle of the century and speed us into an era of climate conflict.
    The oil embargoes and price shock of the 1970s sparked major initiatives to break our dependence on fossil fuels. Sweden, Brazil and France have projects. Quebec has turned its wealth of drinking water into a forward‑thinking energy catalyst and an economic jewel for Quebec.
    The momentum has stopped, but climate science and the acceleration of greenhouse gas emissions have not. We know the peril that lies ahead. In fact, on the very day this motion was tabled, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its umpteenth report on the impact of climate change, which, far from warming our hearts, instead makes for chilling reading.

  (1130)  

    How did the Conservatives come up with a motion like this? Does the official opposition not see any other ways of helping Ukraine?
    Here are a few ideas that we could implement. We could suspend visa requirements for coming to Canada. We could expand the sanctions to Belarus, which partnered with Russia in the annexation of Crimea. We could charter flights to Canada to bring in Ukrainian refugees who are stranded in overcrowded camps in neighbouring countries.
    Earlier, the parliamentary secretary was bragging about how Canada was the only country to ban imports of Russian oil. That is because we have not imported oil from Russia since 2016. Could the government please come up with some more practical solutions?
    Some countries are seizing the financial assets of Russian oligarchs, but we also need to look at their participating interest in Canada's oil projects. My colleague even named names. The Canadian oil and gas industry could start by taking a look in the mirror. A steel company owned by oligarchs should never have been allowed to get involved in the Coastal GasLink pipeline project, and that should be rectified immediately.
    The western oil industry has been playing a key role in creating this Russian energy crisis for decades, as part of a lobby led by the American company Exxon, which wanted its share of the pie in Russia. Their partnership continued into this millennium. Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon, a company that operates in Canada under the name Imperial Oil, personally received one of Russia's highest honours, the Order of Friendship, from Vladimir Putin in 2013.
     Imperial Oil and its partnership with the Russian state oil company even brought Rosneft into the Alberta oil sands. The explicit goal was to transfer technological know-how so Russia could take advantage of new technologies to boost its industry—and the Kremlin's coffers—back home. In a 2012 article in the Financial Post, Claudia Cattaneo described Rosneft's arrival in Canada as a “landmark alliance” and the focus of a “new oil age”. Putin launched his first invasion of Ukraine and annexed Crimea two years later.
    If we really want to stand up to Putin, support Ukraine and keep the lights on in Europe, here is what we have to do: We have to switch to renewable energy. Russia does not control renewables. In fact, Europe has been working on plans to accelerate the energy transition for years now. Given that German Chancellor Scholz put the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on hold even though his country and Italy are the western European nations most dependent on Russian natural gas, the EU probably knows what it needs to do. A February 24 article in the Washington Post covers the details. I encourage my colleagues to read it.
    Greater economic rapprochement with the Russian dictatorship did not cause it to forget its ongoing geostrategic ambitions. What we need to do is accelerate the energy transition at an aggressive pace. Enough with the small steps. It is time for great leaps. We have to invest in projects that augment America's and Europe's energy security and reduce their carbon footprint.
    This motion has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine. Point (c), in particular, does nothing to address the energy needs of Europe, which, by the way, has not asked Canada for anything of the sort. Using a tragic international conflict to play politics domestically is frankly cynical.
    Ms. Krakovska, the head of the Ukrainian delegation at the IPCC negotiations, was clear when she said, “Human-induced climate change and the war on Ukraine have the same roots—fossil fuels—and our dependence on them”. She went on to say, “we hope the world will not surrender in building a climate resilient future”. When she mentions the world, that must include Canada.
    I will conclude by saying that the Bloc Québécois believes that we must listen to what Ukraine is telling us, be attentive to the real needs that we have the capacity to meet and, above all, not give in to the temptation to exploit the situation before us.

  (1135)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, all four of my grandparents were born in Ukraine. I have visited three times and sunk my hands into that rich soil. Ukraine feeds much of Europe. I listened to the last two speeches, and a commenter from the previous speech stated that pipelines do not deliver fertilizer. A century ago, our nitrogen sources for crop production came with the warning “store high in transit”. Today's fertilizer is not produced that way.
    For the farmers in my hon. colleague's province, where does the nitrogen they use come from, and for the farmers in Ukraine who supply Europe, where does the nitrogen come from?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I do not understand. I have also been here for over half an hour. Why are the Conservatives, the official opposition, linking food and fertilizer? I will explain why.
    Because of the current climate crisis, people in many countries are going to die of hunger or will have serious food-related issues. That is the problem. Climate change is also a food security issue for the entire global population. It is also a health issue for the entire global population. That means thousands of people around the world. Tens of thousands of people are dying in Canada because of climate change.
    Can we try to look to the future, rather than always relying on an industry of the past?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I agree with my hon. colleague in the sense that the text of this motion could have actually been a bit better, with all due respect to my colleague for Wellington—Halton Hills. I think that now is a pivotal time for us as a country to look at the endowments we have, and how we partner with our allies to provide the tools that are needed. This member talked about, for example, the transition to a low-carbon economy. That requires critical minerals. Our allies in Europe rely on 98% of those being imported from China.
    Will the member at least recognize, even if she does not agree with the text of the motion and the prospect of pipelines, that the foreign policy context has changed and we need a serious conversation on how Canada fuels, feeds and powers the world?

  (1140)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.
    I do not know, but I get the impression that there is some confusion. Earlier it was about food and pipelines. Now it is about nickel and oil, and there is talk of sharing our wealth.
    In a past life, I was a teacher. When I had a student in my class who had problems learning, I did not tell him that I would teach him extra math lessons. I had to start by figuring out what the problem was. If his problem was with French and I offered him lessons in math, that did not work.
    We have to begin by looking at what is being asked of us, what the people want and what they need, instead of offering them something just because we have it. We have to begin by looking at what the people need.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciated my colleague's speech.
    We see that the Conservatives are pretty disconnected from reality here in Canada, as well as internationally.
    Does my colleague think that what we are seeing in the motion is a case where they are putting their friends' profits, including those who work in the oil industry, ahead of the humanitarian needs of people who are currently suffering in Ukraine?
    I would like to note that the member has one minute to answer.
    The hon. member for Repentigny.
    Madam Speaker, one minute is not a lot.
    I can say that no one, except for the Conservative Party, believes that the solution to Europe's dependence on Russian oil would be to increase its dependence on Albertan oil.
    Here is some food for thought: Is this about doing something for Ukrainians or for Albertans?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, as always, I am honoured to rise and represent the people of Timmins—James Bay. At this moment, when our world is confronted by horrific violence and naked aggression, the footage of children hiding out in bomb shelters has shocked the world. It has shocked all of us and made us understand the importance of standing as a democracy and standing for freedom.
    As New Democrats, we believe that we stand together in the House for the principle of the right for people to make their own decisions, and when our neighbours are in crisis we reach out and help them. The New Democrats and I certainly support the member for Wellington—Halton Hills and condemn President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation for their unprovoked illegal attack and invasion of Ukraine. Yes, the Parliament of Canada stands solidly with Ukraine, the people of Ukraine and Canadians in the Ukrainian community.
    The member for Wellington—Halton Hills tells us that what we should do with this is undertake measures to ensure that new natural gas pipelines can be approved and built out to Atlantic tidewater. I am actually appalled by the cynicism, and the exploitation of a humanitarian disaster to promote, once again, the interests of the oil sector. I know there are many on the Conservative backbench who would take that position without even blinking, but I have always had great respect for the member for Wellington—Halton Hills. Such a stunt should not be played at this time in our history.
     This motion could have talked about the need to deal with Russian disinformation and the need for a strong position by our Parliament. We would have supported that.
    We could have talked about the need to help with visas and the refugee crisis that is clogging the Polish border. All of us could have stood together as a Parliament and supported that.
    We could have talked about the growing food crisis that we are facing. Ukraine is one of the world's bread baskets. We could have talked about the crisis of that war and what it means for global food supplies, but the Conservatives are not interested in that.
     The Conservatives' fundamental view of the world has always been to take as much public money as possible and blow it on oil and gas. Even though oil and gas is making enormous profits, the Conservatives want the public to pay for it. Now they have decided that a humanitarian crisis is another good reason for them to shamelessly promote something like this. I am actually embarrassed that, as the world is looking for solidarity and a vison of democracy, freedom and rights, we are here having to play games promoting the interests of oil and gas once again in a petrostate such as Canada.
    As the Ukrainian crisis comes to us, I think ironically of two other important points that have happened this past week. One is an IPCC report that says the window for saving this planet is growing very short. The UN talks about the creation of an “atlas of human suffering”.
    I have never, ever actually heard Conservatives talk about the climate crisis. They talk vaguely about it. I was listening to the CBC as I was driving to Ottawa the other day. The story was about baby boomers. They were interviewing a couple of boomers who were saying, “We set out that we were going to spend the inheritance of our children and we ran out of money”. That is what we are doing here once again. Our generation is standing here, selling off the future of our children in order to make extra profits: not just profits, but extra profits for oil and gas. I urge my colleagues in the Conservative Party, if they keep talking about international standards and international law, to note that Canada has failed in every international commitment we have made in dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, and we are spending our children's inheritance right now.
    The third element that I think is important is, of course, that we found out that we are now on the hook for $21 billion of taxpayers' money for the TMX pipeline, and that we are going to spend enormous amounts of taxpayers' money promoting the export of bitumen overseas as a Canadian public policy, which is going to be covered by the taxpayers. We are going to get into some of these pipe dreams of the Conservatives. It is a pipe dream ideology that betrays workers and is fundamentally unsound economically because it is based on the massive use of taxpayers' money again and again. It is, of course, undermining the very future of our planet, earth.

  (1145)  

    I was thinking of buying myself a map of Canada that I could give to my colleagues in the Conservative Party, because if we look at the map of Canada, we see that to get a pipeline from Alberta to the Atlantic we have to cross Quebec. I am not from Quebec, but Mr. Legault is kind of a conservator. He shut down the Saguenay LNG pipeline. Why was that? He shut it down because it would undermine Canada's international obligations to deal with greenhouse gas emissions. This was a $9-billion project that would have certainly benefited many jobs in Quebec, but he made the decision that he was not going to invest here.
    Of course, the Conservatives do not want us to know about the fact that they could not even get a pipeline built to tidewater, because to do it we would have to get across Quebec and Quebec is saying no, as it has obligations. They are talking about how this is somehow all about helping, that it is a humanitarian project that is helping the planet. Those are falsehoods.
    It is also a falsehood economically, because right now in north American there are at least a dozen LNG projects that are going nowhere and have gone—
    There is a point of order from the hon. member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake.
    Madam Speaker, I am still new here, but I believe chapter 13 states that we are expected to show respect for one another and differing viewpoints. What I have been hearing repetitively from the member opposite is absolute disrespect, whether it be to the member for Wellington—Halton Hills
    The hon. member's comments are debate and not particular to a point of order.
    The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.
    Madam Speaker, I am not surprised. Whenever the Conservatives get challenged on misdeeds and misrepresentations, they are more touchy than a European football player who falls on the ground and pretends their knee has been hurt. This is abusive. Here we go again.
    There is a point of order from the hon. member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake.
    Madam Speaker, members are expected to show respect for one another, and what we just heard was absolute disrespect and is going to create disorder in this chamber.
    Members can challenge the parties. I would ask the hon. member to maybe be a little more judicious in his response. I did not find the hon. member was showing disrespect to a particular member.
    The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.
    Madam Speaker, I will take this moment to apologize to any European soccer player who has never played the game and never shown a great propensity to lie on the ground and howl. I apologize to them greatly.
    We are dealing with something serious here. We are dealing with a party that is using a humanitarian disaster to exploit falsehoods. I will call that out and I will not be silent, because they are trying to fake out Canadians that there is somehow an economic argument. Let us throw mindless amounts of money that will somehow get to Ukraine and make some money.
    If members want another example, it is like coming upon a horrific car accident, and as we are trying to pull people out of the car accident, someone is climbing over them and saying, “Hey. I'm from Abe's Honest Used Car Service. Let me sell you a car.” This is not what we do in the middle of a humanitarian disaster, because right now, as I said, 12 major LNG projects are not going ahead. Things are not further ahead, but the Conservatives want to build a pipeline of 2,000 kilometres. In Europe right now, stocks in clean energy have taken off. Why have they taken off? It is because Europe knows that its future is in clean energy.
    Let us talk about Conservative mathematics, and certainly Liberal mathematics too, because the Liberals are now on the hook. They bought a pipeline because Kinder Morgan knew it did not have the financial capacity to build a $5.4-billion pipeline. It went to the Conservative government in Alberta in 2014 and asked it to backstop the TMX pipeline. Alberta said no since the money was not there and the economic case was not there.
    The Conservatives and big oil accused the Liberals of hating the oil sector, so the Prime Minister signed up and hooked us into a pipeline that is now at $21 billion. Here is the thing. We paid Kinder Morgan for selling us a leaky pipeline and it used taxpayer money to give the CEO bonuses for hoodwinking us.
    Here is the other thing that is important to know in the scam that we are dealing with in continually giving money to big oil. The cost overruns are locked in at $7 billion. Those are all the extra overruns in the pipeline. For the tolls that run the oil through the pipe, all the extra costs are being paid for by the taxpayer. Not only are we paying $21 billion, but every barrel of bitumen that goes overseas from here on in will be paid for by the taxpayer. That is a pretty good deal for big oil and, again, it is being paid for by the taxpayer. However, that is perfectly normal mathematics in the world of the Conservatives, who think that this is how money should be spent.
    Why is TMX so fundamentally important to the ideology of the Conservatives and the Liberals? It is because they were never focused on supplying Canada's energy needs. They were not interested in that. They stand and rant about how Saudi Arabian oil, Venezuelan oil and Nigerian oil are coming down the St. Lawrence, but it is not true. Quebec refineries are not using that. This is about export. Why is export so important? It is because none of the emissions of burned bitumen count as part of Canada's total. Right now, our emissions total from exports is more than all the emissions in Canada combined. Talk about the burning the planet. We are looking at an increase of 1.2 million barrels a year thanks to TMX and thanks to the money that is being invested by the government.
    I will refer to a recent article in Forbes Magazine from January 28, 2022. It says that big oil is using the big tobacco playbook because they realize they have lost the argument in Canada on the energy crisis. People don't believe them anymore. What they have done is turned to export. They are looking to create markets in the global south. They are looking to China, where there are lower standards. That is the economic model and none of those burned barrels of bitumen in places like China or in markets in India will ever be counted in the global total. That is how we burn the planet while getting to net zero.
    The Conservatives have tried to tell us that this pipeline is some kind of humanitarian grain mission. We do not deal with food in pipelines. I know the Conservatives would love to add it in the mix, but it is not there. However, they keep talking about how this is a clean fuel. The problem is that Canada has failed on this time and time again.

  (1150)  

    I will refer members to the problem with methane. The Prime Minister made a promise of cutting 45% by 2025. We never got there. Now he is saying we are going to get to 75% by 2030. I mention methane because if we cut methane emissions on natural gas, then we can say this is a transition fuel. However, methane is a planet killer. Everybody knows this, but we have not seen the industry take any steps to deal with methane. We can do this. I talk to people in the industry. We can get to zero on methane, yet this planet killer is leaking out of abandoned wells, leaking out of pipelines and leaking out of refineries. What do they do? Of course, they go to the government and say, “Help us.”
    The Liberal government has held 6,800 backroom meetings with the oil lobby since the Liberal government came in. The Conservatives say the Liberal government is against big oil, but it is just a myth. We have had $121 billion in oil subsidies. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has come forward and said it wants $75 billion in carbon capture. We are paying $21 billion for TMX. We are on the hook for $1 billion for abandoned wells.
    Then big oil came forward asking to be given money to deal with methane, and the government gave them $132 million to clean up methane. Now here is the thing. What were the goals of the methane reduction program? Number one was to attract investment. Number two was to increase competitiveness. Well, that is not saving the planet. Then down at number three was finding some equipment to help reduce methane emissions.
    Why does this matter? It is because the environment commissioner has said that Canada, which used to be a world leader, is now at the back of the G7. This methane reduction program was not used to deal with the planet killer. It was used as a subsidy to big oil and it allowed them to increase production. What the environment commissioner also found was that they are not even tracking any of the background emissions. They do not even know how bad methane is. They have not bothered, yet we are writing cheques for $134 million and we do not even know how it is spent. Meanwhile, the planet is burning.
    The Conservatives have a whole series of myths they try to perpetuate about how hard done by the west is on this and how hard done by oil and gas is. This is a group that is belligerently fighting for billions in taxpayer subsidies to support the typewriter when the rest of the world is moving to the cellphone.
    I want to point out one of the myths I have been hearing. It is that rules on environmental standards in Canada are somehow scaring off investments. That is simply not true. I refer members to a Wall Street Journal headline that says financial giants are quitting what they call “one of the world's dirtiest oil patches”. That is something they also do not want us to know. Canada's—

  (1155)  

    We have a point of order from the hon. member for Calgary Rocky Ridge.
    Madam Speaker, I have been listening to the member and he is doing his best as a member of the fourth party to hold the opposition to account. However, he has five minutes left. Could he maybe return to the motion and debate the motion? It has been probably six or seven minutes since we had any discussion that has anything to do with the motion.
    The hon. member and all members know that there is some latitude during debate. The motion does speak about energy, so the hon. member's speech is relevant. However, I do want to remind the member, if it goes to the wayside a bit, to please come back to the motion at hand.
    The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.
    Madam Speaker, I would tell my hon. colleague that if the truth hurts, too bad, so sad, because the Conservatives have taken the crisis in Ukraine, the humanitarian suffering, the deaths, the murder of innocent people, turned it around and said this is a great opportunity for them to take billions in taxpayers' money to promote the interests of oil and gas. If they do not like the mathematics of how bad that is, then they should not be in the chamber. Too bad, so sad, because this is their motion. We could have been debating anything of substance. Instead, we are debating Conservative mythologies.
    As I was saying, over the last few years, 60 financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings plc, Hartford Financial, the Japan Petroleum Exploration, have all pulled out of Canada. Why? It is because of the lack of a plan to deal with the climate crisis.
    Not only are the Conservatives misrepresenting the facts in terms of the horrific humanitarian crisis, but they are misrepresenting the facts to workers because the transition is here. We see the potential. Calgary Economic Development and Edmonton Global are saying that if we start to invest now in clean energy, we are looking at an additional $61 billion for the provincial Alberta economy. If they continue with business as usual, there will be only $4 billion. Year in, year out, we see drops in employment in the oil sector and that is not because people are being mean to them. It is because industry is cutting jobs and making more profits. That is the thing.
    That leads me back to the Forbes comparison. Forbes says that having lost the debate in Canada on the climate crisis, oil and gas have shifted, like big tobacco, to the global south, where the number one plan is to make some claims about greenwashing, shift massive exports to the global south where it does not count and then only invest enough in clean tech so it looks like they are doing something. Meanwhile, the market has moved beyond, and it has moved beyond in a substantial way. What we have been given, time and time again, by the Conservative Party is a fake, failed mythology when, year in, year out, jobs in the oil patch have gone down and the opportunity for a clean-tech economy is staring us in the face. There is a huge potential, but if we do not meet that, then we are consigning our children to no future.
    To get back to the motion at hand in a very clear way, I have seen a lot of ways the Conservatives and the Liberals will bend over backwards to give taxpayers' money to big oil, to excuse all manner of abuses of accountability and to go along with all manner of fake claims about dealing with the crisis, but emissions have continued to rise, year in, year out. We are talking about the future of our planet, but we are talking about it now, within the context of a global crisis, a humanitarian crisis where people are dying. They expect more from us than this gaudy attempt to claim that our best response to Ukraine is to spend billions of dollars on an unproven, unplanned, unidentified pipeline, when the Europeans are already moving toward clean energy alternatives. This is exploitative and crass.
    I have enormous respect for my colleague from Wellington—Halton Hills, so I will offer an amendment in order for us to come together and show a higher standard. I move that the motion be amended in paragraph (c) by deleting all the words after “Government of Canada to” and substituting the following, “greatly increase humanitarian aid for Ukraine and for countries bordering Ukraine that have already accepted hundreds of thousands of refugees and provide targeted supports to ethnic minorities who have faced discrimination in their attempt to flee Putin's war in Ukraine.”

  (1200)  

    The amendment is inadmissible because it goes beyond the scope of the motion.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Wellington—Halton Hills.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague across the aisle for his remarks. Natural gas is clearly about defence and security. That is why there has been a raging debate in Europe about Nord Stream 2. It is why Germany just cancelled Nord Stream 2 in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It is why Donald Tusk, then prime minister of Poland in 2014, in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, asked the European Commission to come forward with a strategic framework to address the fact that Russia is intimidating Europe with the use of natural gas. In that strategic framework, the European Commission said that the European Union should partner with Canada in an energy partnership on natural gas precisely to counter Russia's threats in eastern Europe and in Ukraine.
    Natural gas produces the nitrogen that fuels the world's food supply. European farmers today are facing a crisis in skyrocketing fertilizer prices caused by natural gas shortages from Russia. There has been a massive drop in fertilizer in western Europe of 10%, and it could lead to serious crop failure and a drop in crop yields this year. It happened a century and a half ago in 1853-56 in Ukraine, in Crimea, during the Crimean War and led to skyrocketing food prices around the world. This is why energy is important. It is not just about defence and security, but also our food supply.

  (1205)  

    Madam Speaker, I did not know they built the pipeline in 1854 to deal with the food crisis in Ukraine, but again, the Conservatives will tell us anything. We start with this being a big oil and gas issue, but as soon as we poke them, they start talking about children being hungry.
    We do not carry nitrogen in pipelines. This is about oil and gas. This is a simple fact. For my hon. colleague who wants to go back to 1854, we can go back throughout history. They were not using pipelines to deliver agricultural support and they still are not. Once again, we see the Conservatives using a humanitarian disaster and a humanitarian crisis to promote the false interests of the oil and gas sector.
    Madam Speaker, I think this is the first time the Crimean War has been referenced in this chamber in a very long time.
    One of the things that has been the most gratifying for me over the course of this debate has been the unanimity, where this House has found total agreement in terms of support for Ukraine. I worry that in this motion we have two propositions that are clearly supporting Ukraine and that everybody in this House would agree to. However, the third, regardless of my own personal opinion on the issue, will divide us. There are clearly members who will vote no.
    The hon. member spoke of Russian disinformation. Does the hon. member believe that the House voting against this motion, which has two statements of principle and support for Ukraine, could be used by Russia to claim that Canada's Parliament voted against Ukraine?
    Madam Speaker, I really would hope that my hon. Liberal colleagues are not going to support this motion to expand gas line production, because we are afraid of what Russia is going to say. I just want to put that on the record.
    We have been unanimous in standing up on the issue of Ukraine. What we are seeing is the Conservatives using this as a wedge to undermine our credibility by saying that our number one issue at this time, of all the issues that we are dealing with from Russia, is to undertake measures to ensure new, natural gas pipelines be approved. That is such a cynical and exploitive position. I certainly hope the Liberals are not going to go there with them.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, unfortunately, history has shown us many times how destructive war can be.
    A recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report shows how destructive the climate crisis can be.
    The Conservatives are claiming that theirs is an ethical solution. However, replacing one bad thing with another bad thing is not an ethical solution.
    What does my colleague think of the Conservatives' claim that this is an ethical solution?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the issue here is really concerning and is a constant misrepresentation. We have a huge opportunity in Canada to be a world leader in moving forward with renewables, hydrogen and geothermal energy. The expertise in Canada is second to none. We could be working around the world with this, but we are not because we are focused on putting billions and billions of dollars into a 20th-century economy when the planet is burning around us. This is a lost opportunity for workers, for regions and also for the future of our children.
    Madam Speaker, Putin's war machine is being funded by their energy exports to various places around the world, but in particular the almost half of Europeans who rely on natural gas to heat their homes. In a report to the European Parliament, “A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy”, the European Union, itself, sought to further its partnerships with countries such as the United States and Canada.
    Would the member agree that it is the European Union, itself, that has stated that it needs Canada's energy to be able to transition and get off Russian energy?

  (1210)  

    Madam Speaker, if we look at what is happening in Europe now, the discussion is clearly about the need to get off Russian energy. They are talking about doing this through improving the electricity grids and making sure that their non-renewable and nuclear options are in place.
    I do not see any of that from this Conservative party, a party that is trying to exploit a humanitarian crisis right now, at this time, in order to sell this false pipe dream that we could in six months, a year or two years, build a pipeline from the west to Atlantic Canada to capture a market, when there are already at least 12 other LNG projects sitting on the sidelines across North America and the European stock in clean energy is going up. All of this is predicated on the usual Conservative scheme of saying, “Let us take billions in taxpayers' money and try to drive it through.”
    Madam Speaker, to go to the amendment by member for Timmins—James Bay, it is kind of shocking to have this motion when we had a practical amendment that would help people today and in the weeks to come and would send a message to our allies.
    The Conservatives have used this opportunity not only to attack our allies but also to waste a message we could have sent to our allies. I would like the member to comment on that. His motion to amend has been ruled out of order, but could he expand on that? These are things we could still do today. I am really worried about how this reflects on us internationally.
    Madam Speaker, I think my hon. colleague, like me, like everyone in the House, is fielding calls every day from people who have family in the Ukraine. They are asking what we are doing as the Parliament of Canada to help them.
    Am I going to say, in response to the fact that their family is trapped in Kyiv or on the Polish border, the Parliament of Canada came forward today to say that what we want to do is approve new pipelines? I cannot call anybody back and say that. I can say that we tried to work with the Conservatives, but they did not want to work with us. We tried to work with them on the issue of speeding up visas, of making sure we could get people to safety. That is what I would like to see.
    I am hoping the Liberals will oppose this motion because of the cynicism of it. My God, if I were Putin, what I would be saying now is, “Look at the Conservative Party. They are not worrying about the horrific death rates in the Ukraine. They want to compete with us for our natural gas.” To me, that is an appalling position.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague for his very good and very heartfelt speech.
    In his opinion, why is the government refusing to sanction Russian oligarchs who have direct or indirect interests in western Canada's oil sands?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague and say, “Welcome to the petrostate.”
    Remember how the Conservatives, who are all really upset about Communist China, actually sold off sections of the oil patch to state-owned Chinese companies because as long as it was Chinese companies owning them, they did not mind. Now, we have the Liberals talking about sanctions but refusing to go after these key oligarchs. This is the face of the petrostate between Conservatives and Liberals. We need to have better accountability.
    Madam Speaker, there are actually two issues here. The first is in regard to how responsible governments, such as the NDP in the province of B.C. on LNG and in terms of the national government, deal with the environment and natural resources.
    The question today is around what we should be talking about, which is unity in the condemnation of what is taking place in the Ukraine. This is in fact a lost opportunity. Maybe if my friend was to amend his amendment, maybe by having clause (c) deleted, that might be within scope, and it would be a better motion for all of us to vote on. Could the member give us his thoughts on that?

  (1215)  

    Madam Speaker, we need to rise up to a higher level here, because we are being watched around the world, and this motion brings us to a much lower, much more cynical, exploitive level.
    I urge all my colleagues to vote against it. We need to move forward on something that shows that, as a Parliament, we will stand up for freedom for the people of Ukraine and not just for the pecuniary interests of the oil lobby.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that I will be sharing my time with the member for Thornhill.
    On Thursday, February 24, moments after Vladimir Putin's deadly, bloody and unlawful invasion of Ukraine, the Canadian Army issued a statement announcing that a contingent of 120 soldiers from Valcartier's 5e Régiment d'Artillerie Légère would be deployed to Latvia within 30 days to support a battery of M777 artillery guns.
    Putin's attack is having a direct impact today in my riding. CFB Valcartier is located in the riding of my valiant colleague from Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, to whom I give my regards. However, many military members from Valcartier live in my riding. These are people I run into at the corner store, the supermarket or the local café. They are men and women who put on the uniform to defend our country's honour and the values we hold dear. These individuals are in my thoughts today, especially those 120 men and women who are going to be deployed to Latvia in the wake of Putin's deadly attack on Ukraine.
    Europe has not seen aggression on this scale since 1945, and all the decent countries in the world strongly condemn it. I want to make it clear that this is about Putin, not about Russians. I know some of my constituents were born in Russia and have chosen to live in Canada. These people join with everyone in condemning Putin's illegal, murderous and brutal aggression. We must distinguish the dictator, Putin, from the rest of the people of Russia, like the thousands of Russians who have bravely, honourably and nobly spoken out against their president.
    This aggression has brought back the horrors of Second World War. My background is in history, and I have a particular interest in the history of the Second World War. I never thought I would live to see such horrific images of real war in real time. This is what we are dealing with.
    This attack on Ukraine is an attack on the values that we, as Canadians, defend. Our values of freedom and democracy are humanitarian values that Putin so contemptuously rejects.
    Like many people, I was very touched by these images. It was so inspiring to see ordinary citizens, with no armour or weapons, confronting Putin's Russian tanks. Let us applaud the courage of these individuals who, alone or with dozens or hundreds of friends, managed to block Putin's tanks to stop them from invading. That is one of the inspiring images we have seen. Unfortunately, it is a rare one, because every day we are seeing the horrors and ugliness of this war of aggression that should not even be happening. However, that is the reality.
    My thoughts are also with the million, or almost million and a half, Ukrainian Canadians. We salute them. I know a few personally, of course, and I want to send them my regards.
    From the start, the Canadian government has been taking action to address these tragic events, which unfortunately have still not come to an end. We support that action. We applaud the Canadian government for responding so quickly. The Conservatives applaud and encourage the announcements that are being made on a daily basis. We also hope that the government will do even more.

[English]

    Diplomacy is a way to address an aggression, and the Putin aggression must have a diplomatic reaction from our government.

[Translation]

    That is why the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, in an important and heartfelt speech, talked about a few measures that the Conservatives are proposing the Government of Canada take to show its disapproval of what Putin is doing in Ukraine.
    First, the government needs to expel the Russian ambassador. That is a diplomatic measure that will not affect anyone's life. However, it will send a clear message that we are opposed to what is happening. We also need to recall the Canadian Ambassador in Moscow.
    The government needs to strongly suggest to the CRTC that it issue an order prohibiting our cable companies here in Canada from broadcasting programming from the Russian television network RT. We applaud the private cable companies that have already done so.

  (1220)  

    Russia must also be expelled from all international organizations. When, unfortunately, in 2015 and 2016, Putin invaded Crimea, we expelled him from the G8. It was our government that was very proactive in this area. Today, it would be an excellent idea for Russia to be expelled from the G20, among other things.
    We also want to speed up the issuing of visas. We know that the government has made announcements to that effect and that they are moving in the right direction. The goal is to allow as many Ukrainian citizens as possible to come to Canada, particularly those who want to join their families.
    We must also highlight the fact that this war reminds us of our dependence on our geography. The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, himself a retired lieutenant‑colonel, put it well.
    When we look at the map, we think that Canada and Russia are far apart. Russia is actually not that far away, because we share a common border, the Arctic. Unfortunately, I must say that this government has not been very proactive in the Arctic. The previous government and its prime minister, however, were very proactive in ensuring a Canadian presence in the Arctic.
    That also means modernizing and updating our NORAD facilities and military infrastructure, from equipping our air force with F‑35s to shipbuilding. This tragedy taking place in Ukraine calls into question our relationship as Canadians with our neighbour to the north, not our distant neighbour to the east or west.
    This tragedy exposes the fact that, now more than ever, the whole world needs to ensure energy security for all. Russia supplies 40% of the natural gas consumed in Europe. Putin and his thugs are wielding this fact like weapon and have been doing so for a long time.
     In 2015, the European Union, the EU, wrote a report detailing the situation we are facing now. It says that energy policy is often used as an instrument of foreign policy, especially in major oil producing and transit countries. It is talking about Russia. The report also states that the EU will use all its foreign policy instruments to establish strategic energy partnerships with producer countries and transit countries or regions that are becoming more important.
    That proposal was made in 2015, but nobody listened, unfortunately. In December, Democratic U.S. President Joe Biden said there would have to be agreements with other countries, such as Norway. Canada should be part of it too. On February 24, President Biden said that his administration has been “coordinating with major oil-producing and consuming countries toward our common interest to secure global energy supplies”.
    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is quoted in the Globe and Mail today. He stated that the events of the past few days have shown him that a responsible and forward-looking energy policy is crucial not only for Germany's economy, but also for its environment. It is also crucial for its security. He believes that his country must change course to overcome its dependency on single-source energy imports. His comments are similar to those of the Democratic U.S. President and those of the European Union in 2015.
    That is why we believe that Canada, which is the fifth-largest producer of natural gas, must lend a hand in this situation to ensure global energy security. We must also remember that millions of Ukrainians are currently suffering as a result of Putin's vicious attack, and that 120 Canadian soldiers at CFB Valcartier, in the Quebec City area, will soon be deployed to Ukraine.

  (1225)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, when I reflect on the many debates we have had throughout the week and look at what is taking place in Ukraine today, I think about how we have a wonderful opportunity to be able to send a very strong message to the people of Ukraine when we bring motions forward. I think it would be so much better to have solidarity in the passing of a motion at this time when referencing what is taking place in Ukraine.
    I am sure the member realizes, as the Conservative Party would realize, there is no way there is going to be unanimous support for the motion on the floor today. Would the Conservative opposition party entertain any amendments to the motion to make it a strong solidarity type of motion, given what is happening in Ukraine today?
    Madam Speaker, I welcome the comments of my colleague from Winnipeg North. I know he is, as is everybody in the House, very supportive of any action in this struggle to fight Putin's aggression. We are all in solidarity. We have all shown solidarity toward the Ukrainian people here in Canada, but first and foremost toward those who are suffering under this attack. This motion is not only about the solidarity that we as Canadians have to show, but also about addressing some of the issues that have been raised by the European Union, the Biden presidency and the chancellor of Germany.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to commend my colleague. The first part of his speech truly reflects how we all feel about this war in Ukraine and the distress this is causing people we meet in our communities. I believe that is what points (a) and (b) of the Conservative motion are all about.
    With regard to point (c), my colleague mentioned the urgent warning and energy security. I would like to ask him the following question.
    Given the urgent warning to all countries on climate change and the warning that we must find concrete, pragmatic and meaningful responses for Ukrainians, does my colleague believe that betting on pipelines, the continuity of energy policy—
    Order. I must give the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent the opportunity to respond.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Thérèse-De Blainville for her question.
     They are not mutually exclusive. As the member pointed out, there are three points in our motion. Everyone agrees with the first two. The third, however, is a global issue, a matter of global energy security, and we would be remiss if we overlooked that.
    Canada has a concrete opportunity to help these people, and we are not the only ones saying this. The European Union sounded the alarm in 2015. The Democratic U.S. President himself, Joe Biden, and I do not use the word “democratic” lightly, is looking to partner with countries around the world to find a solution. The German chancellor is of a similar mind.
    The Conservatives in the House of Commons are not alone in thinking this. World leaders are on the same page.

  (1230)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, in his speech the member spoke about the dangers of having Russia as a direct neighbour to Canada. One of the reasons why that threat is increasing is because the Arctic is far more accessible than it ever was before. However, it is far more accessible because of climate change and the world's dependancy on fossil fuels.
    Therefore, I would like the member's thoughts on how the Conservatives think part (c) of this motion is at all helpful. He talked about the increasing dangers of the accessibility to our Arctic by our Russian neighbours, when it is the climate crisis that is part of the growing tensions between our countries.
    Madam Speaker, as long as we need energy, I will always fight for Canadian energy. It is not only me asking that. We have seen the Chancellor of Germany asking for support from elsewhere. We have seen the Democratic President of the United States asking to have more people working on that. We have seen the l'Union européenne asking to have partenariat with other countries.
    Canada is the fifth-largest producer of natural gas, and I will always fight for Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, first and foremost, our hearts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine, those people who have friends and family suffering and those around the world standing and watching the bloodshed of the men, women and children in a war zone paved with destruction by a malevolent dictator whose carnage and unprovoked violence know no bounds.
    People in my own community, at the beginning, joined in prayers in churches and synagogues and mosques and gurdwaras and everything in between. Now countless organizations are raising money and sending goods directly to the people of Ukraine, helped by the spirit of generosity of so many who just want to help, like Saint Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church in Thornhill and the countless efforts by Chabad Lubavitch in sending help, load by load and matched further by dollar-for-dollar donations from the kindness of community members who want to go the extra mile.
    I am going to take a moment to get a bit personal in this House and speak to those who have been misinformed and to those who have succumbed to the propaganda and the blatant lies espoused by the Kremlin.
     I am a first-generation Canadian. My parents arrived in Canada in 1974 from Odessa. They were Jewish refugees who left the oppression of the former Soviet Union. Putin's regime had persisted with this narrative of a neo-Nazi government oppressing Russian speakers despite the fact that President Zelenskyy's native language is Russian and despite the fact that he himself is Jewish. It is an absolute perversion of facts. This country has democracy. It has freedom of speech. It has freedom of religion.
    In the face of that propaganda, I want to acknowledge those specifically in my community and all over the world who have demonstrated remarkable courage. I acknowledge the tens of thousands of Russians in cities within Russia and within our own country and within the world who took to the streets to express their outrage. Facing threats of harm, hundreds of them were arrested for their bravery in speaking out. There is great concern in my own community from those who condemn these actions. They are Russian speakers themselves. They are those who have roots in Russia and those who stand with the Ukrainian people. This is Putin's war. This is Putin's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, a free and democratic country.
    The attack ordered by Putin on Ukraine is the first European war since the Second World War. It is a serious violation of international law and of humanity. This attack threatens not only Ukraine, its people and its many diaspora communities; it also threatens Canada. Our own security has always been tied to that of Europe. A hundred thousand is the number of Canadians who paid the ultimate price in the two wars in Europe. We have enjoyed the longest period of relative peace and prosperity since that second great war, a peaceful world that we played a role in establishing.
    Vladimir Putin's evils know no bounds. Silence in the face of evil becomes its accomplice, and it ends up becoming evil itself. Remaining silent is a betrayal of our conscience and our values. Ultimately it is a betrayal of our own freedom as well as our safety and security. While I support the actions taken to date by the Government of Canada, more needs to be done, because we will one day be asked if we did everything we could during this dark chapter in history. Could Canada have done more? I think that today the answer is yes.
    The government should expel the Russian ambassador. The government should direct the CRTC to terminate the licences of state broadcasters that spread disinformation and propaganda. Russia Today, RT, should be removed from our airwaves, as should other authoritarian state broadcasters operating here. The government should also make every effort to seek the removal of Russia from organizations like the G20, as we did from the G8 the last time this happened.
    As members would have heard from my colleagues in this House, I will add my voice to theirs in advocating immediate implementation of visa-free travel for Ukrainians wanting to come to Canada. I know that steps have been taken, but our EU partners have already done this.
    While I support the measures announced to date by the Government of Canada, I also understand that those measures are not going to stop the invasion in Ukraine. However, we must one day be able to say that we did everything that we could, and the fact remains that today we can do more.

  (1235)  

    Many in the House will say that some of what I am about to say discounts the situation faced by the Ukrainian people as they fight to defend their nation, the now over one million displaced Ukrainians, women sheltering children from unspeakable harms, and the tragedy unfolding in real time of so many who feel helpless to change the trajectory of evil. However, I believe that it is in our interest, in the interest of democracy in Europe and in the interest of the security of our own country that we must explore every option to do more in the face of what we are seeing.
    We know that the Arctic is one of Russia's strategic priorities. We have seen it through their actions and we have seen it through their commitments. We share that border, and now, more than any other time, we must commit to our own security in the wake of destabilization in Europe. We need a plan and we need a renewed commitment to take this situation seriously.
     We need to think in longer terms about defending the Canadian Arctic and our sovereignty. We need a plan on purchasing F-35 jets and a plan to modernize NORAD's early warning system. We need a plan to fix our national shipbuilding program. We need a plan on joining ballistic missile defence and a plan for closer co-operation with our Scandinavian allies and of course the Americans. We have committed to that before and we need to commit to it again today.
    Our nation's defence strategy is as important as our nation's energy policy, and I am glad the members opposite realize the two are linked. Canadians know that energy is vital to our lives, and we are learning every day that it is more and more vital to our security. I am not the only one who said this; the European Union said it and our partners abroad have said it. We have witnessed over the last six years that the government and its green energy policies contribute to the destruction of Canada's oil and gas sector and to increasing our reliance on foreign oil from countries with abysmal human rights records, overrun with depots and dictators who function with impunity.
    Canada is the fifth-largest natural gas producer in the world, but the stark reality is that we cannot get gas to Europe. We do not have the infrastructure. We cannot get pipelines built. Getting resources to Atlantic tidewater is vital to our economy, vital to our environmental goals, and vital to our own security, because we can be the source of security for European democracies today, and that matters.
    Russia supplies 40% of Europe's natural gas and uses this to intimidate Europe and Ukraine, and that matters. It matters because of Russia's constant threat to cut off that supply, which provides warmth in the winter, economic activity throughout the year and stability to hundreds of millions of people. Without it we will most certainly see a crisis in Europe, a crisis for their economy and for the entire continent. Canada has the resources to ensure this is not going to happen, and we must take these threats seriously.
    The world changed last week. I want to end by saying that for the people of Ukraine facing war, for the millions of Canadians of Ukrainian heritage who see their roots under attack, for international rules-based order, and for our own security, Canada's official opposition will continue proudly to do everything we can to ensure Canada steps up and does its part.
    That starts with treating our energy security as a priority. Putin's attack is not only an attack on Ukraine, and I am glad my colleagues agree; Putin is a grave threat to global peace, security and democracy and to our collective safety and security. The government members have said so themselves, and I am grateful again for that. While the world witnesses the bravery of the Ukrainian people, seeing citizens fighting for their lives and for their country and seeing the bravery of a president leading from the front, we too must remember that they are not fighting only for themselves; they fight for all of us, and our support must go beyond what we have seen today. Our support must withstand the test of tomorrow.
    I hope members of this House support our motion today so that one day we will be able to say as a country that we did everything we could.

  (1240)  

    Madam Speaker, I have had the opportunity to have some interventions in the House before this one, and I have lamented the idea that the text of the motion is focused quite narrowly on pipelines and natural gas. I think this House should be having a conversation more broadly about food production, energy and critical minerals, because those are what will be extremely important in Europe in a changing foreign policy dynamic.
    As a member from the province of Nova Scotia, I think of the Goldboro LNG project. The text actually talks about pipelines, but it makes no mention of the actual liquefied natural gas facilities that would be important in exporting to Europe.
    Would the member opposite at least recognize or acknowledge that in transitioning energy to Europe, this type of infrastructure would be extremely crucial, in addition to looking at existing pipelines without building new ones?
    Madam Speaker, the member opposite is absolutely right, and I am glad there is a recognition from the other side that energy policy is often used as a foreign policy tool. I am glad the government is finally saying that. I am glad to finally be able to speak about this in the House after the European Union said it in 2005 and the world did not do anything.
     I appreciate the member's intervention, I appreciate further conversation and I absolutely do believe it should be included.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Thornhill for her speech.
    The Bloc Québécois obviously stands with the people of Ukraine. The Conservative Party does as well. The Conservative Party also supports economic sanctions, but today we learned that there are allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin here in Canada. These are people who have shares in the oil industry. These are people who supply most of the steel for the Trans Mountain pipeline project.
    Does my colleague from Thornhill agree that these same sanctions should apply to people who support the Russian president from within Canada?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I hope I did not hear a suggestion or an implication that we would support any of the oligarchs he just named. Yesterday in question period my colleague named some of those oligarchs directly in asking the Prime Minister about this.
    I am also glad that the member who asked me that question will never be in charge of Canadian foreign policy, because there is a lack of realization that energy policy is often used as a foreign policy tool. If the members from that party cannot understand that, then I am glad they are sitting where they are sitting.
    Madam Speaker, there are a few spectacles more offensive than someone trying to profit off another's misery. The third part of this motion under debate today is a thinly disguised attempt to exploit the crisis, the vulnerabilities and the suffering of the Ukrainian people to advance the interests of Canadian oil and gas companies. This is one of the most crass, self-centred political schemes I have seen in this House. Worse, and ironically, the IPCC just days ago issued a scathing report indicating that carbon emissions have caused irreversible damage to our planet.
    What is worse: the crass opportunism of the Conservative Party to try to profit off a war or its refusal to acknowledge the climate crisis facing our world?

  (1245)  

    Madam Speaker, what is absolutely worse is that member's climate crusade without taking into account today's motion or the fact that energy policy is often used as a foreign policy tool.
    That member should be ashamed of his comment in terms of this motion. We have stood here and said to the government that we agree and we have asked for more. The fact that the member opposite is using this conversation to paint us as something other than supportive of Ukraine is absolutely shameful.
    Slava Ukraini. Heroyam slava. Those words mean “glory to Ukraine” and “glory to the heroes.”
    I start with these words, because never have they been more appropriate. A valiant, courageous stand has been taken by Ukrainian leaders, soldiers and everyday Ukrainian citizens in defending their country. They are refusing to leave and refusing to capitulate to the unlawful, illegal aggressor Vladimir Putin.
    We have seen babas, grandmothers, taking up arms, we have seen young men and women doing night patrols in cities around Ukraine, and we have seen average residents learning to make Molotov cocktails, all in defiance of an enemy army that wants to take control over Ukraine's territory and Ukraine's ability to govern itself. That is the scene unfolding in Ukraine day after day. It is a scene that has captured the spirit of democracies and democracy lovers around the planet. Nowhere was this sentiment more defiantly represented than when President Zelenskyy, when offered the chance of an evacuation by American military personnel, said quite famously, “I need ammunition, not a ride”. This is the defiance of a leader who is prepared to stand and fight rather than flee.
    I represent thousands of Ukrainian Canadians in this Parliament as the representative of Parkdale—High Park. In better times, we celebrate Ukrainian heritage at things such as the Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival, which takes place every September in my community. Now, my communications with those constituents are very different. They are imploring me to call out Russia and to advocate.
    Let me be clear. Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014. Russia unlawfully and illegally invaded the Donbass in 2014, and it is Russia again, entirely unprovoked, that has commenced this horrific, deadly and illegal war of aggression in a further invasion of Ukraine in the hopes of restoring some lost sense of empire for Vladimir Putin.
    With respect to the motion before us, I stand unequivocally to condemn Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation for this further illegal invasion of Ukraine. I unequivocally stand with my constituents, and I believe with all Canadians, in solidarity with Ukraine, with Ukrainian Canadians and with Ukrainians who want to live freely, peacefully and with the ability to make decisions about their nation alone and free from outside influence and interference. This is, in fact, the promise of the UN charter crafted in 1945 that has been broken in these past eight days by Vladimir Putin.
    For weeks, I and my colleagues have been advocating for a strong response from Canada to this military buildup and, seven days ago, this second unlawful invasion of Ukraine. Those pleas have been responded to. In these past weeks, Canada has been unequivocal in its denunciation of the invasion of the Donbass and its rejection of the annexation of Crimea. We have been very clear that Russia's second invasion, which commenced a week ago, is illegal, unlawful and must end immediately.
    We have trained over 33,000 Ukrainian soldiers through Operation Unifier, which I personally was able to observe at their Independence Day on the Maidan in Kyiv in 2018. We have provided the Ukrainian military with defensive equipment worth as much as $35 million and lethal weaponry worth $7.8 million, which was announced over a week ago. On February 28, 100 anti-armour weapon systems and 2,000 rockets were being delivered. Just today, the Minister of National Defence announced a further supply of lethal weaponry: 4,500 M72 rocket launchers and 7,500 hand grenades. We have expanded Operation Reassurance and have put 3,400 Canadian soldiers on standby for mobilization in the NATO response force. We are also providing cybersecurity support to Ukraine's military.
    We are suffocating the Russian economy in concert with our allies. We have imposed massive sanctions: 440 of them on individuals and entities including Putin himself, his security council and the oligarchs who surround him. This is extended to Belarusian leaders who are facilitating this illegal invasion. We have removed several Russian banks from SWIFT, putting them back in the dark ages of financial transactions.

  (1250)  

    We are, at the same time, working to boost the Ukrainian economy with $620 million in sovereign loans and humanitarian aid that now totals $150 million. In conjunction with this, we have provided a matching donation program that has been very well received by the Ukrainian Canadians I represent and those around the country. It is matching up to $10 million in donations that Canadians are offering themselves.
    We are assisting those fleeing Ukraine. We have processed 4,000 applications thus far. What I would say on this point, and this is fundamental, is that all those who are fleeing Ukraine for their own lives and safety must be treated equally. I am very troubled by reports of racism and discrimination against Africans and Indians attempting to flee western Ukraine for Poland.
    I applaud foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, who announced just yesterday the establishment of an emergency hotline for African, Asian and other students who wish to leave Ukraine. I applaud him for this humanitarian decision that helps ensure international students, regardless of the colour of their skin, do not become the victims of Putin's war.
    Just today, as has come up in this debate, we have announced a new immigration stream with Ukraine to eliminate most of the visa requirements, making travel fast and effective, and to provide things such as single-journey travel documents for those who left at such a pace that they did not even have proper documentation.
    We are assisting those who are in Canada to stay in Canada. They can work in Canada and remain here. We have prohibited flights in our airspace. We have banned the importation of Russian crude oil. Bell and Rogers have removed Russia Today. These are important steps.
    What I also want to add to this debate is the injection of international humanitarian law. I was very pleased to see the head prosecutor of the ICC, Mr. Karim Khan, indicate that he has opened an investigation into the situation in Ukraine to determine if war crimes, crimes against humanity or both are occurring.
    We have seen reports of cluster bombs and vacuum bombs that are very troubling. There are reports of civilians being targeted, and of civilian infrastructure being targeted, such as hospitals. On their face, these would seen to trigger article 8.2, subsection b of the Rome Statute that created the ICC, which says that targeting civilians or civilian infrastructure can be considered a war crime under international law. This is why the chief prosecutor stated in his announcement, “I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine”.
    Having prosecuted, prior to politics, the Rwandan genocide on behalf of the United Nations, I know that this is critical. It is critical to bring the perpetrators to justice, but it is also critical that we understand that the evidentiary burden is high and it is vital to gather evidence now: not in the weeks, months or years following this conflict. It is critical to amass that evidence to marshal a prosecution. I applaud the ICC prosecutor for taking this step now and not many months from now.
    My personal commitment is directly to my constituents, to Ukrainian Canadians and to all Canadians who are horrified by what they are witnessing daily in Ukraine. I commit to working to ensure that our government is assisting in that evidence-gathering exercise that is so critical to marshalling a successful prosecution of the commission of potential war crimes or crimes against humanity.
    I further commit to working with our government to close loopholes so that the removal of Russian banks and the Russian economy from the SWIFT interaction system is comprehensive. We do not need Russians evading the SWIFT system or these sanctions via loopholes. I also commit to advocating for a complete economic embargo of Russia by Canada. This is a necessary step and will further suffocate the Russian economy.
    Finally, I commit to working to ensure that our military aid is maintained. Today's announcement is the right and proper one, but where Canada does not have the inventory to supply further anti-aircraft or anti-tank weaponry, I commit to working to help procure that on behalf of Ukrainians from other sources, including other nations and the private sector.
    I am going to return to where I began. Slava Ukraini. Heroyam slava. Glory to Ukraine in its defence against this illegal aggression, and glory to the heroes who have stood by so valiantly to defend their homeland and defend democracy, literally, for all of us.

  (1255)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the parliamentary secretary for his speech and for the work he is doing in providing support and assistance to the people of Ukraine.
    As Conservatives, we have stood in solidarity with the government in providing short-term and immediate help to the people of Ukraine, and I want to acknowledge that. However, I also want to encourage him to look at expediting the movement of people, especially the orphans in Ukraine. We know there are many orphanages in Ukraine, but we want to especially expedite assisting those people and getting them out of the conflict areas, and perhaps expedite their emigrating here to Canada where we know it is safe.
    Would he not agree that in addition to addressing immediate and short-term needs for the people of Ukraine and for Europe, we should also be looking at long-term solutions? Would he not also agree that creating an avenue for them not to be so resource-dependent on Russia would be a good thing to do?
    Madam Speaker, first of all, orphans are an unfortunate by-product of violent conflict. Absolutely, we need to be extending a hand to any vulnerable Ukrainians, particularly vulnerable children who are orphaned in this conflict.
    Vis-à-vis this issue about energy security, it is a pressing issue. There is no doubt about it. We know about Russia's influence on the European continent by virtue of its natural gas resources and the fact that it has created dependency. What I am very keen to do is also embrace where the world is heading, which is toward addressing climate change through greener and more environmentally sustainable solutions.
    I know much of continental Europe shares that objective, including Germany. At times, when I was in Katowice, Poland at COP24, I met with German officials who explained to me that their concerns for the environment were equal to, if not greater than, those of Canada. We need to work together on this, but in a way that works toward a cleaner future for Germans, for Canadians and for the entire planet.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I have a question for the parliamentary secretary.
    Why does his government refuse to impose immediate, concrete sanctions on the Russian oligarchs who have interests, who have direct or indirect stakes in the development, production and transportation of Canadian oil?
    Is it for lack of courage?
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the question from the member for Joliette, and I can assure him that we have already imposed sanctions on over 400 individuals. That is the first thing.
    Second, our sanctions are aimed at Putin himself, as well as the people, leaders and politicians around him, but they are also aimed at the oligarchs. It is not true to say that we have not targeted the oligarchs. We have done just that.
    I fully agree that the assets of Russian oligarchs must be targeted here in Canada.

[English]

    We need to do it in a comprehensive way in order to cripple and effectively suffocate the Russian economy.
    Qujannamiik, Uqaqtittiji.
    Firstly, I am finding it fascinating how the Conservative agenda is touting the protection of global interests to a transition to non-emitting sources of energy in its motion. While I agree that we all need to address the climate crisis, this is not one of the ways to do it.
    Secondly, I agree to some extent with the Conservatives that Ukraine is not the only nation facing aggression. Indeed, a charter plane carrying two Russian nationals was grounded in Yellowknife. They were on their way to Resolute, which is a community in my riding.
    I realize this case is on the fringe of this important issue of Russian aggression. Will the Liberals commit to both a just transition and defending all Canadians, including those in the north who are so often left behind?

  (1300)  

    Qujannamiik.
    The member raises an important perspective. We have been talking about Arctic sovereignty and the adjacent nature of the Russian threat to Canada. That is specifically vis-à-vis Canada's north and the very community that she represents. With regard to what we are doing with respect to this issue, we are speaking loudly about it. We are taking steps to ensure that the safety and security of Canadians are firm.
    With respect to the just transition, I would simply point out to the member that we have already entrenched that into policies we are implementing, specifically a just transition for workers in the coal sector, in particular, as we move Canadians off of coal. They were successfully moved off of coal in my province of Ontario, but we are also powering past coal on an international level. Coal is salient here because it is exactly coal that the Germans are now turning to, which is not an appropriate resolution to the current situation or to the Germans' need for energy.
    Madam Speaker, on February 24 we saw the president of Russia invoke and provoke a war on the people of Ukraine. It was completely unprovoked and unjustified. Moments later, reactions from the world were almost unanimous, including that of the Prime Minister of Canada, in condemning it. There was a sense that people, whether they were those of Ukrainian heritage from around the world, their friends and allies, or people in general, understood that this was wrong.
    In Canada, there was a great feeling that we needed to come together to recognize just how important it is to speak with one voice in solidarity. I would suggest that a good part of the condemnation of what the Russian president had done to the people of Ukraine was here in Canada, from the people of Canada, particularly from the Prime Minister of Canada.
    On February 28, the member for Etobicoke Centre, who happens to be the chair of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group, sought unanimous consent for a motion which detailed how the House, “Condemns this unjustified and unprovoked attack, which was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, as a clear violation of international law, the UN Charter, and the rights of Ukraine to sovereignty, territorial integrity, freedom and democracy” and “Stands unwavering and united in our solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”
    We have seen other members in the House, myself included, by way of Standing Order 31, talk about the importance of solidarity and how important it is that we let Ukraine know in a very clear fashion that it has a friend in Canada. Members will recall that we had take-note debates, which were supported by members on all sides of the House. We had not one but two. Earlier today, we had a member stand in this place and ask for unanimous consent to recommend to the city of Ottawa that the street the Russian embassy happens to be on should be renamed after the President of Ukraine. I hope to see that happen. Maybe other urban and municipal areas across Canada will take note of recognizing that hero.
    I do not want to claim to really appreciate the degree of bravery the people of Ukraine have demonstrated to the world by standing up for Ukraine, democracy, freedoms and the many things that come with that. They are stepping up to the plate to the greatest degree. Lives are being lost. I hope we continue on in recognizing those heroes, and that we continue on in a unified front, as much as possible, to support solidarity.
    I raised this issue earlier today in a form of a question. The Conservative Party knows that the resolution they brought forward is not going to receive unanimous support. There is no way that it will get the unanimous support of the House.

  (1305)  

    I will read what is in the motion itself. It is asking for the House to “(a) condemn President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation for their unprovoked, illegal attack and invasion of Ukraine; [and] (b) stand with Ukraine, the people of Ukraine and Canadians in the Ukrainian community”. It then goes on to—
    The government whip is rising on a point of order.

[Translation]

Official Report

    Madam Speaker, it has been brought to my attention that the hon. member for Humber River—Black Creek inadvertently voted yesterday and should not have done so under paragraph (i) of section (q) of the motion adopted by the House on November 25, 2021. I therefore ask that her vote be withdrawn.

[English]

    I would like to thank the chief government whip. In accordance with the order of November 25, 2021, and in line with precedents of members inadvertently voting when they should not have, I am informing the House that a corrigendum will be published in today's Journals and that the results of division Nos. 33 and 34 in yesterday's Journals, as well as the other records, will thereafter be corrected by removing the member's votes.

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Natural Gas Pipelines and the Invasion of Ukraine  

[Business of Supply]
    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Madam Speaker, I suspect I will get a bonus two minutes for that.
    I look at the motion, of which I read parts (a) and (b). There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that every member of the House of Commons would support those two aspects of the motion. It is the (c) clause that is poison pill. If we vote for (a) and (b), then we have to agree to (c).
    For many members of the House, it is the (c) clause that is causing members to indicate that they are not going to support the motion. That is why I made the suggestion that the Conservative Party is really off base. This is not what I believe most of us, not only in the House of Commons but also most Canadians, would want us to be talking about regarding the issue of Ukraine and having one voice coming from the House of Commons.
    I do not have to talk about the horrific things many people have done in Ukraine. I thought maybe what I would do is talk about that special relationship that Canada has with Ukraine, because it is a very special relationship. Countries around the world are getting behind Ukraine, but I would argue that not only is Canada behind Ukraine, but that it also has a very special relationship with Ukraine.
    We have seen the federal government act in a number of ways to support Ukraine in this difficult time, in terms of humanitarian aid, and when I talk about humanitarian aid, it is not just the federal government providing it. We have seen provincial governments contribute. We have seen individual Canadians and residents of Canada contribute, whether through organizations that are well established, such as the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and others, or through the Red Cross, where the federal government, although indicating a limit of $10 million, will match contributions Canadians are making, all in the name of humanitarian aid.
    We have supplied lethal weapons. We recognize how important it is that the people of Ukraine, those brave men and women, have lethal weapons in order to protect themselves. We have also provided other financial support. We can talk a great deal about sanctions. Those are some of the things we are doing. The Prime Minister, and our ministers responsible for that file, because there are many, are open to all sorts of ideas of how we can continue to support Ukraine.
    For an understanding of the community, there are 1.3 million people of Ukrainian heritage across Canada, hundreds of thousands of which come from the prairies. Many would argue they were the pioneers, to a certain degree. Obviously, we recognize first nations being there first and foremost, and then there were the waves of immigrants that came. It was Ukrainian immigrants that helped build what we have today in our prairies. One only needs to take a look at Winnipeg North to see the beautiful cathedral and the many businesses of Ukrainian heritage that have operated for decades in the north end of Winnipeg.
    We go to the Ukraine-Kyiv Pavilion every year or every summer, or the Spirit of Ukraine Pavilion, and we get a sense of the deep-rooted heritage. That is why when things happen in Ukraine, the people in Canada care. It is not just the people of Ukrainian heritage. It is also the friends of the community and, in fact, all Canadians.

  (1310)  

    I believe what they would want of the House of Commons today is for us to be in unison, as one, as we continue, as we have from day one, to criticize Russia and to have the backs of the people of Ukraine.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Winnipeg North for his discourse, partly on Vladimir Putin.
    That being said, it really baffles my mind that we could go on about supporting the people of Ukraine and really loving them, while in short they are dependent on natural gas from their aggressor. If there is an opportunity in the longer term to change such things, why does the Liberal government want to continue to use short-sighted policies that would not help people in the longer term, understanding the security nature of using things such as energy as a weapon?
    Madam Speaker, I was trying to articulate why it was important, as opposed to the Conservative Party trying to divide on an issue. The Conservatives know full well there are members in this House who would not support the motion. All the way up to this point when we brought forward motions and ideas, we have seen support coming from all sides of the House.
    Why has the Conservative Party chosen to bring forward what they know is a divisive motion and incorporate in that motion a love for supporting Ukraine at this time when we all want to support Ukraine? Why put in clause (c) as a poison pill, spoiling what (a) and (b) propose?
    I believe it is because this is more about Conservative politics. That is sad to see, given the very nature of what is taking place in Europe today.

  (1315)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, as we know, things move quickly in politics, and that can cause confusion.
    A former Liberal leader wants to run in the Conservative leadership race. Now, we have learned that, according to the Liberals and the member for Winnipeg North, the Conservative motion is no good because it seeks to build a pipeline to export natural gas to Europe.
    Can my colleague from Winnipeg North explain to me why it is a bad idea to build a pipeline to export natural gas to Europe, but it is a good idea to build the Trans Mountain pipeline to export oil abroad?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I made a choice. That is why I did not even say what clause (c) was.
    At the end of the day, I am not hesitant or reluctant to debate issues, especially when it comes to natural resources. I could talk about responsible governments, whether they are the NDP in the province of British Columbia or the actions we have taken in regard to natural resources.
    For me, the issue is that we should be talking about Ukraine, remaining one and showing solidarity between Canadians and Ukrainians at a time when we need to be doing that. If the Conservative Party had not put forward clauses (a) and (b), and we were just focusing on natural resources, that would have been wonderful. I would have loved to have that debate. However, they should not try to mix the two in a way that I know there are going to be members of the chamber who would not vote in favour of it. The Conservative Party knows that too.
    Madam Speaker, the unfortunate timing of this debate is that it shows our allies not that some of the members in the Canadian Parliament have attacked them but that we are now potentially divided on this.
    I would like to ask the member about the oligarchs. Other countries are seizing private property and freezing assets. Canada has been very remiss on this. It goes even deeper, because it shows how we are a pariah internationally, known as a snow-washing state. Perhaps one of the things we could see unified coming out of this is getting at not only uncollected taxes as revenue but also the snow washing that takes place with international money.
    Could the member comment on that? When will Canada act on the oligarchs as other countries have?
    Madam Speaker, one of the things that should be highlighted is that the government, and in particular the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of National Defence and others within the cabinet and members of Parliament, at least from the Liberal caucus, are open to all sorts of ideas.
    It is really important for us to recognize that we have allies. We need to continue to work and support our allies in supporting the Ukraine. It is about solidarity. In many ways, Canada continues to lead and to ensure that we have that strong role with our allied countries.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Calgary Midnapore today.
    Before I begin my remarks, I want to thank the MPs in this chamber for coming together this past week as we all stand firmly behind Ukrainians and their valiant defence of their country. I want to thank the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the other organizations that are doing all they can to raise money and to provide support to those in need.
    I also want to specifically highlight Volodymyr Palagniuk and his wife Iiulia, who have been instrumental in organizing and rallying support here in Ottawa. Volodymyr works for the member for Brantford—Brant, and just this past year he and his wife became Canadian citizens. I am privileged to call him a friend. I know how difficult this past week has been for him as his parents and in-laws are currently in Ukraine. He is not alone. There are countless people whose loved ones are currently under attack and whose lives are at risk.
    Vladimir Putin's unprovoked war is a clear violation of international law, the UN Charter and the rights of Ukraine to its sovereignty and its territorial integrity. I applaud the Government of Canada's efforts in organizing and supplying everything from military equipment to humanitarian supplies.
    We are working in concert with our allies around the world that have done the same. That military equipment is helping stop the Russian tanks, the armoured carriers and the helicopters and is giving the Ukrainian army and citizens the ability to defend their own country. Canada and other countries have also implemented sanctions against the Putin regime. They are designed to cripple the money supply and the movement of those closely tied to the president and the Russian military. Canada is restricting exports to Russia by halting new export permit applications and cancelling valid export permits.
    The government has announced it will ban crude oil, which will also include the import of refined petroleum products, which should include jet fuel and gasoline. Just this Monday at the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, I moved a motion for the Department of Natural Resources to provide us with solid numbers on how much energy, minerals and other products we imported from Russia and Belarus over the last 10 years. We need a full understanding of what Canada imports from these two countries to get a better grasp on the size and scope of the natural resources that have come into our country.
    As other countries start to take similar steps to ban Russian energy, we must take note of the role Canadian natural gas can have in neutering potential threats. Not only can we support Ukraine in its time of need, but we must also ensure Russia does not have the financial means to terrorize sovereign nations.
    That takes me to the third clause of our opposition motion, which calls on the government to ensure Canadian natural gas can get to tidewater and displace Russian natural gas in Europe. Russian natural gas is flowing through the veins of Putin's war machine as we stand in the House today. As long as it continues to flow to Europe and the world, he will continue to build bombs, missiles and rockets destined to kill innocent Ukrainians. Let us never forget that.
    Every year, billions and billions of dollars flow into the Russian government's coffers from natural gas exports. Seventy-two per cent of Russia's natural gas exports go to the European Union. Canada has the capacity to reduce that number to zero.
    Since elected, I have supported ideas to grow the industry as we have the highest environmental and labour standards anywhere in the world. I have advocated for ways to get western Canada's energy to tidewater on both our coasts, and I have stood up for the sector because Canadian energy workers provide the natural gas that heats our homes. They provide the fuel that keeps our vehicles on the roads. They ensure we have the electricity to keep our economy moving. We must never forget the jobs the energy sector creates and the billions in taxes governments rely on to pay for our schools, health care and social services.
    The one argument I have never made in support of the industry is for defence and security reasons. On numerous occasions I have stated that Canadian natural gas should be exported to replace harmful and carbon-intensive products such as coal. I have also made the point that Canadian green technology should also be exported to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That could include advances in nuclear technology, carbon capture and other processes our great Canadian innovators have developed.

  (1320)  

    The one thing I have never stated before, until today, is the necessity to get new natural gas pipelines built to permanently displace Russian natural gas in Europe. I am not saying this solely for domestic economic reasons, but to ensure that Europe can never be held hostage to the whims and intimidation tactics of the Putin regime. Displacing Russian natural gas would curb the dollars that have been used to pay for the very weapons currently being used against Ukrainian families and children. No one knows how long this horrible war will prolong. We also do not know how long Putin and his acolytes will remain in power. What we do know is that Europe must permanently make this energy pivot.
    The question we must ask ourselves is this. Do we wait to see what happens in the months or years ahead or do we take a decision now? I want to lay out my argument for why Parliament should send a clear signal to the government to make this a priority.
    First and foremost, the Putin regime must be isolated. This is already happening, but we should expedite this process in every way we can. There are always reports of Russian energy companies not being able to sell their products, even at discounted prices. As more countries start to implement similar bans, it will be more difficult for them to find customers. I would argue some of their existing customers, such as those in Europe, are in a very precarious position.
    Second, it will take time for new natural gas pipelines and projects to be planned, consulted on, approved and built. However, if we prioritize these projects, we can implement an assessment process that upholds best-in-class environmental standards and sets clear expectations and timelines for environmental reviews. We can set clear timelines so investors get a yes or no. We can create high-paying jobs across the provinces and work with indigenous communities to ensure they are partners in prosperity.
    We must harness the same level of co-operation we have shown in supporting the people of Ukraine. We can work together to severely and permanently impede the Putin regime's potential to wage war. If the government directed the necessary resources and immediately began to work with all levels of government, the private sector and indigenous communities, I believe it can be done. While in this place we may have many disagreements, I know if we work together we can create a plan to free our European allies from their reliance on Russia for their energy needs. If we agree on that end goal, then let us figure out a way to get there.
    Third, we know other governments are already talking about ramping up their own domestic natural gas production. For example, the Biden administration has been talking with countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia about stepping up natural gas production to Europe.
    My question for my hon. colleagues is this. Would it not be better to trust our Canadian environmental and labour standards rather than those of other countries filling that void? If we can expand Canadian natural gas exports, all MPs will be intimately involved and have direct oversight.
    In closing, I would like to appeal to my colleagues to support this motion. It is clear in its intent and I believe we all recognize the importance of freeing the EU from its reliance on Russian natural gas.
    I also recognize there is much more we can do above and beyond just expanding natural gas exports. I want to have those conversations in the coming days. However, let us seize this moment not only to help Ukraine but to put in motion a plan to deal a financial blow to limit the Putin regime's ability to wage war and threaten other nations.

  (1325)  

    Madam Speaker, notwithstanding my respect for the member for Wellington—Halton Hills, as has been noted in the House, it is unfortunate and there has been an obvious condemnation of the idea to support Ukraine through the use of pipelines for natural gas. I take note that, yes, the situation in Ukraine is going to have bigger geopolitical dynamics in Europe on energy security.
     Would the member agree with me that this conversation should go beyond pipelines to Canada's natural endowments and how we can help supply our allies across the world with food and critical minerals that may be necessary, as well as energy, including renewables, and that the scope of this motion could have been expanded if worded in a different fashion?
    Madam Speaker, my colleague is correct that this is not just energy. There is a food supply requirement here that is probably not going to be met if the Ukrainian people cannot put the crop in for the breadbasket of Europe this spring. It does take energy, and probably the biggest reason we are in the dilemma today is that over the years we have been a bit short-sighted. There has not been the vision to build these pipelines so that they can do two things: reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world and make sure that our allies are not put in the difficult position of being dependent upon a regime like Putin's that can shut the tap off.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, since the start of the conflict, the Conservatives have been calling on the government to impose strong sanctions.
    In this morning's edition of La Presse, we learned from a respected journalist that Roman Abramovitch controls 28% of Evraz, which is supplying most of the steel to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and the Coastal GasLink pipeline. We also learned that another Russian oligarch, Igor Makarov, is the main shareholder in Alberta gas company Spartan Delta. These two individuals are on the United States' list of Vladimir Putin's allies.
    Canada is not ruling out confiscating their assets, at this time. Does my colleague agree with the Liberals?
    Should we continue to apply a double standard for these individuals or should we immediately impose sanctions on them?

  (1330)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, that is a similar question to one a colleague asked earlier. The more sanctions we can put on Russia right now and perhaps on Belarus, the better off we are in regard to closing off the flow of dollars going into Ukraine to fund the war effort. The oligarchs, the people who have invested in some of these industries, are not immune to that and need to be sanctioned as well.
    Madam Speaker, I certainly agree with the first and second parts of the motion, but it is the third part that I have a problem with, that oil and gas provision, and the way it seems the Conservative Party is trying to take advantage of this as some sort of deal they can make. Would it not be better if we could talk more about humanitarian assistance? International development assistance is only at 0.31% of our GNI this year because of consecutive government decisions to cut.
    Does the member agree that Canada should be increasing its funding for international development? In the motion, the Conservatives could have asked for that from the government in the upcoming budget.
    Madam Speaker, I will go back to the answer I gave to my first question. It is about the lack of vision and the short-sightedness of the government in power today. It does not have the vision to foresee that some of these things might be needed down the road. However, the best time to plant a tree is today, and the best way to deal with the Putin regime taking over and trying to destroy the country of Ukraine and its people is to sanction it as harshly as we can today. Let us have the vision to put in place the types of donations, support programs, military support—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Calgary Midnapore.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to speak in this chamber. It is an honour to speak on behalf of the people of Calgary Midnapore. I come here today as a proud woman who is one-quarter Ukrainian, so it is also an honour for me to be here today speaking not only for the people of Ukraine, but also for my ancestors, who come from this incredible nation that is so challenged at this time.
    When I arrive to this chamber, it is always after giving a lot of thought beforehand to matters of the day, like the opposition motion today. When I wonder about the situation that we find this resilient nation in, the same question comes to my mind that I ask about many of the world's problems and many of the problems we have seen in our nation recently. That question is, how did it come to this? I will give members some insight into that, according to the research I have done.
    If we look at an article by Bill Browder in AFP, we will see it says that Russia has “a stagnant economy, the most extreme wealth disparity of any major country, and endemic hopelessness that infects millions of ordinary citizens.” It is not a great place for Putin to begin.
    A New York Times article says this:
    Mr. Putin has described the Soviet disintegration as a catastrophe that robbed Russia of its rightful place among the world’s great powers and put it at the mercy of a predatory West. He has spent his 22 years in power rebuilding Russia’s military and reasserting its geopolitical clout.
    The Russian president calls NATO’s expansion menacing, and the prospect of Ukraine joining it a major threat to his country. As Russia has grown more assertive and stronger militarily, his complaints about NATO have grown more strident.
    Bill Browder goes on to say:
    Putin also knows that the West has never really held him accountable for his past actions. Since 2008, he has invaded Georgia, taken Crimea, occupied Eastern Ukraine, bombed hospitals in Syria, shot down a passenger plane, and hacked governments and businesses around the world. The West’s response? A few sanctions, removal from the G-8, and the expulsion of a handful of diplomats.
    How could this happen? Well, Canada does in fact have a part in this. Let us look to the Speech from the Throne. It states, “This is the moment to fight for a secure, just, and equitable world.” However, what do we see? We see the government's lack of action in Venezuela. There is no clear offer to mediate the conflict. It is ignoring the roles of Russia and China, which are scheming together, potentially, for further action. There was too little aid too late, with Digest Venezuela recently saying that 96% of Venezuelans are living in poverty.
    In Saudi Arabia, we saw very similar inaction by the government against a dictatorship and a lack of democracy. Twitter was used to speak against the kingdom following the imprisonment of civil society and women's rights activists. We saw the government's aid with an export permit of 1.5 billion dollars' worth of arms, yet it dragged its heels when it came to Ukraine. It never spoke up in December 2008 with the murder of the journalist Khashoggi.
    Let us go to Hungary now briefly, where Orbán's centralized power weakened the rule of law, academic freedom and freedom of the press. The Prime Minister's government refused to take a tougher stance against Orbán. Again I will say that it did not have to come to this.
    Leading up to this, Canada should not have ignored its investment in Canada's military. Maintaining our NATO commitment to invest 2% on military spending should have been prioritized, but it never was. The Conservative 2021 platform called for intensifying Operation Unifier, the Canadian Armed Forces's military training and capacity-building mission in Ukraine, supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons and reinstating the provision of RADARSAT imagery.

  (1335)  

    My colleague who just spoke, the member for Brandon—Souris, indicated that the government has consistently had a lack of vision, a lack of foresight, in the protection of not only Canada but the rest of the safe western democratic world. This also, of course, is relevant when we speak about energy.
    Members may have seen the Globe and Mail article by Konrad Yakabuski, who said:
    Canada missed the boat during an LNG development boom a decade ago. It must not make the same mistake again.
    Yielding to pressure from environmentalists who oppose LNG export terminals and gas pipelines on the grounds that such developments prolong global dependence on fossil fuels, or prevent Canada from meeting its own greenhouse-gas reduction targets, will only end up strengthening the hand of Mr. Putin and his fellow dictators.
    Members can see that we are not using this opposition motion to divide Canadians. We are giving Canada an opportunity to help the world and defend the world with the use of our clean, safe natural resources. I wish I could say it ends there, with Canada not having done its due diligence and not having done its work in the world, but it goes beyond that.
    Did members know that Russia is currently a member of the International Court of Justice? It is the very international body that may try Russia's leader and the nation for the war crimes we are seeing. Russia also sits on the United Nations Economic and Social Council. How can it be that this dictator is determining economic and social policy between nations for the entire world?
    The current membership of the Human Rights Council includes nations such as Eritrea, Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela. I will talk more about these nations momentarily, but they do not have a standard of excellence historically for supporting human rights. Of course, Russia is currently on the UN Security Council too. That is unbelievable.
    It is not just Canada that has been derelict in its duty of holding this nation to account. It has stood beside other nations of the world that have let this happen. We saw this most recently with the draft resolution A/ES-11 condemning these actions in Ukraine. It is true that dictators are standing with Putin. It is those of Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria. However, the United Nations, an organization that promotes the safety and well-being of the world, has not done its work here.
    When it comes to the world and natural resources, I turn to an article by Stephen J. Blank, entitled “The Balkans and Euro-Atlantic Energy Security”, where he states, “Russia’s objectives in helping to foment this crisis are clear. They entail restoring its energy hegemony and political leverage over numerous European countries.”
    In addition, the European Union recently released a report on this, where it stated, “Energy policy is often used as a foreign policy tool, in particular in major energy producing and transit countries.” The commission said:
     As part of a revitalised European energy and climate diplomacy, the EU will use all its foreign policy instruments to establish strategic energy partnerships with increasingly important producing and transit countries or regions.... The EU will continue to integrate Norway fully into its internal energy policies. The EU will also develop its partnerships with countries such as the United States and Canada.
    In conclusion, Canada has failed by allowing this situation to escalate and allowing this invasion to take place, and it has done so alongside the world. The government's idea, or that of anyone in the House from the Bloc, the Green Party or the NDP, that we are putting forward this motion only for our interests is untrue. We are standing today for natural resources, for the safety and security of Canadians and for our rightful place in the world as a leader. We are protecting the safety and security of the world.

  (1340)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, in listening to my colleague's speech, I noticed that the Conservative talking point today is that energy policy is part of foreign policy. I see it another way: Are the Conservatives not using foreign policy to benefit their oil?
    Madam Speaker, I sit here every day that the House is sitting. Every day, I hear the Bloc Québécois ask questions on the environment and against the oil sector. It bothers me a lot that his party has suddenly decided that talking about oil is bad when he uses oil as a political tool every day in the House.

[English]

    Qujannamiik, Uqaqtittiji.
    I am shocked with many elements raised in this debate. This motion is like a wolf in a sheep's coat. For the Conservatives to tout energy policy as foreign policy in the face of the humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine is deplorable. I appreciate the need to have long-term strategies; however, we must do so with the same spirit and courage as the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
    Does the member agree that if we were to ask the President how to assist his beautiful country and his beautiful people that oil and gas expansion measures are the last thing that he would ask for?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague very much for the question, and I really enjoy having her in the House as the new member for Nunavut, but I disagree with what she is saying.
    I believe that the President of Ukraine, a free and democratic nation, would absolutely support our opposition motion here today and the idea of building pipelines, methods and ways to get our ethically produced, clean natural resources as a gift to all of the world, including his own nation, so I disagree with the member. I believe President Zelenskyy would welcome this opposition day motion.

  (1345)  

    Madam Speaker, despite what the hon. member for Calgary Midnapore may believe President Zelenskyy wants, it is more likely to be consistent with what the Ukrainian lead of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said last week. Dr. Svitlana Krakowska said, in effect, that the root causes of the war in Ukraine and the root causes of the climate crisis are the same: dependence on fossil fuels. Ukraine stands against them, and for renewables.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for Saanich—Gulf Islands.
    What this opposition day stands for and what our party stands for is what these other parties seem to be against, and that is freedom, that is democracy, that is world order, that is the rule of law, and guess what? When we have those things, we get better outcomes for the environment, we get better outcomes for women, and we get better outcomes for minorities. They should learn that.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her great words.
    It is not just that we will do everything that we can to help Ukraine at this time; I think our allies and friends in Europe would also really appreciate something to back up the threat to their gas dependence and oil dependence, which is now jeopardized. Would the member not agree?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my incredible colleague for Sarnia—Lambton for that question.
    The member is right, as I am sure she has also read the report from the EU, which states that eastern Europe needs to move beyond its energy dependence on Russia. My colleague is exactly on track with her line of thinking as well as with the EU.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to acknowledge that I will be splitting my time today with my hon. colleague, the member for Toronto—Danforth.
    I would like to thank the member for Wellington—Halton Hills for bringing forward this conversation today. I have sat in this House and listened to the debate, and I do agree with some of the colleagues who have expressed their displeasure with how the actual text of the motion is worded. I agree with that, because it starts to implicate our unity in standing for Ukraine and brings in elements that, although important to discuss, can sometimes create a divide in this House. I will explain that.
    For those Canadians who might be watching at home and asking what an opposition day motion is, it is the opportunity for the opposition parties to raise issues and to allow us to vote on their texts. Such a motion is non-binding on the government, but it does allow us to have conversations. Let us look at the text of the motion that has been put before us here today.
     First, it is essentially condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There is not one member in this House who does not agree with condemning that unprovoked and illegal action.
    Second, it is a broad principle of support for Ukraine, for Canadians with Ukrainian heritage, and just generally for the idea that we would be there for the country. Again, I do not think there is any member, or indeed any Canadian, who would be against that principle. We have shown unity and we need to continue to work in that regard. I agree with that.
    The last part of this motion is a call on the Government of Canada to undertake measures to ensure natural gas pipelines could be approved and built to Atlantic tidewater. It is about trying to protect European defence and security and allowing Canadian natural gas to replace Russian natural gas.
    What I have advocated before in this House, and what I wish the member for Wellington—Halton Hills had done, is to take a more global view of the changing foreign policy situation. What I would submit to this House is this: On February 24, we saw not only a Russian invasion into Ukraine, which is terrible and horrific, and we have all condemned it, but also a further attack on rules-based international order and western liberal democracies.
    As I listened to commentary in this House today and in the days past, what I want to encourage my colleagues and Canadians to understand, notwithstanding the fact that no one has a crystal ball on what the days ahead will look like, is that February 24 is a change in time. It is the end of the post-Cold War period.
    I mentioned that I am 31 years old, born in 1991. From the fall of the Soviet Union until February 24, we have seen relative peace in the world, notwithstanding conflict. We have not seen this level of state-to-state engagement. As the Deputy Prime Minister has rightly pointed out, this is not just about an attack on Ukraine; it is an attack on all of us.
    I think that warrants a conversation about Canada's position in the world. I support what we have done to date on the sanctions, on the liquidity for Ukraine, on the military hardware and on the work that our Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has done to create pathways for Ukrainians who want to come to Canada. Again, I think we are unified in that.
    However, there is a conversation. The text of this motion is too narrow. We have to look at all the natural endowments that we have in this country and how they become part of our foreign policy and our way to help support other western liberal democracies around the world. The reliance and dependence of Europe in particular on Russian natural gas has been pointed out, and 25% of imports of crude oil are from Russia. What has not been discussed as much is the importance of critical minerals and how reliant Europe is on China for those minerals.
    I want to look at what we have seen, not just in Ukraine but also in votes at the United Nations, and how China and India have abstained. We look at China and Russia's axis, and indeed in the two years I have had the privilege of being in this House, we have seen human rights atrocities from China. We have seen the situation with the two Michaels. There is a changing geopolitical dynamic. I do not want to sound alarmist, and again no one has a crystal ball, but I think the sands are shifting around the world. I think that there is a mature conversation that needs to be had in this place about how Canada moves and positions itself in the changing dynamic.

  (1350)  

    I would submit to my colleagues that European parliamentarians are thinking about this. They are thinking about their energy security. They are thinking about their food security. There is a tension, as we know, between Canada's movement and the global movement toward a low-carbon economy and the continuation of fossil fuel products to support energy security right here today. We have heard that play out among our colleagues in the debate.
    Colleagues have rightly pointed out that we do not just turn on the switch. The investments and initiatives of the government do not just result in a six-month turnaround. I would argue that whether it be green and renewable transition or the interim energy transition for Europe, Canada has a role to play in both. We have a role to be there in the next 10 years as Europe looks to reduce its reliance on Russia and China,.
    On food, let us understand that Ukraine and Russia are two major important players in the international food system. It is very difficult to plant a wheat field when Russian tanks are driving through those fields. It is very difficult for Ukrainian farmers to be tending to their crops when they have to carry guns to fight Russians in their own country. That is going to have implications around the world.
    What can this government do? What can we do as parliamentarians to provide recommendations on how our Canadian agriculture can be a backstop? Again, we are almost at the spring season. These things do not turn around overnight, but I think the implications will last beyond just a few months. This is a longer-term play. We have to understand through a foreign policy lens that the world has fundamentally changed.
    I want to talk about the text of the motion. I have highlighted, of course, that I wish the issues had been separated. We could have let the Ukraine situation be a united front and we could have had a more nuanced discussion on Canada's role in the world vis-à-vis our critical minerals, our food capabilities and the like.
    When I go back to the text, there is no mention of actual LNG facilities. We talk about pipelines. There is no mention of the fact that we should actually be examining existing pipelines and perhaps whether they could be repurposed to support a quicker response to Europe in the interim.
    In my home province of Nova Scotia, Goldboro LNG was a proposed project. There is no mention of the fact that if we ship natural gas through a pipeline and we want to get it to continental Europe, we actually have to liquify it so that it can be transported. I would argue respectfully that not taking this into account is another flaw of this particular motion.
    I am going to leave it at this. I think we can all agree that we condemn Russia's invasion into Ukraine. We can all agree that we need to continue do everything possible and explore the tool kits of what we can do to provide to the Ukrainian people. What we need to have is a more nuanced conversation about Canada's role in the world, and whether the geopolitical change we have seen in the last week is something of a short-term development or if it will be more nuanced in the future.
    I take the view that this is going to have implications for at least a decade to come and that we need to have a serious conversation about how we collectively, as parliamentarians, can have respectful dialogue and give recommendations to the government to respond accordingly.

  (1355)  

    Madam Speaker, I welcome the conversation and discussion. I agree that it needs to be had.
    However, I do not believe that the issue of energy independence and the issue of our ability to use our natural gas to support other good actors in the world and other democratic nations in Europe are separate. I think this is actually key and critical, because the dependence of Europe on natural gas puts Europe in a difficult position. I think these issues are completely intertwined, but I look forward to a further conversation.
    I am wondering if the hon. member could comment on that.
    Madam Speaker, I agree with my colleague. When we look at the situation Germany was in, given its reliance on Russian natural gas and the complete foreign policy change Germany has taken, which is fundamentally a change, there are vulnerabilities to our allies in the world regarding food security and energy security. For colleagues like me, who agree on the need to transition to a low-carbon economy, that also includes critical minerals. The European Union imports 98% of critical minerals from China. When we look at that dynamic, we ask what our role is in the western world to provide the tools that are going to be necessary to transition to a low-carbon economy, and also what our role is in providing the fuel that is going to be necessary to get Europe through the next five to 10 years, given the uncertainties we are seeing in eastern Europe.
    Madam Speaker, we are hearing from European Union experts in energy and the German minister of economy and energy that this crisis in Ukraine is drawing them to move faster to renewable energy. They are not talking about fossil fuels, and nobody from Ukraine or the European Union has been heard to say once they need Canadian pipelines or Canadian fossil fuels.
    What does the member think accounts for this debate today?
    Madam Speaker, I have looked at and watched the proceedings of the European Parliament. When we actually look at the chancellor in Germany, that country has just invested in two LNG facilities to be able to backstop the fact that they know there is going to be energy insecurity. Am I in support of making a transition? I absolutely am, but let us not mistake that Europe is asking not only for energy on a transitional basis for the next five to 10 years, but also for the critical minerals that are going to be important to make the transition my hon. colleague is talking about. They are both extremely important. It is that nuance. It is not black or white; it is gray and in the middle. We have to be there on both accounts.
    The hon. member will have two minutes of questions after Oral Questions.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[English]

Climate Change

    Madam Speaker, this week's IPCC report put me in mind of something Al Gore said years ago that if we did not act on the climate crisis, it would be like taking a nature walk through the Book of Revelations. The four horsemen of the apocalypse are all saddled up. We have pestilence, we have plague, we have famine and now we have war, and we have the threat of nuclear war.
     How do we confront these existential threats, which we must, not separately, not sequentially but by recognizing that they are connected. The threat of war, the threat of dictatorships, the climate crisis, we must address them together and fight as if our lives depend upon it, because they do. We must fight for democracy. We must fight against all wars and end nuclear weapons. We must work harder for a livable planet.
    I close with these words from the head scientist from Ukraine, heading the Ukrainian delegation to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Svitlana Krakovska said that climate change and the war have the same root cause: fossil fuels and our dependence upon them.

International Women's Day

    Madam Speaker, 43 years ago, on this date, I arrived in the great country of Canada as an international student, feeling excited for new opportunities but also alone. Today, I want to acknowledge the challenges faced by all who are compelled to leave their country of origin just like I did.
    Given the upcoming International Women's Day on March 8, we need awareness of the current hardships felt by the strong and resilient women of Ukraine, as well as all women around the world who continue to fight whether it is for their freedom, access to equal rights or equal pay. As our government continues to support and stand in solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian Canadian community against Russia's egregious attack, we must pay attention to the women coerced into separation from their families, the women fearing for the lives of their children and the women who must unwillingly learn about weaponry as they prepare for war.
    On March 8, while we recognize the remarkable women in our communities, let us amplify and praise the women—
    The hon. member for Red Deer—Mountain View.

Jack Daines

    Madam Speaker, in 2009, I paid tribute to a dear friend, Jack Daines, who had just entered the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame as a rodeo builder. In addition to being a two-time saddle bronc champion, Jack started the world-renowned Daines Ranch Rodeo with a cowboy in mind. His contribution to the sport of rodeo in Canada was unsurpassed. Friends and customers of the Innisfail Auction Mart were treated every week to his gravelly auctioneer's voice, his no nonsense version of down home justice and his tremendous pride in our western heritage.
    It was often said that Jack Daines was western Canada's Don Cherry. He loved his family and his country. He promoted Canada every chance he had, while welcoming fair-minded strangers whenever their paths would cross.
    With Jack's recent passing, we mourn the loss of one of our most influential and passionate citizens. We want his wife Audrey and their children Joanne, Duane and Brenda-Lee, along with the rest of the Daines family, to know that we share in their loss as we pay tribute to a true Canadian legend.

Black History Month

    Mr. Speaker, as we all know, February was Black History Month. The theme for this year was “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day”. Even if February is over, all year long we must continue to learn, recognize and celebrate Black history and Black Canadians in our communities and support Black-led organizations and businesses. Equally, we must take actions in our everyday lives and commit to actively being anti-racist in the fight against systemic anti-Black racism.
    In the spirit of celebration, I want to celebrate and acknowledge some of the organizations doing crucial work in our community such as Black Lives Matter Fredericton, the New Brunswick African Association and the New Brunswick Black Artists Alliance. I want to highlight the initiative of the University of New Brunswick that put up banners in downtown Fredericton to honour Black New Brunswickers including Anna Minerva Henderson, a civil servant and poet who was the first Black federal employee of Canada. We have a duty to remember those who paved the way and transformed our society.
    Finally, in honouring the global fight against systemic racism, I want to conclude by saying that we cannot close our eyes and we must denounce the reports that citizens from African countries have been mistreated, dehumanized and even stopped at neighbouring country borders while seeking safety trying to flee war-torn Ukraine. The hatred must stop here and everywhere. It is my hope that all members in the House will join me in supporting the successes of Black Canadians and condemn all forms of anti-Black racism.

  (1405)  

[Translation]

International Women's Day

    Mr. Speaker, these are tough times for humanity, what with the pandemic, global warming, and the war in Ukraine. Things may look bleak, but there is hope.
    The future is feminist. Yes, the future is feminist.
     That is not just the theme of the International Day of Women's Rights, it is the promise we are making. As March 8 approaches, I want to remind members that thousands and millions of women around the world represented the majority of the workers on the front line of the fight against COVID‑19.
    The campaign led by Greta Thunberg and thousands of women and countries to slow global warming is utterly and simply admirable and essential. From Angela Merkel to Magdalena Andersson, we have also seen women in politics stand up and challenge Vladimir Putin.
    The world counts on women in every sector, on their leadership, their intelligence and their vision. Women are the future of the world. The future of the world relies on women. The future is feminist. I wish everyone a happy March 8.

International Women's Day

    Mr. Speaker, Bourassa would not be the inclusive and diverse riding it is without the contribution of women who are committed to building a strong and vibrant community.
    For the past five years, International Women's Day has served as an opportunity for me to highlight the work of women who deserve to be honoured.
    On March 8, 2022, I will be recognizing Dr. Yolande Charles, Isabelle Desrochers, Giuseppina Di Girolamo, Antonita Homère, Gilberte Lacas Rodrigue, Jacinthe Sicotte and Cecilia Soto-Flores.
    The Bourassa MP's medal is awarded in the presence of the Hon. Senator Marie-Françoise Mégie. I chose today to make this statement to honour these exceptional women because my late mother, Elvire Adé, would have been 103 years old.
    Congratulations to all these women.

[English]

Ukraine

    Mr. Speaker, the war criminal Vladimir Putin continues to escalate his illegal invasion of our beloved Ukraine. Canadians remain horrified and we must continue to do everything we can to help.
    I welcome the government's announcement of providing additional lethal aid, such as rocket launchers and grenades, which Conservatives have been calling for since 2018. This equipment is essential to protecting Ukrainians on the front lines, but Canada can and must do more.
    We have brand-new role 1, role 2 and role 3 mobile field hospitals sitting in storage. These hospitals could mean the critical difference between life and death on the battlefield. Canada should also provide tactical first aid kits to the brave Ukrainians fighting for freedom, and we should also donate high-quality field ration packs to ensure Ukrainians are supplied with enough food to endure the war that Putin has imposed on them.
    Visa-free travel for Ukrainians is essential to moving many women, children and seniors out of harm's way, and we need to do it as swiftly as possible. I know Canadians stand ready to welcome Ukrainians with open arms who are fleeing Putin's barbaric war.
    Slava Ukraini.

Arctic Sovereignty

    Mr. Speaker, as we stand united against Russia's invasion and attack on Ukraine and its people, we must continue to work across all party lines and with our international counterparts to stop this seamless attack on democracy and innocent lives.
    Russia's threat to Ukraine is a threat to all of us who promote democracy, independence and a free, just society. We will stand up to President Putin's attacks by expanding our ability to protect the sovereignty of our Arctic nation. Canada is conducting joint exercises with other Arctic nations, investing in more defence equipment and enhancing our Arctic surveillance and intelligence capability.
    We have announced major investments in the north warning system. Canada and the United States continue to work together to ensure that NORAD is modernized to meet both existing and emerging threats to our continent. We will continue to unite against Russia's affront on Ukraine and stand with all of those who are fighting against this tyranny.
    Nakurmiik.

  (1410)  

St. Patrick's Day Celebration

    Mr. Speaker, the last two years have been difficult for more reasons than one can count, and finding ways to connect and celebrate life with the good people around us has never been so important. That is why I am proud to rise today to say that it is time, once again, for my community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges to become Irish for the day at the annual St. Patrick's Day festivities in Hudson.

[Translation]

     This year, members of the Soulanges Irish Society, in collaboration with the Hudson Hospitality Association, Hudson à Table and local businesses in Vaudreuil—Soulanges, will celebrate all things Irish with fun community activities and a traditional walk down Hudson's main street. They will be joined by St. Patrick's Day grand marshal Mitch Melnick, Irishman of the Year Ken Doran, queen Emma Gauthier, princesses Chris Walsh and Robin Brodrick, and chief reviewing officer Mitch Gallo.

[English]

    This year's St. Patrick's celebrations are not to be missed. On Saturday, March 19 at 1 p.m., come one, come all to Main Street in Hudson for some fun, some much-needed cheer and some much-needed, good old Irish hospitality.

International Women's Day

    Mr. Speaker, today, I would like to wish everyone in the House and across the world a happy International Women's Day. Every day, Canadian women make vital contributions to communities across our country. For years, women have stood up against sexism and inequality.
    Women's contributions to our farms, our businesses and our homes make our communities vibrant and dynamic. While women have come a long way toward true gender equality, we know that issues such as gender-based violence, human trafficking and sexual exploitation and unequal representation continue to disproportionately affect women.
    It is time that we put in the work and provide concrete policy solutions that will address gaps, empower women and provide them with necessary supports and resources to achieve their full potential. We know that when women succeed, all of Canada benefits because when we see it, we can be it.
    Happy International Women's Day.

[Translation]

International Women's Day

    Mr. Speaker, as International Women's Day approaches, I would like to remind everyone that we still need to fight to preserve women's rights and to advance women's equality and equity.
    In crisis situations, women are hit the hardest. Today, all eyes are on Ukraine. The first images we are seeing of this war show wounded women, women giving birth in subway stations, and female elected officials, teachers and mothers taking up arms and risking their lives to defend their country. The courage, resilience and determination of these women should inspire us all. Let us salute their courage as they fight for democracy. They are an example to us all.
    I would like to close by acknowledging the outstanding work of the women in our government who are playing key roles in managing the global crisis: the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of National Defence and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. It makes me so proud to see these women holding important leadership roles.

[English]

International Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, many of my constituents in York—Simcoe are hearing from family in Ukraine who are suffering as the Russian invasion continues. A letter shared with me reads, “I write this with a heavy heart. We are experiencing more bombing and more communities are being levelled to the ground. Chaos is spreading and many people are dying. The beautiful Saint Sophia Cathedral here in Kyiv is older than Russia itself. How long until a missile destroys it? We're terrified because we don't know where Putin will target next. I'll be hiding in my bathroom trying to sleep tonight. I hope my mother and sister and I can evacuate tomorrow. There are thousands of us trying to flee. I don't know how I can leave my husband, my brother, my father behind.”
     These words remind us that the people of Ukraine who live in Berehove, Crimea and Bravia are no different from people who live in Canadian towns such as Bradford, Georgina or East Gwillimbury. Our hearts are with them right now.
    Slava Ukraini.

Ken Epp

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Ken Epp, the MP for my area from 1993-2008. Ken passed away on February 20 at the age of 82. It is always sad for those of us left behind to have to say goodbye to a great leader and a great friend, but that sadness is tempered by Ken's confidence that death was a doorway and not an end. Ken's hope of an eternity with Jesus and with his dear wife Betty, who predeceased him, is one that I and many in our community share and draw comfort from.
    Ken was a math teacher before getting elected. It was a natural transition from teaching math to young people to try to teach math to Liberals. Unfortunately, I think his students did a better job of grasping mathematical concepts than did his colleagues opposite.
    One of Ken's key parliamentary accomplishments was to sponsor and see the passage at second reading of Bill C-484, a bill to recognize unborn victims of crime. The bill achieved substantial cross-party support, but we will remember Ken not primarily by the speeches he gave or the votes he cast. We will remember him by the joy, the grace, the humility and the kindness that characterized his long service.
    He remained faithful throughout to his convictions and to the virtues that defined his life. Ken changed Ottawa, but Ottawa did not change him. I thank Ken for his service and his example.

  (1415)  

    Before we continue, I want to remind everyone that there are statements being made and we all want to hear what is going on with the statements. They are very important to all of us.
    The hon. member for Mississauga—Erin Mills.

Marian Coveny

    Mr. Speaker, on March 8 we celebrate International Women's Day. This year's theme is #BreakTheBias, and what better example than Marian Coveny from Erin Mills. She was a teacher at Loyola Catholic Secondary School and a trail-blazing hockey player. She led Team Canada to undefeated victory in the first-ever women's world hockey tournament in 1987. It was the first game ever played by a Canadian women's national team. In her own words, she took “one giant step for womankind”. She helped pave the way for women's hockey teams, who continue to do us proud globally. Marian loved the game so much that she would fearlessly chase Zambonis off the ice to let women's teams finish their matches. She played hockey into her sixties, while she was teaching. She played until 2020, when she got sick.
    Sadly, Marian Coveny passed away earlier this year after a long battle with cancer. She was a fighter, and her story will continue to inspire Canadians forever.
    Happy International Women's Day.

Local Winnipeg Newspaper Publisher

    Mr. Speaker, today I am honoured to recognize Terese Taylor, publisher and editor of The Leaf: an iconic local newspaper serving Winnipeg Centre's community of Wolseley, as well as the West End and Spence neighbourhoods, on its 10th anniversary.
    The Leaf is a beloved local newspaper, highlighting stories focused on local, national and international issues. I know I always look forward to the upcoming issues of this grassroots community newspaper containing high-quality stories that keep me up to date with the heartbeat of our community.
    This woman-owned and operated paper continues to grow and expand with Terese's newest publication, Streets, now available to Winnipeg Centre's West End.
    Congratulations to Terese on her growing success. I thank her for her heart, her dedication to justice and her contributions to our wonderful riding of Winnipeg Centre.
     Here is to The Leaf. Here is to Streets. I am always proud to lift up strong women today and every day. May Terese continue to rise.

[Translation]

Women of Ukraine

    Mr. Speaker, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in the past seven days, one million people have fled Ukraine to Poland, Hungary, Moldova and other European countries. Thousands of people seeking safety are being forced to leave Ukraine, many of them women. These women are courageously crossing borders with their children, unsure of their future.
    I want to add my voice to that of the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola. I would like to begin by acknowledging the incredible courage of the women of Ukraine who are fighting, who are being forced to find shelter for their loved ones in bunkers, who are giving birth in subway stations and who are leading the fight on the front line.
     I pay tribute to their courage, strength and resilience in these particularly grave circumstances. This courage, strength and resilience fill us with admiration. Our hearts go out to those who are living through this heinous war, those who have fled it and those who have taken up arms to defend their country. This war will end, and the women will rebuild.
    Ukrainsi peregomout!

[English]

Ukrainians in Lakeland

    Mr. Speaker, in 1891, Ukrainians first came to Lamont County, where I grew up. It is known as the cradle of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. The first MP of Ukrainian descent was elected in Vegreville in 1926. Lakeland is home to symbols of Ukrainian food, faith and culture, the world's largest pysanka, historic sites, Ukrainian immersion school programs, and more than 22,000 Ukrainian Canadians. There are so many families with loved ones who are fleeing Putin's attacks and violence, or who are joining those who defend and fight for Ukraine.
    The moving words of Ukraine's national anthem show its grit and steadfast spirit, which states:
    

Ukraine's glory hasn't perished, nor her freedom
Upon us, fellow compatriots, fate shall smile once more
Our enemies will vanish, like dew in the morning sun,
And we too shall rule, brothers, in a free land of our own.

We'll lay down our souls and bodies to attain our freedom,
And we'll show that we, brothers, are of the Kozak nation.

    Canada must match words and empathy with more aid and more action to secure the safety, peace and freedom of the people of Ukraine.
    Slava Ukraini.

  (1420)  

Steve Arnold

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to sadly inform the House that Hamilton lost a much-admired journalist this week. Steve Arnold was known for his unquenchable curiosity, gentle demeanour and profound intellect. For more than half of his 40-year journalism career, he was a business reporter at the Hamilton Spectator, delving deeply into Hamilton's business, manufacturing and labour sectors.
    For many of those years, Steve lived in my riding of Hamilton Mountain, and his work was consistently meaningful for my constituents in the steel and manufacturing sectors.
     I got to know Steve as a colleague at the Hamilton Spectator. Years after I moved to broadcasting, he continued to offer advice and support, because he was someone who was always generous with his time and knowledge.
    When he retired, he never really retired, because journalism was never a job for Steve Arnold. It was a calling. He continued to write for community papers and the Canadian Jewish News.
     Today, I offer my sincerest condolences to his wife, Pam, his friends, his family and all those whose lives were touched by his words.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, there is a massive disinformation campaign about the situation in Ukraine on Facebook, Twitter and all social media.
    I receive messages every day that are full of false information about Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine. Too many Canadians are subjected to these messages, some of which repeat word-for-word the Russian ambassador's statement. This Prime Minister stated in October that disinformation is a threat to democracy.
    Why does the Prime Minister continue to tolerate the presence of Russia's chief propagandist in Canada? Will he expel the Russian ambassador to Canada, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, before I reply, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome a visitor.

[English]

    Here today is Andrii Bukvych, chargé d'affaires of the Embassy of Ukraine to Canada. Welcome to the House of Commons.
    I will take this opportunity to remind the hon. members of the rules.
    I will let the minister go on with her answer.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we must defend Canadians against disinformation and propaganda.
    We will not be intimidated by tyrants. Putin wants to destroy democracy.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, slava Ukraini.
    The Putin regime's ongoing and illegal attack against Ukraine is a clear warning to the free world.
    According to National Defence, in 2019, more than a third of our army's equipment and vehicles were unusable. Our air capacity is limited. We have to be prepared to deal with future threats. Former Liberal member Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Leslie is worried.
    He said that the people who were saying a few days ago that Russia would not invade Ukraine are the same people who are now saying that Russia will stop once it takes Ukraine.
    I have a simple question for the Prime Minister: Are we prepared?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, of course we are prepared.
    We will leave no stone unturned to support our Ukrainian friends. To that end, I announced today that we will be stepping up our support with two new major contributions in order to provide more lethal aid. That is our priority to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives of course support every effort to aid Ukraine in its battle against the Russian invasion. Given Canada's very vocal support internationally and given the threats issued by Putin and the Russian regime to punish those who try to stop them, Canada must be prepared for a worst-case scenario. This is the government's paramount responsibility.
    What meetings has the defence minister had with cabinet and her allied counterparts to prepare Canada in the event Russia acts on its threat and retaliates?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.

[English]

    Our government is prepared for any eventuality. We are putting in across-the-board measures to support Ukraine in this situation. We have NORAD modernization as our priority. We are working very closely with our American counterparts. We will leave no stone unturned for the safety and security of this country, this continent and indeed Ukraine itself.
    Mr. Speaker, Russia has 40 nuclear-powered weaponized icebreakers. Does the House want to know how many Canada has? It is zero. Russia has 18 military bases near Canada's Arctic border, whereas we are struggling to get one naval base up and running.
    Yesterday, Russia's foreign affairs minister said that a third world war will be “nuclear and devastating”. These remarks are deeply concerning and present a serious threat to our national security and to public safety.
    Is the government taking this seriously? I am not quite convinced by the Minister of National Defence's answers. What meetings has she had to make sure we are prepared?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure my hon. colleague and the House of Commons that we are indeed prepared for every eventuality, including those from the information we have received relating to the nuclear allusions that Mr. Putin has been making. We need to be non-provocative, we need to be rational in this situation and we need to act together as a country and support each other in this time of need.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, according to the former lieutenant-general and former Liberal MP, the only thing that will stop the Russians is deterrence.
    Russia has 40 nuclear-powered icebreakers in the Arctic, while Canada has none. Russia has 18 military bases near the Arctic, while Canada barely has one. The Russian ambassador, who is the chief propagandist for the Putin regime, is still here in Canada.
    What exactly is Canada doing to deter the Russians and the Putin regime from coming here to Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that our government is very serious about protecting our sovereignty in the North and the Arctic.
    What we are going to do is continue working with the United States for our continent and our country. We also have the Coast Guard working for us.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, three days ago, 500,000 people had fled the war in Ukraine. Now it is more than a million.
    I welcome the government's creation of the authorization for emergency travel, but more must be done, and faster. The minister calls it an authorization for emergency travel, but it is going to take two weeks to set up. After that, who knows how long it will take to process applications. Speedy is not exactly the IRCC's middle name.
    I have a simple question. With the number of people fleeing doubling every three days, how long will it take for these people to actually get to Canada?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, today we announced a new program that will eliminate many of the administrative formalities to get Ukrainians here faster so they can have a safe place to stay for up to two years. There will be no limit to the number of Ukrainians who can apply. The process will be very fast.
    Mr. Speaker, Canada needs to be prepared for a large‑scale airlift operation to receive refugees. We must be prepared to charter as many flights as possible to take into account an influx of exiles that swells by 500,000 people every three days and could still increase, as the Russian strikes become more brutal.
    As I said, the government has the support of the Bloc Québécois in its support for the people of Ukraine, but things must move faster, especially since half of the exiles are children.
    Will the government organize this airlift operation?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, we will do everything we can to welcome the people of Ukraine.
    Second, since we know that family members of Canadian citizens may want to start a new life in Canada, everyone who arrives under these measures will be eligible for an open work permit. They will be able to start working right away if they wish.
    We are also going to work very hard for families.

[English]

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, we need to stop the war in Ukraine and to do that we need to put pressure on President Putin where it counts, and that is his wealth. We know his wealth is held in the hands of Russian oligarchs like Roman Abramovich, so will the Prime Minister commit to specific targeted sanctions to sanction the wealth and assets of these Russian oligarchs that are held in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, together with our allies, we are ensuring that Russia's actions do not go unpunished. We have levied sanctions against President Putin directly, key members of his inner circle, his foreign minister, oligarchs close to the Putin regime and members of the State Duma, and we are not done yet. We will keep working with our allies to impose sanctions that are meaningful across the board.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we must stop the war in Ukraine and, to do so, we must put pressure on President Putin where it counts, namely, on his wealth.
    We know that his wealth is in the hands of Russian oligarchs like Roman Abramovitch. Will the Prime Minister commit to putting in place sanctions against Russian oligarchs in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have already said, we have already imposed sanctions against President Putin himself and on key members of his inner circle, the oligarchs close to his regime and members of the Russian Duma. We will continue to exert maximum pressure on the Putin regime with our allies.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, the former president of the United States and the Prime Minister issued a joint statement in February 2017, in which the Prime Minister committed to modernizing our NORAD equipment. Five years later, nothing has been done.
    The Prime Minister has to realize that Vladimir Putin is a danger to Canada and that our country does not currently have the capacity to defend the Far North. Will he keep his promise to modernize NORAD, or will this be yet another broken promise?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, alongside our American partners, our government is making the investments necessary to modernize NORAD. It is a personal priority for me and for our government, and I have had many conversations with the secretary of defence of the United States about our continued co-operation to protect the sovereignty of our Arctic, to protect our continental defence and to work together for the benefit of the safety and security of our world.

  (1435)  

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, that is funny, because according to an April 2019 report from the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, the committee was surprised to learn that Russia's military had significantly increased its air and naval capacities in the Arctic.
    The members of the committee said that the North Warning System was approaching the end of its life expectancy and that they did not understand why no funding had been allocated to replace it.
    The Prime Minister promised the U.S. President in 2017 that he would modernize NORAD, and the committee recommended that he allocate the funding to do so in 2019. It is now 2022. When will the Prime Minister take action?
    Mr. Speaker, we are making major, essential investments in personnel, equipment and infrastructure in the north.
    What have we done? We recently awarded a $592‑million contract to Nasittuq Corporation, an Inuit company, to operate and maintain the North Warning System.
    We remain strongly and steadfastly committed to defending our national interests.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, Putin's invasion of Ukraine has taught us all that we cannot take our Canadian Arctic sovereignty for granted. Russia recently filed a claim that adds 705,000 square kilometres to Russia's current Arctic claims. U of C Professor Robert Huebert said, “We haven’t seen a country before that’s extended over its neighbours. Here’s a situation where they’re claiming the entire Canadian and Danish continental shelf as part of their continental shelf.”
    When will the government stand up to Putin and defend our Arctic sovereignty?
    Mr. Speaker, there is no situation stronger than our own sovereignty in this country, and Arctic sovereignty is an integral part of that. Canada's Arctic sovereignty is long-standing and well established. We work with our partners in the Arctic Council to ensure that we will continue to exercise that sovereignty well. We are taking stands with our Arctic Council partners to ensure that Russia gets the message strongly. We will not attend meetings in Russia and we will put a pause on all activity with Russia as we continue to defend Arctic sovereignty in Canada.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, with an aggressive Russian invasion of Ukraine, European countries recognize how dependent they are on Russian gas supplies. Forty per cent of Europe’s gas comes from Russia, and Europe’s security now has a gun to its head. Coal plants are being brought back online, undoing years of progress on emission reductions. Energy and security analysts have been warning about this danger for years, and the government has lacked Canadian vision on this matter.
    When will the government end its efforts to replace Canadian energy with offshore resources from hostile regimes?
    Mr. Speaker, given the brutal invasion of Ukraine, European countries have very much made clear their decision to end dependence on Russian oil and gas. European countries have made it clear, including during this week's International Energy Agency ministerial meeting, of the pressing need for Europe to accelerate the transition to renewables and hydrogen.
    We are conferring and working closely with our allies on short- and long-term options for stabilizing and ensuring access to a long-term energy supply. I am engaged directly with our American and European counterparts, and we are steadfast in our support for Ukraine and our European allies.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an interesting approach, but since the government came to power, Russia’s natural gas exports have increased 35% and Canada’s exports have declined. The result is that tens of billions of dollars have flowed to fund Putin's war machine.
    A decade ago, Canada had 14 LNG projects preparing to supply energy to an insecure world. Now, thanks to the government’s aimless policies, none are built and only one is under construction. This was a choice with now obvious consequences.
    Will the government revise its regulatory regime to allow Canadian natural gas to get to tidewater?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said in the chamber earlier this week, we have made the decision to ban the importation of all petroleum products from Russia. We are working actively with our European colleagues to ensure both short-term and long-term access to energy supplies.
    We are working very, very proactively with the energy sector in this country, including with the Pathways alliance, to ensure we are producing our energy resources in a manner that is consistent with addressing the climate crisis.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, Ukrainians are fighting for their lives in a war financed by Russian energy exports. Dependence on Russian natural gas threatens Europe’s energy security and fuels Putin’s war machine. The world needs Canadian energy to displace conflict oil and gas now and for a peaceful future.
    Will the government agree, today, that an east-west energy corridor is vital, not just for the Canadian economy, but also for global energy security and a world where dictators like Putin cannot finance war?
    Mr. Speaker, we, and certainly European countries, would agree that the dependence on Russian oil and gas is a significant problem for Europe that it must move to address. European ministers have made that commitment, including at the International Energy Agency ministerial meeting I participated in earlier this week.
    We are working very actively with our European colleagues and with our American colleagues to ensure we are working to help address both short and long-term energy supply issues in the context that Europe and Canada have committed to do, which is in the context of fighting both the crisis in Europe and the crisis of climate change.

[Translation]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, the IPCC confirms that 3.5 billion people are extremely vulnerable to climate change, and 70% of those living in that precarious state are women. As we approach March 8, I would like to point out that women will be the main victims of climate change.
    This brings me back to the government's actions. Tomorrow, the government will provide an update on the Bay du Nord project and the minimum 300 million barrels of oil. Knowing the consequences that this decision will have on climate change and women, will the Bay du Nord project be approved, yes or no?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, our government fully recognizes the importance of the decision on the proposed Bay du Nord project. As the member will know, we are following a legislated process and we are reviewing all the evidence, including the Impact Assessment Agency's environmental assessment report, in order to arrive at the best possible decision. I assure the hon. member that decision will be made in due course.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Environment announced that he would provide an update on the Bay du Nord project on Friday. Friday is tomorrow, not 10 months from now.
    Usually, when a person schedules a press conference to make an announcement the next day, it is because that person has something to say and they already know what it is. I will ask my question again. Will it be yes or no to the Bay du Nord project and its 300 million barrels of oil in the middle of a climate crisis? It is not complicated.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, again, this is a decision that is under consideration as we speak. We recognize the importance of a decision on this proposed project. We are following a legislated process, as I said, and it will be based on the best available scientific evidence. It is important that we are considering the advice of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, which, the hon. member will know, is independent.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to say to members that the only environmental assessment that the government should be concerned about is the IPCC report. The UN Secretary‑General says that it is the most damning scientific report that he has ever seen. This is serious.
    The government, the Deputy Prime Minister and the parliamentary secretary tell us that we must listen to the science and make evidence-based decisions, but what does the science say? It says that there is no such thing as clean oil and definitely not 300 million barrels' worth of it. Science has confirmed that unchecked carbon pollution is forcing the world's most vulnerable towards destruction today and right now.
    Therefore, Bay—
    The hon. parliamentary secretary...

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member mentioned, the IPCC report shows that all countries need to take bold climate mitigation and adaptation action to fight climate change. We absolutely must continue to cut emissions and build resilience through our society. That is why, since we took office in 2015, our government has committed more than $100 billion to climate action, and we are developing Canada's first-ever national adaptation strategy. We will continue to lead the fight against climate change.

  (1445)  

International Development

    Mr. Speaker, Europe, Asia and Africa all rely on corn and wheat from Ukraine, the region's breadbasket. With Russia's invasion, a global food crisis is emerging. The United Nations has already warned of catastrophic hunger and hundreds of millions are facing famine.
    Canada can help. We have a crippled supply chain, punishing carbon taxes, a looming rail strike and PEI farmers are being forced to destroy millions of pounds of potatoes. In a global food crisis, when Canadian farmers want to help, why is this Liberal government neglecting Canadian agriculture?
    Mr. Speaker, at a time of crisis like this, I completely agree that Ukraine does supply the developing world with wheat. This crisis is going to be extremely serious. I have been at the UN speaking with the heads of the world food program and other organizations, and Canada can play a very important role in this. We will work with our counterparts on how we can provide support for the developing nations in their time of need.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, countless people in Ukraine are fleeing from ongoing Russian aggression. This is a major refugee crisis. Over one million people have fled Ukraine. Canada can be a safe haven.
    History demands that we act, and act now. Fast track visas are simply not enough. On what date will the visa requirement be lifted?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the critics of all parties for their spirit of collaboration and co-operation over the past number of days in advance of the announcement we made this morning.
     That announcement is historic. This will remove many of the barriers that typically result in refusal so we can welcome as many Ukrainians fleeing this war as possible, as quickly as possible. However, I would also point out to the hon. member that we started preparing on January 19, and since the beginning of this year, more than 6,100 Ukrainians have already arrived in Canada, and we will continue to do more, because that is the very Canadian thing to do.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Canada has been home to a Ukrainian community for decades. In fact, we have some Ukrainians right here in the House.
    The United Nations estimates that a million Ukrainians have already fled to neighbouring countries to escape the atrocities of war.
    Can the government show some empathy and flexibility, as we have been calling for since January 27, and immediately allow Ukrainians to come to Canada without a visa?
    Mr. Speaker, President Putin's war on Ukraine is a war on freedom, democracy and the rights of all Ukrainians.
    For the past month, we have been prioritizing applications for permanent or temporary residency from Ukrainians who wish to come to Canada. Those who are currently in Canada on a temporary basis can extend their stay.
    Today we announced new measures that will make it easier, faster and safer for Ukrainians fleeing the war to come to Canada. This is good for Ukraine, and it is good for Canada.

[English]

Seniors

    Mr. Speaker, the cost of living is going through the roof, and yesterday the Bank of Canada raised interest rates. Paying rent, buying food and medicine is seriously concerning for seniors.
     Some of the most vulnerable seniors have been anxiously waiting for months to get their GIS paid back. The government is doing the bare minimum to help people get by, and time is running out to fix the government's GIS mess. Will seniors be left out in the cold again because the Liberal government could not fix the problems it created?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that seniors are hurting, and we have had the backs of Canadians throughout the pandemic. We know seniors who normally receive GIS payments are facing challenges today because they were supported by the CRB and CERB. In the economic and fiscal update, we presented our government's plan to alleviate financial hardship of GIS recipients who received CRB or CERB.
    We will continue to investigate ways to respond to the needs of seniors.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, sanctions are one of the strongest tools we have to support Ukraine and deter Russia. This government has said it intends to block Russian ships from docking at Canadian ports, and we support this.
    While it is ironing out the details, at least four Russian-owned vessels are bound for ports on our east coast. Dock workers have said they will not unload the cargo if it arrives. Will the government take decisive action to implement the ban now before dock workers are forced to do it themselves?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, our government stands with Ukraine and Ukrainian people. We will not let the Russian aggression go unpunished.
    That is why our government took swift and decisive action to ban Russian flights from entering Canadian airspace. That is why our government took decisive and swift action to ban Russian ships from entering Canadian waters. Our government will do whatever it takes to stop the unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine.

International Development

    Mr. Speaker, on December 16 and 17, super typhoon Rai, or typhoon Odette, hit the Philippines. The typhoon caused significant devastation to communities, destroying homes and infrastructure. It also took lives in the Philippines.
    The impacts of this national disaster are still being felt in communities in the Philippines almost two months later. Can the Minister of International Development tell us what Canada is doing to support the people of the Philippines?
    Today, I am announcing that Canada will provide an additional $2 million in funding for life-saving humanitarian assistance to the Philippines to help the most vulnerable people affected by typhoon Rai. This funding builds on the $3 million of humanitarian assistance announced last year that Canada provided to the Philippines.
    Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this typhoon.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, during the election, the Prime Minister was clear on his solutions to address out-of-control housing inflation. He said he was going to ban foreign ownership on homes in Canada, yet when the member of Parliament for Simcoe North proposed to do just that in finance committee, the Liberals voted that amendment down.
    Is the Prime Minister only serious about giving young Canadian families a chance at home ownership when he needs their votes?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear on our commitment to implement a temporary ban on foreign buyers for non-recreational, residential property. The member opposite knows very well that the amendment he is referring to was ruled out of order in the committee and would not have been enforceable, even if it passed.
    We are committed to moving forward on this issue. If the member opposite and his party are serious about it, let them bring forward an amendment that can actually work.
    Mr. Speaker, the committee heard the amendment. We voted on it, and that party voted it down. We are only trying to get the Prime Minister to keep his promises. Home prices have increased a gobsmacking 43% since 2019, and the Liberals only seem to pursue new ways to increase the price of housing and push people out of the market.
    Their latest scheme of mandatory energy labelling at the time of sale has been described as “a crazy thing to do in the middle of a historic housing-affordability crisis” by the Ontario Real Estate Association. When will the Liberals get serious about housing affordability for young Canadians and ditch this crazy new scheme of theirs?
    Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight.
    Who is not serious about housing affordability? That party is not serious about housing affordability. They voted against the foreign vacancy tax. They voted against the first-time homebuyer incentive. They voted against investments in affordable housing. They voted against the rapid housing initiative. They voted against the top-up to the Canada housing benefit. They voted against the national housing co-investment fund. They voted against Canadians.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, Marly came into my constituency office last week with tears in her eyes and her heating bill in her hand. She was worried because the price of living has skyrocketed but her payment at work has not increased at all. She will pay part of the bill but she cannot pay all of it. She will have to make up for it next month, hopefully. The problem is that she is doing this with every single one of her home bills.
     To make matters worse, the carbon tax is increasing by 25% on April 1. My question is simple, while those across the aisle boo me for my question, and it is this. On behalf of Canadians, when will the punitive tax hikes be stopped?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, the opposition is raising the issue of affordability, so let us review what we have done since taking office.
    We lowered taxes for the middle class twice and raised them on the wealthiest 1%, and the Conservatives voted against. We created the CCB, indexed to inflation, and the Conservatives voted against. We provided seniors over 75 years old with a one-time payment of $500 and guess what. The Conservatives voted against.
    This side will focus on affordability. That side should get on board.

International Trade

    It is nice to see some enthusiasm over there, Mr. Speaker.
    Canada's duty-free access to the U.S. market, our largest and most important trading partner, is under threat like never before. Tariffs on softwood lumber, punishing buy-American provisions and now the possibility of highly integrated auto supply chains will be disrupted by more U.S. tariffs.
    In Tuesday's state of the union address, President Biden stated, “instead of relying on foreign supply chains, let’s make it in America.” That is code for protectionism. What is the minister doing to protect our lumber, auto and manufacturing workers from more U.S. trade restrictions?
    Mr. Speaker, let me start with a fact. We have seen the highest trade between Canada and the U.S. that we have seen in the history of our trading relationship. That demonstrates that trade is working between our two countries. Of course, in a relationship as large as the one between Canada and the U.S., we have to continue to cultivate this relationship to the benefit of our workers and of our businesses.
    I was just there on Monday, just a few days ago, meeting with the USTR and with congressional leaders to continue to defend Canada in this really important market that we have access to.

[Translation]

Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, even now, in 2022, new mothers who lose their jobs when their parental leave is up cannot collect EI.
    Even though six brave women fought the federal government in court to end this injustice, even though they won, Ottawa is appealing. Imagine. The government is appealing a court ruling because it wants to leave young mothers who have lost their jobs out in the cold. Will the government cancel the appeal?
    Mr. Speaker, the pandemic exposed major disparities in our EI system. That is why the government is working on modernizing it.
    We have met with many partners across the country to gain an understanding of how we can reform EI so that it better meets the needs of workers, including mothers.
    The Social Security Tribunal is an independent tribunal, and it made a decision. The Canada Employment Insurance Commission, which is also independent, opted to appeal the decision.
    None of that changes our government's commitment, and we will keep working to adapt the EI system—
    Order. The member for Shefford.
    Mr. Speaker, this is embarrassing. During the week of March 8, a day when we celebrate women's rights, this government, which claims to be feminist, is in court to retain the right to deny employment insurance to new mothers who lose their jobs. Let us just think about that for a moment. I could not even make this stuff up.
    Women had to sue the Canada Employment Insurance Commission because the government has refused to correct the situation for years. Even though the women won, this government wants to appeal. Because of this government, they have to continue to fight. Is this the fight that a self-proclaimed feminist government should be waging today?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, the Social Security Tribunal is an independent tribunal, and it has ruled.
    The Canada Employment Insurance Commission, which is also independent, made the decision. However, we understand and are working very hard to adapt and modernize the EI system to better meet the needs of all workers, especially mothers.

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, for two years, Canadians have been doing the hard work of getting themselves and each other through this pandemic. Saskatchewan and Alberta have done away with their mandates, with Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces doing the same this month. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is doubling down on mandates and our allies around the world are moving on. There is no leadership and no plan.
    When will the Prime Minister end the mandates?

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to receive this question from the member from Ontario. I would like to signal that we have been working extremely hard and extremely well with Minister Elliott and the Ontario government over the last few months in order to protect the health and safety of Ontarians. Just to give an example, the vaccination operations that took place in Ontario probably saved thousands of lives and avoided billions of dollars in losses to families and businesses over the last few months. This is good news. We will continue to work for the people of Ontario.
    Mr. Speaker, I am glad to hear that the minister is delighted to get my question, and I am glad to hear that he has been working with the Province of Ontario. However, on behalf of all Canadians, I would be delighted if the minister and the government would tell Canadians what their plan is to end the mandates.
    When is the government going to stop firing its public servants? When is the government going to stop moving backward while the rest of the country and the provinces are moving ahead with fewer government restrictions and more individual responsibility? I would be delighted to hear, from the minister, a plan to end the mandates.
    Mr. Speaker, the member is entirely right to talk about responsibility, both individual and collective responsibility. Individually speaking, I think most members of the House have been vaccinated and many of them with a booster shot. This is exactly the right thing to do. Collectively, we had, at least on this side of the House and I think we worked collaboratively with opposition parties, the responsibility to protect everyone's health and safety. We ended up with large vaccination rates across the country, which is, in fact, the reason we are able to put lockdowns away and turn to more sustainability and affordability when it comes to moving through the crisis.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals still require all incoming travellers to be tested for COVID-19, even for cross-border day trips by car. The Liberals have now added another hammer. Canadians who drive home and do not present a negative COVID test are fined $5,000 or are told to stay out of the country for 10 days. Ottawa is using financial penalties to keep Canadians out of their own country.
    Why does the government continue to punish Canadians with these mandates? Is this financial barrier to enter Canada even constitutional?
    Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to be able to continue on this topic. The reason I mentioned earlier that we are going through this crisis better and faster than many other countries is that Canadians have made the right choice. We were vaccinated in large numbers. That is why we are seeing large falls in the number of cases and large falls in the number of hospitalizations, and deaths are also decreasing. That is not by chance. That is because Canadians have made the right choice and have been vaccinated and have followed public health measures.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, the new bill to modernize the Official Languages Act would not have been possible without the participation and passion of a great many Canadians.
    From individual meetings to national symposia, to hearings in the House of Commons or other places, to the countless letters and phone calls, we are deeply grateful for this incredible participation.
    Can the President of the Treasury Board explain to the House how she will ensure that the act is enforced throughout the entire federal government?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his important question and especially his hard work for his constituents in Laval—Les Îles.
    Respecting official languages is not only an obligation, it is also essential to delivering our services more effectively to Canadians. Bill C‑13 on the modernization of the Official Languages Act will strengthen the powers of the Treasury Board with respect to official languages to ensure that federal institutions are compliant. It will provide for an enhanced role in monitoring, auditing, and evaluation.
    The right to work in French within the federal public service is and always will—

[English]

    The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.

Labour

    Mr. Speaker, I am concerned about the possibility of a work stoppage at CP Rail that would shut down the supply chain across the country. CP Rail and the teamsters have been negotiating, but strike action is possible as early as March 16.
    Could the government tell us what steps it is taking to ensure that Canadians do not experience another supply chain crisis that would drive the cost of everything up even further?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for this important question. Our supply chains are critical to our economy.
    I want to thank the workers of CP, CN and other organizations who have done the hard work during the pandemic and during climate events and who were there for Canadians. Let me assure my colleague that we are monitoring the situation. I have met the CEO of CP. I have met with teamsters. It is really important that we maintain the fluidity of our supply chain.

Small Business

    Mr. Speaker, “Justinflation” is hurting small businesses in my riding.
    Chin Ridge Seeds is a birdseed producer in Taber, Alberta, that relies on imported ingredients for their production. The cost of a single truckload of these ingredients went from $6,000 to $19,000 in a few months. Irrigation pipes went up by 30% and they are critical. Don, the owner, told me that they do not need handouts from the government; they just need it to get out of the way.
    Will the government stop its spending spree, get out of the way and let small businesses prosper in the Bow River riding?
    Mr. Speaker, the pressures created by supply chain disruptions and the shift from buying services to buying goods are real, and we are monitoring that situation closely.
    As it relates to inflation, there are other structural costs that make life less affordable for Canadian families, and chief among them are housing and child care. That is why our government has a robust national housing strategy and a child care plan that is covering Canadians from coast to coast to coast. The average Albertan family will save $5,600 this year.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, Maria, a single mom in my riding, has struggled for years to obtain a visitor's visa for her son, but IRCC told her that he is not a priority. There are many Canadians like Maria being told that seeing their family again is not a priority. They are left to suffer from IRCC's long delays and backlogs.
    Could the minister tell us when they plan on clearing the backlog so that families can reunite in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to share that over the past few months since I have been appointed minister, I have been working hard to advance investments that would actually have a meaningful impact on processing times. We have hired more than 500 new staff. We have invested more than $85 million. We have moved towards digital features that would boost the productivity of our department. We have increased overall immigration levels.
    I am proud to report that the combined impact of these investments has allowed us to approve over 100,000 permanent residency applications already in January and February alone. We are going to continue to make investments to improve processing times because Canadians—
    The hon. member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country.

Fisheries and Oceans

    Mr. Speaker, hundreds of first nations in British Columbia rely on fishing as a primary source of revenue. Their success not only resonates in their community but across British Columbia.
    Could the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans please update the House on how the pacific integrated commercial fisheries initiative is helping indigenous commercial enterprises, including the shíshálh Nation in my riding?
    This funding initiative supports first nations commercial fish-based enterprises right across British Columbia. Last week our government announced $11.8 million to support business development and training for 31 indigenous companies, representing 117 first nations. We are committed to supporting first nations in their work to create a thriving coastal economy.

[Translation]

Labour

    Mr. Speaker, workers at the Office of the Auditor General have been on strike for three months and without a contract for more than three years. The President of the Treasury Board's absence and silence are not helping the situation.
    The strike is dragging on and that is having a negative impact on performance audits of this government on important issues like emergencies, cybersecurity, homelessness and vaccine spending. It is time for the minister to get involved.
    Will the minister step up and do something to ensure that these professionals get a fair and equitable contract?

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, our government is determined to sign agreements with all of the bargaining agents that are fair for the employees and that reflect the current economic and financial context.
    We are negotiating at the bargaining table, not in public.
    The Office of the Auditor General of Canada is conducting its own negotiations, and the offer on the table is in line with the increases agreed upon by 99% of the core public administration during the 2018 round of negotiations.

[English]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its most recent report, described as an “atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership”. Yesterday, 126 environmental and citizens groups and academics called on the federal government to now reject Bay du Nord, a proposed massive new deepwater oil drilling project, owned by a foreign company, looking to extract up to a billion barrels of oil, equivalent to running 100 coal-fired power plants for a year. A response is due Sunday.
    Will the minister commit to rejecting this climate disaster?
    Mr. Speaker, as I shared with our Bloc colleague a little earlier, we are following a legislated process on this very important decision, and we are reviewing all the evidence, including the Impact Assessment Agency's environmental assessment report. I think the hon. member will be very happy to know that our government conducts impact assessments using fair and predictable processes that are grounded in science and indigenous traditional knowledge. As I said, that decision will be made in due course.

Presence in Gallery

    I wish to draw the attention of members to the presence in our gallery of Mr. Andrii Bukvych, chargé d'affaires of the Embassy of Ukraine to Canada.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    The Speaker: I will take this opportunity to remind hon. members that there is no pointing out of anyone in the gallery. The Minister of National Defence pointed him out. We have not had people in the gallery in a while and we are just starting to again, so I want to remind everyone in the chamber that calling out at any time is not permitted.

[Translation]

Support for Gatineau Businesses

    There have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent to adopt the following motion:
    That the House call on the government to create a compensation package for Gatineau businesses that were also impacted by the occupation of downtown Ottawa, modelled on the package created by the federal government for Ottawa businesses.
     All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
     I hear none. The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)

  (1515)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I seek unanimous consent to table a very important report, which was referenced during question period earlier this week and is relevant to the motion being debated today. It is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, entitled “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”. With that, I request unanimous consent to table this report.
    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.

Agnes Macphail

    One hundred years ago, on March 8, 1922, history was made in this chamber. At the opening of the first session of the 14th Parliament, Agnes Macphail, the first woman elected to our House of Commons, took her seat as the member of Parliament for the riding of Grey Southeast. She was one woman alongside 234 men.

[Translation]

    Nearly 55 years after Confederation and with the women's suffrage movement opening the way for her, Macphail fought hard for her constituency and was re-elected to Parliament four times. She served in the House for close to two decades.

[English]

    Agnes Macphail was 31 years old when she was first elected to Parliament. She had never been to Ottawa and, after seeing the Parliament buildings, said, “They were all I imagined and more. My devotion to Canada was so great, and my nerves so taut at the time, that tears sprang to my eyes.” If members have not noticed, there is a bust of Ms. Macphail located at the entrance of this chamber.
    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I have an add-on to your statement, for which I am very grateful. I would like to suggest for somebody's consideration that the statue of Agnes Macphail, which is out of view to visitors of this place, be added to the outer foyer, the chamber of men. Perhaps that might be considered at some point.
    I thank the hon. member for her suggestion and we will see how we can deal with that.

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, in the spirit of Agnes Macphail, I note that this is an absolutely wondrous place to be part of and to sit in. It is our symbol of democracy. I, for one, feel just as emotional every time I step into this place as she did.
    We are heading back to our constituencies for a couple of weeks to do the work that our constituents expect of us. We will be coming back on March 21. It is my honour to ask the government House leader what business we can expect at that time.
    Mr. Speaker, I hope all members have a productive two weeks working in their constituencies and being with their families over the March break period.
    This afternoon, we are going to continue with the debate on the Conservative opposition day motion. Tomorrow, we begin the report stage of Bill C-8, an act to implement certain provisions of the economic and fiscal update. On the week we return, March 21, 22 and 24 shall all be allotted days.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Natural Gas Pipelines and the Invasion of Ukraine  

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, I am particularly pleased to follow the recognition of Agnes Macphail, a proud person who came from East York. We have a park named after her in my community. As a woman, I am glad that she helped pave the way for people like me to be here to speak.
    I would like to begin by clearly stating that our government, the whole of this Parliament and I condemn President Putin's invasion of Ukraine. All of us in this place stand with Ukraine, and we have stated that clearly and over and over again. It is a great moment of unity in this place. I must say, we can speak a lot about divisions and what divides us, but on this point we have been absolutely united. However, at a time when there is much talk about healing divisions, I am concerned that we are mixing, within this motion, issues upon which we have unanimously agreed with a very important debate that we should and can have on energy projects. It is unfortunate.
    Just days ago, we unanimously passed a motion brought by the member for Etobicoke Centre that condemned the unjustified and unprovoked attack on Ukraine that was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that stated we stand unwavering and united in our solidarity with the people of Ukraine. That motion has been passed already by everyone, unanimously, in this place, so I would like to take a moment to highlight our unity in this place. While we can often disagree vehemently on many issues, on this one we are agreed. I respect the member opposite who brought forward today's motion, and I hope he will agree with me that we should amplify this unity and that we very much all stand together. We may debate issues of energy security and energy policy, but this does not mean that we are not united in principle. I would like to make sure that, as we come to the end of this debate today, it is something we amplify.
    Let us take a moment to talk about Russian oil and gas, and energy security. First, we have not imported Russian crude since 2019, and we are now imposing a ban on the importation of Russian oil and gas products going forward. This will not impact Canada's energy security based on our low imports.
    How about Europe's energy security? Today, the International Energy Agency released a 10-point plan to reduce the European Union's reliance on Russian natural gas, and it was an interesting read. The suggestions include replacing natural gas supplies from inside the EU and nearby non-Russian imports; accelerating the deployment of new wind and solar projects; maximizing generation from existing, dispatchable, low-emission sources such as bioenergy and nuclear; speeding up the replacement of gas boilers with heat pumps; and accelerating energy efficiency improvements in buildings and industry, among other suggestions. I think it is important that we keep this plan in mind as we discuss the things we are debating today on energy projects.
    The motion that has been put forward by the member opposite calls for natural gas projects to be approved in Canada to meet Europe's energy security needs. Europe's energy needs are immediate and it takes time to build a natural gas project. Even assuming there was a project that today was fully financed and had full regulatory approval, it would need to be built, and that requires time. It is just a practical fact, and time is important to consider. Our only LNG facility at an advanced development stage is not scheduled to start shipping to markets until 2025.
     As we are talking about immediate needs, let us talk about all the ways that we can support Europe at this time. Since it is part of the debate question, let us quickly review how projects are approved under the Impact Assessment Act.
    The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada is responsible for coordinating Crown consultations with indigenous people for all federally designated projects. Those projects are listed in regulations commonly referred to as the “project list”. Project assessments look at a proposed project's broader impacts, both positive and negative, including environmental, economic, social and health, for the benefit of Canadians.

  (1520)  

[Translation]

     The process is timely and efficient and is coordinated with the provinces and territories to reduce red tape and duplication. Our goal is one project, one assessment.
    The process is predictable, effectively engages stakeholders, and identifies potential issues with project proposals early on.

  (1525)  

[English]

    We consult all potentially affected indigenous communities in reviewing major resource projects, and that is key to fostering sustainability, ensuring thorough and credible assessments and providing regulatory certainty for project proponents.
    In the case of impact assessments of major energy projects, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada leads an integrated assessment and works collaboratively with life cycle regulators like the Canada Energy Regulator to draw upon their expertise and ensure that safety and other key regulatory factors are considered as part of a single integrated review.
    The agency also leads a dialogue with stakeholders and other co-operating jurisdictions to ensure an efficient and coordinated process that considers the views of Canadians.
    The single integrated assessment for designated projects is conducted through a panel review process and fulfills the legislative requirements of all relevant acts. Life cycle regulators participate in engagement and Crown consultation in all stages of the regulatory processes to encourage relationship building and seamless transition as the life cycle regulator carries out responsibilities to monitor project compliance with conditions throughout the project life cycle.

[Translation]

    This approach guarantees that every project review follows a consistent and neutral process, while retaining the specialized expertise of Canada's regulators. Project reviews are done on an ad hoc basis. The default deadline for reviews of major energy projects such as pipelines is 300 days with the option of setting a deadline of up to 600 days, if necessary.

[English]

    Decision-making under the Impact Assessment Act is based on the public interest. It is a decision that will account for all of the positive and negative impacts of a project.
    The act also requires that the minister publish the reasons for the public interest decision and demonstrate how the impact assessment report and the additional factors that must be taken into account were considered. This significant step provides information to Canadians about how project decisions are made.
    The act also requires the minister issue a decision statement that includes conditions with which the proponent must comply. These conditions include measures to mitigate a project's effects and follow up on environmental assessment predictions.

[Translation]

    Our government strongly believes that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. We know that a strong economy depends on a healthy environment and that effective and credible assessment processes support investment in resource development in Canada and maintain our economic competitiveness.

[English]

    Our government is committed to a robust federal assessment process that is based on science and indigenous knowledge, protects our rich natural environment, respects the rights of indigenous peoples and supports our natural resources sector. The impact assessment process is designed to do just that.
    As I reach the end of my speech in this debate, I believe combining the issue of support for Ukraine with the question of energy policy is inappropriate for today. We have, as a whole and undivided in this place, stated our support for Ukraine. Similarly, as a whole we have condemned the actions of President Putin in invading Ukraine.
    We are united in our support and condemnation. We need a more thoughtful review and discussion about our approach to energy security around the world. Let us do that.

[Translation]

Message from the Senate

    I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed Bill C-12, An Act to amend the Old Age Security Act (Guaranteed Income Supplement).

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Natural Gas Pipelines and the Invasion of Ukraine  

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Madam Speaker, let me ask my colleague a question that is predicated upon 12 years of projects that were advancing on the west coast of Canada that one by one fell off the table once her government came to power seven years ago. They did so because of a regulatory environment that was punitive to building energy projects in Canada. As a result, they built energy projects in Russia.
    Can she take some accountability that maybe now is the time to start building energy projects in Canada, not five years from now?

  (1530)  

    Madam Speaker, I do not actually fundamentally agree with the proposition as it was stated by the member opposite.
    We are working with indigenous communities, industry, workers and people across Canada to make sure that we are engaged in responsible natural resource development that takes into account creating good jobs right across our economy and at the same time protecting the environment. These are important things, and Canadians want to see us taking both into account.
    Madam Speaker, in 2014, I had the distinct privilege of conducting a pre-election assessment for the entire country of Ukraine for the National Democratic Institute in Washington, D.C. I was part of a delegation of five or six members. At that time, it was clear to us that Ukraine was struggling to become the modern democracy that it has since become.
    Unfortunately, I think a choice was made by the official opposition to conflate and to confound two extremely important subjects. One is the state of play in Ukraine and the other is the legitimate question about exports of fossil fuels to that region. That has divided this House in a very unfortunate way.
    Could the member maybe address why it is so important for us to keep the tone of this debate, to keep these subjects separate and apart, as important as each of them is, given the tragedy that is unfolding today in Ukraine?
    Madam Speaker, that question takes us to the point where I tried to leave off when I was speaking, which is that there is a very real debate that we can have in this place in a conversation about energy security, energy development and natural resources. These are important issues that face our country and face all of us.
    At the same time, there are certain points that we need to amplify to everybody back home in our communities. We need to amplify areas where there is unity, because we can agree and we can be reasonable in the work we are doing in this place and show our communities that we are always working in the best interests of Canadians.
    We may have different views as to how we reach those best interests and how we reach those goals, but we are all here united, trying to get the best work done. Our Canadian constituents right across the country need to see that. They need to see that we are working together and they need to have it amplified when we do have that unity. They need to know that we can work together and that we do stand together for Ukraine.
    Madam Speaker, I know that all of us in the House, as my colleague mentioned, are standing in support of Ukraine and, hopefully, moving toward peace. I found it very cynical that the official opposition decided to take this time when people are literally fleeing for their lives to make the issue about a pipeline debate.
    I am wondering if she could share some of her thoughts about that.
    Madam Speaker, there is an important place for these debates to happen. I am not going to take away from that importance, but really, given the unity in this place in wanting to show support for Ukraine, should we not be discussing all of those really important ways that we have come together and can continue to come together to show that necessary support?
    Madam Speaker, I am splitting my time with the member for Red Deer—Mountain View.
    I do not think any member of the House or any Canadian can not think of the devastation that is going on right now in Ukraine. The images that we see through social media and on the news are absolutely devastating. They are heartbreaking, and our hearts go out to the people in Ukraine and to Ukrainian Canadians across the country.
    Part of this motion is to stand with the people of Ukraine, and we should think about what that means. It does not mean standing with a sign or a hashtag; it means actually doing things, doing deliverable, measurable things that are going to make things a little better for the people of Ukraine in this incredibly dark hour.
    One of the things that we are asking for to show how we stand with the people of Ukraine is visa-free travel. The government has so far said it is not doing it. It has steadfastly, adamantly refused, and it has come up with a reason. I heard the minister's remarks today that there may be some pro-Russian people who would therefore be able to come to Canada, so the government is proposing some alternative immigration streams.
    The fact of the matter is that leaders deliver. They find ways to deliver things in tough times, and these are the toughest times for the people of Ukraine. To hear excuses as to why we cannot have visa-free travel is absolutely unacceptable for me as a parliamentarian, for Ukrainian Canadians and of course for the people of Ukraine.
    What we are offering is different immigration streams. As a former member of the immigration committee, I can say that there are enormous backlogs in every single immigration stream. These backlogs are in the hundreds of thousands, so how will setting up a new immigration stream in a system that is already bogged down, backlogged and not working actually going to stand with the people of Ukraine and deliver? I ask that in all earnestness to my colleagues across the way.
    We saw a bureaucratic system try to evacuate Afghan interpreters and Afghan people during the fall of Kabul. The last thing we need is another bureaucratic mess like that. I am begging my colleagues across the floor to please have visa-free travel for Ukrainians. It is absolutely critical.
    What we know as well is that the second part of our motion is dealing with energy security. Forty per cent of the natural gas in the European Union is being provided by Russia. We also know that since December, President Biden has been lobbying nations that produce natural gas to try to take off the pressure from natural gas coming from the Russian Federation.
    Canada is the fifth-largest producer of natural gas, but unfortunately we actually cannot help. Why can we not help? It is because we have a no-pipelines government, a government that refuses to take the steps necessary to get this resource to tidewater.
    Up until now, that has just caused absolutely devastating economic losses across this country. In 2019, Canada spent $18.9 billion importing foreign oil, and of course this included oil from the Russian Federation. Imagine if that were Canadian oil that we did not have to import. In fact, we export far more oil than we import, but all of the imports are coming to the east coast of Canada. Again, why? It is because we have no way to get oil and oil products to the east coast.

  (1535)  

    Why can we not do that? It is because we have a government that has made a determined choice to make that impossible. There are consequences to these actions. Can members imagine what would be happening right now if Europe was getting its natural gas from Canada as opposed to Russia? The decisions we make here can actually have implications far beyond our borders.
    I know there are conversations and discussions about renewables, and those being the way to go. Of course, everyone wants to move more toward a greener world and economy, but the facts are the facts. It is estimated that natural gas consumption will increase by over 20%. In fact, it is going to increase by close to 22% by 2040, so the need for Canadian natural gas is only going to increase. Yes, there are cleaner ways to deliver energy, such as solar and other things. We know this, but right now natural gas is replacing things such as coal-fired electricity plants. Natural gas is way greener than coal. Why the government continues to fight about this, I cannot understand. How can it not see the importance of energy security not just for Canada, but for stability around the world? Canada can play a critical role in that. Think of where we would be if the energy east pipeline had been built. We would be exporting liquefied natural gas to Europe. It would be a great source of stability and security.
    When we talk about needing security, I want to briefly talk about our own security. Canada's CF-18s were scheduled to be out of service in 2020. That was the end. However, the government decided to reinvent a process that had already been done and now we may not get replacements for the CF-18s until 2025 at the earliest. That is five years well beyond their natural life expectancy.
    When we look at a crisis such as what is going on in Ukraine, we need bold action. I want to thank the government for the actions it has taken, because it has, but we need it to do more, to do it faster and more urgently, especially when we are looking at having refugees come without visas. I have to go back to that and how critically important this is, because I can bet that if this is a special stream immigration program it will take forever. It is already going to be coming in a couple of weeks. The government could lift visa requirements now. That would help people now. It would not be a program that was going to be designed in a few weeks, then take who knows how long to implement, and then deal with the backlogs already at CIC.
     I request that the members of the government vote with us on this motion. I know they condemn the invasion and are trying to stand with Ukraine, but they can do so much more. Let us vote for this motion. Let us get Canadian energy to be a safe and secure source of energy, not just in Canada but around the world. It will bring stability all across the globe.

  (1540)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, just in the title of the motion alone there is a rather odd combination of things. There is something not quite right about the idea of conflating western Canadian oil with the war in Ukraine.
    I will take this opportunity to ask a question that may not be very good either. You are six months away from a convention to elect a new Conservative Party leader. Do you not believe that this kind of topic will cause even more division among Conservatives?
    I would remind the member that he is to address his questions and comments to the Chair and not directly to a member.
    The hon. member for Dufferin—Caledon.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am not sure what the question actually was, but I will say this.
    As I said in my speech, the need for natural gas is going to go up by an estimated 22% by 2040. We can pretend that we are going to live in a world where we do not need natural gas and that renewables are going to magically take over all of our energy needs. That world does not exist. Until it does, we actually need things such as natural gas. Why do we not use the cleanest, safest natural gas in the world to help countries around the world and, of course, help Canadians and the Canadian economy?

  (1545)  

    Madam Speaker, we can all agree on condemning President Putin, and we stand in solidarity with Ukraine. However, I am deeply concerned. The member talked about things we should be talking about, such as visa-free travel for Ukrainians coming to Canada, and ensuring that there is more money going through the Red Cross and matching those funds.
    Instead, what do the Conservatives do? They decide to exploit a war and put partisan Conservative pipeline politics into the situation. It is totally and absolutely unacceptable. I hope my colleague can speak to whether he personally thinks that this is the right path. We should not be focusing on pipelines today. We should be focusing on how we can help Ukrainians right now and on the best way we can support Ukrainians, because I find this shameful.
    Again, I know that the hon. member for Dufferin—Caledon has been around for a long time and can answer that, so I would ask anybody else who is thinking out loud to maybe try not to think out loud.
    The hon. member for Dufferin—Caledon.
    Madam Speaker, you are making me feel old.
    The nature of that question, quite frankly, is shameful. Energy security is one of the reasons why there has been such an issue with appeasing Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation. The threat of natural gas being shut off to Europe was a tool he used to try to exert his influence.
    We can actually do multiple things at once. Maybe the New Democrats can only do one thing, and say, “We can only do this, and therefore we do not think about that”. We can actually think about planning for a future where Canadian natural gas can provide energy security around the world, while we do other things. We in the Conservative Party, in the opposition, can walk and chew gum at the same time.
    Madam Speaker, I wonder if the member for Dufferin—Caledon is aware of what the Ukrainian delegate to the IPCC, Svitlana Krakovska, recently said. She said, “Human-induced climate change and the war against Ukraine have the same roots, fossil fuels, and our dependence on them. We will not surrender in Ukraine and we hope the world will not surrender in building a climate-resilient future”.
    Do these words have any impact on the member's support for this motion?
    Madam Speaker, that is a legitimate question.
    What the member from the Green Party ignores is that, often, natural gas is replacing far more carbon-intensive and dirtier fuels such as coal-fired electricity plants. When we talk about using natural gas, what we are actually doing is taking a much higher-polluting source of energy and replacing it with a much lower-polluting source of energy. That, in itself, is a win.
    Of course, we dream of the day when we are all powered by solar and, who knows, even cold fusion, but those days are not here. We are living in this reality, and right now natural gas can actually provide the global security that we need. I hope all members will vote for this motion.
    Madam Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I join this debate on the tragedy taking place in Ukraine. In 2016 and then again in 2018, I attended the OSCE, which is the organization for security and co-operation in Europe, for parliamentary missions first in Tbilisi, Georgia, and then in Berlin.
    Russian aggression, territorial interference and misinformation campaigns were always uppermost in the discussions with member states. Economic actions, specifically the disruption of oil and gas supplies, were the threats that underlined the discussions, but there was always the fear that if there was not compliance, Russia would use its military might to make its point. Of course, the Russian representatives to these meetings always denied any such motives, stating that any actions they might contemplate were at the urging of patriots within those nations. They were not believed then, and they are not to be believed now.
    The co-operation they sought on the Nord Stream project was a great example of Russian manipulation. Using the European and North American fixation on green strategies and policies, they effectively produced campaigns to demonize hydraulic fracking, thus stigmatizing research and development in this area. By encouraging agreements with new gas pipeline projects for themselves, they knew that they would be able to keep these markets to themselves. These misinformation campaigns sadly have been active on Canadian soil for years. I am a firm believer that we should neither glorify nor demonize any of the energy sources that we have been blessed with, that we should remain stewards of our land and that we should also approach energy security with our eyes wide open.
    At the OSCE meetings that I attended, my Ukrainian counterparts were very blunt about what one could expect from any agreements made with Russia. They referenced the original Minsk agreement, which was a failed attempt at a ceasefire aimed at halting the Russian-backed separatists who had seized swaths of territory following Russia's 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. The Minsk 2 deal, which set out military and political steps, remains unimplemented, primarily because of Russia's insistence that it was not party to the conflict and therefore was not bound by its terms. The actions of this last week, and Ukrainian assertions about Russian aggressions, made it abundantly clear that they were right all along.
    We can comment further on how this all came about, but the real focus now is that Ukraine has been brutally attacked by Russia. What can we do now? How can we help Ukraine? How can we ensure our own sovereignty stays intact? How must we react to the threat of nuclear escalation? How do we react to a Russian leader whose personal reality is that of a Cold War dictator? Countries around the world have made strategic moves that include banning Russian aircraft over their territory, as well as a series of sanctions placed on major Russian players. There are many more details to come in these areas, and hopefully these impacts will be such that they will not allow Russian oligarchs to slip through.
    There have been ambassadors expelled, as well as embassy officials recalled. All are actions designed to help make the point that Russia has chosen to isolate itself on the international stage. The misinformation campaign led by Russia Today is being handled by individual communication companies. As we speak, these companies have taken RT off the air. Had the CRTC pushed this earlier, it would have been helpful, but kudos to the industry for stepping up.
    Having spoken to leaders of the Ukrainian community in Alberta, they firmly believe that we must ensure that humanitarian aid is available, that safe passage to Canada can be facilitated, that troops will be supplied with the necessary armaments and that full pressure will continue to be applied to Putin and his regime. Actions such as Russia's removal from organizations such as the G20 and the OSCE were also suggested, as was the implementation of visa-free travel from Ukraine to Canada.
    On the issue of our sovereignty, there are lessons to be learned. Germany has now seen fit to increase its military spending to 2% of GDP. It and many other European nations have realized that they cannot be held energy hostages, and that a global analysis of this reality is now needed more than ever. This is part of a long-term fix, but no country is better suited to assist in this than Canada. We await the Liberal government's acceptance of this reality.
    Sovereignty also means dealing with the reality that Canada shares an Arctic border with Russia. We have let this reality slip from our consciousness, but a reawakening is necessary for us as a nation.

  (1550)  

    There needs to be a serious plan for Canada's Arctic that will address the aging NORAD early warning system, fix our broken military procurement system and ensure that we will work closely in collaboration with Scandinavian countries and the U.S. to ensure Arctic peace and security.
    The threat of nuclear action, which is Putin's latest veiled threat, is something that is disconcerting to all, but this is a reality that exists when leaders seek and attain ultimate control of their people. Perhaps the outpouring of support for Ukraine from within Russia, the potential of real economic collapse, not just for the political and financial elites but for the Russian people as well, and the current international condemnation will become strong enough for Putin to find another path or for the Russian people to find another path for him.
    On the issue of energy security, I want to put on record segments of the address I gave in July of 2016 to the OSCE meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia. I stated that, for Canada, energy security and clean energy transition go hand in hand. Energy efficiency and renewables are key parts of the equation. According to the International Energy Agency, improving energy efficiency alone could get us nearly halfway to Paris commitments, while improving global energy security.
    As part of its energy union strategy, the EU aims to enhance its energy security solidarity and trust by diversifying Europe's sources of energy as well. As we can see, energy security truly is a global challenge that calls for strong, multilateral co-operation among our countries.
    Energy is the backbone of any economy, and thus of our security. A healthy energy sector must be able to support the day-to-day needs of our people, sustain the growth of our economies and contribute to the sustainability of our environment and natural resources. According to the International Energy Agency, even with proposed diversification, the world's demand for energy could grow by nearly one-third by the year 2040.
    I went on to state that Canada is a stable democracy with a strong economy. We represent a secure, reliable and ethical source of energy for the world's future. The Canadian oil and gas brand, as well, is well respected throughout the world by those who are knowledgeable about the industry. We have some of the strongest regulations on the planet. We demand that oil and gas activity be monitored, that producers properly respect landholders and that companies adhere to the rules of proper reclamation.
    When it comes to the fossil fuel debate, all we ask for is honesty and fairness. The profits, royalties and taxes that come from this industry build our schools, fund our hospitals and allow us to contribute to help alleviate global poverty, yet we are demonized by so-called environmental activists that see fighting Canada as a soft target, one where public pressure will slow down development. Meanwhile, foreign interests, some engaged with renewables and others with non-renewable fuels, including their own oil and gas interests, are able to hold back one of the most responsible and ethical producers from expanding and reaching foreign markets.
    I concluded with my challenge for those that do us economic harm to compare what we as Canadians contribute to the world, as far as safety, security and respect for human dignity is concerned, with those countries that presently sell their oil to us. I believe the answer was clear.
    The time for Canada to step up has never been so critical. The Liberal government has failed to recognize that oil and gas is vital to Canadian and European security. We need to get new pipelines built to tidewater to displace Russian natural gas. Russia supplies 40% of Europe's natural gas and uses this to intimidate Europe and Ukraine, threatening to cut off supplies to Europe. If supplies are cut, people will freeze, industries will shutter and Europe's GDP will plummet.
    Conservatives stand with Ukraine, the people of Ukraine and over one million Canadians with ties to Ukraine. We believe that Canada must strengthen our own defences and renew our commitment to the NATO alliances in the face of the threats of Russia. As Conservatives, we know that Canadians must take Russian aggression seriously. We know that Canada's security is inextricably tied to that of Europe and that now is in the time for us to acknowledge that fact with action.

  (1555)  

    Madam Speaker, I know the hon. member across the way has a mathematical background, and I know he serves us well on the environment committee as vice-chair.
    What we are seeing in front of us, I think, is a mathematical fallacy. We have two parts of an argument that align and one part that has nothing to do with the first two parts. We have short-term support for Ukraine against Russia and sanctions against Russia, as well as military support and humanitarian aid, and then we have the long-term solution of providing a pipeline to the east coast.
    Could the hon. member comment on perhaps having short-term solutions in one motion and maybe a long-term solution in another motion as being a better solution to this debate?
    Madam Speaker, I have always appreciated the opportunity to talk about important issues in Canada with the member for Guelph.
    I suppose I would go back to the premise I mentioned before. This was in 2014 and 2016, when the Ukrainian people were talking about action. In the proceeding six years since then, we decided to cut off our ability to be able to help and be a major player in this particular area. That is the part that is so depressing to me, because by doing that, it is as though we, as Canadians, are not looking at the quality of the natural resource we have and our ability to make sure it gets to tidewater and that it is produced in an environmentally friendly way.

  (1600)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.
    However, he used somewhat of a strong word, “activist”, as if all the people who are currently demanding that action be taken to reduce our carbon footprint were all activists.
    The UN Secretary-General said this week that it was important, if not essential, to accelerate the energy transition. Ukrainian and other European leaders are telling us that they do not need the oil, and that we should be moving away from fossil fuels and fighting climate change.
    Does my colleague think that all of these people are activists?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, when I think about the things I have heard, when I have been there in eastern Europe and had an opportunity to speak to those people who are looking at their own physical security, I think that is really the critical aspect of this. I know what has happened in order to stop pipelines going through Ukraine, which is the reason the Nord Stream projects were there and the reason that Germany decided it would be able to bypass the pipeline, but it would be $2 billion a year that Ukraine would not get. Those are the types of things I am talking about, when I say there are actors out there who are making this difficult for everyone. I do not blame those who are environmentalists for saying they want to have something better, because I 100% agree with that as a process. I just want it to be fair and balanced, and I do not want it come from foreign countries trying to protect their own interests.
    Madam Speaker, given the urgency of the crisis in Ukraine right now and the invasion of that country, we are seeing unprecedented numbers of folks fleeing the country. Would the member agree that the humanitarian aid that is required to ensure folks get to safety is the top priority of Canada?