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House of Commons Emblem

Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development



Tuesday, April 30, 2024

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]



    I call this meeting to order.
    Good afternoon, colleagues. To begin, I would like to welcome some members who are here to replace regular members of the committee: Mr. Simard is replacing Ms. Pauzé, Mr. Généreux is replacing Mr. Deltell and Mr. Garrison is replacing Ms. Collins, although she may be joining us by videoconference later.
    Before we begin, I'm sure you're aware that the House has instituted some new rules to prevent injury to interpreters caused by feedback. You'll have noticed that there are round stickers in front of you. These are not coasters, and they are there to indicate where to put your earpiece when you're not using it, so that it's at a minimum distance from the microphone, which will then avoid feedback.
    I will briefly read you some information about these new rules.


     I'd like to remind all members and other meeting participants in the room of the following important measures to prevent disruptive and potentially harmful audio feedback incidents that can cause injuries. All in-person participants are reminded to keep their earpieces away from the microphones at all times. As indicated in the communiqué from the Speaker to all members on Monday, April 29, the following measures have been taken to help prevent audio feedback incidents.
    All earpieces have been replaced by a model that greatly reduces the probability of audio feedback. The new earpieces are black in colour, whereas the former earpieces were grey. Please only use a black, approved earpiece. By default, all unused earpieces will be unplugged at the start of the meeting, so when you come into the room, the earpieces will not be plugged in. You'll have to plug them in at the start of the meeting. When you are not using your earpiece, please place it face down on the middle of the sticker for this purpose that you will find on the table as indicated. Please consult the cards on the table for guidelines to prevent audio feedback incidents. The room layout has been adjusted to increase the distance between microphones and reduce the chance of feedback from an ambient earpiece.


    This is the new procedure to avoid accidents that could harm interpreters.
    Before we begin, I have a few things to mention.
    First, we are about to begin our study on the financial system and climate change. In the motion establishing this study, it says that the committee wishes to invite co‑operatives to testify. However, no co‑op has been suggested for the witness list, so I would ask each party to send the clerk their suggestions, prioritized as usual, to make the task of inviting witnesses a little easier.
    Second, you'll recall that Ms. Collins had a motion adopted by the committee to invite the CEOs of Canadian oil companies.


    I see that Ms. Collins is online. Has she done the required sound test?
    A voice: [Inaudible—Editor]
    She seems to be having technical difficulties, but Mr. Garrison is here in her place. I think he would like to amend the motion that Ms. Collins passed on April 11.
    Mr. Garrison, you have the floor.


    Yes, Ms. Collins had a headset failure, and we drove one from my constituency office to her. While she's doing that, on her behalf, I would like to move the following motion, which I believe there have been discussions among the parties to support. That motion is:
That, notwithstanding the motion adopted by the committee on Thursday, April 11, 2024, Mr. Rich Kruger, CEO of Suncor Energy Inc., Mr. Brad Corson, CEO of Imperial Oil Ltd., Mr. Jon McKenzie, CEO of Cenovus Energy Inc., Mrs. Susannah Pierce, president and country chair of Shell Canada Limited and vice-president of Emerging Energy Solutions, and Mr. Greg Ebel, CEO of Enbridge Inc. be invited to appear on Thursday, May 23, 2024 and no later than Thursday, June 6, 2024.
    There's unanimous consent around this, so I'll declare it adopted.
    (Motion agreed to)
    The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Garrison.
    Now, we move on to other business, which is the business on today's agenda.
    Yes, MP Mazier.
    For clarification, do we have to stop early today because of votes?
    The vote is at 5:45. We'll stop whenever we have to stop, but I believe it's 5:45. The bells are at 5:15.
    Now, we'll go to the clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-317.
    I believe Mr. Longfield has a motion.
    It's not a reflection on your job as chair, but since this is your bill, I would move that during consideration of Bill C-317, an act to establish a national strategy respecting flood and drought forecasting, John Aldag be designated as acting chair of the committee.
    Mr. Aldag is here, a former member of the committee.
    I imagine there is all-party agreement.
    (Motion agreed to)
    Mr. Aldag, I invite you to come and take the gavel here.
     Thank you for the opportunity to come and join your committee today. I sat on the environment committee back in the 42nd Parliament. It's always a pleasure to come back and visit you.
    Today, we are going to be studying Bill C-317.
    We have witnesses today from the Department of the Environment who will be available to answer questions. At the very back of the room, with this new set-up, we have Wayne Jenkinson, executive director of national hydrological services; and Stephanie Lane, executive director of legislative governance. Welcome to both of you.
    We will now go to the clause-by-clause review of the bill.
    I have some notes I'll go through before we get into it. The instructions that I'll give you before we start clause-by-clause on Bill C-317 are as follows.
    As the name indicates, this is an examination of all clauses in the order in which they appear in the bill. I will call each clause successively, and each clause is subject to debate and a vote. If there is an amendment to the clause in question, I'll recognize the member proposing it, who may explain it. The amendment will then be open to debate. When no further members wish to intervene, the amendment will be voted on. Amendments will be considered in the order in which they appear in the bill or in the package each member received from the clerk. Members should note that amendments must be submitted in writing to the clerk of the committee.
    The chair will go slowly, to allow all members to follow the proceedings accordingly. Amendments have been given a number in the top right corner to indicate which party submitted them. There is no need for a seconder to move an amendment. Once it is moved, you will need unanimous consent to withdraw it.
    During debate on an amendment, members are permitted to move subamendments. These subamendments must be submitted in writing. They do not require the approval of the mover of the amendment. Only one subamendment may be considered at a time, and that subamendment cannot be amended. When a subamendment is moved to an amendment, it is voted on first. Then another subamendment may be moved, or the committee may consider the main amendment and vote on it.
    Once every clause has been voted on, the committee will vote on the title and the bill itself. An order to reprint the bill may be required if amendments are adopted, so that the House has a proper copy for use at report stage. Finally, the committee will have to order the chair to report the bill to the House. That report contains only the text of any adopted amendments as well as an indication of any deleted clauses.
    Are there any questions? Are we ready to start? Okay.
    Before we start, I will ask if we want to have recorded votes for each of the pieces. That's standard procedure, I believe. We'll do recorded votes as we move through the bill.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 75(1), consideration of clause 1, which is the short title, and of the preamble is postponed. I will call clause 2.
    (On clause 2)
    The Acting Chair (Mr. John Aldag): On clause 2, there is amendment G-1, moved by Mr. van Koeverden.
    Do you want to speak to it?


    If there is debate, sure, but if not, then I'm happy to move on.
    Does anybody have any debate on the first amendment, G-1?
    Seeing none, I'll call the question.
    (Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    Next up we have CPC-1.
    Mr. Mazier, you put this one forward. Would you like to move it?
    Would you like to speak to it, or are you ready to go into the debate?
    It is simply clarifying that there will be no new spending to obtain this legislation.
    Okay. Is there any discussion?
    Mr. Kram.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair, for taking time out of your busy day to join us today.
    When I read this bill, I found it to be a bit ambiguous in terms of whether or not it would authorize new spending. In the absence of this amendment, we would not want to have this bill ruled out of order for lack of a royal recommendation.
    For that reason, I strongly support this particular amendment, and I encourage everyone to vote in favour of it.
    Ms. Collins, I have you next.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I'm thinking about a previous bill we studied, around a national strategy on environmental racism. We didn't add a clause like this. It seems redundant, because we know that private members' business would require royal assent if it had new spending in it. Given the precedent with the national strategy on environmental racism bill, it seems like this might be unnecessary.
    Do we have any officials who could answer that question?


    As the member noted, royal recommendation would be required for any new spending. This motion, as I understand it, is really just providing a “for greater certainty” provision, but it hasn't been added to other bills similar to this one, as you've noted, so it isn't strictly necessary from the perspective of ensuring that there is no spending associated with a private member's bill.
    I have a speaking list, so I'll go to Mr. van Koeverden first and then come back to Mr. Mazier.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair. It's nice to have you at the environment committee.
    I was going to say precisely what my colleague, the member of Parliament for Victoria, said, that all private members' bills would require a royal recommendation in order to include new spending, and this one is no different from any other private member's bill. I've never seen a private member's bill with a specific inclusion of the rules around PMB. I think it's a frivolous clause. I don't think it's necessary. It doesn't add or subtract anything, so I don't think we need it.
    Mr. Mazier, you're next.
    Thank you, Chair.
    This is simply ensuring that there's no extra spending going on.
    It's impossible.
    It's not impossible. What will happen is that it will get to the end of the rope, and then all of a sudden they'll say that they have some extra spending, so the bill will get defeated. I don't think we want to see this happen to the private member's bill.
    I would just ask everybody to please consider the importance of not having any new spending when they're developing the strategy. That's all we're talking about, to make sure it's there.
    I don't have anyone else on my speaking list, so we're ready to call the question on CPC-1. For this one, we'll do a recorded vote. There has been some discussion.
    (Amendment negatived: nays 7; yeas 4 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    (Clause 2 as amended agreed to)
    (On clause 3)
    We'll now move to clause 3. First up, I have a Liberal amendment, LIB-1, which was put forward by Ms. Taylor Roy.
    Would you like to move it?
    Yes, it's just a simple change to include the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities in the list of ministers to be consulted, because, as we know, infrastructure and housing are very important when you're talking about flood and drought planning.
    Does anyone have any comments on this one?
    Seeing none, we'll call the question on LIB-1.
    (Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
     The Acting Chair (Mr. John Aldag): Next up we have amendment CPC-2.
     Mr. Kram, this was yours. Would you like to move it?


     Yes, and I can speak to it now if I still have the floor.
    The committee has received a couple of letters from the Insurance Bureau of Canada and the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada. One explicitly asks to be included in the public consultation process outlined in this bill.
     I think it's quite evident that the insurance sector can play a very positive role in protecting Canadians from flooding and from losing their property. We have heard that many Canadians are not eligible for flood insurance. Anything we can do to increase the level of certainty in the marketplace for the insurance sector can only be a good thing to increase Canadians' eligibility for property insurance.
     We also have to be mindful of some potential unintended consequences of this bill. If this new flood forecasting system works too well, we would not want that to cause some homeowners or property owners to become uninsurable. Therefore, to make sure that we can achieve the full benefits of this bill, I would like to move this motion to make sure the insurance sector is explicitly included.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
     Thank you for that explanation of your amendment.
     Before I go to my speaking list, I'm going to make one comment here. If CPC-2 is adopted, Liberal-2 cannot be moved due to a line conflict. As House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, states on page 769:
Amendments must be proposed following the order of the text to be amended. Once a line of a clause has been amended by the committee, it cannot be further amended by a subsequent amendment as a given line may be amended only once.
    I wanted to make sure that everybody is aware of that.
    Now, for the speaking order, I have Ms. Taylor Roy, and then Mr. van Koeverden.
     Thank you, Mr. Chair.
     I'd like to make a subamendment to the amendment, so LIB-2 could be included.
    Okay. A subamendment is in order.
    Do you have it in writing?
    It is in writing. It was distributed, I believe.
     Okay. The reference number, so everybody has it, is 13047345, in the top left-hand corner of page 3, for Bill C-317, in both English and French.
    Ms. Taylor Roy, I'll go to you to move your subamendment and to speak to it. Then we'll have a discussion on the subamendment.
    Yes, it is so moved, and I think people have it in front of them. It's just to replace lines 4 to 11 on page 3 with a different section, which brings in what LIB-2 had:
(c) an assessment of opportunities to develop national flood and drought forecasting across Canada in order to help meet the information needs of the provinces, municipalities, industry, including the insurance industry, and Indigenous communities in respect of short- and long-term flood and drought forecasting, including current and future flood-plain delineation; and
    Then it reverts back to what was in CPC-2.
     Ms. Collins, did you want to speak to the subamendment?
    Actually, my hand was up for the main amendment.
    Okay. I'll come back to you once we get through the subamendment.
    Mr. Longfield, do you want to speak to the subamendment?
     Thanks, Chair. You're doing a great job, by the way.
    I like the idea of including the insurance industry, and I also like the idea of not losing anything out of LIB-2, but I wonder if the officials have any comments.
    Technically, from your shop, does this make sense?
     As I understand it, the two amendments are being combined and the insurance industry is being included in the amendment that had been previously proposed. If that is how I understand it, it makes sense to us.
     Okay. That's great. Thanks.
     I don't have anybody else on the speaking list. Does anybody else want to speak?
     Seeing no one, we'll call the question on the subamendment. On this one, we can do a recorded vote.
    (Subamendment agreed to: yeas 11; nays 0 [See Minutes of Proceedings])


    The subamendment carries. Now we'll move to a discussion of CPC-2 as amended.
    Ms. Collins, you're first on my speaking list for CPC-2 as amended.
     I'm just going to ask the officials about the process in terms of whether this is a helpful addition, if the insurance industry would have been excluded from this. In the study of this bill, I had some questions around how certain areas might not be insurable and also on wanting to make sure that we hold insurance companies accountable if people who are being insured are suddenly seeing their premiums go up or finding their house uninsurable. I was just curious about what this means from the officials' perspective, specifically the piece around the inclusion of the insurance companies in this.
    I'll respond to the first part of your question, and then I'll pass it on to my colleague, who might wish to add more detail.
    With respect to the first question, on whether the language of the current text would have excluded consultation with the insurance industry, I think that's a no. It's not an exhaustive list. The way the provision is framed, this is a list of groups the minister must consult with in developing the strategy, but it doesn't say that there are others the minister cannot consult with.
    With respect to details about whether or not the insurance industry may have been included and considered as part of how “industry” is framed, I might ask my colleague from the national hydrological services if he has anything to add.
    I don't know if there's more that I can add, except to say that in terms of the impact, I believe the intent of the bill as written is to explore ways to better communicate flood forecasting and forecasting tools to Canadians. I don't know that this would necessarily lead to implications for insurability in the context of this bill.
    I suppose that's my answer to that question. I think the insurance industry does fit nicely within industry generally. That's about all I can add to this.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Leslie, you're next on the list.
     Thank you, Mr. Chair, and welcome.
    Does this proposed amendment provide certainty? Without it, is it possible that the insurance industry could not be included in consultations?
    I don't believe it would mean that they could not be included in consultations.
    It would just provide certainty that they would be.
    Definitely. By including the insurance industry as one of the listed parties with whom the minister must consult in developing this strategy, the minister would have to consult with the insurance industry.
    Thank you.
    I have no other speakers on my list, so I'm ready to call the question. We'll vote on CPC-2 as amended.
    (Amendment as amended agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Acting Chair (Mr. John Aldag): CPC-2 as amended carries, and therefore Liberal-2 cannot be moved.
    We will go to Liberal-3. We're still on clause 3.
    Ms. Taylor Roy, would you like to move this one?
    Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I think this amendment actually simplifies what was in paragraph 3(3)(d), removes some duplication and also ensures, as Mr. Mazier said earlier, that there is no spending. It wouldn't be there anyway, but it makes it very clear that this is leveraging existing government services, coordinating between the provinces and the territories, and using the national hydrological services of ECCC and the meteorological service of Canada, which are already in place, of course, to look at the modelling. We all know that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also uses that right now. It just removes the reference to the Canada water agency and deals with the existing agencies that are here carrying out the purpose of this bill.


     Thank you.
    Does anyone want to speak further to this?
    We'll call the question on Liberal-3.
    (Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    (Clause 3 as amended agreed to)
    (On clause 4)
    We'll now move to clause 4. The first amendment we have is G-2.
    Mr. van Koeverden, would you like to move G-2?
     This would amend subclause 4(2):
The Minister must publish the report on the website of the Department of the Environment within 10 days after the day on which the report is tabled in both Houses of Parliament.
     Just changing some words here, it would now say:
The Minister must publish the report on a Government of Canada website within 10 days after the day on which the report is tabled in both Houses of Parliament.
    Mr. Leslie.
    Mr. Chair, I'd just like to ask, where would you see this being published?
    That's a good question. I think it's just that “the website of the Department of the Environment” isn't necessarily a thing. There's the Department of the Environment and Climate Change. I think this is just common practice, to be honest. We could ask the officials if they have a preference about which website it gets published on.
    Would the officials like to comment?
    Mr. Mazier.
    I can elaborate, if you'd like. Maybe it will satisfy the question.
    All Government of Canada departments, including Environment and Climate Change Canada, publish their documents on the Government of Canada website rather than on specific departmental websites. This would just follow that rubric.
    Mr. Branden Leslie: Mr. van Koeverden said something about how this department or this site doesn't exist right now.
    Specifically, the department is called the Department of the Environment and Climate Change, and that's not what is listed on the original. It's neither here nor there. All Government of Canada departments—
    An hon. member: We're good.
    Mr. Adam van Koeverden: Yes, I think we're good.
    Okay. Are we good?
     We'll call the question on G-2.
    (Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    (Clause 4 as amended agreed to)
    (On clause 5)
    We'll now move to clause 5, where we have G-3 as the amendment.
    Mr. van Koeverden, would you like to move G-3?
    It's the same thing as the previous one. It's just replacing the department with “Government of Canada website”.
    Do we want to have any further conversation?
    We'll call the question on G-3.
    (Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    (Clause 5 as amended agreed to)
    Shall the short title carry?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Acting Chair (Mr. John Aldag): Shall the preamble carry?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Acting Chair (Mr. John Aldag): Shall the title carry?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Acting Chair (Mr. John Aldag): Shall the bill as amended carry?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Acting Chair (Mr. John Aldag): Shall the chair report the bill as amended to the House?
    An hon. member: Which chair?
    The Acting Chair (Mr. John Aldag): I asked the question. I was told Mr. Scarpaleggia will be able to present this in the House. The chair will be presenting it.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Acting Chair (Mr. John Aldag): Finally, shall the committee order a reprint of the bill as amended for the use of the House at report stage?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Acting Chair (Mr. John Aldag): Okay. It's done.
    Colleagues, that concludes my time with you. Well done.
     I will now turn the chair back to Mr. Scarpaleggia.
    Congratulations, Francis, on the passage of your bill at committee stage.


     Thank you, Mr. Aldag, for chairing with such aplomb and finesse on this historic day. I appreciate your chairing of this part of the meeting, and I want to thank colleagues for their support of the bill.
     I'd also like to thank the officials for being here, offering their insights and answering questions.
    Also, thank you to the legislative clerks. Your services are greatly appreciated.
    I have a point of order.
    Go ahead, Mr. Mazier, and then I have Mr. van Koeverden and Mr. Leslie.
     Mr. Chair, I'd like to raise a question of privilege.
    Before I begin, I want to express my hope that the NDP and the Bloc will thoroughly consider what I'm about to say.
    On Tuesday, April 9, 2024, the environment committee passed a motion ordering Minister Guilbeault's department to produce information on how much the carbon tax will reduce emissions. This was the third attempt by the committee to obtain this information. In fact, it was on November 30, 2023, over 150 days ago, that the committee first ordered the production of the government's detailed emissions model. The committee passed this initial motion because of the following statement made by the government: “carbon pollution pricing will contribute as much as one-third of Canada's emissions reductions”.
    The first time the environment committee was made aware of this carbon tax emissions projection was when the director general of the economic analysis directorate for Environment and Climate Change Canada stated, “I think we're probably in a world where we could say, with some rough analysis, that up to one-third, potentially, of the emissions reductions that we're projecting to 2030 would come from carbon pricing.” “I think”, “probably”, “some rough analysis”, “up to” and “potentially” are not words associated with confidence by any means, and certainly not when they're all used together in the same sentence. It is clear why the Conservatives question this emissions reduction projection by the Liberal government. After all, it is our job as the opposition to hold the government accountable. Let's not forget that.
    Earlier this year, Minister Guilbeault responded to a written question that asked what analysis the government used to produce this emissions reduction projection. Minister Guilbeault stated: produce this projection, the government used the provincial-territorial computable general equilibrium model, EC-Pro, from Environment and Climate Change Canada, or ECCC.
EC-Pro simulates the response of the main economic sectors in each province and territory, and their interactions with each other, including interprovincial trade. It captures characteristics of each [PT's] production and consumption patterns through a detailed input-output table....
    The government referred to a very specific model in the statement, which is why on March 21, 2024, the committee specifically ordered the production of the model called EC-PRO. I will draw your attention to page 983 of Bosc and Gagnon's House of Commons Procedure and Practice, which states:
The Standing Orders state that standing committees have the power to order the production of papers and records, another privilege that is rooted in the Constitution and which is delegated by the House. In carrying out their responsibility to conduct studies and inquiries, standing committees often have to rely on a wide array of papers to aid them in their work.
    The committee also ordered the production of all economic modelling associated with this model. Environment and Climate Change Canada failed to provide the complete information the committee ordered. Instead of providing the committee with the carbon tax emissions model, the government provided an 18-page draft paper that attempts to describe the model. The document provided to the committee was titled “Environment Canada's Provincial CGE (ECPRO) Model”, with a footnote at the end of the title. The footnote to the so-called model revealed that this paper is, in fact, not the carbon tax emissions model. The footnote states:
Please note that this is a draft in progress. Any comments will be appreciated. Views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not reflect those of Environment and Climate Change Canada or the Government of Canada
    As a result of this blatant defiance from Minister Guilbeault, the committee provided him with a third chance to provide these documents. On April 9, 2024, the committee ordered the production of this carbon tax emissions model again. The committee specifically ordered the production of all parameters, assumptions, variables and economic modelling.


    However, Minister Guilbeault failed to hand over the complete information. Instead, the committee received a nine-page report authored by a third party and a three-page document from ECCC. The only information provided by ECCC was a projection regarding how much emissions would be reduced by the government without any specific details on how that was calculated. In other words, the government said, “Here are the numbers. Just believe them.” There were no variables, no assumptions, no parameters and no economic modelling. In fact, Minister Guilbeault's department admitted that they had failed to provide the very information ordered by the committee.
    When referring to the carbon tax emissions model EC-PRO in the response, ECCC admitted that the model “contains over 4,000 equations, roughly 280,000 variables, and generates hundreds of thousands of data points”. If anybody read the response, they would have noticed that none of these equations or data was provided. This admission alone displays the breach of privilege. The committee didn't receive any of the information mentioned by ECCC despite ordering it on three separate occasions. In fact, the Liberals are now claiming their carbon tax emissions data is protected under the Statistics Act. In other words, it's top secret and it must not be released.
    This is another cover-up by the Liberals, and the Conservatives simply won't tolerate it. How can the Liberals force Canadians to pay a carbon tax if they refuse to release the results? Why should Canadians allow the Liberals to keep their so-called carbon tax emissions model locked in a vault? Is it because the so-called proof doesn't exist, or is it because they have something to hide? I will remind the committee that hiding behind the Statistics Act is not a valid excuse to hide this information from the committee. Ordering the production of documents is a privilege of parliamentarians to effectively represent Canadians.
    In conducting due diligence, Conservatives contacted the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel on this matter. We provided the parliamentary counsel with the response from Minister Guilbeault's department and asked whether hiding behind the Statistics Act is a reason to restrict the committee from obtaining this information. Not surprisingly, our assumptions were correct. The Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel stated that the right of the committee to obtain information is not restricted by the act.
    I will draw your attention to House of Commons Procedure and Practice, which states that Parliament is not limited in its ability to order the production of documents. As page 984 of Bosc and Gagnon states:
The Standing Orders do not delimit the power to order the production of papers and records. The result is a broad, absolute power that on the surface appears to be without restriction. There is no limit on the types of papers likely to be requested....
    We were elected to serve Canadians. This committee has the power and the authority to obtain information and documents, and this government is deliberately preventing Parliament from seeing this information. The NDP and the Bloc may not want this information as much as the Conservatives do, but failing to uphold the privileges of Parliament is failing Canadians. It doesn't matter what the parliamentary committee orders; if the government refuses to release this information, they are breaching parliamentary privilege.
    It is our duty as an opposition to, at the very least, uphold these privileges. If we don't want to pass this motion of privilege, then the NDP and the Bloc are letting this Liberal government avoid accountability again. Let's not forget that Canada's commissioner of the environment has stated that the Liberals are not on track to meeting their own 2030 emissions reduction targets. If a motion of privilege is not passed, Conservatives will use every tool at our disposal to obtain this information for Canadians.
    We can either refer this matter to the House or we can use the committee's time to obtain this information. I therefore ask to move my motion of privilege so we can obtain the government's carbon tax emissions information.


    Thank you, Chair.
    It's a very complex matter. I have a speaking list for it, but we can't go to a speaking list right now. I'm told the chair has to rule on whether it's related to privilege.
    I find it a little difficult to rule at this point without more information. I wouldn't mind seeing the document that has the original ask.
    Do we have that?
    It was one of the Laurel Collins ones from April 9—the latest one.
    Could I see the wording of that?
    It's one of three, so you would have to see all three.
    The latest says:
That the committee order the production of the model and data from ECCC that demonstrate that “carbon pollution pricing will contribute as much as one-third of Canada's emissions reductions” including all (i) parameters, (ii) assumptions, and (iii) variables, (iv) economic modelling, and (v) emissions reduction modelling and that these documents be provided to the committee within two weeks of the adoption of the motion.
    I'm sorry, but Mr. Leslie has a point of order.
    Perhaps you can forgive me. I'm still a relatively new member.
    In the House, in my experience, members have the opportunity to speak before the Speaker makes a ruling, whether he or she does it on the spot or goes elsewhere and comes back to make it. I'm curious about whether committees are different.
    Mr. van Koeverden is on the list; then it's me. Do you have to make a ruling immediately?
    I'll double-check this.
    I can ask for more input, which is what I'm doing, but that's different from a speaking list.
    You have a speaking list, so you can start with that.
    Excuse me. I'm going to pause for a second.



    Basically, I don't have enough information to make much of a ruling at this point. That's why I'm asking questions.
    I'm asking for the original request for the model. Do we have that on paper? It was a motion. It's the one you claim is not being respected. I'd like to have it, if you don't mind. This is the motion calling for information that you say was not provided. The motion called for, “Preparation of a scenario that includes legislated federal, provincial, and territorial emission reduction policies.”
    It's at the very top.
    The motion is at the top. I'm sorry.
    It says:
That the committee order the production of the model and data from ECCC that demonstrate that “carbon pollution pricing will contribute as much as one-third of Canada's emissions reductions” including all (i) parameters, (ii) assumptions, and (iii) variables, (iv) economic modelling, and (v) emissions reduction modelling....
    I will go down this speaking list, because I want to see whether, in the members' opinions, the documents that were originally produced in response to this motion answered the requirements of the motion. I'm interested in people's opinions on this.
    I'll start with Mr. van Koeverden.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair. Congratulations on your bill.
    Thank you.
    First, I would just like to correct the record. The commissioner of the environment and sustainable development has said recently and repeatedly that we are on track to meeting our 2026 emissions reduction targets, and we would certainly not be on track without carbon pricing, which includes output-based mechanisms, market-based mechanisms and regulatory changes that have changed the trajectory of Canada's emissions profile quite dramatically.
    Over the break, I had the privilege of listening to Dr. Sarah Burch. I'm hoping that Dr. Burch can appear at this committee when we start to discuss climate finance and governance, because we are on that topic right now. It's the topic that has been in the background of our water study the whole time.
    If I could offer an olive branch across the way, it seems like we're most interested in talking about carbon pricing. It seems like a fascination that we would all like to learn a bit more about. I welcome the next study from the Bloc Québécois because we have the opportunity to discuss, in further detail, climate finance and how to achieve what we all want to achieve, which is lower emissions.
    Some want to do that with different technologies. I've heard “technology, not taxes” a couple of times. We are using a lot of technologies to drive down emissions, and we're also using market-based instruments. I don't think any single technology or any single instrument is going to get us to where we need to go because, as we've seen, the targets are actually challenging. We had a lot of emissions in the 1990s, and the oil and gas sector has increased both its output and emissions. I welcome the next study because I think we'll be able to talk about this in more detail and listen to experts like Sarah Burch.
    Speaking of experts, over 300 Canadian economists are now urging Conservative politicians to read their report on how carbon pricing in Canada impacts household finances. I'm going to print it off again. I've shared a couple of things with my colleagues before in an effort for us to try to get on the same page, or at least invite.... Mr. Leslie, you and I sat down before the Christmas break, before you welcomed your new child to planet earth, and we discussed how important it is for planet earth to be a place where your kid has a viable future, has a healthy place to live and can grow food. That's something we all share.
    Honestly, guys, today was a really good example of why we need to come together and work together a bit more, and just occasionally ditch the partisanship. I'm willing to do that, and I hope that you guys are willing to do that. We can work together.
     You didn't accept our amendment.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!


    That's funny, Dan.
    The commissioner of the environment and sustainable development says we're on track. Three hundred top economists from across Canada say that not only is carbon pricing effective, but it's also not impacting family finances to the degree being claimed by a lot of politicians. We should also look back and forward with respect to who's talking about carbon pricing in the world, who's leading the way and what type of country we want to be. The Nobel Prize-winning economist William Nordhaus, who has been the leading economist on how to reduce emissions, says that Canada has been getting it right. Frankly, I would welcome feedback or criticism from economists, paleoclimatologists or anybody who would like to suggest that Canada's carbon pricing system with the Canada carbon rebate isn't both driving down emissions—coupled with the other pricing mechanisms, like the output-based mechanism—and supporting Canadians in need.
     Over the course of the break, I visited a food bank and did a bit of work with some vulnerable community members. I considered what life is like if you're earning less than $40,000 a year and have to put food on the table for a family. In that context, $1,000 tax-free from the government represents 2.5% of your take-home pay. It's a significant amount of money. The Canada carbon rebate is a significant support for people who take public transit, have to heat smaller homes and have a smaller carbon footprint.
    I'll go back to the 2021 election. I know I bring this up a lot. Many Conservative members still have the Conservative plan “Secure the Environment” up on their websites and Facebook. It's still there. Anybody can find that information online. I will remind my colleagues opposite that they ran on a very similar plan to price carbon, up to $50 a tonne. They planned to use an output-based system. In an alternate universe where the Conservatives won the 2021 election, we would be in a country that is pricing carbon and lowering emissions with market-based instruments.
    I want to say again that the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development, contrary to what my colleague said, says we are on track to reaching our emissions reduction targets. It's also worth noting that emissions were on the way up in 2015 and lately have been on the way down. We can continue this momentum together. It doesn't need to be a partisan thing. It doesn't need to be the Liberal plan or the Conservative plan. It can be Canada's carbon emissions reduction plan. It's something we all want to do. We all want to achieve that.
    I think we should get to the next phase collectively. Hopefully, in the next study looking at climate finance, we can ask some more experts what their views and opinions are. We can ditch the partisanship at the door a bit.
    We were asked as a government to provide modelling and some details on how carbon pricing works. We did that. People are satisfied. I'll be honest: I know university math and a lot of it is over my head. I—
    Have you seen this model?
    Did I see what we were provided with? Of course. We all received the same email.
    You've seen this model.
    Excuse me. Mr. van Koeverden has the floor.
    We did see a document. There was a document provided.
    Was it the requested document?
    That's a matter for debate.
    It was.
    It was not.
     It satisfies—
    Excuse me. I have the floor.
    What I'm trying to say is that there was a document. On the Conservative side, the contention is that it was not sufficient. The Liberal side and perhaps the other parties contend that it was what was asked for and what could be provided.
    There was a document. I just want to clear that up.
    Mr. van Koeverden, continue, but focus on what was provided and whether you feel that, practically, it's all that could be provided in the short period of time the department had. We can talk about that. If you could focus on that, it would be appreciated.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    The question was whether the government could provide some insight into how the modelling for carbon pricing works in its current shape and form. I saw that email and read the document, and I will offer that even with university math and a pretty decent grasp of environmental science—I'm not bragging; I took some of those classes in university—I don't understand all of it. That doesn't make it untrue; it just makes it complicated, and I'm as interested as anybody in learning more about the systems that are currently driving down our emissions in Canada.
    I dispute the allegation that the document was not sufficient. It was challenging. It was hard to understand. Math is tough, and the work that we do doesn't rely on complex modelling. I'll commit to learning more about it, and I would welcome a motion from the Conservatives to get more information if that's what they want. However, at the same time, I'd also encourage them to consider reading the 300 economists' document with the five rationales for why carbon pricing works in Canada and how the Canada carbon rebate is supporting families in need.
    The Liberal side will be voting against this motion while at the same time welcoming a request for more information if that's what you'd like, but I hope that it's more—


    It is. We would like more information.
    I hope the request is more detailed. Just because we don't understand something doesn't make it not true.
    Mr. Leslie, please go ahead.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you to the member across the way for remembering that conversation prior to Christmas. Forgive me, but I'm still running on limited sleep due to that reality. If I trail off, you'll know why.
    A lot of your comments didn't drive toward the point of the privilege motion, and I'll address a couple of pieces there. I agree that we should find pathways toward reducing emissions, and I look forward to the environment commissioner coming on Thursday. Having reviewed a few chapters and a few reports this morning—not necessarily specific to GHG emissions reductions, broadly speaking, but in some specific instances—I look forward to hearing some of his feedback.
    Mr. Chair, I hate to disagree with you, but you mentioned that it's just this side of the aisle that has found we have not been given sufficient information. The reality is that we are on the third motion of more or less the same thing. The only way we can achieve this is with alignment with our Bloc and NDP colleagues.
    Just as a refresher, this started with the first motion coming back with a public website: “Here's a link. Go and read the website.” Another motion passed, because that was insufficient, which led to a document that was created by...I don't even know who it was created by. They don't work for Environment and Climate Change Canada. They don't represent Environment and Climate Change Canada. They're still seeking feedback on that nine-page document.
    The third motion had more or less the same intent to gather the information that was requested in the first motion and the second motion, and we dumbed it down, asking to just give us what we were looking for. It was very simple language. Shockingly, they came back with even less. They came back with three pages and, really, no information.
     There's been a downward trend in the information being provided to this committee with each and every motion. In my view, in reading the response in the three pages of the third motion, there's no question that the Minister of Environment has refused the committee's order to produce the carbon tax modelling data and assumptions and all the components of the third, most recent motion. There seems to be zero ambiguity to me, and the response was crystal clear. They don't want to hand over this data.
     In that response, ECCC admit they don't want to hand it over, and they noted that the information is protected under the Statistics Canada act. I will highlight that we don't actually have a Statistics Canada act. They misquoted the act they are trying to hide behind. It is the Statistics Act. I don't think it was intentional that they not only disregarded the views and will of this committee, but disregarded the act they're trying to hide behind. I will give credence to the notion that it was just an error. However, I assume that a response like that to a committee would have been seen by many people, and the fact that it wasn't picked up on is a little concerning to me.
    When I think back to the early days of this Liberal government—I will try to park my partisanship at the door, because this is a motion of privilege and is about the supremacy of Parliament—it claimed that it was going to be the most transparent government in Canadian history and was going to be open by default. We have seen many examples across multiple committees of efforts to restrict information that has been requested by a committee. As my colleague Mr. Mazier pointed out, when we asked the law clerk about the response that we received from ECCC, we were informed by the law clerk that the right of the committee to obtain information is not restricted by the act. He meant the Statistics Act.
    There are many precedents of committees having the right to order the production of government documents, and the government being obligated to answer. I'll give a couple of examples.
     In June 2021, Speaker Rota ruled that the special committee on Canada-China relations was well within its rights to order the Public Health Agency of Canada to produce unredacted documents with respect to the Winnipeg lab incident. I believe it's appropriate to quote Speaker Rota. In his ruling, he stated: the heart of the parliamentary system, and firmly anchored in our Constitution, there are rights and privileges that are indispensable to the performance of members' duties. Thus, one can read the following, at page 137 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition:


By virtue of the preamble and section 18 of the Constitution Act, 1867, Parliament has the ability to institute its own inquiries, to require the attendance of witnesses and to order the production of documents, rights which are fundamental to its proper functioning. These rights are as old as Parliament itself.
    This ruling builds on a previous ruling by Speaker Milliken from back in 2010 with respect to accessing documents related to Afghanistan. At that time, the government of the day argued that national security implications should be considered due to their sensitivities. However, Speaker Milliken did not agree with that argument. In his ruling, Speaker Milliken, at page 2042 of Debates, responded as follows to the government's objections:
To accept such a notion would completely undermine the importance of the role of parliamentarians in holding the government to account.
Before us are issues that question the very foundations upon which our parliamentary system is built. In a system of responsible government, the fundamental right of the House of Commons to hold the government to account for its actions is an indisputable privilege and in fact an obligation.
    House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, adds this at page 985:
No statute or practice diminishes the fullness of that power rooted in House privileges unless there is an explicit legal provision to that effect, or unless the House adopts a specific resolution limiting the power. The House has never set a limit on its power to order the production of papers....
    Mr. Chair, you have been here a long time and you're a respected member. I believe you would agree with me that upholding the rights and privileges of members of Parliament is paramount. With ECCC admitting they are simply refusing to hand over the carbon tax modelling, data and assumptions and all that was requested within the motion, it can leave no doubt to any reasonable person that they are trying to thwart this committee's order to produce documents, which was passed three times in three different versions.
    In my view, that leaves no ambiguity for the chair of this committee to rule that our privileges as members have been breached. I'll conclude by saying that I truly believe it would be “wacko” to rule otherwise.
    You had better be careful with the word “wacko”.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    It seemed timely.
    Ms. Collins.
    Mr. Chair, I think that if a word is ruled to be unparliamentary in the House of Commons, it is probably unparliamentary at committee as well. Mr. Leslie might want to withdraw it.
    I'm not sure how he spelled it, so I'm not sure exactly what....
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Chair: Go ahead, though, please, on the issue at hand.
    On the issue at hand, perhaps I would like to correct the record.
    Mr. van Koeverden started by correcting it, saying that Canada is on track to meeting its targets. The environment commissioner has made it fairly clear that when it comes to our 2030 targets, we are not on track to meeting even the low end of the Liberals' 40% to 45%. Mr. van Koeverden mentioned the interim target of 2026, but went on to say that the government is on track broadly to meeting its targets. That's not accurate.
    I think it's very important that we are careful and judicious when we're talking about this, because Canada has missed every single target.


    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    Yes, Mr. van Koeverden, go ahead.
    I very specifically said it was the 2026 target in my intervention, as the 2026 target was the one Canada's environment and sustainable development commissioner was referring to. The NDP consistently says we've missed targets. We haven't had any other targets, and we're on target to reaching our goal for 2026.
    Okay. That's not the subject of the discussion here.
    The only reason I'm going through this speaking list, which I'm not obligated to do, is that I'm trying to better understand the crux of the issue, which is whether Environment Canada produced the information Mr. Mazier and the committee asked for.
    Mr. Chair, because you allowed Mr. van Koeverden to correct the record, I would like the same leeway in my comments.
    He mentioned 2026 initially, but went on to say we are on track to meeting our targets. I want to make it very clear that we are not.
    Okay. Understood.
    Are there any comments about the document that was provided by the department?
    I agree that the first two responses from ECCC were woefully inadequate, and sending a link to a website is unacceptable. The documents the department sent with regard to the second motion were also clearly inadequate. They didn't have the information that I would have liked to see. That's why I worked with all parties, and we were able to find support for a third motion.
    The data that came back in this was helpful. I found it helpful, and I also found it interesting that the department also attached a second document with the Canadian Climate Institute's report on carbon pricing. I think that report really shows that carbon pricing is an essential tool in our tool box when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. It also shows that consumer pricing and industrial carbon pricing, these two pieces, are doing different amounts when it comes to bringing down our emissions.
    I am committed to building a climate plan that makes big polluters pay, that brings down the costs for Canadians, that meets our emissions targets and that really unifies people when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. I think the document from the Canadian Climate Institute that was attached by ECCC highlights in some ways how the government has fixated on its own specific design of consumer carbon pricing, maybe to the detriment.... It may not be the best and only way to tackle the climate crisis, and the government has used it as a political wedge.
    When you look at those documents, you see that one of them says the consumer price will contribute 8% to 14% to Canada's emissions reduction plan, whereas if you look at the industrial carbon pricing system, the system that makes the biggest polluters pay what they owe, you see that it's projected to do more than any other policy to cut emissions, delivering between 20% and 48% of Canada's emissions reductions. Going back to what the Conservatives initially were asking about—the comments made by ECCC about whether this contribution was actually a third of Canada's emissions reduction plan—the document from the Canadian Climate Institute shows that 8% to 14% plus 20% to 48% fall within that and back up the comments made at the environment committee.
    It is critical that we strengthen climate policies to hold big oil and gas accountable and to get the deepest emissions reductions. It's disappointing to me that we are often talking solely about consumer carbon pricing when clearly industrial carbon pricing and carbon pricing on the biggest emitters—big oil and gas—are doing the bulk of emissions reduction and are projected to do the bulk of emissions reduction. It's really concerning to me that the Conservatives have refused to answer the question of whether they would scrap the industrial carbon price. That policy is doing the most work when it comes to emissions reductions. It is terrifying to me to think that they might scrap it, so I am very interested in having these conversations.
    The information that was provided most recently answered the questions that I had. The only thing that is maybe niggling at me is that this document says the Statistics Act protects this information. I am unclear as to whether that is just an offhand comment letting us know that this information is protected generally, or that document is claiming that they would have provided more information but the Statistics Act protects the information so they couldn't. That is unclear to me, so if we had officials here to answer that, it would be helpful for my understanding of this privilege motion.


    Mr. Kram.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
    Three times now, this committee has requested the government's carbon pricing model. Three times now, the government's response has been wholly inadequate. The committee has been very patient with the government. We asked a second time. We went back and asked a third time. Every single time the response was inadequate.
    In the most recent response we received from the government, it claimed that the carbon pricing model exists. It claimed that the model contains “4,000 equations” and “280,000 variables”, yet the government refuses to provide those equations and variables to the committee.
    We're not too particular about whether it provides them in paper form, on a USB stick or in a link in an email it sends to us. However, as of yet, the government has not provided that model, which we have been requesting since last November.
    I am very confident in supporting the motion that the committee's privilege has been violated. Therefore, this should be reported to the House.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Simard.


    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I listened to my Conservative colleague's presentation earlier. In fact, when I look more closely at his request as set out in his motion, I believe it's impossible to respond to it.
    There's a Canadian law that requires Quebec and each province to have a price on carbon. We need to talk about carbon pricing rather than a carbon tax, because it doesn't apply in Quebec. The Conservatives recognized this in a motion they voted on with us in the House.
    The carbon tax doesn't apply in two provinces: Quebec and British Columbia, which have carbon exchanges. If the Conservatives' goal is to get an overall picture of how much carbon emissions would be reduced as a result of carbon pricing, they won't get there, because their motion doesn't refer to carbon pricing, but rather to the carbon tax.
    I don't want to defend my Liberal colleagues, because their environmental record is pitiful given the massive support they give to the oil and gas sector, but no one is held to the impossible.
    In theory, it's completely impossible to get details on modelling by presenting a motion like this, because it would only allow us to obtain a single portion of the vision for reducing carbon emissions. For that reason, I believe that my colleague's motion doesn't hold water. We can't follow it logically because it's poorly worded.


    Mr. Mazier.
    I'll just clarify something for my colleague from the Bloc. In one of these responses, step one is, “Preparation of a scenario that includes legislated federal, provincial, and territorial emission reduction policies.” Quebec's policy is included in the formula, and the government still hasn't produced the information or the data on how Quebec even works. They haven't done anything on this.
    To Ms. Collins, as far as the targets are concerned, we all know the targets aren't being met, yet somehow—


    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    It sounds like it's going to be a point of debate, but go ahead.
    To correct the record again, the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development has indicated that we're on track to meeting our 2026 targets.
    I'm sorry. That's a point of debate.
    Mr. Mazier.
    Thank you.
    To address Ms. Collins's comments on the targets, the real problem is that we can't even find out the information and whether it's actually true. We believed the Liberals up until the commissioner said there was a problem with reaching these targets. Whether they are going to reach them or not, there's still doubt, and if he can't find out whether that's really true and he can't prove it, then it's up to us to try to prove it.
    That's all we're asking for. Is this model accurate? Does this model exist? How do you prove that things are actually going in the right direction? We're all genuinely concerned about this.
    I can't emphasize enough that all we're asking for is the model. Please prove to us, government, that this is actually working.
     How does it work? I think it would be great for all of us MPs to understand how this model works. That way, we could probably improve it. However, we have to know the numbers. That's simply all we've been asking for.
    Also to Ms. Collins, we reached out to the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel. In my presentation, I referred to that. There was absolutely no reason why this information was withheld under the Statistics Act, and I think that throws up an even bigger flag. Why would they even put that statement in there if they weren't trying to hide something?
    I think on that point alone there is definitely a breach of privilege, and we need to get to the bottom of it.
    Mr. van Koeverden.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Once again, I would just like to stress that the people who read the email are satisfied that they will receive additional information, per the request of the Conservative Party, on modelling and some math to explicitly indicate how carbon pricing works. I'd also just repeat that the letter from the 300 economists detailing this further is worthwhile reading if people are interested.
    I've already indicated that the Liberal side is not interested in this question of privilege. We feel we should move on, and the quicker we move on, the quicker we can get to the Bloc Québécois's study on climate finance so we can delve a bit more deeply into this subject.
    It doesn't seem like we're getting anywhere towards a vote, so, Mr. Chair, I move to adjourn this meeting.
    An hon. member: You can't for a motion of privilege.
    I haven't ruled yet, so there is no real motion, I don't think, on the table—yet.
    It's a motion of privilege.
    I'll hear from Mr. Leslie, and then I'll give you my opinion.
    Are you done, Mr. van Koeverden?
    Well, I'm asking to adjourn the meeting. It's quite done.
    If you're done, you can walk out.
    I don't think we can do that. We can't adjourn—
    That's what you guys do. You throw a tantrum. It's pretty pathetic, actually.
    Colleagues, you can't speak, and you have to go through the chair.
    I don't believe we can adjourn while the chair is in the process of ruling on a question related to privilege. I don't think we can do that.
    I'll go to Mr. Leslie, and then I'll—
    It's Ms. Collins.
    I'm sorry.
    Ms. Collins, is that a new hand up?
    It is a new hand, yes. I just have a point of clarification.
    Okay, go ahead.
    I'm just wondering about process. This seems like something you're still deciding on. You're trying to figure out which way you'll rule on the privilege motion. Is this something that you could go away with and come back to us on?
    No, I think I have a pretty solid point of view at this point—
    Okay. Thank you.
    —but I will hear from Mr. Leslie.
    Mr. Chair, you said “but”. It sounds like you have your mind made up. What if I convince you?
    Well, I can always change my mind.
    I have a couple of points of clarification on a couple of comments.
     To my friend in the Bloc Québécois, that short, three-page response does indicate that the preparation of the scenario should include all “federal, provincial and territorial emissions reduction policies”, whether or not you're in the federal backstop. ECCC seems to indicate that they're using the B.C. and Quebec models as part of their overall analysis.
    To my friend Ms. Collins, I can appreciate the delineation between the Climate Institute report saying 8% to 14% and higher for the output-based pricing system, but going back to the testimony of Mr. Hermanutz, I think we're giving the government too much credit. In the context of that conversation—and I do not have the testimony in front of me, so I will attempt to paraphrase—that was very much based on the consumer carbon tax. That was our line of questioning. It was not a combination of the consumer tax and the back-end, output-based pricing tax. Combining the two totals, I think, gives the government an out that they don't really deserve, given that this is the comment that started all of this, and we saw it in writing after.
    Then last, as it relates to the motion of privilege, frankly, it's only the members on this side of the table who have addressed the motion. We've talked about politics and we've talked about carbon taxes, but when I look at page 2 of the most recent three-page submission from ECCC, it is interesting that they have three different scenarios. There's one with and one without carbon pricing—both excluding land use and land use change—and one estimating the impact of the carbon pricing. However, the motion that was most recently passed, I believe under the name of Ms. Collins, asked for a lot more. In the third motion of the three that endeavoured to get ECCC to honour the committee's wishes, we ordered the production of the Liberal government's complete carbon tax emissions model, including all parameters, variables and economic modelling.
    This is a lovely chart, but I do not think it in any way covers off the carbon tax emissions model, including all parameters, variables and economic modelling. If this is how they're doing the modelling, I'm deeply concerned. As my colleague Mr. Kram said, whether it's a USB, a PDF or a bunch of paper.... There were 4,000 equations and 280,000 data points. There is a lot of information there, and that is what this motion is requesting.
    That is why, in my view, this is a clear breach of privilege, not only for the first failure to respond with anything beyond a website link, but for the second failure to respond with just four random people putting their name on a document that says “draft” on it. Then, finally, with the third opportunity—three strikes, you're out—they came back with less.
    Mr. Chair, this is a clear violation of our parliamentary privilege. I hope you see that and will rule in favour of this parliamentary privilege motion.
    Thank you.


    Mr. van Koeverden, you have the floor.
     Thankfully, everything that we say in this meeting is always on the record, and we could go—
    Isn't it Ms. Collins, Mr. Chair?
     Is Ms. Collins before me?
    Is this a new hand up?
     Yes, it is.
    Okay, we'll come back to you after Mr. van Koeverden.
    Thank you.
    I'm sorry if I butted in line, Ms. Collins. This will be quick.
    My exchange with both Mr. DeMarco and Mr. Hermanutz from, I think, November last year—I'm sorry; the date is not at the top of my screen—is the root of what we're talking about here. Those individuals confidently said that up to one-third of emissions reductions, they anticipate, will be attributed to carbon pricing. Mr. Leslie suggested that the question was somehow on just the consumer price on carbon. That wasn't my question. In my question back then, I said, “With respect to carbon pricing, it's difficult to quantify how many...reductions we've seen since 2005.” It's not as though anybody has a crystal ball or a dual-universe Star Trek: The Next Generation holodeck that you can ask, “Computer, can you please give us a dual-scenario situation?” However, we have seen a 6% reduction in emissions as a country since 2005 because there was a time at which we instituted a price on pollution. Also, the price on pollution goes up every year, so as you track it, you can see precisely how much the reduction can be attributed to the price.
    Mr. Hermanutz agreed. He said, “You're right. It's very difficult”. There are more than 80 measures with respect to carbon pricing, so attributing “specific megatonnes to individual measures” when they are all applying to the same thing—what comes out of our gas-driven cars, when we heat our homes with fossil fuels, when we dry grain with fossil fuels—is a complicated scenario. However, if we can use a little bit less, then we know that we're getting somewhere.
    He also said that “carbon pricing is a significant contributor to the expected reductions” and thought “the commissioner's report agrees with that statement.” To him, we're “in a world where...up to one-third...of the emissions reductions that we're projecting to 2030 would come from carbon pricing.”
     I will note—


    I have a point of order.
    Wait just a moment, Mr. van Koeverden. Mr. Mazier has a point of order.
    It's just on the relevance of this. This has nothing to do with the task at hand.
    Yes, we should really stay on the topic of whether what ECCC has provided is a model.
    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
    I think discussing whether the original question was referring to the consumer price or the industrial price is very relevant to whether or not the responses we got are adequate. Mr. van Koeverden is bringing up a point, really, about the genesis of this question, and the initial motion the Conservatives tabled directly referenced the response.
    I think it's important that we know—especially given that the Conservatives just mentioned that context matters—whether they were talking about consumer carbon pricing, industrial carbon pricing or a combination. I think this context matters.
    Okay. Was that a point of order?
    That was a point of order after Mr. Mazier's point of order on my intervention, which I haven't completely finished yet.
    Okay. Continue with your intervention, and then we'll go to Mr. Mazier. Then I'm going to close this off.
    I don't think Ms. Collins has had the opportunity to say what she wants to say. I'm done here, but I think it is relevant to suggest that back in November, when we discussed this and initially got a response from the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development and from Mr. Derek Hermanutz, we were referring to carbon pricing as a whole, including those 80 measures, and not just the consumer price on pollution that the Conservatives are up in arms about.
    I will just ask again, if I can, that we adjourn this meeting. I would like to revisit that after you rule.
    Now we have Mr. Mazier, to close it off.
    It's Ms. Collins.
    Ms. Collins, is it a point of order, or do you want to say something?
    I had my hand up before Mr. van Koeverden, and then I gave a point of order.
    Okay. Go ahead.
    To be honest, I'm going to raise a point very similar to Mr. van Koeverden's on the context and importance of industrial carbon pricing.
    The carbon pricing conversation should be about how this policy best helps us achieve robust and credible climate planning. Unfortunately, I think the Conservatives—and, honestly, also the Liberals—have turned the consumer carbon tax into a political wedge. I hope that we can keep the industrial carbon pricing central as part of this conversation.
    Mr. Mazier, you have the last word. Then I'll make a ruling on your question related to privilege.
    Thank you, colleagues, for all the valuable input. It gave us some time to think about a lot of what's gone on here, especially since November, when we first put the motion forward. The bottom line is that we're simply asking for information, for a model to prove that this is actually working. That's all we're asking for.
    The government refers to the points. They refer to everything. They dance around the information, and then they say that it's secret. They can see it as a government, but the rest of us MPs can't see it. That's the travesty of this whole thing.
    I don't know how we can move forward as a committee if we keep getting stonewalled by different government departments and different ministers. If they just decide not to answer a question, there goes our parliamentary privilege right out the door.
    I'd implore you to please support us on this motion. At least we'll get the answers and life will go on. However, I don't know how we can work forward if we don't get this information and our privilege is breached today.
    Thank you.


    I have a point of order.
    Yes, go ahead, but the bells are going to ring in a couple of minutes.
    Okay, I'll be very brief.
    It seems odd to me that the Liberal whip's staffer has been standing behind you talking as you are about to make a decision on a motion of privilege. Maybe it's just optics. I don't know what was said because the tables are very far away.
    It had nothing to do with this decision.
    Optically, it's a bit odd. It's a bit of a weird look.
    I want to clarify something with the clerk. Hold on for a second.
    This is how I see it, and you can agree or disagree. This document here was provided by ECCC in response to the request for a document that included assumptions, variables and a few other things, which I don't have right in front of me. There are models in it. I took econometrics in graduate school. I wasn't a whiz at it, but these would be called models.
    It says it's a draft.
    Apparently, anytime somebody submits a technical paper, they always put that because it can be revised or it can be a work in progress. I don't know. However, it doesn't mean that it's not a legitimate document.
    There are equations here. I'll read you an equation. It says:
Capital stock k, in period t+1 in sector i, in region r is given by
kt+1,r,i= (1-δt,r,i)...
    The point I'm trying to make is that it's extremely complex. My question would be, has any expert, econometrician or statistician, looked at this document and said that this is not sufficient? Nobody has said in any of this debate that this is not sufficient. I don't think anybody here in this room is qualified to tell us if this is sufficient. We need to get in expert witnesses.
    The other thing is that this document does have variables. It has 44 sectors. It subdivides the sector. It has assumptions. I'll read you an assumption: “New vintage capital is assumed to be a fraction of the aggregate capital stock by sector, year, and region.” That's one assumption. Then there are a few other assumptions sprinkled throughout. I underscored a couple of them before.
    The point I'm trying to make is that there are variables, assumptions and everything else. Here's another one: “Similarly, the electricity sector was disaggregated into 11 categories of generation using similar information to the E3MC database.” I don't know what this means.
    We're going to have the minister come, and I hope the minister brings lots of econometricians and experts. I suggest that maybe Mr. Mazier have his party bring in an econometrician or consult one and list arguments as to why this model is not sufficient, or is not indicative of what's going on with the price on carbon. This really is a debate of econometricians on whether this document is sufficient enough to answer the request by Mr. Mazier through his motion, which was adopted by the committee.
    To keep the debate going, I'm going to say that this is not related to privilege. It would be nice if we could get the four individuals who wrote this document to come with the minister. However, I'll leave it to the department to decide who should come to explain to us what this document means, whether or not it is a model and whether or not it includes variables and assumptions, because quite frankly, I think it's extremely complex and we need some expert input on it.
    I will rule for now that this is not related to privilege—
    I have a point of order.
    I have a point of order.
    Wait a minute.
    This document is a sufficient document for now, until one hears differently.
    Who has a point of order?


    I'll go first.
    Mr. Chair, I asked to adjourn this meeting and—
    That's not how this works.
    —that was deemed permissible. It's now delayed.
    We didn't do it as a committee.
    I'm sorry that you were not listening when they deemed my motion—
    An hon. member: I was listening.
    Apparently you were not.
    I have a point of order, and I will be brief, Mr. Chair, because I know we're going to run into bells.
    I know I am going to lose this, but I would like to challenge your ruling. I'm going to tell you why. You read out, eloquently and accurately, a number of pieces of equations that were in that first document. The—
    A motion to adjourn is dilatory.
    You don't have the floor.
    I made a motion to adjourn.
    That was before, and I should have allowed it. We could have had a vote on it. I don't know how the vote would have gone, but I apologize for that. Let's—
    My motion to adjourn is sustained; I did not withdraw it.
    I just ruled on this. Let's hear the points of order. We're going to adjourn in a couple of minutes, anyway.
    I will try to be brief. We are going to recess very soon for votes.
    As I said, I am challenging this ruling. You eloquently laid out a few examples, and you're right that this is extremely complex. I would love to have all of the information to give to somebody who understands it. If I give them the document, they're going to say that, yes, those are certainly pieces of this.
    How do we know, though—
    Here is my biggest problem and why I am challenging this ruling.
    At the bottom, it says:
Please note that this is a draft in progress. Any comments will be appreciated. Views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not reflect those of Environment and Climate Change Canada or the Government of Canada.
    How can this be a response from the government when it's not even written by the government? That's my problem.
    Okay. I hope you will ask the minister that question.
    Well, he was supposed to be here on April 30, which is today.
    He is coming on May 21.
    Is there a next point of order?
    It's the same point of order.
    It's basically a draft and not a response to the motion.
    Okay. I understand how you feel about it, but I can't tell you whether it's a draft or a response. I am not an expert.
    Yes, you can, because it's written right on the paper.
    I am not an econometrician.
    Mr. Chair, I challenged your ruling, which I believe is dilatory, and—
    Okay, let's have a vote on the challenge to my ruling.
    I never relinquished the floor voluntarily.
    Well, you called a challenge to the ruling.
    Right. However, I wasn't done talking, and you moved along to somebody else. That is my challenge with this.
    Mr. Chair, I know that—
    Listen, I'm waiting very anxiously for the bells to start ringing.
    Go one at a time, please.
    Mr. Leslie, make your point.
    Does anyone else have a point to make after Mr. Leslie?
    I do.
    Mr. Mazier, do you have a point? You're done. Okay.
    First of all, Mr. Leslie, we're going to vote on your challenge to the chair. Then I'm going to Mr. van Koeverden.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    As I stated, this isn't even a Government of Canada document. That's why this is a breach of privilege.
    I think the only way to have the experts we need in order to analyze this information is to have all 4,000 equations, not just one, three or four. This is a summary of models, just like the third iteration we got. That is not what the motion said. The motion asked specifically for complete information on a number of pieces.
    I understand this is of a partisan nature, but I'll go back to my earlier comments. When this government came to power, it said it was going to be the most transparent in the history of Canada. It said it was going to be open by default. This is so far from open by default that it is embarrassing.
    Are you tabling a motion to challenge the chair?
    Okay, let's vote on that.
    (Ruling of the chair sustained: yeas 7; nays 4)
    Mr. van Koeverden.
    Mr. Chair, I move to adjourn our meeting.
    Let's have a vote on that. Do we need a vote?
    Okay. We're adjourned. Thank you.
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